Contemporary History

ContemporaryHistory

ContemporaryHistory

TheUnited States has a long standing been the superpower of the world.This status has not been easily achieved as the country has to fightagainst socio-political ideologies of its rivals like communism inChina and socialism in Europe. Nevertheless, the country has facednumerous challenges as other powers like China, India and Russiacontinue to flourish. The U.S has taken this as a major threat to itscurrent position as a superpower, but as Nina Hachigian and MonaSutphen argue in their article “Strategic Collaboration: How theUnited States Can Thrive as Other Powers Rise” the U.S must engageother powers to protect itself from contemporary threats.

Firstthe main concern of Americans is personal safety. This is somethingthat obviously the U.S government alone cannot guarantee. The threatof terrorism is one of the greatest threats to security of the UnitedStates. Fighting terrorism has proved a difficult task and requiresintegration of different agencies from several countries. China,Russia, India and even smaller countries like Pakistan-the hub forterrorism have been very useful in helping fight against terrorism,and more importantly prevent terrorism from using developing andusing nuclear weapons. The threat of avian flu is also a major threatto safety of the world population. This problem originates from chinaas it has the biggest poultry population and human population, yet itis the solution for the same problem (Hachigian &amp Sutphen, 2008).Hence America must involve such pivotal powers to remain safe fromthese threats.

Finally,the threat of global warming is a major threat to the safety of theUnited States. As much as the U.S works hard to achieve greenrevolution, it cannot save itself from the effects of global warmingwithout engaging other pivotal powers. China and India for instanceare the most populous countries in the world which translates thatthey are among major pollutants. Therefore the U.S must engage themin the green revolution efforts to keep its people safe from globalwarming.

References

Hachigian,N., &amp Sutphen, M. (2008). Strategic collaboration: how the UnitedStates can thrive as other powers rise. WashingtonQuarterly,31(4),43-57.

Contemporary History

CONTEMPORARY HISTORY 5

The end of Cold War

The aspects of openness, restructuring and democratization led tothe fall of communism and the ultimate demise of USSR. USSR startedto lean more towards democratization after the people realized thatopenness and democratization had enormous benefits. The introductionof openness and democratization gave the rebels and the protestors aspace to air their grievances against the USSR communist government.People such as Lithuania&nbsphad the opportunity to speak againstcommunism and praise democratization (Goff, 2008). These aspects wereincompatible the communism command nature and the Soviet culture. Itis clear that the corrupt command system of the soviet governmentwould not have worked with free press. People had access to outsideinformation regarding their economy and system of governance. Theylearnt how corrupt and bad the system was and they started therevolt.

The aspects of openness and democracy led to what seemed likeprivate ownership of property and a free market. These were aspectswhich were against the communism and therefore the two would not havebeen compatible whatsoever. The leaders of communism believed thatthe aspects of openness, restructuring and democracy was there todestroy and finish communism. They were totally against these aspectsand this clearly demonstrated by the arrest of the Gorbachev (Goff,2008). He was arrested by some of the members of the communist partywho were showing their displeasure with the aspects of openness,restructuring and democracy. This is a clear indication that not allthe leaders of communism were comfortable with the new changes. Itwas clear that the communist leaders felt that their hands were beingtied by the new changes (Goff, 2008). The power was being given tothe people by the new changes and this made the communist leadersvery uncomfortable.

The welfare state

The social welfare system in most European countries aredesigned in such a way that they cater for needs of the citizenswhether they are rich or poor, employed or unemployed and young orold. Health care systems cater for the cost of treatment (Davis,2013). However, citizens must register with the state healthcaresystem in order to access the healthcare reimbursement. Most statesin Europe such as France cater for part of health costs for itscitizens. Research has indicated that most of the countries in Europehave a universal healthcare system for their citizens. This impliesthat the citizens can be treated in any hospital, be it private orpublic and can also be treated anywhere in the world (Davis, 2013).Although the welfare system in Europe has been criticized by manypeople, it is clear that the European countries have managed tobalance the cost of the welfare programs with the premiums paid bythe citizens. Employees in France, for instance, are deducted 20% oftheir pay for healthcare. The government on the other hand, spendsalmost 20% of its budget on healthcare (Davis, 2013).

