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The United States and the Cold War
Transcript of The United States and the Cold War
The Freedom Train
What was the Freedom Train?
An exhibition that opened on September 16, 1947-, that contained important documents such as the Mayflower Compact, the Declaration of Independence, and Gettysburg address
It was proposed by president Truman, to show the difference between American Freedom and the totalitarianism that Hitler used in Germany
- Revealed how the Cold War reshaped the meaning of of freedom
- Symbolized anticommunism, free enterprise, and defense of social and economic status quo
1947: Britain told the U.S that WWII had destroyed their economy and they had to end military and financial aid to:
Greece- threatened by communism
Turkey- Soviets were demanding control of straits that connected that Black Sea and Mediterranean.
The Cold War Becoming A Global Conflict
1945 Korea was Divided (North And South)
In June of 1950 North Korea invaded South Korea
Truman Administration persuaded United Nations Security Council to authorize use of force against the invasion
1950 General MacArthur launched a counterattack.
33,000 Americans, 1 million Korean soldiers, 2 million civilians died
Imperialism and Decolonization
WW2 increased awareness in the U.S of the problem of imperialism
Movements for colonial independence borrowed language of Declaration of Independence.
Liberal Democrats and Black leaders promoted decolonization.
1946 U.S granted independence to the Philippines
Geopolitical and Economic interest shaped American Foreign policy.
The Idea of Freedom
The Cultural Cold War
1950s Freedom became a theme of academic research, popular journalism, mass culture, and official pronouncements
National security agencies encouraged Hollywood to produce "anticommunist movies" (Under the code name "Militant Liberty" )
CIA secretly funded art, in efforts to influence abroad.
Funded oversea publications, conferences, publishing houses, concerts, and art exhibits.
Government sent Jazz Musicians and other black performers abroad.
The U.S wanted to represent artistic leadership which promoted individual expression denied to artists in communist countries.
n 1950, the McCarran International Security banned "totalitarians" from entering the U.S
Greatest threat to freedom is an overpowering governmen
Post war, Allies put German officials on trial for crime against humanity.
United Nations Charter includes strong language against discrimination based on race, sex, or religion.
Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1948): freedom of speech, religious toleration, and protection against arbitrary government. Also, the right to an adequate standard of living, education, and medical care.
In 1947 the NAACP filed a petition with the UN asking to investigate racism in the US.
The Truman Presidency
The Truman Presidency
Postwar Civil Rights
Immediately after the war, the status of African Americans enjoyed a prominence in national affairs unmatched since Reconstruction.
To Secure These Rights
October 1947 President Truman issued To Secure These Rights.
The Democratic platform of 1948 was the most progressive in the party's history
The 1948 Campaign
Truman's main opponent was Republican Thomas Dewey
Truman ran an aggressive campaign
The Fair Deal
Truman's first task was to convert the economy from a wartime to a peacetime status.
Truman announced his program known as the Fair Deal.
The Postwar Strike Wave
Operation Dixie was a campaign to bring unionization to the South.
Nearly 5 million workers went on strike.
The Republican Resurgence
The Republicans swept to control both houses of Congress in 1946
Congress turned aside Truman's Fair Deal Program
Anti - Communism
The Fair Deal focused on improving the social safety net and raising the standard of living of ordinary Americans.
The United Nations Charter identifies a broad range of rights to be enjoyed by people everywhere which include freedom of speech, religious toleration, and protection against arbitrary government.
The House Un-American Activities Committee launched a series of hearings in Hollywood about the strong influence of communism.
The policy of containment was determined by President Truman to prevent the spread of communism.
Three Truths and a Lie
Loyalty and Disloyalty
In 1947, President Truman created a loyalty review system
System stated that government employees are required to show patriotic pride
Homosexuals who worked for the government were targets based on the new national security system
People ended up resigning from their jobs than to have the federal government to investigate them
House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC)
- In Hollywood, HUAC created a series of hearings based on the influence of communism
- The hearings included famous screenwriters, producers like Walt Disney and actors like Gary Cooper and Ronald Reagan
- With the arrest of the Hollywood Ten, the Hollywood Studios blacklisted them and "denied them" of employment
The Spy Trials
Chambers & Hiss
Before the HUAC, an editor at
testified that around the 1930s,
, an prominent State Government official, gave him some government documents to pass to Soviet Union agents
- Jury's verdict was for Hiss to serve five years in prison
A jury convicted a working class Jewish couple who were communists from New York City,
for conspiracy to pass secret information during WWII regarding the atomic bomb to Soviet agents
- Judge Irving Kaufman declared the crime was "worse than murder" and believe they were the ones who "caused" Korean War and the Rosenburg's received the death sentence in 1953
Ethel + Julius Rosenburg
McCarthy and McCarthyism
- The chief national pursuer of subverses,
Joseph R. McCarthy
took advantage of the Senate subcommittee for self-promotion
- McCarthy announced that he had a list of 205 communists who are working for the State Department but he wasn't consistent with his proof
- High peak of McCarthy occurred when he attacked the army's chief lawyer, Joseph Welch
- Senate agreed to "condemn" McCarthy for his behavior which rise "McCarthyism"
Fear of Communism
- From teachers to pharmacists who worked for the states and localities were required to take loyalty oaths
- Around the late 1940s - 1950s, people lost their jobs because they fail to testify against others or sign loyalty oaths like university teachers
Dennis v. United States
(1951) - Communist Party leaders were put in jail, based on their beliefs even though they didn't disrupt anyone
Origins of the Cold War
Reconstruction of Japan
General Douglas led Japan to establish a democratic constitution:
Most farmers became owners of land
gave women the right to vote
: Japan renounce forever the policy of war and armed aggression, and would maintain only minimal self-defense army.
