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    Political Climate and McCarthyism of the 1950s

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    I need help in writing a a paper consisting of the following on Political Climate of the 1950s Paper

    It is so difficult to write this up by using 150 words each. Any suggestions?

    a. What was the impact of McCarthyism in the US?

    b. What is dynamic conservatism?

    c. What is meant by the term politics of consensus?

    d. How did consumerism change during the Eisenhower administration?

    e. How did the Civil Rights Movement begin in the 1950s?

    f. How did the US become involved in Southeast Asia?

    and last but not least a 350-500 word summary that states how each of the items listed above impacted the political climate of the 1950s. Any help would be appreciated.

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    Solution Preview

    A. McCarthy was responsible for fueling anti-Communist feelings in the United States and for escalating the Cold War. He caused a lot of hatred and distrust of foreigners and caused the United States to spend billions of dollars on it's defense. The defense ended up being not needed and mostly useless in the fight against the Cold War.

    After World War II, the nation's politics were right winged and the government got rid of the unfinished agenda of The New Deal. This included national health insurance, a social reform for the rest of the industrialized world. The left-liberal political coalition that might have supported health reforms and similar projects was torn apart by the anticommunist crusade. Moderates feared being identified with anything that seemed too radical and people to the left of them were either unheard or under attack. McCarthyism further contributed to the attenuation of the reform impulse by diverting the attention of the labor movement, the strongest institution within the left-liberal coalition, from external organizing to internal politicking.

    McCarthyism also had an impact on international affairs. Because of the opposition to the Cold War, it was no longer possible to challenge basic American Foreign policies without fear of being seen as disloyal to the rest of the world. The relations that the State Department had with East Asia were also significantly affected by McCarthyism. For example, the campaign against the loss of China left such long-lasting scars that American policy-makers feared to acknowledge the official existence of the People's Republic of China until Richard Nixon, who was uniquely impervious to charges of being soft on reds, did so as President in 1971. And it was in part to avoid a replay of the loss-of-China scenario that Nixon's Democratic predecessors Kennedy and Johnson dragged the United States so deeply into the quagmire of the Vietnam War.

    Besides political aspects of the United States, cultural and social life of Americans were also impacted. McCarthyism had a direct impact on the types of television shows being aired and movies being produced. In the academic and intellectual arena, Cold War liberals avoided controversy at all costs. They claimed that the US's approach to politics made the problems that at one time concerned the left-winged were irrelevant.

    Consensus historians pushed that formulation into the past and described a nation that had never experienced serious internal conflict. It took the civil rights movement and Vietnam War to bring reality back in.

    Ironically, just as these social commentators were lauding the resilience of American democracy, the anticommunist crusade was undermining it. The political repression of the McCarthy period fostered the growth of the national security state and facilitated its expansion into the rest of civil society. In the name of protecting the nation from communist infiltration, federal agents attacked individual rights and extended state power into movie studios, universities, labor unions, and many other ostensibly y independent institutions. The near universal deference to the federal government's formulation of the communist threat abetted the process and suppressed opposition to what was going on. Moreover, even after the anticommunist campaign began to abate, the e ...

    Solution Summary

    The political climate of the 1950's was impacted by many things going on in the United States and around the world. This posting examines how the following impacted the politics of the 1950's in the United States:
    The impact of McCarthyism in the United States
    Dynamic Conservatism
    Politics of Consensus
    Civil Rights Movement
    How the United States became involved in Southeast Asia