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					Chapter 23
Post-War Economy
 Baby boom throughout the 1950s
 Rapid process of reconverting factories
  back to producing consumer goods
 Result: Americans begin to spend more
  freely and the economy recovers
Post-War Economy
   GI Bill: Servicemen’s Readjustment Act
     Provided low interest home loans and money for
        college education
       Still in use today, extremely important and
        provides opportunity for many to get a college
        education
       Part of the movement of readjustment back to
        peace in America
       Resulted in a housing shortage that mass
        produced remedied
       Helped reinforce the typical “middle class
        values” that were revered throughout the 1950s
The Cold War: Soviet
Containment
 Post-war period ushers in years of
  tension between the US and the Soviet
  Union known as the Cold War
 As Stalin tried to expand to Eastern
  Europe, Soviet expert George Keenan
  outlined a policy of “Soviet Containment”
     Blocking the expansion of communism at all
     costs
The Cold War: Soviet
Containment
 Post-War     Strategy
   Russians occupy Eastern Europe –
   greatly concerned about national security
   ○ The invasion of Poland by Germany was the
     primary reason for occupation
   ○ Wanted to establish regimes that were friendly
     and/or subservient to Russia
   ○ Russia is frightened of the U.S. utilizing an
     atomic bomb and retaining them
      Begins to build their own, starts the arms race
The Cold War: Soviet
Containment
   Post-War Strategy
     US troops occupy Western Europe
      ○ Did not like Russia’s national security emphasis
        through occupation
         They wanted to keep free elections throughout Europe
          and promote democracy
      ○ U.S. already utilized an atomic bomb
         They were stockpiling and beginning to build the
          hydrogen bomb to keep up in the arms race
     Civil war in Greece and Turkey provide an
     opportunity for the U.S. to try out their policy
     of containment
Truman Doctrine
 First application of the containment
  doctrine – written in 1947 as a result of the
  civil war in Greece and Turkey
 Truman asks Congress to supply funds to
  keep Greece and Turkey within the western
  sphere of influence
     Used the defense of freedom as reasoning
 Also an informal declaration of Cold War
  against the Soviets
 Truman’s rhetoric suggested that the U.S
  had assumed a permanent global
  responsibility
The Marshall Plan
 U.S. attempted to prevent the spread of
  Soviet/Communist influence in western
  Europe by economic means
 1947 – Secretary of State George Marshall
  proposed an economic aid package to help
  Europe rebuild their industries
 Soviets decline this aid because of the
  political agenda attached to it (democracy
  for all)
 Fosters prosperity in Western Europe that
  in turn helped stimulate the American
  economy in the post-war period
NATO
   North Atlantic Treaty Organization
   Military alliance between the U.S., Canada,
    and most of Western Europe
     Soviets and Communists were left out
   Pledged mutual defense against any future
    Soviet attack
   Third and final step in the first large-scale
    phase of containment
   U.S. troops began to be stationed in western
    Europe in 1949
     Greatly enhanced the Russian fear of Western
      expansion
Cold War Expansion
 Russians’ response      is to cut off
 access to Berlin
   Truman refuses to withdraw American
    troops and orders an airlift to supply the
    city
   Truman is reelected in 1948, Russia
    retreats and ends their blockade in 1949
   This sets the stage for the West/East
    Berlin animosity that lasts until the 1980s
Cold War Expansion
 US   improves its security after WWII
  National Security Act of 1947 – unified
   armed forces, CIA, National Security
   Council (advisors to the President)
  U.S. puts their defense budget into the
   Air Force
  U.S. seems determined to win the Cold
   War at all costs
Cold War Expansion
   Problems in Asia
     Both the U.S. and Soviets have large stakes
      in Asia after WWII
     U.S. moves to consolidate its influence over
      Japan and the Pacific Islands
     China (between the U.S. and Soviet spheres
      of influence) is torn between pro-Western
      Chiang Kai-shek and pro-Soviet Mao Tse
      Tung (future Chairman of China and
      genocidal maniac throughout the 1960s)
Chairman Mao
Chiang Kai-shek
Cold War Expansion
 Problems    in Asia
  Mao wins over in China, Chiang Kai-shek
   is exiled from China for the rest of his life
  China is clearly within the influence of the
   Soviets and Communism
   ○ Truman is attacked for losing China
   ○ As a result, he begins to build up U.S.
    influence in post-war Japan
The Korean War
 America becomes involved with South
 Korea in 1950 as Communist forces
 in North Korea begin to invade the
 south
  The 38th parallel becomes the dividing
   line between the two groups
The Korean War
   General Douglas MacArthur pushed to
    take the war into China after the U.S.
    gets involved
     Wanted to achieve a total victory and to
      demonstrate American military superiority
      (much like Patton in WWII)
     Wanted to make future wars less likely
     Truman disagrees, feared Russia and
      nuclear holocaust
     MacArthur pushes Truman too far and is
      relieved of command in Korea
The Korean War
     involvement in South Korea
 U.S.
 becomes a United Nations effort
   The majority of troops, supplies, and
   strategy is supplied by the U.S. though
 The Korean War becomes a
 stalemate due largely to guerilla
 warfare on both sides
The Korean War
 The war continues into Dwight D.
  Eisenhower’s presidency
 Most significant result of the war was
  the massive American rearmament
   Americans felt they were now ready to
   stop Soviet expansion anywhere in the
   world
The Communist Threat
 The Cold War encouraged a culture of
  secrecy and dishonesty
 Freedom of speech and dissent comes
  under attack again in a new “Red Scare”
  after America wins the war for freedom
 Those who could be linked to
  communism (no matter how absurd the
  link) were considered enemies of
  freedom
The Communist Threat
 Essentially turned into another witch
  hunt that had the potential to tear the
  country apart
 The entire country became gripped in
  this phenomena
     As much of a local threat as it was national
     Local anticommunist groups would readily
      storm public libraries and destroy “un-
      American” books
     The courts did nothing to stop this type of
      behavior
The Communist Threat
    do we favor fascism over
 Why
 communism?
  Traces its roots back to the Civil War
  Americans prefer order over anarchy
  We eerily respect the staunch militarism
  (conservatism) of the Germans over the
  idea of absolute social and economic
  revolution
The Communist Threat
 Joseph   McCarthy
  Announced in 1950 that he had a list of
   205 communists working for the State
   Dept.
  Really working for his own fame and
   glory; didn’t care who he stepped on to
   make sure he was #1
The Communist Threat
 Joseph McCarthy
   Gained a ton of support from Midwestern
    Republicans, Irish, Poles, and Italians as
    he lambasted privileged bureaucrats
   His demise (and embarrassment) finally
    came as he tried to take on the US Army,
    claiming that a great percentage of them
    were communists in disguise
 The  new “Red Scare” takes place
  during the election of 1952

				
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posted:6/4/2013
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