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The Atlantic Charter

1941, outlined a vision in which a world would abandon their traditional beliefs in military alliances and spheres of influence and govern their relations with one another though democratic process, with an international organization serving as the arbiter of disputes and the protector of every nation's right of self determination.

Teheran Conferance

Churchill and Roosevelt had their first meeting with Stalin here, and Roosevelt and Stalin established a cordial personal relationship with one another. Stalin agreed to an American request that the Soviet Union enter the war in the pacific soon after the end of hostilities in Europe. Roosevelt in turn promised that the Anglo-American second front would be established in six months.

Yalta Conference

A great peace conference between Roosevelt, Stalin, and Churchill in this Soviet City. In return for Stalin's renewed promise to enter the war in the Pacific, Roosevelt agreed that the Soviet Union should receive some of the territory in the Pacific that Russia had lost in the 1902 Russo-Japanese War. This conference produced no real accords, there was basic disagreement on the postwar Polish situation.

The United Nation

Contained a General Assembly, in which every member would be represented, and a security council, with permanent representatives of the five major powers ( The U.S., Britain, France, Russia, and China), each of which would have veto power. The council would also have temporary delegates from several other nations. Began April 25, 1945, in San Francisco.

Potsdam Conference

Truman met here in July, in Russia occupied Germany, with Churchill and Stalin. Truman reluctantly accepted the the adjustments of the Polish-German border that Stalin had long demanded; he refused to permit the Russians to Claim any reparations from the American, French, and British zones of Germany.

Chiang Kai-shek

Led the government in China, he was normally friendly to the U.S., but his government was corrupt and incompetent with feeble popular support. Ever since 1927, the nationalist government had been engaged in a bitter rivalry with the communist armies of Mao Zedong. By 1945, Mao was in control of one fourth of the population.

Douglas McArthur

Governed the nation the first few years after the war; had strict occupation policies.


The idea that came from the influential American diplomat George F. Kennan, who had warned not long after the war that in the Soviet Union the U.S. face a threat of a political force that didn't like the U.S. government. He stressed that this was the only solution; to contain Russia and their expansion tendencies.

Truman Doctrine

On March 12, 1947, Truman appeared before congress and used Kennan's warnings as the basis of what became known as this. "I believe that it must be the policy of the United States to support free people who are resisting attempted subjugation by armed minorities or by outside pressures."

Marshall Plan

Secretary of State, George C. Marshall's plan to provide economic assistance to all European nations that would join in drafting a program for recovery. Sixteen western nations participated.

Economic Cooperation Administration

This agency would administer the Marshall Plan and its' creation was approved by Congress in April 1948.

Atomic Energy Commission

Established in 1946, it became the supervisory body charged with overseeing all nuclear research, civilian and military alike. In 1950, Truman approved the development of the Hydrogen Bomb, a bomb far more powerful than any previous bomb used by the U.S.

National Security Act of 1947

This reshaped the nation's major military and diplomatic institutions, with a Department of Defense and A National Security Council, which would operate out of the White House and would govern foreign and military policy.

Central Intelligence Agency

Replaced the wartime Office of Strategic Services and would be responsible for collecting information through both open and covert methods; as the Cold War continued this agency would also engage secretly in political and military operations on behalf of American goals.

Berlin Airlift

In 1948, in response to Stalin's blockade of Berlin, the United States carried out a more massive effort to supply the two million Berlin citizens with food, fuel, and other goods by air for more than ten months. The airlift forced the Soviets to end the now ineffective blockade in 1949.

North Atlantic Treaty Organization

April 4, 1949. When twelve nations signed an agreement establishing this, and in it declaring that an armed attack against one member would be considered an attack against all. A military force would maintain in Europe to defend against what many believed was the threat of the Soviet invasion. The formation of this sparked the Soviet Union to create an alliance of its own with the communist governments in Europe. It was called the Warsaw Pact.

Chiang Kai Shek

After the collapse of his nationalist government in China, this man fled with his political allies and the remnants of his army to the offshore island of Formosa (Taiwan). Then the entire Chinese mainland was under the control of the communist government.


Also known as the National Security Council report, it was issued in 1950 and it outlined a shift in the American position. It was the result of Truman wanting a thorough review of American foreign policy.

GI Bill

The Serviceman's Readjustment Act of 1944 which provided housing, education, and job training subsidies to veterans and increased spending even further.

