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THE AMERICAN CENTURY
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THE AMERICAN CENTURY

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  1. THE AMERICAN CENTURY CHAPTER 28 (744-771)

  2. THE POSTWAR ECONOMY Many were worried about a postwar depressionand continued to be willing to employ federal authority to stabilize the economy However, pent-up demands for cars, houses, clothing and other products stimulated the economy – few veterans went without work as demand for labor continued to increase GI Bill of Rights (1944) – education benefits for veterans Taxes were cut and price controls were releases causing a period of inflation which allowed Republicans to take control of Congress Taft-Hartley Act (1947) – outlawed the closed shop and allowed the president to prevent strikes for 80 days

  3. THE CONTAINMENT POLICY As postwar economic issues went fairly smoothly, foreign policy issues did not Stalin dominated Eastern Europe, was extending control in central Europe and Asia and the Middle East While America demobilized the army, Russia did not – Communism began to be regarded as bad as Fascism had been and a danger to the world – Stalin began to be associated with Hitler Thus the containment policy was born – Stalin could not be allowed to expand – the how’s and where’s were not spelled out, merely the resolve

  4. THE ATOMIC BOMB: A “WINNING” WEAPON? Truman hoped that the bomb would inhibit Stalin – it did not – Stalin knew that the US had only a dozen or so bombs There was also a backwash of fear and loathing after true accounts of the suffering in Japan came out – Oppenheimer refused to continue working on them Nov 1945, The US suggested that the UN oversee all nuclear energy production – a plan was proposed that UN inspectors could without restriction go anywhere and make sure that no weapons were being made – Stalin refused and the US did not destroy its weapons

  5. A TURNING POINT IN GREECE Greek communists, who had been fighting against the Germans, were now fighting against the returned monarchy and were getting support from Yugoslavia and Bulgaria (The Soviets were actually against this)– Britain could no longer afford to help the monarchy and were going to cut off aid – Churchill’s “Iron Curtain” was falling on Greece The Truman Doctrine – The United States must “support free peoples who are resisting attempted subjugation by armed minorities or by outside pressures”

  6. THE MARSHALL PLAN AND THE LESSON OF HISTORY George C. Marshall reminded Americans that their isolationism after WWI contributed to Hitler’s unchecked advance through Europe and that in the future America must be prepared to act He also said, “Hunger, poverty, desperation, and chaos” were the enemies of freedom and wanted America to aid all nations post-war

  7. THE MARSHALL PLAN AND THE LESSON OF HISTORY The Marshall Plan – 16 nations formed a committee which submitted plans for $22 billion in aid – The Soviet Union and several of its satellite nations sent representatives but Stalin quickly recalled them fearing they would be drawn to America Congress appropriated over $13 billion, and by 1951 Western Europe was booming March 1948 – Britain, France, Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg sign an alliance to promote social, cultural, and economic collaboration – they also plan to create a single West German Republic The Soviet Union retaliated by closing access to Berlin and the great Berlin airlift began – supplies were brought in to care for the 2 million people there – both sides unwilling to fight, the blockade was lifted in 1949

  8. DEALING WITH JAPAN AND CHINA Japan was governed by General MacArthur Universal suffrage was instituted Parliamentary government was put in place Their armed forces were disbanded Labor unions were encouraged The empire was broken up Japan emerged economically strong, politically stable, and allied with the US China was different – The south was occupied by Chiang Kai-Shek’s nationalist forces – The north was occupied by Mao Zedong’s communist forces – soon civil war re-erupted and the communists won – Chiang Kai-Shek moved to Taiwan

  9. THE ELECTION OF 1948 Truman’s opinion polls showed him very low – so low that Democrats talked of denying him the nomination Governor Dewey was the Republican nominee and he fully expected to win 2 Democrat splinter parties also formed, the States’ Rights (Dixiecrat) party and the Progressive party Truman launched a whirlwind campaign travelling by rail making several hundred speeches blasting the “do nothing” Republican Congress and pressing his own Fair Deal policies He defeated Dewey 303-189

  10. CONTAINING COMMUNISM ABROAD North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) 1949 – America, Great Britain, France, Belgium, the Netherlands, Luxembourg, Denmark, Norway, Portugal, Iceland, and Canada September 1949 – the Soviets detonate an atomic bomb – both the US and Soviet Union begin working on a hydrogen bomb Just as Truman wanted to cut the military budget, a review of the containment policy brought a recommendation to increase defense spending by 350% to nearly $50 billion

  11. HOT WAR IN KOREA After the war, Korea had been divided at the 38th parallel into North Korea – the Democratic People’s Republic backed by Russia – and South Korea – the Republic of Korea backed by the US and UN June 1950, North Korea attacks South Korea – Truman decides to push them back to avoid another world war and with UN backing but without a declaration of war sends planes and troops in – though a UN army, 90% of the soldiers were American – 15 other nations supplied troops as well – General MacArthur was placed in charge and successfully beat them back and began advancing into North Korea toward China

  12. HOT WAR IN KOREA Soon however the Chinese entered the picture and drove the UN forces back again who rallied back around the original border MacArthur was dismissed for insubordination and the war dragged on Americans became angry at the war, which went on until 1953 – 157,000 casualties (54,000 deaths)

