Note: This unfortunately is a very “thin” chapter. It really should have been three chapters – The end of the Pacific war, the war against the Japanese islands and the Atomic Bombing and surrender. See the further reading below for more information about the end of the Pacific War. Very unfortunately issues surrounding the air war against Japanese cities and the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki are not explored in any meaningful depth.
Response / Thought Quotes
- “Armchair strategists can look at the last stages of a campaign and say there’s nothing left but mopping up, but if you’re holding the mop it’s different. The last Jap in the last bunker on the last day can be as fatal to you personally as the biggest battle at the height of the campaign, and you don’t look or think much beyond him – wherever he is.”
- “As the seconds ticked slowly toward 09.00, our artillery and ships’ guns increased their rate of fire. The rain poured down, and the Japanese took up the challenge from our artillery. They started throwing more shells our way . . . The shells whistled, whined and rumbled overhead, ours bursting out in front of the ridge and the enemy’s exploding in our area and to the rear. The noise increased all along the line. Rain fell in torrents, and the soil became muddy and slippery wherever we hurried around the gun pit to break out and stack our ammo. I looked at my watch. It was 0900. I gulped and prayed for my buddies.”
- “because our German scientists were better than their German scientists”
- “We were of a generation to whom Coventry and the London Blitz and Clydebank and Liverpool and Plymouth were more than just names; our country had been hammered mercilessly from the sky, and so had Germany; we had seen the pictures of Belsen and of the frozen horror of the Russian Front; part of our higher education had been dedicated to techniques of killing and destruction; we were not going to lose sleep because the Japanese homeland had taken its turn. If anything, at the time, remembering the kind of war it had been, and the kind of people we, personally, had been up against, we probably felt that justice had been done. But it was of small importance when weighed against the glorious fact that the war was over at last.”
- Describe the progress of Americans in the Pacific and the recession of the Japanese in the last 18 months of the war
- Compare and Contrast: Arguments for a “Germany First” policy and arguments for a “Pacific First” policy
- Explain and Expand: The strategic tensions between the United States Army and Navy over the direction of the war
- What was the American goal for the Pacific while the fight against Germany was ongoing?
- How did the war in the Pacific change the nature of future naval warfare
- What role did air power play in the war for the Pacific? The war for Japan?
- In what ways were American soldiers drawn into the barbarization of warfare?
- In what ways did American soldiers resist the barbarization of warfare?
- Who was William Slim and what role did he play in the liberation of Burma?
- What was the strategic value of Iwo Jima and Okinawa in American plans?
- Why did Japan “fight on”? Why did the Japanese people “fight on”?
- Describe the Tokyo firebombing, the goal of the action and what it achieved
- Compare and Contrast: The battle of Iwo Jima and the battle of Okinawa
- Describe the events of August 1945 in the Pacific
Note: These questions will be explored in this entire section, not just this introduction.
Response / Thought Quotes
- “The government’s impact on families, communities, and businesses west of the mountains had far exceeded issues of relations with Indian peoples, significant as those were.”
- “This portion of the story opens on a world of a vast open and varied landscape; it closes on the increasing presence on the land of numbers of small settlements that represented the harbingers of American presence.”
- “Yet over the next decade, the influence of the federal government intruded into a wide range of areas that no one (least of all the Jeffersonians) could have anticipated at the turn of the century.”
- “As the influence of the federal government moved well beyond the issues of the Northwest and Land Ordinances, a curious contradiction emerged.”
- In what ways did the trans-Appalachian frontier “widen” in the period from 1795 to 1815?
- Compare and Contrast: Northern population growth and Southern population growth in the trans-Appalachian frontier in this period
- What was the defining characteristic(s) that separated northern and southern trans-Appalachia?
- Describe the trans-Appalachian river system and the role it played in migration and American development
- Affirm or Refute: “This portion of the story opens on a world of a vast open and varied landscape; it closes on the increasing presence on the land of numbers of small settlements that represented the harbingers of American presence.”
- Describe the process of expanding federal powers in the territories
- What influenced the Federal government when deciding to be either a “mediator” or an “advocate” in state / territory – tribal relationships?
- Describe the provisions, impact and unintended consequences of the Northwest Ordinance, The Southwest Ordinance and the Land Ordinance of 1784 and 1785
- In what ways did international affairs impact trans-Appalachian development?
- Who was General Anthony Wayne? Describe the Northwest Indian War and the significance of the Battle of Fallen Timbers
- Who was John Jay? Describe the Jay Treaty and the role he played in the settlement of the trans-Appalachian frontier
- Who was Thomas Pinkney? Describe the Pinckney’s Treaty / Treaty of San Lorenzo and the role Pinkney played in the settlement of the trans-Appalachian frontier
- Explain and Expand: “This confrontation over land began with words and by the end of the decade had moved to violence.”
- Compare and Contrast: The Native American tribes of the Northwest and Southwest territories
- Who was William Henry Harrison?
- Describe the evolution of the area of the Indiana Territory from 1795-1815
- Describe the Haitian Revolution?
- In what ways did the Haitian Revolution impact the trans-Appalachian frontier?
- How did the immediate presence of slavery impact the characteristics of southern trans-Appalachia?
- How did the lack of an immediate presence of slavery impact the characteristics of northern trans-Appalachia?
- What were the advances in transportation and communication that continued to fuel trans-Appalachian migration?
