“Here’s my strategy on the Cold War: we win, they lose. ”- Ronald Reagan. The Cold War was a time of distress between the United States and the Soviet Union during 1947-1991. It was a struggle because it was against two powerful nations, Capitalism vs Communism, and most importantly, between two nuclear superpowers. The United States wanted to contain Communism and protect any country threatened by it. This lead to the period when the U. S. and the Soviet Union would be at war without physically fighting one another. Neither of them could fire any missiles at each other because the moment one of them did, the other would do the same.
Additionally, the Cold War had a great impact on life during the 1950’s and 1960’s. For example, the Red Scare and the House Un-American Activities Committee, HUAC. Today, the struggle between democracy and communism still exists with countries such as North Korea and Cuba. The impacts of the Cold War on life during the 1950’s and 1960’s can be measured politically and socially; and the struggle between democracy and communism still exists today the 21st Century through North Korea’s missile launches and the recent missile launch on Syria.
Initially, the United States saw Communism as a threat to the world and did not want it to spread to other countries. As a result, they came up with the strategy of containment which meant that the U. S. would do what it took to help stop the spread of Communism and taking over other countries. Regarding containment, the U. S. implemented the Truman Doctrine which meant that any country threatened by the expansion of Communism would get aid from the U. S. as a method of containing Communism. This plan worked well along with the Marshall Plan.
For instance, “The plan promoted European economic integration and federalism, and created a mixture of public organization of the private economy… European economy provided a more congenial environment for American investment. ” This plan was intended for any European country that was affected by Communism and would receive financial aid from the U. S. to restore their country. As a result, the U. S. became involved in the Cold War because both the U. S. and the Soviet Union had nuclear weapons. According to History. com, “In 1949, the Soviets tested an atom bomb of their own.
In response, President Truman announced that the United States would build an even more destructive atomic weapon: the hydrogen bomb, or ‘superbomb. ’ Stalin followed suit. ” It turned into an arm’s race to see which country had the most atomic bombs and in 1949 the Soviet Union tested their first atomic bomb. This posed a problem because if one fired, the other would do so right after. This would lead both countries firing nuclear missiles at each other, no one would win, and with so many bombs being fired, humanity could have been in danger.
The U. S. ’s involvement in the Cold War could be illustrated through the strategy of containment, the Truman Doctrine, and the Marshall Plan. Consequently, the Cold War had a strong impact on the lives of thousands during the 1950’s and 1960’s. During the 1950’s there was fear of Communist subversion, the Red Scare. People became afraid of nuclear attacks and they lived their lives in fear that there would be some sort of tragedy. Safety measures began to fall into play with the development of fallout shelters and the introduction of nuclear bomb drills.
More importantly, the investigations of the House Un-American Activities Committee began to cause hysteria in the 1950’s as well. For example, “Searching for someone to blame, many began to believe that there was a communist conspiracy within American borders. ” This showed the extent of the Republican party’s attempt to make the Democratic party look bad by saying, during public investigations, that under the Democratic rule, the government was allowing communist subversion.
Hollywood began to be a target and investigations were conducted on those who showed suspicious loyalty. During the 1960’s, however, the focus was shifted to the race in space. The U. S. and the Soviet Union competed to who could achieve space exploration first. Surprisingly, the Soviet Union won the race to get the first satellite into orbit. On the other hand, the Cold War brought new technology into use. For example, spy planes, the interstate highway system, and the emergency broadcast system.
Spy planes were used to get detailed images from the protection of 70,000 feet in the air, which are still in use today. The interstate highway system was first created for transporting soldiers, military vehicles, and supplies faster across the nation in the event of an attack, but since we were never attacked, the system has turned into the longest highway network, stretching about 47,000 miles. The Emergency Broadcast System was created so that the President could send nationwide messages to alert everyone in case the U. S. was under attack.
Fortunately, the U. S. has yet to use it, but it is still in operation. All in all, the impact of the Cold War could be measured politically and socially through the contradictions and inventions of the 1950’s and 1960’s. Furthermore, the struggle between democracy and communism still exists today. One example of the struggles would be the current tensions with North Korea. Their leader Kin Jong-Un, has decided to go against rules and has been test launching missiles. The missiles have come in close proximity to Japan’s borders.
There does not seem to be a true struggle between democracy and communism, but there are conflicts between democratic and communist countries. Another example would be Donald Trump’s recent missile launch on Syria. The decision was a response to a Syrian use of chemical attack. It seems apparent that some Communist countries do not like following the rules and do not seem to care for anyone else but themselves. Concerning this, the New York Times said, “The poison used in the deadly chemical bomb attack in a rebel-held part of northern Syria this week was the banned nerve agent sarin.
For example, chemical attacks have been banned for ages and yet Syria had the audacity to recently use it, the use of North Korea’s missile launchings are frowned upon, and also, North Korea is researching nuclear energy which they are not allowed to use. The U. S. which is democratic is working together with other nations to prevent any crimes being broken like the Communist crimes in North Korea and Syria. Subsequently, the struggle between democracy and communism still exists today the 21st Century through North Korea’s missile launches and the recent missile launch on Syria.
In conclusion, the Cold War brought many struggles to the U. S. as well as to the Soviet Union. The involvement of the U. S. was an anticipated event due to the need to protect Americans and other nations that have ties with the U. S. The political struggles of the Cold War had to do with the tensions between the leaders of each country with opposing views. The social tensions had to do with the public investigations of the HUAC and the hysteria caused by Communism in the U. S. In addition, the impact in the lives of people during the 1950’s and 1960’s was very strong due to the change from mostly peaceful environment to living their lives in fear of atomic bombings.
As a final point, the struggles between Democracy and Communism still exist today in the form of complications with other organizations that have rules that countries must follow. At last, the impacts of the Cold War on life during the 1950’s and 1960’s can be measured politically and socially; and the struggle between democracy and communism still exists today the 21st Century through North Korea’s missile launches and the recent missile launch on Syria.