Post- War North America Essay, Research Paper
Despite the fact that the war happened in continents far away, the war had a great effect on modern North American life. For one thing, it helped end the depression. The poverty of the 1930s seemed to disappear almost overnight as North America made weapons for the war effort. The economy was reenergized. Finally, people had jobs again.
The second world war also lead to the development of the atomic bomb. This helped to make America the super-power that it is today. People are scared of the U.S.A. because of all the big bombs we’ve got. Because Europe was nearly destroyed during the war, America was able to take over and become the power-house that it is today. Even though we fought the cold war with the Russian’s it was clear who the winners were even before we won. Everyone in the Soviet Union was sad– it was like the depression in the United states, only it lasted longer. The Soviet Union spent all it’s money trying to compete with the U.S. and bankrupted itself in the process. This is proof that communism does not work, but democracy does.
Also, the second world war led to the rise of the suburbs. Before the war most people lived in big cities or small rural towns with farms. But soldiers returning from war and people employed in the arms industry making money were sick of this life. People didn’t like the crime of the big city and it was getting expensive to live there nicely, but people wanted more than just a rural life. People wanted something in between where they could raise their families cheaply and affordably without living on a farm. So we invented the modern suburb. In the suburbs people had a little land, but not a lot and they were able to drive their cars. They were convenient because there were stores nearby. There was little crime. Some critics say that the creation of suburbs made cities worse, because it took the middle class out of cities and all the poor people caused crime. But obviously the middle class people didn’t want to live in cities, because otherwise they wouldn’t have moved to the suburbs. The point of democracy, which america fought for during the war, was that people can do what they want for their own benefit, not just society’s.
THe suburb in turn led to the rise of the car in American society. Cars became an important part of american life. Restaurants like McDonalds thrive on cars, because people can get there quickly and this allows for a faster turn around. Which leads to more money for the company and is part of the reason that McDonalds and similar restaurants have grown to be so succesful and popular.
Drive in movies also became popular because people liked being in their cars and for teens it was the one place they were allowed to be alone with their significant others.
The war generated a lot of wealth for a lot of people and created our middle class today. Because people had more money they spent it on convenient things to make life easier, such as the car, fast food restaurants and appliances. Appliances made women’s lives easier because they didn’t have to wash clothes by hand or spend hours making dinner– they could just pop t.v dinners in the oven. Because of this a lot of women became bored and the women’s rights movement became increasinlgy popular. Women started to get jobs and stake their place in the workforce. Some say this has helped lead to america’s downfall because children are never with their families. But again, women who chose to work would disagree, and that is what democracy is all about.
Increased wealth and technological acheivements brought on by the war also led to the popularity of television. People could now be entertained in their homes. THis led to celebrities being even more famous and has led to the modern day celebrity culture that we have in north america.
In short, the wealth generated by world war two made life easier, but brought with it some of the things that people disapprove of today. But in all, it is clear that the Second World war was a good thing for America.