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The Effects of the Cold War on the Americas

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Essay title: The Effects of the Cold War on the Americas

The Effects of the Cold War on the Americas

For nearly fifty years, the world lived in fear as two super-power nations quietly battled for power, respect and popularity of their respective political views. The Cold War arose out of the ashes of the failed alliance between the United States and the Soviet Union in World War II. Many different factors could be linked to the actual cause of the Cold War, however many agree that the political future of Eastern Europe was the major spark that ignited the battle between Communist Russia and Capitalist America1. The American fear of the spread of communism and their ambition to penetrate the "Iron Curtain" only added fuel to the fire that had been burning for some time already. Although the causes are too numerous to get into detail, the effects were felt throughout the world, not only just in the US and Russia. The effects of the struggle can still be seen in today's culture, and are prominent at that. Hence, although many lives were lost, millions of dollars were spent and resources expended2, the Cold War "benefited" some more than others, mainly "benefiting" North America and Europe, while Latin America still seems to be suffering the consequences of becoming involved with the war. However, if one were to ask who "won" the war, it is near impossible to answer, as the negatives of the situation far outweigh the positives.

Nowhere was the impact of the Cold War felt greater than in the United States. The fear of communism spreading, referred to as "McCarthyism", dominated the minds of Americans shortly after the Cold War commenced and stayed that way for quite some time3. However fear, if it was that, paved the way for landmarks that would help shape the United States into the powerful nation that they are today.

The use of atomic weapons in WWII was a symbol of nuclear monopoly for the US. Thus, the threat of "nuclear devastation"4 to the Soviets was real. As a result, a race for atomic respect began. In August of 1949, the Soviets successfully detonated their first nuclear weapon, mutualizing the threat of a nuclear Armageddon5. Out of the arms race came a huge increase in technological advancements that could be useful against the enemy, as well as a new psychology known as MAD (Mutually Assured Destruction)- the philosophy that both nations had the power

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