Americans had been saving during Great Depression and WW2, so there
was a huge rise in consumer spending and economic prosperity after the War.
Post-War Baby Boom - Birth Rates Soared, All these new families needed somewhere to live
This led to Suburbanization - Mass Production applied to home building to make many affordable homes
More and more Americans were joining a growing middle class
For the first time, the United States had more white-collar workers than blue-collar workers
Population was becoming more homogeneous - More people just describing themselves as "white"
Television united the country and reinforced the suburban middle-class ideal
People were married very young, and marriages had distinct gender roles
This was also the beginning of the civil rights movement, such as
1947 - Jackie Robinson breaks the color barrier by playing Major League Baseball
1954 - Brown v. Board of Education rules against segregation
1955 - Montgomery Bus Boycott ends racial segregation on buses
Truman Era - Cold War-
-Cold War begins with disagreements over Yalta Conference (split of western/eastern Germany, free elections in Eastern Europe)-Eastern German Occupation zones under tight control from USSR (didn't want Germany to regain strength and wanted large war reparations.)
-USSR + U.S. lacked mutual trust. Russia had allied with Hitler earlier + Soviets (Stalin) upset at West (Britain, France, U.S.A.) for not opening up two fronts in the war.
-1946-1948, Distrust continues>>elections held by Soviets in Eastern Europe, but manipulated by Communist candidates (Hungary, Czechoslovakia, Poland, Romania, Bulgaria, and Albania.)
"an iron curtain has descended across the continent." - Winston Churchill
-Containment - 1947, policy of containing Soviet expansion of Communism.
-Truman Doctrine- implemented containment policy in response to:
1.) Communist uprising against Greece govt.
2.) Soviet demands for some control of Turkey
Truman asked to assist "free people" against Communist Aggression through military and economic aid.
-Marshall Plan- program of U.S. economic aid to help nation of Europe revive economies, strengthen democratic govts, and repel countries to favor western democracy rather than eastern communism.
-Berlin Airlift - First major Cold War crisis. Soviets cut off land access to supply food from Marshall Plan. Soviets efforst by military force to blockade Western Germany was stopped when U.S. planes carried over food for 11 months ending Soviets plans.
NATO- North Atlantic Treaty Organization- military defense system protecting Western Europe and U.S. Military buildup and major commitments while Soviet created Warsaw Pact, communist states of Eastern Europe. Broke G.Washington's farewell address of permanent alliances.
National Security Act (1947)- modernization of military protection and capability
1.) Deparment of defense- coordinate Army, Navy, Airforce operations
2.) National Security Council (NSC)- makes foreign policy
3.) CIA - spies to gather foreign info.
Arms race- nukes, buildup, 4x U.S. defense spending, propaganda for operation.
Cold War in Asia-
-Japan=new strong ally against communist, American shield in the pacific (no longer held military power)
-U.S. originally helped Jiang Jieshi (Nationalists)
-They lost to communists under Mao Zedong, U.S. refused to recognize Mao's regime.
-Korean War -
-North + South Korea at the 38th parallel
-North = Kim Il Sung, South = Syngman Rhee
-General MacArthur pushed over North Korean army through water attack, but brought upon masses of Chinese troops to fight back and pushed back to 38th parallel
-Truman vs MacArthur - Truman upset at MacArthur for antagonizing foreign policy while most championed MacArtuhur
-"There is no substitute for victory" -D. MacArthur many thought containment was appeasement.
-Korea was a success because it stopped Communist expansionism, however it still allowed for communism to continue on.
-Angered Republicans against Democrat Truman = soft
Second Red Scare
-Communist consipracy behind civil wars and spying in U.s military and state departments
-Dennis et al v. U.S. - Supreme courte upheld constitutionality of Smith Act which made it illegal to advocate or teach the overthrow of teh government by force or to belong to an organization w/ this objective. Blocked freedom of protest.
-HUAC- House of House of Un American Activities Committee- seek out communists, Hollywood 10.
