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Wwi-Wwii Events That Changed the World

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Between World War I and World War II America went through events in the political, economical and social areas that would change the face of the nation forever. The various eras- World War I, the Roaring Twenties, The Great Depression & the New Deal, and World War II each had separate issues that caused changes in relation to class, gender, domestic and international affairs. Although many of these events were only effective temporarily, others still show a strong influence today. Movements such as woman suffrage, events such as dropping the atomic bomb, and social eras such as The Harlem Renaissance still play an important role in the lives of Americans today.

World War I laid the foundations for the political and economical crisis that was soon to follow. Even before the end of the war, Allies claimed reparations from Germany, whose economy was destroyed. Wilson, after meeting with the Big Four, slowly began to accept the idea of reparations. Once implemented, the American banks were now beginning to profit greatly from loaning to both Germany and the Allies- Germany who had to pay their reparations and fix the infrastructure of the country, France whose infrastructure was destroyed and Great Britain, who had to pay back America for all the ammo and weapons they had bought. Germany entered a never-ending debt cycle- repaying the allies by taking out loans, then repaying the loans by taking out even more loans. Germany's devastated economy as a new democratic nation that was used to monarchy led to poor democratic governments that always failed. These issues eventually caused the Nazi party to become dominant- and Hitler became leader.

The Bolshevik revolution in the 1917 started hatred towards the Communists in America (Eventually leading to the Cold War). The Red Scare that followed the war was a good example of the psychotic mind of the average American. The fear of being overthrown by communists was everywhere. Anyone who publicly opposed the war was immediately thrown into jail. "Subversive" books were removed from the shelves; feminists were attacked because of their opposition of American intervention in Europe. It was a time of chaos. Once Wilson was out of office, and Harding elected, however, things started to change-

The 19th Amendment that was ratified in 1920 marked the end of 100 years of women's struggle for voting rights. The 19th amendment, which guaranteed voting rights for all women, also marked the beginning of an era of reform and the return to "normalcy".

The Roaring Twenties was for many a symbol of excitement, innovation, redefining roles of gender, race and class. Our everyday social life is based on many of the changes that occurred during those years.

The technologic inventions of the 1920s, such as the assembly line, commercial radio broadcasting, commercial aviation, increased use of telephones, early computing devices and genetic research are a huge part of our everyday life. New ways to organize labor and administrate the corporate system were being put into use. Farming was becoming mechanized- and the number of farmers dropped by millions. The new concept of mass consumption, or Consumerism, was booming across the country. Advertisements became a familiar addition to the landscape. New magazines, such as Time or The Reader's Digest were produced. Hollywood became a name that was automatically associated with movies. Sound and color were added to the movies and they became one of the more popular social and leisure events.

The definition of motherhood was altered, as mothers now turned to doctors, nurses and teachers for advice and assistance on how to raise their children. "Companionate Marriage" tied the woman into a closer relationship with her husband, and she devoted attention to cosmetics and clothing; the children could not interfere in their marital relationship. Love had become the main reason for marriage.

There was increased enrollment in high schools and colleges, and schools started to provide training in the modern technical skills. What's more, schools started to provide the youth with a setting in which they could develop social patterns, hobbies, interests and activities. The Harlem Renaissance brought jazz & blues, black artists, and African American Pride to the world.

The social life was obviously improving greatly. Even so, the cultural tensions still remained. The conflict between the modern world and the traditional values was intensifying. An attempt at complete Prohibition failed, because it led to organized crime that smuggled in alcohol anyway. The 18th amendment, which prohibited sales and consumption of alcohol in the United States, was eventually repealed in 1933. The Klan had formed again- now anti-foreign, anti-Catholic, anti-black, anti-Jewish, anti-pacifist, anti-Communist, anti-internationalist, anti-revolutionist, anti-bootlegger, anti-gambling, anti-adultery, and anti-birth control. At its peak it had 5 million members, and a member was voted into Congress, however he was convicted of raping a young secretary and letting her die after she swallowed poison. The Klan's ambition to keep traditional values led to a reign of terror on all those who were not the "right" kind. It died out after a few years, but the fact is that people were still not willing to change their racist public expressions even after the war, where many blacks returned heroes; on the contrary, the racism increased dramatically.

Another important Traditionalist v. Modernist conflict occurred in the religion v. science area- the modernists tried to adapt religion to science; while traditionalists attempted to show that science is all a result of forces done by God, that the Creation was the true story of evolution. In 1925 it went so far that a law was made in Tennessee that prohibited teaching any theory that denies the story of Creation as told in the bible. John Scopes, a young Tennessee biology teacher, was arrested because he protested against the new law. Eventually the religious prosecutor was cross-examined, humiliated, and fundamentalists suffered a huge blow- modernists started teaching evolution in schools.

Besides cultural tensions, the economic status of the average American dropped drastically after the 1920s boom. Prosperity depended on the few basic industries- automobile and construction, and many people were still living in poverty. Europe cut its imports, the Dust Bowl had hurt the income of many farmers, and stocks were inflating like mad. On the outside it seemed good, since people were making "money", but in reality their dollar had no real value.

Between the years1928-1929, stock trade rose to over 5 million shares a day, and at times it hit 10 and even 12 million stocks traded daily. Brokers



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