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What Were the Cold War Fears of the American People After the Second World War? How Successfully Did the Administration of President Dwight D. Eisenhower Address These Fears?

Autor:   •  January 30, 2018  •  1,109 Words (5 Pages)  •  610 Views

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in their newly-installed shelter with stocked food, water, and other necessities. Now, if Eisenhower was successful in addressing the fears of the American people, I doubt that they would have sought out further protection from fallout shelters. Implementing John Foster Dulles plan was a nice try. It probably sturred a few hearts with its aggressive opposition to communism, but still had little results (Document B). Document F shows the one cartoonist’s opinion on how well he thought Eisenhower was running the country. To him it seemed as if the only thing that mattered to Eisenhower was funding the missile programs which alone exceeded the previous budget. Document H perfectly backs up the reality depicted in the cartoon of document F. Within one decade, the total government spending in billions goes from $40.6 billion to $92.1 billion! Eisenhower did try to “reach out to the younger generations” by addressing the need for technologically advanced persons in the workforce. People immediately picked up on this as his desire to have the best of the best atomic weapon...it’s just sounds nicer when he tops it off with “we must give special attention to education in science and engineering. (Document G)” Congress passed the National Defense and Education Act to assist the government spending in these areas. This was of course encouraged by Sputnik being successfully launched. America’s first few attempts failed. Document H shows that trying to technologically advance America became an important part in government spending as defense spending percentage doubled within that same decade. Eisenhower was really trying hard to protect the safety of American people, all this evidence supports that. He was just striking-out when it came to addressing the fears of the American people. He hardly tried (the fallout shelters). Some might even say he made things worse. For example, he failed miserably at the Geneva convention when he tried to establish an “open sky” over the United States and the Soviet Union. Also the whole ordeal with the U-2 spy plane flying over the Soviet Union. Eisenhower was a mess with foreign affairs. Judging by his earlier claims, Eisenhower originally had an agenda that was in the best interests of the people, but he was met with the national crisis of fear the day he was put in office. In reality there was not much he could do. The american people were unforgiving nonetheless. They showed their dissatisfaction with Eisenhower by electing his successor: John F Kennedy. The man who would “oppose any foe to assure the survival and success of liberty…..on the quest for peace” (Document I)

In the aftermath of the Second World War, communist powers and the Red scare characterized by Joseph McCarthy put the American people in a very fearful state. The fear of the Communists was greatly increased by the arms race and the Soviet Union’s successes (launching Sputnik). Eisenhower did try to defend the safety of the American people in hopes that it would ease all their fears caused by the Cold War that could only be dealt with by making peace with or containing the Soviets. The Eisenhower administration failed to do either of these things thus, it did not successfully address the fears of the American people.

David Watson

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