Kylee Brown - AMSCO Period 8 Ch 26-29.pdf - PERIOD 8 1945...

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Unformatted text preview: PERIOD 8: 1945- 1980 Chapter 26 Truman and the Cold War, 1945-1952 Chapter 27 The Eisenhower Years, 1952-1960 Chapter 28 Promise and Turmoil, The 1960s Chapter 29 Limits of a Superpower, 1969-1980 In 1945, the United States emerged from World War II with the world's largest and strongest economy. Despite fears of a return to an economic depression, Americans were happy to get back to civilian life. What no one could predict was how the fall of colonial empires, the spread of Communism, and changes in the global economy would impact American lives in the future. Overview At home, Americans enjoyed a robust economic growth through the 1960s with little competition, as the rest of world's economies recovered from the war. Democrats, expanding on the New Deal, enacted major domestic programs, such as Medicare, aid to education, and civil rights for African Americans and women. The Cold War against Communist governments dominated U.S. foreign policy. While the threat of the use of nuclear weapons kept the great powers from attacking each other, limited "hot" wars in Korea and Vietnam cost America more than 100,000 lives. By the late 1960s, frustration over the Vietnam War, and opposition to liberal domestic programs, such as civil rights, and increased civil unrest weakened the Democratic majority, which slowly gave way during the 1970s to a conservative resurgence in 1980. Alternate View Historians debate when postwar prosperity and optimism gave way to pessimism and a declining standard of living for many Americans. Some identify 1968, a year of assassinations, riots, and intense conflict over the Vietnam War as a starting point. Others point to the mid- l 970s, when wage growth stagnated for many average Americans. Key Concepts 8.1: 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. 8.2: New movements for civil rights and liberal efforts to expand the role of government generated a range of political and cultural responses. 8.3: Postwar economic and demographic changes had far-reaching consequences for American society, politics, and culture. Source: AP® United States History Course and Exam Description, Updated Fall 2015 556 U.S. HISTORY: PRFPARIN(; FOR THF AOVAN('FO Pl AC"FMFNT~ FXAM 26 TRUMAN AND THE COLD WAR, 1945-1952 Communism holds that the world is so deeply divided into opposing classes that war is inevitable. Democracy holds that free nations can settle differences justly and maintain lasting peace. President Harry S. Truman, Inaugural Address, January 20, 1949 World War II dramatically changed the United States from an isolationist country into a military superpower and a leader in world affairs. After the war, most of the Americans at home and the millions coming back from military service wished to return to normal domestic life and enjoy the revitalized national economy. However, during the Truman presidency, the growing conflict between the Communist Soviet Union and the United States-a conflict that came to be known as the Cold War-dampened the nation's enjoyment of the postwar boom. Postwar America The 15 million American soldiers, sailors, and marines returning to civilian life in 1945 and 1946 faced the problem of finding jobs and housing. Many feared that the end of the war might mean the return of economic hard times. Happily, the fears were not realized because the war years had increased the per-capita income of Americans. Much of that income was tucked away in savings accounts, since wartime shortages meant there had been few consumer goods to buy. Pent-up consumer demand for autos and housing combined with government road-building projects quickly overcame the economic uncertainty after the war and introduced an era of unprecedented prosperity and economic growth. By the 1950s, Americans enjoyed the highest standard of living achieved by any society in history. GI Bill-Help for Veterans The Servicemen's Readjustment Act of 1944, popularly known as the GI Bill of Rights, proved a powerful support during the transition of 15 million veterans to a peacetime economy. More than half the returning Gis (as the men and women in uniform were called) seized the opportunity afforded by the GI Bill to continue their education at government expense. Over 2 million Gis attended college, TRUMAN AND THE COLD WAR, 1945-1952 557 which started a postwar boom in higher education. The veterans also received over $16 billion in low-interest, government-backed loans to buy homes and farms and to start businesses. By focusing on a better educated workforce and also promoting new construction, the federal government stimulated the postwar economic expansion. Baby Boom One sign of the basic confidence of the postwar era was an explosion in marriages and births. Younger marriages and larger families resulted in 50 million babies entering the U.S. population between 1945 and 1960. As the baby boom