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Today, I will learn Today, I will learn – How American society reflected the fears of the nuclear age. I will learn it by I will learn it by – Listening.

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Presentation on theme: "Today, I will learn Today, I will learn – How American society reflected the fears of the nuclear age. I will learn it by I will learn it by – Listening."— Presentation transcript:

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5 Today, I will learn Today, I will learn – How American society reflected the fears of the nuclear age. I will learn it by I will learn it by – Listening to lecture and taking Cornell Notes I have learned it when I can I have learned it when I can – Write a brief essay describing life after leaving a bomb shelter following a nuclear attack by Russia or China.

6 Essential Question How were Cold War tensions intensified? How were Cold War tensions intensified?

7 Communism and the atom bomb dominated life for Americans and their leaders in the 1950s. Communism and the atom bomb dominated life for Americans and their leaders in the 1950s. Soviet Bomb

8 September 1949, Pres. Truman announced that, “We have evidence that within recent weeks an atomic explosion occurred in the USSR.” September 1949, Pres. Truman announced that, “We have evidence that within recent weeks an atomic explosion occurred in the USSR.” Soviet’s create their first atomic bomb. Soviet’s create their first atomic bomb.

9 Soviet Bomb Successful Soviet development of a nuclear bomb created widespread fear of a “sneak” attack by the Soviets. Successful Soviet development of a nuclear bomb created widespread fear of a “sneak” attack by the Soviets. The Civil Defense Administration (CDA) was set up to oversee warning, evacuation, and communications systems. The Civil Defense Administration (CDA) was set up to oversee warning, evacuation, and communications systems. Thousands of Americans built backyard bomb shelters, while schoolchildren learned to “duck and cover.” Thousands of Americans built backyard bomb shelters, while schoolchildren learned to “duck and cover.” “duck and cover.” “duck and cover.”

10 Fear of nuclear attack forced Americans to prepare for a surprise attack. Fear of nuclear attack forced Americans to prepare for a surprise attack. – Some families built fallout shelters in their backyards. fallout shelters fallout shelters – For every person killed instantly from a nuclear blast, four more would die later from fallout. Soviet Bomb

11 The U.S. reestablished itself as the world’s leading nuclear power with the detonation of a hydrogen, or thermonuclear, bomb in November The U.S. reestablished itself as the world’s leading nuclear power with the detonation of a hydrogen, or thermonuclear, bomb in November 1952.

12 Cold War at Home At the height of WWII, about 80,000 Americans claimed membership in the Communist Party. Some feared that the first loyalty of these American Communists was to the Soviet Union. Overall, Americans feared communist ideology, a world revolution and Soviet expansion. Anti-Soviet Cartoon

13 Cold War at Home In March of 1947, President Truman set up the Loyalty Review Board The board was created to investigate federal employees and dismiss those disloyal to the U.S. The U.S. Attorney General also drew up a list of 91 “subversive” organizations – membership in any of these was ground for suspicion

14 House Un-American Activities Committee The HUAC was a government body which first made headlines in 1947 when it began investigating communist influence in the movie industry The committee believed that Communists were sneaking propaganda into films The HUAC subpoenaed witnesses from Hollywood to discuss their involvement “Are you now or have you ever been....”

15 Ten witnesses refused to cooperate because they believed the proceedings were unconstitutional – they were jailed Subsequently, the committee blacklisted 500 actors, directors, writers and producers whom they believed had communist connections “Hollywood Ten” (And two lawyers) Hollywood Ten

16 Spies in America Two spy cases added to the fear gripping the nation Alger Hiss was accused of being a spy for the Soviets A young Republican congressman named Richard Nixon gained fame by tirelessly prosecuting Hiss Hiss was found guilty and jailed – less than four years later Nixon was VP Nixon inspects examines microfilm Hiss case Alger Hiss

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18 Spies in America The Rosenberg spy case The Rosenbergs were accused of providing information to Soviets which enabled them to produce an atomic bomb in 1949 Ethel and Julius Rosenberg were found guilty and executed 1953 The Rosenbergs were the first U.S. citizens executed for espionage

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20 McCarthyism McCarthyism – term coined by political cartoonist Herbert Block in a 1950s cartoon in reference to Senator Joseph McCarthy (R, Wisconsin, )

21 McCarthyism The most famous anti- Communist activist was Senator Joseph McCarthy. In 1950, McCarthy announced made unsupported claims that 205 members of the State Department were Communists. He worked to identify known communists and accused other based on association.

22 McCarthy chaired the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations Finally, in 1954 McCarthy went too far, accusing high ranking Army officers of being Communists. In the televised proceedings McCarthy’s bullying of witnesses alienated the national audience. Three years later he died of alcoholism at age 49. McCarthyism

23 Anti- Communist propaganda during McCarthy era

24 Project Venona Project Venona – Secret join project between the intelligence agencies of the United States and the United Kingdom. – In 1946, cryptographers cracked the Soviet spy code, allowing them to read messages between Moscow and the Soviet Embassy. – Did not become public knowledge until – It provide strong evidence against the Rosenbergs. Project Venona

25 Why did the hunt for Communist spies increase with the Soviet Union’s production of the atomic bomb? Why did the hunt for Communist spies increase with the Soviet Union’s production of the atomic bomb? – Many believed that the Soviet Union could not have produced the atomic bomb without help. – The belief was that American Communists must have sold secrets of the atomic bomb to the Soviets. Discussion Question

26 Images of the Cold War appeared in films and popular fiction. Images of the Cold War appeared in films and popular fiction. Along with these fears, the country enjoyed postwar prosperity and optimism. Along with these fears, the country enjoyed postwar prosperity and optimism. Images of the Cold War

27 Ah, the Fifties. A time of innocence (no swearing in movies, but everybody smoked!), yet also a time of conformity, the height of the Cold War, an inherent distrust of intellectuals, fear of nuclear annihilation and Communism! What’s not to like? – 1950 When Worlds Collide The Day the Earth Stood Still The Thing – 1951 The War of the Worlds – 1954 Them! – 1955 This Island Earth – 1956 Forbidden Planet Invasion of the Body Snatchers – 1957 The Incredible Shrinking Man – 1959 On the Beach Images of the Cold War

28 What two events heightened American concerns about the Cold War? What two events heightened American concerns about the Cold War? – Soviet Union successful test of an atomic bomb. – Communist forces taking control of China. Discussion Question


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