The Cold War

The Cold War Some say that it is useless to speak of world peace or world law or world disarmament – and that it will be useless until the leaders of the Soviet Union adopt a more enlightened attitude. I hope they do. I believe we can help them to do it. But I also believe that we must reexamine our own attitude – as individuals and as a Nation – for our attitude is as essential as theirs. And every graduate of this school, every thoughtful citizen who despairs of war and wishes to bring peace, should begin by looking inward – by examining his own attitude toward the possibilities of peace, toward the Soviet Union, toward the course of the cold war and toward freedom and peace here at home.President John F. Kennedy, American University Speech, June 10, 1963 The Cold War was a time in American History during the twentieth century where the Communist nations were fighting against the non-Communist nations. However, the main countries involved, or the ones leading the two sides were the United States and Russia.

The United States led the fight against Communist nations, like Russia. But these intense rivalries didnt just go on in the type of government that should be used or in who could develop the most advanced and most powerful nuclear weapon of the time. This rivalry went into the culture of American societies. The Russians were always being viewed as the toughest rival and the team to beat according to the US.It is similar to how teams think of the defending champions in a sport. The team playing the defending champions wants to come out hyped up and with their A-game every time they are competing with them. Another impact it had on the American society was how people started acting and thinking. In many of the movies and television shows of the time, most people wouldnt have noticed, but the directors and producers were hiding subliminal messages in them.

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Some of them depicting how awful the Russians were or how supreme the Americans were.But was American society affected by the Cold War, or was America just trying to make their society better to show it off to the other countries? Basically, did Americas way of life and economy during the cold war improve because they wanted it to show it off or was it a necessity? The Cold War did affect the Americans way of life. America was a young nation and it was just beginning to develop into a dominant country. It first really just established itself as a world power during the two world wars. Therefore, the cold war was a time in which Americans were trying to get a name for themselves by showing how great, life in their country was. Shows like Leave It to Beaver and Father Knows Best portrayed the stereotypical American families.

Even though everyone knows that there is no such thing as a perfect family, people still enjoyed watching these types of shows. Commercials, or shows like I Love Lucy, showing the stereotypical woman or housewife in the kitchen were another way of showing things off. It is really very difficult to always own the latest models of things coming out.

So a woman in a kitchen with all the new appliances is really unlikely. This was another way of showing off to other countries how life was or wasnt. However, the show I Love Lucy, mainly showed how much freedom a woman had when her husband wasnt home. Lucy constantly did foolish things that werent exactly the ways women were supposed to have been behaving. Once again, the United States was portraying how great life was in America compared to other countries. The majority of the television shows during the 1950s showed no poverty, death, ethnic mixing, or racial tension.It just presented the perfect world.

Juxtaposed, it could be argued that the Cold War didnt help shape the American society. American life could have just formed like how it was supposed to happen; like human nature. When the men all came back from World War II, many women lost their jobs and werent as active as they were during the time of WWII. The jobs were all given back to the men, and women were once again treated very delicately.

They went back to their old ways of life when a womans life wasnt supposed to be strenuous.That then caused the emergence of the in-the-house-all-day housewife. The idea of the housewife then became more exaggerated and led to the creation of the various commercials portraying the perfect lifestyle.

All of these reasons point to the society being shaped naturally just by the way things were turning out. The cold war affected all parts of the American society including politics. The major political event during the time was the Red Scare.

The Red Scare started back a few years before the 1920s and went away relatively for awhile during World War II. However, as soon as the war ended, the hysteria over communism went away a little bit. The Reds, as communists were called, were seen as a danger to the United States and their citizens. The Red Scare brought out one of the most politically repressive periods in U.

S. history because it took away many freedoms of expression, political activism and press. It kept on going, however, due to the American communists, communist sympathizers, and citizens trying to achieve social justice.Most of these people were intellectuals (writers and academics), government officials, political figures, teachers, college professors, and entertainers. The main effect it had on Americans was that off fear. Many Americans were afraid of a communist take-over and all the violence that followed it.

