Thomas Bruscino is an author the book “A Nation Forged in War,” where he discusses the events America faced and went through during a time where Americans were prejudice towards another’s religion, race, and ethnicity. The united states were a divided place with no hope to change until the U. S. was brought to war in the early 1940s. but how did Americans come to tolerate others religion, race, and ethnicity? Bruscino answers the question in 7 sections of his book. He writes how Americans would not vote for a president based on his religion, how your religion and origin would affect the way you got a job of into a chool.
How soldiers left America to find a new world without intolerance and prejudice. How the soldiers came to love one another and not care for their religion or ethnicity. And how soldiers came back to the states with a new mindset on how America should be from this point on. Many see the events of the war as tragic and some of the most horrifying events in world history, and they were, but if it wasn’t for the events of the war America might be a different place in 2017. Civil rights events after the war were influenced by the tolerance the soldiers brought with them.
So, it’s clear to say world war 2 hanged the way Americans viewed tolerance towards other religion, race and ethnicity and shaped the new American that it is today. In this case, the America the soldiers left behind would be changed forever when they returned. Before the U. S. entering the war in on December 17, 1941 the United States was a different place. This was the time during racial times where your religion, ethnicity, and race mattered and depending on your race you were discriminated against.
One major example came from the 1928 presidential election between democratic candidate Alfred smith and republican candidate Herbert hoover. During this election “the candidacy of al smith exposed nearly all the hate and distrust of a people spread across a vast continent who came from all over the world, worshiped different gods in different ways, and were held together in their own estimation by lined on a map and not much more. ” President candidate all smith chances of becoming president were terminated because of the American peoples view on his roman catholic religion.
The American public didn’t want him as president because the feared that his religion wouldn’t allow him to meet he needs of the U. S. constitution. “claims, teachings nd principles of the roman catholic church are antagonistic to and irreconcilable with the fundamental principles set forth in the constitution of our country concerning the separation of church and state. ”
Smith wrote in an open letter saying “I recognize no power in the institutions of my church to interfere with the operations of the constitution of the united states or the enforcement of the law of the land. But this was not enough to save his chance to become president. With this issue hovering over him his candidate used it to his advantage to win the. Instead of the situation to help stop prejudice in the hildren, Bruscino writes, “ethnic and religious prejudice was taught by older playmates, adults and especially parents. ” Before entering the war all the soldiers knew were the prejudice world they grew up in.
From here in when entering the war soldiers “were worse than the average American when it came to ethnic and religious tolerance. With this being true it was then the army what eventually brought the country together. As the U. S. began to prepare for the world many did not want people from different regions and religions to join the war in fear of having them betray the U. S. o their foreign land. But the U. S. elective services didn’t care what religion you were if you were an American and wanted to join the war you were welcome to if only then you would gain citizenship and loyalty as an American. But the prejudice continued and certain religions were bought up for question for examples the Jews.
Brucscino wrote “an officer at the school of the line at fort Leavenworth even wrote a paper arguing that Jews despised physical labor and lacked any patriotism and thus had no real business in the military. ” There was a problem when allowing immigrants join the war and that heir speaking skills. To solve this situation the U. S. government designed programs to help them learn English. Many were sent to Camp Upton to learn English and citizenship. As the soldiers adjust to their new life at war many issues of religion still arose.
One examples being taking off time for religious holidays. Furthermore, Brucscino continues to write now on the induction to the army. He writes that millions of men flock to join the war, but some joined through the selective services. Burcscino brings to light how some people question the war and its intentions. “is this really my war? For whose benefit do I suffer?. for whom or what are we wasting our lives and bodies? ” one man said regarding the war. Regardless “they came by the millions-men and boys married and unmarried, fathers and the childless.
Brucscinow writes that the when entering the war the men has to receive examination from a doctor and regarding our race or religion that didn’t matter the doctor everyone was subject to them. This in a way bonded and brought the soldiers together wen being stripped of their clothing and standing naked next to one another didn’t matter that you were different from each ther you were all subjected to the same treatment. Everyone was subjected to the same living conditions as everyone else. There were no doors on the showers, communal areas, and bedrooms everything you did was seen by solider in their infantries.
The men also received the same haircuts and clothing to make them all look and feel the same. with the huge diversity in the war the men had really no choice but to get along with one another and form a bond regardless of their background. They gave each other nicknames, made fun of their origin in all good fun and able to put their intolerance behind them. Bruscino states that in some infantries black and white soldiers were segregated this just brought them a step back. But most of the men continued to get along. the war was boring time for them since some never even went into battle.
A lot of the men spend their times board. There was little of nothing to do. In fact, Brucscino wrote that “most of the soldiers in the service forces never heard a shot fired in anger. ” With the down time they had many started to read more and the ones who were illiterate read comic books they grew up reading. With the downtime, the men had a loss of them were missing the touch f a women. They shared this in common that everyone wanted the sexual desire. When some of the men were deployed in other countries they explored their desire and had sex with the women and hired prostitutes.
Going into these other countries they men were exposed to new living conditions where white women were together with black men. the soldiers also bonded with playing poker and card games. They were putting their differences of intolerance toward religion and race behind them and starting to change the way they sow life. With this many man didn’t want to make friends for the reason being it’s easier o not get close to someone than get close to someone and then to lose them in battle and be heartbroken.
With the troops continuing in war something that they all once judge other for was bringing them together. Religion. With more and more men dying the soldiers looked for religion to help them get through the war even ones that weren’t religious found themselves attending mass. This bonded many of the men and even some men joining another’s religious services. In his book Brucscino write how the troops became more like family all sharing a common goal to fight the enemy for their country America.