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What happened with economics after WWII?
The Americans cheered the end of World War II in 1945, but many worried that with the war over, the U.S. would sink back into another Great Depression. Upon war's end, inflation shot up with the release of price controls while gross national product sank, and labor strikes swept the nation. To get even with labor, Congress passed the Taft-Hartley Act, which outlawed "closed" shop, made unions liable for damages that resulted from jurisdictional disputes among themselves, and required that union leaders take non-Communist oaths. Labor tried to organize in the South and West with "Operation Dixie," but this proved frustrating and unsuccessful. To forestall an economic downturn, the Democratic administration sold war factories and other government installations to private businesses cheaply, passed the Employment Act of 1946, which made it government policy to "promote maximum employment, production, and purchasing power," and created the Council of Economic Advisors to provide the president with data to make that policy a reality
What was the GI Bill?
Servicemen's Readjustment Act of 1944, enacted partly out of fear that the employment markets would never be able to absorb the 15 million returning vets, this bill made generous provisions for sending soldiers to school. about 8 million went to school from the gov expanse. most vets attended technical and vocational schools, they overcrowded colleges and universities with more than 2 million entering the schools. they spent 14.5 billion in taxpayer dollars for education. this act also enabled the veterans administration to guarantee 16 billion dollars in loans for vets to buy homes, farms, and small businesses. by raising educational levels and stimulating construction industry, the gi bill nurtured the economic expansion
What was the economic boom like?
Then, in the late 1940s and into the 1960s, the economy began to boom tremendously, and folks who had felt the sting of the Great Depression now wanted to bathe in the prosperity. The middle class more than doubled while people now wanted two cars in every garage; over 90% of American families owned a television. Women also reaped the benefits of the postwar economy, growing in the American work force while giving up their former roles as housewives. However, much of the prosperity of the 50s and 60s rested on colossal military projects. Massive appropriations for the Korean War, defense spending, industries like aerospace, plastics, and electronics, and research and development all were such projects. Even though this new affluence did not touch everyone, it did touch many. Cheap energy paralleled the popularity of automobiles, and spidery grids of electrical cables carried the power of oil, gas, coal, and falling water into homes and factories alike.
Workers upped their output tremendously, as did farmers, due to new technology in fertilizers, etc... in fact, the farming population shrank while production soared.
What happened in the Sunbelt area?
(cali, ariz, new mex, tex, okla, ark, louisiana, miss, tenn, va, ga, fla, sc, nc) With so many people on the move, families were being strained, which explained the success of Dr. Benjamin Spock's The Common Sense Book of Baby and Child Care (1945). Immigration also led to the growth of a fifteen-state region in the southern half of the U.S. known as the Sunbelt, which dramatically increased in population. In fact, in the 1950s, California overtook New York as the most populous state. Immigrants came to the Sunbelt for more opportunities, such as in California's electronics industry of the aerospace complexes of Texas and Florida. Federal dollars poured into the Sunbelt (some $125 million), and power grew there as well, as ever since 1964, every U.S. president has come from that region. Sunbelters were redrawing the political map, taking the economic and political power out of the North and Northeast.
Describe the Suburbs/Levittowns
the federal housing authority and veterans administration home loans made it easier to own a home in the subs than in the cities, tax deduction for interest payments made mortgages as an additional financial incentive. 1960 1/4 americans lived in suburbs. Levitt brothers made Levittowns in New York's Long Island in the 1940s. they revolutionalized the techniques of home construction, creating hundreds or even thousands in a single projects, there were any different people for different jobs. More whites left for suburbs leaving the inner cities with black, browns and broke. Men in the suburbs usually worked white collar jobs or upper level blue collar, women usually worked in homes, so that suburbia came to symbolize domestic confinement that feminist in the 60s and 70s decried in their campaigns for women's rights.
What was the Baby Boom and what happened to the society because of it?
As many vets came back home from WWII there was a leap in birthrate in the 10.5 years after 1945. Making a demographic explosion adding more than 50 million babies to the nation by the end of 1950s, the birthrate crested in 195u7 and followed by a deepening birth dearth, by 1973 the fertility rates dropped. Elementary school enrollments swelled, they sent economic shockwaves especially for the lucrative markets for manufacturers of canned food and other baby products in the 40s and 50s, during the 60s they spent 20 billion dollars on clothes and rock music, during the 70s consumer taste changed and jeans were popular. 80s they struggled to get a job and in the 90s had their own baby boom
Who was Truman?
VP to FDR, became pres after he died. was the "average man's average man" he was the first pres in many years w/o a college education, he farmed and served as an artillery officer in france during wwi. tried in missouri politics, became a judge and then rose to us senate. as pres he eventually evolved from someone shy to someone who was confident. like grant had a "missouri gang" and was very loyal to them because they were old associates. he had a lot of old fashion character trait called moxie, and a down home authencity.
What happened at Yalta?
