American Identity in the 20th Century Essay by Peter Pen

American Identity in the 20th Century
This paper discusses that, throughout the 20th century, wars have had the most influential effect on how Americans define themselves and how they treated others.
# 49347 | 1,790 words | 4 sources | MLA | 2004

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The paper explains that the most significant social changes that occurred during WWI and WWII affected two major groups: African-Americans and women. The paper points out that the passage of the 19th Amendment giving women the right to vote was a result of women leaving the home during WWI to work and to selling bonds. The paper states that, whereas the U.S. started the century as a neutral nation, today, the Gulf War demonstrates that the U.S. considers itself the police of the world, the savior of human rights, and the ultimate authority in international affairs.

From the Paper:

"World War I began in Europe in 1914 as the result of strong nationalism as well as political and economic rivalries. What started as a local conflict between Austria-Hungary and Serbia soon escalated to a full-scale global war. At first, Americans wanted to remain neutral and isolated from European problems. One of the most popular songs at the time, "I Didn't Raise My Boy to Be a Solider," reflected these ideals. During his reelection campaign, President Woodrow Wilson used the slogan "He Kept Us Out of War" to win votes, and it worked. But as the months went by, more and more people began to change their opinions about the war. Reports of German U-Boats attacking American merchant ships enraged the U.S. public. German aggression soon became too much for the United States to stand and war was declared on April 6, 1917."

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