How did World War II affect America's political affiliation?

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thetall eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The situation in America after the Second World War was highly optimistic. The country and its allies emerged from the war victorious against a formidable opposition. The economy was growing exponentially supported by the production of military and consumer goods. Farmers were also doing well, with the segment mass producing for internal consumption and for export. Veterans back home were extended the opportunity to improve their living standards through the purchase of homes, farms and attending school. However, as people were beginning to enjoy the new opportunities, a new threat emerged fueled by military activities and political differences. Cold War ushered a state of tension and conflict between the U.S. and its allies and the Soviet Union and its allies.

Communism became a major issue between the two opposing factions. The Soviet Union sought to take advantage of the postwar weakness to spread the ideology. On the other hand, the U.S. viewed communism as a threat not only in the global arena but also back home. President Truman supported liberal views which formed the middle ground between communism and Jim Crow in the American political arena. He campaigned against communism and secured an election victory over Wallace, who supported communism. His victory during the election confirmed American political affiliation, which leaned towards anti-communism views and beliefs.

Truman’s expansive vision of opportunity in American society went hand-in-hand with strong intolerance toward radicalism. The President sold his “fair deal” as a liberal alternative to the violence of fascism and Jim Crow on the political right, and the fanaticism of communism and socialism on the political left. (Gilderlehrman)

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