FDR, Stalin, and Churchill met a conference on feb 1945, final plans were made to smash the german lines and shackling the beaten axis foe, stalin agreed that poland with revised boundaries would have a rep gov based on free elections but this broke, bulgaria and romania were to have free elections but this was flouted. Stalin agreed to attack Japan within three months after the collapse of Germany, if he was promised the southern half of Sakhalin island, and Japans Kurile island. the USSR also wanted joint control over the railroads of Manchuria and receive special privileges in two key seaports of Dairen and Port Arthur which would give stalin control over vital industrial centers of america's weakening ally. The big three were not making a peace settlement but sketching a general intentions and testing one another's reactions
Describe the US and USSR's relationship
With the USA and the USSR as the only world superpowers after WWII, trouble seemed imminent, for the U.S. had waited until 1933, to recognize the USSR; the U.S. and Britain had delayed to open up a second front during World War II; the U.S. and Britain had frozen the Soviets out of developing nuclear arms; and the U.S. had withdrawn its vital lend-lease program from the USSR in 1945 and spurned Moscow's plea for a $6 billion reconstructive loan while approving a similar $3.75 one to Berlin. Stalin wanted a protect sphere around western Russian, for twice earlier in the century, Russia had been attacked from that way, and that mean taking nations like Poland under its control. Even though both the USA and the USSR were recent newcomers to the world stage, very advanced, and had been isolationist before the 20th century, now, they found themselves in a political stare down that would turn into the Cold War and last for four and a half decades.
What is the IMF & World Bank?
In 1944 meeting at Bretton Woods, New Hamp. the western allies established international monetary fund to encourage world trade by regulating currency rates, they also founded International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (world bank) to promote economic growth in war ravaged and underdeveloped areas. The US took the lead in creating these important international bodies and supplied most of their funding.
What did the United Nations do?
UN conference opened on April 25, 1945, 13 days after FDR died. FDR chose both a rep and dem as the american delegates. Meeting at San Fran war memorial opera house representatives from 50 nations fashioned a UN charter that resembled the League of Nations covenant. It featured a security council dominated by the big five powers (US, USSR, Britain, France, and China) each of them had a right to veto and an assembly that could be controlled by smaller countries. It was successful in preserving peace in Iran, Kashmir, and other trouble spots and played a great role in making Israel, the UN Trusteeship Council guided former colonies to independence, the UN educational, scientific, and cultural organization, the food and agricultural organization and the world health organization helped benefit people all over the world. the UN failed to control new tech of the atom, the un called for an inspect of all nuclear facilities to prevent the manufacture of nuclear weapons
What happened at Nuremberg Trials?
The Allies wanted to punish the Nazi leaders for war crimes, they joined in trying 22 culprits at nuremberg from 1945-1946, accusations included committing crimes against the laws of war and humanity and plotting aggression contrary to the treaty pledges. 12 of the accused were swung from gallows and 7 were sentenced to long jail terms
West vs East Germany
W. G belonged to British, French and US. EG belonged to the soviets. WG eventually became a independent country wedded to the west, while EG along with other Soviet dominated East European countries such as Poland and Hungary became nominally independent satellite states bound by the ussr
What was the "iron curtain"
was secrecy and isolation that Stalin clanged down across Europe from the Baltic to the Adriatic, most of East Europe disappeared from Western sight because of this curtain
What was the Berlin Airlift?
The Americans organized a gigantic airlift in the midst of tension between them and USSR, for nearly a year flying some of the very aircraft that had recently dropped bombs on berlin, american pilots ferried thousands of tons of supplies a day to the berliners. western europeans took heart the demonstration of americans determination to honor its commitment to europe, the soviet blockade called it off in may 1949
What was the Truman's Doctrine?
March 12, 1947 he asked for $400 million to bolster Greece and Turkey which Congress granted, more generally he declared that it must be the policy of the US to support free peoples who are resisting attempted subjugation by armed minorities or by outside pressure, which was a sweeping and open ended commitment.
What was the Marshall Plan?
June 5, 1947 Secretary of State Marshall invited the Europeans to get together and work out a joint plan for their economic recovery, if they did the US would provide substantial financial assistance. European democratic nations Met in Paris in July 1947 the plan called for spending $12.5 billion over four years in 16 cooperating countries. Was a success because the american dollar pumped the economy of western europe. within a few years most of them were exceeding their prewar outputs. the communist party in france and italy lost ground
What did the National Securities Act do?
1947 Created the Department of Defense, the department was to be in the Pentagon and be headed by a new cabinet officer, the secretary of defense, under the secretary but now w/o cabinet status, were civilian secretaries of the navy, the army, and the air force. they were brought together as the Joint Chiefs of Staff, but there was still interservice rivalry between them even with unification. Also established a National Security Council which advised the pres on security matters and the CIA to coordinate the govs foreign fact gathering
What is the North Atlantic Treaty Organization?
In 1948, Britain, France, Belgium and the Netherlands and Luxembourg signed a treaty of defensive alliance at Brussels, America decided to join the pact even though before the US had avoided alliances especially in peace. The NATO recognized the transatlantic character, the NATO was signed in Washington on April 4, 1949. the 12 original signatories pledged to regard an attack on one as an attack on all and promised to respond with "armed forces" if necessary, the senate approved on july 21, 1949 with 82 votes. In 1952 Greece and Turkey was included and then West Germany in 1955. This marked a change of US diplomatic convention, a gigantic boost for European unification and a sig step in militarization of the cold war.
