Harry truman’s presidency and the cold war


EISENHOWER’S PRESIDENCY AND THE 1950s



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EISENHOWER’S PRESIDENCY AND THE 1950s

I. Election of 1952
    A. Truman did not seek reelection in the face of military deadlock in Korea, war-induced inflation, and White House scandal.
    B. Republican nominee Dwight D. Eisenhower won by a landslide: 442-89
II. Eisenhower Republicanism at Home -- "dynamic conservatism"
     A. In effect, Ike maintained New Deal programs
        1. Sought middle-of-the-road approach to gov't policy in the face of the New Deal, WWII, & Fair Deal.
    B. Favored privatizing large government holdings
III. Civil Rights during the 1950s -- NAACP achieves desegregation
    A. 1940s -- NAACP began to attack "separate but equal" by suing segregated colleges and universities; African Americans gained entrance into Southern universities.
    B. Earl Warren appointed by Eisenhower as Chief Justice of the Supreme Court in1953
    C. Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, 1954
        1. NAACP/Thurgood Marshall represented Linda Brown
            a. Charged that public school segregation violated the "equal protection" clause of the 14th Amendment to the Constitution.
            b. Segregation deprived blacks an equal educational opportunity.
            c. Separate could not be equal because segregation in itself lowered the morale and motivation of black students.
        2. Chief Justice Earl Warren persuaded fellow justices to overturn Plessy v. Ferguson.
            a. "Separate educational facilities are inherently unequal. It has no place in public education.
            b. One year later, Court ordered school integration "with all deliberate speed."
    D. Response to Brown v. Board of Education
        1. Southern officials considered ruling a threat to state and local authority.
            a. 80% of southern whites opposed Brown decision.
            b. KKK reemerged in a much more violent incarnation than in 1920s.
        2. Crisis in Little Rock, Arkansas, 1957
            a. Gov. Orval Faubus ordered National Guard to surround Central High School to prevent nine black students ("Little Rock Nine") from entering the school.
            b. Eisenhower reluctantly ordered 1000 federal troops into Little Rock and nationalized
the Arkansas National Guard, this time protecting students.
            c. Next year, Little Rock public schools closed entirely.
                i. White attended private schools or outside city schools.
                ii. Most blacks had no school to attend.
            d. August 1959, Little Rock school board gave in to integration after another Supreme Court ruling.
    E. Montgomery Bus Boycott (1955-56)
         1. December 11, 1955, Rosa Parks arrested in Montgomery, Alabama, after refusing to give her bus seat to a white man; she was ordered to sit at the back of the bus.
        2. Immediate calls for boycott ensued; nearly 80% of bus users were African Americans. -- Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr., leader of Dexter Avenue Baptist Church, became a leader of the boycott; emerged as leader of civil rights movement.
        3. Montgomery bus boycott lasted nearly 400 days.
            a. King’s house was bombed.
            b. 88 other African American leaders were arrested and fined for conspiring to boycott.
        4. Supreme Court ruled that segregation on Montgomery buses was unconstitutional.
    F. Martin Luther King, Jr. and the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC)
        1. Nonviolent resistance
            a. King urged followers not to fight with authorities even if provoked.
            b. King’s nonviolent tactics similar to Mohandas Gandhi (both were inspired by
                Henry David Thoreau’s On Civil Disobedience)
                i. Use of moral arguments to changed minds of oppressors.
                ii. King linked nonviolence to Christianity: "Love one’s enemy."
            c. Sit-ins became effective new strategy of nonviolence.
                i. Students in universities and colleges all over U.S. vowed to integrate lunch counters,  hotels, and entertainment facilities.
                ii. Greensboro sit-in (Feb. 1960): First sit-in by 4 North Carolina college freshmen  at a Woolworth lunch counter for student being refused service.
                iii. A wave of sit-ins occurred throughout the country.
                iv. Variations of sit-ins emerged: "kneel-ins" for churches; "read-ins" in libraries; "wade-ins" at beaches; "sleep-ins" in motel lobbies.
        2. Student movement
            a. Nonviolence of students provoked increasingly hostile actions from those who opposed them.
            b. Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee created by SCLC to  better organize the movement. (SNCC pronounced "snick")
                i. "Jail not Bail" became the popular slogan.
                ii. Students adopted civil disobedience when confronted with jail.
IV. Cold War Politics
    A. Sec. of State John Foster Dulles initiates new policy of massive retaliation
        1. Massive retaliation
                i. Soviet or Chinese aggression would be countered with nuclear weapons directly on  USSR and China.
                ii. Brinksmanship -- the art of never backing down from a crisis, even if it meant   pushing the nation to the brink of war.
        2. US & USSR begin arms race to accumulate sophisticated nuclear arsenals.
    B. Vietnam
        1. Ho Chi Minh, a Communist, began fighting for the liberation of Indochina from French colonial rule days after the end of World War II.
        2. Communists defeated French at Dien Bien Phu in March 1954; last major outpost
            a. U.S. had given much aid to France to prevent communist expansion.
        3. Multinational conference at Geneva split Vietnam in half at the 17th parallel.
            a. Ho Chin Minh accepted based on assurance that Vietnam-wide elections would occur within 2 years.
            b. In the south, pro-western gov't under Ngo Dinh Diem took control in Saigon.
        4. Diem’s failure to hold elections seriously divided the country.
            a. Communist guerrillas in the south increased campaign against Diem.
            b. China continued to support North Vietnam
        5. Domino Theory -- If one country becomes communist, neighboring countries will also fall like dominoes (included Laos, Cambodia, Thailand, Burma, maybe India)
    C. Easing of the Cold War tensions occurred after Stalin’s death in 1953.
        1. After 2 year power struggle, Stalin is succeeded by Nikita Krushchev in 1955.
            a. "Peaceful coexistence" with the western democracies.
            b. Khrushchev hoped to impress nations in Asia, Africa, and Latin America with superiority of communism as an economic system.
            d. War between USSR & West now seen as unnecessary.
        2. Geneva Summit -- 1955 (July)
            a. US meets with USSR, Britain, & France to begin discussions on European security and disarmament.
            b. Both sides agreed to necessity of nuclear disarmament.
    D. Souring of relations occurred in the wake of Hungarian Uprising
        1. E. Europeans, inspired by Krushchev’s words, begin to seek more freedom in 1956.
        2. Hungarian Uprising -- 1956
            a. Hungarian nationalists staged huge demonstrations demanding democracy and independence.
            b. Soviet tanks & soldiers quickly moved in to crush uprising.
            c. World watched as Budapest became a slaughterhouse
            d. US unable to help -- nuclear force too much "overkill"
        3. Sputnik, 1957
            a. 1957, Soviets launch first ever unmanned artificial satellite in orbit.
            b. Americans are horrified at the thought of Soviet technology being capable of  transporting nuclear weapons.
            c. National Defense Education Act (NDEA): Eisenhower orders rigorous education
program to match Soviet technology.
            d. 1958, US successfully launches its satellite into orbit, Explorer I.
            e. 1958, NASA (National Aeronautics Space Agency) is launched by Ike
.         4. Krushchev issues ultimatum on Berlin in November 1958.
            a. Gave Western powers 6 months to vacate West Berlin.
            b. Eisenhower and Dulles refused to yield; world held its breath
            c. Visitations ease the conflict
                i. Vice president Nixon visited the Soviet Union in 1959 and entered the "Kitchen Debates" with Khrushchev over which economic system was better.
                ii. Sept. of 1959, Krushchev makes two-week trip to US.
                iii. Ike and Khrushchev agree to hold a Paris summit next year
                iv. Krushchev states Berlin ultimatum extended indefinitely.
        5. U-2 Incident results in worst U.S.-Soviet relations since Stalin
            a. May 1, 1960 -- U-2 spy plane shot down deep in Soviet territory - Pilot Francis Gary Powers captured
            b. Incident occurred 10 days before planned Paris Summit.
            c. Eisenhower admits he authorized U-2 flights for national security.
            d. Ike suspends further flights but Krushchev demands an apology at Paris.
            e. Ike refuses and Krushchev angrily calls off Paris summit conference.