Articles and Resources
Notes: This chapter is effectively a continuation of Chapters 3-5, 16 and the material from there should be considered while reading this chapter.
Response / Thought Quotes
- “In sum, the Great Plains exacerbated the paradoxical impact of colonialism so manifest throughout North America. In general, the effects of colonial intrusion—germs, weeds, livestock, soldiers, missionaries, and trade—spread far and wide, extending beyond imperial control and affecting native peoples in wildly unanticipated ways.”
- “Their own word lakota means “allies,” but their foes, including the French, called them the Sioux, which meant “enemies.”
- “The warriors rode three times round the village; and as each noted champion passed, the old women would scream out his name, to honor his bravery, and excite the emulation of the younger warriors. Little urchins, not two years old, followed the warlike pageant with glittering eyes, and gazed with eager admiration at the heroes of their tribe.”
- “Holding a bow in one hand and an arrow in the other, [the mothers] sang near the bodies of their sons an air both gay and martial, thanking them for having given them the satisfaction of seeing them die at the hands of the enemy while fighting valiantly for the defense of their country, a death a thousand times preferable to the fate of him who on a wretched mat expires consumed by some deadly disease.”
- “They told me this Reason for it, that they had lost the Use of their Bows and Arrows by having Guns so long amongst them, and when they were disappointed of Powder [&] Shott, … their Enemies found They had no Guns to Defend themselves with [and] made Warr Upon them & Destr[o]y[e]d above 100 Tents [of] Men, Women, and Children.”
- “By combining Hispanic horses with French guns, many native bands reinvented themselves as buffalo-hunting nomads, which brought them unprecedented prosperity and power.”
- “Possessing a spiritual rather than a scientific imagination, the natives believed that the buffalo swarmed like bees from subterranean hives every spring, and that their annual numbers depended primarily upon human rituals that managed their relationship with the supernatural.”
- “As with all Native American religions, the villagers subscribed to a profound dualism that reflected upon the alternation of death and life, construction and destruction, reproduction and disintegration in their nature”
- Explain and Expand: “As with all Native American religions, the villagers subscribed to a profound dualism that reflected upon the alternation of death and life, construction and destruction, reproduction and disintegration in their nature”
- React and Respond: “Here in short, is gathered everything possible for trade and barter with these barbarians in exchange for deer and buffalo hides, and what is saddest, in exchange for Indian slaves, men and women, small and large, a great multitude of both sexes, for they are gold and silver and the richest treasure for the governors, who gorge themselves first with the largest mouthfuls from this table, while the rest eat the crumbs.”
- Explain and Expand: “Hispanic New Mexico depended for survival upon both alliance with the Pueblo peoples of the Rio Grande and war with the nomads of the western Great Plains and southern Rocky Mountains.”
- In what ways did the oppression of Native Americans impact Hispanic New Mexico?
- What was the nature and purpose of the settlements at El Paso and Santa Fe?
- How did the Spanish view their settlements in El Norte and the Southern plains?
- Describe the three-way competition between the British, French and Spanish to exploit Native Americans
- Compare and Contrast: The French and British interaction with Native Americans in the Northern Plains
- Compare and Contrast: The French and Spanish interaction with Native Americans in the Southern Plains and El Norte
- Describe how the manipulations of Native Americans by European settlements impacted their societies?
- Describe the role firearms, horses and alcohol played in the destruction of pre contact Native American society?
- Describe the purposes Europeans had in introducing firearms into Native American society?
- What policies in New Spain made El Norte and the Southern Plains a trade “backwater” in the Spanish Empire.
- What role did Vera Cruz play in Spanish Mexico?
- Explain and Expand: “the Great Plains exacerbated the paradoxical impact of colonialism so manifest throughout North America”
- Compare and Contrast: The Southern Great Plains and the Northern Plains
- Compare and Contrast: The Eastern Great Plains and the Western Plains
- Compare and Contrast: Nomadic Native Americans and stationary Native Americans
- Describe the river systems of the Great Plains
- Compare and Contrast: the role of the Missouri River and the role of the Mississippi River in European settlement
- Who were the Genízaros and what role did they play in relations between Native Americans and Europeans on the Great Plains and El Norte?
- Compare and Contrast: African Slavery with Native American Slavery
- Compare and Contrast: French Native American slavery and Spanish Native American slavery
- How did Hispanic peoples develop in El Norte and the Great Plains?
- Compare and Contrast: Relations between Europeans and the Pueblo and the Apache
- Explain and Expand: “Two horses and a few knives could usually purchase an adolescent Indian girl—the preferred commodity of the slave trade. Male captives were worth half as much.”
- Compare and Contrast: How gender impacted Native American slavery and African American slavery
- React and Respond: “Their own word lakota means “allies,” but their foes, including the French, called them the Sioux, which meant “enemies.””
- Explain and Expand: “The horse-centered way of life proved a mixed blessing for women.”
- Explain and Expand: “Environmentally, the horse-centered way of life was highly unstable.”
- Compare and Contrast: The Spanish Mission system in California, New Mexico and Texas
- Describe “Missions”, “Presidios” and “Pueblos”
- How did Spanish colonialism change in Alta California, El Norte and the Southern Plains after the 1770s?
- Explain and Expand: “In contrast to the aggressive French traders, who ventured deep into Indian country, the British factors cautiously stuck to their posts beside the bay”
Articles and Resources