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Fair Deal and Containment: 1945-1949

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Jarod Roll

on 7 December 2017

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Transcript of Fair Deal and Containment: 1945-1949

Prosperity and Anxiety: 1945-1957

HIS 106
Dr. Roll
United Nations, founded in San Francisco, June 1945
--US Senate ratifies US membership later that year; lesson of failure of Treaty of Versailles looms large
US membership key, because:
--US now center of global capitalist economy and economic policy
--International Monetary Fund, 1944
--World Bank, 1945
--Marshall Plan, 1948
--US dollar becomes global currency
Soviets, weakened, feel threatened by US dominance:
--pressure in eastern Europe, to tighten control
--Turkey and Greece
--British can't afford to keep supporting resistance
Containment Policy and the birth of the Cold War:
--stop 'babying Russians'
--Truman Doctrine, 1947: support free people anywhere "totalitarian regimes" threatened
--Berlin airlift, 1948
--North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), 1949
Berlin airlift, 1948
Twin shocks of 1949
--Soviet nuclear test
--Chinese communists take power
The US at home after the war:
--dramatic cuts in defense spending
--need for jobs, education, and housing
Truman's Fair Deal:
--main goal full employment
--1945: 3.5 million workers on strike
--1946: 4.6 million workers on strike
New demands:
--African Americans launch modern civil rights movement
--returning veterans
--NAACP: jobs, voting, fair housing
Medgar Evers, b. 1925, Decatur, MS
--took part in D-Day invasion
--NAACP activist
New fears:
--six lynchings in 1946, including of combat veterans
Jim Crow now a foreign policy issue:
--Soviet propaganda
--UN Declaration of Human Rights, 1947
--supported Fair Employment Practices Commission (FEPC)
--de-segregated US military, 1948
--President's Committee on Civil Rights, 1947-48
--To Secure these Rights: fair employment, end to lynching, end to voting restrictions
Dixiecrats: 1948
New Red Scare:
--Truman administration purges suspected communists from federal government; requires loyalty oath
--Congress passes Taft-Hartley Act in 1947 over Truman veto; requires union leaders take loyalty oaths
--House on Un-American Activities (HUAC) begins investigating Hollywood in 1947
--Joseph McCarthy (R) elected to Senate 1946
Age of anxiety:
--communism, foreign and domestic
--would there be enough jobs?
--would pre-depression culture wars re-emerge?
--what about civil rights and ideas about race?
--nuclear warfare?
Lavender Scare:
--purge of suspected homosexuals from federal government
--more homosexuals fired than suspected communists
--many of those fired worked in the East Asia office of the State Department, blamed for the 'loss of China'
1945: victory, but what next?
Fears about gender and sexuality:
in 1948 study 37% of American men reported at least one homosexual experience
American defense policy intensifies:
--NSC-68 in 1950 (not public until 1975)
--massive spending on military, including nuclear weapons (Hydrogen bomb)
--defense budget tripled between 1950 and 1953, when it made up 14 percent of federal budget
Containment put to the test:
--Korean War, 1950-1954
--US funds French effort to hold Indochina (Vietnam), 1952-1954
Eisenhower and Nixon in 1952
Eisenhower as President:
--supported continuation of New Deal-style government
--Interstate Highway and Defense System Act of 1956
--Department of Health, Education and Welfare
--Re-elected easily in 1956
Refuge in consumer capitalism:
--low interest rates
--new consumer borrowing
--like 1920s, but with high levels of defense spending
--and broad support for labor union organization; 27% of workers belong in 1957 (all-time high)
--in 1950s GDP increased 25%
--published in 1953, showed 25% of married women had extramarital sex by age 40
--the penis the least significant factor in majority of women's experience of sexual satisfaction
1950s TV:
Think again, Dr. Kinsey!

Civil Rights Movement emerges:
--rising expectations
--late 1940s, school desegregation lawsuits
--Brown v. Board of Education, 1954
--Montgomery Bus Boycott, 1955-56

Eisenhower on civil rights:
--sends troops to desegregate Little Rock, Arkansas, Central High School, 1957
--supports Civil Rights Act of 1957: voting rights
--heavy opposition from southern Democrats

Soviet threat still looms:
--Sputnik, 1957

Eisenhower on Cold War mentality:
"We have achieved the insidious penetration of our own minds."

Rise of Evangelical Christianity:
--Billy Graham, Los Angeles Crusade, 1949
--pastor to presidents, beginning with Truman
--advised Truman to go to war in Korea
--'under God' added to Pledge of Allegiance, 1954
--'in God we trust' added to paper money in 1956

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