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Ch 18: Post-War and the Cold War

About This Chapter

Watch video lessons and learn about the national and international challenges facing America after World War II. These easy-to-follow lessons are just a portion of our online study guide and video collection.

Post-War and the Cold War - Chapter Summary and Learning Objectives

The Cold War between the United States and the Soviet Union began immediately after the end of World War II and was characterized by an arms race, ideological differences and proxy wars in Korea and Vietnam. In this chapter, you'll learn how anxiety about the Cold War and communism co-existed with America's hopes for the future, as evidenced by the post-war baby boom and the development of a distinct youth culture. Through a series of entertaining, and sometimes sobering, video presentations, you'll revisit the birth of rock and roll and the anti-communist fervor of the McCarthy era. The elections and administrations of Presidents Eisenhower, Kennedy and Nixon will be discussed, including their roles in the Cold War and regional conflicts.

Additional topics will include the effect of the Vietnam War on domestic life in the states, as well as the passage of the 26th Amendment, which gave 18-year-old citizens the right to vote. When you've finished watching the videos and testing your own knowledge of this tumultuous time, you should have an understanding of:

  • How American popular culture and foreign policies changed after World War II
  • The Cold War, including its causes and effect on American life
  • The conflicts in Korea and Vietnam, including their causes and outcomes
  • How McCarthyism and the Red Scare affected American life
  • The key events and features of the Eisenhower, Kennedy and Nixon administrations
  • The 26th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution

VideoObjective
Post-War American Politics: Foreign and Domestic PolicyDescribe American foreign and domestic policy initiatives after World War II.
Post-War American Life: Culture of the Late 1940s and 1950sDiscuss how American cultural life developed in the post-war era.
The Counter-Culture of Post-War AmericaExplain what is meant by the term 'counter-culture' and provide some examples.
The Cold War: Definition, Causes and Early EventsSum up the causes and initial events associated with the Cold War.
The Korean War: Causes and EffectsIdentify the causes and outcomes of the Korean War.
McCarthyism and the Red Scare: Definition, Causes and EffectsDefine McCarthyism and the Red Scare, including their causes and consequences.
The Cold War in America: Effects on Everyday LifeExplain the impact of the Cold War on America.
Dwight D. Eisenhower and the Cold WarDiscuss the role of Dwight D. Eisenhower during the Cold War.
The Election of 1960: Kennedy vs. NixonSummarize the events of 1960 as they pertained to the presidential election.
John F. Kennedy and the Cold WarDescribe President Kennedy's role during the Cold War.
The Assassination of President John F. KennedyDiscuss the assassination of President Kennedy.
The Vietnam War: Causes, Conflicts and EffectsIdentify the causes and consequences of the Vietnam War.
Domestic Responses to the War in VietnamExplain how American citizens reacted to the Vietnam War.
The Election of President NixonSum up the events surrounding the election of President Nixon.
The 26th AmendmentProvide an overview of the 26th Amendment.
President Nixon and the Vietnam WarDescribe President Nixon's role during the Vietnam War.

16 Lessons in Chapter 18: Post-War and the Cold War
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.

United States Involvement in the Korean War: Causes and Effects

5. United States Involvement in the Korean War: Causes and Effects

The Korean War was a short but bloody war with more than five million casualties. Find out what caused this deadly and destructive war, how the United States came to be involved and how the war affected Korea and its allies.

McCarthyism and the Red Scare: Definition, Causes & Effects

6. 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 Cold War in America: Effects on Everyday Life

7. The Cold War in America: Effects on Everyday Life

Fear of communism and nuclear annihilation spread throughout the United States during the Cold War. Learn about the effects of the Cold War on everyday life and the determination of Americans to prepare for and combat the communist menace.

Dwight D. Eisenhower and the Cold War

8. 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.

The Election of 1960: Kennedy vs. Nixon

9. The Election of 1960: Kennedy vs. Nixon

In this lesson, we will be learning about the exciting election of 1960. We will learn about the men running for president in this election (John F. Kennedy and Richard Nixon) and why this election was important.

John F. Kennedy and the Cold War

10. 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 Assassination of President John F. Kennedy

11. The Assassination of President John F. Kennedy

In this lesson, we'll learn about the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, its aftermath and the subsequent investigations, as well as some of the resulting conspiracy theories.

The Vietnam War: Causes, Conflicts & Effects

12. 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.

Domestic Responses to the War in Vietnam

13. Domestic Responses to the War in Vietnam

In this lesson, we will learn about the domestic responses to the Vietnam War. We will explore the impact the war had upon American society and learn how the American people felt about it.

The Election of President Nixon

14. The Election of President Nixon

In this lesson, we will learn about the election of President Richard Nixon. We will learn who he ran against and what themes were important during the presidential election of 1968.

What Was the 26th Amendment?

15. What Was the 26th Amendment?

The 26th Amendment was passed in 1971, lowering the voting age from 21 to 18. In this lesson, learn about what led to the creation of this amendment, the fight to get it ratified and its ratification.

President Nixon and the Vietnam War

16. President Nixon and the Vietnam War

In this lesson, we will take a look at President Richard Nixon's involvement in the Vietnam War. We will identify the central events of the Vietnam War that took place under the Nixon Administration and we will explore Nixon's role in the conflict.

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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