The American War Against Fear World War II was a global war that lasted from 1939 to 1945, in which it encompassed the major nations in the world, including the United States of America. The aftermath of the war, in which the United States and its allied powers emerged victorious, should have marked a period of political tranquility. However this supposition proved incorrect, as the American ethos was ravaged by a state of political and military tension between the United States and the Soviet Union. More than a military conflict, the Cold War was an ideological war in which democracy and communism clashed. The Cold War fears of the American people, reflected in the mass hysteria behind the Red Scare and McCarthyism, was entrenched in the …show more content…
Reflection of this conflict was apparent in the American ethos, in which Americans feared that if “world communism captur[ed] any American state…a new and perilous front…will increase the danger to the entire free world and require even greater sacrifices from the American people” (Document B). As illustrated by Eisenhower, “the hysteria” of communism propagating into American society and threatening the American way of life was a very prevalent fear at the forefront of the Cold War (Document A). McCarthyism, a system established by Senator Joseph McCarthy in which he made unsubstantiated accusations of subversion or treason to America, acted as the culmination of this hysteria, directly reflecting the sentiments driving the American people. Eisenhower did not engage in any domestic policies to quell these “multiplicity of fears” (Document A). Instead he compounded them with legislation such as the “National System of Interstate and Defense Highways…connect[ing] 209 of the 247 cities having a population of 50,00 more and [serving as] the country’s principal…defense” (Document D). As apparent in Document A, Eisenhower acknowledged the fact that “there is too much hysteria,” yet failed to successfully placate these concerns. Not only were these fears unsuccessfully addressed and directed at the …show more content…
As apparent in Document C, in which the quintessential “nuclear family” sits in a bunker, concerns about nuclear war stood at the front of the American ethos. This fear of nuclear war was also reflected in Document E, in which the question is posed of whether or not the “U.S. [should] take the first blow?” This question of “whether a policy of accepting the first blow may be the best one” became intertwined within the minds of the America people, heightening American fears. President Eisenhower, while addressing the issue of the Soviet Union and its subsequent tensions through nearly doubling “defense spending…of government spending” (Document H). However, the Eisenhower administration failed to successfully mollify these fears, apparent in the inauguration of President John F. Kennedy, who pledged not to “dare to tempt [challenging nations] with weakness” (Document I). In the wake of World War II, the American morale was ravaged by fears of communist pervading American values and security. This was deepened by the Eisenhower administration’s inability to address and placate American concerns towards the expansion of communism, the apparently immutable precipice of nuclear war, and the displacement of democracy. The Cold War served as distinguishing feature in the American ethos and served as a defining moment in American
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Instantly following the end of the Second World War, the fears of the American people rapidly began accumulating as the mistrust between, the United States and the Soviet Union intensified. During World War II, tension between the two world powers began to emerge through ideological differences such as political beliefs and contrasting views regarding the future of Poland that took place at both the Yalta conference and Potsdam. This lasting skepticism only increased as the Soviets started to become more advanced through nuclear weapons and developments in space technology. Despite Eisenhower’s acknowledgment of these widespread fears, he was not particularly successful in addressing them. The American people lived in constant fear of the spread
Ike feared nuclear war and did not want America using all its resources to prepare for war (p. 60). Eisenhower personally feels that nuclear disarmament is crucial to preventing a nuclear war. Yet he is compelled to stay ahead of America’s adversaries in the nuclear weapons race.
Post War Document Based Question Historical Context: As World War II came to an end, a new conflict emerged between the United States and the Soviet Union. This conflict, known as the Cold War, affected many regions of the world, including Europe, Asia, and Latin America. Task: Using information from the documents and your knowledge of global history, Write the questions that follow each document in Part A.
By the end of World War 2, the concern of Soviet Union (communism) taking over the world started to build up. When the Cold War started in 1947, many major events were taken in different countries. Unlike the Soviet, the American also fought the war in their homeland. U.S government afraid that the communist ideology is going drive American freedom, liberty, and right away. President Truman established a Federal employee Loyalty program for the employers to take loyalty oath to United States.
