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CHAPTER 26 Cold War Politics in the Truman Years 1945–1953

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1 CHAPTER 26 Cold War Politics in the Truman Years 1945–1953

2 The Division of Europe after World War II

3 From the Grand Alliance to Containment
The Cold War Begins Prewar mistrust and antagonism between Soviet Union and the West resurfaced over different visions of the postwar world. Delay of Western allies in opening second front in Western Europe aroused Soviet suspicions during the war. Joseph Stalin wanted Germany to pay for rebuilding of the Soviet economy, to expand Soviet influence in the world, and have friendly governments in Eastern Europe. United States emerged from the war with a vastly expanded productive capacity and monopoly on atomic weapons - the most powerful nation on the planet. U.S. officials believed that a healthy economy depended on opportunities abroad. U.S. leaders and citizens - foreign policy not for self-interested campaign for economic interests but to preserve national security and bring freedom, democracy, and capitalism to the world.

4 The Truman Doctrine and the Marshall Plan
Americans believed World War II might have been prevented had Hitler’s initial aggression been resisted rather than appeased. Soviet and American clashed in Eastern Europe; Stalin considered U.S. officials hypocritical - demanding democratic elections in Eastern Europe - supporting dictatorships friendly to U.S. interests in Latin American countries. In 1946, wartime Allies contended over Germany’s future - division of Germany. Winston Churchill in Fulton, Missouri, denounced Soviet suppression of popular will in Eastern and central Europe - “iron curtain” had descended across the continent. In February 1946, career diplomat George F. Kennan wrote a comprehensive rationale for a foreign policy of containment - Soviet expansion could be checked “in the face of superior force.” Not all public figures accepted the toughening line – criticism met with stiff resistance from Truman’s cabinet. The Truman Doctrine and the Marshall Plan In 1947 U.S. implemented policy of containment to guide foreign policy for the next forty years.

5 Crises in Greece and Turkey triggered implementation of containment through U.S. military and economic aid. The domino theory - Truman warned that if Greece fell into the hands of leftist rebels, “confusion and disorder” would spread throughout the entire Middle East and eventually threaten Europe. Truman Doctrine – U.S. to Soviet military power and “support free peoples who are resisting attempted subjugation by armed minorities or by outside pressures” - Congress authorized aid for Greece and Turkey. In March 1948, Congress approved European Recovery Program, Marshall Plan, - over the next five years, U.S. spent $13 billion to restore the economies of sixteen Western European nations. In February 1948, Soviets staged brutal coup against the government of Czechoslovakia - installed Communist regime - blockaded Berlin. In 1949, after U.S. and Britain airlifted goods to West Berliners for over nearly a year Berlin divided into East Berlin, under Soviet control, and West Berlin (part of West Germany) - Soviet abandonment of blockade - credence to containment policy.

6 Building a National Security State
Advocates of containment quickly developed a defense strategy to back it up First element- development of atomic weapons - Soviets successfully detonated an atomic bomb, ending U.S. monopoly on nuclear weapons - Truman approved a deadlier weapon, a hydrogen bomb – Soviets followed with hydrogen bomb. Second element - beef up its conventional military power - National Security Council to advise the president - women’s military branches permanent - renamed War Department as Department of Defense - peacetime draft - increased defense expenditures to deter Soviet threats that might not warrant nuclear retaliation. Third element - Collective security – U.S. joined NATO to counter the Soviet threat to Western Europe - foreign assistance programs to strengthen friendly countries. Fifth element - development of the government’s espionage capacities to deter communism through covert activities - creation of the Central Intelligence Agency. Last element - government intensified propaganda efforts to win hearts and minds throughout the world.

7 Superpower Rivalry around the Globe
By 1950, the United States had abandoned its age-old tenets of foreign policy. Superpower Rivalry around the Globe Efforts to implement containment in Africa, Asia, and the Middle East where liberation movements against weakened imperial powers were surging. U.S. promoted the idea of self-determination - independence to the Philippines - encouraged European nations to withdraw from their Asian and African empires – U.S. and the U.S.S.R. cultivated relationships with emerging nations’ governments friendly to their own interests. Leaders of many liberation movements, impressed with the rapid economic growth of USSR adopted socialist or Communist ideas and a few formal ties with the Soviet Union. Civil war in China - Communists led by Mao Zedong fought the corrupt and incompetent official Nationalist government under Chiang Kai-shek.

8 Truman and the Fair Deal at Home
U. S. provided almost $3 billion in aid to the Nationalists – believed further aid would prove fruitless - ineptness of Chiang’s government - October 1949, Mao established the People’s Republic of China. By 1948 U. S. policy shifted from decentralizing Japan’s economy to a focus on reindustrializing it. Cold war considerations did not control American policy in Palestine - Truman committed U.S. support to the new state of Israel despite administration’s experts’ insistence that American-Arab friendship was critical to protect against Soviet influence in the Middle East and to secure access to Arabian oil. Truman and the Fair Deal at Home Reconverting to a Peacetime Economy Few deprivations during World War II - most Americans enjoyed higher standard of living than ever before. Sustaining that standard and providing jobs for millions of returning soldiers, Truman asked Congress to enact a twenty-one-point program of social and economic reforms.

