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Why did the USA believe it was losing the Cold War in the 1950's?

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Introduction

Why did the USA believe it was losing the Cold War in the 1950's? There were a number of important reasons for why the USA believed it was losing the Cold War in the 1950s, it started shortly after the end of the second world war when the USSR established the 'Iron Curtain' over the now communist Eastern Europe. In early 1947 the British government said it could no longer support Greece and so many diplomats feared the USSR would try to spread its power throughout the Middle East, President Truman met this problem by giving $400million in aid money to Greece and turkey, this policy of aid became known as the 'Truman Doctrine'. The USA was becoming worried about the growing threat of communism affecting the liberties of capitalism in the rest of the world and so a policy of 'containment' was established to prevent aggressive communist countries trying to influence others. In 1949 in a case that shocked the world China's civil war was coming to an end and Mao Zedongs communist forces were beginning to take control and eventually pushed the nationalists out of mainland China forcing Chang Kai Sheks remaining forces to flee to Cuba. ...read more.

Middle

was discovered a spy ring had been passing atomic secrets to the USSR all were found guilty and some were executed, the USA would not show mercy upon the threat of communism. In February 1950 China and the USSR signed the 'Sino-Soviet Treaty of Friendship, Alliance and Mutual Assistance'. This put much pressure upon the USA to look strong against the threat of two super powers such as this uniting. In the Geneva agreement of 1953 North Korea is recognised meaning the policy of 'roll-back' has failed. Because of this Eisenhower Imposes a 'new-look' policy which puts a new reliance upon Nuclear weapons and the act of brinkmanship, ensuring massive retaliation to all enemies of the USA however this put a threat upon all human existence. This same year McCarthyism continues to spread with loyalty tests being introduced as paranoia of communism grows amongst the American people with the USSR revealing they now have A-bombs as well as a fleet of long range bombers meaning that nowhere is now off limits, this knowledge sparked much panic and uneasiness amongst Americans. However 1955 led to a brief 'thaw' in the Cold War at the Geneva Summit Conference as Eisenhower, Khrushchev and British Prime Minister Eden discuss disarmament and European security, Eisenhower proposes an 'Open Skies' policy which would allow aerial reconnaissance of each other's territories. ...read more.

Conclusion

China begins to put pressure on Taiwan and President Kennedy puts into motion a 'Flexible Response' policy putting more reliance upon diplomacy and conventional forces. In conclusion US attitudes both domestically and internationally were becoming more raucous in the 1950s. Both as a consequence of the increasing vulnerability felt by Americans, which had been brought about by the apparent perceived strength of the Soviet Union compared to that of the USA. The reactions were based on exaggerations of reality, the strength of communist support within the USA was never of any significant strength, the supposed technological and military of the superiority of the USSR merely a misconception, despite this, the attitudes developed in this period were to have a long-term impact on the USA. One of the key factors in this was the role of 'McCarthyism', which led to much dissention and finger pointing amongst the American people as there was much communist paranoia which did little to boost morale and faith in the government. With fears of communist spies everywhere, the threat of nuclear war, the Soviets taking the lead in both the space and the arms race, more and more countries falling to communism and the alliance of Russia and China things looked bleak for the USA which is why they held the belief that they were losing the cold war. ...read more.

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