The Sixties


The early years of the 1960s saw real tension between the United States and the Soviet Union, as well as within communities in the United States. These two sets of concerns exposed a serious fault line within American society, and a conflict between its goals and its reality.
For this assignment, watch two videos, which follow.
First, the Cold War: Within it’s own hemisphere, the United States feared Soviet expansion of the Communist revolution, especially through unstable Latin American regimes. The island of Cuba, lying just off the East Coast of the United States, became a profound threat with the Communist takeover led by Fidel Castro. With the Bay of Pigs and the Cuban Missile Crisis, the United States, the Soviet Union, and the world at large very nearly found themselves launching an all-out nuclear war.
This short video summarizes these events, hopefully giving you a sense of the grave danger and tension of the time.

Second, Civil Rights in America: while pushing for freedom in Soviet-sphere nations, serious inequities existed at home. Americans were increasingly pushing for equality among all Americans. Watch this video from “History’s Lost and Found” about the Greensboro Sit-ins.

Using this information and other resources from this chapter, compose a post on the following question:
How might Civil Rights issues in the United States be exploited by the Soviet Union in its propaganda battle with the United States? Was there a certain hypocrisy in American criticism of the Communist denial of civil liberties?

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