There is no reason as to why the healthcare system in Europeancountries cannot work in the US. A universal healthcare system islong overdue in the US. For Universal healthcare system to work inthe US, the American government must restore the work spirit of theAmerican people. This will ensure that the people will be in aposition to contribute to the premiums for healthcare insurance. Thegovernment must stop paying people for no work and stop theunemployment benefits. The healthcare reforms in the United Statesare bound to fail. The administration of President Obama seeks to taxthe rich to cater for the health needs of all the people. It isevident that the rich have been paying taxes to the government evenbefore this proposal. America must realize that every person mustwork and contribute towards his or her own health insurance. The fewwealthy Americans cannot sustain the health costs of the entireAmerican population.

References

Goff, R. D. (2008).&nbspThe twentieth century and beyond: A briefglobal history. Boston: McGraw- Hill.

Davis, S. (2013). Healthcare in France – An Introduction.Retrieved from: http://www.frenchentree.com/living-in-france/healthcare/healthcare-in-france-an- introduction/

Contemporary History

ContemporaryHistory

ContemporaryHistory

GOPINATHAN,G. C. B. G. S. (2008). The aftermath of World War II in the Pacific created severe social and economic dislocations for the people ofSingapore in 1945. Although the British rulers reclaimed thecontrol of the trading port, the people clamored for politicalfreedom and economic opportunities. There was frequent industrialstrikes and unrest. The population grew from about 960,000 in 1948 to about 1.6 million in 1954. There were high unemployment and anacute shortage of public housing. Toward a better future: Education and training for economic development in Singapore since1965, 12.

Thisarticle wholly focuses on the aftermath of the World War II,particularly in the Pacific. It investigates the severe social andeconomic destruction and dislocation for the citizens of Singapore.It further discusses the activities that took place during this warincluding the frequent industrial strikes and social unrest that werebeing experienced across the nation, high unemployment, and ashortage of public housing. This article therefore provides a greatoutline for the aftermath of World War II and the effects of the waron the citizens of Singapore and giving particular attention to thestrategic management that has enabled the state of Singapore totransform its education and the training system from one similar tothat of most Sub-Saharan African countries. Gopinathan is Professorand Head, Foundation Programmes.

Henry,C. M., &amp Springborg, R. (2010). Globalization and the Politics of Development in the Middle East (Vol. 1). Cambridge UniversityPress

Thisarticles details on the Globalization and the Politics of Developmentin the Middle East. It states that the nation was endowed with thelargest oil reserves in the world. Further, it is clear from thearticle that the MENA states were slow compared to the rest of thenations to readjust their economic structures and their strategies.It provides an excellent assess the prospects for purposes ofreversing the challenges to accelerate the economic development.Henry is a Professor of the Government at the University of Texas.

Maoz,I. (2000). Power relations in intergroup encounters: A case study ofJewish–Arab encounters in Israel. International Journal ofIntercultural Relations, 24(2), 259- 277.

Thisarticle examines the processes and the patterns of power relationsthat existed between the majority and the minority groups, as hadbeen manifested. It states that the most expected processes of thedominance of the Jewish majority and the pattern of dominance and theinfluence of the Arab minority that arose primarily when theencounters focused on the conflict between the sides. The discussionwraps up with ideas that the latter process of minority influence issignificantly related to a dispute that appeared regarding thelegitimacy and desirability of conflict inside the encounter.Maozisprinciple researcher.

McAlister,M. (2001). Epic Encounters: Culture, Media, and US Interests in theMiddle East, 1945-2000 (Vol. 6). Univ of California Press.

Thisarticle centers on the complex relations existing between the US andthe nations and the peoples of the Middle East. This article castsand covers entirely the new light on the US military, the financial,and the emotional investments in the Middle East. This articleprovides a great outline a fascinating original in-depth analysis ofthe relation between the culture and the foreign policy. Mcalister isone of the Associate Professor of American Studies at GeorgeWashington University.

Meredith,M. (2007). The Fate of Africa: A history of fifty years ofindependence. PublicAffairs.

Thisarticles details on the fate of Africa as they struggled for theirindependence and years after they got independence. It states thatAfrica was considered wealthy and a very valuable prize to lose atany particular moment. It also outlines the sum of the Africa`snumerous misfortunes, their frequent wars, the despotisms, its deeplyrooted corruption, and its life taking droughts. It provides anexcellent view of the struggle for independence and the issues facingAfrica after independence explore and critically explain the problemsthat have been facing Africa for the past half-century, and continueto face still. Meredith is a journalist, a biographer, and ahistorian who has written extensively on Africa.

