Extended Commentary: The Good that Came Out of the Cold War.

AuthorAmoroso, Alexander

In almost all accounts of contemporary history, the Cold War is portrayed as a negative chapter in American History. Given the vast amount of evidence demonstrating that the United States involved itself with illegal conflicts, propped up violent allied regimes in certain regions, imprisoned or killed members of the American citizenry for possible dissent, and produced an arsenal of nuclear weapons--the most dangerous military weapon to date--it is understandable why many view the Cold War as a dark period of the last century. However, due to this conflict, there were many positive policies, movements and ideas that came to be through the actions of both the American government and its people. These measures would hardly have been considered in the world before the Cold War. This analysis will examine the Truman administration's policy on racism, the Civil Rights Movement and its advancement of humanitarianism, NATO's nuclear program and the Space Agency's work, and how they related to each other as they both advanced the American Cold War effort and caused positive changes in the world.

The beginning of the Cold War was also the beginning of America's campaign against racism. The need to gain allies from non-white nations made to the need to clean the racist house of whites versus non-whites in America a focal point. The president that began that effort to quash American racism in the twentieth century was none other than the southern president, Harry S. Truman. Well before Dr. Martin King Jr. delivered his pivotal Washington Speech in 1967, Truman pushed for a civil rights based, humanitarian government, when he established a Commission on Civil Rights in 1946, a Joint Congressional Committee on Civil Rights, a Civil Rights Division in the Department of Justice, strengthened existing civil rights statutes, provided

Federal protection against lynching, protected the right to vote more adequately, established a Fair Employment Practice Commission to prevent unfair discrimination in employment, prohibited discrimination in interstate transportation facilities, provided home-rule and suffrage in presidential elections for the residents of the District of Columbia, proposed the statehood of Hawaii and Alaska and a greater measure of self-government for America's island possessions, equalized the opportunities for residents of the United States to become naturalized citizens, and moved to settle the evacuation claims of Japanese-Americans. (1) Not only were Truman's policies highlighting civil rights that the Communists were not providing, they were also a testament to the attempted uniting of a people and its government behind an anti-racist, humanitarian policy, creating a...

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