During the 1960′s there was an increasing rise of students in America going to college. With that, students became more focused in other areas of society such as politics. They created the “New Left” which they wanted to make America a true democracy. They questioned and compared the drastic differences between American ideals and America’s reality. As a result, they became actively involved and protested against the Vietnam War.
The Vietnam War started in the 1950′s in which America feared Vietnam would fall into the domino effect and fall into communism. Vietnam was separated between the communistic North and democratic South. Although America slowly regretted entering into this war, Johnson and Kennedy feared they would not be forgiven for “losing” Vietnam. This led to students strongly protesting against the war and demanding a recall of U.S. involvement on the war. Ultimately, U.S. lost the war in Vietnam.
Spreading American values and culture has always been the goal of the nation since the very beginning of World War I. This interest in spreading democracy and later on encouraging a capatilistic world, helped to fuel both WWII and the Cold War. In this attempt to make the world more safe for democracy to exist, the U.S. started its own battle with communism. Additional efforts extended a helping hand to European nations which desperately needed the help after falling apart post Cold War. Examples supporting this are the Truman Doctrine and the Marshall Plan. This informally changed American foregin policy in regrard to the U.S.S.R. No longer was the U.S. trying to build relations with the nation or suggest friendship (detente), but rather preferred a policy of containment of the U.S.S.R’s expansion.
How did the Cold War start? Who started it and for what reason it was fought are all questions which are important, but can all pretty much be answered by one word: containment. The fear of the spread of communism as the U.S.S.R expanded posed a direct threat to the U.S. In accordance with American ideals and capitalism, a world with safe choice of communism would possibly even create an uproar in the U.S. as well. In order to prevent this from happening, American foreign policy in Europe changed quickly.
The idea of containment as a U.S. policy started in 1946 when George Kennan telegramed the Truman Administration explaining that the Soviets can not be dealt with as a normal government. The Soviets idea of communism is expanding throughout different parts of the world and it must be contained and therefore started the containment policy. Ultimately, the United States didn’t want the “domino effect” where more and more countries would be reeled into communism.
I think if the United States and other countries did not act out to prevent the growth of communism, most of the world would be in a communistic government. Who knows, United States may have turned into communism as well and life for everyone would be much different.
After world war II, the world emerges to two great superpowers. With one side in mostly Asia and Europe-the USSR and other side in the Americas-USA. USSR were spreading communism all over the world, including countries like Germany, China, Veitnam, Cuba, Korea and more. As USSR influenced its neighboring countries rapidly, USA stepped into the regime, trying to stop the spread of communism by using the Containment strategy.
USA was able to fight back in a demoncratic form in korea,Veitnam and Germany to prevent communism domination. If USA didn’t intervene, East and West Germany may be unified as a communist country. North Korea and South Korean may also be unified as a Communist country. USA played major role in keeping communism from widespread around the world, unfortunately, they failed to put Vietnam to unify as a demoncratic country.
This picture depicts a clear scenario of how JFK was battling against khrushchev while they both sitting on nuclear weapons, alerting everyone that there might be a nuclear war. It clearly showed the tension between USSR and USA when USA tried to contain the widespread of communism.
I am actually happy that Joseph McCarthy existed in history. He won election to the senate with an idiotic campaign where he claimed that he knew communist supporters in the United States. McCarthy’s downfall in 1954 showed that Hey! The people of the United States are not that oblivious to stupidness. I think that if McCarthy didn’t exist there will have been many other people taking advantage of the anti-communist hysteria for their own selfish benefits.
After WWII concluded, peace did not last very long. Tension began to grow between the two superpowers as the Soviet Union began to establish communist governments in eastern European countries. The Soviets began to spread their communist beliefs around the world. The United States reacted to this situation by implementing the “Containment Policy” to prevent the spread of Communism.
I believe if the Containment policy was not put into affect, the world would be a very different place. The United States might not have interviened in Vietnam and communism may had spread throughout south east Asia. If there was no Containment policy, the United States may not have assisted South Korea during the Korean war and the entire peninsula may have been taken over by the Communist party.
During Truman’s presidency, he focused much of his attention on the civil rights movement in America. While this seems like a good thing, the timing was wrong. Truman’s attempts at enacting civil rights legislation did not receive much popular positive public response. This was a time during the anti-communist movement during the Cold War. Some of Truman’s civil rights movements included something called “To Secure These Rights” which was a document that called on the federal government to assume the responsibility for abolishing segregation and ensuring equal treatment in housing, employment, education, and the criminal justice system.
I think that American society would have eventually come to enact some of this legislation because eventually people would come to realize that they are not being treated fairly and begin to fight for that right. Such legislation is definitely important to me because as an Asian-American in society, which some may consider a minority. Despite the efforts put in by Truman and other presidents to provide equal rights for all minorities there are still some setbacks today that many have to face. It seems that the civil rights movement is a fight that will never end.
Senator Joseph R. McCarthy was barely known outside of Wisconsin, the state he was elected for. In order to make up for that he claimed that he had a list of 205 communists working for the State Department. He did this in February 1950, during a speech at Wheeling, West Virginia. Although this was totally fabricated, he convinced the Senate subcommittee that he chaired to hold hearing against many people, as well as the Defense Department, The Voice of America, and many other government agencies. This was only happening because people believed what McCarthy was saying. However, this would not last for much longer.
