Cold War Between the United States and the Soviet Union

Draft an essay by answering the questions below:

Based on your reading of Chapter 25, the documents from the Reader, and the “Committee” Documentary, discuss the tensions that fueled the Cold War between the United States and the Soviet Union. How did this geopolitical struggle produce the Red Scare at home, and who became the domestic targets for the McCarthy-era witch hunts?

Chicago-style in-text citations must be included in the footnotes.

Reference

1.     The American Yawp

2.     The Committee (May 2016) https://www.pbs.org/video/committee-committee/

Cold War between the United States and the Soviet Union-Sample Solution

The Cold War marks a critical geopolitical tension between the Soviet Union, the United States, and their respective allies, the Eastern Bloc and the Western Block. The Cold War was a global ideological and political struggle between the capitalist (United States) and the communist (USSR), the superpowers that survived post-World War II. The Cold War began as early as 1946, just after the end of the Second World War. The period of tension was referred to as the ‘Cold War’ since neither the United States nor the Soviet Union openly and officially declared war on one another. However, both parties struggled to prevent each other from spreading their political and economic systems worldwide.(Cold War between the United States and the Soviet Union Essay)

Tensions that fuelled the Cold War between the United States and the Soviet Union

First, the Cold World War resulted from ideological conflict (capitalist v. communism) between the two main allies. The United States was a liberal democrat based on individualism ideologies, while the Soviet Union emphasized collectivism and socialism[1]. The United States disliked how the Soviet Union ran the government and feared that the communists wanted to overthrow all non-communist governments. In this case, the Russian revolution caused immense fear in the United States. For instance, the overthrowing of the Czar by socialists saw the beginning of the formation of communist governments challenging the democrats United States. The United States believed that Bolshevik leader Vladimir wanted to spread communism worldwide.(Cold War between the United States and the Soviet Union Essay)

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Towards the of the Second World War, the Yalta Conference brought together Winston Churchill, Joseph Stalin, and Franklin Roosevelt to discuss how to reorganize Europe after the defeat of Adolf Hitler and the Nazis. However, the Conference heightened the tension for Cold War since there was a divide between the three leaders as Joseph Stalin believed that the Soviet army was abandoned to face Nazi Germany without support. The Potsdam Conference further intensified the tension as the three leaders remained divided.

Subsequently, the arms build-up, technological advancement, and space race raised the tension for Cold War. The bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945 by the United States led to a sudden change in warfare. The bombing led to arms build-up as the Soviet Union speeded up its research on nuclear weapons and tested an atomic bomb by August 29, 1949, without anticipating the United States, leading to an armed race between the two parties. The United States responded and detonated the first hydrogen bomb by November 1, 1952. The USSR continued to launch its hydrogen bomb in 1953. Notably, the Soviet Union successfully adopted German technology. It launched Sputnik 1 on October 4, 1957, while the U.S. also rushed to adopt the Intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) technology and created the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) in 1958.(Cold War between the United States and the Soviet Union Essay)

How did this geopolitical struggle produce the Red Scare at Home

The Red Scare marked immense panic concerning potential threats posed to the United States by the communists in the U.S. during the Cold War. During the intense rivalry between the democrat United States and the communist Soviet Union, there existed concerns in the U.S. that leftist sympathizers and communists within American borders were actively working as Soviet spies to threaten the nation’s security. Joseph R. McCarthy, a U.S. senator, created a national scene on February 9, 1950, claiming that he had a list of 205 members of the communist party that was still working to shape American policies. The growing fears about the Red scarce made President Truman issue an executive order to investigate the loyalty of Federal employees to the U.S. government.

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Espionage activities during the Cold War between the United States and the Soviet Union led to the Red scarce. In this case, the leakage of the United States government’s military, government, and economic secrets through espionage played an instrumental role in heightening tensions. For instance, the United States convicted and tried Jewish Americans Ethel and Julius for espionage for stealing and sharing the nation’s military army secrets about atomic bombs with the communist Soviet Union. The trial, among other arrests, contributed to the Red Scare among Americans.

Domestic Targets for the McCarthy-era Witch Hunts

The formation of an alliance between the United States and the Soviet Union during the Second World War (1917 to 1945) was out of convenience to defeat Nazi Germany and the Japanese empire. After the war, Cold War began between the democratic United States and the Communist Soviet Union. By the 1950s, the heightened concerns for anti-communist hysteria saw Wisconsin senator McCarthy lead a prolonged witch-hunt to expose and convict any communists within the United States territory. McCarthy’s movement was known as the witch Hunt since it accused political opponents of being anti-American and communists without any evidence of the charges. McCarthy’s movement used a political tactic to frustrate and smear opponents with opposing views.(Cold War between the United States and the Soviet Union Essay)

Subsequently, national committees were formed to curb the communist threat across the United States. One of the committees, led by Florida Senator Charley Johns, the Florida Investigative Legislative Committee, initially targeted the civil rights activist the National Association for the Advancement of Coloured People (NAACP) that fought for the disintegration in Florida. However, the NAACP managed to prove its innocence of involvement with communists. Thus, the committee focused on homosexuals (gays and lesbians) as the main targets[2]. The Florida Investigative Legislative Committee targeted homosexual teachers and students at the University of Florida, leading to the firing and expulsion of more than 200 citizens. Notably, The 1950s saw a period of terror for homosexuals where they linked to support communism ideology. The authority used to interrogate homosexuals about their association with communism to suit its political agenda during the Cold War.(Cold War between the United States and the Soviet Union Essay)

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Cold War between the United States and the Soviet Union Essay

Bibliography

THE AMERICAN YAWP: The Cold War. A Massively Collaborative Open U.S. History Textbook. (2022). Retrieved from https://www.americanyawp.com/text/25-the-cold-war/

The Committee (2016). Retrieved from https://www.pbs.org/video/committee-committee/

[1] THE AMERICAN YAWP: The Cold War. A Massively Collaborative Open U.S. History Textbook. (2022). Retrieved from https://www.americanyawp.com/text/25-the-cold-war/

[2] The Committee (2016). Retrieved from https://www.pbs.org/video/committee-committee/

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