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Harry Truman (D). Harry Truman (D). FOREIGN POLICY. Harry Truman (D). 1945 – WWII ends with Truman’s decision to drop A-bomb on Japan 1945 – The U nited N ations is created. 1 . Yalta - foundation for UN laid. 2 . San Francisco Conference - April, 1946

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Harry Truman (D)


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Harry Truman (D)

1945 – WWII ends with Truman’s decision to drop A-bomb on Japan

1945 – The United Nations is created

1. Yalta - foundation for UN laid.

2. San Francisco Conference- April, 1946

a. UN Charter created General Assemblycomposed of all member nations; policy- making body; no real enforcement power.

b. Security Council - US, USSR, China, Britain, & France are permanent members plus six additional members for 2-year terms.

* Any single veto would overrule a proposal.


1. Potsdam: had decided to punish war crimes.

2. 22 top Nazis on trial at Nuremberg, Germany

3. 12 Nazis hanged & seven sentenced to long jail terms.

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Harry Truman (D)

1946 – W. Churchill claimed an Iron Curtain has descended upon Europe

"Beware ... time may be short ... . From Stettin in the Baltic to Trieste in the Adriatic, an iron curtain has descended across the Continent."

- Winston Churchill, Fulton, Missouri, 1946

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Harry Truman (D)

1947 – How will the U.S. containing communism in Europe

- US ambassador in Moscow, GeorgeKennan responded with the LongTelegram, He proposed a long- term control of Soviet expansion.

This led to Truman’s policy of containment– keeping communism within its present territory through diplomatic, economic, and military actions

1947--*Truman Doctrine aid is aimed at saving Greece & Turkey. Truman asked Congress for $400 milliontofight Soviet aggression in Greece and Turkey.

Became known as the Truman Doctrine– “It must be the policy of the US to support free peoples who are resisting attempted subjugation by armed minorities or by outside pressures.”

George Kennan

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Harry Truman (D)

1947 – Postwar Western Europe faced economic ruin and starving people.

--June 1947, Secretary of State George C. Marshall proposed theEuropean Recovery Program called the MarshallPlan.

-- Billion$ of US dollar$ would go to rebuild Europe and hopefully prevent chaos that might lead those countries to turn to communism.

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Harry Truman (D)

1947 Organization of American States (OAS)– to prevent communism in Latin America.

US government reorganization/rearmament

Department ofDefense.

a. Headed by new cabinet post -

Secretary of Defense; housed in new Pentagon Building.

b. National Security Council & Central Intelligence Agency

Voice of America- US radio broadcasts beamed into areas behind the iron curtain.

Atomic Energy Commission

a. Established civilian control over nuclear development.

b. Gave the president sole authority over the use of atomic weapons in warfare.

All of these actions were attempts to stop the

spread of communism and CONTAINit to

areas where it already existed.

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Harry Truman (D)

1948 – Partitioned Germany


Germany split into four zones w/ Berlin also being split into quadrants. Issue of Berlin nearly resulted in full-scale war in 1948-49

Agreements made among the

“Big Three” leaders at Yalta led to the division of Germany into four zones, each controlled by an Allied power

Germany Divided

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Harry Truman (D)

1948Partition of Germany

1. Soviets dominated E. German zone after war

a. Stripped resources as war reparations.

b. Did not want a revitalized Germany that

could again serve as threat to USSR.

2. US wanted revitalized Germany.

3. 1949 - democratic W. Germany created;

E. Germany stayed under Soviet control.

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Harry Truman (D)

1948 – U.S.S.R. cuts off supply route to W. Berlin and U.S. responds with an airlift

Soviets closed all traffic to West Berlin, hoping to force US to give up Berlin.

Truman then ordered the Berlin airlift.

For eleven months, cargo planes supplied Berliners with food, medicine, and coal.

Stalin finally lifted the blockade on May 12

1946-1948Reconstruction of Japan

U.S., led by Gen. Douglas MacArthur, implemented democracy in Japan.

Japanese war criminals were tried between 1946-48; Tojo hanged

Constitution (1946) renounced militarism; formed a Western-styled democracy.

Japan would become an economic power!

