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Post-War America.  Demobilization and Conversion  Conversion to peace brings its own problems.  “wanna go home” riots - servicemen demanded to be returned.

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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:

1 Post-War America

2  Demobilization and Conversion  Conversion to peace brings its own problems.  “wanna go home” riots - servicemen demanded to be returned home

3  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%.

4  Removal of price controls led to the increase in inflation.

5  Labor Trouble and Inflation  Worries about job security and inflation led to new labor demands  Organized labor called for crippling strikes in major industries.

6  Increasing numbers of strikes led to Truman warning strikers of federal intervention.

7  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.

8  Labor was frustrated in its attempts to unionize the southern textile industries in its “Operation Dixie.”

9  Truman’s Economic Policy  Employment Act of 1946 - created the Council of Economic Advisors.  Sought to promote maximum employment, production and purchasing power.

10  Servicemen’s Readjustment Act  GI Bill of Rights - servicemen were given educational and economic benefits.

11  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.

12  The color line was crossed in major league baseball in 1947 when the Brooklyn Dodgers hired Jackie Robinson.

13 The Long Economic Boom  GNP (Gross National Product) began to climb after 1948.

14  By 1950 the economy will begin to skyrocket and reach a plateau of growth that will last until 1970.

15 Middle Class prosperity  The “chicken in every pot” of the depression became the desire for two cars in every garage.

16  Plus a TV, air conditioner, swimming pool, vacation home, RVs and hoola- hoops for the kids.

17 Women in the Workforce  Many women decided to keep working after the war but did so under gender discrimination.

18  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.

19  Traditional American values will continue to glorify the role of women as mothers and housewives.

20  The clash of these dual roles will lead to the feminist movement of the 1960s.

21 Causes of growth  Much of the continued economic growth was caused by the “war economy” appropriations of the Cold War.

22  Korean War, Arms Race, Space Race and Vietnam will keep American defense spending rolling through two decades.

23  America enjoyed the benefits of cheap energy and a lack of environmental controls.

24  America productivity increased and educational levels rose.

25  By 1970 90% of the school age population was enrolled in school.

26  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.

27 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.

28 The Suburbs  Low interest FHA and VA loans made it economical to own a home.

29  The Levitt brothers pioneered the “assembly line” construction of suburban homes.

30  Post-war families snatched up these “cookie cutter” tract homes.

31  They filled the yards with barbeques and kids.  Lots of kids.

32 The Baby Boom  There was a huge jump in the birthrate beginning in 1945, peaking in 1957 and tapering off to 1961.

33  The “baby boom” generation has had a major impact on economic and culture in America.


35  The Truman Era 1945 - 1952

36  Harry S Truman  “The average man’s average man.”  First president in many years without a college education.

37  failed at business but worked his way up in local Missouri politics.  Truman’s bluntness and hard- headedness worried and upset many people.

38  The Cold War

39  The Yalta Conference  Conservatives accused Roosevelt for selling out China and Eastern Europe to the Soviet Union.

40  The U.S. believed Soviet military would be needed to defeat the Japanese.  this was before the atom bomb was tested.

41  the Soviets agreed to allow democratically elected governments in Eastern Europe - they lied.

42  This left the USSR in control of a large sphere of influence at the end of the war.

43  The Potsdam Conference  Stalin was warned indirectly about the existence of the Atomic bomb.  The soviets felt slighted about being out the loop on the Manhattan Project.

44  American - Soviet Relations  Decades of distrust and misunderstanding came to a head at the end of the war.  Washington abruptly ended lend-lease to the Soviets and refused to grant them loans.

45  the US and USSR resembled each other in many troublesome ways.

46  both were large, expansionist, born in revolution and believed their way was the best way for the world.

47  Postwar Tensions  The Bretton Woods Agreement created the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund.  The Soviets refused to participate in either.

48  The Baruch Plan  Bernard Baruch called for a UN agency to oversee nuclear power to halt weapons development - Stalin rejects the idea.

49  Postwar Germany  The Nuremberg Trials -- 22 top nazi war criminals were put on trial for crimes against humanity.

50  The Russians sought to make Germany pay reparations for its losses in the war.

51  Germany was divided into four territories at the end of the war - British, French, American and Soviet.

52  The US realizes the need for a economically strong but militarily weak Germany.

53  The Western Allies began to call for a reunited Germany.  The Soviets force the Eastern European countries behind what Winston Churchill called the “Iron Curtain.”

54 Fulton, Missouri “ From Stettin in the Baltic to Trieste in the Adriatic, an iron curtain has descended across the Continent. ”

55  The Berlin Airlift - 1947  Stalin closes ground access to Berlin to choke off the Allies.

56  US and British air power breaks the blockade through a massive airlift.

57 Berlin Airlift

58 Cross-sectional view of flight into Berlin as of Sep. 1948. This arrangement allowed for landing at the rate of one plane every 3 minutes.