generation gradually passed from childhood to adolescence to adulthood, it profoundly affected the nation's social institutions and economic life in the last half of the 20th century. Initially, the baby boom tended to focus women's attention on raising children and homemaking. Nevertheless, the trend of more women in the workplace continued. By 1960, one-third of all married women worked outside the home. Suburban Growth The high demand for housing after the war resulted in a construction boom. William J. Levitt led in the development of postwar suburbia with his building and promotion of Levittown, a project of 17,000 mass-produced, low-priced family homes on Long Island, New York. Low interest rates on mortgages that were both government-insured and tax deductible made the move from city to suburb affordable for even families of modest means. In a single generation, the majority of middle-class Americans became suburbanites. For many older inner cities, the effect of the mass movement to suburbia was disastrous. By the 1960s, cities from Boston to Los Angeles became increasingly poor and racially divided. Rise of the Sunbelt Uprooted by the war, millions of Americans made moving a habit in the postwar era. A warmer climate, lower taxes, and economic opportunities in defense-related industries attracted many Gls and their families to the Sunbelt states from Florida to California. By transferring tax dollars from the Northeast and Midwest to the South and West, military spending during the Cold War helped finance the shift of industry, people, and ultimately political power from one region to the other. Postwar Politics Harry S. Truman, a moderate Democratic senator from Missouri, replaced the more liberal Henry Wallace as FDR's vice president in the 1944 election. Thrust into the presidency after Roosevelt's death in April 1945, Truman matured into a decisive leader whose basic honesty and unpretentious style appealed to average citizens. Truman attempted to continue in the New Deal tradition of his predecessor. 558 IJS Hl<;TORY· PRFPARIN(; FOR THF An\/ANrFn Pl 11rFMF~IT" Fl<'IH~ Economic Program and Civil Rights Truman's proposals for full employment and for civil rights for African Americans ran into opposition from conservatives in Congress. Employment Act of 1946 In September 1945, during the same week that Japan formally surrendered, Truman urged Congress to enact a series of progressive measures, including national health insurance, an increase in the minimum wage, and a bill to commit the U.S. government to maintaining full employment. After much debate, the watered-down version of the fullemployment bill was enacted as the Employment Act of 1946. It created the Council of Economic Advisers to counsel both the president and Congress on means of promoting national economic welfare. Over the next seven years, a coalition between Republicans and conservative Southern Democrats, combined with the beginning of the Cold War, hindered passage of most of Truman's domestic program. Inflation and Strikes Truman urged Congress to continue the price controls of wartime in order to hold inflation in check. Instead, southern Democrats joined with Republicans to relax the controls of the Office of Price Administration. The result was an inflation rate of almost 25 percent during the first year and a half of peace. Workers and unions wanted wages to catch up after years of wage controls. Over 4.5 million workers went on strike in 1946. Strikes by railroad and mine workers threatened the national safety. Truman took a tough approach to this challenge, seizing the mines and using soldiers to keep them operating until the United Mine Workers finally called off its strike. Civil Rights Truman was the first modern president to use the powers of his office to challenge racial discrimination. Bypassing southern Democrats who controlled key committees in Congress, the president used his executive powers to establish the Committee on Civil Rights in 1946. He also strengthened the civil rights division of the Justice Department, which aided the efforts of black leaders to end segregation in schools. Most importantly, in 1948 he ordered the end of racial discrimination throughout the federal government, including the armed forces. The end of segregation changed life on military bases, many of which were in the South. Recognizing the odds against passage of civil rights legislation, Truman nevertheless urged Congress to create a Fair Employment Practices Commission that would prevent employers from discriminating against the hiring of African Americans. Southern Democrats blocked the legislation. Republican Control of the Eightieth Congress Unhappy with inflation and strikes, voters were in a conservative mood in the fall of 1946 when they elected Republican majorities in both houses of Congress. Under Republican control, the Eightieth Congress attempted to pass two tax cuts for upper-income Americans, but Truman vetoed both measures. More successful were