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Harry Truman (D)

1949 – U.S.S.R. detonates their first A-bomb

1949, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) formed, a mutual defense alliance, was created with twelve countries joining.

The members agreed to come to the aid of any member nation that was attacked.

The U.S. and its allies allowed West Germany to join NATO.

1955-Soviet leaders responded with their own military alliance in Eastern Europe known as the WarsawPact.

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Harry Truman (D)
  • In China, Communistforces and Nationalistforces had been battling since the late 1920s. They stopped theircivil war during WW II to resist Japanese occupation.
  • With the end of WW II, civil war broke out again.
  • Nationalists were defeated after poor leadership caused US to stop sending aid.
  • Communists set up the People’s Republic of China.
  • China’s Nationalist leaders fled to Formosa (Taiwan) and set up a government there.
  • 1950 - China and USSR signed an alliance treaty.
  • The U.S. kept “Red” China out of the UN while allowing Nationalists from Taiwan to retain their seats.

1949 – Civil War in China turns most populous country into a Communist Nation

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Harry Truman (D)

1950 – *Korean Conflict begins; as a result United Nations police action begins to defend S. Korea

At the end of World War II, American and Soviet forces entered Koreato disarm Japanese troops stationed there.

The Allies divided Korea at the38thparallel:

* Soviet troops controlled the North and installed a Communist government.

* US troops controlled the Southand installed a democraticgovernment.

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Harry Truman (D)
  • 1950, North Korean troops invaded South Korea.
  • Truman asked the UN to act against the Communist invasion of South Korea.
  • American, UN, and South Korean troops pushed back advancing North Korean troops
  • The Communist Chinese government saw the UN troops as a threat and demanded that they stop advancing.
  • After being ignored, China began a massive attack with hundreds of thousands of Chinese troops heading across the border, driving UN forces back.
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Harry Truman (D)
  • General MacArthur demanded approval to expand the war against China. (use nukes?)
  • Truman refused MacArthur’s demands.
  • MacArthur was fired after publicly criticizing the president.
  • Truman was committed to waging a limitedwar, a war fought to achieve a limited objective such as containing communism.
  • 1951 UN forces had pushed Chinese and North Korean troops back across the 38th parallel.
  • War slugged on for two more bloody years with little progress on either side.
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Harry Truman (D)



American Society in the Post-WWII era


A. GI Bill of Rights ( GI Bill)

Money to veterans for college, homes,

& to start businesses

*Led to economic prosperity!

B. Baby Boom

1. 1950s - population grew by over 28 million;

97% was in urban & suburban areas.

2. 1946-1961: 63.5 million babies were born.

C. Economic Boom: 1950-1970 -- The Affluent Society

1. National income nearly doubled in 1950s;

almost doubled again in 1960s.

a. Americans had about 40% of worlds wealth for

only 6% of world’s population.

b. By mid-1950s, 60% owned homes compared w/ 40% in 1920s –

“The American Dream”

c. Majority of new jobs went to women in offices & shops

* Sparked feminist revolt in 1960s.


d. Economy largely fueled by growth of

the defense industry.

* Accounted for over 50% of the

national budget by 1960.


2. Consumerism

- mushroomed as Americans had more disposable income.


3. Middle Class

a. Over 12 million by early 1960s.

b. Suburbs

* More cars, “white flight” from cities

due to black migration into N & Mid-

western region.

c. Cult of domesticityre-emerges

* Concept of a woman’s place being in

the home – common in magazines, TV

-- Father Knows Best;

Leave it to Beaver, etc.

* Dr. Benjamin Spock: Baby and Child Care

* Message: Women’s primary job was to stay home &

nurture their children.

d. Sunbelt vs. Frostbelt (aka Rustbelt)

1. South and Southwest

2. Air-conditioning spurred growth.

3. War/high-tech industries to the west coast.

4. Aerospace industry & military – TX & Fla.



3. Middle Class

a. Over 12 million by early 1960s.

b. Suburbs

* More cars, “white flight” from cities

due to black migration into N & Mid-

western region.

c. Cult of domesticityre-emerges

* Concept of a woman’s place being in

the home – common in magazines, TV

-- Father Knows Best;

Leave it to Beaver, etc.

