Section 1 - The Iron Curtain Falls on Europe The Main Idea At the end of World War II, tensions between the Soviet Union and the United States deepened, leading to an era known as the Cold War. Reading Focus What were the roots of the Cold War? What was the Iron Curtain? How did the United States respond to Soviet actions in Europe? What was the crisis in Berlin in the late 1940s, and how was it resolved?
Roots of the Cold War Allies during the war, but not truly friends. The United States offered military equipment to the Soviet Union, a country viewed as a potential enemy, in order to defeat the greater threat of Germany in WWII. Soviets wanted British and Americans to open a second European front earlier in the war. U.S. atomic bomb plans worried Soviet Union. Philosophical Differences Philosophical differences between the Soviet Union and the United States reached back to the 1920s. Soviet Union: communism, totalitarian dictatorship United States: free-enterprise capitalism, republic World War II Conflicts The Soviet Union refused to let Eastern Europe hold elections as promised at Yalta. The United States resisted Soviet expansion. Postwar Conflicts
The Iron Curtain Stalin wanted to retain political and economic control over Eastern Europe. The Soviets managed to install Communist governments throughout Eastern Europe. Stalin outlawed political parties or newspapers that opposed the Communists. The Soviets jailed or killed some political opponents. The Soviets rigged elections to ensure the success of Communists. Yugoslavia was the one Eastern European nation that was not under the direct control of Stalin and the Soviet Union. Josip Broz Tito, a Communist, refused to take orders from the Soviet Union. The Soviet Union relocated Germans living in Poland and other countries of Eastern Europe.
Western Views of the Iron Curtain Soviet Views of the Iron Curtain Winston Churchill attacked the Soviet Union for creating an Iron Curtain. The term reflected Churchill’s belief that communism had created a sharp division in Europe. Harry S Truman urged his secretary of state to get tough with the Soviets. Stalin believed that the Iron Curtain was necessary to protect the Soviet Union from western attacks. Stalin used Churchill’s Iron Curtain speech to help persuade his people that the United States and Great Britain were their enemies and an excuse to spend Soviet resources on rebuilding the military. The Iron Curtain
How did the United States respond to Soviet actions in Europe? The American government adopted the policy of containment. This policy was created by American statesman George F. Kennan. The policy of containment aimed to stop Communism from spreading to any other countries. He believed that the United States should resist Soviet attempts to expand their influence. The Truman Doctrine called for providing economic aid to help free nations resist communism. The sequence in which tests of the policy of containment occurred was economic aid to Greece and Turkey, followed by the Berlin Crisis, followed by the Korean War. The United States also began the Marshall Plan. This was a massive program of aid to Western Europe. It enabled the Europeans to rebuild. As a result, Western Europe was able to feed its people. It could also buy products from the United States. The Marshall Plan helped the United States build strong political support in Western Europe.
Crisis in Berlin Germany was divided into four zones of occupation. The British, French, and Americans occupied West Germany. The Soviets occupied East Germany. The city of Berlin, in East Germany, was also divided into four zones. In 1948 the Soviets declared that they would block all rail, road, or river traffic into West Berlin. The only way left to supply the city was by air. Supplies were flown in by the British and Americans. The Berlin Airlift continued for almost a year. The conflict with the Soviet Union worried many Western Europeans. As a result of the Berlin Crisis, five nations joined in a system of common defense. Then the United States and six other nations joined the original five. They formed the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). The nations of NATO pledged to defend each other against a Soviet attack.
Soviets Bloc Traffic In June 1948 the Soviets announced that they would block any road, rail, or river traffic into West Berlin. West Berlin’s residents were cut off from food, coal, and other products. West Berlin was not completely cutoff because it had airstrips. The Berlin Airlift British and American planes began making deliveries to West Berlin. The Berlin Airlift continued for months and months. Finally, the Soviet Union lifted its blockade on May 12, 1949. The Crisis in Berlin - Summary NATO Forms In 1949 the U.S. and 6 other nations joined Belgium, France, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, and the U.K. to form NATO. An armed attack against one would be considered an attack against all. Today, 26 countries belong to NATO.
Section 2 - Healing the Wounds of War The Main Idea Following the end of World War II, U.S. military forces—and the rest of the country—faced the challenge of returning to life during peacetime. Reading Focus What was life like in America after World War II? What happened in politics in postwar America? How did the United States and other countries try to build a better world after the war?