Tessler,M. A. (1994). A history of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. IndianaUniversity Press.

Thisarticle focuses on the origins of the modern Zionism and the Arabnationalism with a wide view of the prospects for theIsraeli-Palestinian peace. It further shows the parallel existingconceptions of world religion, history, and the destiny that informedboth the peoples` present-day lives. The discussion wraps up withideas on a striking symmetry in the flow of the Jewish and the Arabhistory, and in the way, the nationalist movements from which eachcommunity took shape. Tessler is a Political Science professor atSamuel J. Eldersveld Collegiate

Tripp,A. M. (2000). Political reform in Tanzania: The struggle forassociational autonomy. Comparative Politics, 191-214.

Thisarticle focuses on the concepts of democratic reversal in Africa andthe erosion of national liberties. It starts that the important locusfor the African struggle for political reform has been generalassociations that try to establish and further maintain theirautonomy from the state. It provides an excellent view of criticalsocial struggles, and it has continued in various areas over theissues that pertain to the political and the civil liberties. Trippis a professor of political science as well as gender.

Watson,G. R. (2000). The Oslo Accords: International Law and theIsraeli-Palestinian peace agreements. Oxford University Press

Thisarticle presents the foremost comprehensive legal analysis of OsloAccords. It states that the accord is binding internationalagreements existing between subjects of the international law. Itfurther analyses the Israeli and Palestinian full compliance with theAccords. It provides an excellent view of suggestions on how theinternational law can help to shape a final status agreement betweenparties. Watson was a lawyer in the State Department specializing inMiddle East affairs, and currently a professor of law at CatholicUniversity.

Winant,H. (2000). Race and race theory. Annual Review of Sociology, 169-185.

Thisarticle details about the issue of race and race theory. It focuseson the history and development of the race. It further states that inthe aftermath of World War II, after the destruction of the Europeancolonialism, the emergence and rise of the civil rights movements andthe migration surge to a world scale, the issue of sociology of raceturned out to be a central topic. It suggests that to cover inin-depth the themes race and racism there is the need for thedevelopment of an effective racial theory by sociology. Winant is theauthor of numerous articles and influential books on race, racism,and law.

Yousef,T. M. (2004). Development, growth, and policy reform in the MiddleEast and North Africa since 1950. Journal of EconomicPerspectives, 91-115.

Thisarticle focuses on development, growth, and policy reform in theMiddle East. It states that in the year 1950, the Middle East hadshown a lower level in terms of the socioeconomic developmentglobally. Further, it states that in the 1970s the Middle East wentthrough a robust economic growth and political stability. Thesechanges were attributed to high investment levels. It provides anexcellent view on how higher levels of investment in terms ofphysical capital, which in turn facilitated the substantial rise inthe per capita income led to economic growth in the Middle East.Yousef is an Assistant Professor of Economics

References

GOPINATHAN,G. C. B. G. S. (2008). The aftermath of World War II in the Pacificcreated severe social and economic dislocations for the people ofSingapore in 1945. Although the British rulers reclaimed control ofthe trading port, the people clamored for political free-dom andeconomic opportunities. There were frequent industrial strikes andunrest. The population grew from about 960,000 in 1948 to about 1.6million in 1954. There was high unemployment and an acute shortageof public housing. Towarda better future: Education and training for economic development inSingapore since 1965,12.

Henry,C. M., &amp Springborg, R. (2010). Globalizationand the Politics of Development in the Middle East(Vol. 1). Cambridge University Press.

Maoz,I. (2000). Power relations in intergroup encounters: A case study ofJewish–Arab encounters in Israel. InternationalJournal of Intercultural Relations,24(2),259-277.

McAlister,M. (2001). Epicencounters: Culture, media, and US interests in the Middle East, 1945-2000(Vol. 6). Univ of California Press.

Meredith,M. (2007). Thefate of Africa: A history of fifty years of independence.PublicAffairs

Tessler,M. A. (1994). Ahistory of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.Indiana University Press.

