In a time when the United States started to the assistance of the Allies through the Cash and Carry Policy to the begging of the long and harsh Cold War, the United States attempted to practice isolationism. It is in this context that America's policy of isolationism would be put to the test and America ultimately would be tossed into another world conflict. The two significant causes that lead to the failure of American isolationism were pressure from abroad and popular opinion in favor of the war. One significant cause for America’s policy of isolationism failing was pressure from abroad. (A) Pressure from abroad ended American isolationism because America was angered by Japan's direct attack and the fear of the Allies losing the war.
Stanley Kubrick’s Dr Strangelove satirises the cold war and the actions of politicians during times of worldwide fear. The characters General Jack Ripper and Buck Turgidson reflect the drastically absurd political mindset of America in the 1950’s and 60’s. Strangelove satirises the idea of Mutually Assured Destruction- the notion that a country having more nuclear weapons than their enemy and being able to cataclysmically destroy them, brings peace and safety. Strangelove communicates this through its ridiculous narrative. It comedically portrays a series of unfortunate events that lead to the extinction of the human race whilst also giving verisimilitude to the situation.
The Cold War soon begins after the end of WW2 when Truman, the successor of Roosevelt became president in 1945 due to ideological differences between the two superpowers, United States and the Soviet Union. The Cold War had a massive impact on US politics as could be seen through the creation of political consensus between the Republican and Democrats in relation to the policy of containment that includes the Marshall plan, the establishment of the NATO, the NSC-68 report and also the Truman Doctrine as the response of George Kennan’s containment theory, which caused US politics to be specifically targeted at the Soviet Union. While there are political consensus to contain Communism, the Cold War had primarily polarised politics when McCarthy
Hitler in particular saw communism as a threat to Nazism (Fascism) because of the fact that many of the principles of nazism contrasted to those of communism. For instance the factor of race in Nazi ideology played a part in the breaking of the pact because of the fact that nazis glorified the aryan race and wanted to expand their influence throughout Europe, their principles of race caused the dehumanization of other races including the Baltic race in Russia, explained in Hitlers Mein Kampf. Before opperation Barbarosa on September 1940, Germany invited the USSR to join the Tripartite Pact, an alliance between the Axis powers in Europe including Japan. The pact was not signed by the USSR because of the comments that German Minister of Propaganda Joseph Goebbels made towards Russians, which he described as ‘Bolshevik subhumans’ . This showcases how the ribbentrop-molotov pact was merely a strategy from Germany to invade the USSR in a surprise manner rather than to make a lasting alliance, the fact that Germany saw russians as “subhuman” insinuates that Germany had no means in having peace with the USSR because of their inferiority
I strongly agree with Robert’s claim. McCarthyism caused Americans to turn on each other due to fear, unawareness, and propaganda. Clearly due to McCarthyism, fear evoked betrayal among Americans in the 1950’s. One reason McCarthyism sparked paranoia is due to the rapid rate of communism spreading
In the aftermath of World War II, growing tensions and rivalry between the United States and the Soviet Union resulted in the Cold War. Having lasted for much of the second half of the 20th century, this state of economical, political and propaganda-based confront, with a lack of military conflict and open hostility, is considered a turning point in modern history. The root cause of the conflict was fundamentally the belief in completely opposing ideologies. The confrontation between capitalism and communism led to an international power struggle that left the world on the brink of disaster. To counter Soviet geopolitical hegemony in the context of the Cold War, Harry S. Truman, President of the United States, developed the Truman Doctrine,
Contextualization and introduction The Vietnam War served as a major turning point of the Cold War, during which the American public split in its support of the conflict. As a proxy in the superpower conflict between the United States (US) and the Soviet Union (USSR), the US entered to support the South Vietnamese who were at war against the communist North. To support the South and its Army of the Republic of Vietnam (ARVN), the United States sent military advisory, conducted airstrikes, and committed ground forces with the hope of curbing the growth of communist ideology in the Asian sphere of influence through a communist defeat. However, the American military ultimately did not apply full force against the Northern combatants under the People’s Army of Vietnam (PAVN/NVA) and Viet Cong (VC). Despite investing considerable quantities of human and material resources to support the South’s fight over control of Vietnam, the focus often diverted to concurrent threats such as West Germany.
