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US FOREIGN POLICY SINCE 1945. April 30, 2007. COLD WAR ON THE HOME FRONT. -Domestic politics and foreign policy closely tied -Cold War made it even more so -- why? -because the United States claimed a position as a model nation, a model democracy

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COLD WAR ON THE HOME FRONT

-Domestic politics and foreign policy closely tied

-Cold War made it even more so -- why?

-because the United States claimed a position as a model nation, a model democracy

-and because many thought that part of the enemy's strategy was to subvert American society


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OUTLINE

I COLD WAR CONSENSUS

II MCCARTHYISM

III CIVIL RIGHTS MOVEMENT

IV ANTI WAR MOVEMENT

V END OF THE COLD WAR CONSENSUS


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COLD WAR CONSENSUS

From the 1940s through to the 1960s

Ingredients:

  • Containment the correct and justified defense of freedom

  • Soviet Union and communism evil, need to be eradicated

  • Anyone questioning the essential righteousness of US policy was a potential subversive

    Manifestations:

  • In presidential elections, being soft on communism was a popular charge, same applies to many senatorial, even congressional elections

  • Careers of Richard Nixon and John F. Kennedy and many others

  • Defense spending a priority

  • National Security State at home: FBI


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MCCARTHYISM

Six years ago, at the time of the first conference to map out peace -- Dumbarton Oaks -- there was within the Soviet orbit 180 million people. Lined up on the anti-totalitarian side there were in the world at that time roughly 1.625 billion people. Today, only six years later, there are 800 million people under the absolute domination of Soviet Russia -- an increase of over 400 percent. On our side, the figure has shrunk to around 500 million. In other words, in less than six years the odds have changed from 9 to 1 in our favor to 8 to 5 against us. This indicates the swiftness of the tempo of communist victories and American defeats in the Cold War…

The reason why we find ourselves in a position of impotency is not because our only powerful, potential enemy has sent men to invade our shores, but rather because of the traitorous actions of those who have been treated so well by this nation… This is glaringly true in the State Department. There the bright young men who are born with silver spoons in their mouths are the ones who have been worst ....

  • Joseph McCarthy, 1950


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CIVIL RIGHTS MOVEMENT

There is no system more corrupt than a system that represents itself as the example of freedom, the example of democracy, and can go all over this earth telling other people how to straighten out their house, and you have citizens of this country who have to use bullets if they want to cast a ballot.

America is a colonial power. She has colonized 22 million Afro-Americans by depriving us of first-class citizenship, by depriving us of civil rights, actually by depriving us of human rights. She has not only deprived us of the right to be a citizen, she has deprived us of the right to be human beings, the right to be recognized and respected as men and women.

Malcolm X, 1964



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END OF THE COLD WAR CONSENSUS

  • We are people of this generation, bred in at least modest comfort, housed now in universities, looking uncomfortably to the world we inherit.

  • When we were kids the United States was the wealthiest and strongest country in the world; the only one with the atom bomb, the least scarred by modern war, an initiator of the United Nations that we thought would distribute Western influence throughout the world. Freedom and equality for each individual, government of, by, and for the people--these American values we found god, principles by which we could live as men. Many of us began maturing in complacency.

  • As we grew, however, our comfort was penetrated by events too troubling to dismiss. First, the permeating and victimizing fact of human degradation, symbolized by the Southern struggle against racial bigotry, compelled most of us from silence to activism. Second, the enclosing fact of the Cold War, symbolized by the presence of the Bomb, brought awareness that we ourselves, and our friends, and millions of abstract "others" we knew more directly because of our common peril, might die at any time. We might deliberately ignore, or avoid, or fail to feel all other human problems, but not these two, for these were too immediate and crushing in their impact, too challenging in the demand that we as individuals take the responsibility for encounter and resolution.

  • Port-Huron Statement, 1962


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