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United States realized they could not fight both Japan and Germany at once. Thus it was decided to concentrate the bulk of their efforts on fighting Hitler in Europe, while maintaining a defensive position in the Pacific until Hitler was defeated. The American army’s first ground action was fighting alongside the British and Australian armies in North Africa, this was important ground as it gave access to the Suez Canal which was one of two crucial trade links that Britain relied on throughout the war, along with the Atlantic.
By May 1943, the British 8th Army had expelled the Germans from North Africa and the Allies controlled this vital link until the end of the war. The American navy also played an active role in the Atlantic protecting the convoys bringing vital American war material to Britain. Americans lost 19,000 men during the Battle with the German, duing which. Over 70% of all bombs dropped on Germany occurred after this date. Germany was flattened, with the country physically and emotionally rumbled. On 30 April 1945, with Berlin completely overrun with Russian forces and his country in tatters, Adolf Hitler committed suicide.
The war with Germany was over in 8 May 1945, following its unconditional surrender to the Allied forces. From a modest contribution in troops at the beginning of the campaign in Europe, by the end of the war approximately 66% of all allied divisions in Western Europe were American. The first years of the war against Japan was largely a defensive battle with the United States Navy attempting to prevent the Japanese Navy from asserting dominance of the Pacific region commitment to defeating Hitler in Europe. Initially, Japan won the majority of its battles .
It defeated and created military bases in Guam, Thailand, Malaya, Hong Kong, Papua New Guinea, Indonesia and Burma. This was important for Japan, as it had only 10% of the homeland industrial production capacity of the United States. In June 1942, the United States Navy had broken the Japanese communication codes which allowed it to strategically position its ships in order to deliver a comprehensive defeat to the Japanese Navy. They began fighting towards China where they build an airbase suitable to commence bombing of mainland Japan with its B-29 Superfortress fleet..
During this period, they triggered what would become their most comprehensive victory in the entire war. The American Navy emerged victorious after at one point being stretched to almost breaking point with almost complete destruction of the Japanese Navy. The decision to use nuclear weapons to end the conflict has been one of the most controversial decisions of the war with supporters of the use of the bombs argue that an invasion would have cost enormous numbers of lives. The American forces poised for an invasion of the Japanese mainland, to force the Japanese into unconditional surrender.
The first bomb was dropped on Hiroshima on August 6, 1945, unexpected by the Japanese. The second bomb was dropped on Nagasaki on August 9. On August 15, 1945, the Japanese surrendered unconditionally and the war was over, avoiding a bloody invasion. The United States emerged as one of the two dominant superpowers after World War II and on December 4, 1945, the U. S. began its participation in the United Nations (UN), which marked a turn away from the traditional isolationism of the U. S. and toward more international involvement.
The post-war era in the United States marked the beginning of the Cold War, in which the United States and the Soviet Union attempted to expand their influence at the expense of the other. The resulted to a series of conflicts during this period including the Korean War and the tense nuclear showdown of the Cuban Missile Crisis. Within the United States, the Cold War prompted concerns about Communist influence, and also resulted in government efforts to encourage math and science toward efforts like the space race. John F.
Kennedy in 1960 was elected President, and brought a new life and vigor to the atmosphere of the White House. During his time, the Cold War reached its height with the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962. But was assassinated in Dallas, Texas, on November 22, 1963. At the same time, racism across the United States was increasingly challenged by the growing Civil Rights movement and African American leaders such as Martin Luther King, Jr. In the 1960s, Jim Crow laws that legalized racial segregation between Whites and Blacks came to an end.
United States entered the Vietnam War, under President Lyndon Johnson’s and in the early 1970s, Johnson’s successor, President Richard Nixon. The war had cost the lives of 58,000 American troops and millions of Vietnamese. When Mikhail Gorbachev came to power in Moscow, many conservative Republicans were dubious of the friendship between him and Reagan. He tried to save Communism in Russia first by ending the expensive arms race with America. Communism finally collapsed in Russia in 1991, ending the US-Soviet Cold War
After the fall of the Soviet Union, the United States emerged as the world’s sole superpower and continued to involve itself in military action overseas, including the 1991 Gulf War. After his election in 1992, President Bill Clinton oversaw the longest economic expansion in American history, a side effect of the digital revolution and new business opportunities. In 1993, Ramzi Yousef an Islamic terrorist, planted explosives in the underground of One World Trade Center killing six people and injuring thousands, in what would become the beginning of an age of terrorism.
This was followed, by a terrorist bombing of the years later in 1995 in Oklahoma City that killed 168 people and injured over 800. Islamic terrorism, of the September 11, 2001 attacks in which Islamic extremists hijacked four transcontinental airliners and intentionally crashed two of them into the twin towers at the World Trade Center and one into the Pentagon. The passengers on the fourth plane, United Airlines Flight 93, revolted causing the plane to crash into a field in Somerset County, PA. Evidence suggested that a terrorist group, al-Qaeda was responsible for the attacks.
Other calamities have continued affecting like Hurricane Katrina that flooded parts of the city of New Orleans and heavily damaged other areas of the gulf coast. Rising oil prices in 2006 saw Americans become conscious of the nation’s extreme dependence on steady supplies of inexpensive petroleum for energy, with President Bush admitting a U. S. addiction to oil. This poses a serious economic disruption, should oil producing countries interrupt the flow, given the instability in the Middle East and other oil-producing regions of the world.
Alternative energy sources, like ethanol to wind power and solar power, received more capital funding.
Bailey, Thomas A. , Cohen. Elizabeth and David M. Kennedy. 2006. The American Pageant: A History of the Republic (12th Ed). New York. John A. Garraty and Eric Foner. 1991. The Reader’s Companion to American History. Hodgson, Godfrey. United States History. London: Macmillan. Pauline Maier. 2003. Inventing America: A History of the States from 1865. Newyork.