Most of these fears were portrayed in science-fiction movies, like Invasion of the Body Snatchers, The Thing, Invaders from Mars, and The Blob. These films all presented traits similar to either the communists or the stereotypical description of communists.In The Blob, the blob shows how the communism is spreading slowly, but effectively over everything. Like it is creeping through relatively unnoticed. In Invasion of the Body Snatchers, the aliens act like the communists in that they possess similar goals, which are to take over the towns military, government, and other types of authority.

These are similar to what Anti-Communist Americans believed that the Reds were trying to do. All of these movies also show how directors and producers tried to show Americans hidden messages about communism. Therefore, it is likely that the directors were Anti-Communist. Another aspect of entertainment influenced by the cold war was music.

Rock and roll was the most popular style of music at the time and there were some songs that werent really dealing with the cold war in general, but there were some songs in which the topic of the song dealt with a situation in the cold war. Its typical audience was teenagers and young adults, similar to the listeners of rap and hip-hop in todays society. Elvis Presley, the King of Rock and Roll, was probably the most popular rock and roll star of the time. His music was different from others because he was the first to combine both black and white sound. However, his dancing did bring on some criticism from the older generation of people because they perceived it as obscene and indecent.Elvis, though not directly in his songs, was influenced by the Cold War. According to his Federal Bureau of Investigation file, he was an undercover informant against radicals he saw as undermining the nation.

American History Essays.

The Cold War

The Cold War Harry Truman was the 33rd President of the United States from about the end of World War 2 and from the beginning of the Cold War in 1945 until he retired in January, 1952. Harry Truman was born in 1884, in Missouri. In April 1945 Truman assumed office as the President on the death of Franklin D. Roosevelt.

From the 16th of July to the 2nd of August the Potsdam conference was held in Potsdam, Berlin.Truman and Stalin and Churchill attended the conference until Churchill was beaten in an election by Atlee and replaced. Truman was worried about this encounter with Stalin as he was not very well informed on him, as Roosevelt had not involved him in political issues therefore he lacked the knowledge on how to handle Stalin. The main issue at the conference was on Germany.

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They established the principle occupations, which were to de-nazify,de-militerise, de-centeralise de-industrialise and democrasise all of Germany. Germany’s reparations were decided. They also established that Germany’s future would be jointly worked out, no separate development without consultation of forgien ministers. Also at Potsdam the Polish borders were defined, and Russia agreed entry to the Pacific War.

Truman distrusted the Russians before the conference and by the end of the conference in August Truman had developed an even larger distrust towards Russia. He felt the Russians had been given too much at Yalta and he was adopting a harder attitude. He also felt that with the power he held with the Atomic bomb, USSR were under control. The relationship between the superpwers worsened considerably at Potsdam. On the 6th of August 1945 Truman authorised an Atomic bomb to be dropped on Hiroshima, a city in Japan and another in Nagasaki, two days later, they caused horrendous damage, and many thousands of people died.After the bombs were dropped US troops occupied Japan not allowing any other forces in. Truman had told Stalin little about the bomb, first informing him at Potsdam and when he authorised the drop, he had not consulted or warned Stalin, this angered him as he had wanted to gain some Japanese territory before the end of the war and the tension began to build.

The rise of two new “superpowers”developed after the war, the USA and the USSR, both wanting to be the more powerful nation. There was a rising tension between Truman and Stalin, as Truman had a different attitude to the USSR and Stalin than Roosevelt had previously. Roosevelts ideas to give USSR a large post-war reconstruction loans, were dropped by Truman as he was not going to give USSR any economic assistance, as it was a threat to communist expansion.Tension contiued to build through the rest of 1945. When Truman spoke to Molotov the Soviet foreign minister, he did not express any agreement with USSR in having a pro-communist government in Poland. Truman failed to see how important Poland was to USSR, leaving an increasingly angered Stalin. 1945 also saw the beginning of the arms race as USA held the only atomic bombs.

In 1946 the USA proposed that the United Nations should assume control of atomic energy and research, but the USSR rejected the proposal on the grounds that this would enable the USA to maintain its monopoly over atomic weapons. America’s sole possesion to the atomic bomb ended in 1949 when the USSR had developed their own atomic bomb.1947 saw the beginning of the Truman doctrine, it’s main aim was to assist countries which were threatened by commuist expansion. Truman sent a message to the US congress, pledging American support for ‘free peoples who are resisting attempted subjugation by armed minorities or by outside pressures’.

