Essential Question: How and why did America aid European nations after WWII?
***During WWII, the United States, the Soviet Union and Great Britain worked out plans for the organization of the postwar world.***
The three most powerful men in the world met in Yalta to discuss the fate of the postwar world. President Roosevelt hoped to promote his vision of postwar cooperation. Prime Minister Churchill spoke elegantly and forcefully. Soviet leader Stalin stubbornly opposed much of what was proposed. Stalin stated to his aides: “they want to force us to accept their plans on questions affection Europe and the world. Well, that’s not going to happen!” As the Allies discovered, Stalin had his own plans. quoted in Memoirs by Andrei Gromyko
Soviet efforts to spread communism led to tension with the United States who wanted to contain communism “Iron Curtain” – Winston Churchill’s description of the division between communist Eastern Europe and democratic Western Europe Truman Doctrine: pledged that US would fight the spread of communism world wide Marshall Plan: US would give massive economic aid to western European countries to weaken the appeal of communism
WWII peace agreement divided Germany into four occupation zones Soviet Union controlled eastern parts United States controlled western part Truman believed a united Germany was important to the future of Europe Stalin believed a united Germany was a threat to the Soviet Union
1948 – To keep out the US, Britain and France, Stalin’s troops blockaded Berlin, Germany Cut off supplies from 2.2 million people Berlin Airlift: American and British planes flew food and supplies into Berlin Stalin ended the blockade but Germany remained divided
Berlin Crisis showed that the U.S. and Soviets were locked in a cold war Each side built up military forces to intimidate each other Communist forces under Mao Zedong ruled mainland China Soviet Union now had a very powerful ally
The Cold War heightened Americans’ fears about communism within American society 1947 – Truman ordered an investigation of the loyalty of all federal employees Blacklisted film stars suspected of disloyalty Suspected spies in the U.S. were prosecuted McCarthyism: Senator Joseph McCarthy used unproved charges to discredit people – even highly respected government officials
Was the Berlin Airlift successful? Why or why not? Answer the Essential Question: How and why did America aid European nations after WWII?
Essential Question: What economic, social and political challenges did Americans face after WWII?
After WWII, the U.S. had to adjust its economy to peace time life Industries shift to producing consumer goods Returning soldiers needed jobs Huge increase in demand for consumer goods led to inflation Labor strikes broke out because prices rose faster than wages
President Truman and Republican controlled Congress disagreed over how to solve the nation’s economic problems Truman and the Fair Deal: Wanted to increase government spending to provide jobs and aid Republicans wanted to cut government spending and limit the rights of workers to strike Republicans won by overturning presidential vetoes
Truman staged an upset mostly winning support from workers, African Americans and farmers Democrats grew in popularity Truman’s Fair Deal Raised minimum wage and social security benefits Provided funds for housing for low-income families Pushed for civil rights reforms Ordered an end to job discrimination among federal agencies Ordered desegregation of the armed forces
What economic, social and political challenges did Americans face after WWII?
Essential Question: How and why did America involve itself in the Korean conflict of the 1950s”
After WWII, the Soviet Union and U.S. divided Korea Soviet Union set up communist government in North Korea U.S. set up American backed government in South Korea 1950 – North Korean troops gained control of most of South Korea
U.S. under the United Nations flag and under command of General Douglas MacArthur took back South Korea and moved into North Korea Chinese communists saw this as a threat and drove U.S. forces back to South Korea
Truman Wanted to negotiate an end to the fighting Wanted to avoid larger war w/ Chinese Removed General MacArthur of his command in 1951 MacArthur Wanted to drop atomic bombs on Chinese bases to end war quickly Publically criticized President Truman “we must win, there is no substitute for victory”
Cease fire agreement signed in 1953 (Eisenhower) War ended with no victory and almost no change in territory More than 36,000 Americans died More than 103,000 Americans wounded Almost 2 million Koreans and Chinese killed U.S. showed the Soviets that it was willing to use force to block the spread of communism
How and why did America involve itself in the Korean conflict of the 1950s?
Essential Question: How did the American prosperity of the 1950s affect the country’s economy and culture?
Election of 1952 (Republican) Wanted to make government “smaller rather than bigger” However, supported some federally funded projects like more than 40,000 miles of highways that united the country
Nuclear arms race between U.S. and Soviets Built more and more atomic warheads and guided missiles that could destroy the other side many times over Several conflicts in the Middle East tested the resolve of both sides to avoid war 1955 – Eisenhower and Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev met in Geneva, Switzerland to make peace
1950s economy grew rapidly Americans earned higher wages and bought more consumer goods than ever before Dishwashers, washing machines, tv’s, cars, hula hoops, poodle skirts and pizza Baby boom
Television Main form of entertainment Source for news and information Rock ‘n’ roll Differing attitudes toward music and other forms of entertainment between older and younger generations (generation gap)
Many Americans did not share in the prosperity of the 1950s New expensive technology hurt small farmers More middle class families moving to suburbs leaves urban poor behind Minority groups faced discrimination in housing, employment and education
Many condemned American materialism Many condemned prosperous Americans who ignored the urban and rural poor With society changing, women and African Americans questioned their roles as 2 nd class citizens even more so than before
What does it mean to say that America was a consumer society in the 1950s? Answer the Essential Question: How did the America prosperity of the 1950s affect the country’s economy and culture?