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AP US History Period 8 Concept Outline Advanced Placement United States History Concept Outline: Period 8 PERIOD 8: 1945-1980 What is significant about each of the “bookend dates” for this period? 1945: POTSDAM CONFERENCE; YALTA CONFERENCE; FORMATION OF THE UNITED NATIONS 1980: ELECTION OF 1980 Unit Main Idea After World War II, the United States grappled with prosperity and unfamiliar international responsibilities while struggling to live up to its ideals. Historical Thinking Skill: Turning Points Be able to explain why some may consider each of the following a turning point date in American history. First you will need to identify the significance of the event(s) the date represents. You will also need to consider what changed as a result of that event and consider what did not change in order to evaluate the significance of the date as a turning point. 1945: Held near Berlin, the Potsdam Conference (July 17-August 2, 1945) was the last of the World War II meetings held by the “Big Three” heads of state. Featuring American President Harry S. Truman, British Prime Minister Winston Churchill (and his successor, Clement Attlee) and Soviet Premier Joseph Stalin, the talks established a Council of Foreign Ministers and a central Allied Control Council for administration of Germany. The leaders arrived at various agreements on the German economy, punishment for war criminals, land boundaries and reparations. Although talks primarily centered on postwar Europe, the Big Three also issued a declaration demanding “unconditional surrender” from Japan; 1945: The February 1945 Yalta Conference was the second wartime meeting of British Prime Minister Winston Churchill, Soviet Premier Joseph Stalin and U.S. President Franklin D. 1
AP US History Period 8 Concept Outline Roosevelt. During the conference, the three leaders agreed to demand Germany’s unconditional surrender and began plans for a post-war world. Stalin also agreed to permit free elections in Eastern Europe and to enter the Asian war against Japan, for which he was promised the return of lands lost to Japan in the Russo-Japanese War of 1904-05. Although most of these agreements were initially kept secret, the revelations of the conference particulars became controversial after Soviet-American wartime cooperation degenerated into the Cold War. 1947: Taft-Hartley Act; The Act was passed over the veto of Harry S. Truman on the 23rd June, 1947. When it was passed by Congress, Truman denounced it as a & quot ;slave-labor bill & quot;. The act declared the closed shop illegal and permitted the union shop only after a vote of a majority of the employees. It also forbade jurisdictional strikes and secondary boycotts. Other aspects of the legislation included the right of employers to be exempted from bargaining with unions unless they wished to. The act forbade unions from contributing to political campaigns and required union leaders to affirm they were not supporters of the Communist Party. This aspect of the act was upheld by the Supreme Court on 8th May, 1950.

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