The Vietnam War was the first war that the US could not possibly claim to have won. It was the culmination and rebuttal of the Cold War domino theory, and created a lasting distrust of government among Americans, which may have contributed to increasing conservatism and voter apathy. Continue reading
The modern day Republican party bears no resemblance to the Republican party of the 19th century abolitionists. There was a shift from the 1880s to the 1970s, beginning with the 1876 court case US vs Cruikshanks, which set the precedent that mob violence aimed at intimidating voters was a matter for local law enforcement rather than the federal government. This allowed the KKK to systemically terrorize black voters and Republican whites to the point where the Republican Party ceased to exist in the South, leaving only varying degrees of Jacksonian Democrat. Meanwhile, cities in the North saw an influx of immigrants who tended to ally themselves with the Democrats due to the party’s populist overtones and lack of support for Prohibition, another Republican morality reform. Thus, the northern Democrats began moving left. Republican president Herbert Hoover’s failure to prevent the 1929 economic crash and timid attempts to relieve the suffering of the Great Depression that followed soured many progressives and liberals against the Republican party, and the success of FDR’s New Deal programs firmly cemented the Democrats as the party of labour unions, urban politics, minorities, and the working poor. However it also angered many southern Democrats, who saw themselves as betrayed by their party. This group deserted en masse after the Civil Rights movement of the 1960s, and joined the now-obsolete Republican religious reformers who saw themselves as bastions of American morality. The process was completed in the aftermath of Roe vs Wade, when the anti-abortion evangelicals jumped onboard, drawing off much of the southern vote.
In the 1880s, the United States decided– as the oldest and largest nation in the Western Hemisphere– to claim the role of peacekeeper for the region. The seeds for this assumption of responsibility lay in the Monroe Doctrine, which held that affairs in the Western Hemisphere were to be managed by the Western Hemisphere, without interference from Europe1. Continue reading
The Korean War has been largely ignored and forgotten by the American public because it was an embarrassing incident with no clear goal. Similar to Vietnam, the Korean War grew directly out of the aftermath of WWII. Japan’s defeat meant the end of its occupation of Korea, and the withdrawal of roughly 700,000 civilians and 270,000 military personnel, these being the majority of Korea’s technical and administrative expertise. The Korean communist party had its origin in the nationalist anti-Japanese resistance, having used the mountainous terrain to obstruct the Japanese occupation with support from communist groups in China and Manchuria.1 As the Japanese withdrew, they warned the UN forces that the Korean nationalists were probably communists and not to be trusted.