Doug Ghim


In the United States, the Cold War brought huge change to the nation. People were introduced to the idea of bombing after World War II in Japan, and the concept of the nuclear bomb was exposed. Things changed politically as well. Propaganda started to grow as the hatred for communism began. McCarthy’s Red Scare kept the nation on their toes and living in fear that the Soviets might bomb the US because of the accused “espionage” within the country.

As all of this was going on, Civil Rights began to break out. The fight against racial discrimination started to evolve while the Cold War took place. It became vital that Civil Rights to be settled in order for the nation to be able to fight and win the war against communism. Politicians even understood that discrimination was imperative if they wanted to win the war, therefore Presidents, such as Nixon, used the idea of civil rights as a platform to run for presidency. There was also the element of the United States being under scrutiny amongst the rest of the world, for they were watched for their every move, and every mistake. If the United States could not maintain social order in their own country, how are they supposed to be able to fight against another powerful country and criticize their social systems? Civil rights activists picked the absolute perfect time to stage a movement and push for equality. The whole world was aware of all of these protests and the poor treatment of the minorities, so there was no choice but to go along and pass the Civil Rights Act of 1964. As Nixon stated, “the whole world is watching us. When we fail to grant equality to all, that makes news – bad news – for America all over the world.” Without the unity of the country itself, the United States would not be able to contest in this war.