Presentation on theme: "20 th Century History To fully understand the world that we live in today, one must reach back and study the events of the past century."— Presentation transcript:
20 th Century History To fully understand the world that we live in today, one must reach back and study the events of the past century.
Wars in Iraq and Afghanistan dominate the headlines in the year 2007. Who is fighting? Why are they fighting? What are the goals of the opponents? How can peace flourish?
Ostensibly the events of September the 11 th, 2001 forced the United States into military action in Afghanistan. Iraq followed 2 years later, but for different reasons. Why was the United States attacked? Why did the U.S. direct military actions against Afghanistan, then Iraq?
It is no secret that the United States is the world’s sole, remaining super-power. Some would say that it is on the decline in that regard. However, how did it come to be in this position?
There was another super power for most of the 20 th Century. The Soviet Union was a communist state that valued military technology and embraced a vision of world domination. The “cold war” was fought for over 45 years between the Soviet Union and its allies, and the United States and its allies. Why do you think the United States won the Cold War?
Again, on the surface the United States seemed to win the Cold War. But did the American way of life prevail?
There are aspects of the American way of life, that we are taught from childhood. These can include:
Rock & Roll (yes, yes, Zeppelin was British, but the art form is American…it came from the blues, which came from Jazz.)
One pillar of the American way of life is business and the consumption of American products. However, with a “global economy” and environmental concerns this becomes particularly difficult to understand and to practice.
If the United States has one of the strongest economies in the world, how did it become so? What are the threats to our economy?
When the United States has had to use military force in the 20 th century, its goals were not always clearly defined. Support was not always evident at home. Methods of warfare were sometimes unconventional. And the enemy could look like civilians.
The Cold War had several “hot conflicts.” Korea was the sight of one such conflicts where the forces of Communism battled the forces of Democracy. They fought to a standstill. The peninsula is still segmented today because if this.
At certain points in the 20 th century, global conflict did occur. Twice they were begun by Germany. The second time, it was at the instigation of Adolf Hitler. Why do you think Hitler wanted to conquer Europe?
Although the United States wanted to remain neutral in WWII, the Japanese (allied to Germany) forced the U.S. into the war by bombing the naval station at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. Why do you think the Japanese attacked?
This was unfortunate for Americans. They had just begun to emerge from a sever economic depression. Things had begun to look good again. What do you think turned the American economy around?
The Great depression was global, and affected hundreds of millions of people. How do you think it started?
Prior to the Great Depression, life in America was good. This period was called the Roaring 20’s. There was prosperity and a feeling of good times. Sometimes called the Jazz Age, we saw the advent of the Harlem Renaissance at this point.
This was also the time of Prohibition in the United States. This meant that a Constitutional Amendment was passed to ban the sale of alcohol. Although eventually repealed, many people broke the law and smuggled or made alcohol.
Of course, one of the defining events of the beginning of the 20 th Century was World War 1. In this conflict over 9 million soldiers and civilians died. Millions more were wounded, maimed, or went mission. The devastation cost billions and many of the last empires were dissolved as a result. It is with this event that we begin our studies.