Study "World History" Essays 991-1000

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Crucible vs. Mccarthyism Essay

… Crucible vs. McCarthyism

Fear over reason: Modern witch hunts depicted in Arthur Miller's "The Crucible" and in the House Un-American Activities Committee

No work of art can be subsumed under a single interpretation. However, Arthur Miller himself has stated that his play "The Crucible," set during the Puritan era in colonial New England was intended to be an explicit historical allegory, highlighting the parallels between the Salem witch trials and the era during which Miller wrote the play. Miller was a victim of the anti-communist hysteria of the early Cold War era. He was called by Senator Joseph McCarthy before the House Un-American Activities Committee. As a result of seeing himself, and other great writers and artists of the era being tainted with the public's fear of communism, Miller wrote a play specifically designed to highlight the parallels between the witch hunts and 20th century American fears of communism.

Miller did not desire to produce a strictly historically accurate rendition of life in Salem. For example, in the real Salem, Abigail Williams and most of the accusing girls were prepubescent children. However, Miller deliberately made Abigail older to serve his dramatic purposes. Abigail is an outcast in Salem because of her sexually forward behavior. She has also been carrying on an extramarital romance with John Proctor. Suspicions about witchcraft and Abigail's supposed demonic possession give her a great deal of power within the community, power she never had, much like McCarthy was an obscure senator before he began to develop his reputation as a zealous communist.

In both the play and the historical reality of the 1950s, accusations make the appearance of small improprieties seem larger than they were and distorted the truth. For example, during the Great Depression, a desperate era in American history, many Americans dabbled with political radicalism. During the 1940s, the U.S. was an ally of the Soviet Union. However, Americans who had shown interest in leftist causes, or praised the Soviet Union during World War II were now tarred and feathered in the public imagination as communists, as Joseph McCarthy preyed upon people's fears. Similarly, John Proctor's refusal to attend church services, because of his personal guilt over his extramarital affair is made him to seem like a 'witch' in the public imagination.

In "The Crucible" the people of Salem are so afraid of witchcraft, a seemingly silent and uncontrollable force they cannot understand, that they give credibility to the few people who seem able to discover it, like Abigail and her followers. They blind themselves to the fact that Abigail has a profound self-interest in accusing others, including Proctor's wife Elizabeth, of witchcraft. Similarly, the American public was so afraid of a communist take-over of the world, they trusted McCarthy and sacrificed their liberty as Americans to believe freely, just as the public in Salem sacrificed their sense of godliness and justice and actually hung good men…… [read more]


Kastner Trial Term Paper

… Kastner Trial

For millions of Jews, the Holocaust and its lingering effects would have a dramatic impact upon Israeli society. Where, it would serve as a catalyst for deep reflection and regret (especially among the survivors). In the late 1940's… [read more]


Ancient Greece and Rome Women Term Paper

… Women in Greece, Rome

Although ancient Greece and Rome are heralded as forging the prototype of modern democracy, they were far from egalitarian societies. Half the populations of Greece and Rome had little to no social status or rights, as females were mostly cut off from public and political life. Ancient Greece and Rome were gender segregated worlds. Gender impacted roles and duties. Women were restricted access to education and were largely left out of the arts, literature, and athletic pursuits. In both ancient Greece and in ancient Rome, economic class and social status determined the actual day-to-day lives of women but even the wealthiest females in these societies enjoyed social or political parity with men.

Whether as a sign of global social progress or not, though, women did enjoy "a level of freedom they would not see again in Western Society until the last half of the Twentieth Century" by the end of the first century in ancient Rome (Thompson). This "freedom" is only meaningful relatively, due to the fact that women were at best support figures and never political leaders. Evidence does show that in general, women enjoyed more respect, however slight, in Rome vs. Greece ("Women in Ancient Rome"). For example, "Bereaved Romans often praised their mothers, wives and daughters on their tombstones," (Dixon). On the other hand, "many Athenian men seem to have regarded their wives as at best essential inconveniences," (Thompson).

Marriage and childbirth were the defining features of women's lives in ancient Greece and Rome. Both strictly paternalistic societies, females left their homes to live with their husbands and became what can easily be considered domestic slaves. Only wealthy women would enjoy some relief from household duties, as slave ownership was common among the rich in both ancient Greece and Rome. During the Archaic age in ancient Greece, land ownership was so severely restricted to men that a daughter would not inherit even if she had no brothers (Blundell). Similar institutionalized sexism still existed centuries later in ancient Rome. For example, the "Voconian law of 169 BCE that prevented men in the wealthiest class bequeathing large sums of money to a daughter" kept paternalism firmly in place (Thompson). The result of such laws ensured that women were stripped of their personhood, their economic independence, and their political rights in both ancient Greece and ancient Rome.

