300 Word Discussion
Six years after Churchill’s Iron Curtain speech, Dwight D. Eisenhower became the new leader of the United States. In that time period, several related developments occurred: first, the Soviet Union acquired an atomic bomb, thereby levelling the nuclear playing field; second (subsequently), the United States engaged in a massive rearmament program that was well underway by the time Eisenhower became president; third, a communist revolution in China in 1949 succeeded in overthrowing the United States-backed nationalist government, rendering China a communist state more sympathetic to the Soviet Union; fourth, the Cold War became “hot” in Korea; and fifth, a direct confrontation in Berlin in 1948 put the United States and the USSR in a state near conventional war.
For all of the talk of American exceptionalism that emerged after World War II, it appears that American confidence was at least matched by American fear and anxiety. We can see this in any number of places and ways on both the international and domestic stages. So let’s use this thread to unpack some of the anxieties you have learned in this module.
Choose an international or domestic event that contributed to American fear. How does that event shape the course of American development in the 1950s