Cold War

The Cold War began in the aftermath of World War II and it played an important role in the United States civil rights struggle. The Cold War struggle between democratic capitalism in the United States, Europe, and Japan and totalitarian communism in the Soviet Union, and after 1949 China, featured diplomatic maneuvering, proxy wars, secret operations, regional strategic alliances, and military buildups. The Cold War set the tone for much of American politics and life in the 1950s. It promoted fear of communist infiltration and disloyalty. It helped reinforce conservative resistance to changes in society and politics. It kept labor unions on the defensive. At the same time the Cold War heightened in Americans the urgency of democratic ideals. In the global struggle for freedom, it featured a battle for the hearts and minds of the non-white peoples of Asia, India, Africa, and Latin America.