How 13-day confrontation between the United States and the

How
did the Cold War shape the American economy, society and politics from 1945 to
1992?

 

Introduction:

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The Cold War between the United States and the
Soviet Union emerged and developed after World War II, though its origins go
back in history to the Bolshevik Revolution in 1917. The Cold War was an
ideological, economic, political and military confrontation, but it never
actually was fought between these two nations on a battlefield. It was a war of
tensions and hostilities where the belligerents engaged each other around the
world but avoided direct conflict because of the dire consequences of such actions.
As the Cold War progressed until the collapse of the Soviet Union, it had significant
impact on the American society, economy, and politics.

 

The
Cold War prompted strong anti-communism within the USA. The hatred towards
Communism was so great that it eventually led to McCarthyism. During
McCarthyism, Americans were obsessed with the process of identifying the
Communists and removing those Communists from American society. The purpose of organizations
such as the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the House Un-American
Activities(HUAC) became the ‘removal
of Communists’ and laws such as the Communist Control Act were passed to
facilitate the process of identifying, capturing and removing Communists. The
McCarran Act was also introduced, which forced all Communist organizations to
be registered within the US government and banned Communists from carrying US
passports and working in the defense industry. Many were questioned without
having done anything wrong, many lost their jobs and some even lost their lives.
This red scare continued to lead American society up until the late 1950s. The Cold
War also made many Americans fearful of war. This fear of war was prompted by
the arms race. One example is the Cuban Missile
Crisis, which caused high tension within the USA. It was a 13-day confrontation
between the United States and the Soviet Union involving American ballistic
missile deployment in Italy and Turkey with resulting Soviet ballistic missile
deployment in Cuba. Nikita
Khrushchev began to
ship ballistic missiles to Cuba and technicians to operate them. After discussing
with his foreign policy and military advisers, Kennedy blockaded Cuba on
October 22, 1962. The two sides stood on the edge of nuclear war, but
Khrushchev surrendered six days later and the missiles were dismantled. In
return, Kennedy dispersed its own missile sites in Turkey. Apart from Cuban
missile crisis, Americans lived in constant fear as the Cold War could turn
into a hot war at any time.

 

The
Cold War also had an impact on the American people economically. The impact was
caused mainly by the increase in the amount of taxes. The United States used to
adopt isolationism previously, meaning that the USA did not intervene in any
other foreign matters to only concentrate on the domestic issues. As soon as
the USA decided to intervene in foreign matters, Americans had to pay more
taxes to support the USA’s actions. These actions, including the arms race and
other wars, required massive amount of capital. For instance, the Vietnam War was one of the factors that
used up massive amount of capital. The Vietnam War was very different from any
other wars because it was a guerrilla war between Vietcongs. The Vietcongs had
successfully planned the strategies to kill many Americans without having
America’s latest technology such as tanks and airplanes. As the war developed,
it was estimated that it costed Americans $400,000 to kill one Viet Cong.

 

 

Conclusion:

The timing of the Cold War was crucial and one of the most diverse in
the recent world history. Not only was it a war of diversity, but a war of
great length that lasted about fifty years (1945-1992). What made this time so
significant was that the whole world was involved in this war in some way.