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National Moments Fueling Nationalism, And Nationalism Fueling Wartime Culture

1619 words - 7 pages

National Moments Fueling Nationalism, and
Nationalism Fueling Wartime Culture

LE300 – Warfare and Culture
Core Assessment Paper


This paper will take a close look at nationalism, nation moments and war time culture, and how the three influence each other. National moments inspire nationalism, and nationalism inspires culture. There will be a focus on America’s national moment of the attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941, the nationalism that was bread from it, and the war time culture it inspired. Another focus will be on the freedom that Australia gained from the Britain after the landing in Gallipole, and the nationalism that grew while they were fighting with the British ...view middle of the document...

It will also take a look at the involvement of Britain, Canada, New Zealand and Australia in World War I, and how their wartime strategies and experiences influenced their culture, as well as how their culture influenced their wartime strategies.

National moments play such a huge part in the shaping of a country’s culture and nationalism. America has experienced several national moments, positive and negative, that have all fueled our nationalism, and the way we think as a country. One example is when Japanese fighter planes attacked Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941. The actual attack only lasted a couple of hours, but the impact it had on America is still felt today. This “final straw” is what lead President Roosevelt to ask congress to declare war on Japan, which lead Germany and Italy to declare war on America, which lead to the United States involvement in World War II. (Pearl Harbor). This decision was supported by the majority of Americans, and the people of our nation were largely united because of it. President Roosevelt’s speech from December 8, 1941 embodied a passionate sense of nationalism. “Yesterday, December 7th, 1941 - a date which will live in infamy - the United States of America was suddenly and deliberately attacked by naval and air forces of the Empire of Japan.” “No matter how long it may take us to overcome this premeditated invasion, the American people, in their righteous might, will win through to absolute victory.” “With confidence in our armed forces, with the unbounding determination of our people, we will gain the inevitable triumph. So help us God.” (The History Place) The impact of the attack on Pearl Harbor was felt immediately by the American people and became a national moment that shaped our culture and reasoning for joining WWI. It ignited a passion for military victory that was shared nationwide.

An example of a national moment that Australia experienced during World War I was the landing at Gallipoli in Turkey in 1915. This long and bloody battle became an extremely important national moment for Australia and New Zealand because they finally gained their own independence as nations separate from Britain. The Australia-New Zealand Army Corp (ANZAC) had fought within the British Army leading up to that point. The British army kept Australians grouped together, just as they kept the Canadians grouped together. These countries all fought for the same Empire, but they were mostly segregated because they represented their own particular countries, and the British thought this would make them more effective tactically. (Silbey, page 172). This inhibited a sense of nationalism for the Australians and Canadians, which was in turn used to group them into “shock” troops that could easily lead assaults and could easily and quickly move from one battlefield to the next. These groups distinguished themselves with superior battlefield performances, which just re-fueled their growing senses of...

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