The Policy of Containment was devised in 1946 by George Kennan, then a high-ranking representative at the US embassy in Moscow. It consisted in limiting the expansion of the Soviet sphere of influence, both militarily and economically, in the hope of provoking the collapse of its social system. The Marshall plan was the economical part of this policy, whereas the creation of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) in April 1949 was its military component.
McCarthyism, a term coined by a political cartoonist in 1950 following the involvement of Senator Joseph McCarthy in a widespread "witch hunt" against Communists on American soil, corresponds to the excessive response to the fear of the spread of Communism following World War II. Also, termed the "Second Red Scare" (the first one having occurred just after the Bolshevik revolution in Russia in 1917), this period spanned roughly a decade from the end of the 1940s until the late 1950s. Characterized by its policy of systematic suspicion, it sparked a controversy that still exists today. It raised the issue of freedom of thought versus patriotism, and term is still used to describe the unfounded questioning of a person's loyalty to the nation.
After the rout of the French troops in thei...
As the number of white-collar positions increased and overtook that of professions dealing with the direct production of materials, a shift in the American population appeared in the 1950s. Most employees were leaving the industrial areas of the North and East of the USA to move to the South and West, were management-related positions were numerous and the environment more welcoming. This shift was accelerated by the development of Interstate highways that allowed the commuters to use their cars instead of the public transports, thus creating and developing a suburban way of life that didn't exist before.
The Korean and Viet Nam wars had in common that they showed America's commitment to prevent the spread of Communism throughout the world, and not just in Europe. They were both limited wars that demonstrated that technical superiority is no guarantee for victory. Besides, neither they were popular at home among the general public. They differed in that the Viet Nam war had more important long-term repercussions on the American economy, politics, and public attitude toward the government.
The US Supreme Court ruling in the case of Brown vs. the Board of Education of Topeka established the first case of desegregation in a public place, namely schools. It opened the door to further desegregation, which occurred gradually for all public places, and to the Civil Rights Movement.
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s approach to obtaining Equal Rights for all American citizens consisted in a non-violent resistance to segregation laws that existed at the time. His movement gathered many supporters, and numerous marches and other protest events took place without resorting to physical violence by the demonstrators. This