When World War II ended, the United States rejoiced with what they assumed their victory would determine; total peace, the discontinuation of Communism, the return of all the dearly missed soldiers, and greater equality for all, especially in the workplace. Much to the dismay of many citizens at home during the war, these aspirations were not exactly what they expected. In the near short years right after the war, there was much prosperity and many were perfectly content, but in these years, many had difficult times with the changes that occurred after the war. With these rough times came many fears of the conditions of the country, but many of these fears were greatly calmed through the work of the President Eisenhower in the 1950s. In the
Sam Roberts in the article A Decade of Fear argues that McCarthyism turned Americans against each other. Roberts supports his claim by illustrating fear, describing betrayal, and comparing it to other United States internal conflicts. The author’s purpose is to point out a vulnerable period of American history in order to demonstrate that Americans felt prey to McCarthy’s negative propaganda. The author writes in a cynical tone for an educated audience. I strongly agree with Robert’s claim.
In the 1950s Americans feared Communism was approaching. The Soviet Union was becoming more and more powerful everyday, and the thought of a nuclear war was in the back of everyone’s mind. Some European countries were
After the Second World War, America and the Soviet Union were involved in a political war, although no actual combat took place, there was always impending war hanging over the Americans and Soviets. The growing power within the Soviet Union stirred both government and citizen awareness of the increasing threat to the cultural well-being of the United States. When reviewing the powers of the Soviet Union George Kennan stated, “The Soviet Union is a political force committed to the belief that there is no way to get along with the United States, and they believe it is desirable and necessary that the internal harmony of our society be disrupted…” (Kennan Document 1). The Soviets wanted to destroy the balance of the United States government
In the 1950’s the cold war had begun. The fear of retaliation from communists was at large. Some Americans believed that communists were amongst them plotting. This lead to a dark time in history when American opportunity became limited for many. Most rights were limited, normal life was disrupted, and the most necessary human right may have been taken.
The Red Scare Analysis During the rise of World War II, the United States and the Soviet Union had been brought into an alliance due to both of their desires to defeat Nazi, Germany. Although the Soviet Union’s aggressive, antidemocratic policy towards Europe created tensions even before World War II had ended. That being said, they tolerated each other as much as they could but weren’t exactly friends. The United States government was initially hostile to the Soviet leaders for their decision to take Russia out of World War I and was opposed to a state ideologically based on communism. The main conflict between them was their inability to agree about communism.
In the 1950s and early 1960s, communism was America’s biggest fear. Many were afraid that the communist ideologies of the Soviet Union were a threat to the thriving capitalistic democracy of America. As communism continued to spread throughout Europe and other parts of the world, it became America’s duty to prevent the political theory from growing further and eventually reaching the western hemisphere. From 1954 to 1961, the United States established several policies to contain communism, such as the Truman Doctrine, Brinkmanship, The Interstate System, and others due to fear of communism from both the government and the general public.
During the Cold War, hysteria in the U.S. ensued over the perceived threat of Communism. This mass hysteria became known as ‘The Red Scare’ due to Communist’s loyalty to the red flag. These fears were not totally unfounded, as the USSR had been spying inside America for a long time. The Red Scare became influential to world history by causing leaders to pass acts that would not have been passed otherwise that reduced the Communist Party to a shadow of its past self..
The time period from 1945-1980 extends from the end of WWII to the years before the Reagan era. The end of the war, the most deadly in history, brought about a period of reconstruction and change in America. This can be seen in efforts to revitalize the failing economy and a greater push for civil rights. Despite these efforts to lift up the nation, this time period was shadowed by the effects of the Cold War, which lasted from 1947 to 1991 (Britannica). The United States’ attempt to control the spread of communism led to competition between the US and the USSR in almost every aspect of life.
John F. Kennedy, a former president of the United States, delivered his “Cuban Missile Crisis” speech on October 22, 1962, to the United States citizens and captives in Cuba. Those people were terrified of a nuclear missile attack during the Cold War time period. Due to the primary use of logos in Kennedy’s “Cuban Missile Crisis” speech, he informs his audience about the type of missiles in Cuba and the steps to be taken to respond to the Soviet Union’s placement of missiles in Cuba. This would hopefully alleviate some of the fear of the citizens of the United States. He shows pathos by continuing to ease the citizens’ fear of a missile attack by showing compassion towards the people.
The American people feared the spread of communism and nuclear war in the aftermath of the Second World War, while President Eisenhower addressed these fears by having strong domestic and foreign policies. The fear of communism carved a deep sense of mistrust in American people. They believed anything that was said and blindly followed people who were in political power without any basis of evidence. The fear of communism created a sense of “hysteria” (Document A) within the general public and even in people in government.