Gaddis (42) defines the Cold War as a time of hostility and tension between the Soviet Union and the United States of America. The Cold War began immediately after the end of the Second World War, from1946 to 1991 (Cannato 232). The Soviet Union and the United States of America had different ideologies, and each wanted to be superior. There was no active war as each country had enough weapons, and there was also the fear of nuclear escalation (Gaddis 47). America proved to be superior after the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991, which marked the end of the Cold War (Gaddis 44). This paper will discuss the impact of the Cold War on higher education, the economy, immigration policy, civil rights, and civil liberties in America.
The immigration act allowed the displaced Europeans to go back to America (Cannato 216). The Filipinos, Asian Indians and the Chinese were allowed to become American citizens. The major aim of the Cold War was to damage the communists, specifically the Soviet Union (Gaddis 102). This improved the American status as there was mass immigration of people to America, and this made it the land of great opportunity. During the Cold War America began to invest a lot in higher education through endowments, grants and the GI Bill, so as to promote its war against the Soviet Union (Gaddis 84). However, immediately after the Cold War there was reduced funding and this led to constant threats to public universities. There was also an upsurge of PhDs graduates; there were more of them than academic jobs for them to fill (Gaddis 93).
The American economy was improved after the Cold War. The Americans produced new industries for aviation and electronics (Gaddis 321). Cars were produced, and there was housing boom for members who returned from the military. This ensured that the gross national products rose by a big margin. Americans also created the World Bank, international telephone and telegraph and many other things that made it to be the most developed country (Gaddis 296). The Americans feared the communist, and as a result, they had to deny them some civil liberties. Civil rights activists gained more advantage as they were able to air their views after the Cold War (Cannato 314).