The Cold War in 1947 to 1991 changed America for the better. The Cold war was a war between the United States and the Soviet Union which occurred after World War II. The war was about who would have control over Europe and about the atomic bomb. The battle for power between the United States and the Soviet Union was the biggest problem with the war lasting for 44 years. With economic growth, a strengthened military, and international peace the United States changed for better.
The Potsdam Conference was the beginning of the Cold War. The conference was the final meeting determining what would happen to Europe. Winston Churchill of Britain, Joseph Stalin of the Soviet Union, and Harry Truman of the United States were the ones meeting at the conference. Truman and Stalin could not reach a compromise on the control over Europe so they decided to divide it. The real issues began after the Potsdam Conference. Agreements from the conference were broken and neither the United States nor the Soviet Union could trust each other and so the Cold War began.
The Cold War never actually involved a battle by military powers; this war was based on thoughts of what the other might be doing. The atomic bomb which was used on Hiroshima and Nagasaki during World War II was a new invention and of large nuclear power. The atomic bomb was a big part of the tension between the U.S and the Soviet Union. The development of the atomic bomb was kept secret from Stalin while they were still allies and did not become known to Stalin until during the Potsdam conference. While there was the Baruch Plan to outlaw nuclear weapons along with the Soviet Union’s push to ban nuclear weapons it led to an arms race of weapons between the U.S and the Soviet Union during the Cold War because neither wanted to fully disarm. Though neither the United States nor the Soviet Union engaged in a military battle the military’s weapons were strengthening.
Communism was what the Soviet Union followed and embraced. The U.S. foreign policy known as containment (1947) was created to keep Soviet Union’s communists ways of government out of the U.S and out of other countries. The policy of containment came about when Britain could not aid Greece or Turkey in which Greece was in a civil war. The U.S believed the Soviet Union had part in the problems Greece was having and because of that the United Stated saw a potential Soviet Union control and spread of communism and decided that they needed to do something about it. In return the Truman Doctrine was presented. The Truman Doctrine announced the financial help that Greece needed and the American support to help Greece get back on its feet, as well as Turkey due to a potential takeover of totalitarianism. The Truman Doctrine presented to the President, Speaker of the House and members of Congress asking for the financial assistance. The Doctrine was also a hint of the Cold War. This doctrine was good for America because they were a resource internationally and they were able uphold the democratic view of the United States.
The Marshall Plan was next for the United States. Marshall Plan was created by George Marshall and it was his plan was to help the Europe economy recover as well as help the people of Europe which Marshall included the Soviet Union in which they declined the offer. The Soviets saw this as a way for the U.S. to try and take control. The Marshall Plan was helpful to not only Europe and its economy but it was helpful to the United States economy as well because goods were to be bought from the United States and its economy.
The Berlin Blockade which occurred on June 20, 1948 was the Soviet Union blocking rail and road traffic to Berlin. Americans persistence to stay in proved America’s strength. The Berlin Airlift showed character in the United States in getting the Berlin citizens out. The United States continued to push for peace. After the blockade the Cold War only expanded and it expanded into Asia. The United States military had to get stronger and this was a good change for America to get stronger. Along with strengthened military was the National Security act that would keep American prepared for the present and future and ensuring safety for Americans. The Cold War while it was scary it was preparing the United States for the future.
While the Cold War continued it continued into Asia causing a split in the two. The Korean war also continued the Cold war. While the Cold war continued, on American soil civil rights acts were pursuing and the communism scare in the United States was occurring. Joseph McCarthy presented Americans with the thought that there were government employees who were communists acting as spies for the Soviet Union. While his accusations were not true it was enough to scare the American people. Dwight D. Eisenhower would be the next President for the United States and he ended the Korean War although it was still divided the war ended. In the United States Americans were bettering themselves. Desegregation was beginning and suburbs were growing.
The Cold War changed American for the better. There were policies and plans created to keep America prepared. It created a more strengthened and more aware military power, international peace, and a stimulated growing economy that was still recovering from the Great Depression. The Cold War while lasted a long time there was change that helped America in its present and its future.
A Divided Postwar World-
Joseph McCarthy: “Enemies from Within” Speech- https://www.milestonedocuments.com/documents/view/marshall-plan/text
Harry S. Truman: Statement Announcing the Use of the Atomic Bomb on Hiroshima- https://www.milestonedocuments.com/documents/view/harry-s-trumans-statement-announcing-the-use-of-the-a-bomb-on-hiroshima/text
Harry S. Truman: Truman Doctrine https://www.milestonedocuments.com/documents/view/truman-doctrine
George Marshall: Marshall Plan Speech- https://www.milestonedocuments.com/documents/view/marshall-plan/text