In 1954 the Senate looked into something that McCarthy claimed was true. He said that the army had coddled communists. The army decided to hold publicly televised hearing with McCarthy, and those ultimately led America to finally see that McCarthy made all his accusations without any basis. McCarthy died only three years later.
Senator McCarthy changed the near and distant future in many ways. This most important thing he did was that he created this extreme fear of communism, for no reason. He made America believe that the communists were not only in our country, but within our own government. Many people were wary of the government during this time period, and it was only due to the fictitious accusations of McCarthy. I do not think that the anticommunist movement would have been so strong if McCarthy was not a part of it. His words were gobbled up by the public because he was working in Congress. He used his power to try and gain fame.
McCarthy also had an impact on today’s times. He affected the way we accept information as true. Nowadays we don’t just accept what anybody says. We investigate every detail, we ask for sources, and we challenge everything we can. Back in the 50′s McCarthy was able to get away with saying what he wanted, and not many people questioned him. However, we learned from our mistakes, and we saw the importance of challenging out superiors, and finding out if what they are saying is actually true.
In the midst of the Cold War, many programs were enacted to ensure American patriotism. The House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC) was established to conduct hearings about the presence of communism in Hollywood motion pictures. In these hearings, actors, directors, and screenwriters were summoned for questioning by the committee. Of the witnesses, 10, known as the Hollywood Ten, declined to answer questions concerning their political allegiances or disclose names of those who were communist. The Hollywood Ten believed their 1st Amendment rights were infringed. As a result, the committee charged them with contempt of Congress and were sentenced to 6 months to a year in prison. Besides the Hollywood Ten, more than 200 other people were also charged with communist sympathies or the refusal to name names.
Had the HUAC never been formed during the Cold War, history might have run a different course. The aim of the HUAC was to contain and control the spread of communism beliefs and values in the movie industry. In reality, the HUAC did not find substantial evidence of individuals who hold communist sympathies. However, if the HUAC was not there to screen the individuals, those who were communist could have used the opporutnity to promote communist ideas. If those individual succeed, communism could have seeped into the minds of ordinary Americans.
The Red Menace was one of many anticommunist movies and media that America produced during the Cold War. These movies acted as a propaganda that criticized communism and brought a negative view of it. During the late 1940s and early 1950s, a policy called “militant liberty” was used in movie productions that inserted a theme of freedom. Militant liberty shaped many viewers’ opinions of communism and instilled a Pro-American view of the nation. This was used frequently in films during 1940s to 1950 proposing anti-Nazi and anti- communist opinions to viewers.
I am sure America would be very different today if this policy had not existed. By producing many anti-communism films, the opinion of Americans towards communism had undoubtedly become negative. If this had not happened, Americans probably would have had polarized views of communism. This would definitely hurt the nation’s unity and give communism a fight chance at changing our country today.
During the Korean War it was a battle between South Korean and North Korea. The North wanted to take over all of Korea and change it into a communist country. Of course America would not let this go and intervened preventing North Korea to advance any further by launching a counterattack at Inchon. This pushed the North Koreans back to the border between the North and South of Korea.
I think that if America never intervene during the Korean War the world today would be very different. Communism would have spread through all of Korea turning it into a communist country. I think that it would have caused a Domino Effect causing other counties turning communist. The way this would impact my life is that I would be in great fear. I would be afraid that communism would spread world wide and eventually hit America.
The Marshall Plan was ratified in 1947 to help rebuild Europe after WWII. This Act was also meant to prevent communism from spreading and gaining control in war torn countries. The Marshall Plan had a huge effect on Europe in which it assisted in Europe’s economic growth and recovery. This soon led to trade relations with the U.S. If U.S had not put the Marshall Plan into effect, it may have caused a delay in Europe’s economic recovery. Another effect may be that Communism would not be contained and it might have spread and taken control over war torn countries.
The fear of communism was the driving force behind all of the social crisis during the Cold War. Citizens were constantly in fear of each others, the governmental inspection, and the invisible enemies. Whether spies actually existed or not, the common Americans were suspecting others for holding unpopular, though often harmless, ideologies or fearing their neighbors for falsely reporting them as communists. The fear of communism had caused the jailing of many screen writers, school teachers, and many other innocent citizens; the fear also powered many unnecessary spy trails and unfair jail sentences.
Perhaps if the atmosphere of fear did not exist during the cold war. The cold war could have been limited to the foreign policies instead of extending to the paranoia in the nation. If the irrational fear was not prevalent, the civil rights movements, such as NAACP, would not be as restrained; W.E.B. Du Bois, a civil rights warrior, and Paul Robeson, a prominent black actor, wouldn’t been unreasonably charged in court. Moreover, if the fear had not been so influential, the labor unions would not have been restrained by Truman’s doctrines. In many ways, the unnecessary strong fear of communism has restricted America to advance as a nation with more equality and freedom.
The influence of the atmosphere of fear is still noticeable today. For instance, although the word communism is not heavily criticized today, it nevertheless has a negative connotation. Americans are not very comfortable with communism even today. We can see that by observing the students in elementary school to high school. There are often several immature children who would unreasonably call Chinese or Russian immigrants communists as a form of mockery. The immature actions of such students can be credited to the biased American history textbooks, which often emphasize the chaotic and unpleasant communistic revolutions and de-emphasize the unjust actions of the United States.
In 1961, the United States enters the Vietnam War allied with Southern Vietnam to fight off the communistic Northern Vietnam. The United States wanted to contain and stop communism from expanding. This later goes in history as America’s first loss in a war.