A Research Paper On The Effects Of Sputnik

800 words - 4 pages

It was the Soviet’s that put man on the moon, rovers on Mars, and launched the Hubble Space Telescope. Not in the way that one would think, it was the United States’ foes that drove the U.S. to accomplish perhaps the greatest feats of the twentieth century. Following the defeat of Germany and Japan in World War II, tensions between former allies, the United States and the Soviet Union, began to grow. In the following decades, the two superpowers would duke it out in competitions and tremendous shows of nationalism. They formed unmatchable rivalries in politics, economics, sciences, and sports (“The Soviets Launch Sputnik 1:October 4, 1957 1). These contests became clear as the two countries raced to beat one another in claiming the first country to put a satellites and men into space and on the moon. The Soviet’s took the early lead as they put the first satellite into space. The launch of Sputnik 1 established a sense of fear into the American Public, resulting in the creation of NASA in the late 1950’s which opened the door for space exploration today and for future generations.
After World War II, the Cold War created tensions between the Soviet Union and the United States leading to extreme national pride and competition, culminating with the space race which began with the launch of Sputnik 1. In World War II many new weapons were created to kill more people with more efficiency. The most notable of these may have been the atomic bomb. As American troops closed in on Japan at the end of the war, they realized that taking the small island nation would be near impossible. The Japanese soldiers had showed their willingness to die for their country when kamikaze pilots would fly into American ships. As a result, President Truman approved the use of the two nuclear bombs to subdue Japan. Within a three day period, the cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki were completely decimated. Following this event, other countries began to develop nuclear weapons as the atomic age was introduced. Subsequently, “...the Soviets seized power over much of Eastern Europe with the might of its Red Army and supported communist and Soviet-friendly regimes throughout the region (“Cold War” 1).” The Cold War had begun. The Soviet’s detonated their first atomic bomb in 1949, making Americans even more skeptical of the Soviet’s intents. Treaties were signed as the...

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