Life in America after World War II Some people worried that the American economy would be in trouble when the war ended. Suddenly there was no need for factories to produce war materials. Also, most men and women in the armed forces would be returning to civilian life. In 1944 President Roosevelt signed the GI Bill. This bill aimed at helping veterans make a smooth change to being civilians. The bill provided money for veterans who wanted education. It gave them loans to buy homes, farms, or businesses. It also helped veterans find work and provided unemployment benefits for those who could not. During the war, the government had controlled what factories could produce. When the war ended, people had money to spend on consumer items. Also, there was a large increase in the birthrate after World War II. This was called the baby boom.
Life in America after World War II Demand for consumer goods rose sharply. The economy shifted from providing tools of war to products of peace. After the war, the power of labor unions was reduced by law. Truman opposed this unsuccessfully. He had more success on behalf of minorities. Despite the efforts of military leaders early in the war to keep the military segregated by race, Truman ended segregation in the armed forces by executive order. Both African Americans and Hispanics began to make gains after the war.
Postwar American Politics 1946 Congressional Elections Many Democrats compared Truman unfavorably to Roosevelt. Republicans began to attack Truman before the 1946 congressional elections. Inflation was a big issue. Republicans gained a majority in Congress, which made it difficult for Truman to put his programs into place. 1948 Presidential Election Truman’s popularity was low and critics didn’t think he could win the election. Southern Democrats didn’t like Truman’s support of civil rights. Truman set off on a whirlwind campaign across the country. Truman won the election. Truman put forward his Fair Deal program.
Building a Better World People had a strong desire to understand and prevent the causes of war after World Wars I and II. One result was the establishment of the United Nations (UN). 50 nations met in June 1945 to create the UN Charter. The Charter committed its members to respect fundamental human rights, respect treaties and agreements, and to promote the progress and freedom of all people. Member nations agreed to live in peace. The Charter called for the use of international organizations to promote economic and social advancement.
Trying to Build a Better World Human Rights The UN established the Commission on Human Rights was founded as one of its first efforts to fulfill its mission. It declared that all human beings are born free and equal. It called for an end to slavery, torture, and inhumane punishment. It demanded a variety of civil rights, including the right to assembly and the right to access the courts. It stated that elementary education should be free and available to all. Trade and Economic Development At a conference in New Hampshire, leaders agreed to create the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund. The World Bank provided loans and grants to countries for the purpose of reducing poverty. The International Monetary Fund promoted orderly financial relationships between countries. It was designed to prevent economic crises and to encourage trade and economic growth. Another international organization, the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade set rules and regulations for international trade.
Section 3 - The Second Red Scare The Main Idea The start of the Cold War and events at home helped trigger a second Red Scare in the late 1940s and early 1950s. Reading Focus Why was the fear of communism growing in the late 1940s? What methods and actions did the government use to fight the spread of communism at home? Who was Senator Joseph McCarthy, and what was his role in the second Red Scare?
The Growing Fear of Communism After the war Americans were worried about the spread of communism in Europe. World events, including the detonation of an atomic bomb by the Soviet Union, in the late summer and fall of 1949 caused the second Red Scare. Soon afterwards, the United States learned that Communists had gained nearly full control of China. The Nationalist government led by Chiang Kai-shek retreated from mainland China to the island of Taiwan. Chiang had been loyal to the Allies during World War II. Chiang Kai-shek and the United States claimed that the Nationalist government was the one true government of all China. Mao Zedong led the Chinese Communists. China became the People’s Republic of China.
Communism in the United States Anti-Communist feeling was strong in the United States. The House of Representatives had formed a House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC) in the 1930s. This committee was to investigate all radical groups. However, it soon came to focus on the threat of communism. In 1947 the committee wanted to investigate possible Communist influence in the entertainment industry. Ten writers and directors were called before the committee. They refused to answer questions about their beliefs or the beliefs of others. Known as the Hollywood Ten, these people were jailed for their refusal. After that, many people provided names of friends and colleagues to the committee. Those who refused were blacklisted. This meant their names were on a list and Hollywood employers would not hire anyone on the list. In 1948 President Truman used the Smith Act to convict some leaders of the Communist Party in the United States. They were convicted for their thoughts, not their actions.
Fighting Communism at Home Then Congress passed the McCarran Act over Truman’s veto. This act made it illegal for Communists and other radicals to enter the United States. Spy cases helped fuel the fear of communism. Alger Hiss was a government official accused of plotting to put Communists in the government. He served several years in prison. Ethel and Julius Rosenberg were convicted of spying and executed. The world events in the late summer and fall of 1949 caused the second Red Scare.