V. Other foreign policy challenges in the 1950s


    A. Middle East
        1. Iran
            a. CIA engineered coup in Iran in 1953 that installed the Shah (King) as dictator
                i. Nationalist leader Moussadegh wanted foreign oil holdings turned over to Iranian gov't.
                ii. US felt Moussadegh was dangerous to its interests
            b. In 1979, the Iranian Revolution overthrew the Shah and exacted revenge against the U.S. by holding 50 Americans hostage for 444 days.
        2. Suez Crisis
            a. Egypt -- Gamal Abdel Nasser becomes president (Arab nationalist)
                i. Opposed existence of Israel (U.S. had supported Israel’s creation in 1948)
                ii. Sought funding for Aswan Dam on upper Nile for irrigation & power.
                iii. U.S. agreed to led money to Egypt but refused to give arms.
            b. US withdrew its financial aid offer when Nasser seemed to court Russia and
                established diplomatic relations with the People’s Republic of China.
            c. Nasser seized & nationalized the Suez Canal that was owned mostly by British and  French stockholders.
            d. October 1956, France, Britain & Israel attacked Egypt in an attempt to internationalize the canal.
            e. Eisenhower honored the UN charter's nonaggression commitment and reluctantly denounced the attack on Egypt
            f. Britain, France and Israel withdrew their troops and UN force was sent to keep order.
            g. Nasser gained control of Suez
        3. Eisenhower Doctrine
            a. Empowered the president to extend economic and military aid to nations of the Middle East if threatened by a Communist controlled country.
            b. 1958, Marines entered Lebanon to promote political stability during a change of governments
    B. Cuba
        1. Prior to 1959, U.S. companies active in Cuba.
            a. Owned 90% of Cuban mines and 40% of Cuban sugar operations.
        2. Fidel Castro takes control of Cuba, New Years Day, 1959
            a. Fulgencio Batista, an oppressive leader since 1951, fled.
            b. Castro eventually consfiscated American-owned property.
            c. September 1959, Khrushchev decides to aid Cuba.
            d. Sept 1960—CIA opens talks with mafia to arrange a "hit" on Castro.
                i. U.S. breaks diplomatic relations in January, 1961
                ii. Castro encourages revolution in other parts of Latin America.
    C.  Overthrow of Guatemala : U.S. supported the overthrow of President Jacobo Guzman in 1954 because he began accepting arms from the U.S.S.R.





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