OUTLINE 8-1: TRUMAN AND THE COLD WAR,

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1 OUTLINE 8-1: TRUMAN AND THE COLD WAR, The United States responded to an uncertain and unstable postwar world by asserting and working to maintain a position of global leadership, with far-reaching domestic and international consequences. I. Postwar America A. GI Bill: Help for Veterans i. More than half the returning men and women in service seized the opportunity afforded by the GI Bill to continue their education at government expense. Over two million World War II veterans attended college, which started a postwar boom in higher education. ii. The veterans also received over $16 billion in low-interest, government-backed loans to buy homes and farms and to start businesses. iii. By focusing on a better educated workforce and also promoting new construction, the federal government stimulated the postwar economic expansion. B. Baby Boom i. Following World War II, there was a rapid population explosion known as the baby boom. ii. The rise in population contributed to the growth of the suburbs, consumer culture, and the sharp increase in college enrollment in the 1960s. C. Suburban Growth i. The high demand for housing after the war resulted in a construction boom. Levittown, a project of 17,000 mass-produced, low-priced family homes made the move from city to suburb affordable for even families of modest means. ii. For many older inner cities, the effect of the mass movement to the suburbs was disastrous. By the 1960s, cities became increasingly poor and racially divided. II. Postwar Politics A. Strikes i. In early 1946, the United Auto Workers and steelworkers went on strike against General Motors and U.S. Steel, respectively. President Truman suggested an 18 cent per hour wage increase and allowed the corporations to raise prices to cover the cost of the increase. This formula became the basis for settlements in other industries. ii. After John L. Lewis s (CIO) United Mine Workers struck in April 1946, Truman had the government take over mines and railroads and accepted the union s demands of safety, health, and welfare benefits, but threatened to draft strikers into the military. B. Civil Rights i. Prior to the Korean War, Black and White Americans fought in segregated units. President Truman ordered the racial desegregation of the armed forces. The Korean War marked the first time American forces had fought in integrated units. ii. Truman also established the Committee on Civil Rights and strengthened the Justice Department s powers to fight segregation in schools. C. Republican Control of the 80 th Congress i. 22 nd Amendment

2 III. a. Reacting against the election of Roosevelt as president four times, the Congress proposed a constitutional amendment to limit a president to a maximum of two full terms in office. b. The 22 nd Amendment was ratified by the states in ii. Taft-Hartley Act a. The Taft-Hartley Act was passed in 1947 with the primary purpose of curbing the power of labor unions. b. The Taft-Hartley Act outlawed closed-shop unionism, which would require workers to join a union before being hired. c. Supporters of the Taft-Hartley Act believed that unions were abusing their power, widespread strikes would endanger the nation s vital defense industries, unions had been infiltrated by communists, and employers were being coerced into hiring union workers (closed-shop unionism). By 1954, 15 states had passed right to work laws, which forbade the union shop (a non-member could not be hired to a job if a union was present). d. The act outlawed secondary boycotts, the practice of several unions supporting a striking union by joining a boycott of the company s products, and gave the president the power to invoke an 80-day cooling off period before a strike endangering the national safety could be called. e. Organized labor strongly opposed the Taft-Hartley Act. Origins of the Cold War A. U.S.-Soviet Relations to 1945 i. Allies in World War II a. Negotiations between the United States and the Soviet Union broke down at the Yalta and Potsdam Conferences near the end of World War II. The war s end exposed the ideological differences of these two former allies. ii. Postwar Cooperation and the UN a. The major international issue following WWII involved the shape of the new world and what new political alliances would be formed. This question would become the major source of contention between the world s two leading politicaleconomic systems, capitalism and communism. iii. Satellite States a. By the end of 1945, the Soviet Union controlled most of Eastern Europe, Mongolia, Manchuria, North Korea, and several islands. By 1947 it took over Poland, Hungary, Romania, and Bulgaria. iv. Occupation Zones in Germany B. Iron Curtain i. Winston Churchill stated that an iron curtain had been spread across Europe separating the democratic states from the authoritarian communist states. ii. United States policymakers engaged in a Cold War with the authoritarian Soviet Union, seeking to limit the growth of Communist military power and ideological influence, create a free-market global economy, and build an international security system. iii. This power struggle between the United States and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics was called the cold war, because there was no actual combat as there is in a hot war.

