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Research paper topic: World In The 20th Century - 1275 words
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.. devastating effects on Japan and initiated a new weapon of mass destruction into the world arena. Besides these wars over empires the unfortunate theme of war has plagued us throughout the century. The Russo-Japanese War early in the century marked great significance due to the fact that it marked the first time whites were defeated by a non white culture in combat. The two World Wars brought us up to the 1950s when we saw the world begin to divide up into two sides, that of democratic principles, and that of communist/socialist principles.
This split marked the beginning of the inactive fighting of the Cold war between the communist USSR and the democratic US, which sparked another series of wars beginning with the war in Korea in the early 1950s. This war pitted the US and the democratic South Korea against the socialist North Korea. The war ended with nearly 55,000 Americans dead and a return to the previous borders from before the war. Another war that raged in the midst of the Cold War was the one in Vietnam in the 1960s. This war proved most disastrous to the United States in that it was The United States longest and most expensive war.
Over 57,000 Americans and hundreds of thousands of Vietnamese died. Total American expenses have been calculated at over a trillion dollars the loss of lives is priceless in a war that many think shouldve never happened. Our century has most definitely been plagued with unfortunate things such as genocide and war however it has not been all bad, not by any means. Our century has seen great improvements in many areas. As a globe we have made great strides and advancements, both industrial and technological as well as great social advancements such as the rise in the status of women throughout the world. Right from the beginning of the century we begin to see great strides in the are of technology.
In 1903 the Wright brothers made the first powered aircraft flight, which is something we have come to rely on late in the 20th century. On the same note the first nonstop Trans-Atlantic solo flight was made in 1925 by Charles Lindhberg. We have great strides in this field by now and we now rely on transportation by air to transport thousands of people per day all throughout the world. The Cold War although it was extremely disastrous in many ways provided a spark to great advancements in technology due to competition between the USSR and the US. The space race was a great example of this technological competition.
The Soviets launched the first orbiting satellite, Sputnik in 1957. The United States won in the race for the moon when they landed the first astronauts there in 1969. Later in the century the US Hubble telescope discovered thinks previously unlearned about outer space and in 1997 the landed an unmanned space mission on Mars. Many people underestimate the value that this space race and the space program in general has had on the world. The spillover technologies that came out of the space race have been extremely beneficial to us. Without these technologies we may not be blessed with some of the conveniences that we experience today such as the remote control, and advancements in safety such as the bulletproof vest.
Late in the century we have also come to depend on things such as the computer on a global scale. People all around the world can be accessed with the click of a button, money transactions can be made online, and almost anything can be bought through the computer, making many peoples lives easier. Good things were not the only things to come out the competition of the Cold war however. The nuclear age was a very frightening period throughout the past century. After the development of the atomic bomb at the end of World War II a weapons race ensued due to the constant threat of war between the US and the USSR. In 1952 the US tested the first hydrogen bomb, quickly to be followed the first Soviet explosion in 1953.
In a way the development of these mass destruction type weapons helped a full-scale war to be avoided. The idea of mutually assured destruction was constant in that if one of the countries would strike first it would assure the end of the world. The latter part of the century has seen a movement to expel these weapons due to the end of the Cold War and the fall of Communism. There has been a great push to eliminate these weapons from existence to ensure that they will not be used in the future. Our advancements due to industry have not all been beneficial however as have begun to experience late in the century severe side effects such as the global stratospheric ozone depletion discovered first in 1988.
As a globe we have also seen great strides and advancements socially, as the status of women and other groups around the world has improved immensely. Women for example have always been instinctively inferior and have been discriminated through religion as well as government. For example the practice of Sati which is the burning of a Hindu female widow was common in India. Just as well women, in the beginning of the century were denied many of the political rights that men enjoyed throughout the world. As the century went on and the World Wars came upon us women were in a way forced to take a step up and go into the workforce and take a greater responsibility.
For example in Great Britain nearly 800,000 women directly replaced jobs held by men due to World War I. Women gradually began to receive the right to vote in countries throughout the world and in countries like the United States by the 1970s the number of women who had jobs and the number of women going to college were increasing immensely. By this time in France there was a quickly growing amount of female doctors as well. In conclusion our world in the 20th century has been filled with monumental events both good and bad as well as a great deal of change. In the past one hundred or so years we have seen things that we arent to proud of and things that have made us a better place to live in as a whole.
Things such as genocide make us look like an extremely evil society of people and this is one thing that we must ensure will not follow us into the upcoming century and beyond. We have gone through the all too common fields of war too many times and this destruction is also something that we must do our best to leave behind. The world has done a great amount to harm its peoples with these themes of war and genocide, as well as the creation of nuclear weapons and so on. We have witnessed a near half-century power struggle between the communist and democratic principles. Communism as risen and fallen along with the great colonial empire that was evident in the beginning of the century. The globe has come along way with its technologies and this has aided the advancement of society as a whole.
We have seen the advancements of cultures as well as various groups of people throughout the century, with women making great strides and lands such as South Africa being liberated from previous rule. In all we must take our mistakes and learn from them, and take our advancements and improve on them to bring us successfully into the tears ahead and well into the new millenium. History Reports.
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