Post WWII America 12 million men and women returned home after the war Servicemen Readjustment Act of 1944 (GI Bill ) Money for veterans to attend college Loans for homes, farms or businesses Help finding jobs One year of unemployment benefits
Post WWII America After the War, rationing of consumer goods ended Huge increase in demand for consumer goods After the war, many Americans began having families Baby Boom - dramatic rise in the birthrate Increased demand further
Post WWII America After the war, unions sought to increase wages Starting in 1946, the number of strikes rose sharply Congress passed the Taft-Hartley Act -Reduced the power of unions -Gave president power to stop strikes when national interest at stake
Post WWII America Executive Order 9981 President Truman ended segregation of the military
Building a Better World World Bank (1944) Organization for providing loans and advice to countries for the purpose of reducing poverty International Monetary Fund (1944) System for promoting financial relationships between countries Designed to prevent economic crisis, & encourage growth
Building a Better World United Nations (1945) Organization which member nations agree to settle disputes peacefully Replaced the League of Nations General Agreement of Tariffs and Trade (1946) Agreement on rules and regulations for international trade Focused on reducing tariffs & other trade barriers
Building a Better World Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1948) Basic list of human rights for all member nations of the UN
The Second Red Scare August 1949, Soviet Union detonates an atomic bomb -Ended American monopoly on nuclear weapons August 1949, Communist victorious in Chinese Civil War
Population 1950 NATO MembersCommunist Nations U.S. & Canada 171,550,000 Soviet Union 180,980,000 Western Europe 173,882,000 Eastern Europe 106,055,000 China 554,760,000 Total 345,432,000 Total 841,795,000
Fear of Communism House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC) Goal to investigate radical groups in the U.S. In 1947, began investigation to explore influence of Communist in film industry
Fear of Communism House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC) Called Hollywood writers and directors to testify before committee Hollywood Ten - found guilty of contempt of Congress, sentenced to 1 year in jail People in Hollywood began to supply list of possible communist to HUAC Others refused to provide names Blacklist- a list from which major Hollywood studies refused to hire Ruined the careers of hundreds
Fear of Communism Atomic Energy Commission accused Atomic bomb scientist Robert Oppenheimer of having Communist sympathies Stripped of top-secret security clearance
Fear of Communism Smith Act (1940) made it a crime to call for an overthrow of the American government Truman used this law to arrest leaders of the Communist party
Fear of Communism McCarran Act (1950) required communist organizations to register with the government Established board to investigate these organizations Made it illegal to plan for creation of totalitarian dictatorship in the U.S. Prevented Communist from entering the U.S.
Spy Cases Alger Hiss 1948 Former government official Accused of being a Soviet spy Testified before HUAC, denied the charges Convicted of perjury, lying under oath Soviet documents later confirmed his guilt
Spy Cases Klaus Fuchs 1950 Nuclear physicist, worked on Manhattan Project Transmitted information about bomb to Soviet Union Sentenced to 14 years in prison, served 9
Spy Cases Ethel and Julius Rosenberg 1951 Accused of passing military secrets to Soviets Refused to answer questions about political activities Convicted to conspiracy to commit espionage Received death sentence and executed in 1953 First U.S. Civilians to be executed for espionage
Read: McCarthy Speech Answer Questions 1-3 on a separate sheet of paper.
Warm Up: Why were Americans afraid of Communist in early 1950’s?
McCarthyism Feb. 1950 Senator Joseph McCarthy claimed there were 205 known communist working for the Dept. of State Claimed to have list containing 57 of those names
McCarthyism Hunt for Communist spread Senate hearings were televised -creating widespread fear and paranoia FBI and private investigators produced list of people with “questionable” political views People who refused to cooperate were blacklisted -Thousands fired for political reasons