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  Rapid population increase due to the baby boom  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 go to college  Part of the “readjustment to peace” movement  Resulted in a housing shortage that mass production remedied ○ Think of the suburbs  Helped reinforce the typical “middle class values” that were revered throughout the 1950s
  4. 4. The Cold War: Soviet Containment  Post-war period ushered in years of tension between the U.S. and the Soviet Union known as the Cold War  As Stalin attempted to expand Soviet influence to Eastern Europe, Soviet expert George Keenan outlined a policy of “Soviet Containment”  Big picture: block Soviet expansion at all costs
  5. 5. The Cold War: Soviet Containment  Post-War Strategy  Russians occupied Eastern Europe – greatly concerned about national security ○ The German invasion of Poland during World War II was the primary reason for continued Soviet occupation ○ The Soviets wanted to establish regimes that were friendly and/or subservient to Russia ○ Russia was frightened of the U.S. utilizing an atomic bomb in World War II  Began to build their own  Started the arms race
  6. 6. The Cold War: Soviet Containment  Post-War Strategy  US troops occupied Western Europe ○ Did not like Russia’s national security emphasis on occupation of Eastern Europe  They wanted to keep free elections throughout Europe and promote democracy ○ U.S. already utilized an atomic bomb in World War II  Were stockpiling and building the hydrogen bomb to keep up in the arms race  Civil war in Greece and Turkey provided an opportunity for the U.S. to exercise their “Soviet Containment” foreign policy
  7. 7. Truman Doctrine  First application of the “Soviet Containment” doctrine  Written in 1947 as a result of the civil war between Greece and Turkey  Truman asked Congress to supply funds to keep Greece and Turkey within the western sphere of influence  Used defense of democratic freedom as reasoning  Doctrine also served as an informal declaration of Cold War against the Soviets  Truman’s rhetoric suggested that the U.S. had assumed a permanent global responsibility to promote democracy and combat communism
  8. 8. The Marshall Plan  U.S. attempted to prevent the spread of Soviet 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 declined this aid because of the political agenda attached to it (democracy for all)  The plan fostered 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 Communist nations 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 were deployed to Western Europe in 1949  Greatly enhanced the Soviet fear of Western expansion
  10. 10. Cold War Expansion  The Soviets respond to the Truman Doctrine and NATO by restricting access to Berlin  Truman refused to withdraw American troops and orders an airlift to supply the city  After Truman was reelected in 1948, the Soviets retreat and end their blockade in 1949  This clash sets the stage for the West/East Berlin animosity that continues until the 1980s
  11. 11. Cold War Expansion  U.S. improved its security after WWII  National Security Act of 1947 – unified armed forces, CIA, National Security Council (advisors to the President)  U.S. puts a significant portion of its defense budget into the Air Force
  12. 12. Cold War Expansion  Problems in Asia  Both the U.S. and Soviets had large stakes in Asia after WW II  U.S. moved to consolidate its influence over Japan and the Pacific Islands  China was torn between pro-Western Chiang Kai-shek and pro-Soviet Mao Tse Tung
  13. 13. Chairman Mao
  14. 14. Chiang Kai-shek
  15. 15. Cold War Expansion  Problems in Asia  Mao won influence China and Chiang Kai- shek is exiled from China for the rest of his life  China clearly became within the influence of the Soviets and Communism after Mao becomes Chairman ○ Truman was politically attacked for losing China ○ As a result, he begins to build up U.S. influence in post-war Japan to counter the loss in China
  16. 16. The Korean War  U.S. becomes involved with South Korea in 1950 as Communist forces in North Korea begin to invade the south  The 38th parallel became the dividing line between the two pro-Western and pro- Communist forces
  17. 17. The Korean War  General Douglas MacArthur pushed to take the war into China after the U.S. got involved  Wanted to achieve a total victory and to demonstrate American military superiority (much like Patton in WW II)  Wanted to make future wars less likely  Truman disagreed with MacArthur as he feared the Soviets launching atomic weapons  MacArthur pushed Truman too far and was relieved of command in Korea ○ Led to a stalemate for the remainder of the war
  18. 18. The Korean War  U.S. involvement in South Korea became a United Nations effort  The majority of troops, supplies, and strategy were supplied by the U.S. though  The Korean War became a stalemate  Due to MacArthur’s demotion and continued guerilla warfare
  19. 19. The Korean War  The war continued into Dwight D. Eisenhower’s presidency  The most significant result of the war was the massive American rearmament  Americans rapidly expanded their military arsenal ○ The U.S. felt they were 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 came under attack again in a new “Red Scare” in post WW II America  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 U.S. apart  The entire country became gripped in this paranoia  Transcended to all levels of government  Local anti-communist groups would storm public libraries and destroy “un-American” books  The federal and state courts did little to nothing to stop this type of behavior
  22. 22. The Communist Threat  Why do post WW II Americans favor fascism over communism?  Roots trace back to the Civil War  Americans prefer order over anarchy  We eerily respected the staunch militarism (conservatism) of the Germans over the idea of absolute social and economic revolution
  23. 23. The Communist Threat  Joseph McCarthy  Republican U.S. Senator from Wisconsin announced in 1950 that he had a list of 205 communists working for the State Dept.  Really was working for his own fame and glory ○ Didn’t seem to care who he politically or socially ruined ○ His anti-communist agenda ran parallel with an anti-homosexual agenda
  24. 24. The Communist Threat  Joseph McCarthy  The new “Red Scare” reached its height during the Election of 1952  Gained significant support from Midwestern Republicans, Irish, Poles, and Italians ○ Targeted privileged government officials  His demise (and embarrassment) came when he claimed that a significant portion of the U.S. military was infiltrated by communists and communist sympathizers
  25. 25. Check my SlideShare page (rfair07) for more lectures  Lectures posted for:  United States History before 1877  United States History after 1877  Texas History  United States (Federal) Government  Texas Government  If you would like a great study resource for United States History (college or AP exam), check out the following:  AP U.S. History Exam Study