Soviet Union Dbq Essay

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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 …show more content…

From a meeting of President Eisenhower’s National Security Council, a conclusion was reached, “…we could not permit ourselves to be panicked by the Soviet Achievement [Sputnik]” (Document 3). The launch of the Sputnik only encouraged Americans to accomplish more scientific breakthroughs—before the Soviets. Before the release of the Sputnik, President Truman had dropped an atomic bomb on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945. Shortly after, the Soviets had detonated their first atomic bomb in the late 1940s. Since the U.S. and the Soviets had both achieved a level of destruction through the atomic bomb they became engaged in an “arms race.” The United States and the Soviet Union kept trying to out-produce each other in nuclear weapons. The competition between Americans and Soviets led to the U-2 spy plane incident. The U-2 spy plane, an American plane, was shot over Soviet territory. The Soviets accused America of spying and the incident caused “…a tremendous increase in international tension and placing peace on the brink of war” (Document 6). After the U-2 spy plane, the Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962 began to take shape (Document 8). On the island of Cuba, proof of possible nuclear weapon bases was found and evidence showed that …show more content…

Americans built temporary fallout shelters in basements since the fallout from a nuclear attack can cause disease and death (Document 2). The shelters would prolong American’s lives in the event of a nuclear attack. The shelters would contain food, water, a radio, flashlights, and other necessities. Along with protection at home, children needed to have some form of protection at school. “Duck and Cover” drills were conducted at schools to ensure protection from air raids. The drills required students to duck under desks or go into basements for safety. The military also practiced safety, but instead of hiding from the air raids and atomic bombs, the military would run towards them. Since there was a possibility of a nuclear war the U.S. military trained under those conditions. After atomic explosions, military personnel would try to maneuver out of the way seconds after the bomb first exploded. Americans were sacrificing their lives for the sake of their country. They would come so close to death just to improve the probability of living if there was a nuclear war. Through all of the training and drills, the citizens of America will always remember the pain and perseverance required to survive the Cold War. The way U.S. citizens lived during the Cold War will not be compared to any other time period in the history of the United States because of the hardships

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