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Mr. Ermer U.S. History Miami Beach Senior High Post War America.

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Presentation on theme: "Mr. Ermer U.S. History Miami Beach Senior High Post War America."— Presentation transcript:

1 Mr. Ermer U.S. History Miami Beach Senior High Post War America

2 The Post War Economy Atomic bomb ends World War II months before expected Many people expected war’s end to bring a return to the Depression economy Many wartime contracts cancelled after Japan’s surrender, but consumer spending rises Consumer goods unavailable during war, now people who saved wages ready to buy Consumer demand drives up inflation, prices rise 14-15% annually in postwar years Servicemen’s Readjustment Act of 1944 (G.I. Bill) Provided economic and educational assistance to returning WWII veterans Helps reinvigorate the economy, pushes many women and minorities from wartime jobs 1946: Truman vetoes extension of Office of Price Administration, concerned over amendments added on by Congress Inflation soars to 25%, Truman signs a very similar OPA Bill into law Labor unrest contributes to slow economy, Truman acts as “broker” in disputes Truman forces striking workers back to work while also pushing for union demands

3 1945-1952: The Truman Years 1945: Truman proposes “Fair Deal” social reform program to Congress Expansion of Social Security, raise minimum wage from 40 to 65 cents/hr, federal spending and investments toward full employment, Fair Employment Practices Act, public housing and slum clearance, long-range environmental and infrastructure planning, government support of research, funding the St. Lawrence Seaway, nationalization of atomic energy, universal health insurance Fair Deal ideas rejected by the majority Republican Congress Labor Management Relations Act of 1947 (Taft-Hartley Act) Forbids creation of “closed shops” and allows states to pass “right to work” laws Vetoed by Truman, but the veto is overridden by Congress the same day Election of 1948 Southern Democrats (Dixiecrats) split with Truman over Civil Rights, support Thurmond Progressives split to support Wallace over Truman’s “weakness” and rift with Soviets Truman beats Dewey and Thurman in improbable, come-from-behind victory Congress supports many Fair Deal initiatives after the election, stymies others Truman pushes more civil rights issues through executive orders and courts

4 1948: Truman Reelected

5 The Korean War (1950-1953) USA & USSR occupy Korea during WWII to expel Japanese After war, US controlled the South, USSR controlled the North Each superpower establishes a friendly government in their half of Korea Soviets leave North Korean in 1949 with a strong, Soviet supplied army USA leaves South Korea with a weak, anti-communist dictatorship of Syngman Rhee Rhee uses his small army to suppress South Korean dissidents 1950: North Korea invades South Korea with Soviet support Soviet Union boycotting the UN Security Council over Chinese recognition US gets United Nations support for South Korea, Soviets not there to veto US, under Gen. MacArthur, enters South Korea for its “liberation” US invades at Inchon, pushing North Koreans back across 38 th Parallel MacArthur pursues communists into North Korea, China intervenes MacArthur wants to attack China, Truman does not MacArthur expresses his displeasure with Truman in the media, Truman fires him Negotiations to end the war begin in 1951, ceasefire called in 1953


7 Limited Mobilization Truman responds to railroad and steel mill strikes by ordering the army to take control until strikes end Unions ultimately get many of their demands Office of Defense Mobilization regulates prices, inflation, wages Korean War boosts economy by creating new government spending Stalemate in the war convinces Americans that something was wrong Many suspect Communist subversion/spying

8 The New Red Scare & McCarthyism House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC) Targets Hollywood writers and producers as potential communists “Hollywood Ten” refuse to testify and are jailed Whittaker Chambers accuses Alger Hiss of spying for Soviets Hiss was a State Dept. diplomat under Truman, liberal democrat Rep. Richard M. Nixon pursues case, Hiss convicted of perjury Truman creates federal employee loyalty program, many fired Rosenbergs convicted of spying for the Soviets All of these cases, and the vast media coverage, creates anti-communist hysteria, paranoia of communist subversion Sen. Joseph McCarthy of Wisconsin takes advantage of hysteria to rise 1950: McCarthy declares to know identity of 205 communists in State Dept. McCarthy calls many government workers to testify, never produces evidence McCarthy eventually runs afoul of other senators, Senate passes vote of censure “Have you no sense of decency?”~army lawyer J. Welch to Sen. McCarthy


10 Election of 1952 Democrats nominate Gov. Adlai Stevenson of Illinois Republicans accuse him of weakness toward communist threat Republicans nominate Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower Hero of WWII, Commander of NATO, president of Columbia Univ. Appealed to the electorate with geniality, military record Nominates Sen. Richard M. Nixon as running mate Appealed to the anti-communist hysteria of the time, attacked democrats as soft Eisenhower wins election in a landslide, ending two decades of Democratic government Ends much of the unrest of the early Cold War



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