The Fair Deal

Truman submitted this twenty one point domestic program to congress days after the Japanese surrender. It called for expansion of Social Security benefits, the raising of the legal minimum wage from 40 to 60 cents an hour, a program to ensure full employment through aggressive use of federal spending and investment, public housing and slum clearance, long-range environmental and public works planning, and government promotion of scientific research.

Taft-Hartley Act

Also known as the Labor-Management Relations Act of 1947, it made illegal the closed shop, but continued to permit the creation of union shops. Also empowered the president to call for a ten-week "cooling off" period before a strike by issuing an injunction against any work stoppage that endangered national safety or health.


The State's Rights Party who had Governor Strom Thurmond of South Carolina as there nominee.

National Housing Act of 1949

Provided for the construction of 810,000 units of low-income housing accompanied by long-term residents.

Shelley v. Kraemer

A court case when the court ruled that courts could not be used to enforce private "covenants" meant to bar blacks from residential neighborhoods.

Film Noir

A kind of film making that had originated in France and had been named for the dark lighting that was characteristic of the genre.

The Twilight Zone

The celebrated television show of the 1950s and early 1960s, it featured dramatic portrayals of the aftermath of nuclear war; or postwar comic books, which depicted powerful superheros saving the world from destruction.

The Korean War

The armies of North Korea invaded the pro-Western half of the Korean peninsula to the South. Within days, they had occupied much of South Korea, including Seoul, its capital. Almost immediately, the U.S. committed itself to the conflict.

Inchon invasion

A surprise American invasion in September that had routed the North Korean forces from the South and sent them fleeing back across the 38th parallel.

38th Parallel

After North Korean forces were forced back behind this Truman gave MacArthur permission to pursue communists into their own territory. He was moving beyond the policy of containment and envisioning a rollback of communist power.

Truman MacArthur conflict

When MacArthur thought that American forces should attack Chinese through bombing or invasion and he wrote a letter conveying his ideas. This letter talked about his plan and Truman disagreed with it and relieved him of his command. After this though 69 percent of Americans sided with MacArthur and public criticism of Truman was growing.

House Un-American Activities Committee

Began in 1947, they held widely publicized investigations to prove that, under Democratic rule, the government had tolerated communist subversion. They argued that communists had infiltrated Hollywood and tainted American films with propaganda.

The Hollywood Ten

When Hollywood producers and writers were called to testify, this group of people refused to answer questions about their own political beliefs and those of their colleagues, they were sent to jail for contempt.


When Hollywood attempted to protect its public image they adopted this and kept record of the "suspicious loyalty". And they were barred from employment in the industry.

Alger Hiss

A former high-ranking member of the State Dept. A man named Whittaker Chambers, a former communist agent, was the editor of Time magazine and he told the committee that Hiss had passed classified State Dept. documents to him in 1937 and 1938. Hiss sued him for slander and Chambers produced microfilms of the documents called "pumpkin papers" (because he hid them in a pumpkin). Hiss was convicted of perjury and served several years in a prison.

Richard M. Nixon

A freshman Republican congressman from California and a member of HUAC.

J. Edgar Hoover

The director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation who investigated and harassed alleged radicals.

McCarran Internal Security Act

Required that all communist organizations register with the government and publish their records. Truman vetoed the bill but congress easily overrode it.

Klaus Fuchs

A young British scientist who testified that he had delivered, to the Russians, details of the manufacture to the bomb. The case ultimately moved to an obscure New York couple, Julius and Ethel Rosenberg, who were members of the communist party. The government claimed that the Rosenberg's had received secret information from Ethel's brother, a machinist on the Manhattan Project, and passed it along to the Soviet Union through other agents.

Joseph McCarthy

An undistinguished, first term Republican senator from Wisconsin, who in February in 1950, in the midst of a speech in Wheeling, WV, he lifted up a sheet of paper and claimed to "hold in my hand" a list of 205 known communists currently working in the American State Dept. No person of comparable stature had ever made so bold a charge against the federal government.

Dwight Eisenhower

Highly popular, he ran for president in 1952, and did not speak out against McCarthy but disliked his tactics and was outraged at his attacks on General George Marshall.

Adlai Stevenson

Governor of Illinois who the Democratic party stood behind over Truman. His dignity, wit, and eloquence made him a beloved figure to many liberals and intellectuals.

The Checkers Speech

When Nixon was accused of financial improprieties, he quickly neutralized them in this famous television address.

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