The Cold War impacted many parts of American culture and social life during the war.

The Cold War changed how people thought. For the first time we had the power not only to destroy our country, but the entire planet. This had a huge effect on society. The world had to live with a great threat hanging over its head. The world continued it's patriotic views but for the first time not everyone agreed and took action. In this country there was and still is to this day, a big difference in opinions concerning the Cold War.The Cold War brought many changes to American cultural life which include:
Civil Rights Movement
Fear of CommunismHollywoodUniversities

external image 080121-mlk-vmed-6awidec.jpgCivil Rights!
After coming out of World War II, African Americans were still fighting for equal rights.During the 1950s and 1960s, Martin Luther King, Jr., became a strong and well known leader of the Civil Rights Movement.Martin Luther King set up many peaceful ways to fight the nations racism in order to gain more rights. King organized protest rallies, boycotts, sit-ins, and marches. The Civil Rights Movement was successful in 1964 and 1965 when the federal government passed the Civil Rights Act of 1964 along with Voting Rights Act of 1965. These two laws outlawed segregation, guaranteed African Americans equal protection under the law, and gave black men and women the right to vote. However, the Civil Rights Movement was not over. Activists continued to protest the lack of equal pay for equal work for African Americans. They also wanted to improve educational opportunities for people of all races.
The definition of survivalists are people who anticipate major disruptions in or total collapse of the existing social order in
the future due to war, natural disaster, economic collapse, disease, divine retribution or other reasons. In this case, survivalists feared war and worried about nuclear war. Many built fallout shelters in their houses in order to stay safe if an attack occurs.From the 1950s to the 1970s, schools had nuclear threat drills where children hid under desks. The nuclear threat, and the Communists behind it,brought the National Defense Education Act, the interstate highway system, and many other defenses.

National Defense Education Act
The National Defense Education Act was a federal legislation passed in 1958 giving money to the education in the United States at all levels, public and private. The NDEA was set up largely to fuel the advancement of education in science, mathematics
, and modern foreign languages. However, it has also gave money to other areas, including technical education, area studies, geography, English as a second language, counseling and guidance, school libraries and librarianship, and educational media center, along with giving out loans to students. NDEA also gave federal support for improvement and change in elementary and secondary education.
On June 29, 1956, President Dwight Eisenhower signed the Federal-Aid Highway Act of 1956. The bill created a 41,000-mile “National System of Interstate and Defense Highways” that would, get rid of unsafe roads, inefficient routes, traffic jams and anything else that would slow down the speedy transportation travel. In addition, highway advocates argued, that in case of atomic attack on the important cities, the road would allow quick evacuation of the areas. That being said, the 1956 law declared that the construction of an elaborate expressway system was “essential to the national interest.”

Fear of Communism
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Along with atomic fears, Americans were also terrified of the spread of Communism. Since Co
mmunism is the exact opposite of Capitalism, any threat to democracy was a threat to their entire way of life. Many Americans’ main fears were a combination of both nuclear war and a Soviet takeover of our country. On top of that Senator Joe McCarthy, a Republican
senator, claimed Communists were everywhere in the US government. Although surprised, nobody challenged him or else they would be named a “Commie”'. Any suspected Communist supporters were blacklisted- put on a list of people with suspicion of being a Communist or spy. In addition, he forced over 2 thousand innocent people to appear in front of the HUAC- House Committee on Un-American Activities.

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The Cold War left had a great effect on all different activities ranging from art and poetry to movies and comic books. Sports events became particularly popular places for rivalry, beginning with the London Olympics in 1948 and peaking every fourth year from then on. Visiting artists, traveling exhibitions, and other cultural exchanges helped to ease Cold War tensions.

Political Effects!
Following World War II, every administration had a policy dealing with the Cold War. Truman and Eisenhower followed a policy of containment. Under Truman, the Marshall Plan and the Truman Doctrine were effective weapons against the threat of Soviet advancement. The development of NATO saw the US enter the first defensive treaty during peacetime. Eisenhower used force in Lebanon and continued spying on the Russians until the U2Spy Plane incident. Kennedy had to deal with the communist take-over in Cuba, the failure of the Bay of Pigs operation, and the Cuban Missile Crisis.
Marshal Plan and Truman Doctrine
On March 12, 1947, Truman told Americans that it was America’s job to interfere. His policy towards the Soviet Union was one of containment he did not try to destroy the USSR, but he wanted to stop it growing. This was called the ‘Truman Doctrine’

In June 1947, the American general George Marshall went to Europe. He said many countries in Europe were so poor that they were in danger of turning Communist. He said that America should give $17 billion of aid to get Europe’s economy going and stop Communism. Marshall said that it was up to the countries of Europe to decide what they needed. In July 1947, led by Britain and France, the countries of Western Europe met in Paris, and asked for substantial economic aid.
The North Atlantic Treaty Organization was created shortly after World War II ended. NATO, itself, is made up of ambassadors from the 15 countries excluding the military. NATO's policy is based on two principles: first is to maintain plenty of military strength and political unity to prevent aggression and other forms of military or political problems; second is to follow a policy aimed at a lessening of tensions between East and West. However, the formation of NATO in 1949 raised tension between the USA and the USSR. It was mainly a defensive way to protect the US and their Western allies from any external image k95-47.gifmilitary attack from the USSR. The USSR felt threatened by this, especially because five more divisions of US troops were stationed in West Germany. This led to the creation of the Warsaw Pact in 1955.

The U-2 was the plane for the spying missions. The CIA took the lead, keeping the military out of the picture to avoid any problems. By 1960, the U.S. had flown countless successful missions all around the U.S.S.R. However, on May 1, 1960, a U-2 spy plane piloted by Francis Gary Powers was brought down near Sverdlovsk, Soviet Union. This event had a lasting negative impact on U.S. and U.S.S.R. relations. The details surrounding this event are to this day still covered by mystery. The incident produced a verbal battle between the U.S.S.R. and the U.S., and led to the collapse of the Paris Summit at the most crucial part of the Cold War.
external image 27620820.gifOn October 14, 1962, a U-2 spy plane flying over Cuba discovered nuclear missile sites under construction. These missiles would have been capable of quickly reaching the United States. President Kennedy organized a small group of senior officials to debate the crisis, called Ex Comm. The group had many diverse ideas on how to go into this crisis. The world watched as tensions between the U.S. and the Soviet Union increased. Finally, on October 28, Khrushchev announced that they were withdrawing the missiles from Cuba. In the spring of 1963, the U.S. quietly removed the missiles from Turkey that equally threatened the Soviet Union. This crisis is regarded as the closest the world has come to a nuclear exchange.

Many Americans feared that at the end of World War II that the same drop in military spending would happen causing another depression. However, the raised consumer demand fueled strong economic growth in the postwar period. Which also lead to increased production in industries. In addition, a growth in housing occurred due to affordable mortgages for returning members of the military. At the same time, the jump in postwar births, known as the "baby boom," increased the number of consumers causing more and more Americans joining the middle class. On the otherhand, businesses began a period of consolidation. Many firms came together to create huge conglomerates. Some examples are the International Telephone and Telegraph, Sheraton Hotels, Continental Banking, Hartford Fire Insurance, Avis Rent-a-Car, and other companies.

Both the United States of America and the Soviet Union built up huge storage of atomic weapons and missiles.
The military blocks, NATO and The Warsaw Pact, were formed leading to destructive conflicts like the Vietnam War and the Korean War.
The Soviet Union collapsed because of economic weaknesses.
The Berlin Wall was taken down and the two German nations were brought together.
The Warsaw Pact was taken away.
America became superpower.
Communism fell throughout the whole world.
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