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Tuesday, November 29, 2011

World War I, Great Depression, and World War II for MAX Seniors



At the outbreak of World War I in 1914, the United States remained neutral.
Most Americans sympathized with the British and French, although many opposed intervention. In 1917, the United States joined the Allies (Triple Entente), and the American Expeditionary Forces helped to turn the tide against the Central Powers (The Triple Alliance). The American Expeditionary Forces or AEF were the United States Armed Forces sent to Europe in World War I. During the United States campaigns in World War I the AEF fought in France alongside British and French allied forces in the last year of the war, against Imperial German forces. The Central Powers were one of the two warring factions in World War I (1914–18), composed of the German Empire, the Austro-Hungarian Empire, the Ottoman Empire, and the Kingdom of Bulgaria. This alignment originated in the Triple Alliance, and fought against the Allied Powers that had formed around the Triple Entente. The Triple Alliance was the military alliance between Germany, Austria–Hungary, and Italy, (as opposing the Triple Entente which consisted of an alliance between Britain, France and Russia),
In 1920, the women's rights movement won passage of a constitutional amendment granting women's suffrage. Woman suffrage in the United States was achieved gradually, at state and local levels, during the 19th Century and early 20th Century, culminating in 1920 with the passage of the Nineteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution, which provided: "The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex." The prosperity of the Roaring Twenties ended with the Wall Street Crash of 1929 that triggered the Great Depression. The Roaring Twenties is a phrase used to describe the 1920s, principally in North America, but also in London, Berlin and Paris for a period of sustained economic prosperity. The phrase was meant to emphasize the period's social, artistic, and cultural dynamism. The Wall Street Crash of 1929 (October 1929), also known as the Great Crash, and the Stock Market Crash of 1929, was the most devastating stock market crash in the history of the United States. The Great Depression was a severe worldwide economic depression in the decade preceding World War II. The timing of the Great Depression varied across nations, but in most countries it started in about 1929 and lasted until the late 1930s or early 1940s.[1] It was the longest, most widespread, and deepest depression of the 20th century.
The Dust Bowl of the mid-1930s impoverished many farming communities and spurred a new wave of western migration. The Dust Bowl, or the Dirty Thirties, was a period of severe dust storms causing major ecological and agricultural damage to American and Canadian prairie lands from 1930 to 1936 (in some areas until 1940). The phenomenon was caused by severe drought coupled with decades of extensive farming without crop rotation, fallow fields, cover crops or other techniques to prevent wind erosion.[1] Deep plowing of the virgin topsoil of the Great Plains had displaced the natural deep-rooted grasses that normally kept the soil in place and trapped moisture even during periods of drought and high winds.
The military history of the United States during World War II covers the involvement of the United States during World War II. The Empire of Japan declared war on the United States of America on 7 December 1941, immediately after the attack on Pearl Harbor on the same day.[1] On 11 December 1941, Germany and Italy also declared war on the United States. Until that time, the United States had maintained neutrality, although it had, since March that same year, supplied the Allies with war materiel through the Lend-Lease Act. During the war over 16 million Americans served in the United States military. The United States, effectively neutral during World War II's early stages after Nazi Germany's invasion of Poland in September 1939, began supplying materiel to the Allies in March 1941 through the Lend-Lease program. Lend-Lease (Public Law 77-11)[1] was the program under which the United States of America supplied the United Kingdom, the Soviet Union, China, Free France, and other Allied nations with materiel between 1941 and 1945. It was signed into law on March 11, 1941
On December 7, 1941, the Empire of Japan launched a surprise attack on Pearl Harbor, prompting the United States to join the Allies against the Axis powers as well as the internment of Japanese Americans by the thousands.[45] The attack on Pearl Harbor (called Hawaii Operation or Operation AI[6][7] by the Japanese Imperial General Headquarters (Operation Z in planning)[8] and the Battle of Pearl Harbor[9]) was a surprise military strike conducted by the Imperial Japanese Navy against the United States naval base at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, on the morning of December 7, 1941. The Axis powers, also known as the Axis alliance, Axis nations, Axis countries, or just the Axis, was an alignment of great powers during the mid-20th century that fought World War II against the Allies. It began in 1936 with treaties of friendship between Germany and Italy and between Germany and Japan. Participation in the war spurred capital investment and industrial capacity. Among the major combatants, the United States was the only nation to become richer—indeed, far richer—instead of poorer because of the war.[46] The United States, having developed the first nuclear weapons, used them on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in August. The Manhattan Project was a research and development program, led by the United States with participation from the United Kingdom and Canada, that produced the first atomic bomb during World War II. The first nuclear device ever detonated was an implosion-type bomb at the Trinity test, conducted at New Mexico's Alamogordo Bombing and Gunnery Range on 16 July 1945. Trinity was the code name of the first test of a nuclear weapon. During the final stages of World War II in 1945, the United States conducted two atomic bombings against the cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in Japan, the first on August 6, 1945, and the second on August 9, 1945. These two events are the only use of nuclear weapons in war to date.[2]
For six months before the atomic bombings, the United States intensely fire-bombed 67 Japanese cities. Together with the United Kingdom and the Republic of China, the United States called for a surrender of Japan in the Potsdam Declaration on July 26, 1945. The Japanese government ignored this ultimatum. By executive order of President Harry S. Truman, the U.S. dropped the nuclear weapon "Little Boy" on the city of Hiroshima on Monday, August 6, 1945,[3][4] followed by the detonation of "Fat Man" over Nagasaki on August 9.
Within the first two to four months of the bombings, the acute effects killed 90,000–166,000 people in Hiroshima and 60,000–80,000 in Nagasaki,[1] with roughly half of the deaths in each city occurring on the first day. The Hiroshima prefectural health department estimates that, of the people who died on the day of the explosion, 60% died from flash or flame burns, 30% from falling debris and 10% from other causes. Japan surrendered on September 2, ending the war.


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