Limitations placed on American civil liberties during the Cold War - Research Paper Example

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The Cold War describes the period in the world history which was marked by extreme geopolitical, ideological, and economic strife between the United States of America and the formerly Soviet Union (USSR). It begun in 1947 soon after the World War II had ended. Both the USA and…
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Limitations placed on American civil liberties during the Cold War
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Download file to see previous pages This conflict ranged from mere subtle espionage across in major cities to combat action in places such as the Vietnam. The Cold War was thus pegged on communist fear that ended up curtailing the America’s freedom of speech, altered the foreign policies, and discouraged the voices of dissent.
The Cold War period remains one of the most repressive times in the history of the U.S. where the freedom of speech was significantly subjugated. In an effort to bring to light cases of espionage, root out disloyal citizens, and the threat of communist spreading across the world, the U.S. government rolled out a number of programs that instilled so much fear among the Americans. At the centre of the repressive policies was the anticommunist Senator Joseph McCarthy. McCarthy was in charge of House Un-American Activities Committee whose role was to investigate acts of subversion that threatened the U.S. constitution1. This committee inadvertently began looking into suspicious cases of people within the federal government either directly or indirectly supporting communist’s agenda. Those holding public offices were thus required to take loyalty oaths as one of the measures to test or deter Communist sympathizers. The loyalty program later became part and parcel of Presidential Executive Orders2. The end result was of this loyalty program is that many Americans became afraid or discouraged of raising their thoughts or debating outside what was regarded as the norm. The “red scare” and fear of contradicting the norm made many Americans afraid of exercising their Freedom of speech as embodied in the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. The right to openly and publicly express ones idea were significantly hampered as one could easily be mistaken or linked to communist sympathizer.
The Cold War equally affected the American politics to a greater extent. The U.S. presidents under the full backing of the congress set out to revise ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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