The period in the United States history between 1945 and 1963 can be considered among the most fundamental timeframes that contributed to the shaping of the country as we know it today. No sooner than the end of the Second World War, the country entered the territory of the Cold War that took place between capitalism and communism. The stark contrast between the fundamental visions and ideologies of the Soviet Union and the United States caused a distrust between the two giants and facilitated the fear of each other’s military strength. The fear subsequently caused the race to influence as many allies as possible and convert them to either ideology. The United States facilitated a series of accomplishments targeted at showing the country’s superiority over the Soviet Union, which dramatically boosted innovation and drove the morale and patriotism of U.S. citizens, further increasing consumerism, shifting roles of women, new music, the civil rights movement, and religious acceptance.1
We will write a custom Essay on Unraveling of America specifically for you
301 certified writers online
Between 1963 and 1971, the United States witnessed a dramatic transformation of the society that was fueled by activism, social unrest, tragic assassinations, and cultural conflict, all of which subsequently contributed to the “unraveling of America.” Upon his election as the country’s leader, John F. Kennedy promoted the idea that America was standing on the edge of a New Frontier of new opportunities and threats, which will facilitate the country’s growth in the cold battle against Communist Soviet ideologies. The President acknowledged the rights of minorities across the country and became a representative of a “pragmatic generation” that looked at challenges with vigor, especially with regards to overshadowing the Soviet Union in the Cold War.2 Despite such events as the catastrophe in Cuba, the Cuban missile crisis, the Vietnam War, and the unfortunate assassination of the President, the country managed to persevere and achieve high standards of civil rights that have never been present before.
Given the considerations above, the 1960’s represent the “unraveling of America” due to the rise of liberal ideologies that were reinforced by intellectuals who pushed the ideas of acceptance as tools for achieving prosperity and growth of the nation. Large corporations stopped being seen as the enemies of the country’s economic effectiveness and became representatives of technological progress and improvements that had gotten greater and more impactful. The accelerated development of the country and its unraveling should be tightly connected to the battle for racial equality in the 60’s and the acknowledgment of minorities’ rights through the elimination of segregation both in the workplace and in public places. While the government was not content with massive public uproar and the “nonviolent civil disobedience” such as the demonstration in Birmingham in early 1963, the American society became the key driver of change.3 From Martin Luther King’s speech “I Have a Dream” to the Warren Court and its landmark decisions, the United States in the 60’s unravelled as a nation that came together in the battle to overcome systemic oppression and form a society in which every member can contribute to its growth.
Shi, David, and George Tindall. America: A Narrative History. 10th ed. New York: W.W. Norton & Company, 2016.
- David Shi and George Tindall, America: A Narrative History, 10th ed. (New York: W.W. Norton & Company, 2016), 1275.
- Ibid., 1314.
- Ibid., 1330.