The Second World War Essay

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The Second World War

The period that followed the Second World War was marked by the federal government devoting a lot of attention and time to the reforms of civil rights and legislation than it had previously ever done since the end of reconstruction in the year 1876. Although there is quite remarkable literature analyzing the movements of the modern civil rights, its relationship with the foreign policy of America during the war and after the war is still to a great extent unexploited.

This gap shows that although the revolutionary alterations brought abut war they also introduced new opportunities and exerted pressure which led to the reforms which were witnessed in the United States of America. The colonial empires dismantling, the holocaust and establishment of UN all made significant contributions for the reception of the reforms of civil rights in both the judicial and the executive units of the federal government[1].


The South’s defeat and invasion of the union was very destructive, it was then followed by economic policies which were considered to be highly exploitative especially in the South. This caused bitterness for a long period of time to the Southerners who were defeated and they were furious towards the United States of America government. As a result of the federal government failure to unite the country as one effectively, the enforcement of the civil rights of the African-Americans who were formerly enslaved was delayed for a number of decades.

The reconstructions which took place after the civil war in America where the Southern states were defeated and there after separated themselves from the US were reunited. There was the endorsement of a very lenient plan for reconstruction by President Abraham Lincoln, the congress however resisted readmitting the rebelling states and insisted that some preconditions had to be imposed first. This was because the plan had massive cost on human and social alterations[2].

The federal government then passed several laws and established procedures and conditions for readmitting the southern rebel states. A significant part of the reconstruction revolved around answering the question about the civil rights of the slaves who had been freed in the rebel southern states. The congress enacted a series of civil rights so as to respond to the southern countries attempt of denying the freed slaves civil rights. Some three amendments to the constitution were passed after the civil war.

These were the abolishment of slavery, granting civil rights and the one that granted civil rights to the freed slaves who were now to become citizens of America. The southern counties were very much opposed to the granting of civil to the freed slaves; hence there was a precondition requirement from them that they had to accept this particular amendment[3].

The end of the civil rights for the African Americans was clearly marked by the end of the reconstruction. After the end of the war the North ceased its interest of pursuing the matter further but instead decided to focus on other issues. This gave the South the much awaited opportunity of establishing a society which was segregated between the whites and the blacks, which was to act as a reward for them to accept to be united with the North. This led to the erosion of the civil rights achieved within no time.

In the reconstruction aftermath most of the legislations concerning civil rights were overturned mostly by the supreme court of the United States of America. The court ruled that the civil rights together with the amendments to only be binding to the states as opposed to the earlier stand of binding to the persons. It went ahead and ruled that there should be a provision of segregation mandated by the state which was supposed to be legal.

In the year 1954 a reverse occurred as concerning segregation when the Supreme Court reviewed its earlier rulings and provisions. This was definitely one of the landmarks in the twentieth century. The federal government then formally did away with the segregation concepts in each and every public facility. The voting Act and the civil rights Act finally paved way for the end of segregation which was official in the US.

Foreign policy

The United States of America foreign policy is the platform through which the US interacts with other countries in the world. It policy is quite influential world wide due to the fact that it is the only super power left. Since the establishment of the US subsequent to the American Revolution and until the war between Spain and America, the United States of America foreign policy has always as much as possible focused mainly on its regional as opposed to the global focus[4].

During the period of the American Revolution, the US established relations with many of the European powers. It managed to convince Spain, France and Netherlands to intervene the war it had with Britain. Following the revolution the United States of America moved on in peace restoration and continued its massive trade with the Great Britain. The US maintained good relations with France due to its involvement in the revolution. Although, generally US followed a foreign policy which was isolationist, the attack against its shipping in made it to develop a naval force to prevent future attacks.

 In the year 1893 the US military and diplomatic employees collaborated with some small group of individuals and in fact managed to overthrow the Hawaiian Kingdom which was a constitutional government. This act greatly affected it foreign policy relations as it was viewed to be unjust for the US to use its powers to remove another government which was in office legally and constitutionally. Even though US were very reluctant to be involved in the affairs of European nations it provided a lot of financial support in form of loans to these countries.

It entered the First World War only after the U-boats of Germany greatly interfered with their ships. US have in many circumstances tried to shift the international relations to be idealistic. The US have greatly benefited as a result of its visibility expansion and the role it plays in the international trade[5].

In a similar manner the US made substantial financial support to its allies during the Second World War as it had done in the First World War. A depression took place and there was a boom in the domestic industries of the US so which was as a result of the massive production of war materials. United States entered Second World War after its allies were attacked by the Japanese. After the war which left both the European and the Asian rivals devastated, US was in a position to comfortably go through a transition which saw its transformation to a global power from a regional one[6].


The US were able to reconstruct by reintegrating the southern countries in to the union this was not easy for the as the southern felt defeated in their quest to continue with the slavery and oppression of the blacks. Over time the blacks were finally acceptable in a white dominated world and the segregated society was no more. The foreign policy of the United States of America has made it to achieve significantly both economically and politically. The country has been able to cross bridges and make allies, this is what eventually consolidated them into a global super power.


Beisner, Robert L. & Hanson, Kurt. American foreign relations since 1600: a guide to the literature, (2003): ABC-CLIO, ISBN 1576070808

Del Testa David W., Lemoine Florence & Strickland, John. Government leaders, military rulers, and political activists, (2001): Greenwood Publishing Group, ISBN 1573561533

Layton, Azza Salama: International Politics and Civil Rights Policies in the United States, 1941–1960, Retrieved on 17th April from,

Wend, Henry Burke, Recovery and restoration: U.S. foreign policy and the politics of reconstruction of West Germany’s shipbuilding industry, 1945-1955. (2001): Greenwood Publishing Group, ISBN 0275969908

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  • Type of paper: Thesis/Dissertation Chapter

  • Date: 30 September 2016

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