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The Cold War Abroad and At Home

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  1. The Cold War Abroad and At Home

  2. 1945-1947, Emerging Conflict among Allies • How should Europe be reconstructed? • Soviets wanted: • friendly regimes on their borders, • to prevent Germany from becoming a threat again, • to advance communism • US and Britain wanted: • friendly regimes in Europe, • to prevent Germany from becoming a threat again. • to restore the existing economic and colonial relationships from before the war

  3. Western Nations and Their Empires, 1945

  4. Soviet Union

  5. Points of Conflict: 1945-47 • Understanding each other’s motives: see Kennan and Novikov’s analyses • Nuclear technology: America’s A Bomb • Escalating Rhetoric: Churchill’s Iron Curtain speech; and Stalin’s statements • Hot spots: Greece, Turkey, Iran, Berlin • Crises: dislocated peoples; famine; abuse by occupying powers

  6. American Initiatives, 1947-1950 • Truman Doctrine • Marshall Plan • Rearmament, peacetime draft and North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) • National Security State: new CIA, strengthened FBI

  7. The Domestic Cold War • Support for emerging Cold War policies was not universal • The US had a small Communist Party since the Russian Revolution (1917). There were also Socialist (here in Milwaukee) or Labor Parties (Farm Labor in Minnesota). • During World War II, the US was allied with the Soviet Union and “left wing” radical politics became, if not mainstream, quite common: • within the labor movement, • in the entertainment industry, • among intellectuals.

  8. Emerging Domestic Cold War: local and national… • Communist control of media and intellectual life? • Communist control of Labor Movement and Strike wave in 1946-47 (Examples only): • General Motors: nationwide test for United Auto Workers (UAW-CIO) and Walter Reuther • Here in Milwaukee: Allis Chalmers, conflict between largest employer in Wisconsin, and the most militant union in Wisconsin, Local 248 of UAW-CIO • Went on strike in April 1946 • Strike lasted until March 1947.

  9. Cold War in Milwaukee: The Allis Chalmers union…. • Was successful, militant, and had left wing leadership…. • Challenged and limited management rights and prerogatives on the shop floor. • The precipitating event of the strike – the dismissal of the impartial referee of the grievance procedure. • Two grievance rulings– the one expanded the authority of committeemen and shop stewards; the other attached wages to workers and not jobs

  10. On the Picket Line, 1946

  11. The Issue of Communism • When the 11-month strike started– Communist leaders were not the issue. • In the late summer of 1946, the union successfully moved into Wisconsin politics. • One CIO unionist, Edmund Bobrowicz, managed to unseat a Milwaukee Democratic congressman in Democratic primary. • In response, the company and the local media attacked the union leadership as “communists.”

  12. Why did the Milwaukee Sentinel publish this political cartoon in the Fall of 1946?

  13. Allis Chalmers Corporation Campaign: Principle Represented: Communist

  14. Principle Represented: Communist

  15. Principle Represented: Communist

  16. Bitter conflict in the Streets of West Allis

  17. The Strike Broken…. • In March 1947, the AC strikers recognized defeat and returned to work. • A-C officials– dismissed 97 strikers– many union leaders, bargaining committee members, and shop stewards and committeemen. • Union leader Harold Christoffel went on trial for perjury for denying he was a communist– and after a long court fight was sentenced to 2 to 6 year jail term.

  18. The Strike Broken…. • A-C officials– played a major role in the drafting of the Taft-Hartley Act which limited political activity of unions, It remains an albatross around labor’s neck today, restricting labor organizing. • After Taft-Hartley– the CIO expelled 11 CIO unions whose leaders refused to sign affidavits that they were not Communists. • The domestic Cold War weakened the aggressiveness and militancy of American labor.

  19. The Cold War continued…late 1940s and early 1950s • Soviets blocked ground transport access to Berlin and Britain and US responded with an Airlift of supplies • China became Communist • Soviets developed an atom bomb • War broke out in Korea • ……A fearful time……