3 IV. Containment in Europe A. Overview i. Containment was a foreign policy designed to contain or block Soviet expansion. It was based on the belief that the USSR would not take risks and would back down if faced with determined opposition. ii. Containment was the primary U.S. foreign policy from the announcement of the Truman Doctrine in 1947 to the fall of the Berlin Wall in iii. George Kennan was an American diplomat and specialist on the USSR. Kennan wrote an influential article known as the Long Telegram, which advocated that the U.S. focus its foreign policy on containing the spread of Soviet influence. B. Truman Doctrine i. In 1947, Communist insurgents threatened to take over both Greece and Turkey, and since the UK was weakened from WWII, it could no longer prop up these nations. ii. President Harry S. Truman was determined to block the expansion of Soviet influence into Greece and Turkey. iii. In March 1947, Truman asked Congress for $400 million in economic aid for Greece and Turkey. iv. Truman justified the aid to Greece and Turkey by declaring that the United States would support free peoples who are resisting attempted subjugations by armed minorities or by outside pressures. This sweeping pledge became known as the Truman Doctrine. C. Marshall Plan i. As postwar tensions dissolved the wartime alliance between Western democracies and the Soviet Union, the United States developed a foreign policy based on collective security, international aid, and economic institutions that bolstered non-communist nations. ii. World War II left Western Europe devastated and vulnerable to Soviet influence. iii. The Marshall Plan was a program of economic aid designed to promote the recovery of war-torn Europe while also preventing the spread of communist influence. iv. The Marshall Plan provided $12 billion in aid to help Europe rebuild its cities and economy. In return for that money, countries were expected to become American allies. Although money was offered in Eastern Europe, no countries in the Soviet sphere participated in the program. v. The Marshall Plan was an integral part of Truman s policy of containment. vi. Stalin viewed the Marshall Plan as further evidence of U.S. imperialism. D. Berlin Airlift i. The U.S., France, and UK decided to merge their sectors of Germany into one country and bring it into the Western economy, drawing the ire of the USSR. ii. Fearing a resurgent Germany, the USSR cut off Western land access to West Berlin, located deep within the Soviet zone. iii. President Truman ordered a massive airlift of food, fuel, and other supplies to the beleaguered citizens of West Berlin. iv. The Berlin Airlift marked a crucial and successful test of containment, as the U.S. refused to allow the USSR to take control of West Berlin. E. NATO and National Security i. National Security Act

4 a. Postwar decolonization and the emergence of powerful nationalist movements in Asia, Africa, and the Middle East led both sides in the Cold War to seek allies among new nations, many of which remained nonaligned. b. Ten Western European nations joined with the United States and Canada to form a defensive military alliance called the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). c. The Soviet Union and its communist satellite nations were collectively known as the Warsaw Pact. d. The NATO alliance marked a decisive break from America s tradition of isolationism to a policy of collective security. ii. Atomic Weapons a. The Soviet Union exploded an atomic device in September V. Cold War in Asia A. China i. Between 1945 and 1948, the United States gave over $2 billion in aid to the Nationalist Chinese under Chiang Kai-shek and sent George Marshall to settle the conflict between the Nationalists and Chinese Communists. ii. Led by Mao Zedong, the Chinese Communists defeated the Chinese Nationalists and declared the People s Republic of China both an independent and a communist nation. The Nationalists were forced to retreat to Taiwan. iii. The collapse of Nationalist China was viewed as a devastating defeat for America and its Cold War allies. iv. After the fall of China, the United States refused to recognize the new government in Beijing as anti-communist hysteria began to take hold in America. The U.S. interpreted the Chinese revolution as part of a menacing communist monolith. B. The Korean War i. Invasion a. The Korean War began when North Korea invaded South Korea in June b. President Truman took advantage of a temporary Soviet absence from the United Nations Security Council to obtain a unanimous condemnation of North Korea as an aggressor. The Korean War thus marked the first collective military action by the United Nations. c. The Korean War was fought under UN auspices, in contrast to Vietnam, where the U.S. did not have UN backing. ii. Counterattack a. Concerned by expansionist Communist ideology and Soviet repression, the United States sought to contain communism through a variety of measures, including a major military engagement in Korea. b. The Korean War was a limited war that extended the containment policy to Asia. c. Stung by the criticism that the Democratic Party had lost China, Truman was determined to defend South Korea. d. The Chinese entered the war when the UN forces approached the strategic Yalu River. iii. Truman vs. MacArthur

