20th Century Impact on American History

Updated May 22, 2021

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20th Century Impact on American History essay

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There were many major events that took place during the 20th century. World War II alone had a tremendous impact of the people involved in the war, but even more the people who were lucky enough to survive the horror that was concentration camps to tell their story. The Great Depression, when many and all families where impacted during this time and were in a place where they didn’t know what to do or where their next meal was coming from.

Lastly, the Civil Rights Movement was a powerful and moving time when African American people were impacted in such a way and it speaks wonders to today’s world. Overall, the major events that took place during the 20th century impacted many minorities like the Jews during World War II and the African American’s during the Civil Rights Movement.

The Great Depression is an interesting event, because this didn’t just effect one group of people or minority like World War II or the Civil Rights Movement this event had an impact on everyone rich or poor. The Great Depression was a serious time and took away everything from hard working families. “Workers were plunged into poverty because of impersonal forces for which they shared no responsibility. With no safety net, they were thrown into economic chaos” (The American Yawp, Section 23).

Although, this period affected everyone it was a time where those who were of lower income struggled the most and suffered great loss in income and even their jobs which made that much more difficult to provide for their families. Living in this time where jobs were lost, money and food were at such a shortage had a large impact on everyone, but those who were more privileged had food, but it may have gone stale. The Great Depression took a long time to come out of and it had an impact on many people, much like the events of World War II that had an impact on many people.

World War II was such an extremely serious time when it came to the impact it had on lives. With Hitler being the dictator, he was at the time he had an impact on the lives of millions of Jews. The War in general had an impact on many lives including those involved who fought in it and those who were able to survive the Holocaust and concentration camps. There was a concentration camp, Ohrdruf that a World War II veteran, Ralph Rush spoke about being the first person to enter and it was the first liberated concentration camp.

Ralph speaks out about entering the camp and giving a gun to a trustee of the camp to kill some of the guards inside, and later seeing the same man crying because he was able to fulfill the deed of killing the guards (Ralph Rush, Real Veteran, Reel Stories). This shows the impact the War and the concentration camps had on the people involved. Ralph Rush is a Veteran of the War, the name of the trustee was not given, but he was being kept inside the camp which gives both perspectives of the soldier and the trustee.

The lives of these people changed forever the second the war started, and they entered that camp. Since Ralph made it through and can tell his story that is a blessing, but he lives with the memory of seeing people being murdered and seeing bodies piled up in concentration camps and that will have a forever mental impact. This war changed lives forever, and because of this war millions of lives were lost just for being who they are. Much like the Jews, African Americans were blamed for things based on who they are by appearance and not by their person.

The Civil Rights Movement was something so powerful and moving, African American’s fought for their rights. African Americans were segregated from almost everything and when they finally had enough they stood up and fought for what they believed in. “the civil rights movement marked not only a major social revolution, but also, and with more far reaching and complex repercussions, the beginning of the end of the liberal political coalition that supported those 1960s racial reforms (Reclaiming the civil Rights Movement, Robert Washington)”. The fact that the Civil Rights Movement was such a social revolution shows the impact it had on the country and the people involved in the movement. Today, it appears African Americans are still fighting for their right to be viewed as equal.

The impact the Civil Rights Movement had on African American’s were strong because they’ve done things like sit-ins and marches to make themselves known ‘The successful six-month-long Greensboro sit-in initiated the student phase of the African American civil rights movement’ (P. Scott Corbett, et al. “U.S. History”). The fight for rights were so powerful, because it involved a whole minority of people who stopped at nothing to prove that they are no different than anyone else. It seems like African Americans were and still are fighting to be equal and today it doesn’t seem fair for minorities to be going through such judgement and separation from everyday life.

In the end, these three major events that occurred during the 20th century had a strong impact on the lives of many lives. The Great Depression may not have impacted a specific minority, but it had an impact on those who were less fortunate than others during that period. During World War II, there were many lived impacted during this time. Millions of Jewish people were murdered in concentration camps and soldiers who survived along with those who survived concentration camps live with the mental impact of the War.

Lastly, The Civil Rights Movement was extremely impactful for African Americans who strived to make their mark and fight for their rights along with the African Americans today who feel like they are still fighting for their right to be heard and accepted. Overall, each of these events had such an impact on minorities and the lives of people during the 20th century.

Works Cited

  1. P. Scott Corbett, et al. “U.S. History .” OpenStax, openstax.org/details/books/us-history.
  2. Ralph Rush. Dir. Daniel L. Bernardi. Real Veterans. Reel Stories, 2014. Kanopy. Web. 3 Dec. 2018.
  3. The American Yawp, Section 23
  4. Washington, Robert. “Reclaiming the Civil Rights Movement.” International Journal of Politics, Culture, and Society, vol. 9, no. 3, 1996, pp. 459–473. JSTOR, JSTOR,
20th Century Impact on American History essay

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20th Century Impact on American History. (2021, May 22). Retrieved from https://samploon.com/20th-century-impact-on-american-history/


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