Joseph McCarthy and the Second Red Scare Joseph McCarthy was a senator from Wisconsin. He came to national attention by pretending to have lists of Communists in the government. Americans believed him even though he never showed the lists because he offered an explanation of world events that made Americans nervous. McCarthy attacked many people as Communists without evidence. He used fake photographs to defeat one of Truman’s strongest supporters. His tactic of spreading fear and making baseless charges was called McCarthyism. McCarthyism spread to government, universities, labor unions, and private businesses. People could lose their jobs simply for having radical ideas. Thousands of people were fired for political reasons After hearing McCarthy’s speech in 1950, Harry S Truman stated, “I think the greatest asset the Kremlin has is Senator McCarthy”.
McCarthy’s Fall McCarthy continued his campaign from the Senate but became increasingly wild in his accusations. In 1952 he began to go after fellow Republicans. In 1954 he attacked the U.S. Army, claiming that it was protecting Communists. The public came to view McCarthy’s tactics as unfair. The fear of communism remained, but Senator McCarthy and McCarthyism faded away.
Section 4 – The Korean War The Main Idea Cold War tensions finally erupted in a shooting war in 1950. The United States confronted a difficult challenge defending freedom halfway around the world. Reading Focus What was the situation in Korea before the war began in 1950? What were the circumstances that led to the start of the Korean War? What were the key battles of the Korean War? How did the fighting in the Korean War end?
Korea before the War Japan controlled the Korean peninsula until WorldWar II ended. Prior to the Korean War, both the North and the South were occupied by Allied troops. The Allies agreed that Korea should be free after the war. Temporarily, however, they divided the peninsula in half. The division was made at the 38th parallel. This was the line at 38° north latitude. The Soviet Union would control Korea north of that line. The Americans would have control south of it. Communist Kim Il Sung was the first leader of North Korea and wanted to reunify Korea under Communist control. South Korea’s president, Syngman Rhee, had dictatorial control. Both leaders wanted to reunite Korea, but they had different ideas about how to do it. Efforts toward reunification led to war.
The Start of the Korean War On June 25, 1950, North Korean troops invaded South Korea. They were armed with Soviet weapons and tanks. The attack surprised most leaders in the United States. Truman believed that South Korea had to be defended. The United States had to take a stand against Communist aggression. Not to do so might lead to another world war. The North Koreans quickly pushed to the capital city of Seoul and took it. Truman asked the UN to approve the use of force. The UN Security Council agreed because the Soviet representative was absent. Instead of officially declaring war, the fighting was called a police action. The United States and 15 other nations sent ground troops to fight. The commander of the United Nations force was American General Douglas MacArthur.
BATTLES OF THE KOREAN WAR The North Koreans pushed the UN forces to the southern tip of South Korea. UN forces were told to hold the port city of Pusan at all costs. They held the city and the Communist attack became stalled. This gave time for more UN troops and supplies to arrive. MacArthur’s plan was to land behind North Korean lines at the port city of Inchon. His daring plan was successful. The UN forces quickly moved out from Inchon to recapture Seoul. The UN forces drove the North Koreans out of South Korea. MacArthur wanted to take North Korea. However, a large Chinese army came into North Korea. The UN forces had to retreat. MacArthur thought that the UN had to attack China and possibly use atomic bombs. But he was wrong. A force led by Lieutenant General Matthew Ridgway stopped the Chinese and pushed them back to the 38th parallel. MacArthur still demanded an invasion of China. Truman had to fire MacArthur because he would not obey presidential orders and made public statements challenging the authority of the president.
Fighting Ends in Korea Negotiating for Peace In July 1951 peace talks began. One major obstacle was the location of the boundary between the Koreas. The staggering number of casualties in the final two months of the Korean War showed that both sides were willing to lose many soldiers to gain a small amount of territory. In October 1951 peace talks stalled over prisoners of war. Negotiators in Panmunjom continued to argue over the details of a peace agreement throughout 1952. Events of 1953 In 1952 Dwight D. Eisenhower—who promised to end the war—was elected president. Fighting remained deadly—in the final two months of the war, UN forces lost 57,000 men and the Communists lost 100,000. An armistice agreement was finally reached on July 27, 1953. The Korean War left the map of Korea looking much as it had in 1950. The human costs were huge.