-McCarthyism- Republican senator who rode wave of anticommunist feelings to make spread fear and accusations of many.
-led "Witchhunt" of others, pointign fingers at people who had no relation w/ communism.
-used radio talk as part of tactics to his media factions.
-his popularity fell apart in part for claming communist infiltration in the army, and he was seen as a bully.
- Elected in 1952, running mate was Richard Nixon, defeated Democrat nominee Adlai Stevenson, "I Like Ike" campaign
- Secretary of State John Dulles - brinkmanship, going to the brink of war to get the Communist powers to back down
- advocated spending more money on nuclear weapons rather than the conventional forces of the army and navy, "more bang for the buck"
- 1953 - United States develops hydrogen bomb, Soviets create their own hydrogen bomb within a year after
- between 1947-1962, dozens of colonies in Asia and Africa gained independence such as India, Pakistan, Indonesia, and Ghana, these new countries lacked political and economic institutions and needed foreign aid from either the United States or the Soviet Union
- covert action - Eisenhower liked to use undercover intervention in the internal politics of other nations, in 1953 the CIA played a major role in the overthrow of the Iranian government that was trying to nationalize the holding of foreign oil companies, in 1954 the CIA overthrew a leftist government in Guatemala that threatened American business interests
- Korean armistice - Eisenhower keeps election promise to visit U.N. forces in Korea, North Korea and China agree to an armistice and exchange of prisoners after death of Joseph Stalin, most of the U.S. troops were withdrawn
- Fall of Indochina - French attempt to retake their colony of Indochina that was taken by Japanese invaders, Truman originally gave aid to the French while the Soviet Union and China aided the Viet Minh guerrillas, Eisenhower refused to send U.S. troops to help French after being defeated, Indochina was divided into Cambodia, Laos, and Vietnam at the Geneva Conference
- Vietnam divided - Vietnam was divided at 17th parallel at Geneva Conference, Ho Chi Minh established a Communist dictatorship in North Vietnam, Ngo Dinh Diem creates anticommunist government in South Vietnam, United States gave over $1 billion in aid to South Vietnam from 1955-1961
- domino theory - if South Vietnam fell under Communist control, one nation after another would also fall
- SEATO - Southeast Asia Treaty Organization, created by Dulles, eight nations signed a pact to defend one another in case of an attack within the region
- Suez crisis - United States refuses to to fund Egypt to build Aswan dam on Nile River because it threatened Israel's security, Arab nationalist General Gamal Nasser then turned to Soviet Union for funds and nationalized the British and French owned Suez Canal, Britain, France and Israel carried out a surprise attack and retook the canal, Eisenhower sponsored a U.N. resolution condemning the invasion of Egypt and invading forces eventually withdrew
- Eisenhower Doctrine - 1957, United States pledges economic and military aid to any Middle Eastern country threatened by communism
- OPEC - in 1960, Arab nations of Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Iraz, and Iran joined Venezuela to for the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries
- Spirit of Geneva - Eisenhower met with Soviet premier Nikolai Bulganin in Geneva, Switzerland and proposed "open skies" over each other's territories, Soviets rejected the proposal
- Hungarian Revolt - uprising in Hungary was crushed by Soviets, United States does not send troops or aid for fear it will invoke war
- Sputnik - in 1957, the Soviet Union launched the first satellites into orbit around the earth named Sputnik I and Sputnik II, Congress then passed the National Defense and Education Act (NDEA) to give federal money to schools to advance science and technological education, also created was the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) to direct U.S. efforts to build missiles and and explore space
- Camp David - Khrushchev visits United States in 1959 at Camp David, Eisenhower and Khrushchev agree to put off crisis of Berlin
- U-2 incident - two weeks before Eisenhower and Khrushchev were to meet in Paris, a U.S. spy plane, the U-2, was shot down by Soviets as it was secretly trying to gain information about the Soviets' missile program, the Paris summit meeting was called off
- farewell address - In Eisenhower's farewell address he warned against the negative impact the Cold War had on the U.S.: "guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence...by the military-industrial complex."