Essay Example on the Effects of Cold War in U.S on Politics and Culture

Published: 2023-01-12
Essay Example on the Effects of Cold War in U.S on Politics and Culture
Type of paper:  Essay
Categories:  Culture United States Political science War American history Cold War
Pages: 6
Wordcount: 1503 words
13 min read

Notably, The Cold War was the period just after the second world war that was characterized by geopolitical tension between two superpowers which had emerged after the war, namely the Soviet Union being flagged by its other states and the United States with a majority of its allies. It was all on the fight between capitalism and communism with the former backing communism and exercising it in Eastern Europe while the latter emphasized on the use of capitalism. A lot of scholars argue that this war was inevitable and it was not a coincidence it occurred. The two states were, however, fighting to be the dominant force in the poor and less developed countries some of which had just gained independence and were commonly referred to as the third word and also cement their power in the world at large. However, there was a neutral side which was known as the Non-Aligned Movement, which did not favor any side and sought for an end to this war and good relations from both. However, this war did affect both nations and the world also. The U.S. specifically experienced this both in domestic politics and also in culture.

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Moreover, factors that led to this need be analyzed. A good example is the New Right movement which was led by the American conservatives and happened between the 1970s and 1980s. It was symbolized by its opposition towards policies on liberal taxes, abortion, and even affirmative action. Besides, it opposed foreign policies directed against the Soviet Union. The culture of the country had greatly changed, and they portrayed how in this period in history there was a lot of sexual behavior among the public, crime also rose to high levels, abortions also escalated to high levels, and there was a lot of insecurity as a result of social unrest in Vietnam. Issues almost got out of hand when the supreme court gave the right to abortion in 1973. On the political side, things were not tidy also as differences began to erupt and the family was particularly politicized. Various leaders came up with their own opinions and treaties began to be formed. The mother country controlled the treaty which was described as the Panama Canal Treaty whose main aim was to ensure the canal states brought about divided opinion and were a bone of contention from various political arenas. Hence, it was seen as if leaders during this period were using force to get approval rating which they were seeking to cement their positions.

In addition, there was another political movement during this period which was referred to as the New Left. It consisted of an activist from the west who were campaigning for social issues. They advocated for gay rights, abortion rights, and even gender roles. During this period there was a lot of moral decay in the society. They focused on impacting the youth with a radical agenda while stating that those working were no longer the agents of revolution. They acted to counter culture and bring about a new way in which to perform to their advantages. They saw the old system as a way to stall development and viewed themselves as visionary. They opposed the established authoritarian systems and focused more on the social reforms suggesting they could offer better leadership in a social set up. The opposed the Vietnam war and avoided the traditional way of governance and focused more strategies such as mass protests and civil disobedience. However, it did not form a united front to act as an opposition government or even win itself into power. However, it ought to be an activist force which was weak and thus succumbed to pressure leading to its decline.

Furthermore, the two superpowers had fought alongside each other during World War 11 against axis powers. However, after the war there developed a lot of mistrust between these two countries leading to both having different ideologies. The U.S. was anticommunism, and they used a strategy the called containment which sought to stop communalistic ideas from spreading and champion for capitalism where they claimed democracy was practiced thus democracy was practiced and human rights put into consideration. The country also provided military and financial aid for the anticommunist leading to their success. The leaders began encouraging the building of weapons such as atomic weapons which were so deadly and had been used to end the war. They even went further and tested a hydrogen bomb. People began constructing bomb shelters in their homesteads and practicing drills in schools and other places as they felt the need to protect themselves. The leaders felt insecure and sought policies to end this war to no vain, but in the later years, they decided to use diplomacy instead of military action. It was a huge step in ending the war as they agreed no nation was going to make a nuclear warhead. However, the collapse of the economy in communist countries while the capitalist countries thrived was the key reason behind the end of the cold war.

Also, it led to a struggle for social justice as the civil rights movements tried to champion for equal rights for the blacks under the law and this was not welcomed by the majority of the whites who viewed the blacks as inferior. Majority criticizing the United States stance of fighting oppression yet they discriminated African Americans. It was the basis of the war on equality by civil rights activists in the country. Therefore shaping the politics of the country as the leaders were forced to support the civil rights to create a positive image for the country particularly on the non-aligned members who mostly happened to be developing African states. The African Americans' participated more in decisions such as international dialogues on civil rights and the advent of postcolonial self-governance. There was growing black domination in shaping politics and public opinion and a reduction in racism. The blacks thus experienced a better lifestyle as even policies were put up to favor them more to the dismay of their compatriots escalating their grudge.

However, one of the major factors that played a pivotal role in the U.S. organized labor movement was anticommunism. There were low wages yet long working hours for the workers which allowed the food prices to stay low hence increased productivity. It played a pivotal role in ensuring the economy grew and achieved more than the communist system, therefore, leading to its triumph. White workers however viewed CP/UPWA emphasis on the rights of the blacks as one of the driving forces behind the cold war hence widening the rift between the blacks and the whites. Labor education schools were not spared either as this educational center's that were being run by the Communist Party was attacked by the government. Besides, in some cases, they were used by the government to disrupt operations which benefitted other communist countries. A good example is when the American Institute for Free Labor Development was used by the government to undermine Joao of Brazil and Salvador of Chile by staging protests and strikes to paralyze the operations of the government. Non-agricultural workers played a part also, therefore, enhancing the production of the country.

Finally, from the above essay, we can determine that clearly, the cold war brought several effects. It is hard however to claim it could have been averted and some countries developed or collapsed after this period. Various types of governments also seek to reinstate the belief that policies lead to the development of a particular country and influence their success. This particular policy influences the way of living of any certain group and even the type of politics that are played out is as a result of major plans which have been set up. The development of United States Of America into the leading superpower in the world has not happened overnight rather a series of well-executed plans have led to their rise to this great position. A united front has also been seen as a key component in making sure there is development within any sect and should be highly encouraged. Equality is emphasized thou an end to racism seems unrealistic.


Brands, Hal. Making the unipolar moment: US Foreign policy and the rise of the post-Cold War order. Cornell University Press, 2016.

John White, Kenneth. Still seeing red: How the Cold War shapes the new American politics. (Abingdon-On-Thames: Routledge, 2018).

Munro, John. "Imperial Anticommunism and the African American Freedom Movement in the Early Cold War." In History Workshop Journal, vol. 79, no. 1, pp. 52-75. Oxford University Press, 2015.

Marchesi, Aldo. Latin America's Radical Left: Rebellion and Cold War in the Global 1960s. Vol. 107. Cambridge University Press, 2017.

David, Shi E., and George Brown Tindall. America: A narrative history. WW Norton & Company, 2016.

Aldo, Marchesi. Latin America's Radical Left: Rebellion and Cold War in the Global 1960s. Vol. 107. Cambridge University Press, 2017.

Gerges, Fawaz A. "The 1967 Arab-Israeli War: US Actions and Arab Perceptions." In The Middle East and the United States, pp. 177-196. Routledge, 2018.

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