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The Cold War (3): Mini Document Based Question Essay

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Ann Goya

Mrs. Allen

U.S. History Honors 5th Period

14 March 2014

The Cold War (3):  Mini Document Based Question Essay

        After the end of World War II, tensions began to rise between the Soviet Union and the United State. The U.S established a policy known as containment which was to prevent the spread of communism to other countries. As tensions rose, the competition between the Soviet Union and the United States increased drastically. They competed over their superiority as they both thought that they were more powerful than one another. To show control and superiority, both nations established an arms race and the space race (Document A). In President Truman’s eyes, he stated that it was America’s role to stop the Soviet Union from spreading communism to other countries. He later issued a document which is the Truman Doctrine. Truman stated that America would give out military and economic aid to Greece and Turkey. The reason was to prevent the two countries from joining the Soviet Union. The Marshall Plan was the United States plan to aid the European countries recover from the devastation from World War II so that the countries won’t be affected by the Soviet communism. The plan was named after George C. Marshall who was Secretary of State under President Truman. In 1949, North Atlantic Treaty Organization, NATO formed by Belgium, Britain, Canada, Denmark, France, Iceland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, and Portugal joined the United States in a military alliance system. It was formed to prevent communist expansion in Europe. NATO goal was to stop other countries from becoming communist, and to protect member nation from the Soviet Union.  The Soviet Union responded to the formation of NATO with creation of the Warsaw Pact in 1955 (Boyer 843).

        The Red Scare is a hysteria led by Joseph McCarthy who accused people of belonging to the communist party he declared to the citizens that communists were everywhere around them and even in the American government. This brought more fear to the citizens causing many citizens to be suspicious with one another (Boyer 852). Many citizens in America began to fear communism. Americans had to act very carefully outside of their homes as there was a danger of them being accused of being a communist. Many people referred to this time period as McCarthyism. This eventually led the world to be full of hysteria. This hysteria caused many accusations on the innocents. (Document D). Fear of nuclear attack became another major fear to Americans. They built bomb shelter for protection because they worried of getting attacked by the Soviet Union (Document C). As for schools, teachers taught students the duck and cover drill to prepare themselves in the event of a nuclear attack. Furthermore, to add to America’s fear Julius and Ethel Rosenberg were accused of stealing the atomic energy secrets during World War II. Julius and Ethel Rosenberg impacted the U.S socially because it proved to the people that there are indeed communists in the U.S and thus increased their fear. In the end, they were executed. (Document B). America became very cautions, fearful and protective during the Cold War. It consumed American society from the way they lived in fear of the bomb to what they believed to be true of the communist invasion.

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