How The United States Contained Communism in the Cold War Essay

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During the cold war, the United States engaged in many aggressive policies both at home and abroad, in which to fight communism and the spread of communist ideas. Faced with a new challenge and new global responsibilities the U.S. needed to retain what it had fought so strongly for in World War II. It needed to contain the communist ideas pouring from the Soviet Union while preventing communist influence at home, without triggering World War III. With the policies of containment, McCarthyism, and brinkmanship, the United States hoped to effectively stop the spread of communism and their newest threat, the Soviet Union.
After the war, the United States and the Soviet Union had very different ideas on how to rebuild. The United States, led
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Taking an even greater step to contain communism, Secretary of state, George Marshal proposed the marshal plan, which gave financial aid (a total of about $13 billion) to any European country threatened by communism. Although containment along with the Truman Doctrine and marshal plan where successful and effective in stopping communism in Europe, their policies failed to shield Asia from communist rule. By 1945, much of china had been overrun by communism under the command of Mao Zedong. With financial aid from the Soviet Union, and the support of the vast majority of Chinese peasants, Mao Zedong was able to overrule the Chinese Nationalist leader, Chiang Kai-Shek. Overall, the policies of containment proved quite effective in Europe but failed to maintain democracy in parts of Asia.
In addition to fighting communism overseas, the United States battled communism within its own government. Pressured by the republicans, President Truman created a loyalty Review Board in which government employees where investigated for their loyalty. Of the 3 million who where testified, only 212 where dismissed as security risks. This method was often ineffective because individuals who had been accused of disloyalty where not allowed to see the evidence against them. Another program aimed at eliminating communist influence was HUAC, or the House Un-American Activity Committee. In 1947, HUAC questioned 43 Hollywood actors about their loyalty to the government.