Histories of ancient Greece and ancient Rome were chronicled and compiled by men, making it difficult to piece together accurate pictures of what daily life was actually like for women in these societies. Moreover, almost no first-hand evidence exists as to what women in ancient Greece or Rome actually thought, felt, or did. As Blundell points out, historical documents such as the poems of Homer and Hesiod "present us with a male view of women's status and activities, and both involve a strong element of fantasy," (65). Roman history books…… [read more]


East vs. West Germany Essay

… East vs. West Germany

The timeframe of 1945 to 1990 in relation to East and West Germany is known by many historians as the period of Division and reunification. After the Fall of Nazi Germany, the country was partitioned into four military occupation zones by the Allied powers. The Western Sectors, controlled by France, the United Kingdom, and the United States, merged in May, 1949 to become West German (The Federal Republic of Germany), and the Soviet Zone became East Germany (German Democratic Republic) in October of that same Year. Berlin, West and East, remained divided. Interestingly enough from a political and cultural view, West Germany chose Bonn as its "temporary capital" to emphasize the view that a split Germany was completely artificial and that unification would remain the goal (Wise, 1998, 23).

Politically, West Germany became a federal republic with a social market economy, and remained politically allied with the Western Allies. Because of this status, and the aid that the West provided, West Germany began to see a long period of economic growth beginning in the early 1950s. In 1955 West Germany joined NATO, a clear political statement of alignment with the west, and was a founding member of the European Economic Community in 1957.

East Germany was part of the Soviet sphere called the Eastern Bloc; remaining a client state under the poltical, military and economic control of Moscow. The state claimed to be a democracy, but was in fact a totalitarian state politically goverend by a Politburo and the Socialist Unity Party of Germany. State power was controlled by an immense secret service known as the Stasi. A Soviet-style "command economy" was set up, with all private ownership banned and the state becoming a member of the Warsaw Pact politically and the Comecon economically. Despite propaganda, East Germany had a low standard of living, very few creature comforts for its population, and the problem of numerous defections into West Berline. In fact, the Berlin Wall, built in 1961 to stop so many East Germans from moving to the west, became a quintessential symbol of the Cold War (Colchester, 2001).

The differences between East and West Germany in this period were quite…… [read more]


Night of the Long Knives: Consolidation of Hitler's Power? Assessment

… Night of Long Knives

Summary of Evidence.

"The Night of the Long Knives" (also known as "Operation Hummingbird" or "Rohm-Putsch" in Germany) occurred on the days between June 30 and July 2, 1934, when the Nazi regime committed a series… [read more]


Auschwitz Concentration Camp Article Review

… ¶ … Auschwitz concentration camp

Frei, Norbert. (2010, September). 1945-1949-1989: dealing with two German pasts.

The Australian Journal of Politics and History. Retrieved October 24, 2010 through

FindArticles.com at http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_go1877/is_3_56/ai_n55422670/

Auschwitz article review:

Frei, Norbert. (2010, September). 1945-1949-1989: dealing with… [read more]


Weimar Republic Is Significant Not Just Essay

… ¶ … Weimar Republic is significant not just as the interlude between Germany's two world wars, but as a reminder of what could have been in Germany. From the rubble of the fallen German Empire, the Weimar Republic received an exceedingly difficult set of tasks: to transition Germany's political system from an empire to a democratic republic, to somehow place Germany back into the circle of great powers, and to steer its neglected economy back to its pre-war status as Europe's industrial giant. Ultimately, the Weimar Republic failed because the government was unable to restore true economic stability, the lack of which created an eager audience for the numerous political opportunists of the day.

The Political Aftermath of the German Empire

In post-war Germany, the fall of the German Empire unleashed all of the political parties who had previously been checked by the authority of the Kaiser. Under the Kaiser's rule, the Reichstag was a feeble institution, its only power being its ability to withhold approval of certain government actions. As Socialist parties came to achieve majority representation in the Reichstag during Kaiser Wilhelm's reign, the Kaiser secured support from the Socialists by enacting progressive social policies such as unemployment and accident insurance.

While liberal parties held a comfortable majority of popular support, there were a number of conservative political interests composed mainly of the state's Prussian militaristic elements, the landed elite, and Catholics. Although all of these groups had to bow to imperial authority, their participation in the Kaiser's puppet Reichstag allowed them to develop sophisticated organizational abilities.

After the fall of the German empire, these political groups reassembled in a new Reichstag. (Orlow 116). This Reichstag assumed most of the powers the Kaiser held, most importantly the authority to appoint and dismiss government officials. In addition, it was a parliamentary democracy elected through proportional representation, which meant that seats were apportioned to parties according to the party's share of the total vote. (Id.) Thus, the Reichstag was not a neat two-party assembly as the legislatures in the U.S. are, but a multi-party madhouse.

Although the Liberal and Socialist parties dominated the Reichstag through various coalitions, the Conservative elements received a strong response among the frustrated populace. Moreover, these conservative elements were joined by returning war veterans and other militaristic or "counterrevolutionary" elements, culminating in the Kapp-Luwitz Putsch of April 1920, which succeeded in briefly taking Berlin. (131) Although Putsch ultimately failed, it allowed the various militaristic rightist groups to coalesce and these groups persisted as a threat to the Weimar throughout its existence.

