At The Crossroads.
The years 1940-1949 proved to be one of the most momentous decades in the history of the United States—indeed, in the history of the world. The ordeal of total war engulfed most of the European continent, as well as East Asia and North Africa. Naval engagements took place on all the oceans, and for the first time modern air forces obliterated entire cities. The term genocide entered the mainstream of the English language with Adolf Hitler's attempt to exterminate the Jews. Many nations that sought to avoid direct warfare nonetheless endured the clash of armies on their soil, while others were indirectly drawn into the war when they provided vital resources for combatants. No nation remained entirely neutral. Exceedingly rapid technological advances in the art of mass killing proved strikingly that the human race had arrived at a crossroads. By 1949 the United States and the Soviet Union possessed the atomic bomb and other nations were sure to follow. Humanity now had a sure means by which to make itself extinct.
A Nation Transformed.
The United States emerged from the war changed forever. More than 16 million men and women were mobilized for wartime service, and nearly half of them served in the theaters of combat. More than 300,000 Americans lost their lives. Domestically, wartime decisions created a social...
(The entire section is 2275 words.)
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