04/3/11

I Pledge Allegiance to Anti-Communism

In the midst of the Cold War, many programs were enacted to ensure American patriotism. The House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC) was established to conduct hearings  about the presence of communism in Hollywood motion pictures. In these hearings, actors, directors, and screenwriters were summoned for questioning by the committee. Of the witnesses, 10, known as the Hollywood Ten, declined to answer questions concerning their political allegiances or disclose names of those who were communist. The Hollywood Ten believed their 1st Amendment rights were infringed. As a result, the committee charged them with contempt of Congress and were sentenced to 6 months to a year in prison. Besides the Hollywood Ten, more than 200 other people were also charged with communist sympathies or the refusal to name names.

Had the HUAC never been formed during the Cold War, history might have run a different course. The aim of the HUAC was to contain and control the spread of communism beliefs and values in the movie industry. In reality, the HUAC did not find substantial evidence of individuals who hold communist sympathies. However, if the HUAC was not there to screen the individuals, those who were communist could have used the opporutnity to promote communist ideas. If those individual succeed, communism could have seeped into the minds of ordinary Americans.

04/3/11

What do you think?

The Red Menace was one of many anticommunist movies and media that America produced during the Cold War. These movies acted as a propaganda that criticized communism and brought a negative view of it. During the late 1940s and early 1950s, a policy called “militant liberty” was used in movie productions that inserted a theme of freedom. Militant liberty shaped many viewers’ opinions of communism and instilled a Pro-American view of the nation. This was used frequently in films during 1940s to 1950 proposing anti-Nazi and anti- communist opinions to viewers.
I am sure America would be very different today if this policy had not existed. By producing many anti-communism films, the opinion of Americans towards communism had undoubtedly become negative. If this had not happened, Americans probably would have had polarized views of communism. This would definitely hurt the nation’s unity and give communism a fight chance at changing our country today.

04/3/11

Korean War

During the Korean War it was a battle between South Korean and North Korea. The North wanted to take over all of Korea and change it into a communist country. Of course America would not let this go and intervened preventing North Korea to advance any further by launching a  counterattack at Inchon. This pushed the North Koreans back to the border between the North and South of Korea.
I think that if America never intervene during the Korean War the world today would be very different. Communism would have spread through all of Korea turning it into a communist country. I think that it would have caused a Domino Effect causing other counties turning communist. The way this would impact my life is that I would be in great fear. I would be afraid that communism would spread world wide and eventually hit America.

04/3/11

Rebuilding to cover Scars

After World War 2 was won by the United States, making US to be one of the most powerful Countries in the world, Japan not only lost the war, but they were in a devastating situation after the US bombed them.  It would have taken a long time for Japan to rebuild there country without help.  Leaving many of them over time eventually bitter.

What stopped end the war with a bang!

Honestly, in my opinion I believe that if Japan would have had to rebuild their country alone, the results would have been similar to Germany anger after WW1.  A new generation of individuals would try to seek revenge.  We knew that without the US bombing Japan, they would have not stopped the war.  Leading me to believe that they would have rebuilt their country alone and stopped at nothing to avenge the lose of their home.   We would not have the current trade, and business opportunities that we have with Japan now.

I mean, Baruch College itself has Japanese students, and most of them wouldn’t be here  learning and interacting with us if the rebuilding never occurred.  Honestly what would I do without Anime.  Our involvement in rebuilding Japan lead to future economic growth, foreign trade, social and cultural enlightment and a better outlook towards the US, helping to remove scars of the war against the US and Japan.

After math of Nuclear Bomb

04/3/11

The paranoid curtain pullers

Had Churchill not declared that an “iron curtain” should be descended so as to separate the Soviet Union and it’s sphere of influence from the West many things may have turned out differently. This idea of the Iron Curtain threw the world into a state of paranoia that inevitably led to the Cold War. Furthermore, it greatly hindered the development and reconstruction of the Soviet Union by barring them from any significant trade partners leaving the Soviet Union effectively in a dark corner of the world. It would be very easy to go on and on about the possible outcomes, had the fright of Soviet Union’s strength and influence been nonexistent, but fear is a very strong player in political control and effectively led to the demise of the Soviet Union, whose struggle is still evident today.

04/2/11

Containing Communism

The Marshall Plan was ratified in 1947 to help rebuild Europe after WWII. This Act was also meant to prevent communism from spreading and gaining control in war torn countries. The Marshall Plan had a huge effect on Europe in which it assisted in Europe’s economic growth and recovery. This soon led to trade relations with the U.S.  If U.S had not put the Marshall Plan into effect, it may have caused a delay in Europe’s economic recovery. Another effect may be that Communism would not be contained and it might have spread and taken control over war torn countries.

04/1/11

The Atmosphere of Fear

The fear of communism was the driving force behind all of the social crisis during the Cold War. Citizens were constantly in fear of each others, the governmental inspection, and the invisible enemies. Whether spies actually existed or not, the common Americans were suspecting others for holding unpopular, though often harmless, ideologies or fearing their neighbors for falsely reporting them as communists. The fear of communism had caused the jailing of many screen writers, school teachers, and many other innocent citizens; the fear also powered many unnecessary spy trails and unfair jail sentences.

Perhaps if the atmosphere of fear did not exist during the cold war. The cold war could have been limited to the foreign policies instead of extending to the paranoia in the nation. If the irrational fear was not prevalent, the civil rights movements, such as NAACP, would not be as restrained; W.E.B. Du Bois, a civil rights warrior, and Paul Robeson, a prominent black actor, wouldn’t been unreasonably charged in court. Moreover, if the fear had not been so influential, the labor unions would not have been restrained by Truman’s doctrines. In many ways, the unnecessary strong fear of communism has restricted America to advance as a nation with more equality and freedom.

The influence of the atmosphere of fear is still noticeable today. For instance, although the word communism is not heavily criticized today, it nevertheless has a negative connotation. Americans are not very comfortable with communism even today. We can see that by observing the students in elementary school to high school. There are often several immature children who would unreasonably call Chinese or Russian immigrants communists as a form of mockery. The immature actions of such students can be credited to the biased American history textbooks, which often emphasize the chaotic and unpleasant communistic revolutions and de-emphasize the unjust actions of the United States.

03/30/11

Assignment due 4/4

1) Read Foner, Chapter 23.
2) Read the Wikipedia entry about Dr. Strangelove: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dr._Strangelove (skip past paragraphs discussing the ending if you don’t want to know how it ends)
3) Write at least one brief (2-3 sentence) comment in response to this post expressing your expectations for the movie based on what you have read or already know about the movie.
4) Write a post on a person, place, or event discussed in Foner’s chapter 23 that has not yet been covered on the blog.  Include 1-2 paragraphs explaining how history might have been different had this person, place, event, or idea not occurred when it did?  How might American society be different today?  How about your life?  Include an image or a video (just paste the URL from a YouTube video into a post and it should convert to an embedded video; I can help correct it if there is a problem).