* Dr. Benjamin Spock: Baby and Child Care

* Message: Women’s primary job was to stay home &

nurture their children.

d. Sunbelt vs. Frostbelt (aka Rustbelt)

1. South and Southwest

2. Air-conditioning spurred growth.

3. War/high-tech industries to the west coast.

4. Aerospace industry & military – TX & Fla.


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Harry Truman (D)

Civil Rights:gains for African-Americans

1. 1946 - Truman created President’s Committee on Civil Rights.

1948 - banned racial discrimination in federal jobs& ordered desegregation of the armed forces. (Exec Order 9066)

3. Jackie Robinson - first African-American in major league baseball (1947)

1947--Presidential Succession Act

1. In case of nuclear war.

2. Order:


Speaker of the House

President Pro-tem of Senate

Secretary of State

1951--22ndAmendment * Limited president to twoterms; or a maximum of 10 years.

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Harry Truman (D)
  • The Cold War heightened Americans’ fears of Communist infiltration and atomic attack
  • During the 1950s, rumors and accusations in the United States led to fears that Communists were attempting to take over the world.
  • The Red Scarebegan in September 1945, and escalated into a general fear of Communist subversion– an effort to secretly weaken a society and overthrow its government
  • Early 1947, Truman established the loyalty review program to screen all federal employees for their loyalty.
  • The program’s aim was to calm Americans’ fears.
  • Instead, it led to the fear that Communists were infiltrating the U.S. government.
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Harry Truman (D)
  • FBI Director J. EdgarHoover went to the House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC)to urge them to hold public hearings on Communist subversion.
  • The FBI sent agents to investigate suspected groups and to wiretap thousands of Americans' telephones.

HUAC’s investigations took on a circus-like atmosphere as suspects were ordered into the House Committee and asked the question...

“Are you now, or have you ever been, a member of the Communist Party?”

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Harry Truman (D)

The film and entertainment industry was a major target of HUAC. Some of Hollywood’s biggest names were accused of having Communist ties. These men actually served jail time for lying under oath. They were known as the “Hollywood Ten.”

Many others were blacklisted and never worked in the industry again.

  • A prominent lawyer and diplomat named Alger Hisswas investigated.
  • Hiss had served in FDR’s admin, attended Yalta, and helped with the organization of the UN.
  • Hiss denied the charges, but he wasconvicted of committing perjury,or lying under oath.
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Harry Truman (D)
  • 1951 – Rosenbergs are tried and sentenced for providing nuclear secrets to the Soviets
  • The search for spies intensified when the Soviet Union produced an atomic bomb.
  • A British scientist, admitted giving information to theSoviet Union.
  • This led to the arrest and conviction of Juliusand Ethel Rosenberg,who were Communists.
  • They were charged with heading a Soviet spy ring and were executed in 1953.
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Harry Truman (D)
  • 1949, with the Soviets testing an atomic bomb and China falling to communism, Americans felt they were losing the Cold War.
  • 1950 – (R) Sen. J. McCarthy claims communists have infested the government, starts 2nd Red Scare
  • He had won his Senate race after accusing his opponent of being a Communist.
  • Senator McCarthy became the chairman of the Senate subcommittee on investigations.
  • His investigation turned into a witch huntas he searched for disloyalty based on poor evidence and fear.
  • He ruined reputations without real evidence.
  • This tactic became known as McCarthyism.
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Harry Truman (D)
  • 1954 Americans watched televised Army-McCarthy hearings and saw how McCarthy attacked witnesses. His popularity faded.
  • Finally, an army lawyer named Joseph Welch stood up to McCarthy.

“Until this moment, Senator, I think I never really gauged your cruelty or your recklessness. You have done enough … Have you no sense of decency?”

- Joseph Welch to Joe McCarthy

McCarthy, now disgraced, was censured by the Senate.

Within three years, at age 48, Joe McCarthy was dead.

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Harry Truman (D)
  • Communism and the threat of the atomic bomb dominated life for Americans and their leaders in the 1950s.
  • Americans prepared for a surprise attack.
  • Experts realized that for every person killed instantly by a nuclear blast, four more would later die from fallout, the radiation left over after the blast.
  • Some families built fallout shelters in their backyards and stocked them with canned food.

“Duck-and-cover” drills were regularly held in American schools during the 1950s.

