Essay: American Participation in World War II

Pages: 3 (1011 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 3  ·  Topic: Drama - World  ·  Buy This Paper

WWII

The United States entered the Second World War late, and reluctantly. In spite of the Nazi death camps, the United States remained decidedly neutral until the bombing of Pearl Harbor. The bombing of Pearl Harbor may not have been the only reason why the United States entered the war, but it was a single and tremendous precipitating event that necessitated a quick and decisive solution. Entering the war had a huge impact on America's domestic, as well as global, affairs. The effects of the American entry into World War Two on world history included securing an Allied victory and paving the way for a new world order symbolized by the Cold War. Less obvious from a global perspective, but no less important to most Americans, was the fact that the entry into World War Two led to dramatic social, economic, and political changes at home in the United States. Most of those social, economic, and political changes can be viewed in the context of prevailing issues related to race, class, gender, and power.

Race relations were severely strained in the United States, following generations of failed reconstruction following the Civil War. Slavery had been abolished, but racism had not. African-Americans were on aggregate poor and politically disenfranchised. When the United States entered the war, however, blacks fought alongside their white brethren -- ironically for a country that dismissed them as second-class citizens. The armed forces were segregated when the United States entered the Second World War, with separate infantries for different races and differential status and treatment for African-American combat units and troops. African-American soldiers were rarely serving in positions above first lieutenant (O'Neil). In general, African-American troops had lower collective status than their white counterparts. Blacks were "confined largely to service rather than combat units, excluded entirely from the Army Air Corps and Marines, and from the Navy except as messmen," (O'Neil 1). Prevailing and entrenched racism prevented troop integration, as whites refused to fight alongside their own countrymen. It was no small wonder that the American armed forces were able to create a unified front.

Gender relations were also strained, several years after universal suffrage. Although they won the right to vote, women were systematically excluded from positions of power and failed to achieve financial independence. Women were barred from combat altogether during the Second World War.

Entering the war would have nearly immediate consequences on improving both race and gender relations in the United States, however. As the ironies and paradoxes of American society were exposed via participation in the war, many Americans saw clearly and perhaps for the first time the pressing need for social justice and change. As Harris puts it, "the battle against Nazi racism exposed America's own prejudices as peacetime never could" (1). The United States, a nation with endemic racism and prejudice, was fighting for freedom in Europe.

The war exposed the problems associated with racism and prejudice. At first, the involvement of African-Americans in combat was treated as a matter of military expediency rather than… [END OF PREVIEW]

Four Different Ordering Options:

?
Which Option Should I Choose?

1.  Buy the full, 3-page paper:  $28.88

or

2.  Buy + remove from all search engines
(Google, Yahoo, Bing) for 30 days:  $38.88

or

3.  Access all 175,000+ papers:  $41.97/mo

(Already a member?  Click to download the paper!)

or

4.  Let us write a NEW paper for you!

Ask Us to Write a New Paper
Most popular!

United States in World War II Term Paper


World War II Put-Off by Europe's Lag Term Paper


Unconscious: Book Burnings in WWII Term Paper


WWII Propaganda Posters From Office of War Information Term Paper


Japanese American Internment During World War II an Ethnographic Survey Term Paper


View 542 other related papers  >>

Cite This Essay:

APA Format

American Participation in World War II.  (2013, April 12).  Retrieved May 23, 2019, from https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/american-participation-world-war-ii/6283320

MLA Format

"American Participation in World War II."  12 April 2013.  Web.  23 May 2019. <https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/american-participation-world-war-ii/6283320>.

Chicago Format

"American Participation in World War II."  Essaytown.com.  April 12, 2013.  Accessed May 23, 2019.
https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/american-participation-world-war-ii/6283320.