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The Cold War and the American Dream 1945 – 1960 How did the Cold War and domestic changes in the postwar years affect the nation?
Peacetime Adjustments and the Cold War • Key ? – How did the U.S. economy and political climate change after World War II? • Defense industries changed to making goods and reducing their workforce. • 10 million veterans flooded the job market. • Mostly women laid off – returned to teaching and nursing.
The Postwar Economy • Increased demand for goods, housing led to skyrocketing prices. • G.I. Bill – guaranteed housing loans for vets. • William Levitt – mass produced homes to sell cheaply. Levittown on Long Island, NY opened in 1947. • Labor unions began striking; After war little changed for African Americans.
Reelection and the Fair Deal • Truman not expected to win reelection. • Traveled by train across country blasting the “do-nothing” Republican Congress. • Beat Thomas Dewey. • Proposed the Fair Deal and extension to FDR’s the New Deal.
America Fights a Cold War • Key ? How did the Cold War affect the United States and Europe? • Tensions between U.S. and Soviet Union. • Stalin installed pro-Soviet government throughout Eastern Europe despite his promise of free elections. • Each suspected each other of trying to dominate world affairs. • Never met on battlefield but threat of conflict became the Cold War that lasted for decades.
The Berlin Airlift • 1945 – the Allies agreed to temporary division of Germany into 4 zones. • Western powers merged their zones and planned to unite them, but Stalin feared a united Germany. • 1948 – Stalin forces blocked access; Truman approved a huge airlift of food, fuel, and equipment.
The Politics of Containment • Truman strategy was containment, or stopping the spread of communism through military and nonmilitary ways. • The Truman Doctrine promised aid to people fighting to maintain democracy. • Marshall Plan – reviving war-torn economies of Europe offering 13billion in aid. • NATO – North Atlantic Treaty Organization made up of Western European nations and others. • Soviet Union countered with the Warsaw Pact.
The Cold War at Home • Key ? – How did fear of communism affect people in the U.S.? • Americans feared that communism would spread inside the U. S. • Trials: Alger Hiss accused of passing military info to Soviet Union; Rosenbergs were executed for passing atomic secrets to the Russians. • Truman ordered loyalty checks. • HUAC targeted the movie industry.