Presentation on theme: "Post-War America. Demobilization and Conversion Conversion to peace brings its own problems. “wanna go home” riots - servicemen demanded to be returned."— Presentation transcript:
Demobilization and Conversion Conversion to peace brings its own problems. “wanna go home” riots - servicemen demanded to be returned home
Postwar Economic Anxiety fear of return to depression businesses called for an end to government controls over the economy. 1946-47 saw the economy slump and inflation increase 33%.
Removal of price controls led to the increase in inflation.
Labor Trouble and Inflation Worries about job security and inflation led to new labor demands Organized labor called for crippling strikes in major industries.
Increasing numbers of strikes led to Truman warning strikers of federal intervention.
Republicans gained control of both houses of Congress in 1946 elections. Taft-Hartley Labor Bill (1947) passed over Truman’s veto, it banned closed shop and weakened labors rights.
Labor was frustrated in its attempts to unionize the southern textile industries in its “Operation Dixie.”
Truman’s Economic Policy Employment Act of 1946 - created the Council of Economic Advisors. Sought to promote maximum employment, production and purchasing power.
Servicemen’s Readjustment Act GI Bill of Rights - servicemen were given educational and economic benefits.
Blacks after the war African- American’s fared a little better economically and politically, despite congressional refusal to pass civil rights and fair labor laws.
The color line was crossed in major league baseball in 1947 when the Brooklyn Dodgers hired Jackie Robinson.
The Long Economic Boom GNP (Gross National Product) began to climb after 1948.
By 1950 the economy will begin to skyrocket and reach a plateau of growth that will last until 1970.
Middle Class prosperity The “chicken in every pot” of the depression became the desire for two cars in every garage.
Plus a TV, air conditioner, swimming pool, vacation home, RVs and hoola- hoops for the kids.
Women in the Workforce Many women decided to keep working after the war but did so under gender discrimination.
Women will account for 25% of the workforce by the end of the war and will have one-half of the jobs by the 1990s.
Traditional American values will continue to glorify the role of women as mothers and housewives.
The clash of these dual roles will lead to the feminist movement of the 1960s.
Causes of growth Much of the continued economic growth was caused by the “war economy” appropriations of the Cold War.
Korean War, Arms Race, Space Race and Vietnam will keep American defense spending rolling through two decades.
America enjoyed the benefits of cheap energy and a lack of environmental controls.
America productivity increased and educational levels rose.
By 1970 90% of the school age population was enrolled in school.
Farmers dropped from 15% of the workforce in the 40s to 2% by the 90s -- but harvested a large percentage of the world’s food.
The Sunbelt With the invention of air-conditioning, the existence of cheap fuel and a large number of defense jobs in the south and west, many Americans moved into the “sunbelt” following the war.
The Suburbs Low interest FHA and VA loans made it economical to own a home.
The Levitt brothers pioneered the “assembly line” construction of suburban homes.
Post-war families snatched up these “cookie cutter” tract homes.
They filled the yards with barbeques and kids. Lots of kids.
The Baby Boom There was a huge jump in the birthrate beginning in 1945, peaking in 1957 and tapering off to 1961.
The “baby boom” generation has had a major impact on economic and culture in America.
Truman’s Fair Deal Truman’s State of the Union called for a Fair Deal Aid to Education, National Health Insurance, Civil Rights Legislation, More Social Security, Public Housing, Repeal of Taft Hartley, Streamlining of Federal Bureaucracy.
Point Four Point Four of Truman’s inaugural address calls for aid, and scientific and technical assistance to third world countries - to stop communism.
The Second Red Scare 1947 -- Truman launches a “loyalty” program to investigate “leftists” in the federal government.
Employees, especially school teachers, were forced to take loyalty oaths.
HUAAC 1948 -- House Un-American Activities Committee - investigations begin of suspected commies.
Hollywood investigated Government employees dismissed and writers, movie producers & actors blacklisted.
1949 -- eleven communists were convicted of violating the 1940 anti- sedition Smith Act.
Alger Hiss Trial State Department official Alger Hiss is accused of spying by Whittaker Chambers.
Nixon examines “pumpkin” film Nixon examines “pumpkin” film Hiss sues for libel but is then charged with perjury when he is found to have lied under oath. Richard Nixon prosecutes Hiss.
McCarthyism 1950 -- Senator Joseph McCarthy makes his “Wheeling Declaration” - he has the names of known communists in the federal government. He becomes famous for his investigation of Communists.
Truman Responds ò My dear Senator: I read your telegram of February eleventh from Reno, Nevada with a great deal of interest and this is the first time in my experience, and I was ten years in the Senate, that I ever heard of a Senator trying to discredit his own Government before the world. You know that isn't done by honest public officials. Your telegram is not only not true and an insolent approach to a situation that should have been worked out between man and man but it shows conclusively that you are not even fit to have a hand in the operation of the Government of the United States. I am very sure the people of Wisconsin are extremely sorry that they are represented by a person who has as little sense of responsibility as you have. Sincerely yours, [HST]
The Rosenbergs 1951 -- Ethel and David Rosenberg are found guilty of espionage for giving atomic secrets to Russians - executed.
The H-Bomb 1952 - the first Hydrogen Bomb (fusion) was tested successfully in the South Pacific.
The Russians explode their H-bomb in 1953 - the arms race is on.
The Korean War (1950 - 1953) Dean Acheson describes a defense perimeter in the pacific excluding Korea.
June 25, 1950 - North Korea invades south - US and Korean forces retreat to Pusan perimeter.