Q:

How did the "Cold War" affect America?

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Quick Answer

The Cold War affected America both while it lasted and after it ended. During the more than 40 years it lasted, the Cold War brought American soldiers into two wars that no side won, changed the political climate and kept many citizens terrified of nuclear disaster. Since the end of the Cold War, Americans have faced a new world order that has precipitated global terrorism and uncertainty.

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As long as it lasted, the Cold War kept American life off balance to one degree or another. Times like the Cuban missile crisis had Americans terrified of imminent nuclear war. Fallout shelters and bomb drills were common. America became involved in unpopular military conflicts in Korea and Vietnam in the name of stopping the spread of communism. The red scare and McCarthyism changed the face of politics in America. When the Cold War ended in the late 1980s, many Americans did not realize the world's geopolitical landscape was shifting. America no longer fears the Soviet Union in the same way, but the enemy has become less defined. Small countries have obtained nuclear weapons or the capacity to make them, and these often radical countries are more of a threat than the Soviet Union had been. Americans have been affected by global terrorism, even within the nation's boundaries.

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Related Questions

  • Q:

    What year did the Cold War begin?

    A:

    There is no specific date that marked the beginning of the Cold War, but most agree that it began shortly following the second World War, somewhere from 1945 to 1947. Unlike other wars, the Cold War never involved actual fighting or traditional war events, but instead describes a prolonged tense state between the United States and Russia.

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  • Q:

    What is a brief summary of the Cold War?

    A:

    The Cold War was a period of heightened military and political tensions between the United States and its allies on one side and the Soviet Union and its allies on the other. Both superpowers engaged in a variety of contests against each other, including military brinkmanship and proxy wars in smaller countries to spread their ideologies. Ultimately, the economic engine of capitalism won out and the Soviet Union collapsed.

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  • Q:

    What were the main causes of the Cold War?

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    The Cold War was caused by mistrust, differing political systems and the disagreement over the rebuilding of Berlin and Europe. The question of war reparations caused a divide between the Soviet Union and the Allies.

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  • Q:

    Who is awarded the Cold War Victory Medal?

    A:

    The Cold War Victory Medal is privately bought and worn on non-military clothing by civilians and retirees who served during the Cold War from September 2, 1945 to December 26, 1991. As of 2015, the Department of Defense has not issued an official Cold War Victory Medal, according to the official website of the Department of Veteran's Services.

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