1950: Due to financial help from the U.S, technology and low military spending helped
raise the economy in Japan.
two great powers
after WWII were the United States and the Soviet Union.
The U.S sought to lead the rest of the world with democracy and increasing living standards.
New institution : United Nations and World Bank
The Soviet Union was considered a great power because their army occupied most of eastern Europe
They also wanted to lead the world with their own values
After WWII, Soviets installed pro communist governments in Poland, Romania, and Bulgaria. Americans believed that Soviets were violating the promise of allowing free elections in Poland, which was discussed in the Yalta Conference of 1945.
The Iron Curtain
from Kennan, provided a foundation for the
policy of containment:
said that Americans would commit to stop the Soviets from spreading communism
After the policy, Winston Churchill said that Europe had been split between the free West and communist East.
The U.S decided to help Britain financially, justifying this action by saying that America should support Britain because they shared the same beliefs as them.
The U.S also decided that they would create national security bodies to protect their democracy:
*Atomic Energy Commission *National Security Council * Central Intelligence Agency
The Secretary of State,
, gave a speech at Harvard University advising the U.S to give billions of dollars to
to help them recover from WWII, which had strengthened communist party in France and Italy.
America feared that France and Italy would become a part of the Soviet Union.
The U.S committed to helping Britain and the Marshall Plan was successful. By 1950, Western Europe followed in the footsteps of the U.S to mass-production.
General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade:
23 Western nations proposed freer trade among themselves; huge market for investments
Created even more tension between Western and Eastern Europe.
( "Iron Curtain")
The Berlin Blockade and NATO
The end of WWII the four strongest Allie powers occupied sections of Germany
1948: US, Britain, and France established a separate currency to their sections. This led the Soviet Union to cut off road and rail traffic from American, British, and French zones of Germany to Berlin.
* the wall was lifted on May 1949
The North Atlantic Treaty Organization
was established in 1949 as well.
* pledge between U.S, Canada, and 10 western European Nations that stated mutual defense in case the Soviet attacked.
1949: Communists led by Mao Zedong were victorious in establishing communism in China
Growing Communist Challenge
The communist victory in China and the Soviets Success in the atomic bomb scared the United States
National Security Council approved the
(1950); a call for permanent military build up to defend against global communism.
* dramatic increase in military spending.
What important events led to the rise of the Cold War?
How did the Anticommunist crusade affect the American politics and culture under President Truman's administration?
How did the Cold War prove to be a global conflict? What events led to proving this?
What did Truman's Fair Deal focus on and what were its major initiatives?
* * * *
The Uses of Anti-Communism
The majority of the Communist Party were in jail and accused of being guilty because they believed in communism.
was used as a campaign to the opposing side
Involvement from FBI
- Many used "anti-communism" to gain power like the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI)
- Created thousands of files about American citizens which ironically some citizens had no correlation to communism
Anticommunism Used to Defend United States
- The Democrat Party used anti-communism as self-defense against the Republican Party
Other Uses of Anti-Communism
- White Supremacists used (AC) against black civil rights
- Businesses used (AC) against unions
- Sexual Morality and Traditional Gender Roles against feminism and homosexuality
McCarran Internal Security Bill of 1950
- The bill stated that subversive groups to register with government and allow deportation from president's consent. Initially, Truman vetoed this bill but with 2/3 majority from Congress, it became a law
McCarran Walter Act of 1952
- With focus on immigration, this allowed deportation of immigrants (even citizens) that are suspected to be communists
- Sparked fear of aliens caused to deport illegal aliens which fled military to invade the territory of Mexican-American neighborhoods in result to a million deported individuals
*Inequality remains with Americans' labor and how union members have access to benefits like health insurance plans, paid vacations to pension plans while others not involved with unions aren't able to obtain these benefits
The Cold War and Organized Labor
- Taft-Hartley Act of 1947, remove rights and legal protection from unions who failed to swear that they weren't a part of the Communist Party
- Alongside with foreign policy of the Cold War was organized labor
- 1 million workers lost their jobs since CIO demolished unions and officials
Cold War Civil Rights
- NAACP and Urban League (black organizations) protest against Truman's loyalty program
- These organizations helped shape the Cold War as building block of the political culture and also, used for other purposes
- Absurd charges against Singer/Actor, Paul Robeson and W.E.B. Du Bois ended up having the judge dismissed Du Bois case. The two men were well-known black leaders and critics of the war
- Dean Acheson, Undersecretary of State spoke in front of the Delta Council, an Mississippi organization.
- Acheson supported Truman's pledge to "free peoples"
- Upon a historian words: (AS) stood for an atmosphere full of poverty where 70% of black population didn't receive democracy or freedom
* This results to the U.S. economic boom which will transform American lifestyle. The white Americans continue to gain more opportunities while blacks are left struggling through discrimination
* The blacks will be able to fight for their freedom in continuation to a civil rights revolution and "affluent" society
W.E.B. Du Bois