Cultural shifts in Cold War Society

Subject: American History
Type: Descriptive Essay
Pages: 1
Word count: 407
Topics: Cold War, Communism

The Cold War is a distinct occurrence in the history of conflict because it was the only war that opposing countries used instead of actual combat. The Cold War was not characterized by a well-defined sequence of events. The Cold War was a mixture of principles, faiths, doctrines, errors, actions (Axelrod, 2009). There were different cultural shifts during the cold war. Each group of people sought to have the warring authorities address their grievances.

The Cold War did shape the careers of some officials in the United States and elsewhere. An example is Joseph R. McCarthy who was a Wisconsin Republican. In a speech McCarthy made at Wheeling, West Virginia, he highlighted the Cold War as battle between communist atheism and Christianity, in terms of morals (Congressional Record, 1950). Meanwhile, Martin Luther King delivered the speech about his dream in the 1963 at Washington, D.C.  King stated that equal rights and improved civil rights was the answer (King, 2013). Also, Betty Freidan who the author of The Feminine Mystique, raised the issue in women rights during the cold war. Freidan advocated for the women to find themselves through their creative work (Horowitz page ix).

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Songs were important in expressing feelings and ideational positons during the civil war. The Sex Pistols, a punk group sang about the despair of English youth in the 1970s (Vermorel 2006). The Clash, “White Riot” was a song produced in 1977. Joe Strummer wrote the song after witnessing a black riot against police in London. He intended it as a call for whites to also stage their own fight against police and state in solidarity with black activists (Duncombe & Tremblay, 2011). In Public Enemy’s “Burn Hollywood Burn”, the rappers talked about the racism in Hollywood movies (Club, 2009).

In conclusion, the cold war accentuated ideological differences between people. The Christians did not want the Communists in the State Department. The Blacks were tired of racial injustice in the states and Hollywood. The women were tired of the grinding homestead environment. The youth had issues with the Queen as the head of State while the black youth wanted the white youth to also start rioting. In their own capacities, people were tired of the status quo. The dissatisfaction people harbored during the cold war made fueled the clamor for change.  This is because wars mean that people are in conflict and the cold war was no different.

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  1. Axelrod, A. (2009). The Real History of the Cold War: A New Look at the Past. New York, NY: Sterling Publishing Company Inc.
  2. Club, A.V. (2009). Inventory: 16 Films Featuring Manic Pixie Dream Girls, 10 Great Songs Nearly Ruined by Saxophone, and 100 More Obsessively Specific Pop-Culture Lists. New York, NY: Simon & Schuster, Inc.
  3. Duncombe, S., & Tremblay, M. (Eds.). (2011). White Riot: Punk Rock and the Politics of Race. London: Verso.
  4. King, M. L. (2013). The Essential Martin Luther King, Jr.: “I Have a Dream” and Other Great Writings. Boston, MA: Beacon Press.
  5.  U.S. Senate, State Department Loyalty Investigation Committee on Foreign Relations, 81st Congress; Joseph McCarthy to President Harry Truman February 11, 1950, Congressional Record, 81st Congress.
  6. Vermorel, F. (2006). Sex Pistols: The Inside Story. London: Omnibus Press.
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