The Cold War Effects on American Politics, Culture and Economics essay


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Beginning from the 2nd half of the 19th centuryafter World War 2 termination in 1945, the Cold War became a veryinfluential force in many aspects of the society in the UnitedStates. The war escalated because of the rival values and ideologiesbetween the two major powers comprising of the United States that wasa representative of democracy and capitalism and the Soviet Unionthat was a representative of communism as well as authoritarianism.Because of the high influence of the two powers in the world, therivalry between them made the conflict involve all nations in theworld. The war was unique because it mostly based on propagandathrough the media rather than military confrontation. However, theVietnam and Korean wars are significant illustrations of militaryconfrontation by the United States with the objective of preventingthe expansion of communism and authoritarianism. The two wars hadlittle influence on both the domestic and foreign policy of theUnited States compared with the Cold War. The Cold War significantlyaltered the culture, politics as well as the economic policies of theUnited States.

Effect of the Cold War on American Culture

The Cold War enhanced creativity and development of art in thecountry through the necessity of inventing new methods of passingideas and information that changed the people’s thoughts about thewar. Many American artists were inventing new ways of driving thepeople out of the mentalities that supported the war in the variousparts of the world. For example, the Woodstock music festival thatRojas (2016) pointed gathered more than four hundred thousand peoplewhere many artists performed and presented their views against thewar in Vietnam. The culture acted as a turning point towards thedevelopment of music and culture in the United States. The festivalthat originally aimed at addressing the significance of peace ratherthan war provided an opportunity for artists to show their talents,which inspired many others to continue exploring their talents evenafter the end of the war. The war provoked feelings of solidarity andharmony towards a more united nation where people can express theirviews and feelings with great autonomy. Kishi (2016) showed that theCold War nurtured the feelings of oneness and the existence of oneculture in a country known for its high cultural diversity and ethnicgroups. Consequently, the society moved towards reconciliation andremoval of all cultural barriers that hindered development andcohesion leading to the important values of respect, honor, trust andhonesty for all groups in the society. The war installed a culture ofa non-violent way of solving problems as the best and most effectiveapproach in the society. The people understood that violence or waraffects both the targeted victims as well as the innocent thatfinally renders the negative effects to outweigh the positive effects(Itami, 2016). Since then, the people thought of knowledge thattargets the traditional beliefs and customs that directly affects theway people behave and act. Therefore, the society became moresensitive towards the necessity of change in culture and customs as ameans of achieving the desired change.

Effect of the Cold War on American Politics

The Cold War acted as the base for strengthening the developmentof some of the significant elements of democracy such asaccountability and transparency. The adverse effects of the war,as mentioned by Poniktera (2016) influenced the people to rise andspeak openly against the war. The increased public pressureinfluenced the federal government to adopt new approaches that led tothe end of the war. Therefore, people learned that their voices aremore important and capable of influencing government policy, whichcaused a culture of political participation by the people indetermining the policies initiated by the government. On the otherhand, the government learned to be more accountable to the peoplethat also influenced the adoption of transparency as a means ofproving its concern in meeting the demands of the public. Inaddition, the domestic, as well as the foreign policy of the UnitedStates, moved towards the protection and respect for human life as acore principle of democracy. The success of the Cold War ininfluencing policy reforms in many countries led to the enforcementof the policies and systems that oversee and protects the lives ofpeople at all categories. The United States interest in promotingpeace and democracy increased significantly that created avenue fordemocratic development both at home and in the world (Kim, 2016). TheUnited States started acting as a role model for peaceful resolutionof conflicts and shaped its policy towards anti-colonialism in theworld. The process spearheaded democratization where the will of thepeople continued to acquire greater significance with propagandabeing a perfect tool for influencing political change rather thanmilitary aggression. Furthermore, as hinted by Smith (2016) the ColdWar inspired strengthening of the legal systems in the country tomeet the desires of the democratic system of governance in thecountry. This owed to the need of providing the world with evidenceof suitability of democracy/capitalism overcommunism/authoritarianism in promoting national development.

Effect of the Cold War on American Economics

The war influenced economic reforms and cultures that promotedinnovation and economic development in the country as well as inforeign countries. As a means of proving the superiority ofcapitalism over authoritarianism, the United States involvement inpromoting economic development both domestically and internationallyincreased (Kern, 2016). This culture continued to occupy asignificant position in the economic plan of the country until in thepresent day to encourage innovation and competitiveness in the world.In addition, the people in the United States developed high interestin buying consumer products to help in stimulating economic growth.Consequently, beginning in the 1960s, the United States became themost powerful economic power with a major role in the global economyuntil present. The consumption culture illustrated the superiority ofcapitalism over authoritarianism and defined the historical missionof United States in extending freedom to other nations in the world.This, according to Kim (2016) followed the removal of traderestrictions and efficient taxation system right from the 1980s thatpromoted rapid economic development in the country. The use of mostof the revenue collected in providing military aid and advancementboth domestically and internationally prompted the Soviet Union toadopt a similar policy that finally led to its collapse, which provedthe superiority of capitalism and democracy over communism andauthoritarianism. This success, as portrayed by Kerr (2016)stimulated Americans to focus more on innovation and productivitythat continues to sustain the position of the nation and strength ofcapitalism and democracy in the world.


The Cold War had very significant effects on the cultural, politicalas well as the economic development of the United States. The warstimulated cultural development by laying the foundation forinnovation in the music industry as well as the methods used byartists in conveying an influential message that can change peopleperception on various issues. The war influenced common thoughts thatharmonized the way of life of the American people to seek for newways of solving problems. The nation started moving to a morecivilized way of behaving and solving problems. In addition, the ColdWar influenced political development in the country by stimulatingpublic participation in the determination and formulation of nationalpolicies. It also established and strengthened the culture oftransparency and accountability as core principles of democracy toenhance the participation of the people in governing the country.Finally, the war shaped the economic policies of the country byinfluencing the public to develop an interest in buying consumergoods to promote economic growth. This led to the emergence of theUnited States as the strongest economic power in the world. Inaddition, the war influenced the country to adopt suitable economicpolicies such as deregulation and efficient taxation that promotedbusiness and innovation, which led to increased revenue that fundedmilitary development and aid. The idea caused the collapse of theSoviet Union that tried to imitate, which proved the superiority ofcapitalism over authoritarianism.


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