Hellen was seventeen when the war was declared on August 13, 1914 (Johnson, 2005). She did not have a clear picture of war and the impact it had not only on the nations fighting, but also on her life. One and a half years later, Hellen and her boyfriend Robert were planning their wedding that they scheduled for July 1917. Hellen’s boyfriend was working as an elevator operator. She did not have a job because an American woman of that time was expected to stay with children and beautify home (Johnson, 2005). The young couple was deeply in love unaware of how little time they had to share their love.
In April 1917, the United States joined the war, just three months before their wedding. More combatants were needed, and strong young men like Hellen’s boyfriend were enlisted. She recalls how confused she felt when he told the news to her. All her hope of settling and starting a family with the man she so deeply loved slowly faded before her eyes on the day when she saw him off. Her heart crushed within her chest as she remembered the last image of him she saw through the tears. Other women were also sobbing bitterly seeing their sons and husbands off (Johnson, 2005).
Many men left their job to fight overseas leading to many vacant positions. For the first time in the history of America, many women joined the workforce. Industries employed more women, and Hellen found herself working as an elevator operator, having the same job that her boyfriend had left. She took the job as a positive reminder of him, and every minute she was there, she kept hoping that he would come back from the war. He sent her letters regularly describing how guns fired until the day letters stopped coming, and she had never heard from him again. Hellen blamed the Battle of Jutland between the German and British naval forces and the reason why America joined it. Its outcome would cost her the love of her life. After the Battle of Jutland, Germany resorted to underwater operations. The United States had experienced a loss of passengers when a U-boat was sunk. Renewed threats to civilians prompted more people to call the USA to join the fight that happened in April 1917. The naval battle lead to the death of so many people leaving behind devastated families (Johnson, 2005).
America started a period of isolationism after the war. Affairs of other nations were kept at a distance. The motive was to protect America from getting involved in undesirable wars and conflicts ignited by other countries. However, World War II made the United States rethink isolationism. Germany won conquering more territories. The United States discovered the importance of having allies after two nations, Germany and Italy, had declared war on the USA. From that time, the latter had maintained a close relationship with allies and supported them in case they would get into conflicts (Roark, 2002).
The First World War was a transformative period for African Americans. Revolutionary changes occurred in the social, political and economic future of this group. The blacks demanded their rights and freedom in a dramatic and unimaginable way. It can be seen as the genesis of freedom for the people of color enshrined in the constitution today (Roark, 2002). However, Hellen was concerned about the negative impact of the war not only on combatants but also on their families and countries. The war’s effect on the international community had extended over the rest of the century. Some of the major events that can be linked to the war include the Holocaust, World War II, atomic bomb development and the Bolshevik Revolution in Russia (Johnson, 2005). Other international impacts that can be traced indirectly to the war are the Cold War, Great Depression and the fall of European colonialism. The war is said to have had the most far-reaching consequences. Some of the political impacts include the downfall of Russia, Germany, Turkey and Austria-Hungary monarchies. Colonial revolts were ignited by the war. European economies were severely disrupted. However, the disruption benefited the United States since it rose to be an industrial power and the world-leading creditor.
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No single person expected the war of that magnitude and duration. Millions of soldiers died in the battle leaving behind devastated families. Methods of communication changed from pigeon post to more advanced methods. The war led to a change in fighting methods from horses to tanks, poisonous gas, and submarines among others deadly methods. To American women, the war opened opportunities to be more involved in industrial work and form a greater part of the workforce. In general, the war can be said to be an impetus to the rise of the United States as a world superpower, both militarily and economically.
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