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Civilisation Américaine : Histoire des Etats-Unis des années 1930 à la période contemporaine

Par   •  31 Octobre 2018  •  11 566 Mots (47 Pages)  •  74 Vues

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To understand American fears now historians examine the world context and what they see is …

After WWII, American leaders assumed the role of hegemony of the international economy on was side and containers of the USSR on the other side. To explain why they examine the operation of the world economy and the international distribution of power.

They look at transnational conflict, the disruption of colonial empires and the revolutionary nationalisms in Asia and Africa.

Decolonization was a key focus, together with the yearnings of people to modernize their countries and enjoy higher standards of living.

US thought that to rule the war you need to be rich and strong, but it depended from more than that: it depended also on the appeal of their ideology, culture of mass-consumption.

- Some call this SOFT POWER: it is concept developed by Joseph NYE in a book called Soft Power and he describes the ability to attract rather than the use of force as a mean of persuasion.

At the end WWII the US and USSR emerged as the two strongest nations in the world but also as competing models of political economy.

It was a peculiar bipolarity: the US was incontestably the most powerful nation of the world; they were the only one to possess the atomic bomb, a navy and an air force. They were also the richest. Its growth national product was 3x that of the Soviet Union and 5x that of the UK, it has grown enormously during the war.

The USSR was devastated by the occupation of Nazi Germany, about 27mln of inhabitants of the USSR died (400.000 Americans). Yet it loomed the imagination of the US officials and the mind of world leaders. Contemporary people knew that Stalin did not really want war, yet, more importantly they feared that Stalin would capitalize on the opportunities of the postwar world.

During WWII the American economy had demonstrated enormous vitality. But many people wondered if the capitalist economy could function effectively in peacetime. American was happy about the end of the war but now that the world was over they feared to sink back to the Great Depression. And in fact the inflation rise, the GNP fell and there was some labor unrest.


- Repetitive cycles of boom and bust;

- Military conflagration;

- Ruin and despair.

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- What it is Americanism? It’s a duty to be nobler than the rest of the world.

- Presence of the US everywhere (brands, etc,..)

- Many are becoming anti American, what is it anti-a? Opposition to the policy of the US, dislike or opposition to the US.

- 3 types: for economic issues; cultural issues; political issues.

American intervention in other country fuels anti Americanism.

- Birth of anti Americanism: seen the US a traitors according to the French

- US refused to sign Kyoto protocol

- George W. Bush (2000 -2009) many became anti – American under his presidency

- Bush doctrine -> Afghanistan and Iraq war: produced a lot of anti Americanism.

- Barrack Obama “weakened the US”; put an end to Bush doctrine; retire troops from Iraq.

- Trump rebuild US in an American way; anti-immigration policy

- Presidency creates the image of American in the world,


This film is made of observation and proposed to the American to wake them up on violence etc.

Shooting 20th April 1999 in a school. Several example of shooting compared to other countries. Why is the US so violent? Fear sustained by the media. Violence and paranoia.

2nd amendment protests the right of the people to …

Where does the need to have guns come from?

Michael Moore recognizes that weapons are not the only reason for violence. - cartoon

President and govern make it look like it’s right to use gun – role of “terror”. He contributes to that feeling of fear? Why? He does not give solution

To have a gun is perceived as an alienable right

American individualism


Everywhere communist parties were presenting themselves as leaders against fascism. The development was quick, for example in Greece grew enormously in few years.

In Italy in 2 years went from 5000 to 17000000.

For Truman and his advisor in Washington they inspired fear and gloom: “There is complete economic, social and political collapse going on in Central Europe, the extent of which is unparalleled in history” (John McCloy).

The Kremlin now could capitalize the situation so they needed a united Europe.

The US had to restore hope that private markets could indeed function to serve the needs of humankind. Dean Acheson stated “They have suffered so much – that they will demand that the whole business of state control and state interference shall be pushed further and further”. (Interventionism starts at this historical moment).

People like Acheson and McCloy became well known as “the wise man” (because they understood the causes) of the Cold War. They intent on correcting the weaknesses of capitalism. Even before they even thought of the CW, they decided between 1943/44 to design the IMF and World Bank. They also wanted the congress to reduce the US tariffs because they wanted Americans to buy more foreign products. They knew that foreign countries if not would have not being able to recover easily. They remembered that austerity caused the Great Depression and created conditions for Nazism, fascism and totalitarisms.

In March 1947 Truman said they reached a turning point in


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