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Decades Of Conflict And War: The American Tradition

1731 words - 7 pages

Decades of Conflict and War: The American Tradition
Ginny Kleinhans
September 5, 2010
HIS135
Mona Rocha

Decades of Conflict and War: The American Tradition
The United States of America is a nation founded by and established through conflict and war. Sadly, this history of confrontation seems to have become an American tradition. This tradition is easily seen when reviewing American history after the end of World War II. Every decade from 1950 through 1990 this young nation has experienced at least one major conflict. The purpose of this writing is to detail what may be the single most significant event from each of the decades. This review will begin with the Korean War in the ...view middle of the document...

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Once the Chinese and North Korean forces were pushed north negotiations for peace began. Sadly, soldiers continued this bloody stand-off for two more long years until finally on July 27, 1953 the Korean War was ended. Although this was the end of the Korean War, the conflict had solidified and strengthened the young cold war ideology. (Davidson, 2006) Americans may have felt a sense of victory as this war ended, but little did they know that the most intense and terrifying crisis would occur within the next decade.
1960’s: The Cuban Missile Crisis
After the Korean War, political threats and military commitments multiplied for both the United States and the Soviet Union. In an attempt to gain a strategic defensive and offensive advantage against the communist Soviets, the United States placed “deployable warheads in the United Kingdom, Italy and most significantly, Turkey” (newworldencyclopedia, 2008). These placements trigger a retaliatory reaction from the Soviet Union. On October 16, 1962 United States military reconnaissance teams made the terrifying discovery of several Soviet nuclear missile sites in Cuba. For the first time during the cold war American homes and communities from the southern tip of Florida to Washington D.C. were within a 20 minute flight range of Soviet nuclear missles. This range and speed was even more terrifying when considering the fact that U.S. missile warning systems focused toward the USSR would have provided little to no warning of a nuclear missile launch from Cuba. (newworldencyclopedia, 2008)
Once made aware of these Soviet nuclear missiles President John F. Kennedy ordered a blockade of Cuba. He also assured Soviet leaders that swift and harsh U.S. actions would be taken if the weapons were not removed from Cuba because the United States would assume the presence of the missiles as a direct act of aggression. Thankfully, on October 28, 1962 Soviet leaders announce that installations would be dismantled. (Davidson, 2006) Although this conflict ended peacefully, the near nuclear war on American soil forever changed U.S. citizens and further intensified the cold war ideology against communism. This intensified hate of the evil of communism would push the United States into the Vietnam War from the 1960’s well into the 1970’s.
1970’s: The End of the Vietnam War
The United States became officially involved in the Vietnamese civil car in 1961. U.S. troops unsuccessfully fought the Viet Cong forces in Vietnam for twelve years before a peace agreement was signed on January 27, 1973. Although this war began in the 1960’s, the effects of this war in the 1970’s was monumental and forever changed America as a nation. For the first time in U.S. history, American citizens began to speak out and act out in defiance of American involvement in foreign affairs. The majority of these protests took place on college campuses by students. Most of these students were members of the U.S....

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