5 VI. a. General Douglas MacArthur disagreed with President Truman s policy of fighting a limited war. MacArthur publicly favored a blockade of the Chinese coast and bombardment of Chinese bases. Truman responded by relieving the insubordinate MacArthur of his command. iv. Armistice a. The combatants signed an armistice in July b. The armistice set the border between North and South Korea near the 38 th parallel at approximately the pre-war boundary. v. Political Consequences The Second Red Scare A. Security and Civil Rights i. Americans debated policies and methods designed to expose suspected communists within the United States even as both parties supported the broader strategy of containing communism. ii. In 1940, a law made it a crime to advocate the overthrow of the government by force or to belong to an organization advocating such as position. It was used by President Truman s administration to jail leaders of the American Communist Party. iii. In the late 1940s, Congress formed the House Committee on Un-American Activities. iv. Contributing factors to the Second Red Scare included fears raised by the fall of China to communism and the emergence of Mao Zedong as the leader of the People s Republic of China, the Soviet Union s development of an atomic bomb, President Truman s emphasis on a foreign policy designed to contain Soviet expansion, and revelations that Soviet spies had infiltrated sensitive agencies and programs in the United States. v. Both Richard Nixon and John F. Kennedy began their political careers as outspoken opponents of communism. B. Espionage Cases i. Hiss Case a. The first major case involved a former State Department official named Alger Hiss. b. Hiss was not convicted of spying, but was sentenced for perjury. c. Richard Nixon, at this time a young California Congressman, played a highly publicized role in the investigation of Hiss. ii. Rosenberg Case a. The second major case involved Ethel and Julius Rosenberg. b. The Rosenbergs were executed for secretly giving information to the Soviet Union about the U.S. atomic bomb project. C. The Rise of Joseph McCarthy i. McCarthy s Tactics a. Joseph McCarthy was a relatively unknown U.S. senator from Wisconsin who catapulted to national attention by making sensational accusations that the U.S. state department was thoroughly infested with Communists. b. McCarthyism is the making of public accusations of disloyalty without sufficient evidence. c. McCarthy directed his attack at alleged communists and communist sympathizers. d. Senator McCarthy played on the fears of Americans that communists had infiltrated the State Department and other federal agencies. e. McCarthy s accusations helped create a climate of paranoia, as Americans became preoccupied with the perceived threat posed by the spread of communism.

6 f. As a result of McCarthy s anti-communist witch hunt, millions of Americans were forced to take loyalty oaths and undergo loyalty investigations. g. The fear of communist infiltration even spread to the motion picture industry. Hollywood executives instituted a blacklist of about 500 entertainment professionals who were denied employment because of their real or imagined political beliefs or associations. The blacklist ruined the careers of many actors, writers, and directors. Even the Screen Actors Guild, then headed by actor Ronald Reagan, was attempting to discover and purge its own communists. h. Senator McCarthy cynically used the climate of fear for his own political advantage. ii. Army-McCarthy Hearings a. In 1954, Senator McCarthy accused the U.S. Army of being infiltrated by communist sympathizers. b. A huge national audience watched the Army-McCarthy hearings. McCarthy s boorish conduct and lack of evidence turned public opinion against him. A few months later, the Senate formally condemned him for conduct unbecoming a member. c. McCarthy died three years later of chronic alcoholism.

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