Final Exam

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Final Exam

Final Exam

The role of railroads in the settlement of the Great West

By 1860, America's Industrial Revolution was in full swing. The railroad, alternatively known as the “iron rod”, became the principal mode of transportation of industrial America. The newly booming economy required transportation, and railroads fit in perfectly to accommodate the needs of commerce. It was not only transportation but also a completely new technology which led to the exploration of the Great Plains and the Pacific Northwest in 1869. It was the railroads that brought the Pacific territories to the Union.

Railroad company origins in 1850s and 1930s reshaped the edifice of life, economy, and resources in the broader Southern Pacific territories during the settlement era. Political and economic conflict existed in the settlement period with the railroad companies corporate interests clashing with public interest. The nature of this conflict was not monolithic; rather railroad companies interacted and collided with economic development, smaller farming settlements, changes in agriculture and environmental policies.

These railroads, stretching from California to the east coast of the United States, played a crucial part in the settlement of the west. The Southern Pacific railroad company was an enormous, immobile structure that provided land and labor grants in the districts it operated. It reached eastern markets, becoming actively engaged in regional problem-solving. Subsequently, it assumed the responsibility for population growth, social change and economic development. It brought modern technology and organization of businesses, legal skills and political facets to solve problems of the newly acquired territories.

One of the products of the Industrial revolution, it revolutionized the established order of economic self-sufficiency and small scale farming. The transcontinental enthusiasm of the fifties acted in favor of modernization and industrialization.Thus, as evident from the argument presented above, the railroads played a leading role in the settlement of the Great West.

U.S Decision to Employ Nuclear Warfare against Japan

The Truman administration's nuclear warfare is a highly debated topic in history. For more than fifty years, scholars, theologians and numerous critics have argued over the morality of nuclear warfare. Alperovitz's argument is grounded in the fact that United States decision to drop the atomic bomb on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, two cities occupied by civilians, without warning was not purely out of military necessity since Japan was already on the verge of surrender.

The Japanese question has been a matter of substantial debate over the years. The imposition of economic boycott on Japan for exacerbating the Manchurian invasion embittered U.S.-Japan relations. The rationale behind U.S. nuclear warfare is often the “lack of alternatives”, given that a full-scale Japanese war with the Chinese would have escalated out of proportions. However, Stimson had his mind set on nuclear diplomacy, even before Pearl Harbor. The aim here was to play with Japanese psychology in hopes to restrain Japanese expansionism which evident from the Japanese invasion of Manchuria.

It is crucial to understand, however, that whereas policy makers of the 21st century find nuclear warfare of the same caliber as Hiroshima and Nagasaki horrific, the ...
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