Republican efforts to amend the Constitution and roll back some of the New Deal gains for labor. TRUMAN AND THE COLD WAR, 1945-1952 559 Tw enty-second Amendment (1951) Reacting against the election of Roosevelt as president four times, the Republican-dominated Congress proposed a constitutional amendment to limit a president to a maximum of two full terms in office. The 22nd Amendment was ratified by the states in 1951. Taft-Hartley Act (1947) In 1947, Congress passed the probusiness TaftHartley Act. Truman vetoed the measure as a "slave-labor" bill, but Congress overrode his veto. The one purpose of the Republican-sponsored law was to check the growing power of unions. Its provisions included • outlawing the closed shop (contract requiring workers to join a union before being hired) • permitting states to pass "right to work" laws outlawing the union shop (contract requiring workers to join a union after being hired) • outlawing secondary boycotts (the practice of several unions supporting a striking union by joining a boycott of a company's products) • giving the president the power to invoke an 80-day cooling-off period before a strike endangering the national safety could be called For years afterward, unions sought unsuccessfully to repeal the TaftHartley Act. The act became a major issue dividing Republicans and Democrats in the 1950s. The Election of 1948 As measured by opinion polls, Truman's popularity was at a low point as the 1948 campaign for the presidency began. Republicans were confident of victory, especially after both a liberal faction and a conservative faction in the Democratic party abandoned Truman to organize their own third parties. Liberal Democrats, who thought Truman's aggressive foreign policy threatened world peace, formed a new Progressive party that nominated former vice president Henry Wallace. Southern Democrats also bolted the party in reaction to Truman's support for civil rights. Their States' Rights party, better known as the Dixiecrats, chose Governor J. Strom Thurmond of South Carolina as its presidential candidate. The Republicans once again nominated New York Governor Thomas E. Dewey, who looked so much like a winner from the outset that he conducted an overly cautious and unexciting campaign. Meanwhile, the man without a chance toured the nation by rail, attacking the "do-nothing" Republican Eightieth Congress with "give-tern-hell" speeches. The feisty Truman confounded the polling experts with a decisive victory over Dewey, winning the popular vote by 2 million votes and winning the electoral vote 303 to 189. The president had succeeded in reuniting Roosevelt's New Deal coalition, except for four southern states that went to Thurmond and the Dixiecrats. S60 II~ Hl~TORY· PRFPARIN(; FOR THF An\/AN,Fn Pl A,FMFNT" FXAM PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION, 1948 Thurmond 2% Wallace 2% Thurmond 39 Truman 50% Dewey 45% Dewey 189 Truman 303 Popular Vote Electoral Vote Source: U.S. Bureau of the Census. Historical Statistics of the United States, Colonial Times to 1970 The Fair Deal Fresh from victory, Truman launched an ambitious reform program, which he called the Fair Deal. In 1949, he urged Congress to enact national health care insurance, federal aid to education, civil rights legislation, funds for public housing, and a new farm program. Conservatives in Congress blocked most of the proposed reforms, except for an increase in the minimum wage (from 40 to 75 cents an hour) and the inclusion of more workers under Social Security. Most of the Fair Deal bills were defeated for two reasons: (1) Truman's political conflicts with Congress, and (2) the pressing foreign policy concerns of the Cold War. Nevertheless, liberal defenders of Truman praised him for at least maintaining the New Deal reforms of his predecessor and making civil rights part of the liberal agenda. Origins of the Cold War The Cold War dominated international relations from the late 1940s to the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991. The conflict centered around the intense rivalry between two superpowers: the Communist empire of the Soviet Union and the leading Western democracy, the United States. Superpower competition usually was through diplomacy rather than armed conflict, but, in several instances, the Cold War took the world dangerously close to a nuclear war. Among historians there is intense debate over how and why the Cold War began. Many analysts see Truman's policies as a reasonable response to Soviet efforts to increase their influence in the world. However, some critics argue that Truman misunderstood and overreacted to Russia's historic need to secure its borders. Other critics have attacked his administration as being weak or "soft" on communism. U.S.