The Cold War Begins

The Cold War Begins - The Cold War Begins I. Postwar...

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The Cold War Begins I. Postwar Economic Anxieties a. 1930s i. Joblessness and insecurity: 1. Raised the suicide rate 2. Lowered the marriage rate 3. Lowered the birth rate b. Would the Depression Return? i. Some predicted that it would return: 1. GNP slumped 2. Prices went down 33% 3. 4.6 million went out on strike in 1946 c. Obstacles of Organized Labor i. Taft-Hartley Act of 1947 (passed over Truman’s veto; the act slowed unionization) 1. Outlawed “closed” (all-union) shop 2. Required 60 days notice be given by employers to terminate a contract 3. The Federal government could take legal action to delay any strike that threatened the public’s health or safety 4. Made unions liable for damages that resulted from jurisdictional disputes among themselves 5. Required union leaders to take a noncommunist oath ii. The CIO’s “Operation Dixie” aimed at unionizing southern textile workers and steelworkers, but failed in 1948 due to fears of racial mixing iii. The growing service sector of the economy, often working only part-time in small shops, widely separated from one another, proved difficult to organize than assembly-line workers d. Stopping An Economic Downturn i. The government sold war factories to private businesses at low prices ii. Employment Act of 1946 – 1. Made it government policy to promote maximum employment, production, and purchasing power 2. Created the Council of Economic Advisors to provide the president with data and recommendations to make that policy a reality iii. Servicemen’s Readjustment Act of 1944 (GI Bill) 1. The government would pay for former soldiers who wanted to go to college (8 million did this – cost $14.5 billion)
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2. Enabled the Veterans Administration (VA) to guarantee about $16 billion in loans for veterans to buy homes, farms, and small businesses iv. This bill was enacted out of the fear that the employment markets would never be able to absorb 15 million returning veterans at war’s end v. It raised educational levels and stimulated industry, thereby helping the economy boom during the next era II. The Economic Boom a. Results of the Economic Boom of the 1950s and 1960s i. American Income Increases 1. Doubled in the 1950s 2. Nearly doubled in the 1960s 3. America had 40% of the world’s wealth (only 6% of the people) ii. Social Mobility 1. It enriched some Americans 2. Allowed for upward mobility iii. Politics and Society 1. Changed these iv. Civil Rights 1. Funded the civil rights movement v. Welfare Programs 1. Had enough money to establish Medicare and other welfare programs vi. American Leadership 1. Established America as the world’s leader vii. Leisure Items 1. People now wanted: a. 2 cars b. Swimming pools c. Vacation homes d. Recreational vehicles e. Washing machines f. TVs (90% owned one by 1960) g. Owned their own home (1920-40%; 1960-60%) viii. Women 1. Offices and shops employed many women 2. Service sector outgrew the industrial and manufacturing sectors (and employed more women) 3. Women in work force: a. 1945 – 25% b. 1995 – 50%
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4. Conflict between traditional feminine roles and employment
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The Cold War Begins - The Cold War Begins I. Postwar...

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