The United States as a restless giantIn the aftermath of the Vietnam War, the nation struggled as a giant might to generate positive momentum. Select one specific challenge that, in your opinion,...

The United States as a restless giant

In the aftermath of the Vietnam War, the nation struggled as a giant might to generate positive momentum. Select one specific challenge that, in your opinion, was the most significant problem that confronted the United States between 1974 and 1999. Why did you select this topic? What were the reasons it had such a great impact on the nation? How did it contribute to America being a “restless giant”? Also, incorporate and cite in APA format one of the primary sources in your response that you found in the textbook.

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bullgatortail eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The United States' invasion of Iraq in the first Gulf War was certainly one of the nation's most important military decisions during this time period. Since the decision was based only partly on maintaining Kuwait's independence--after all, our main reason was to protect the oil supplies in the area--it has led Americans into believing that we should exert our power internationally whenever necessary. The second Gulf War invasion, ostensibly to protect us from Iraq's supposed cache of weapons of mass destruction, produced no evidence of WMDs, and only served to allow then President George Bush to flex his political muscle against the man (Saddam Hussein) who had previously put a bounty on Bush's father's head (the first President Bush). The second invasion and the continued presence of American troops in Afghanistan has cost America trillions of dollars; additionally, the mostly positive world view of the U. S. has deteriorated into a highly negative view of American as an international bully.

shake99 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

During this time period, anti-American sentiment seemed to rise internationally. We were seen as being the "bad guy" in a lot of situations. This probably led, directly or indirectly to the increased level of terrorism directed at America, which didn't culminate until a couple years after your time period with 9/11.

litteacher8 eNotes educator| Certified Educator
The Cold War was significant, not because of actual fighting but because of the threat of it. The world was very unstable. People lived in fear. There were people building bomb shelters! Although the Cold War might have been much ado abut nothing, it contributed to a culture of fear in the US and the world.
najm1947 | Student

As compared to Natives, the New Americans living in what is known as United States as have always been acting like restless-giant, if not a monster, if we look at the history. What they did to the natives and world is known to the world. It did not stop with the nuclear attacks on Japan but continued with the killings in Viet Nam, Iraq, Afghanistan and drone attacks in Pakistan with one single objective - lust for power and greed to capture world resources. US did not care for the price of these killing and have been successful to convince its tax payers that all was being done for their 'security' creating false alarms. I think the time has come that US nationals will realise the situation after being in debt for trillions of dollars and body bags of their near and rear ones recieved by them on daily basis as given in the link

And if they don't realise even know, the history may repeat itself in Afghanistan.


etotheeyepi | Student
American history books usually contain a long list of events in which the United States used military force for one reason or another. One that is sort of cool, is the invasion of Mexico in search of Pocho Villa after Villa invaded New Mexico. The invasion didn't catch Villa, but a young officer, George Patton may have learned about fighting a war. A book by Arthur M. Schlesinger, The Imperial Presidency, has a list, and Schlesinger suggests a longer list, which no one has managed to document. One really bizarre example is the American shelling of Da Nang sometime in the nineteenth century. One might ask the question: Why did the United States become the giant? A suggestion for an answer comes from an unlikely source, Barak Obama’s brother, George Obama. He thinks that powerful countries become powerful not so much because they seek power, but the less powerful countries promote their own poverty. He doesn't actually talk about the United States. He compares Kenya and Malaysia. Both were British colonies. Malaysia grew, and Kenya didn't. It's like saying that Malaysia is like to turtle, and Kenya is like the rabbit. It's an interesting idea. Maybe it should be called post-post colonialist.
etotheeyepi | Student
The Restless Giant might make a good title for a History of the United Sates. The history might begin with the Adams Administration when Washington raised an army to oposed a French invasion. When the invasion did not happen; Hamilton, the de facto leader of the army, wanted to invade Venezuela. American imperialism goes way back. During the Jefferson, Madison, and Monroe administrations, the United States had a military force of some kind, it might have been mostly mercenaries, in North Africa trying to deal with the Barbary pirates. The British must have found it enormously amusing because when the United States looked more like a paper tiger than a restless giant, the British dealt with the pirates, and no more pirates. Considering the lack of the success in dealing with the Barbary pirates, one wonders how President Monroe thought he could enforce the Monroe doctrine. Probably, the British were the only real giant, and they enforced the Monroe Doctrin. One challenge, the French control of Mexico during the American Civil War, went unchallenged. Maybe the French decided that the Americans were indeed a sleeping giant, and they left. Or maybe they left because the Mexicans kicked them out. I'm not sure which.