The Civil War and Cold War
There are many dates and events that have occurred throughout American History. A lot of these dates and events are more complicated than they were ideal. Throughout American history between the time of the Civil War and the Cold war, we have seen a lot of bloodshed. All of the bloodshed and tragedy that we have experienced has shaped America into the superpower that it is today. American history from 1865 to the modern era is characterized by these three themes: Justice, Power, and Freedom. All of themes are reasons why America is a great power and why our country is known as, “the land of the free”.
When you think about justice in American history you think about all the things it has overcome. Justice is one of the most dominant themes that shaped American history. Starting with the Civil War we see a war between ourselves. A country who has went to war over one topic…Slavery! Specifically the abolishment of slavery and the 13th amendment. There was a lot of bloodshed during this war. The southern states saw the abolishment of slavery as a violation of their rights, whereas the north supported the abolishment of slavery, and because of all of this there was a war that lasted 4 year between your own country. The Reconstruction Era started with the victory of the North and the Emancipation Proclamation. The Emancipation Proclamation freed around 3 million slaves. We also see examples of social justice and injustice throughout the Civil War. The Civil Rights movement was a struggle for social justice. It ended slavery, but it did not end discrimination against blacks. The story of Dred Scott showed how freedom was not equally granted. Male blacks were granted the right to vote due to the 15th amendment and the equal protection of rights with the 14th amendment. However, the 15th amendment did not include black women the right to vote or white women for that matter. Racism and Gender during this time was a major role during the civil war. Equal protection did not give women the right to vote. Two women’s rights advocates Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton shows justice when the 19th amendment was passed that granted the women the right to vote and women’s suffrage. We see this during the Progressive Era. Progressivism is, “social and political movement of various groups of individuals who sought reform in American social and political life.” (bortz slides) Urbanization and industrialization was booming during the Progressive Era.
Power throughout the modern era, specifically political, economic, and military power is where america started to shape into who it is today. When I think about power throughout American history I first think about American Imperialism. American Imperialism refers to the economic, military, and cultural influence of the United States on other countries. The concept of an American Empire was made a reality during the time of industrialization and an increased influence on Social Darwinism. Both Industrialization and Social Darwinism led the US to imperialism and to believe that the US is responsible for bringing on the biological concepts of society conflict. The United States imperialism exerted political, social, and economical control over many countries. Specifically I’m going to talk about the insurrection of the Philippines after the Spanish-American War. During this time the American-Anti-Imperialist League opposed the expansion. The Second World War ended with two superpowers, the United States, and the Soviet Union (USSR). During the Cold War, tension between the US and the USSR after the second world war showed a period military and political power. According to Bortz, the cold war was, “a global competition, rivalry, and struggle between the United States and the Soviet Union in the context of a nuclear standoff.” Both powers had one thing in common. They both opposed Nazi Germany. However, the two differed radically in terms of economics and politics. The USSR was a Marxist-Leninist state with a controlled economy whereas the US was a capitalist state with free economic rights. Both the US and the USSR were superpowers who were threatened by each other. They both had vast militaries with the disposal of nuclear weapons that they held against each other. Both sides knew the use of nuclear weapons would cause mass destruction on themselves. Containment and the Truman Doctrine were established to stop the Soviet expansion of communism.
The Civil War and Cold War