QuestionQuestion

1. How did the Cold War affect the politics and society of the United States?
2. What was the Second Red Scare? How does fear remain relevant in modern politics?
3. What affect did the Cold War have on the economy? In what ways did the American economy change from 1946-1960?
4. Explain the importance of the military industrial complex and technology in the nation’s economic growth during the 1950’s.
5. What role did television and “the good life” play in those changes? How does technology continue to shape American society?

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1) How did the Cold War affect the politics and society of the United States?

Influence of the Cold War can be felt very strongly in American society and politics throughout the latter half of the 20th century. Nature of the war determined its battleground in propaganda as much as in military actions. Hollywood, for example, was encouraged to make anticommunist movies and scripts were “changed to remove references to less-than-praiseworthy aspects of American history” (Foner, 2009, p. 851). Slew of movies were filled with patriotic sentiment, but also helped in raising suspicion of communist activity in the US. The witch hunt was then issued across the nation, and many people suffered because of it. Jobs were lost, lives were threatened and civil rights were violated – and all of that was based on weak evidence.

On the other hand, President Truman “noted that if the United States were to offer the ‘peoples of the world’ a ‘choice of freedom or enslavement’ it must ‘correct the remaining imperfections in our practice of democracy” (Foner, 2009, p. 857). Racial inequality, particularly evident in treatment of black population in the South, was slowly, but surely, losing ground. Fair employment commissions were being established in states, laws were passed banning discrimination and there was also a noted rise in black voter registrations (Foner, 2009, p. 856). It all culminated in The Civil Rights Act of 1964, which banned discrimination....
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