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Containment in the 1950s

            The American Answer: Containment in the 1950's.
             Containment began as a new answer to a radically different international dilemma. Communism posed a grave threat to democracy everywhere. If the U.S. failed to stop it, then capitalism would inevitably crash. Truman opted to diplomatically and economically freeze the Russian economy rather than to begin WWIII. Recognized as containment, this theory postulates that by keeping "the bad" out, the good would thrive. By indirectly dealing with the problem, Truman hoped to skirt nuclear attacks and keep the American ideal strong. McCarthy held this same notion when dealing with communist infiltration in the U.S. government. Incidentally the new nuclear family hoped to escape an economic slump and fear of the present by flocking to the suburbs. With their foundations in international policies regarding communism, both McCarthyism and the nuclear family provided means of containment in order to achieve security on the political and social levels.
             The Cold War marked the beginning of an era of ceaseless paranoia and fear. On every level in America, people fought down this panic by dreaming of security. Americans could only harness the threat of new technology through invulnerability. On the broader international scope the U.S. feared Russia because they knew Stalin possessed the capability and the means to become a world power. Since Stalin's communist ideals clashed at the very base with American democratic ideals, the U.S. knew that this power threatened the thriving capitalist economy of the world. Within the U.S. McCarthy and his followers felt that communist supporters inside the government unfairly shaped international relations in Russia's favor. This fear swept the nation and spread into a greater fear of any radical or new ideal. On the family level lay a fear of an economic crash after the WWII boom. Also Americans feared nuclear annihilation and insecurity in the job market.

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