Tripp,A. M. (2000). Political reform in Tanzania: The struggle forassociational autonomy. ComparativePolitics,191-214.

Watson,G. R. (2000). TheOslo Accords: international law and the Israeli-Palestinian peace agreements.Oxford University Press.

Winant,H. (2000). Race and race theory. AnnualReview of Sociology,169-185.

Yousef,T. M. (2004). Development, growth and policy reform in the MiddleEast and North Africa since 1950. Journalof Economic Perspectives,91-115.

Contemporary history

5

CONTEMPORARY HISTORY

Contemporaryhistory

Africaand the west

Sincethe late 19thcentury, Kenya like other African nations was a European colony. Thearrival of the imperial British East Africa Company in the late 1980sand the constriction of the Kenya Uganda railway line marked thebeginning of the colonial era in Kenya. Although there were someincidence of resistance from some ethnic communities in the regions,most important the Nandi ethnic community, the Kenyan community, likemany African community were not opposed to the colonial rule by theEuropeans. However, after the Second World War, which had hugeimpacts on the European continent, there were notable changes thatled to armed struggle against colonial rule in Africa (Okoth, 2006).

Itis important to note that other European colonies in other continentshad sought independence decades before Africans started fighting forindependence. However, there are peculiar factors that delayedAfrican independence compared to other European colonies in theworld. The European powers had not colonized the African continentuntil the late 19thcentury (Lecture notes). Therefore, while European powers hadestablished colonies in Americas and Asia centuries before, theyarrived in Africa after other continents had fought for theirindependence. It is also important to note that during the SecondWorld War, the British and other European powers relied heavily ontroops from their African colonies. Therefore, after the war, some ofthe African generals who fought for the European colonies in the warorganized and trained guerrilla fighters such as the Mau Mau in Kenyato fight for their own independence. Before the war, Africans hadlimited knowledge of political wars and wars of liberations. However,their exposure during the Second World War inspired the independencewars in different parts of the continent (Okoth, 2006).

Itis also important to note that when the European powers establishedcolonies in Africa, they divided the continent into smallterritories. These territories constitute the modern Africancountries. The territories were ruled owned by different Europeanpowers and therefore experienced different colonial rules. This is asopposed the colonies in other parts of the world. Another importantpeculiar reasons why African sought for independence was the lack ofpolitical organizations. Due to the nature of the African continentbefore colonization, western political structures that could havechallenged colonialism did not exists. However, by the end of theSecond World War, Africans such as Jomo Kenyatta and Kwame Nkrumahhad established political organizations in the continent (Okoth,2006).

Israeland the Middle East

Duringthe Second World War, the Nazi Germans made a deliberate attempt toeliminate the Jewish race in the European continent. This is becausethey considered the impure race which could contaminate the pureGerman race. The survivors of the holocaust sought refuge inPalestine, an Arab nation. After the establishment of the UnitedNations, after the war, the global society decided to establish a JewNation by dividing Palestine into a Jewish and Arab region, whereJerusalem was to remain a common place. The Jewish communityestablished an Israel state which resulted into a protest from theArabs. The protest marked the beginning of conflicts that have lastedover six decades (Lecture notes).

Overthe years, there have been numerous attempts to end the conflict,with little success. Today, the conflict has evolved from an ArabIsrael to an Israel Palestinian conflict. However, there arereligious and cultural factors that have a direct impact on theconflict. There are religious and cultural beliefs in both sides ofthe conflicts about the chosen people and the holy land and city inJerusalem. In the Hebrew bible, the land of Canaan, also referred toas the land of Israel was promised to the children of Israel (theJews) by god. However, the Muslims claims the religious right to theland since it is also mentioned in the Quran. They argue thatdissimilar to the Jewish claim, they argue that the land was promisedto the first some of Abraham (Ishmael) and not the younger son Isaac.Additionally, the Jews traditional and religion as well as theIslamic religion and traditions developed in the same land. Sinceboth protagonists have historical linkages to the Holy Land, theconflicts have been persistent (Morris, 2009).

References

Lecturenotes, Revolutionsand Independence: Postwar Asia and Africa.

Morris,B. (2009).A History of the First Arab-Israeli War,Yale University Press

Okoth,A. (2006). Africannationalismand the de-colonization process: (1915-1995),Nairobi: East African Educational Publ.