"Fear" was on the minds of Americans from 1920 to 1945. Briefly summarize the event and then describe the effects it had on the American people. Examine how this fear helped or hindered the American people. Examples could include a Red Scare, Stock market crash, the Great Depression, and Hilter's expansion throughout Europe.
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A little noted phenomenon during the World War II was the Fear of Invasion.
Even though the major combatants were in Europe or far in the Pacific, there are records of German submarines off the Eastern Seaboard of the US, as well as Japanese off California. Massive submarine nets stretching across harbors, concrete lookout towers on islands, and bunkers with guns were built, but thankfully, hardly ever used.
The Red Scare is one that needs to be highlighted, as Americans saw the rise of Communism in other countries and saw it as the major opponent to its capitalist and materialist ideology. This was something that had massive repercussions in terms of McCarthyism, as individuals such as Arthur Miller found out to their cost.
The two main fears between 1920 and 1945 were fear of economic catastrophe during the Great Depression and then fear of the rise of totalitarianism during World War II. Of course, the Great Depression was also felt in Europe and helped contribute to the rise of totalitarianism.
After the first world war, everyone was shell-shocked. Then the Great Depression hit, and everyone was afraid of losing a living. There was also a growing fear of another war starting due to the unrest in Europe. Of course, there was fear of a serious bomb and other war-related fears during World War II.
Fear manifested itself during the Great Depression, indeed it was what FDR had in mind when he said that fear itself was "the only thing we have to fear." It was fear that caused people to take money out of banks causing them to collapse. It was fear that kept businesses from hiring people. It was fear that kept people from investing money, which led to a credit crunch. Only through restored confidence, he was arguing, could the depression turn around. As far as the aftermath of World War II, I'd attribute much of the postwar economic success to massive government spending.
The main impacts of this fear was probably seen after the war. This was seen when Americans turned their fear of hard times into a desire to work really hard. That hard work, in part, brought a time of great prosperity to the US.
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