Rotarians Aspirations For Russia And China In The Post War Era Research Paper

2016 words - 9 pages

In 1944 during the course of World War II, Allied forces began to make significant progress against the Germans. With such encouraging progress on the military front, American professionals and businessman, namely those affiliated to Rotary International, began to look ambitiously into the post war era. Rotarians hoped to make lasting friendships and alliances with Allied powers specifically Russia and China. Rotarians wanted Americans to believe that people in Russia and China were not significantly different from Americans. Rotarians sought for a positive relationship with Russia and China because a friendship with these two emerging world powers would stimulate the American economy. America could take advantage of the untouched resources within Russia and China, as opposed to trading with war torn European nations. Drawing from the 1944 January and February editions of The Rotarian, Rotary International's official organ, I will argue that American Rotarians not only hoped Russia and China would follow American capitalistic ideology in the post-war era, but also aspired to encourage American trust in the Chinese and Russians in order to promote lucrative business opportunities.
As the United States began to emerge as a world power in 1944, many American began to become curious about other foreign powers. On the cover of the January edition of The Rotarian there is a picture of a Chinese child writing. Furthermore, on the cover of the February edition of The Rotarian there is a picture of Russian women harvesting lumber. The editor of the magazine states, how “everybody is interested in Russia these days, especially those attending Rotary’s institutes of international understanding, last month The Rotarian featured China; next week the spotlight shifts to the Americas.”[footnoteRef:1] This is important because The Rotarian was focusing the contents of its magazines on other parts of the world. The Rotarian was doing this because there was considerable interest by Americans to understand other parts of the world. This curiosity by Americans to learn about other countries occurred because of Americas emerging role as a world leader. Due to World War II the United States began to break away from isolationism and slowly became the center of world politics. This caused many Americans to become interested in other countries, such as the emerging powers of Russia and China. The Rotarian began to do segments on other parts of the world because Americans started to become interested in in its future role as a world leader and Rotarians foresaw the future power of China and Russia in the post-war era. [1: “Russianformation”, The Rotarian, February 1, 1944, 26. ]

In both the February and January edition of The Rotarian multiple articles address and attempt to reconcile the differences between China/Russia and the Americans. In the article “Understanding the Chinese”, Pearl Buck describes how “the greatest difference between orient and occident is...

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