Chapter Focus Questions What were the prospects for world peace at the end of World War II? What was the diplomatic policy during the Cold War? What characterized the Truman presidency? What led to anti-communism and McCarthyism? What characterized cold war culture and society? What were the causes, battles, and results of the Korean War?
Part Two: University of Washington, Seattle: Students and Faculty Face the Cold War
University of Washington, Seattle Melvin Rader was falsely accused of being a communist conspirator. During the cold war era, the federal government was providing substantial support for higher education through the G.I. Bill. The student population at the University of Washington grew rapidly and a strong sense of community among the students grew, led by older, former soldiers. The cold war put a damper on this community. Wild charges of communist subversion led several states to require state employees to take loyalty oaths. In this repressed atmosphere, faculty members were dismissed, students dropped out of school, and the free speech was restrained on the campuses.
The Truman Doctrine FDR favored diplomacy Truman committed to a get-tough policy. Turkey and Greece civil wars: US afraid of coup provided $400 million. The Truman Doctrine—contain communism.
The Marshall Plan and the Berlin Crisis The Marshall Plan provided $13 billion to rebuild Europe. Plan revitalized European capitalist economy Wedge between the West and Soviet Union. Gap widened when western zones of Germany merged. Soviets cut off land access to West Berlin Berlin airlift.
NATO and Atomic Diplomacy NATO Warsaw Pact. The East/West split seemed permanent. Containing communism: stop its expansion by military means. Soviets developed nuclear weapons, both sides amassed lethal stockpiles. U.S. and Soviets had no plan to control them Both had stockpiles.
“To Err is Truman” Truman presidency: Americans tired of war-time sacrifices. Inability to bring troops home quickly Rationing. Inflation spread strikes paralyzed nation. Congress blocked plans for re-conversion. 1946, Republicans gained control of Congress New Deal undone. Taft-Hartley bill curtailed labor power.
The 1948 Election 1948 election: liberal community divided. Liberals feuded with Truman over: New Deal extension extent of the Soviet threat. Henry Wallace challenged Truman Truman repositioned himself to the left warned voters of Republicans’: “an economic colony of Wall Street.” Congress defeated liberal economic package.
The 1948 Election The Democrats split civil rights issues segregationists ran Strom Thurmond for president.
MAP 26.2 The Election of l948 An initially unpopular candidate, Harry Truman made a whistle-stop tour of the country by train to win 49.5 percent of the popular vote to Dewey’s 45.1 percent.
Truman’s Victory Map: The Election of 1948 Truman held on to the New Deal coalition Won re-election.
The Fair Deal 1949, Truman proposed the Fair Deal. Public housing Minimum wage Social Security increases Little else Truman helped define cold war liberalism. as promoting economic growth through expanded foreign trade and federal expenditures, chiefly defense.
The Fair Deal Truman helped define cold war liberalism. Promoted economic growth Expanded foreign trade Defense spending.
The National Security Act of 1947 A climate of fear. Massive reordering of governmental power. National Security Act of 1947 Defense Department became a huge. National Science Foundation. CIA fed off the fear of communism.
The Loyalty-Security Program Truman promoted a loyalty program. List of subversive organizations. Many groups disbanded. Previous membership in them destroyed careers. Wide range of restrictions passed Congress.
The Red Scare in Hollywood The House Un-American Activities Committee and Hollywood. A parade of friendly witnesses denounced communists. Many people gave names. A few witnesses attacked HUAC. Handful went to prison for contempt of Congress.
Spy Cases Alger Hiss accused of being a communist spy. Richard Nixon pursued charges. Hiss went to jail for perjury. Julius and Ethel Rosenberg executed despite protests.
McCarthyism McCarthy alleged 200 communists worked at State Department. Lack of evidence did not stop him. He played into fears that communism was a demonic force. McCarthyism attacked Jews, blacks, women’s organizations, and homosexuals. Effective use of the media made McCarthyism seem credible. McCarthy’s went on national TV and appeared deranged. Made wild charges of communist infiltration of the Army.
An Anxious Mood After World War II, millions achieved middle-class status. Anxiety over nuclear war and economic depression. Movies, plays reflected cold war anxieties. Alienation Anti-communism.
FIGURE 26.2 U.S. Birth Rate, 1930–80 The bulge of the “baby boom,” a leading demographic factor in the postwar economy, stands out for this fifty-year period. SOURCE:National Archives and Records Administration.
The Family as Bulwark Media: U. S. Birth rate, 1930–1960 Move to the suburbs. High levels of consumption Rush toward marriage, parenthood illustrated these fears. Baby boom and high consumer spending changed middle-class family.
Income and Consumer Spending Growing number of married, middle-class women sought employment.
The Family Commentators bemoaned destruction of traditional family. They linked this to threat of communism. Experts bemoaned women in workplace. Trend was evident in declining numbers of female graduates.
Military-Industrial Communities in the West The cold war impacted the West. New military-industrial communities arose Federal spending. Burgeoning population, new highway systems. Housing sprawl. Traffic congestion. Air pollution. Strains on local water supplies.
Zeal for Democracy Patriotism continued after the return of peace. American Way became a popular theme.. Voices of protest had little impact.
