The 1950s

The 1950s - The 1950s A. US and USSR emerged from WWII as...

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The 1950s A. US and USSR emerged from WWII as two sole superpowers in the world 1. Battled in politics, technology, military power 2. Arms race: each nation developed an arsenal of nuclear weapons that could destroy the other numerous times over a. Neither sides wanted to face destruction o Cold war: though crisis after loomed, two sides avoided direct conflict o Policies of containing communism influenced all US foreign policy decisions 3. Fear of communist subversion of US gov’t led to intense domestic anticommunist fervor a. (suspected) communists closely watched, vilified, blacklisted, one case: tried, and executed b. domestic anticommunism-mid 1950s with the rise of Senator Joseph McCarthy 4. 1954-Brown v. Board of Education-civil rights movement began to come into its own a. following an ethic of nonviolence, blacks in the South began to win their first battles for equality 5. 1950 postwar prosperity helped propel the creation of suburbs and popularization of the automobile, decline of cities as wealthy whites left urban areas for suburban ones 6. baby boom-prosperity 7. promotion of conservative values a. artists began to rebel against this conservatism B. The Cold War Begins 1. Dwight D. Eisenhower-1952 succeeded Truman as president 2. Origins of the Cold War and Iron Curtain a. After Germany’s defeat, leaders of Allied countries met at a series of conferences to reshape the postwar world b. 1940s-superpowers rushed to establish spheres of influence in Europe- Stalin wished to establish a buffer region of pro-Soviet states in Eastern Europe in order to prevent the reoccurrence of invasion o Red Army-puppet governments’ in Bulgaria, Hungary, Romania, Yugoslavia, Albania o 1945-disallowed free elections in Poland c. Iron curtain-coined by Winston Churchill to describe division of Europe imposed by USSR o Speech 1946-Westminister College in Missouri C. US and the Cold War 1. Combination of political, economic, moral considerations led the US gov’t to oppose Soviet dominance of Eastern Europe 2. Truman took a strong stance against Soviet territorial advances, advocating policy of containment
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a. US wouldn’t attempt to change the post WWII situation in Europe but it would prevent further Soviet expansion through peaceful or military means D. Atomic Arms Race 1. Nuclear weapons played control role in possibility of military engagement 2. 1946-Atomic Energy Commission-oversee the development of nuclear energy and arms 3. September 1949, USSR detonated first atomic bomb a. Combined with establishment of communist regime in China b. July 1953-Russians detonated own H-bomb E. Truman Doctrine and Marshall Plan 1. Truman Doctrine proclaimed America would aid people anywhere in the
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This note was uploaded on 02/17/2011 for the course HIST 072 taught by Professor Jenniferl.bertolet during the Fall '08 term at GWU.

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The 1950s - The 1950s A. US and USSR emerged from WWII as...

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