  13. THE COMMUNIST ISSUE AT HOME While communist membership fell after the start of the Cold War, fears of spies were rampant Loyalty Review Board – established to check on government employees – 2700 were dismissed over the next 10 years Alger Hiss, a former State Department official was accused of being a communist in the 30’s was eventually sentenced to 5 years in prison Klaus Fuchs – British scientist who betrayed atomic secrets to the Soviets Julius and Ethel Rosenberg – executed for passing secrets to the Soviets

  14. MCCARTHYISM Feb 1950, Joseph McCarthy of Wisconsin claimed that the government was full of traitors, that he had a list of people who were communists but were still working in the government Soon he was accusing everybody of being a communist and was on TV and radio everywhere – but he never exposed a single spy or secret communist – all he did was frighten thousands of people

  15. DWIGHT D. EISENHOWER Eisenhower is nominated over many other prominent Republicans He was popular because he avoided controversy He was a successful general running Allied forces during WWII He reminded people of George Washington and Andrew Jackson Eisenhower defeated Adlai Stevenson easily 442-89

  16. DWIGHT D. EISENHOWER He called for more local control of government Promised to reduce spending and cut taxes Yet he was unwilling to cut military spending or reduce current social and economic legislation Social Security was extended to more people Created the Department of Health, Education and Welfare Promoted a highway construction act He was flexible without compromising his own values

  17. THE EISENHOWER-DULLES FOREIGN POLICY John Foster Dulles became Eisenhower’s Secretary of State He was against Truman’s conventional containment policy stating it was too expansive and was ineffective Dulles was for focusing on nuclear weapons and shrinking the conventional army – acting as a deterrent – when the Chinese signed the armistice in Korea Dulles believed it was due to the nuclear threat In 1955 Eisenhower stated that he would use nuclear weapons to defend Taiwan – the Chinese backed down Massive Retaliation seemed to be working, and the US reduced its forces even more

  18. ASIAN POLICY AFTER KOREA After Korea, a new issue arose – communist rebels in French Indo-China led by Ho Chi Minh 1954 – France, Britain, Soviet Union and China divided Vietnam at the 17th parallel – the north became the Democratic Republic of Vietnam, the south remained in the hands of the emperor Bao Dai until he was overthrown – the US supplied this new government liberally with aid

  19. ISRAEL AND THE MIDDLE EAST May 1948 the new state of Israel was established to the anger of many Arab leaders – fighting broke out but Israel easily defeated the invaders The creation of this nation was due in large part to feelings regarding Jews after the war 1952 – revolution in Egypt – gravitated toward the communist camp because the US would not sell them arms – they nationalized the Suez Canal – Britain, France and Israel attacked Egypt without consulting the US – Both the US and Russia called for a cease fire with Nikita Khrushchev threatening nuclear strikes on France and Britain if they did not leave Egypt – they did Eisenhower announces the Eisenhower Doctrine – the US would use force in the Middle East if it felt necessary to fight against communism in that region

  20. EISENHOWER AND KHRUSHCHEV The first hydrogen bomb was detonated in 1952, the Soviets followed 6 months later Stalin died in 1953 – Nikita Khrushchev took over Eisenhower was reelected in 1956 Khrushchev offered nations Soviet aid, worked to purge Stalinism, set political prisoners free, boasted that they could launch numerous nuclear warheads at the US (creating a so-called “missile gap”), launched the satellite Sputnik, visited the United States, and blamed Eisenhower for a crashed U-2 spy plane in 1960

  21. LATIN AMERICA AROUSED Organization of American States (1947) the US was just one member – no veto power During the Cold War, the US tended to neglect these nations – however Eisenhower stepped up aid but anti-communism was always a priority – reactionary regimes were often supported to fight against communism Nixon’s goodwill tour in 1958 was a disaster and had to cut short Fidel Castro successfully took over Cuba with his communist regime – Khrushchev threatened to defend Cuba with atomic weapons

  22. THE POLITICS OF CIVIL RIGHTS Eisenhower completed the integration of the armed forces The Supreme Court had gradually been undermining the “separate but equal” clause in the Plessy vs. Ferguson case from 1896 1938 – it ordered the University of Missouri to admit a black student to its law school 1948 – University of Oklahoma was ordered to provide equal facilities 1950 – Texas was barred from forming a separate law school Brown vs. Board of Education of Topeka – Thurgood Marshall (later a supreme court justice) challenged “separate but equal” and the Plessy decision was reversed – the next year schools everywhere were ordered to desegregate In 1957 Eisenhower was forced to send federal troops to Little Rock Arkansas where the governor, Orval M. Faubus was using national guardsmen to prevent desegregation

  23. THE ELECTION OF 1960 Richard Nixon, Eisenhower’s vice-president won the Republican nomination John F. Kennedy won the Democratic nomination Kennedy had commanded a torpedo boat in the Pacific during WWII and served with distinction He was a US Senator from Massachusetts He was Catholic – no Catholic had ever been elected president of the US He and Nixon held a series of TV debates which swung many voters in his favor Kennedy won 303-219 but the popular vote was only 34,227,000 to 34,109,000