- June 14, 2020
House Beautiful magazine stated that the country`s most powerful weapon in the Cold War was the freedom offered by washing machines and dishwashers, vacuum cleaners, automobiles, and refrigerators. Analyze this statement, explaining how consumerism was used in the 1950s to combat the Cold War. Is consumerism used today as a tool of American foreign policy?
Thecold war was a conflict between two superpowers the United States andthe USSR and it revolved majorly around military power advantage overthe other and the public opinion. Franklin D. Roosevelt wanted thepeople of the world from all nations to share the four freedoms thatwere entitled to all Americans, the freedom to worship, the freedomof expression and free speech, the freedom from fear and freedom fromwant. This became the new way to showcase the American way of lifeand it was instrumental in the Second World War, even after the war,it was adopted by to use by the United Nations in 1948 therebyinfluencing the world’s foreign policy (Franklin D. Rooseveltspeaks of Four Freedoms, n.p). During the Cold war public opinion wasa key factor and in ways to show the world that that American societywere entitled to these rights and it was a distinction of the Sovietsociety who were her foes. In a way to identify these freedomsconsumer capitalism was used and by showcasing consumer products thatthe United States provides to her people was one of the bestpropaganda methods in the Cold War. These expositions beginning withthe Chicago Fair of 1950 and Frontiers of Freedom a daily historicalparade that linked consumerism and freedom spectacularly. Consumerismwas a powerful tool in the War and even led to a debate between theSoviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev and President Nixon. This occurredat the American National Exhibition that Russians themselves wereinterested and came in large numbers to see the showcase in Moscow1959 (Prevots,2012).Consumerism in the present day has influenced American foreign policyall over the world, especially in capitalist countries but studiesshow that soon the idea of a shift from consumerism is not entirelyimpossible due to the economic crisis experienced in America.
How did the civil rights movement empower other groups to fight for their rights?
Thecivil rights movements in America have inspired the many minority anddisadvantaged groups to rise up and demand for equality that wentbeyond the African American community. President Johnson ran for thepresidency with the aim of eradicating poverty with his social reformpolicy and one of the ways to achieve this was to pass throughcongress John F. Kennedy’s civil rights bill. This bill was passedby congress in 1964 and empowered the black community againstdiscrimination, but they still had no right to vote. Martin LutherKing Jr launched a campaign to demand for voting rights amongst theAfrican American community, the government reformed the voting bill,and about 250000 African Americans were registered as voters by theend of 1965. The Latino communities also stood up for their rightswhile being led by Cesar Chavez who marched a group of striking farmworkers in the west that were discriminated. The fight for equalrights has been ongoing ever since because of the two civil rightsmovement that led to great sacrifice in the hope of one day beingseen as equals amongst other human beings of a different race. Othergroups that were inspired to take action were the Asian Americans,Native Americans who were also racially discriminated (Prevots,2012).Other groups of people who are discriminated based on reasons such asgender, disability, age, religion and sexual orientation have alsomoved against the laws and their enforcers. More recently we havewitnessed protests from the gay and lesbian community, women andpeople with disabilities. All these protests were a result of theresults witnessed from earlier protests to gain equal rights and thesupport of human rights activists all over the world.
Debate the advantages and disadvantages of the Equal Rights Amendment?
In1923 the Equal Rights Amendment law was first presented to congressfor approval, but it was not approved into law and later in 1979still only 35 states had approved the proposed equal rights amendmentlaw, however, it needs 38 states for it to be approved. The equalamendment law has its advantages and disadvantages to the citizens ofthe United States and this pro and cons have influenced the decisionof the congress over the years. The advantages of the proposed EqualRights Amendment law based on the context of the bill put forward tothe house of congress are That gender favourismshould beconsidered illegal by abolishing all genders federal laws of theUnited states that are based on gender (Prevots,2012).This law is advantageous but also has its shortcomings. While it istrue that gender favourism is not ideal, but it will lead toelimination of lawful rights that protect women. On the other hand,the equal rights amendment also defends women`s rights by restrictingcongress authority on rolling back on key advances in the rights ofwomen however, some see this as an elaborate plan to take awaypeople’s control and the rights of the states as well. The mainconcern in many people is that the language used is not entirelyclear and some claim that it is unconstitutional. So either way,everybody has a different perspective of the Equal rights amendmentwhile some see the good others see the worse eventually it affectsall Americans.
Prevots,N. (2012). Dancefor export: Cultural diplomacy and the Cold War.Wesleyan University Press.
FranklinD. Roosevelt speaks of Four Freedoms. (n.d.). Retrieved November 25,2016, fromhttp://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/franklin-d-roosevelt-speaks-of-four-freedoms