Post World War 2 Dbq Analysis

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Post World War II America was one of the most militarily active periods in American history, having been involved in three wars, spanning roughly from 1947 to 1992, in order to stop the spread of communism. Overall, the United States permanently broke its previous isolationist policy in an attempt to promote democracy throughout the world; however, the wars proved to have serious negative effects on America. America was impacted by the military involvement in the Cold War, the Vietnam War, and the Korean War. Shortly after the end of World War II, America and Russia, the two super world powers emerging from the war, divided various parts of Eurasia—namely Germany and Korea—between themselves. Following America’s decision to maintain world…show more content…
The invasion of South Korea marked the first actual military combat of the Cold War, despite the fact that the Cold War started nearly three years sooner.1 Following the invasion, Harry S. Truman and the United Nations rushed into involvement, differing greatly from the peaceful setup of the previously relevant League of Nations. (Document C) In the early stages of the war, more citizens opposed it than supported it, leading to protests and frustration among citizens; however, by the end of the Korean War, significantly more Americans were content with the Korean War than were opposed. (Document D) With help from the United Nations, American and South Korean troops forced North Korean troops backward; and after a short failed attempt to conquer Korea in its entirety, South Korea once again settled for a division at the 38th parallel. The Korean War was relatively short; however, it caused a massive increase in the budget of the Department of Defense which is equivalent to 300 billion dollars in modern standards. This drastically increased budget caused economic strain and hardship on America once again, just five years after World War II. (Document G) The Korean War raised the prices of foods due to the need to supply for the soldiers3, further hurting the economy. Though the Korean War did not cause as large of a panic…show more content…
Kennedy.4 The Vietnam War was by far the most protested war event of the late 20th century, often drawing crowds and social gatherings to protest. Some propaganda even went as far as to draw on sex appeal of men with signs that read, “Girls say yes to boys who say no.” In fact, some citizens voted for Richard Nixon in the presidential election of 1968 solely due to his anti-Vietnam War platform. High profile celebrity Muhammad Ali himself took part in the anti-Vietnam War movements, declaring that he would refuse to fight for equality in another country, citing that African Americans and other minorities had not yet gained equality in America. (Document F) In addition to general exhaustion from war, the American people wanted to focus on domestic equality before moving forward with global equality and democracy. Anti-Vietnam War protests were not necessarily unwarranted, as the anti-democracy Tet Offensive of North Vietnam resulted in the deaths of thousands of American soldiers, with the vast majority of states reporting over 100 war casualties in 1968 alone. (Document E) Economically, the Vietnam War was challenging to manage, as the department of defense budget once again rose to today’s equivalent of 450 billion dollars, adding to an already quickly growing, massive national debt. (Document G)

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