What is the purpose of a persuasive argument?
A persuasive argument is meant to persuade the reader. By the end of the written argument, the reader should both understand your argument and agree with your conclusions. The best persuasive arguments address possible concerns that the reader might have in the body of the essay.
Why have Europeans gone to so much trouble to form an economic union over the past few decades?
Europeans generally want economic unity and interdependence for two primary reasons. The first reason involves history. European countries have fought each other for centuries for a huge number of reasons. World War II, however, was by far the worst. The technology had advanced to the point where the numbers of people killed (both soldiers and civilians) were exponentially higher than in any other past conflict. One way to preempt future military conflicts is to make the nations involved dependent on each other. The second reason is non-European actors. After World War II, the United States emerged as a military and economic powerhouse. The sheer amount of natural resources combined with its large population was overwhelming to many smaller European countries. The Soviet Union also had a production block and began making alliances with former European colonies in Asia during the same period. They were unable to compete economically with the Americans, and the Soviets were growing more powerful all the time. The nations of Europe realized that they needed to ally with each other in order to maintain their economic (and perhaps political) independence.
How did the foreign relations policies of the United States shift as a result of World War II? What are some of the reasons that this happened?
Prior to World War I, the philosophy of the American government was to mind its own business. While the United States was often involved in internal and border conflicts (such as the Mexican-American War), American troops did not generally leave American geographic areas of interest. In fact, even the Spanish-American War was about gaining territory for the United States rather than interfering in the affairs of other countries. While large, the United States was not the most powerful nation in the world prior to 1914. After World War I, however, the situation was different. The traditional colonial empires had collapsed. The general philosophy of many Americans still seemed to be to stay out of foreign affairs. There was a move to protect American manufacturers from foreign imports, and there was a general move to avoid getting involved in any future foreign wars at all. With the end of World War II the United States changed its philosophy. After demonstrating its military power by dropping atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the United States was no longer allowed to stay off the world stage. The non-punitive actions taken by the United States in post-war Europe and Japan gave America a reputation as a benevolent international leader. The people of the United States also realized that they could no longer remain detached from world affairs after the full extent of the Third Reich's agenda became known. The founding of the United Nations and the placement of the United States as one of the five permanent members of the Security Council cemented its primacy on the international scene.