American society during the early Cold War period
This unit will examine some of the political, social and cultural changes that occurred between 1945 and 1960. This covers the immediate post-war era and includes the presidencies of Harry Truman and Dwight Eisenhower. During this period, Americans experienced an unprecedented surge in GDP growth although the plight of minorities was largely ignored. American society was significantly affected by the start of the Cold War and there was fear and paranoia concerning the threat of the 'Red Menace" during the Second Red Scare. From a foreign policy perspective, the US ended World War Two as a Superpower and became the first (and only) country to use nuclear weapons in wartime when it dropped atomic bombs on Japan in 1945. This sparked off an intense period of ideological and geopolitical competition and rivalry with the Soviet Union.