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Cold War

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Cold War

How did the cold war affect economic development in Europe, Asia and the U.S.? How did the "Welfare State" in Europe and the "Consumer Culture" in the U.S. relate to cold war developments? Include in your discussion the Soviet (command) and Western (market) economic models and the "commodity gap" v. "missile gap".

One country in Europe that was affected by the cold war was the economic development of Germany. The cold war made Germany an economic powerhouse. Germany's coal and steel were assisting the French industry and lower countries as well. Western Europe was becoming very competitive with the U.S. in industry and in creating a consumer society. Unemployment was low, new technologies were being produced and the rate of investments were high. Political parties were formed as well. The right to welfare also assisted in economic growth.

Americans were affected by the cold war by their growing nuclear capabilities. Democratic localism was also enforced to keep the government at bay, allowing people to make their own economic decisions. Capitalism was renewed due to growth. Americans were enjoying various freedoms in politics, religion and travel. Nixon stated in one of his speeches that the United States had "come closest to the idea of prosperity for all in a classless society (166)."

Another country that was affected by the cold war in Asia was Japan. The country lacked raw materials. Japan was under U.S. occupation and many of their forces were Americans. The Japanese lacked food and raw materials. Bankruptcies and unemployment increased and the country eventually fell into recession.

The welfare state in Europe relates to the cold war because shortly after the cold war, the economy began to grow. Health insurance systems were introduced. Social democratic parties were formed, social continuity enforced. The right to welfare and economic growth helped to boost Europe's economy. More jobs were created as a result of the cold war.

The consumer culture in the U.S. relates to the cold war by the growth of cities, decline in death and birth rates, automobiles and television sets were introduced with the U.S. being dominant in and possessing television sets. Credit cards made spending easier. The consumer culture began to spread to Western Europe once the cold war had ended. International trade not only gave the U.S. a boost in their economy



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