THE COLD WAR

 
 

Following World War Two, two superpowers emerged; the United States and the Soviet Union.  The United States was the obvious leader due to its industrial might and the fact that the country was virtually untouched with respect to physical war damage (most of Europe was in ruins).  Juxtaposing the United States was the Soviet Union.  The dominate communist country, The Soviet Union would challenge the position of the democratic countries, first in Europe, then throughout the world.  Joseph Stalin would first bring communism to those countries in Eastern Europe which the Soviets occupied following the war.  The playing field would level on August 29, 1949 when the Soviets detonated their first atomic bomb, bringing the number of nuclear powers to two.


Over the next forty years, the two superpowers engaged in what became known as the Cold War.  Places like Korea, Cuba, and Vietnam would be the front lines of an ever increasingly dangerous world as the opposing ideologies attempted to extinguish each other.  Massive stockpiles of nuclear weapons were created as the possibility of nuclear annihilation would ebb and flow.  More than once, the world would hold its breath as the doomsday clock would inch ever closer to midnight.


Internal changes in the United States would rival those on the international stage.  The baby boomer generation challenged the status quo, especially as they entered their late teens and early twenties.  Civil Rights, Rock-N-Roll, drugs, war, and the assassination of a president would forever change the direction of American society.