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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
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