The Sluggish Economic Recovery

Although political threats accompanied the Weimar Republic since its inception, severe economic turmoil proved to be the nation's most persistent problem. Germany was forced to pay war reparations to the Allied Nations as the loser in the war. (125) France added to the humiliation of this burden by insisting on "productive guarantees," where it would occupy German cities if Germany did not pay. (126) As bad as the reparations were, however,… [read more]


Rise of Hitler the Treaty Assessment

… These payments would be paid monthly and would total some £6,600 million (this figure was agreed by the Allies in 1921)[footnoteRef:4]. In light of the economic devastation of the Germany economy and its industrial infrastructure, it was of little surprise that country's economy totally collapsed only a few days after the final amount of the debt was announced in 1921. [4: http://www.schoolshistory.org.uk/ASLevel_History/financialimpactofversailles.htm]

The Treaty also placed Germany's territories under the domain of the various allied powers, thereby denying Germany much needed supplemental resources, material and markets needed to reconstruct its own economy[footnoteRef:5]. The Allies and the Associated Power was negotiated the war that they were successively involved directly or indirectly and which the originated declaration of war on the western and eastern Europe by Austria-Hungary Empire and Germany Empire should be replace by a firm, just, and durable peace[footnoteRef:6]. [5: Ibid] [6: American society of international law, " Treaty of peace with Germany" (Vol 13, No.3, Official documents (July., 1919)), pp. 152. Published by American society of international law http://www.jstor.org/stable/2213120]

As is evident from the above, the Treaty of Versailles is believed to have been an oppressive punishment against the Central Powers and Germany in particular. While the goal may have been to create a stable Europe and to keep a balance of power among European nations, the many feel that Treaty hindered Germany's ability to rebuild to such a degree that it created economic and social upheaval, two causes of great national instability. It was in this atmosphere of national instability and humiliation that Hitler was able to capitalize on void of power and pride and provide a passionate message that millions of Germans felt they could rally behind.

Works Cited

Catherine, Lu, "Justice and moral regeneration, the international studies review "(Vol 4,

No.3 (Autumn, 2002)),pp.4 . Published by Blackwell Publishing on behalf of the international studies association, http://www.jstor.org/stable/3186461

American society of international law, " Treaty of peace with Germany" (Vol 13, No.3,

Official documents (July., 1919)), pp. 152. Published by American society of international law http://www.jstor.org/stable/2213120

SchoolHistory.org. Accessed on October 12, 2010

http://www.schoolshistory.org.uk/ASLevel_History/financialimpactofversailles.htm… [read more]


Vietnam Lessons Gained From the American Misadventure Essay

… Vietnam Lessons

Lessons Gained from the American Misadventure in Vietnam

The Vietnam War may only be called a success by the most optimistic and selective of American memories. The goals of reunification of North and South, of preventing the permanence of Communist rule and of impeding on the proliferation of socialist values throughout Southeast Asia would all go unmet. And in reflection, we are inclined to view Vietnam as being valuable only for the lessons which can be used to prevent us from making the same mistakes again. It is thus that we consider the diplomatic, presidential and cultural dimensions of a war that should perhaps never have been broached.

Diplomatic Negotiations:

It is difficult to suggest that any lessons have been learned from Vietnam which can be used today. America's misadventures in Iraq and Afghanistan seem verily to reflect the same diplomatic bumbling that made Vietnam appear to be a necessary war. For the United States, diplomacy at the onset of the war would center primarily on the heaving of accusations, which were especially central to the Gulf of Tonkin incident where America claimed that it had been given a military ultimatum making diplomatic efforts impossible. Certainly, this is a primary characteristic of the conflict that would unfold thereafter, with the United States desiring conflict and occupation above all else. The compromise of diplomacy would not have served this purpose well. If it may be said that a lesson war assimilated into permanent military strategy here, it is that the U.S. perfected the type of 'false flag' march to war that is now a template for justifying needless invasion of foreign lands.

Presidential Leadership:

Perhaps one of the great and stunning disgraces for the American effort was the pressure imposed upon different presidential administrations by the priorities of the Cold War. First as Kennedy attempted to navigate a mounting crisis in Vietnam, subsequently as Johnson took the opening rounds of the war to new heights of violence and finally as Nixon attempted to end the conflict using irresistible force, there seemed a fundamental misunderstanding of Vietnam. This proceeded from the Cold War view which help the United States as a 'good' counterpoint to the 'bad' implications of the Soviet sphere of influence. It was this view that caused such fundamental miscalculation by America's executive leadership, which fully and catastrophically underestimated the tenacity of the Vietnamese people. Accordingly, Moss (2005) tells that "Vietnamese peasants made formidable warriors, as the hard life of rice farming prepared them for the physical rigors of military combat and the group discipline of communal rice farming prepared them for the discipline and espirit de corps of battle." (p. 7) Certainly, if this had not been apparent to Kennedy as he moved the U.S. closer to battle, it would become more fully evident to…… [read more]


People Talk About the Events 1960 Essay

… ¶ … people talk about the events 1960's, they will often refer to: the various civil rights struggles, the Kennedy Administration, the Vietnam War and the moon race. Where, all of these events would become a part, of a decade… [read more]

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