How did the Cold War shape the politics, economy, society and culture of the US during the period between 1947 and 1960?

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mkoren | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Senior Educator

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The Cold War had a huge impact on our country during the time period of 1947-1960 (and beyond.)  It impacted us economically, politically, socially, and culturally.

The Cold War had a big impact on our politics.  There were many thoughts on how to deal with the Communist threat. President Truman followed the policy of Containment. Our goal was to keep Communism from expanding.  Thus, we helped countries trying to fight the spread of Communism.  Eisenhower believed in the concepts of brinkmanship and massive retaliation.  These relied on a nuclear deterrent to stop the spread of Communism.

Our economy was impacted by the Cold War.  Our economy was very strong during this time period. We needed to have a strong economy to show other countries that they didn’t need to become Communist. We also spent a lot on having a strong military. This was good for the economy as jobs were created.

Our society and culture were also affected.  There was the Second Red Scare.  Americans were convinced there were Communists in our government, and a witch-hunt developed to find them.  This allowed Senator Joseph McCarthy to rise to power so quickly. We also developed an anti-Communist sentiment in our country.  Anything or anybody connected to Communism was viewed very negatively.

The Cold War had a tremendous impact on our country from 1947-1960 and beyond.