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Week 1 – A Long Dark Shadow.docx

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University of Ottawa
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Week 1Pillars of the Postwar World 19451949In the annals of human history World War II was unprecedented in terms of its global scope savagery destructive effects and the extent to which military might pursued ideological visionContemporaries perceived World War II as a catastrophe It was a hammer that shattered the preceding world orderToday we examine how the horrors of World War II stimulated a reform coalition determined to rebuild the world on the basis of peace and prosperity The pillars of the postwar world order reflected a general disgust with fascism the horrors of war the Great Depression and a broad desire to build a better world Already during the war the Grand Alliance against Hitler started to make plans for a new international systemFrom 19451948 despite mounting superpower tensions this new international system was put into placeI World War II as a Shock to the World SystemBy definition wars represent an interruption of the natural order but World War II in terms of its scale brutality and the degree to which military might pursued ideological vision represented a proverbial shock to the system that rattled the previous world order and ensured that something new would emerged in its wake A pronounced characteristic of World War II was an extenuated campaign to dehumanize the enemy an essential precondition for deploying genocide or weapons of mass destructionThe Peoples War oThe period from 19291945 was one of extenuated crisis and of prolonged suffering for ordinary people oAs such the postwar period marked an extraordinary time a true revolutionary moment in which ordinary people were sensitized motivated and implicated in unusual ways to reform their world Western Reaction to Hitlerism oThe United States and Britain signed the Atlantic Charter August 1941 which was a naval blue printA magna carta recognizing that Democracy and Capitalism was key and to not be overcome by Facism Document was significant bc for the first time it was a blueprint for a redeeming world for the future Cast war as clash of civilizations Fascism versus Democracy Reject Tripartite Act and Axis New OrderPromise to liberate victims of Nazi tyranny Redeem the world by invoking liberal principles erect an international system predicated of peaceful collaboration and international tradeoSupporting Russia was one of the only ways to defeat HitlerStalin needed American Aid so he agrees to the alliance
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