The Cold War Essay

This essay has a total of 1285 words and 6 pages.

The Cold War

Some say that it is useless to speak of world peace or world law or world disarmament -
and that it will be useless until the leaders of the Soviet Union adopt a more enlightened
attitude. I hope they do. I believe we can help them to do it. But I also believe that we
must reexamine our own attitude - as individuals and as a Nation - for our attitude is as
essential as theirs. And every graduate of this school, every thoughtful citizen who
despairs of war and wishes to bring peace, should begin by looking inward - by examining
his own attitude toward the possibilities of peace, toward the Soviet Union, toward the
course of the cold war and toward freedom and peace here at home.

President John F. Kennedy, American University Speech, June 10, 1963

The Cold War was a time in American History during the twentieth century where the
Communist nations were fighting against the non-Communist nations. However, the main
countries involved, or the ones leading the two sides were the United States and Russia.
The United States led the fight against Communist nations, like Russia. But these intense
rivalries didn’t just go on in the type of government that should be used or in who could
develop the most advanced and most powerful nuclear weapon of the time. This rivalry went
into the culture of American societies. The Russians were always being viewed as the
toughest rival and the team to beat according to the US. It is similar to how teams think
of the defending champions in a sport. The team playing the defending champions wants to
come out hyped up and with their “A-game” every time they are competing with them.
Another impact it had on the American society was how people started acting and thinking.
In many of the movies and television shows of the time, most people wouldn’t have noticed,
but the directors and producers were hiding subliminal messages in them. Some of them
depicting how awful the Russians were or how supreme the Americans were. But was American
society affected by the Cold War, or was America just trying to make their society better
to show it off to the other countries? Basically, did America’s way of life and economy
during the cold war improve because they wanted it to show it off or was it a necessity?

The Cold War did affect the American’s way of life. America was a young nation and it was
just beginning to develop into a dominant country. It first really just established
itself as a world power during the two world wars. Therefore, the cold war was a time in
which Americans were trying to get a name for themselves by showing how great, life in
their country was. Shows like Leave It to Beaver and Father Knows Best portrayed the
stereotypical American families. Even though everyone knows that there is no such thing
as a perfect family, people still enjoyed watching these types of shows. Commercials, or
shows like I Love Lucy, showing the stereotypical woman or housewife in the kitchen were
another way of showing things off. It is really very difficult to always own the latest
models of things coming out. So a woman in a kitchen with all the new appliances is
really unlikely. This was another way of showing off to other countries how life was or
wasn’t. However, the show I Love Lucy, mainly showed how much freedom a woman had when
her husband wasn’t home. Lucy constantly did foolish things that weren’t exactly the ways
women were supposed to have been behaving. Once again, the United States was portraying
how great life was in America compared to other countries. The majority of the television
shows during the 1950s showed no poverty, death, ethnic mixing, or racial tension. It
just presented the “perfect world.”

Juxtaposed, it could be argued that the Cold War didn’t help shape the American society.
American life could have just formed like how it was supposed to happen; like human
nature. When the men all came back from World War II, many women lost their jobs and
weren’t as active as they were during the time of WWII. The jobs were all given back to
the men, and women were once again treated very delicately. They went back to their old
ways of life when a woman’s life wasn’t supposed to be strenuous. That then caused the
emergence of the “in-the-house-all-day” housewife. The idea of the housewife then became
more exaggerated and led to the creation of the various commercials portraying the
“perfect lifestyle.” All of these reasons point to the society being shaped naturally
just by the way things were turning out.

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