Harry truman’s presidency and the cold war



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Partition of Germany
        1. Soviets dominated their Eastern German zone after WWII.
        2. U.S. and W. Europeans felt German economy vital to recovery of Europe
        3. 1949, a democratic West Germany created; East Germany created under Soviet domination.

IV. Reconstruction of Japan


    A. Despite Soviet protest, US led by Gen. Douglas MacArthur implemented democracy in
        Japan (Allied Control Council).
    B. Japanese war criminals tried between 1946-48; 7 hanged (including Tojo), 18 sent to prison
    C. A constitution adopted in 1946 renouncing militarism & introducing Western-style democracy.
    D. Within decades, Japan would become an economic powerhouse.

V. Policy of "Containment"


    A. 1947, US Ambassador to Russia, George Kennan, warned Truman that Russia sought
        to expand its empire.
    B. Truman Doctrine -- Defined US foreign policy for next 20 years.
        1. Truman doctrine initiated a policy of "containment": prevent the spread of communism
        2.   March 12, 1947, Truman asked Congress for $400 million to support democracy
            in Turkey and Greece since the British were no longer able.
        3. Truman quickly recognized Israel in 1948 as the new country would be a bastion
            of democracy in the Middle East.
    C. Marshall Plan (1947)
        1. France, Italy and Germany were still suffering from economic chaos after WWII.
        2. US feared Communist parties could exploit these hardships and take control.
        3. Sec. of State George C. Marshall invited Europeans to create a joint plan
            for economic recovery. US would provide financial assistance.
    D. Berlin Airlift (1948-49)
        1. Berlin, deep inside E. Germany, was cut off from the west by Soviet forces in 1948.
        2. US organized massive airlift for nearly a year; 277,000 flights, 2 million tons of supplies.
        3. Soviets lifted blockade in May 1949.

VI. The Cold War during Truman’s second term


    A. North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO)
        1. Created April 4, 1949 by 12 nations inc. U.S., Fr. Br., It., Belgium, Netherlands, Lux.,
            Denmark, Norway, Portugal, Iceland, and Canada.
        2. In 1955 USSR formed Warsaw Pact as a response to NATO which included all
            eastern bloc countries -- satellite countries
    B. Soviet Union exploded an atomic bomb in Sept. 1949; U.S. no longer had monopoly
    C. China becomes Communist in 1949
        1. US supported Nationalist leader Jiang Jieshi (Chang-Kai-Shek) during WWII
        2. In late 1949, Mao Zedong’s (Mao Tse-tung) communist forces defeated the last of
            Jiang's forces and the Nationalists fled to Formosa (Taiwan).
    D. The Hydrogen Bomb
        1. U.S. exploded H-bomb in 1952
        2. In 1953, Soviets successfully exploded an H-bomb; nuclear arms race continued.
        3. For the first time in history, humankind had the ability to end civilization.
    E. Korean War (1950-53)
        1. June 25, 1950 -- N. Korean army with Soviet-made tanks invaded S. Korea and took
            nearly all the country.
        2. UN votes to establish UN force with Truman’s choice, Gen. Douglas MacArthur, as
            UN commander who took his orders from Washington
        3. By August 1950, North Korea captured virtually all of S. Korea
        4. MacArthur directs surprise amphibious landing at Inchon behind Korean lines.
        5. November 1950, 300 thousand Chinese soldiers pour across Yalu River into N. Korea
            and force UN troops to retreat with heavy losses across 38th parallel.
        6. Truman fires MacArthur
        7. Cease-Fire
            a. Negotiations begin in July 1951 and continue for 2 years while war continues.
            b. Cease-fire signed on July 27, 1953 (armistice still in effect today)
VII. Truman’s First Term -- domestic policy
A. Civil Rights: gains for African Americans
        1. 1946, Truman created the President’s committee on Civil Rights
        2. 1948, president banned racial discrimination in federal government hiring practices
            and ordered desegregation of the armed forces; blacks integrated in 1953
VIII. Anti-Communist Crusade -- "Red Scare"
    A. Committee on Un-American Activities (HUAC) indicts Alger Hiss
        1. HUAC created in 1945 to root out communism during the "Red Scare" after WWII
            that lasted into the mid-1950s.
        2. Richard Nixon led the movement to indict Alger Hiss, a distinguished
            member of the "eastern establishment" and a prominent ex-New Dealer.
        3. Hiss denied being a Communist agent in the 1930s but was convicted of perjury in 1950
            and sentenced to 5 years in prison.
    B. Truman's "loyalty" program
        1. Loyalty Review Board investigated more than 3 million fed. employees
        2. Loyalty oaths were increasingly demanded of employees, esp. teachers
    C. The Rosenbergs
        1. Julius and Ethel Rosenberg were convicted and executed for allegedly giving atomic bomb secrets to the Soviets. Both were avowed communists.
   D. Blacklisting
        1. Many actors, writers, and directors had dabbled with the Communist Party
            in the 1930's when it was considered fashionable.
        2. 10 of these movie industry people, the "Hollywood Ten" refused to testify and decided to go to prison rather than testifying to the HUAC claiming protection from the Constitution.
        3. The industry responded by denying work to 250 actors, writers, and directors.
    E. McCarthyism
        1. Senator Joseph R. McCarthy (Republican from Wisconsin) became a demagogue
        2. In Feb. 1950, asserted that scores of unknown Communists were in the Dept. of State
            a. His technique was to make sweeping accusations and employ guilt by association.
            b. Was unable to substantiate his claims but ruined many gov't officials.
            c. Almost no one was safe from his accusations.
            d. McCarthy would slander people and claim they were homosexual as well as communist.
        3. McCarthy’s Senate hearings created an atmosphere of conformity and fear
        4. Downfall of McCarthy occurred when he took on the Army in 1954
            a. McCarthy was intensely examined by Joseph Welch, Army attorney.
            b. By Dec., 1954, Senate passed a resolution condemning McCarthy 67-22
            c. McCarthy died three years later from alcohol and exhaustion.

IX. Election of 1948 -- Truman defeats Dewey in a stunning upset (303-189)


    A. Democrats were split into three camps: Truman, southern States' Rights Party led by
        Strom Thurmond of S.C. Dixiecrats, and the new Progressive party who nominated Henry Wallace.
    B. Truman's victory came with support from farmers, workers, and blacks who felt
        threatened by the Republicans.
X. Truman’s FAIR DEAL
    A. In essence, Truman was able to preserve New Deal programs but unable to add to it.
    B. Coalition of Republicans and Southern Democrats prevented little more than the
        maintenance of existing programs.
XI. American Society in the Post-WWII era (1945-1970)
    A. GI Bill of Rights
        1. Servicemen’s Readjustment Act of 1944 sent millions of veterans to school.
        2. Veteran’s Administration (VA) guaranteed about $16 billion in loans for veterans
            to buy homes, farms, and small businesses.
     B. Baby Boom
        1. In the 1950s, population grew by over 28 million.
        2. Between 1946 and 1961, 63.5 million babies were born
    C. Economic boom: 1950-1970 -- "The Affluent Society"
        1. National income nearly doubled in 1950s; almost doubled again in 1960s.
        2. Consumerism mushroomed as Americans had more disposable income
        3. Middle class
            a. 5.7 in 1947; over 12 million by early 1960s.
            b. Suburbs-Grew 6X faster than cities in 1950s.
            c. Cult of domesticity re-emerges
                i. A few advocated that science supported the idea that women could only find
                    fulfillment as a homemaker.
                ii. The concept of a woman’s place being in the home was widespread in magazines,
                    TV, and society in general.




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