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PRAXIS Study Guide - United States History Section

Terms in this set (156)

Germany, Italy, and Japan formed the Axis powers and threatened other countries and the League of Nations could not help. World War II began when Germany invaded Poland in 1939, quickly conquering most of Europe except Britain and in 1941 they attacked the USSR. The US sent supplies to Britain and the USSR but didn't join the war until the Pearl Harbor attack on December 7th, 1941. Women played a big role in making military supplies in factories and African Americans, Native Americans, and Japanese Americans helped on the front lines. American forces landed in North Africa with British and French troops and defeated the German and Italian forces in 1942. In 1943, Allied forces invaded Italy, and Soviet troops began to push the Germans out of the USSR. Allied troops landed in France in 1944 and the Soviets began to advance into Germany. By May 1945, Hitler killed himself, and Germany was defeated. Also ended the Holocaust, which was the mass genocide committed by the Nazi Party killing 6 million Jews and 5 million Romans, gypsies, Afro-Europeans, disabled citizens, and homosexuals. Concentration camps were used in Germany to keep people in slave labor and commit mass murder and other heinous crimes. The Nuremberg Trials were part of the aftermath to prosecute important members of the Nazi Germany leadership. In the Pacific theater, American naval forces defeated the Japanese fleet in several key engagements including the Battle of Midway in 1942. American troops recaptured territories and eventually pushed the Japanese back to their home island in 1945. The Japanese refused to surrender until we dropped atom bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in August 1945. World War II devastated Europe, so the US and USSR emerged as the only superpowers left. However, they were suspicious of each other, leading to the Cold War.
The US and USSR alliance during WWII fell apart quickly after because America was scared of communism since the Russian revolution in 1917 and the USSR thought the US was a capitalist and imperialist power that threatened Soviet security. Due to this the US and USSR divided Europe into spheres of influence. The USSR built a wall around their occupied part of Berlin, Germany, then the US created a treaty with western European powers called North Atlantic Treaty Organization so the USSR created the Warsaw Pact with Eastern European countries. Then, President Harry Truman decided to protect countries from communism because of the Domino Effect, which assumed that if one country falls to Communism, the rest of the surrounding countries will do the same. In the US, after Senator Joseph McCarthy pledged to root out spies in the federal government, an anti-communist sentiment formed called the Second Red Scare. McCarthy failed to bring up real evidence and was censored in 1954. During the Cold War, there were protests in Eastern Europe like Hungary in 1956 and Czechoslovakia in 1968. These were suppressed but the people still wanted change and even though in 1985 Mikhail Gorbachev tried to make some reforms, the change wasn't quick enough and the communist regimes in Poland, Romania, and elsewhere crumbled in 1989. The Berlin Wall fell in 1989 and the USSR collapsed in 1991. The US, besides China and India's growth, stayed the world's main superpower. Tensions between Russia and the US began to heat up again in the 2000s. The nuclear arms race settled down in the 1970s due to negotiations to reduce their nuclear weapons tests and limit their arsenals. The concept of "Mutually Assured Destruction" helped keep the Cold War cold because regardless of who shot first, they would both be destroyed.
Native Americans have been oppressed for centuries by colonizers and then American settlers. They tried to protect their land but kept being put into smaller and smaller reservations. The Massacre at Wounded Knee in 1890 was the last major conflict between Natives and US forces. However, American officials still try to assimilate them into white culture. In 1968, a group of Natives created the American Indian Movement in order to combat racism and demand greater independence. Between 1969 and 1971, a group of activists occupied the prison on Alcatraz Island and offered to buy it for $9.40 to show how the Americans forced Natives to sell their land for super cheap. Other activists interrupted a thanksgiving event at the Mayflower replica in 1970. In 1971, Native activists occupied Mount Rushmore which was sacred land. Violence broke out when Natives tried to occupy the town of Wounded Knee. In 1970, President Nixon granted Native tribes more autonomy. In 1978, Congress passed the American Indian Religious Freedom Act, which guaranteed Natives rights to practice their religious ceremonies and visit sacred grounds. In 1990, President George H.W. Bush declared November Native American History Month. In 1969, Navarre Scott Momaday became the first Native American to win a Pulitzer Prize for his book "House Made of Dawn." In 2014, Diane Humetewa, a member of the Hopi tribe, became the first Native American woman to serve as a federal judge. Natives still suffer from high unemployment rates, alcoholism, and domestic abuse.