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Dwight D. Eisenhower (R)
  • IKE'S "NEW LOOK" POLICY: “Massive Retaliation”
  • Believed Cold War would be won through a strong military and a strong economy.
  • Conventional war would be too expensive; would hurt the economy.
  • Believed reliance on atomic weapons was necessary.
  • Eisenhower wanted to prevent war from happening in the first place.
  • A policy called massive retaliation was used to threaten use of nuclear weapons on any Communist state that tried to gain territory through force.
  • Result: A cut in military spending and an increase in America’s nuclear arsenal.

B-52 & ICBMs


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Dwight D. Eisenhower (R)

“Ike” Takes Command

1953 – Korean Conflict ends in a stalemate at the 38th parallel

Ike had promised to end Korean War.

After Ike threatened nuclear weapons “brinkmanship”, an armisticewas signed.

Korea remained divided at the 38th parallel.

1953 – Stalin Dies

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Dwight D. Eisenhower (R)

1954 – *S.E.A.T.O. (South East Asia Treaty Organization) Alliance forms to pr0tect S.E. Asia

1950s – Nationalist leaders try to get French out of Vietnam.

Ho Chi Mien– leader of Communists.

French were surrounded at Dienbienphu. Ike refused to intervene. French surrendered.

Geneva Conference sets 17th parallel division. North is communist; South, led by Diemis pro-Western.

Ike promises aid to South Vietnam.

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Dwight D. Eisenhower (R)

1955 – Mutually Assured Destruction or MAD Plan introduced by John Foster Dulles

1955 – S.U. creates Warsaw Pact to offset NATO

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Dwight D. Eisenhower (R)

Menaces in the Middle East

1953 – To get Iranian oil for Western countries, CIA engineered a coup that installed MohammedReza Pahlevi as Shah of Iran.

1956 - Egyptnationalized the Suez Canal, which was owned by French and Brits. 

The Suez Crisisensued as French & Brits launched an assault on Egypt; but were forced to withdraw troops when US refused to release emergency supplies of oil to them.

1957 - Congress proclaimed the Eisenhower Doctrine, pledging U.S. military and economic aid to Middle Eastern nations threatened by communist aggression. 

1960 - Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Iraq, Iran, and Venezuela joined to form the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries(OPEC).

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Dwight D. Eisenhower (R)
  • 1957, the Soviets launched Sputnik, the first artificial satellite to orbit the earth.
  • Americans feared they were falling behind in missile technology.

1958-Congress created the National Aeronautics and Space Administration(NASA).

1958-It was feared that Soviet educational system was better than the United States'; the National Defense and Education Act(NDEA) authorized $887 million in loans to needy college students and in grants for the improvement of teaching math, sciences, and languages

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Dwight D. Eisenhower (R)

1959 – Communist dictator Fidel Castro (Cuba), takes power and seizes all US assets and priv. property

Latin Americans were angry that the U.S. seemed to neglect Latin America's economic needs in favor of Europe's.  Also despised constant American intervention – Ex: CIA directed a coup in 1954 that overthrew a leftist government in Guatemala.

1959 - Fidel Castro led a coupthat overthrew US-supported government of Cuba. 

U.S. cut off imports of Cuban sugar.

Cuba's left-wing dictatorship quickly had become a military satellitenationfor the Soviet Union….90 miles from Florida! 

August 1960, Congress authorized $500 million to prevent communism from spreading in Latin America.

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Dwight D. Eisenhower (R)
  • 1956 – New Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev proposes idea of “peaceful coexistence” . Hungary rebellion is crushed by Soviet Union.
  • 1960 – Francis Gary Powers is shot down in his U-2 spy plane over U.S.S.R.
  • Eisenhower and Soviet leader Khrushchev agreed to a summit in Paris in order to improve relations.
  • Khrushchev stopped the summit after Soviets shot down an American U-2 spy plane piloted by Francis Gary Powers.
  • This became known as the U-2 incident.
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Dwight D. Eisenhower (R)

Jim Crow laws governed African- American life in the South.

WWII generated new militancy/ restlessness among many black Americans.

