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Popular Cold War Essay Topics

All students are going to be required to take an American History class at several times in their lives, and one of the topics that should be contemplated is the cold war. The cold war is the phrase that represents the years from 1945-1989 when the United States was involved in a political rivalry with the Soviet Union. The United States stood for democracy and the Russians were communists. The battle was never a direct conflict, but there were numerous indirect conflicts all over the world. Following are some popular Cold War essay topics.

Fear of Communism in America

One great topic is the intense and irrational fear of communism that existed in America throughout this period. It was most intense during the 1950’s and was known as the Red Scare. During this time, reputations and careers were ruined simply because they were associated with communism. The government actually placed people in jail without any proof of any real communist activity. It became a convenient way to eliminate opposition and to consolidate power. In hindsight it is clear it was simply a witch hunt. Fear is a divider and corrupter and this discussion will allow for many great essays.

Domino Theory

The foreign policy of the United States during this time was called the Domino Theory. This was the idea that if one country in a particular geographic region became communist then soon every country in the region would follow suit. There was no factual information behind this and it was proven inaccurate over time, but it was the major motivating force for the military conflicts in both Korea and Vietnam. These wars were fought for idealism not for freedom and against communism. The result was devastating to the US. Thousands of people were killed on both sides to largely solve nothing. The Domino Theory is an example of the government using an irrational fear to move a military agenda.

Arms Race

The calling card of the Cold War was the unprecedented military buildup that took place on both sides. Both sides followed the philosophy that if the cost of attacking the other was not survivable then the attack would never happen. This misguided philosophy brought the world to the brink of nuclear disaster several times, but never closer than the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1963. This was a showdown over the Soviet Union’s desire to place nuclear weapons in Cuba, only 90 miles from the US. It was solved by brinkmanship and caused both sides to take a step back from causing the end of the world.

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