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The Great Depression, Cold War Tensions, and Social Movements in American History

The Great Depression, Cold War, and civil rights revolutions changed America. The New Deal was a response to The Great Depression’s economic impact. The Cold War altered American society and policy following World War II. The transformational civil rights movement revealed American society’s deep preconceptions and systemic injustices during this critical historical period. Economic disputes, geopolitical rivalry, and social justice problems affect American history in the stories.

The Great Depression’s Main Causes

Several factors, including the Federal Reserve restraining money flow, caused the 1930s Great Depression. The tight monetary policy restricted credit availability and slowed the economy, while protectionist measures and a failing global market curtailed foreign trade. Banks suffered from speculative investments and poor monitoring (Sachinvala et al., 2020). The 1929 stock market crash lowered consumer spending and confidence, worsening the downturn.

The New Deal’s Depression Response

Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal program tried to improve the economy during the Great Depression. The Emergency Banking and Glass-Stegall Acts stabilized the banking industry. Reopened solvent banks under the Emergency Banking Act restored financial institution confidence (McCall, 2019). The Glass Steagall Act separated commercial and investment banking, reducing riskier practices.

The CCC and WPA gave disadvantaged people jobs and money during the New Deal. Reviving the economy required infrastructural development and employment creation. The New Deal promoted social welfare programs like Social Security and the NLRA for Americans (Sachinvala et al., 2020). Social Security aids older folks and disabled people, while the NLRA gives workers more negotiating leverage over their bosses.

Cold War escalation after WWII

The Cold War was aggravated by the US and USSR competing for military technology and nuclear weapons. Both nations developed atomic weapons, heightening the danger and causing fear of nuclear war. The battle for arms fueled distrust and antagonism between the two ideologies. Contrasting viewpoints escalated Cold War conflicts. The US and the USSR differed on world order by favoring capitalistic democracy over communist socialism. Their mutual perceptions harmed their ideological and geopolitical goals (McCall, 2019). The ideological divide between superpowers led to proxy conflicts like the Korean and Vietnamese wars.

The Cold War caused widespread apprehension and McCarthyism, a movement of witch hunts against communists and suspected communists. The CIA was founded to gather information amid security concerns and a possible Soviet takeover ((Sachinvala et al., 2020). During The Cold War, suspicions of disloyalty maintained a culture of discrimination against poor minorities, including African Americans and LGBTQ+ persons.

Civil Rights Movement Changes

Civil rights movements in the 1950s and 1960s changed society. Thus, public areas cannot be segregated by race, religion, ethnicity, or gender. This historic effort sought to eradicate institutional prejudice and promote equal rights for all Americans. The civil rights movement aimed to equalize African Americans’ treatment and opportunity while changing America’s culture. It sparked national debates on racism, which led to greater social awareness and demands for social equity. It also increased inclusion and diversity in American society, from educational institutions to public spaces, where ground-breaking civil rights legislation supported the change (Sachinvala et al., 2020). The 1964 Civil Rights Act outlawed racial discrimination.

The Great Depression, Cold War, and Civil Rights Movement changed America. The Great Depression led to economic changes and social safety nets like The New Deal. Cultural and weapons rivalry defined. The civil rights movement challenged cultural preconceptions to bring about legislative change and increased inclusivity during the cold war. These key historical events show how America has survived and faced new obstacles.


Sachinvala, N. D., Teramoto, N., & Stergiou, A. (2020). Proposed neuroimmune roles of dimethyl fumarate, bupropion, S-adenosylmethionine, and vitamin D3 in affording a chronically Ill patient sustained relief from inflammation and major depression. Brain Sciences10(9), 600.

McCall, M. (2019). Environmental Racism: The US EPA’s Ineffective Enforcement of Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. SJ Pol’y & Just.13, 49.


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