In The Guns of August Barbara Touchman presents a vivid image of the events and causes that lead to the First World War. The multitudes of motives that become evident in her book imply that none of Waltz's three images was solely responsible for the outbreak of war. However, the image that best explains the origins of World War I is the anarchy of the international system. The internal structure of individual states and the nature of men are two images that considerably contributed to the war but should be considered in the broader context of European rivalries that took place in the vacuum of interstate relations. The premier reason for war, related to the realist image, came from the shift in the balance of power.
Problems like: social equality, slavery, women’s rights, and the struggle of land claims against Native Americans were suddenly being presented in new and influencing ways to our pristine leaders. Some historians believe that while the Revolutionary War was crucial for our independence, these causes were not affected; thus, the war was not truly a revolution. Still, being specified in the Background Essay, several see the war as more radical, claiming it produced major changes above and beyond our independence. After we established precisely what we were fighting for, complete independence from England was our unyielding goal. Ultimately, against all odds, the Americans defeated the British in a victorious surrender at Yorktown on October 19, 1781.
The War of 1812 redefined our nation’s status in the world, leading into the great blessed country of freedom. Logically; however, if we are to understand why the war changed America, we must first examine the war itself, the reasons behind it, the outcome, and the significance of all. If America had not won – or even declared – the war, we would be living in a completely different world today. If you ask a common citizen about the War of 1812, you may hear about how the epic and courageous Battle of New Orleans won the war, but then the common citizen would be mistaken. History tells us that the War was actually ended two weeks before the famed battle.
If we define “Total War” as a type of warfare that affects and involves every part of a society, then World War I can be argued to be the first attempt by military and political leaders to engage in such a conflict. Modernity was at Europe’s door thus leading to the inventions and innovations that would allow for war on a scale, and of a scope, that had never before been considered. Yet, it was not the fact that these innovations and technologies existed, or that specific conflicts necessitated war, but rather that the political and military elite, coming out of an age of pompous militarism, made decisions based on previous experiences and not on future possibilities. These decisions had an adverse affect not only on the outcome of the war politically (as far as treaties and borders were concerned), but it affected individuals at a grassroots level creating a subsequent era of distrust, listlessness, and eventual aggressive feelings creating the perfect storm out of which Nazism could rise. In the aftermath of the devastation, as soldiers and civilians became aware that things were not as they had seemed, there was very little stock left in what individual governments said or did.
World War 1 established the US as a formidable opponent and a world power. World War 2 confirmed the superiority of the United States military and the unstoppable patriotism of its people. The Cold War showed that the government could negotiate peacefully instead of directly waging yet another conflict. The main problem with being seen as a powerful nation is that there is an expectation that we look after our allies and lesser-developed countries. This is where we made a critical error that led to the Vietnam War.
Chester Hearn, believes that although Abraham Lincoln was one of America’s most venerable statesmen, his presidency was marked by flaws and a general misunderstanding of how war is waged. McPherson’s Tried by War and Hearn’s Lincoln, The Cabinet and the Generals, make the argument for each of these theories about Lincoln. When read together, one is faced with the question as to what degree Lincoln succeeded in combining military strategy with the politics of war. Hearn fails to find such a connection his book. McPherson, on the other hand, argues more convincingly that Lincoln accomplished the tasks of defeating the Confederacy and of freeing the slaves by combining these two tasks into one.
Consequentially, the contributions of this system to the beginning of the Great War have to be considered. Although the alliance system was a main cause of the First World War, it arose because of several other factors, and did not cause the war single handedly. Nationalism, the love and support of one's country, has always existed. In this era, however, it was to take part in the creation of one of the most famous wars in history. Since so much pride was devoted to countries, it made the possibilities of peace between past rivals less probable.
Revolutions have been the means of providing some of the most significant political and social changes the world has ever seen. The communist revolutions in China and Russia changed the face of the world order and ushered in a period where nuclear arms races between the great powers could have brought the world to an end. Some revolutions have brought with them a period of profound social and political change. In both France (1789) and England (1688) the outcome of their revolutions was a more democratic regime through the removal of sovereignty from autocratic monarchs. The American revolution of 1775 meant an end to British colonial rule, now an independent America has become the greatest power on Earth.
Some would cite the end of the nineteenth century as a unique time for America’s expansions, but it does not appear that imperialism has changed very much throughout human history. Even today, America cannot resist the base urge to expand its influence around the globe. In recent years wars have been fought in Iraq and Afghanistan for the proclaimed purpose of fighting a terrorist threat against America. Following the dismantling of the terror networks, the United States set forth to construct new governments in these countries. The ultimate goal would be the stabilization of the region by nations now sympathetic to American interests.
The Significance of The Vietnam War Within one generation, The United States have experienced The Second World War, The Korean War and fifteen years of The Cold War crisis. The Vietnam War was the last drop into the cup of American patience. The costs of The Vietnam War were intolerable, because they contravened traditional American values and hopes. In the year 1965, American government announced, with public support, that America is going to win the guerilla war and defeat the “global communist conspiracy”. It also promised to build free institutions in South-East Asia.