Postwar AmericaWith a monopoly on the atomic bomb and an economy fortified by World War II, the United States in 1945 was the strongest nation in the world. The country demobilized quickly, and Americans were determined to enjoy the fruits of peace after years of depression and wartime sacrifice. The end of the war did not initiate retreat from international responsibilities, as it had after World War I, however. As tensions with the Soviet Union intensified into a cycle of political and economic antagonism known as the Cold War, the United States combated the threat posed by the USSR by forming new alliances and providing economic and military assistance to weakened democracies. The onset of the Cold War also affected domestic politics. Fear of internal subversion allowed anticommunist
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World War II,
Senator Joseph McCarthy, considerable political power, domestic politics. Fear