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Lesson 2: The 1950’s The Eisenhower Administration 1953-1961 Politics of Anticommunism.

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Presentation on theme: "Lesson 2: The 1950’s The Eisenhower Administration 1953-1961 Politics of Anticommunism."— Presentation transcript:

1 Lesson 2: The 1950’s The Eisenhower Administration 1953-1961 Politics of Anticommunism

2 I. Introduction Modern Republicanism Dynamic/Progressive Conservatism: responding to Americans’ desire for stability Low-key, pragmatic non- ideological style of leadership

3 II. Eisenhower’s Dynamic Conservatism Believing that traditional American values encompassed change and progress – Department of health – Department of Education and Social Welfare – Interstate highway system: 41,000 miles of new highways (largest public works project in American history)

4 A. Interstate Highway System Eisenhower’s Interstate Highway Act of 1956: Connecting major American cities… Financed entirely by increased gasoline taxes (cost more than the New Deal from 1933-1941!!) Justified vis à vis conservative constituents as needed escape routes in case of atomic bomb Impact # 1 Lots and Lots of jobs… Easier to vacation… Road trips… Disneyworld… Makes suburbs practical



7 Impact # 2 Migrating to the Sunbelt Sunbelt States: states in the south and west During the 1950 ’ s Americans began to flock to these states Air Conditioning Lots of Jobs in South Oil, Space, and Defense Industries Permanent War Economy Aerospace, plastics, and electronics High tech innovations result from military spending Passenger jets & Computers Major shift in political power

8 B. St Lawrence Seaway Revolutionized the American transportation system Opened the Great Lakes to ocean traffic Financed through selling of bonds by the U.S. Canadian Seaway Development Corporation

9 C. The Middle Road Balance the Budget Lower Taxes End farm supports Keep Social Legislation End wage and price controls Federal Aid to Education Federal Support of Desegregation Rulings

10 Declining religious sentiment Sexual freedom Civil Rights NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored Peoples) Brown v Board of Education 1954 +COMMUNISTS!!! Conservatives under Ike concerned with:

11 III. Cold War Paranoia and the 2 nd Red Scare Civil Defense Poster

12 People prepared by building bomb shelters in their homes 1. Bomb Shelters built A. Fear of the Russians dropping the Atomic Bomb

13 Duck and Cover Drills 2. Duck and Cover Drills in Schools: By-Product of Hysteria

14 3. Media hype feeding paranoia

15 B. Fear of not Keeping up with the Russians Space Race 1957 Sputnik NASA National Defense and Education Act ( spending on math and science)

16 C. Anti-communism legislation Already Present under Truman National Security Act 1947 – Established the Department of Defense – Created the CIA McCarran Internal Security Act 1950 Passed over Truman’s Veto Communist organizations must register with the government Loyalty Program Truman issued an executive order for federal employees to take a loyalty oath

17 D. HUAC (House Un-American Activities Committee) Hollywood Ten: refused to answer questions (5 th Amendment) Blacklisted went after Hollywood writers and directors who were suspected of being Communists Richard Nixon led the investigations

18 Works for U.S. State Department Instrumental in setting up the U.N. Convicted 5 years for perjury (not treason) Denounced by a former communist party member 1. Alger Hiss Trial (1950)

19 2. Julius and Ethel Rosenberg (1951) Convicted of giving atomic secrets to the Soviets Convicted of Treason and Executed!!! Guilt not proved until the 1990’s Video: Alger Hiss and the Rosenbergs Video: Killed for Believing in Communism

20 3. McCarthyism Junior Senator from Wisconsin claimed to have a list of Communists in the gov’t Went after people he suspected of being Communist Made America even more paranoid When accused the US Army, lost his credibility Eisenhower and others stayed out of his way Video: Better Dead than Red

21 -June 1949- What is the Washington Post cartoonist portraying in his drawing?

22 Conclusion A. 1950’s Economic Boom and Prosperity – G.I. Bill enabled millions of vets to attend college, start businesses, buy homes – Election of 1952: Ended first phase of post-war era, ending period of Democratic Presidents in office (FDR, Truman)

23 Conclusion B. Eisenhower Legacy – Middle of the road course, pleasing neither right- wingers nor liberals – Accused by liberals: failure to denounce McCarthy and racism conservatives: not repealing fair and new deals (Republicans in Congress blocked Health Care bill (=socialism)

24 Conclusion – Left office warning countrymen of the growing influence of military-industrial complex over US society – Anti-communism rhetoric silenced dissenters and weakened democratic liberalism Video: Happy Daze 0 – 21’20

25 Homework Reading – Why we fight Post-WWII (1 page) – McCarthyism Reading (2 pages) – Eisenhower Reading

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