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American History - Chapter 27

Pages 842-863

The Cold War

and the

American Dream
Unit Packet & Study Guide

Social Studies Teacher:

Learning Goal: Students understand how the Cold War and domestic changes in the postwar years affected the nation.

Focus on:

  • Postwar economy

  • Fear of communism

  • Korean War

  • International competition

  • Life at home


Students understand how the Cold War and domestic changes in the postwar years affected the nation in all five specified areas listed in the Learning Goal, and can teach others by writing an essay detailing the relationship between the Soviet Union and the United States during the Cold War, and comparing it to the relationship between Russia and the United States today.


Students understand how the Cold War and domestic changes in the postwar years affected the nation in four of the five specified areas listed in the Learning Goal.


Students understand how the Cold War and domestic changes in the postwar years affected the nation in three of the five specified areas listed in the Learning Goal.


Students understand how the Cold War and domestic changes in the postwar years affected the nation in two of the five specified areas listed in the Learning Goal.


Students do not understand how the Cold War and domestic changes in the postwar years affected the nation in any of the five specified areas listed in the Learning Goal.

Unit Essential Question: How did the Cold War and domestic changes in the postwar years affect the nation?

Write the definition for each of the following. You may use a separate sheet of paper, but it must be stapled to the back of this packet.

Section 1 – pgs. 844-849

  1. Harry S. Truman

  2. Fair Deal

  3. Cold War

  4. Truman Doctrine

  5. NATO

  6. Containment

Section 2 – pgs. 850-855

  1. Joseph McCarthy

  2. 38th parallel

  3. Korean War

  4. Arms race

  5. H-bomb

  6. Space race

  7. Brinkmanship

Section 3 – pgs. 858-863

  1. Rock ‘n’ roll

  2. Baby boom

  3. Suburbs

  4. Sunbelt


The Cold War and the American Dream

  1. Use the map in the Chapter Opener (page 843) and the map “The Division of Berlin 1945” in section 1 (page 847) to locate the following countries, city, and bodies of water. Then label them on the outline map on the next page.







Great Britain



Bodies of Water




Black Sea




North Sea




Adriatic Sea


Soviet Union


Mediterranean Sea

East Germany



Atlantic Ocean

West Germany



Baltic Sea



  1. After labeling your map, use it to answer the following questions.

  1. What countries border the Soviet Union to the west?


  1. Which European countries lie completely south of 45˚N latitude?


  1. The western border between the Soviet Union and Poland lies along approximately what line of longitude?


  1. What body of water separates Norway and Sweden from the Soviet Union?


  1. What country was split into two parts after World War II? Why?


  1. What countries border East Germany to the south and east?


  1. In which part of Germany was Berlin located?

Peacetime Economics and Politics

  • Peacetime Adjustments

    • After the war, defense industries reduced their workforce and began to lay off workers. In addition,

    • Women began to return to more traditional jobs such as and

  • The Postwar Economy

    • The postwar economy

    • Increased demand for goods led to

  • Labor, Unrest, and Reaction

    • More than 4 million union workers

    • In response, Harry S. Truman

    • The strike ended before Truman could carry out his threat

  • Reelection and Fair Deal

    • During his reelection campaign, Truman blamed the

      • Worked – he won reelection

    • Truman introduced the

      • Extension of FDR’s

      • Called for

      • Congress fought against him, few measures passed

America Fights a Cold War

  • Origins of the Cold War

    • Most important issue:

    • When WWII ended, Stalin installed

    • Tensions grew between

      • Each side suspected the other of

    • Result- Cold War:

  • The Berlin Airlift

    • Germany was divided into four zones after WWII

    • The Western countries

    • Stalin feared

      • The capital of Germany, , was blockaded by the Soviet Union

      • Western countries

      • When the blockade finally ended,

  • The Politics of Containment

    • Truman had a policy of

    • Alarm over communist control led to the creation of NATO

      • Included

      • In response, the Soviet Union and Eastern European countries created

The Cold War at Home

  • Americans on Trial

    • Alger Hiss was accused of

      • He was jailed for

    • Ethel and Julius Rosenberg were convicted of

      • They were both

  • Uncovering “Un-American Activities”

    • Truman ordered government workers to undergo

    • The House Un-American Activities Committee

      • Many were

Additional Notes:

Directions: Use section two of chapter 27 to answer the following questions. Questions must be answered in complete sentences. If you use a separate sheet of paper, that paper must be stapled to the back of this packet.
The Cold War Heats up in Korea

  1. How was Korea divided up after WWII? Which side was communist? Which was democratic?

  1. What event in June 1950 started what is known as the Korean War?

  1. What prompted China to enter the war?

  1. Why did President Truman refuse to blockade China? What happened to MacArthur?

  1. Explain the outcome of the Korean War.

McCarthy and Communism

  1. Why does the term McCarthyism refer to reckless charges against innocent citizens?

  1. How did Senator McCarthy lose his political power?

The Cold War Around the World

  1. How was Eisenhower’s foreign policy different than Truman’s when it came to communism?

  1. What was the arms race? How did it lead to the United States and the Soviet Union both stockpiling weapons?

  1. How did the Soviet Union push the United States to research outer space?

How did the U-2 incident end peace talks between the Soviet Union and the United States?

