American Response To The Cold War

Superior Essays
The Cold War was, by and large, a war many American Citizens were not prepared for. In the past wars were usually fought a considerable distance from home with less destructive technology. The Cold War changed this as the threat of Communism was closer than ever, either off the shore or inside the country it’s self, and the possibility of blowing up the world was great. It is a common reaction to new and dangerous concept is to be afraid, and this is exactly how the American public responded to the Cold War. During the Cold War many citizens feared losing their international leadership to the USSR, a post nuclear fallout, and the spread of communism close to home. Post World War II the United states stood tall as the leader of the developing …show more content…
Comparatively, the atomic bomb dropped in Hiroshima killed between 90,000 and 140,000 people and released about 15 to 20 kilotons of TNT while the first hydrogen bomb the U.S tested released 10,000 kilotons of TNT and could kill proportionally 70 million people. With such devastating numbers the American people were rightly afraid of the it’s implementation in war. Additionally, the manner in which the United States and the Soviets were so readily prepared to drop a bomb on each other alarmed the public even more. This sentiment of brinkmanship was displayed an inaugural address in 1961 in which the resident agreed to assume any price in order to stop the spread of communism, even dropping a bomb, “ Let every nation know, whether it wished us well or ill, that we shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe to assure the survival and the success of liberty…both sides begin anew the quest of peace, before the dark powers of destruction unleashed by science engulf humanity” (Doc I). The willingness to destroy humanity for the sake of stopping communism shook American citizens, as on one hand communism would be defeated, but everyone would most likely parish in the process. A chart published in the U.S News and World Report illustrates …show more content…
Following the victory of World War II the Red Scare made a second appearance across the nation, calling for a country wide witch hunt for communists and communist spies as cases of espionage popped up like wildflowers. To add, a 1954 press conference by Eishenhower accurately describes the atmosphere of the United States during the Cold War, “There is too much hysteria…We fear the men in Kremlin, we fear what they will do to our friends and family around them” (Doc A). The public was terrified of the thought of communist taking over the country or the chance of communist spies relaying information to the Soviets. In an effort to still American horrors the government concentrated most of it’s efforts into defending the U.S. and other countries at risk. In addition, in 1954 the Secretary of State admitted, “ If the world communism captures any American Sate, however small, a new and perilous front is established which will increase the danger to the entire free world” (Doc B). The Secretary of State suggests that to let any state fall to communism is to widen the door for the domination of communism. From this it is clear that the government prioritized the defense of the nation and it’s ability to keep communism out of the country. Similarly, this is also illustrated in chart depicting the statistical spending of the United

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