(dictionary of 20th centuary..). prompted by the need to give military and economic aid to Greece and Turkey, the Truman doctrine marked a change to positive anti-communism on the part of the administration. On the 5th of June1947 General Marshall, offered American finiancial aid for a programme of European recovery, on a condition that the European countries themselves took the first steps towards economic collaboration. The plan was supprt by the west but the Russian foreign minister,Molotov rejected it. After long consulation the Western powers organised a conference for July ’47, the OEEC was set up and this organisation, which stands for Organisation for European Economic cooperation consisted of 18 European countries and USA and Canada.

The OEEC administered Marshall Aid,otherwise known as the Marshall Plan which totalled 17 billion dollars, it stimulated the speedy recovery of Europe from the disturbance of war. The Presidential Elections of 1948 saw a re-election of Truman against Dewey which confounded all predictions of Trumans ability, as he won convincingly. 1949 saw the introduction of the ‘four point programme’, or Point Four as it came to be called, it’s idea was to be a broad programme aimed at giving aid to under developed countries.

Although Truman was very enthuiastic about this, his Secretary of State, Dean Acheson did not support this idea. Acheson offered absolute loyalty and an appreciation of the Presidents requirments, surpassing any of Trumans other Secretaries of State.(Man of the people :p510). Instead of trying to talk Truman out of it, he dragged it through the planning process and let it fade in Congress. In the end, it recieved 26.

9 million in Sept 1950, unfortunately for Truman this was hardly enough to assist many countries to recover a country after war, let alone a large proportion of the under developed world.A North Atlantic treaty was signed on 4th April 1949, in Washington by 12 signatories of major Eastern European and North American states stating that they would provide mutual assistance should any one member be attacked, mainly directed at the threat of USSR . As a result the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation was set up, otherwise known as NATO. Truman worked hard to promote NATO, as the most dominant part of his policy to stop the spread of communism, was to give aid to under developed countries threatened by USSR. (World History;p618/ Dict of 20th..

;p305) In 1950 Truman authorised the US intervention into Korea and nominated Douglas Macarthur as commander-in-chief of the UN forces. When the Chinese communist troops entered North Korea Macarthur demanded forces to attack Chinese territory, Truman refused this advance and after Macarthur’s appeals to the people of the USA, Truman dismissed him to emphisise USA’s limited involvment in Korea in support of the UN. (Who did what?;p162) In 1951 Truman signed a mutual defence treaty with the Phillipines, after the US had given the them over 800 million US dollars in economic aid since 1946 to assist their development as a republic. (International affairs;p113) Also in 1951 the US drew up a draft peace treaty with Japan without consulting USSR. This was rejected by Stalin and accepted by the other western powers.

The Treaty was signed on the 8th of sept 1951 by 48 countries. It came into effect on the 28 April 1952, and at the same time the allied occupation of Japan officially ended. At the same time as the peace treaty a security pact was signed by the US and Japan, permitting US troops to stay in Japan until it was definite there was no threat to the region. Mainly in reference to the war in Korea. The over all affect of the treaty was to convert Japan into an ally of the USA. The conservative governments that prevailed in Japan after 1947 were anti-communist and pro-western.Truman thought it was imperitive that part of Japan’s forward defense system in the Pacific should be set up to help contain communist China.

(internat. affairs;p120) Truman realised the intellectual need to give up presidency, but the decision was emotionally difficult. He announced his decision on March 29th 1952 in a speech in Washington stating that he “shall not be a candidate for reelection” (man of the.

;p605). He concluded retirment after hearing Dwight D. Eisenhower was standing for election, although Truman was not Republican he supported Eisenhower who became his succeessor as president, previously Eisenhower had been the chief of staff in Washington and the supreme commander of NATO forces in Europe. In January 1953 Truman retired into private life in Independance, Missouri.Where he died on Dec 26th 1972 at the age of 90./ History.


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