1955 – Rosa Parksrefused to give up her bus seat to a white person in Montgomery, Alabama. Led to a black bus boycottled by MLK, Jr. Segregation of buses ended the next year

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Dwight D. Eisenhower (R)

Seeds of the Civil Rights Revolution

Supreme Court Chief Justice Earl Warrenbegan to confront important civil rights issues (liberal Court).

  • In places without segregation laws, such as in the North, there was de facto segregation--- segregation by custom and tradition.
  • The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People(NAACP) had supported court cases trying to overturn segregation since 1909.

African American attorney and chief counsel for the NAACP

Thurgood Marshallworked to end segregation in public


* Sweat vs Painter. Case involved a black man, HemanSweatt, who was refused admission to the School of Law of the University of Texas, (UT) president, Theophilus Painter, on the grounds that the Texas State Constitution prohibited integrated education. At the time, no law school in Texas would admit black students/ "Negro" students.

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Dwight D. Eisenhower (R)

Seeds of the Civil Rights Revolution

1954- several Supreme Court cases regarding segregation – including the case of Linda Brown – were combined into one ruling.

The girl had been denied admission to a neighborhood school in Topeka, Kansas, because she was African American.

Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, Kansas:

“Segregation of public schools is inherently unequaland violates the equal protection clause of the 14th Amendment.”

This ruling overturned Plessy v. Ferguson (“separate but equal”).

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Dwight D. Eisenhower (R)

Crisis at Little Rock

1957 – OrvalFaubus, Arkansas gov., mobilized National Guard to prevent nine black students from enrolling in Central High School.

Confronted with direct challenge to federal authority, Ike sent troops to escort the students to their classes.

1957- Congress passed first Civil Rights Act since Reconstruction. Protected civil rights & voting rights.

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Dwight D. Eisenhower (R)

Interstate Highways

Eisenhower described his political beliefs as midway between conservative and liberal.

He pushed for passage of the Federal Highway Act, which provided $25 billion for a 10-year project to construct 40,000 miles of interstate highways.

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Dwight D. Eisenhower (R)

In 1956, for the first time, white-collar workers outnumbered blue-collarworkers – people who perform manual labor in industry.

Mechanization of farms and factories increased more white-collarjobs, such as sales and management.

Levittown,NY - one of the earliest suburbs; mass-produced.

Between 1947 and 1951, other Levittown-type suburbs were built all over the US.

To some, suburbs symbolized the American dream; others saw them as an example of American conformity.

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Dwight D. Eisenhower (R)


New white-collar jobs opened opportunities for women…..but wife and mother was the most typicalrole for women.

New dual role as workers and homemakers raised urgent questions about traditional definitions of gender differences.

1950s women were still expected to follow the homemaker path, even those who were college-educated.

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Dwight D. Eisenhower (R)
  • The movie industry lost viewers.
  • Moviemakers tried to lure people away from TV sets. Ex: use of 3-D glasses and cinemascope.
  • Movie roles for women were stereotypical, often as wives or girlfriends.
  • Roles for black Americans were often stereotypical or one-dimensional
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Dwight D. Eisenhower (R)
  • The New Consumer Culture in the Fifties
  • Credit cards, fast-food, and new forms of recreation….forerunners of an emerging lifestyle of leisure and affluence. 
  • In 1946, only 6 TV stations were broadcasting; by 1956, there were 146.
  • TV news became an important source of information.
  • Advertising and sporting events became more common.
  • Popular music was transformed during the 1950s.Elvis Presley was "King" of the new style known as rock 'n roll.

Social problem in the U.S. during the 1950s - a rise in juveniledelinquency – antisocial or criminal behavior of youth

CONFORMITY was expected by mainstream society during the 1950s!

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Dwight D. Eisenhower (R)

Technological Breakthroughs

Invention of transistor sparked technology revolution.

Scientists working for the U.S. Army developed one of the earliest computers.

Aerospace industries also grew in the 1950s, thanks to Eisenhower's Strategic Air Command (SAC) and to an expanding passenger airline business.

Medical breakthroughs: development of antibiotics; new drugs for arthritis, diabetes, cancer, and heart disease; and advances in surgical techniques.

Polio epidemics swept the nation in the 1940s and 1950s.Jonas Salkdeveloped an injectable vaccine that prevented polio.