The “Loss” of China In Asia, American foreign policy yielded mixed results. US achieved its greatest Asian success in Japan. In China, Mao Zedong’s communist revolution. Overthrew corrupt, pro-American regime of Jiang Jeishi. Truman administration was saddled with the
MAP 26.3 The Korean War The intensity of battles underscored the strategic importance of Korea in the cold war.
The Geography of the Korean War Map: The Korean War
The Korean War North Koreans attempted forced reunification of the peninsula. Truman called it an act of Soviet aggression. Smarting from McCarthyite attacks, Truman felt compelled to act. With Soviets boycotting the U.N., Security Council authorized troops. American forces, commanded by Douglas MacArthur, pushed North Koreans back. Chinese troops pushed U.N. forces back. Costly stalemate settled in.
The Price of National Security Truman bypassed Congress Truman said authority came from NSC-68. consolidated decision making advocated a massive buildup of military power Korea devastated. Greatly expanded the containment principle far beyond Europe. Stalemate left many Americans disillusioned.
“I like Ike”:The Election of 1952 Korean War also effectively ruined Truman’s presidency. Democrats turned to Adlai Stevenson. Dwight Eisenhower was the Republican candidate. Ran a moderate campaign short on specifics. Richard Nixon, waged a relentless attack on Stevenson. Eisenhower effectively used the peace issue for Korea. Republicans won control of the White House and Congress.
FIGURE 26.1 Number of Employees in Executive Branch, 1901–95 The federal bureaucracy, which reached a peak of nearly 4 million people during World War II, remained at unprecedentedly high levels during the cold war. SOURCE:U.S.Bureau of the Census,Historical Statistics of the United States,Colonial Times through 1970;Statistical Abstract of the United States,1997.
Appointed to the UN delegation by President Harry Truman in 1946, Eleanor Roosevelt (1884–1962) pressured the organization to adopt the Declaration of Human Rights in 1948. In this photograph, taken in 1946, the former First Lady is exchanging ideas with Warren Austin, also a delegate to the United Nations. SOURCE:UPI/CORBIS –Bettmann.
Located deep within communist East Germany, West Berlin was suddenly cut off from the West when Josef Stalin blockaded all surface traffic in an attempt to take over the warn-torn city. Between June 1948 and May 1949, British and U.S. pilots made 272,000 flights, dropping food and fuel to civilians. The Berlin Airlift successfully foiled the blockade, and the Soviet Union reopened access on May 12, 1949. SOURCE:The Granger Collection,New York.
Police and strikers confront each other in Los Angeles during one of many postwar strikes in 1946. Employers wanted to cut wages, and workers refused to give up the higher living standard achieved during the war. SOURCE:AP/Wide World Photos.
The Election of l948 Harry Truman holds up a copy of the Chicago Tribune with headlines confidently and mistakenly predicting the victory of his opponent, Thomas E. Dewey. An initially unpopular candidate, Truman made a whistle-stop tour of the country by train to win 49.5 percent of the popular vote to Dewey’s 45.1 percent. SOURCE:UPI/CORBIS.
Published in 1947, this full-color comic book appeared as one of many sensationalistic illustrations of the threat of the “commie menace” to Americans at home. Approximately 4 million copies of Is This Tomorrow? were printed, the majority distributed to church groups or sold for ten cents a copy. SOURCE:Is this Tomorrow —America under Communism!Michael Barson (ID #002).
The tables turned on Senator Joseph McCarthy (1908–57) after he instigated an investigation of the U.S. Army for harboring communists. A special congressional committee then investigated McCarthy for attempting to make the Army grant special privileges to his staff aide, Private David Schine. During the televised hearings, Senator McCarthy discredited himself. In December 1954, the Senate voted to censure him, thus robbing him of his power. He died three years later. SOURCE:Photo by Hank Walker/Time Life Pictures/Getty 50393166.
Edward Hopper (1882–1967) was the most well-known realist painter in the United States at mid-century. Many of his paintings portray the starkness and often the loneliness of American life, his cityscapes depicting empty streets or all-night restaurants where the few patrons sat at a distance from each other. This painting, owned by the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, expresses the mood of alienation associated with cold war culture. SOURCE:Office in a Small City,1953,by Edward Hopper,The Granger Collection,New York.
This photograph, taken in 1955, presents an ideal image of domestic life for American women during the cold war. This young mother sits with her three small children in a well- equipped kitchen that depicts the high standard of living that symbolized the “America way of life.” SOURCE:Images/Hulton Archive Getty.
By midcentury, General Douglas MacArthur (1880–1964) had earned a reputation as one of the most flamboyant and controversial Americans. This photograph, taken in September 1950, shows him during his finest hour as commander of the UN troops during the Korean war. He is observing the shelling of enemy forces shortly before he led a brilliant and successful amphibious landing at the Inchon peninsula. Nearly 1.8 million Americans served in Korea. SOURCE:Corbis.
Richard Nixon used the new medium of television to convince American voters that he had not established an illegal slush fund in his campaign for the vice presidency in 1952. Viewers responded enthusiastically to his melodramatic delivery and swamped the Republican campaign headquarters with telegrams endorsing his candidacy. SOURCE:Checkers speech,September 24,1952.AP/Wide World Photos.