9 Blacks and Mexican Americans Push for Their Civil Rights
Congress approved - full-employment legislation, watered down. Inflation, not unemployment, most severe problem in early postwar years. Labor relations also troubled - workers, especially women who had joined the workforce during the war, saw their wages decline. Unions sought to preserve wartime gains with the one weapon they had relinquished during the war—the strike. Americans fed up with strikes, blamed unions for rising prices and shortages of consumer goods - called for more government restrictions on organized labor. By 1947 nation survived strains of reconversion avoided depression. The nation’s gratitude to its returning soldiers - large welfare measure passed after the New Deal, the Servicemen’s Readjustment Act. Blacks and Mexican Americans Push for Their Civil Rights Black veterans and civilians resolved that return to peace would not be return to racial injustices of prewar America.

10 The Fair Deal Flounders
Individual African Americans broke color barrier - several “firsts” –overall little changed - South, violence on attempts to assert rights. Cold war heightened American leaders’ sensitivity to racial issues - U. S. and Soviet Union competed for allegiance of newly independent nations with nonwhite populations. Truman more bold on civil rights than any previous president – Democrats - northern black and liberal and white southern votes. Failed to follow up aggressively on bold words that all Americans should have equal rights to housing, education, employment, and the ballot – but Truman used his office to set a moral agenda for the nation’s longest unfulfilled promise. Mexican Americans endured similar injustices, such as the routine segregation of children in the public schools, and they too raised their voices after World War II. The Fair Deal Flounders Republicans capitalized on public frustrations with economic reconversion in the 1946 congressional elections – accused administration of “confusion, corruption, and communism.”

11 U.S. Communist Party about 20,000 members – no change in numbers before and after Cold War began.
In 1947, Truman issued E O loyalty review boards to investigate federal employees - hundreds fired or resigned over accusations of disloyalty or “sexual perversion.” House Un-American Activities Committee investigated government employees, movie industry – many lost jobs - public ostracism. Attack on the Communist Party- prosecuting leaders under the Smith Act of crime to “advocate the overthrow and destruction of the Government of the United States by force and violence.” State and local governments investigated citizens - demanded loyalty oaths, fired individuals suspected of disloyalty, banned books from public libraries, and more. McCarthyism caused untold economic and psychological harm to individuals innocent of breaking any law.

12 The Domestic Chill: McCarthyism
Republican-dominated 80th Congress – weakened reforms programs – tax cuts in favor of higher-income groups. In 1947, Congress passed Taft-Hartley Act - reduced power of unions and making it more difficult to organize workers. 1948 elections Truman faced Republican Party nominee Thomas E. Dewey, Henry Wallace on the left and Strom Thurmond on the right – whistle-stop campaign – election victory. No help for Fair Deal - southern Democrats and Republicans rejected Truman’s civil rights measures, proposals for federal health care program, aid to education, and agricultural program for small farmers and consumers - more energy to foreign policy. The Domestic Chill: McCarthyism Wave of anti-Communist hysteria weakened left and liberal forces. Republicans who attacked New Deal as a plot of radicals - now directed anger against communism and internal subversion. Senator Joseph McCarthy - McCarthyism synonymous with anti-Communist crusade.

13 Truman’s Whistle-Stop Campaign

14 The Cold War Becomes Hot: Korea
Korea and the Military Implementation of Containment After World War II, Korea divided into two occupation zones at the thirty-eighth parallel - north supported by Soviet Union, south supported by the United States. Skirmishes between North and South since June ,000 North Koreans swept into South Korea. June 30 - Truman committed ground troops – assuming that Soviet Union and/or China had instigated the attack. Sixteen nations, many NATO allies sent troops – U. S. deployed largest - almost 1.8 million troops and dictating military strategy. After World War II, Korea was divided into two occupation zones at the thirty-eighth parallel: the north, supported by the Soviet Union, and the south, supported by the United States. Skirmishes between North and South Korean troops had occurred since 1948; in June 1950, however, 90,000 North Koreans swept into South Korea.


16 Containment to Rollback to Containment
On June 30, Truman committed ground troops, assuming Soviet Union and/or China instigated attack. Sixteen nations, including many NATO allies, sent troops to Korea, but the United States furnished most of the personnel and weapons, deploying almost 1.8 million troops and dictating military strategy. Containment to Rollback to Containment Containment to elimination of the enemy and unification of Korea. With UN approval, U.S. moved beyond the thirty-eighth parallel; by December 1950, North Koreans recaptured Seoul. Matthew B. Ridgway’s Eighth Army pushed North Korean forces back to the thirty-eighth parallel. Truman - negotiated settlement but General Douglas MacArthur - challenged this plan. MacArthur challenged the president’s authority to make foreign policy - violating the principle of civilian control over the military – Truman fired MacArthur for insubordination – public opposition and American frustration with containment. Korea, Communism, and the 1952 Election Popular discontent - Truman’s war - Republicans an edge in General Dwight D. Eisenhower of World War II fame and Richard Nixon – anticommunism.

17 An Armistice and the War’s Costs
Truman did not run - Adlai E. Stevenson - popular governor of Illinois - acceptable to both liberals and southern Democrats. Republicans - communism at home and situation in Korea – trusted Eisenhower to end the war. An Armistice and the War’s Costs Armistice left Korea divided at the 38th parallel - North and South separated by a 2.5-mile-wide demilitarized zone. 36,000 Americans killed and100,000 wounded 1 million South Koreans killed 1.8 million North Korea and China put together killed or wounded. Stalemate but deemed a success for containment - both president threatened to use nuclear bombs – mainly conventional weapons. Increased defense spending - tripled armed forces. Truman administration to expand role in Asia by increasing aid to the French in Indochina.

18 The Election of 1948


20 Women’s Role in Peacetime

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