America has had significant evolution with varying experiences and histories for people of different social classes, races, ethnic groups, genders, color, and nationalities. The America in the pre-World War I got characterized by not only division and conflicts, but also prosperity industrialization and expansion. In the 1800s, the American growth was fast leading to significant rise in wages, production, and personal wealth. It led to significant rise in the number of people immigrating to the United Sates from Europe and Asia in search of employment as well as religious and political freedom. There was also great growth in infrastructure. However, this growth also got characterized by the significant violation of human rights, conflicts, and discrimination in employment. A tradition grew in the country were blacks did not get hired in the most menial positions. The majority of the African Americans got employed to work as service workers, domestics or unskilled laborers. Also, few women got employed in jobs outside the domestic arena. The situation led to African American Migration between the 1900s and 1920s from the southern to the northern, Midwestern and western parts of America leading to major implications for the history of poverty and social welfare. The African Americans were fleeing from the labor force in the southern agriculture region to take up jobs in industries in the northern.
America was for a long time reluctant to get involved in European alliances and wars thus the period called the isolationism period in the United States. It did not imply that America had disengaged itself from the world stage but rather considered itself as a powerhouse hence saw themselves as global leaders. Also to survive economically, the United States had to undertake free-trade to maintain a flow of hard currency and pursue its development. However, several factors led to the move from isolationism to expansions. These factors include the element of historical continuity at the source of American expansionism and demographic and economic factors. The high birth rate in the colonies and the need for more land to replace the soil replenished by intensive agriculture pushed colonies to the west. The American expansion got based on three roots namely the ideals of promoting peace, liberty and a federal republican form of government, the economic interests in obtaining more land, resources and commerce routes and the willingness to ensure the nation’s security by having many countries sharing a similar political system (Bridoux, 2013).
Different concerns have emerged due to the devastating consequences of World War I on the international community. There was a significant loss of lives estimated to be millions of soldiers and civilians. Considering that most of the people who died in the war were men, women were forced to take jobs previously held by men. In Europe, the war had huge implications for the class structures. The upper classes suffered proportionately bigger losses in the fighting compared to the other classes. World War I also had a substantial impact on economic growth with the great expansion of factories during the wartime especially for mass production of armaments. The applications of technology were an essential element in the war, with the use of airplanes, submarines, and tanks. However, concerning working conditions for workers, they declined from having high wages before the war in the factories to low wages and bad working conditions. World War I also had another major economic impact in that it disrupted the European economies and allowed America to become the world’s leading industrial power.
In the pre-war days, a great proportion of unskilled industrial workers migrated to the urban centers since they could not make a living in the rural homes that only practiced farming. Contrary to the pre-war period, in the post-war era, there was the rise in the number of intellectuals willing to take leadership roles in the labor movements. The attitude in this period was the stuff of militant left-wing politics pursued by many unions amid the radicalization of the labor movement (Yamamoto, 2004).
The World War I led to the emergence of various domestic and international figures. President Woodrow Wilson was the American president during the war and maintained that the US should remain neutral thus little action by the US. Thomas Riley was the Vice-President during the war. John Pershing was a United States general who led the American Expeditionary Forces to defeat the Germans in the World War I. Adolf Hitler, who volunteered to serve in a Bavarian regiment during the World War I was a brave soldier, surviving the war as well as receiving promotions and various medals. He later took leadership positions after the war. Czar Nicholas II of Russia took charge of the military in the World War I and even made his wife the advisor to internal affairs. Vladimir Lenin in Russia was a revolutionist, who through his success Russia became the Soviet Union and together fought against the Germany.
The defeat of the Germans in World War I was the beginning of the rise of America as a superpower (Gyuris, 2014). In the Post-war era the United States, that had suffered minimal economic and military power, joined with the Soviet Union, to become the new superpowers, with decisive roles in global politics
Bridoux, J. (2013): American foreign policy and postwar reconstruction: Comparing Japan and Iraq. Routledge.
Gyuris, F. (2014): The political discourse of spatial disparities. Springer Berlin Heidelberg.
Yamamoto, M. (2004): Grassroots Pacifism in Post-war Japan: The rebirth of a nation. Routledge.