How did China become Communist?
In China there was a civil war going on for years between the Nationalist and communist, Washington supported the Nationalist gov under Generalissimo Jiang Jieshi again the communist leader Mao Zedong. But there was a lot of corruption and ineptitude within the generalissimo's regime, doubting his people. Communist armies swept south and in late 1949 Jiang was forced to leave and go to Taiwan. The collapse of Nationalist China was a defeat for America and its allies now about 1/4 of the worlds population was under communist command. Rep said that the Dem withheld aid from Jiang so that he would fall.
What was the Hydrogen bomb?
Truman wanting to outpace the Soviets in nuclear power ordered the development of the H bomb, a city smashing device many times more deadly than the atomic bomb. The US exploded its first hydrogen device on the south pacific atoll in 1952 despite warnings from scientist that the H bomb was so powerful. The soviets exploded their H bomb in 1953 and the nuclear race was getting competitive
What did the Committee on Un-American Activities (HUAC) do
Made by the HoR in 1938 it was to investigate "subversion" in 1948. in 1948 committee member Richard Nixon an ambitious red catcher, led the chase after Alger Hiss a prominent ex New Dealer and distinguished member of the "eastern development", and was accused of being a communist agent. Hiss denied everything but was caught in embarrassing falsehood and was convicted to perjury in 1950 and sentenced to 5 years in prison
Who was Joseph McCarthy?
n February 1950, Joseph R. McCarthy burst upon the scene, charging that there were scores of unknown communists in the State Department.He couldn't prove it, and many American began to fear that this red chase was going too far; after all, how could there be freedom of speech if saying communist ideas got one arrested?
what was the McCarran Internal Security Bill?
which let the president arrest and detain suspicious people during an "internal security emergency. Truman vetoed it but Rep enacted the bill over his veto
What was the presidential election of 1948 like?
Rep nominated Dewey, the Dems nominated an unwanted but undaunted Truman who was opposed by the Southern dem because he supported the civil rights of blacks. His nomination split the dem parties, the southern dem parties were known as "Dixiecrats" and nominated J. Strom Thurmond of S. Carolina. Former VP Henry Wallace was also nominated by a new Progressive party. Deweys victory seemed assured, Truman had to rely on his instincts and his folksy personality. He made 300 speeches, on election day many people thought Dewey won, but instead Truman won with 303 electoral votes from the south midwest and west. dewey's 189 votes came from the east. pop votes were very close. Truman's victory was because of farmers, workers, and blacks who were all wary of rep. Truman then called for a new program called "Point Four," which called for financial support of poor, underdeveloped lands and keep underprivileged peoples from becoming communists. At home, Truman outlined a sweeping "Fair Deal" program, which called for improved housing, full employment, a higher minimum wage, better farm price supports, new Tennessee Valley Administrations, and an extension of Social Security. However, the only successes came in raising the minimum wage, providing for public housing in the Housing Act of 1949, and extending old-age insurance to more beneficiaries with the Social Security Act of 1950.
What was the Korean War like?
On June 25, 1950, North Korean army with Soviet made tanks crossed the 38 parallel, south were forced back southward to a dangerously tiny defensive area around Pusan, Truman sprang into action, the invasion seemed to provide devastating proof of fundamental premise in the "containment doctrine" that even a small relaxation on America's part would invite communist aggression somewhere else. This provided an expansion of the american military.NSC had recommended in the NSC 68 in 1950 that the US would quadruple its defense spending but was buried then brought up again Truman ordered a massive military build up, beyond necessary for the purposes of the war, the US had 3.5 million men under arms and spent $50 billion per year. This document was key because it reflected the almost limitless possibility that pervaded American society and because of militarization of american foreign policy. UN on June 25, 1950 obtained a unanimous condemnation of N. Korea as the aggressor when Soviets were absent. The council called the UN member to "render every assistance" to restore peace, two days later Truman ordered American air and naval units to support S. Korea and ordered MacArthur into action with S. Korea.
MacArthur in Korea
General MacArthur landed a brilliant invasion behind enemy forces on September 15, 1950, and drove the North Koreans back across the 38th parallel, towards China and the Yalu River. An overconfident MacArthur boasted that he'd "have the boys home by Christmas," but in November 1950, Chinese volunteers flooded across the border and pushed the South Koreans back to the 38th parallel. MacArthur, humiliated, wanted to blockade China and bomb Manchuria, but Truman didn't want to enlarge the war beyond necessity, but when the angry general began to publicly criticize President Truman, Harry had not choice but to remove him from command on grounds of insubordination. MacArthur returned to cheers while Truman was scorned as a "pig," an "imbecile," an appeaser to Communist Russian and China, and a "Judas." In July 1951, truce discussions began but immediately snagged over the issue of prisoner exchange. Talks dragged on for two more years as men continued to die
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