How Did the Cold War Affect Civil Liberties in the US?

How did the Cold War affect civil liberties in the US?

The famous cold war was a war between the United States and the Soviet Union over ideology, the main ones being communism and capitalism. The cold war was between the year 1945 and 1991. The cold war was to determine who between the two greatly influenced the technological, economic, and ideological development of other nations. Some of the examples where the cold war was displayed were the rush to space and be the first to set foot on the moon and other planets, military dominance, and power that saw the development and innovation of new warfare materials.

The effects of the cold war on civil liberties in the United States could not be unnoticed. For starters, most government institutions were militarized, and the government kept most of its things a secret and hidden from its citizen. Then came the fear of ideologies that belonged to the communist side to penetrate the United States, which led to the government to put restrictions on some of the civil liberties and all the people that were thought to belong to communism were segregated and blacklisted.

Restrictions and legislations were passed by Congress in collaboration with the executive arm in order to fight communism, and several laws were made for this purpose. Some of the Acts include The Smith Act, which was passed by Congress in 1940; it put restrictions on publicly or privately speaking in a manner to encourage the government to be overthrown. Another Act was the Taft-Hartley Act that was passed by Congress in 1947 with the main purpose was to block the communists from forming and supporting organized labor and using the labor strikes to overthrow the government. Yet another Act was The Internal Security Act that was passed in 1950 by Congress to fill the loopholes that existed in the security docket by making it a mandate for all the members of the Communist Party to register and be known by the government. The McCarran-Walter Act, which was passed in 1952, was also another act that was passed to enable the authorities to be able to easily deport any Red supporter or sympathizer in an easy manner.

What were the purposes and strategies of Johnson’s Great Society programs?

The famous Great Society was a set of policies that were brought in by President Johnson to end help fight poverty, eradicate inequality, tame crime, and improve the environment. Great Society is arguably the largest social reform ever witnessed in modern history. He first gave the Great Society speech at the University of Michigan in the hope of being reelected. However, the great reforms were an extension of the legislative agenda President Kennedy had before he was killed, and the then Vice President rose to power. The legislation involved tax reduction and civil rights advocacy. One of the agendas on the Great Society was poverty eradication; President Johnson sought to achieve this by forming the Office of Economic Opportunity and introduced what was known as the Economic Opportunity Act, which was to mainly help the poor get out of poverty. He employed creating 100,000 jobs for disadvantaged men, training 200,000 men and women in various programs, and offering 140,000 youths the opportunity to go to college, people who otherwise could not have gone to college, as the strategy to achieve poverty eradication. On top of that, he offered funds and loans to any employer that offered jobs to the unemployed, gave funds for farmers from all over to purchase land, directed the government to recruit and train skilled American people who would volunteer to be trained from poverty-stricken communities, and form a community Action Program to enable people to fight poverty from their own communities.

Secondly, The Great Society aimed at making Medicare Insurance available to those who could not afford it, the elderly and the poor. He pushed for laws to be passed to enable Medicare to cover the cost of Physician and hospital bills for the old aged people who could not do it, and on the other hand, enabled Medicaid to cover the health cost of the poor people that benefitted from funds by the government. Laws on Medicare and Medicaid could not be passed before by Kennedy because the Republicans had control over the Congress, but after Johnson took over, the Democrats took control and were able to pass the laws.

Thirdly, the other strategy was to give people a head start in education. He wanted to ensure that every American kid had a better shot of making it in life by being educated. Project Head Start, as it was later named, was headed by Sargent Shriver and envisioned a nonbiased, equal opportunity for every child by economically enabling their parents. The project started a summer camp with 500 000 kids being taken in. Education reforms were also on the Great Society agenda, and this saw the passing of the Elementary Education Act of 1965, which was to guarantee enough funding to all the district schools that were in economically vulnerable communities. Books were purchased for the libraries, funded the existing programs on pre-schooling, and gave services to the special needs.

Other agendas were the environmental support initiatives which were to curb the fast-paced pollution, the support for arts and humanities, which was to fund and give the support needed to cultural organizations, the urban renewal to encounter the aftermath of World War II that saw a mass migration of people to the suburbia regions and left the cities in deteriorating conditions.

Great Society was not so welcomed by all of the American citizens, and there was a backlash to the government over supporting the American people too much and not looking into the cost. The Great Society’s doings were overshadowed by the Vietnam war after President Johnson diverted the funds that were supposed to fund the fight against poverty to support the war. His achievements in terms of championing for the poor and the less fortunate in the Society with all the great legislations are not easily remembered, like the unwinnable war in Vietnam that saw a lot of fatalities on the American side.

How did Bush and Clinton transform America’s world role?

President Bush transformed the American world role by introducing democracy and collapsing the cold war in the year 1989, a reform he nicknamed “new world order,” he initiated the United States intervention in the Western Hemisphere by sending troops to both Panama and Kuwait; as a result, starting Gulf war, he also envisioned an American nation rooted in democracy and which encouraged free trade, but some of his advisors thought that he ought to have only committed troops in a foreign country when there are clear objectives to be achieved and that the US had the power to reshape the world by protecting the hostile nations from gaining more support.

On the other hand, Clinton helped transform the role of America in the world by dispatching troops to different part of the world to help in international missions, he created the North America Free Trade Agreement to come up with a free trade zone, his “don’t ask, don’t tell” tactics helped transform the military, and he intentionally stayed clear of humanitarian intervention abroad such as the tribal cleansing in Rwanda and Yugoslav war.

 

What kind of change did voters hope for when they elected Barack Obama?

With the election of the first black American President, the voters had some serious expectations from him. First, they hoped he would try to protect the environment by limiting the emissions given off by the large factories or eradicate the emissions completely. Secondly, they hoped he could put more energy into protecting women’s rights; he did this by revoking the restrictions put by Bush on women over reproductive rights. Thirdly, the voters also hoped he could reenergize the respect of the constitution and upholding it, and focus on the responsibility held by the community at large.

The voters saw a person that could fight for income equality for all and raise the minimum wages; they also wanted access to health care. He formed the financial stimulus help package for the people and passed legislation of the Accountable Care Act. Voters wanted diplomacy in the foreign policies rather than the unilateral force that existed; Obama, in reaction to this, came up with a diplomatic repair strategy with the Muslim nation and also did away with the American interference in the war in Iraq. The voters wanted Obama to protect them from the greedy and irresponsible financial norm which had caused the Great Recession.

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