CH_23_The Cold War Era


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CH_23_The Cold War Era

  1. 1. Chapter 23
  2. 2. 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
  3. 3. 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
  4. 4. 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
  5. 5. 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
  6. 6. 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
  7. 7. 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
  8. 8. 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
  9. 9. 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
  10. 10. 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
  11. 11. 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
  12. 12. 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)
  13. 13. Chairman Mao
  14. 14. Chiang Kai-shek
  15. 15. 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
  16. 16. 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
  17. 17. 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
  18. 18. The Korean War  U.S. involvement in South Korea 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
  19. 19. 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
  20. 20. 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
  21. 21. 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
  22. 22. The Communist Threat  Why do we favor fascism over 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
  23. 23. 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
  24. 24. 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