World War I and World War II: The United States - War Essay Example
World War I and World War II: The United States
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It is difficult to deny that the two Great World Wars have become tragic, but extremely valuable experience for the United States. The two Great Wars have caused irreversible effects on the American thinking about civil liberties, freedom, and peace. In many aspects, the two wars have produced similar effects onto the U.S. Simultaneously, World War I has become a cruel lesson of how one should behave at war. This lesson has proved to be useful when the Second World War broke out.
The American participation in WWI and WWII was marked by the desire to keep neutrality, and to stay away from active military operations. The majority of the American people were supporting neutral policies of the United States towards Europe, but German attempts to break the American peace balance have buried all hopes for the U.S. to keep to the neutral diplomatic course. Woodrow Wilson was actually compelled to declare war to Germany. Since 1917, the American state has become an active military participant of World War I.
Economically, the war for the U.S. has started long before 1917, because since 1914 the United States has been actively involved into the processes of military trade with its future allies – Britain and France. Moreover, WWI has changed the social and economical structure in the U.S.: War Industries Board determined what goods private industries had to produce; millions of men were recruited into the army, while thousands of women had to look for jobs to support their families during the war. In the military aspect, the American troops actively participated in several European operations, having lost nearly half million American soldiers. World War I has become the pathway towards closer diplomatic and economic relations between the U.S., France, and Britain: between 1914 and 1916 the U.S. trade balance with these countries has dramatically increased. WWI has resulted in the creation of the influential diplomatic union between these three powerful states. In general, WWI has become a valuable experience for the United States: it has shaped a different approach towards peace when WWII broke out.
While WWI has significantly increased the American striving towards isolationism, WWII has proved the futility of isolationist policies in the face of military threats. Since 1941, the U.S. military trade operations with other European countries have been made public. The U.S. has publicly recognized the need to participate in war. It seems that the Americans had already been prepared to that, and the need to declare the war did not meet any social opposition. In distinction from WWI, the American people were more actively involved into the military actions of WWII: the attack at Pearl Harbor had seriously hurt the civil values for the majority of the U.S. population. In distinction from WWI, the United States has entered WWII in its culmination, and has participated in numerous military operations in Normandy, Germany, and the Pacific region. As with WWI, during WWII the American state was a diplomatic and military ally of Britain. As in WWI, in WWII the American nation has turned into a home front: rationing of food and certain goods has become a daily reality for the majority of Americans. In reality, WWI has prepared the American nation to the difficulties of war. Patience was the determining feature of the American nation during WWII, because the First World War had earlier emphasized the importance of peaceful existence and the need of self-sacrifice for the sake of future generations.
In many instances, the American experiences during WWI and WWII were similar, but in reality, the First World War has considerably re-shaped the American vision of freedom and peace. Both wars have changed the diplomatic relations and socioeconomic emphases of the American nation; both wars have resulted in numerous human losses, but the First World War has prepared the Americans to the difficulties of wartime. WWI was the first step away from isolationism, and WWII has forever proved the futility and uselessness of isolationism in the common fight against foreign violence and occupation.