-Soviet Relations to 1945 The wartime alliance between the United States and the Soviet Union against the Axis powers was actually a temporary halt in their generally poor relations of the past. Since the Bolshevik Revolution that established a Communist TRUMAN AND THE COLD WAR, 1945-1952 561 government in Russia in 1917, Americans had viewed the Soviets as a threat to all capitalistic countries. In the United States, it led to the Red Scare of 1919. The United States refused to recognize the Soviet Union until 1933. Even then, after a brief honeymoon period of less than a year, Roosevelt's advisers concluded that Joseph Stalin and the Communists could not be trusted. Confirming their view was the notorious Nonaggression Pact of 1939, in which Stalin and Hitler agreed to divide up Eastern Europe. Allies in World War II In 1941, Hitler's surprise invasion of the Soviet Union and Japan's surprise attack on Pearl Harbor led to a U.S.-Soviet alliance of convenience-but not of mutual trust. Stalin bitterly complained that the British and Americans waited until 1944 to open a second front in France. Because of this wait, the Soviets bore the brunt of fighting the Nazis. By some estimates, half of all deaths in World War II were Soviets. The postwar conflicts over Central and Eastern Europe were already evident in the negotiations between Britain, the Soviet Union, and the U.S. at Yalta and Potsdam in 1945. Roosevelt hoped that personal diplomacy might keep Stalin in check, but when Truman came to power, he quickly became suspicious of the Soviets. Postwar Cooperation and the U.N. The founding of the United Nations in the fall of 1945 provided one hopeful sign for the future. The General Assembly of the United Nations was created to provide representation to all member nations, while the 15-member Security Council was given the primary responsibility within the U.N. for maintaining international security and authorizing peacekeeping missions. The five major allies of wartime-the United States, Great Britain, France, China, and the Soviet Union-were granted permanent seats and veto power in the U.N. Security Council. Optimists hoped that these nations would be able to reach agreement on international issues. In addition, the Soviets went along with a U.S. proposal to establish an Atomic Energy Commission in the United Nations. They rejected, however, a plan proposed by Bernard Baruch for regulating nuclear energy and eliminating atomic weapons. Rejection of the Baruch Plan was interpreted by some American leaders as proof that Moscow did not have peaceful intentions. The United States also offered the Soviets participation in the new International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (World Bank) created at the Bretton Woods Conference in 1944. The bank's initial purpose was to fund rebuilding of a war-torn world. The Soviets, however, declined to participate because they viewed the bank as an instrument of capitalism. The Soviets did join the other Allies in the 1945-1946 Nuremberg trials of 22 top Nazi leaders for war crimes and violations of human rights. Satellite States in Eastern Europe Distrust turned into hostility beginning in 1946, as Soviet forces remained in occupation of the countries of Central and Eastern Europe. Elections were held by the Soviets-as promised by Stalin at Yalta-but the results were manipulated in favor of Communist candidates. One by one, from 1946 to 1948, Communist dictators, most of them loyal to Moscow, came to power in Poland, Romania, Bulgaria, Albania, Hungary, and Czechoslovakia. Apologists for the Soviets argued that Russia needed buffer states or satellites (nations under the control of a great power), as a protection against another Hitler-like invasion from the West. The U.S. and British governments were alarmed by the Soviet takeover of Eastern Europe. They regarded Soviet actions in this region as a flagrant violation of self-determination, genuine democracy, and open markets. The British especially wanted free elections in Poland, whose independence had been the issue that started World War II. Occupation Zones in Germany At the end of the war, the division of Germany and Austria into Soviet, French, British, and U.S. zones of occupation was meant to be only temporary. In Germany, however, the eastern zone under Soviet occupation gradually evolved into a new Communist state, the German Democratic Republic. The conflict over Germany was at least in part a conflict over differing views of national security and economic needs. The Soviets wanted a weak Germany for security reasons and large war reparations for economic reasons. The United States and Great Britain refused to allow reparations from their western zones because both viewed the economic recovery of Germany as important to the stability of Central Europe. The Soviets, fearing a restored Germany, tightened their control over East Germany. Also, since Berlin lay within their zone, they attempted to force the Americans, British, and French to give up their assigned sectors of the city. Iron Curtain "I'm tired of babying the Soviets," Truman told Secretary of State James Byrnes in January 1946. News of ...
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