Canada and World War II: The Moral Purpose of the War

I believe that WWII did not serve a moral purpose of sorts as the majority of the countries involved only participated due to a fear of a Hitler gaining to much momentum in his war effort.  The majority of the events that raised moral questions revolved around Hitler’s Anti-Semitic views.  It began with the enacting of the Nuremberg Laws and began to escalate from there.  The Nuremberg Laws were issued between 1933 and 1939.  It forced those of Jewish descent to make this fact known, as well due to their Jewish ancestry they lost many of their rights, including: citizenship, property, and possessions (Falk, Plante, Miller, & Figueira, 2006.)  Proceeding the enactment of these laws were a series of mass killings known as “Night of the Long Knives” and “Kristallnacht.”  During these events Hitler eliminated his political opponents and notable Jewish Citizens (Falk, Plante, Miller, & Figueira, 2006.)

However, going into the war the allies were not conscious of the persecution of the Jewish people.  This cements my previous argument further as the Allies fought the war out of fear rather out of their desire to fight for the greater good.  As well, despite fighting the war to oust the impending German power; the allies were not aware of the full extent of Hitler’s political power.  Due to winning a majority government and enacting The Enabling Act of 1934; Hitler had almost full sovereign control of his nation. (History. [2013] Night of the Long Knives.)

It was not until the Allies managed to breach Germany and force a surrender on to them did they realize the entirety of Hitler’s Antisemitism.  As the Allies pushed further into Germany they began to uncover Hitler’s acts of depravity against the Jews.  Concentration Camps were being unearthed quickly and the emergence the emaciated survivors mortified the soldiers. (Cranny & Moles, 2001.)  It was clear the soldiers were not aware of what had been going on in the enemy territory as many were completely unaware of the atrocities occurring in Germany.

 

File:Hitler Nürnberg 1935.jpg

Parade of SA troops past Hitler. Nuremberg [Photograph; Hitler Triumphantly Reviewing the SA; presumably after the Night of the Long Knives”.] At: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Hitler_N%C3%BCrnberg_1935.jpg (Accessed on 11.28.13)

 

References:

Cranny M. , Moles G. , (2001).  Counter Points Exploring Canadian Issues.  Pearson Education Canada Inc., Toronto, Ontario

Falk J. , Yvette P. , Jorda M. & Mark F. (2010).  Social Studies Eleven Student Workbook. Hazelmere Publishing  Surrey, British Columbia

History. (2013). Night of Long Knives. Retrieved from: http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/night-of-the-long-knives

Tom K. ( 2012, April 20.) The Religious and Political Views of Hitler.  Retrieved from: http://hollowverse.com/hitler/

The Thirties a Decade of Despair: The Great Depression and The Great Recession

The Great Depression and The Great Recession were two economic events in which the economy spiraled downwards.  “There is an old joke among economists that states: A recession is when your neighbor loses his job. A depression is when you lose your job.” (Mike M. [2013] Recession? Depression? What’s the Difference?)  I believe this joke is rather accurate as it shows the effect of each event.  When a recession occurs people around you begin to lose a job and thus it seems like a distant event that may or may not affect you.  While a depression, strips you of your job and thus becomes a more apparent occurrence.

In the case of The Great Depression, it stripped many people of their jobs and left thousands starving.  One of the key causes of The Great Depression was overproduction.  Business owners were mass producing large amounts of their products however, when they failed to sell quickly the owners began to stockpile them.  Thus, the business owners would have to slow down production and in doing so reduce the number of jobs ( (Falk, Plante, Miller, Fiqueira, 2006.)  The more recent Recession however, was much less severe and mainly due to an unbalanced economic system. As well, an economic class gap was partly to blame as well. (John, R. 2010)  While those of the upper class got to revel in their prosperity those belonging to the middle and lower class were struggling with lay offs.

However, if you compare the Depression to the Recession the similar cause of these events would be the Government’s (of both eras) massive spending.  Both Government’s stated that they would enact a budget but ended up spending vast amounts of money on Federal Projects.  Projects that would “supposedly” ease the strain on the economy. (Labonte, M. 2010)  Due to the Government’s money hemorrhaging in the Recession period, valuable funds were being spent on quick fixes to job shortages rather than permanent solutions (John, R. 2010.)  I believe this may apply to the Depression as well since the government of that time appeared to be squandering money in an attempt to find a solution as well.

Recession vs. Depression [Photograph; Economic Recession.] At: http://www.buzzle.com/articles/recession-vs-depression.html (Accessed on 11.28.13)

 

References:

J.A. Falk, Yvette P. , Jorda M. & Mark F. (2010).  Social Studies Eleven Student Workbook. Hazelmere Publishing  Surrey, British Columbia

John R. (2010, June 8). The Real Cause of the Crash of 2008. Retrieved from: http://www.esquire.com/blogs/politics/2008-recession-causes-060810

Labonte M. (2010, Oct. 6). The 2007-2009 Recession: Similarities to and Differences from the Past. Congressional Research Service. Retrieved from:http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/misc/R40198.pdf

Mike, M. (2013). Recession? Depression? What’s the Difference?  Retrieved from: http://economics.about.com/cs/businesscycles/a/depressions.htm

 

The Thirties Decade of Despair: O Brother Where Art Thou

“O Brother Where Art Thou”

The Film “O Brother Where Art Thou” Is a comedy film set during the depression era.  It is an accurate interpretation of  the 1930’s in North America as it manages to do so in the various scenes of the movie.  For instance, when the little Hogwallop boy sees the escaped convicts he believes they are from the bank and attempts to shoot them.  Being a time in which money was scarce and debts were large it reflects the mind set of those in that era.  Due to many people losing their jobs and still owing much to the bank; many people would find the bank would come to repossess their property.  This is likely what the Hogwallop boy is thinking.

As well, the movie shows the exploits of the Ku Klux Klan; an organization based on radical right wing political views.  The Ku Klux Klan had its reach stretch out into almost every southern state at the time and were infamous for their violent lynchings, assaults and other violent attacks (Southern Poverty Law Center.  (1998)  Ku Klux Klan.)  This corresponds to the Ku Klux Klan terrorizing much of Southern America in the 1930s as the movie depicted this.

To conclude, I believe that this movie was an accurate portrayal of the 1930s.  While there were times where it seemed magic-realistic (The sirens for example) they were explained to be more practical and still held to the spirit of the 1930s.  It reflected the attitudes of those in the Depression Era very well as it clearly has been well researched.  The attitudes and actions of many of the characters reflect that of those who had been alive in that era.

Movie - o brother, where art thou? Wallpapers and Backgrounds

O Brother Where Art Thou [Photograph; “The Protagonists Escaping”.] At:http://wall.alphacoders.com/by_sub_category.php?id=200090 (Accessed on 11.1.13)

References:

Southern Poverty Law Centre (1998).  Ku Klux Klan.  Retrieved from: http://www.splcenter.org/get-informed/intelligence-files/ideology/ku-klux-klan

History (1996-2013).  Ku Klux Klan. Retrieved from: http://www.history.com/topics/ku-klux-klan