America’s fear of communism stretched beyond the western hemisphere; the Domino Theory became popular in the 1960s as the Vietnam War was increasingly seen as a threat to democracy in Asia. The Domino Theory is the belief that a communist victory in one nation would start a “chain reaction of communist takeovers in neighboring states.”(Domino Theory) In the Vietnam War, this theory was used as a justification for American involvement. Communism, as understood by the American people, was a threat to peace and liberty. It was seen as a “major problem confronting the people of the United States and free peoples everywhere” because of its “distorted shadows of their capitalist equivalents” where the people are seen as machines with no other purpose than to work. (Nixon, Richard M.) Another example of liberty would be the Civil Rights Movement.
In his time as President, he had had to deal with the Quasi-War, “America 's first major international crisis,” between Britain, France, and America (Florence). This meant that Adams had to make many major decisions in regards to the nation’s commerce and defense. “Some extreme Federalists were ready for a fight, but President Adams disappointed them, refusing to press war against Virginia or France (Florence).” His decision angered many
Many Americans post-world war II were afraid of the spread of communism because of their belief in the domino theory, if one country falls then the rest will too. Under external and internal pressures such as the failure of the Potsdam conference Harry Truman adopted a foreign policy during the early years of the cold war ( the late 40’s) called containment. The objective was to stop the spread of communism around the world by creating military alliances such as NATO ,and providing aid to unstable/weak countries through the Marshall Plan. Unfortunately, like many other U.S foreign policies it was effective at times, but also dreadfully ineffective. In order to combat the continuous spread of communism, Truman passed the Truman doctrine, which allowed for foreign intervention in countries affected by Communism.
He became the first President to use the atomic bomb when he ordered the attack of Japan`s two cities Hiroshima, and Nagasaki. The weight of his decision, debated as reasonable or otherwise, understandably troubled him, and influenced his choices leaning toward the reduction of arms; for both the United States and the Soviet Union. He took actions similar to Carl von Clausewitz`s ideas on limited warfare and force in his attempts to resolve Cold War problems, though there was never proof to that he was directly inspired by Clausewitz. Limited warfare would require the nations to withhold their power to a degree in order to maintain the health of society, and assure that the world would not receive any damage that it could not possibly recover from. The Soviets` did not agree to most of Truman`s suggestions to ease the tension, however.
The United States were strongly opposed to the Soviet Union and any other related party to the Soviet Union. The United States was currently in the Cold War with the Soviet Union because the United States feared the spread of Communism in the Americas, and its sister, socialism. The Sandinista government, which was a socialist government, was a communist party in the eyes of the Americans (Sullivan & Jordan). The spread of Communism into the Americans, previously in Cuba led the Americans to view the new communist party as a threat to their society and the many surrounding democratic nations. The United States, who were currently in state of tension with the Soviet Union and other Communist parties, known as the Cold War, were perturbed by the proximity of the emerging communist nation and felt the need to get involved.
Dean Rusk and Secretary of Defense Robert S. McNamara were both certain that a limited war approach was the only way the war could be fought in a time when the Communist threat was so intrusive and nuclear weapons so destructive (Rusk 246). However, Schelling strongly argued that the limited war theory had numerous flaws, primarily that the strategy was an academic rather than a military concept. This consequently resulted with the misconception of the dynamics of war (Herring #2, 4). Hence, the North Vietnamese did not respond as limited war theory suggested that they would, refusing to bend to American pressure and instead tried to match the US escalation by escalating themselves(Herring #2, 23). As a limited war grew into a full-scale war, the military
Douglas MacArthur stated, “It seems strangely difficult for some to realize that here in Asia is where the communist conspirators have elected to make their play for global conquest, and that we have joined the issue thus raised on the battlefield; that here we fight Europe 's war with arms while the diplomats there still fight it with words; that if we lose the war to communism in Asia the fall of Europe is inevitable, win it and Europe most probably would avoid war and yet preserve freedom. As you pointed out, we must win. There is no substitute for victory.” Truman was in favor of containment, simply keeping North Korea north of the 38th parallel. Seeing this, MacArthur overstepped his bounds and openly criticized the President. Truman promptly had him removed.
 The idea of containment was first proposed by U.S. diplomat George F. Kennan, during the presidency of U.S. president Harry S. Truman, to stop the spread of communism.  Kennan proposed that the United States aid in the development of democratic countries by giving them economic and political support, military equipment and training, and also waging war against communist regimes if necessary. Rebels would be given support so that they could overthrow the ruling communist governments. Kennan 's ideas were heavily criticized by newspapers, but his idea of blocking the expansion of Soviet influence remained a key interest and main strategy of the United States throughout the Cold War. Containment was first used during the Korean War in which NATO forces intervened and fought off North Korean and Chinese forces from taking over all of Korea and creating a communist government.