Comparative History


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Comparative History

  1. 1. Comparative History: Article Readings<br />Hist 141 Theme 8<br />Summer 2011<br />By: Le Thi My Ho<br />
  2. 2. The war that began in Europe in 1939 and inquired the intervention of the Isolationists America at the end of 1941<br />“WW II changed Americans from a nation of provincial innocents, ignorant of the great world, into a nation that would often have to bear the burdens of rescuing that world”<br />The aftermath of war brought the collapse of all overseas Western empires, a cold war between communist and noncommunist nations, and finally, the arrival of Japan at the world’s economic and political center<br />The end of American isolationism and the emergence of American rivalry with Japan<br />WW II<br />
  3. 3. 1930s - Adolf Hitler repudiated the Treaty of Versailles and boldly reasserted Germany’s military power. The Nazi leader took Germany out of the League of Nations; formed an alliance with Italy’s fascist dictator, Benito Mussolini; and began a series of territorial seizures that culminated with the invasion of Poland in 1939, which plunged Europe into war 3 days later<br />1939 – Neveille Chamberlain, British Prime Minister, flew to Munich and made an appeasement that gave Hitler half of Czechoslovakia in exchange for pledges that he would make no further territorial demands and that Britain and Germany would never fight each other again but Hitler didn’t keep his words<br />WW II<br />
  4. 4. March 11, 1941 - Congress passed Roosevelt’s Lend-Lease bill which gave billions of dollars of military aid to Britain and the Soviet Union, which Hitler invaded in June 1941 “An Act to Promote the Defense of the United States”<br />December 1941 – Japanese launched a surprise attack on Pearl Harbor, Hawaii<br />America declared war on Japan, and Hitler, in turn, declared war on America<br />WW II<br />
  5. 5. How did the leaders of two Western democracies put aside their prejudices, surmount their domestic political obstacles, and negotiate their conflicting national interests in order to fight together against Hitler’s Germany?<br />After France fell to the German onslaught in June 1940, US resolved to save England at all costs<br />The British were encouraged by Roosevelt’s plans for rearmament and his condemnation totalitarianism<br />Roosevelt convinced Congress to permit the sale of arms to England on a “cash and carry” basis, for the British the revised Neutrality Act was a welcome improvement<br />Sept. 2, 1940 Us lend 50 destroyers to British and in return wanted 99 yr leases on 8 British possessions in the Americas on which the US could build air and naval bases to strengthen its own defenses<br />WW II<br />
  6. 6. Atlantic Charter – Issued in August 1941, 8 common principles of American and British for WWII and ensuing peace <br />1 No territorial gains were to be sought by the United States or the United Kingdom<br />2 Territorial adjustments must be in accord with the wishes of the peoples concerned<br />3 All peoples had a right to self-determination;<br />4 Trade barriers were to be lowered<br />5 There was to be global economic cooperation and advancement of social welfare<br />6 The participants would work for a world free of want and fear<br />7 The participants would work for freedom of the seas<br />8 There was to be disarmament of aggressor nations, and a postwar common disarmament<br />WW II<br />
  7. 7. The rapid acceleration of the movement of goods, capital, people and ideas across national boundaries<br />Promoted by America’s aggressive free-trade policies and dominated by its mass culture industry<br />Created a worldwide consumer culture that spread American music, TV programs, clothing, and fast food everywhere<br />English as the true international language and the medium for 90% of transactions on the Internet, the “World Wide Web” that facilitated global exchange and came to symbolize it<br />Globalization and Empire<br />
  8. 8. American leaders moved form the nation’s “multilateral” tradition of pursuing international alliances and agreements toward “unilateral” economic decisions and military interventions<br />United States must take on greater responsibilities in the new, hyperconnected world where local crises had immediate global repercussions and where terrorism threatened the rule of law<br />Comparative and transnational approaches can place current trends in broader perspective and may also suggest “lessons” – both positive and negative – for us to consider as we debate America’s future and that of the world to which it is inextricably tied<br />Globalization and Empire<br />
  9. 9. Its disastrous war in Vietnam was evidence of imperial “overreach,” the situation where military commitments outrun economic resources<br />The U.S. was poorly prepared by its history and culture for the “multipolar” diplomacy and lowered economic expectations that this change would bring<br />1980s-1990s – the American economy surged from gains in productivity, the rise of the computer industry, and booms in banking and real estate<br />In terms of both production and consumption, the U.S. is already a vastly wealthier empire than Britain ever was<br />Globalization and Empire<br />
  10. 10. The U.S. showcased its free-market economy and limited national government as the model for survival of the “fittest” global competitors<br />In the sphere of international relations, when the Berlin Wall came down in 1989 and the Soviet Union disintegrated 2 yrs later, the U.S. became the world’s only superpower<br />When American presidents announce that they are intervening to supportfree trade, representative government, human rights, and international law around the world, they are promoting institutions that British officials successfully planted in their dominions<br />Globalization and Empire<br />
  11. 11. Empire – “a hierarchically organized political system with a hublike structure within which a core elite and state dominate peripheral elites and societies by serving as intermediaries for their significant interactions”<br />3 level global power besides the political<br />Military power – America dominates<br />Economic power <br />Transnational relations outside government control<br />Globalization and Empire<br />