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History Final Extended Response

Terms in this set (132)

There were tons of casualties (particularly among elite and well educated groups), physical destruction (especially in France), the aftermath of the war brought substantial social and cultural changes to ordinary Europeans and Americans (integrating millions of returning veterans into civilian life wasn't easy), the war had loosened the hold of tradition in various ways (enormous casualties promoted social mobility, suffrage movements revived and woman received the right to vote in many countries perhaps due to the sacrifices they made during the conflict, The war also transformed international political life (from the collapse of German, Russian, and Austro-Hungarian empires emerged a new map of Central Europe), The Great War generated profound changes in the world beyond Europe as well (during the conflict Ottoman authorities were suspecting that some of their Armenian subjects were collaborating with the Russian enemy so they massacred, or deported an estimated 1 million Armenians, the war also brought to an end the declining Ottoman Empire which created the modern map of the Middle East, even though Latin American countries were mostly bystanders in the war many of them benefited from the growing demand for their primary products, but once the war ended that demand stopped which created mass unemployment, urban riots, and bloody strikes, Japan emerged from the war strengthened due to European support for its claim to take over German territory and privileges in China, Finally the U.S. was put at the center of the stage as a global power.
The rhetoric of Christianity, Enlightenment thought, and material progress sat awkwardly with the realities of colonial racism, exploitation, and poverty. The increasingly democratic values of European states ran counter to the essential dictatorship of colonial rule. The ideal of national self-determination was profoundly at odds with the possession of colonies that were denied any opportunity to express their own national character. The enormously powerful force of nationalism, having earlier driven the process of European empire building, now played a major role in its disintegration. Colonial rule, in this argument, dug its own grave. At the international level, the world wars had weakened Europe, while discrediting any sense of European moral superiority. Both the United States and the Soviet Union, the new global super powers, generally opposed the older European colonial empires, even as they created empire like international relationships of their own. Meanwhile the United Nations provided a prestigious platform from which to conduct anticolonial agitation. All of this contributed to the global illegitimacy of empire, a novel and stunning transformation of social values that was enormously encouraging to Africans and Asians seeking political independence. Also, at the same time, social and economic circumstances within the colonies themselves generated the human raw material for anticolonial movements. By the early twentieth century in Asia and the mid-twentieth century in Africa, as second or third generation of Western-educated elites, largely male, had risen throughout the colonial world. These young men were thoroughly familiar with European culture; they were deeply aware of the gap between its values and its practices; they no longer viewed colonial rule as a vehicle for their peoples' progress as their fathers had; and they increasingly on immediate independence. Also, a growing number of ordinary men and women became receptive to this message and also started to believe that independence held great compromise.