Speech at Wheeling, West Virginia

Setting the Stage: In February 1950, Joseph McCarthy made headlines across the country when he claimed that Communists were shaping policy in the U.S. government.
“Today we are engaged in a final, all-out battle between communistic atheism1 and Christianity. The modern champions of communism have selected this time as the time, and ladies and gentlemen of the chips are down – they are truly down. . . In my opinion the State Department, which is one of the most important government departments, is thoroughly infested with communists. . . I have in my hand 57 cases2 of individuals who would appear to be either card carrying members or certainly loyal to the Communist Party, but who nevertheless are still helping to shape our foreign policy. . . One of the important reasons for the graft, the correction, the dishonesty, the disloyalty, the treason in high government positions – one of the most important reasons why this continues – is a lack of moral uprising on the part of the 140 million American people. In the light of history, however, it is not hard to explain. It is the result of an emotional hangover and a temporary moral lapse which follows every war. . . However, the morals of our people have not been destroyed. They still exist. This cloak of numbness and apathy has only needed a spark to rekindle them. Happily, this spark has finally been supplied. As you know, very recently the Secretary of State proclaimed his loyalty to a man guilty of what has always been considered the most abominable of all crimes – of being a traitor to the people who gave him a position of great trust. The Secretary of State, in attempting to justify his continued devotion to the man who sold out the Christian world to the atheistic world, referred to Christ’s Sermon on the Mount3 as a justification and reason therefore. . . When this pompous diplomat in striped pants, with a phony British accent, proclaimed to the people that Christ on the Mount endorsed communism, high treason, and betrayal of a sacred trust, the blasphemy was so great that it awakened the dormant indignation 4of the American people. He has lighted the spark which is resulting in a moral uprising and will end only when the whole sorry mess of twisted warped thinkers are swept from the national scene so that we may have a new birth of national honesty and decency in government.”

See it Now

Setting the Stage: In March 1954, newscaster Edward Murrow devoted the entire half hour of his See it Now program to an attack on Senator McCarthy.
“It is necessary to investigate before legislating, but the line between investigating and persecuting is a very fine one and the junior Senator from Wisconsin has stepped over it repeatedly. His primary achievement has been in confusing the public5 mind, as between internal and the external threats of Communism. We must not confuse dissent6 with disloyalty. We must remember always that accusation is not proof and that conviction depends upon evidence and due process of law. We will not walk in fear, one of another. We will not be driven by fear into an age of unreason, if we dig deep in our history and our doctrine, and remember that we are not descended from fearful men – not from men who feared to write, to speak, to associate and to defend the causes that were, for the moment, unpopular. . .
As a nation we have come into our full inheritance at a tender age. We proclaim ourselves, as indeed we are, the defenders of freedom, wherever it continues to exist in the world, but we cannot defend freedom abroad by deserting it at home.
The actions of the junior Senator from Wisconsin have caused alarm and dismay amongst our allies abroad, and given considerable comfort to our enemies. And whose fault is that? Not really his. He didn’t create this situation of fear; he merely exploited it – and rather successfully.”

Document-Based Questions:

  1. How does McCarthy explain the “corruption” and “dishonesty” in government?

  1. Whom does Murrow blame for the results of McCarthy’s actions?

  1. Explain the different points of view about how Americans should react to the threats of communism.

Directions: As you read, use the diagram below to record important changes that took place in the 1950s. Keep in mind, you need to be able to explain and describe each change thoroughly on your test.

1950s American Life

Suburban growth: caused in part by the baby boom and the booming economy. Led to increased car sales and movement of the population to the sunbelt.

Answer the following questions on a separate sheet of paper.

Section 1

  1. How did the U.S. economy and political climate change after WWII?

  2. Why were the tensions between the Soviet Union and the United States called a “Cold War”?

  3. How did the fear of communism affect people in the United States?

Section 2

  1. What events led up to the Korean War and what was the outcome?

  2. How did Senator McCarthy gain and lose political power?

  3. How did the United States and the Soviet Union compete with each other?

Section 3

  1. How did American life change during the 1950s?

  2. What groups were left out of the prosperity of the 1950s? Why?

  3. What cultural aspects influenced Americans in the 1950s?

1 Atheism: rejection of a belief in god or gods

2 57 Cases: According to news reports of this speech, McCarthy claimed to have a list of 205 Communists or Communist loyalists in government. In the text of the speech that was released to the Congressional Record two weeks later, that number reduced to 57. McCarthy’s list was never shown or proven to exist. Why do you think the number changed?

3 Sermon on the Mount: McCarthy refers to Secretary of State Dean Acheson’s public statement that he would not “turn [his] back on Alger Hiss” after Hiss was charged with providing information to the Soviets and found guilty of lying under oath. According to McCarthy, how has Acheson affected the American people?

4 Indignation: anger

5 Confusing the public: McCarthy made charges against respected military officials and politicians, famous writers and artists, and average Americans such as an Army dentist and a cleaning woman at the Pentagon. Why was it hard for people to defend themselves against McCarthy’s accusations?

6 Dissent: different of opinion

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