59  Iran Crisis  Stalin seeks to test the west's resolve in the Middle East and began fomenting revolution in Iran.

60  Truman’s protest caused Stalin to back down.

61  The Containment Policy  George Kennan writes from Moscow describing the goals of the Soviet Union as “expansionary”.

62  Kennan suggests a policy of “containment”

63  The Truman Doctrine  Greece and Turkey were turning leftist - danger of Soviet involvement.

64 The Buck Stops Here.  Truman issues his Doctrine describing the need to “contain” communism.

65  Containment in Action  The Marshall Plan - Secretary of State George Marshall develops the European Recovery Program to stop communism.

66 The Marshall Plan  12.5 Billion dollars is spent in Europe over four years.

67  US Military is Reorganized  The National Security Act of 1947 - brought all of the armed forces under the Department of Defense.

68  Created the Joint Chiefs of Staff

69  Central Intelligence Agency created for intelligence gathering

70  National Security Council - coordinated decisions on military intervention

71  The North Atlantic Pact - 1949  NATO - North Atlantic Treaty Organization - defensive alliance of US and 12 W. European countries. Greece and Turkey join in 1952 and West Germany in 1955.

72  The US and East Asia - 1945-53  Reconstruction of Japan - under General MacArthur Japan received a democratic constitution and aid for reconstruction.

73  Japanese war criminals also tried and seven were executed.

74  1949 - Communists in China under Mao Zedong defeat the Nationalists.

75  Nationalists under Chiang Kaishek establish the Republic of China on Taiwan.

76  Republicans declare Truman had “lost” China to the communists.

77  New Secretary of State Dean Acheson seeks to recognize communist China.

78  The Election of 1948  Democrats nominate Truman - platform of civil rights causes segregation south to form State Rights Party.

79  Strom Thurmond runs as States Rights candidate.

80  A new Progressive Party nominates Henry Wallace - seen as a patsy for the communist party.

81  Republicans nominate Thomas E. Dewey.

82  Truman Defeats Dewey  Though polls and pundits call for Truman defeat, he wins -- 300 to 189 electoral votes  Dixiecrat Thurmond - 39 electoral votes.

83  Truman Defeats Dewey


85  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.

86  Point Four  Point Four of Truman’s inaugural address calls for aid, and scientific and technical assistance to third world countries - to stop communism.

87  The Second Red Scare  1947 -- Truman launches a “loyalty” program to investigate “leftists” in the federal government.

88  Employees, especially school teachers, were forced to take loyalty oaths.

89  HUAAC  1948 -- House Un-American Activities Committee - investigations begin of suspected commies.

90 Hollywood investigated  Government employees dismissed and writers, movie producers & actors blacklisted.

91  1949 -- eleven communists were convicted of violating the 1940 anti- sedition Smith Act.

92  Alger Hiss Trial  State Department official Alger Hiss is accused of spying by Whittaker Chambers.

93 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.

94  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.

95 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]

96  The Rosenbergs  1951 -- Ethel and David Rosenberg are found guilty of espionage for giving atomic secrets to Russians - executed.

97  The H-Bomb  1952 - the first Hydrogen Bomb (fusion) was tested successfully in the South Pacific.

98  The Russians explode their H-bomb in 1953 - the arms race is on.

99  The Korean War (1950 - 1953)  Dean Acheson describes a defense perimeter in the pacific excluding Korea.

100  June 25, 1950 - North Korea invades south - US and Korean forces retreat to Pusan perimeter.

101  Korea Divided

102  United Nations forces under Gen. MacArthur land at Inchon on September 15.  South clear by October.

103  UN allows invasion of North.  Chinese troops cross the Yalu river in November.  Push UN troops south of the 38th parallel.

104  General MacArthur criticizes Truman’s decision not to fight China.

105  April 11, 1951 - - MacArthur is relieved of duty.  Issue becomes a political “hot potato” over communism.

106  Truce Negotiations  War breaks down into stalemate -- discussions over a truce breakdown about the exchange of prisoners.

107  Twenty-second Amendment  1951 - 22nd amendment passes - no person shall be allowed to be president more than twice.  Truman is excluded.

108  The Election of 1952  Democrats - hampered by Korea, scandals, and Red Scare - nominate Adlai Stevenson.

109  I Like Ike  Republican isolationists sought to nominate Robert Taft.  Dwight Eisenhower wins nomination on first ballot.

110  Anti-Communists got Richard Nixon to be vice-presidential nominee.  Nixon attacks Stevenson while Ike takes the high road.

111  Nixon Slush Fund  Reports claim Nixon had a secret campaign fund for his personal use.  Nixon makes “Checkers Speech” in reaction to slush fund allegations.

112  Eisenhower makes a last minute pledge to personally go to Korea to end the war.  Ike wins 33,963,234 to 27,314,992 (442 to 89 ) - Republicans take Congress

113  Ike goes to Korea and seven months later, after the threat of a nuclear strike, the war in Korea ends in a shaky armistice.

114 The Forgotten War  54,000 American dead and over a million dead in East Asia.

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