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The cold war - Essay Example

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The creation of the US atomic bomb had two purposes: (1) to force Japan to surrender and immediately end World War II and (2) to monopolize atomic weaponry…
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The Cold War The Soviet Union Explodes an Atomic Bomb In 1945, the United s’ atomic bomb, d “Trinity”, was first tested at Alamogordo in New Mexico. The creation of the US atomic bomb had two purposes: (1) to force Japan to surrender and immediately end World War II and (2) to monopolize atomic weaponry worldwide, particularly against the USSR, that would enable the US to control power of foreign policy (“The Cold War”).
On March 12, 1947, in a speech delivered by President Harry Truman in a Congressional session, he committed America to provide full assistance to the populace in jeopardy of the Soviet expansionism and Communist aggression, and to protect any democratic country’s political honor (Holmes & Carafano). Truman’s policy, also called the “containment doctrine,” was intended to suppress and control the spread of Communism worldwide. The containment promptly became the executive U.S. policy towards the USSR (“The Cold War”).
In 1949, Soviet Union had effectively launched its first atomic bomb, thus ending Americas monopoly of atomic weaponry. This event started the Cold War. The US then realized that the country was faced with threats of nuclear warfare. The government immediately commenced the investigation of the probability of the US atomic secrets leaked to the Russians by American Communists. High-status court proceedings concluded the conviction and execution of the Rosenbergs in 1953 (“The Second Red Scare: Fear and Loathing in High Places, 1947-1954”). Julius and Ethel Rosenberg, under the Espionage Act, were found guilty of conspiracy to commit espionage for the Soviet Union from 1944 to 1950. The Rosenbergs had been fundamentally involved in a Communist undercover agent circle that leaked US national defense secrets, particularly blueprints of high-explosive lens patterns and the US atomic bomb Trinity design, to the Soviet Union (Parrish).
Truman’s war on communism ignited an anti-communist panic that led to espionage trials, an aggressive communist manhunt, and escalated aggression as the American government questioned, deported and investigated citizens suspected of being communists (“The Second Red Scare: Fear and Loathing in High Places, 1947-1954”).
Truman’s proposal that the country exercise military force to contain the global communist conspiracy started a chain of armed conflicts and deadly arms race between the U.S. and the U.S.S.R. (“Cold War”). The anti-communist hysteria precipitated the U.S. involvement in the Korean War (Sandler).
The Second Red Scare (McCarthy and The Spies in the US)
The Second Red Scare occurred after the World War II. Hostility mounted as the US government ordered the arrest, deportation and investigation of citizens suspected of being spies. Under President Truman’s administration, anyone suspected of membership to the Communist Party of the United States of America (CPUSA) was guilty of treason. Suspects were forced out of employment. People from the movie industry, as well as those in the news and entertainment media, were subpoenaed by the US Congress’s House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC). Soon after, the media began its own Communist manhunt. Every assembly gathered and published the names of media people believed to be un-American in their political
principles. There was an air of panic and distrust everywhere (“The Second Red Scare: Fear and
Loathing in High Places, 1947-1954”).
The fifties era was enveloped with concern over treachery and the "Communist menace." In the middle of this menace was the Senator from Wisconsin, Joseph McCarthy. McCarthy served his first term as an infamous backbench partisan (Unger). To guarantee his political victory in the upcoming election, he took advantage of the country’s panic against Communism. On his most famous speech on February 9, 1950, he made his impact by naming 205 people in the State Department who were allegedly recognized affiliates of the American Communist Party (Oh & Latham).
This caused national alarm and called for immediate investigations of the subversive activists. Senator Joseph McCarthy pointed a finger at numerous innocent civilians who are in any way connected with communism based on circumstantial evidences. Accusations were not supported by real evidences other than deliberate allegations. McCarthys witch hunt caused widespread job losses following the government’s suspicion of more than ten thousand alleged subversives who were quickly fired and disintegrated from society (Schrecker).
McCarthy became the chairman of the Government Committee on Operations of the Senate, all the more extending his power to examine the nonconformists. For two years, he persistently questioned several government departments, the media people, the clergy, and other prominent sections of the US society. The national terror stemming from the witch-hunts and communist threats became branded as McCarthyism (Oh & Latham). This panic made the headlines and made McCarthy an instant sensation and a heroic defender of true Americanism. In 1952, McCarthy won reelection and together with fellow fanatical anti-Communists, turned the rest of the fifties into a decade of fright and oppression (Unger). McCarthyism became a
cursed subject to hush people from talking about the Communist infiltration and espionage of the
American existence (“McCarthyism, Red Scare, and Domestic Subversion”).
During the age of McCarthyism, because political actions could attract attention, the more sensible folks eluded them. The average Americans converted themselves into social conformists, much to the dismay of the scholars. University people were divided into two classes: a repressed group of students and a team of self-suppressed professors fearful of teaching what might be wrongly interpreted as Un-American. “The Black Silence of Fear” apparently covered the land, and momentous political opposition became stronger. Noticeably the congressional investigations, allegiance plans, and blacklists influenced the life of every American (Schrecker).
Works Cited
“Cold War.” HISTORY.COM. 2012. 20 March 2013. Holmes, Kim and James Carafano. Defining the Obama Doctrine, Its Pitfalls, and How
to Avoid Them. Heritage Foundation. 2010. 20 March 2013.
“McCarthyism, Red Scare, and Domestic Subversion.” Discover the Network. 2005.
20 March 2013. Oh, Joyce and Amanda Latham. “Senator Joseph McCarthy, McCarthyism and the Witch Hunt.”
The Cold War Museum. n. d. 20 March 2013. Parrish, Michael T. “Cold War Justice: The Supreme Court and the Rosenbergs.”
The American Historical Review, 82.4 (Oct. 1977): 805-842.
Sandler, Stanley. The Korean War: An Encyclopedia. New York: Garland Publishing, 1995.
Schrecker, Ellen. The Age of McCarthyism: A Brief History with Documents.
Boston: St. Martins Press, 1994.
“The Cold War.” Atom Central. n. d. 20 March 2013.
“The Second Red Scare: Fear and Loathing in High Places. 1947 – 1954.” Late Twentieth
Century America and the World, 1945-1990s. n. d. 20 March 2013.
Unger, Irwin. American Issues: A Primary Source Reader in United States History.
NJ: Prentice Hall, 1994. Read More
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