|Type of paper:||Essay|
|Categories:||Politics United States War American history Cold War|
The essay discusses how and why the cold war developed at the end of WWII and the impact it had on the US in terms of domestic politics and culture and terms of US relations with the rest of the world from the late 1940s through early 1960s.
It can be established that the cold war began following the end of the Second World War in the year 1945. Majorly, it was a faceoff between the United States of America and the Soviet Union, hence a show of competition between the two superpowers. There are various causes of the cold war. They include tensions between the United States of America and Soviet Union following the Second World War, the conflict of ideas (ideological conflict) between the two countries, the emergence of nuclear weapons, as well as the fear of communism by the United States of America (Bender et al. 1995). They are well explained subsequently.
First, the leading cause of the cold war between the United States of America and the Soviet Union was increased tension between the two countries following the end of the Second World War. It can be understood that during the Second World War, the Soviet Union that had been under the leadership of Joseph Stalin had allies such as France and Britain, while the United States of America had allies including Japan, Italy, and Nazi Germany. At such a time, the formed alliances had the bases of destroying the fascist regimes found in Europe as well as Japanese expansionism along the pacific (Bender et al. 1995). However, the second world ended in 1945, between European Theatre as well as Pacific Theatre. It ended following the death of Hitler in Europe, with Japan getting defeated soon after using the Atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. During such final events of the Second World War, the partnership between the Soviet Union as well as other allied nations fell apart, hence creating tensions by which the United States began its cold war with it.
Additionally, the cold war began following the Yalta conference alongside the Potsdam conference conducted at the end of the Second World War. In such a case, the Yalta conference occurred on February 4th, 1945, and it was a wartime meeting of allied leaders including Winston Churchill, Franklin Roosevelt, and Joseph Stalin. It was purposed to make the three leaders begin recognizing Europe after the defeat of Adolf Hitler and Nazi Germany (Bender et al. 1995). The allies had foreseen the end of the war with Germany getting defeated. However, the Yalta conference is considered one of the main causes of the cold war because it addressed the divide between Joseph Stalin as well as other leaders. Both sides did not trust one another with Joseph Stalin being resentful of the other side. He had the belief that they had delayed the Normandy Invasion alongside the allied invasion of Italy that could cause the Soviet armies o struggle single-handedly against Nazi Germany. Thus, such a divide highlighted the start of the Second World War.
There is also an aspect of the Potsdam Conference held on July 17, 1945. In such a case, the three leaders, Joseph Stalin, Winston Churchill, and Harry Truman, were to discuss the handling of Germany that had been defeated in the war, alongside the peaceful coexistence of the three allied powers following the war. However, it was the start of the cold wars since it highlighted the differences between Stalin and other leaders. It is during the conference that Stalin became aware that the United States had developed atomic bombs. Also, during the conference, there developed a deep divide between the United States and the Soviet Union. Both Truman of America and Stalin of the Soviet Union did not trust one another, hence the start of the cold war.
There is also an aspect of the emergence of nuclear weapons following the end of the Second World War that also marked the beginning of the cold war. In such a case, as the war between the allied powers and Nazi Germany had ended, the United States had developed nuclear weapons hence bombing Japan, thus marking the start of the cold war between the United States and Soviet Union (Bender et al. 1995).
There are some of the effects of the Second World War on domestic politics, culture, and the relations of the United States to the rest of the world. As a tool of propaganda, there was the encouragement of Hollywood to produce movies anti-communist movies. Such movies sparked patriotism and raised suspicion on the activity of communists in America. Such led to the rooting out of communists in Hollywood, with many lives getting destroyed in the process. It also brought racial inequality, where blacks were considered second class citizens in America. Finally, in terms of politics, both the United States and the Soviet Union were at the polar opposite (Nasaw,1999). They both sight to influence new governments with the United States being the leading proponent of democracy and the Soviet Union being the front runner of communism. The United States also fought to prevent the expansion of Soviet power.
The period from 1980 to the present has been a period of change for the US. Discuss this period in terms of important political developments changed in the economy, reasons for the growing gap between the rich and poor social trends such as immigration and US foreign policy.
There have been major political, social, and economic changes in the United States between 1980 to the present. It began in the rise of the New Right in the 1980s. In such a case, it was a populist movement, and its growth was at a height in 190s and 1980s (Nasaw,1999). It appealed to various assortments of the people of America, such as evangelical Christians, the anti-tax crusaders, the advocates of deregulation as well as the smaller markets, the advocates of the more powerful presence of America abroad, the disaffected white liberals, alongside the defenders of the unrestricted free markets in the country. The rise of New Right can be linked to the growth and development of Sunbelt in which the people began expanding following the Second World War that occurred in such regions as Southwest, Southeast, and California (Bender et al. 1995). They expanded following the presence of seemingly insurmountable problems such as crime, pollution, and overcrowding. Also, the population was tired of paying taxes for social programs that were not actualized.
As time went by, there was also the Reagan Revolution and the Reaganomics. It happened during and after the 1980 presidential elections in the United States of America. In such a case, the disaffected liberals became the ''Reagan Democrats.'' He won following his promises to the Americans on substantial tax cuts alongside smaller governments (Nasaw,1999). After taking office, he advocated for the industrial deregulation, the reduction in government spending, alongside the tax cuts that formed part of his economic plans known as ''supply-side economics.'' Thus, the growth in the economy could trickle down to all the people.
Since 190n to the present, there has been a widening gap between the rich and the poor in the United States of America. In such a case, the number of people living in poverty has increased by 24% (Bender et al. 1995). Almost 36 million workers are currently earning less than $10 per hour, making their annual income to be less than $20,614 that is below the poverty level for a family with four people (Nasaw,1999). Most of such low wage workers lack sick days, health insurance, and pension plans. The cause of the growing income disparity between the rich and the poor is the wealth distribution. It can be observed that for the wealthiest population, their household income can be increased by 275%, while those of the poor population can be increased by 65% (Nasaw,1999). Also, there is cheap labor in china outsourcing of jobs, as well as low exchange rates, are the causal mechanism for the growing disparity/gap between the rich and the poor. The corporations' value profits instead of workers in the run to remain competitive.
Finally, there is an aspect of immigration and foreign policy being put in place in the United States of America. It started in the passing of the Immigration Act in 1882, which has been refined over time. It is aimed at restricting the foreign population influx in America, warding of the Islamic populations projected at spearheading terrorism, and also limiting human and drug trafficking with such countries as Mexico, as seen in President Trump's directive to construct a wall at the border of United States of America and Mexico.
Bender, P., Brown, J., Vasquez, A. A., & Brier, S. (1995). Savage Acts: Wars, Fairs, and Empire 1898-1904. Video documentary. New York: American Social History Productions.
Nasaw, D. (1999). Going out: The rise and fall of public amusements. Harvard University Press.
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