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During the 1940s, America had just experienced the onslaught of World War II. After massive fighting against the Axis power nations (Germany, Italy, and Japan), America, along with its allies in the war, was able to conclude the conflict by deciding to drop the atomic bomb in Japan. The war ended with the Axis power conceding defeat, and America went on to rehabilitate its nation after the war. The rehabilitation of America as a nation weary of possible atrocities among nations in the world is twofold. After the war, America experienced a resurgence in economic growth, primarily brought about by the development of new technologies that spurred the country's commercial market. Furthermore, the growth of new technologies and manufacturing industry in America encouraged social mobility, enabling the middle class society to increase in number, narrowing the gap between the rich and the poor. Thus, the technological revolution and social mobilization became the positive effects of World War II during the 1950s. However, the downside or the negative effect of WWII is that it further intensified America's policy in abolishing attempts to curb freedom. Thus, in the 1950s, America adopted a Containment Policy that tried to stop Communism from spreading in Asia, which traces its roots in China, Russia (or USSR), North Vietnam, and North Korea. The Containment Policy was formulated and implemented because it sought to promote freedom and curb the authoritarian government of Communist policies. Thus, what resulted is the emergence of the Cold War, where America played a vital role in furthering the conflict between North and South Vietnam and North and South Korea. In addition, the Cold War led to tensions between China and USSR and America, leading to political conflict as well as deaths to millions of soldiers who fought for the war in Vietnam and Korea.
As was discussed in the previous item, the Cold War had led to numerous deaths of American soldiers and innocent civilians, specifically in the Vietnam War. Despite the apparent defeat of Americans against the North Vietnamese military and the Viet Cong, the government went on to fight the war, at the expense of innocent people and America's soldiers, including also the total destruction of Vietnam's physical environment.
Because of the defeat of Americans in the war and deaths of thousands of soldiers in action, American society began protesting against the stationing and sending of soldiers to the war in Vietnam. Social movements against the Vietnam War were formed, calling for the government to concede the war against the North Vietnamese. These mobilizations, often termed as the "mob rule," became the norm in American society during the 1960s. The emergence of activism seeking equal rights and expressing sentiments on nationality has become prevalent. This is evident in the mobilization of civil rights and feminist movements during this period, leading to the desegregation and abolishment of prejudice against black Americans and the liberal rights that women are experiencing in the contemporary American society. It is evident that while the World War II and Cold War brought about detrimental effects in the American nation, such as the Vietnam War and Korean War, these events had also contributed to the strengthening of America as a nation. Thus, the events in the 1950s have developed within American society the optimist, activist, and liberal American nation in the 1960s. Thus, the 1960s is characterized as the era of American movements: the civil rights, women, youth, and environmental movements.
Apart from the Cold War, America also experienced battling an emerging nuclear war with the development of the Cuban Missile Crisis under John F. Kennedy's administration. During this event, America battled an emerging nuclear war against Russia, as the latter built its own missile deployments in Cuba, arousing suspicions about possible Russian nuclear attacks against the United States. However, the threat of a nuclear war was dissolved as Russia gave way to retract and remove its missile deployments in Cuba. Another significant event that contributed to the strain in the political power of the U.S. is the protest against the Vietnam War, which was still ongoing until this period. The Watergate Scandal involving President Richard Nixon affected the nation's economic performance, alongside a dwindling confidence in the government, and the end of the Cold War. The combined economic,…[continue]
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