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Ch 12: Cold War & Activism in America

About This Chapter

Find out what it was like in America after World War II with the lessons included in this chapter. Watch the informative videos to gain new insights and complete the quick quizzes for immediate feedback on your learning.

Cold War & Activism in America

What was cold about the 'war' that followed World War II? The period from 1945-1991 was characterized by tension and distrust between the United States and the Soviet Union, thus the term 'Cold War'. In this chapter, you can learn about President Harry Truman's effect on the situation, and how funding for anti-communism programs grew. Moving through the years, lessons will also reveal the parts played by Presidents Eisenhower and Kennedy in the Cold War.

Fear of communism, also referred to as the Red Scare, led to 'witch hunts' in the United States, for individuals who might have supported communist doctrines. Suspects in this campaign included federal lawmakers, in addition to musicians, artists, movie stars, writers, scientists and every day people. The person who renewed this fear that had actually begun during World War I was Senator Joseph McCarthy, who gained support from the Roman Catholic Church and assorted political figures. In this chapter, you can discover how McCarthyism finally was brought to an end.

Eliminating inequality was a major goal for many individuals and lawmakers in the 1950s and 1960s. In the early 1960s, President Johnson began his Great Society program, with the intent of improving Americans' lives by battling poverty. You can find out the problems this administration encountered while trying to put the program into place. Although all pieces of this program weren't functional, many aspects of the initiatives remain today.

The civil rights and women's movements were other attempts by large groups of citizens to bring about equality. You can find out about their activities and effects on the United States through these video lessons. If you take the quiz at the end of each lesson, you can measure your understanding and determine if you need additional study.

13 Lessons in Chapter 12: Cold War & Activism in America
Test your knowledge with a 30-question chapter practice test
Post-War American Politics: Foreign & Domestic Policy

1. Post-War American Politics: Foreign & Domestic Policy

In this lesson, we will learn about American politics in the post-war era. We will highlight the broad contours of foreign and domestic policies, and learn how Americans planned to deal with the challenges of an increasingly complex world.

Post-War American Life: Culture of the late 1940s & 1950s

2. Post-War American Life: Culture of the late 1940s & 1950s

In this lesson, we will explore American postwar culture. We will learn what life was like throughout the late 1940s and the 1950s by highlighting important cultural trends.

The Counter-Culture of Post-War America

3. The Counter-Culture of Post-War America

In this lesson we will explore the counter-culture of the postwar era. We will examine the groups and individuals who defied the conventions of mainstream society.

The Cold War: Definition, Causes & Early Events

4. The Cold War: Definition, Causes & Early Events

The period of distrust between the Soviet Union and United States was known as the Cold War. Learn about the origins of the era, essential events and the shaping of the national security state.

McCarthyism and the Red Scare: Definition, Causes & Effects

5. McCarthyism and the Red Scare: Definition, Causes & Effects

The fear of communism, known as the Red Scare, led to a national witch hunt for suspected communist supporters, which was known as McCarthyism. Learn about the rise of McCarthyism and the Red Scare, the impact of McCarthyism on American society and the legacy of the short-lived fear campaign.

The Space Race: Definition, History & Timeline

6. The Space Race: Definition, History & Timeline

In this lesson, we explore the 20th century's space race between the United States and the Soviet Union, where both superpowers competed to be the first in space and the first to reach the moon.

Dwight D. Eisenhower and the Cold War

7. Dwight D. Eisenhower and the Cold War

President Dwight D. Eisenhower entered office during an amplified period of the Cold War. Learn about Eisenhower's domestic and foreign agenda in dealing with the Cold War during the 1950s.

John F. Kennedy and the Cold War

8. John F. Kennedy and the Cold War

Upon entering office in 1961, President John F. Kennedy was tasked with the challenge of maintaining the upper hand in the United States' battle against communism. Learn about Kennedy's successes and failures in handling the Cold War.

The Vietnam War: Causes, Conflicts & Effects

9. The Vietnam War: Causes, Conflicts & Effects

The Vietnam War was the longest and most polarizing conflict in the history of the United States. Learn about the causes of the war as well as its effects on the United States.

President Lyndon B. Johnson and the Great Society Program

10. President Lyndon B. Johnson and the Great Society Program

The Great Society was an ambitious legislative program which attempted to eliminate poverty and racial inequity within the United States. Learn about the creation of the program, its endeavors and its ultimate legacy.

The Civil Rights Movement During the 1950s

11. The Civil Rights Movement During the 1950s

The 1950s witnessed a rejuvenation of the civil rights movement. Learn about the transformation of the movement, its important events and the impact it had on the 1960s.

The Civil Rights Movement During the 1960s

12. The Civil Rights Movement During the 1960s

The Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s was an extension of the progress made during the 1950s. Learn about the movement's landmark achievements, its fracturing and its legacies.

The Women's Movement: Causes, Campaigns & Impacts on the US

13. The Women's Movement: Causes, Campaigns & Impacts on the US

The women's movement of the 1960s ushered in a new wave of feminism that sought to address the national issues of gender. Learn about the movement, its leaders and the ultimate outcome for women in the United States.

Chapter Practice Exam
Test your knowledge of this chapter with a 30 question practice chapter exam.
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Practice Final Exam
Test your knowledge of the entire course with a 50 question practice final exam.
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