3 Major Turning Points in the 20th Century

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Andrew McNeely HST 123 June 4, 2012 Three Major Events The twentieth century was a very important century for shaping what is now the United States of America. A lot happened during this time period, including wars, racial violence, technology advancements, and the great depression. In my mind, the three major turning points during the twentieth century were the making of and the decision to drop the atomic bomb, the cold-war, and the civil rights movement. The Atomic Bomb was used more as a weapon of surrender upon the people of Japan than it was used as a display of power towards the Soviets in 1945. The Japanese military had already shown an unwillingness to surrender throughout the war, and this feeling was made famous by their infamous use of suicide pilots, called kamikazes. They had 5,000,000 troops scattered throughout the Pacific Theater of Operations, and an American invasion of the Japanese homeland would have lasted until late 1946 at the least, resulting in no less than 1,000,000 American deaths, according to Secretary of War Henry L. Stimson (Keene, Cornell, O’Donnell, 712). Although such an invasion was the initial plan of action, after testing of the Manhattan project in New Mexico was completed, the Atomic Bomb seemed to be a quicker solution to an already drawn out war. Towards the end of WWII America was faced with a dilemma. The Japanese had bombed Pearl Harbor using Kamikaze pilots and were showing no signs of regret for it or any signs of not continuing these kinds of attacks. Through these actions they were also showing the world that they had no fear or respect for the American people (Keene, Cornell, O’Donnell, 713). With both the devastating effects of Pearl Harbor, the largest most deadly attack ever on American soil, and the Japanese’s blatant disrespect for the U.S. on our hands president Harry Truman had no other choice but to
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