Cold War Dbq Analysis

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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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