Unit Nine: 1940-1960

Gathering Storm 1940-1941

As World War Two began in Europe, the United States attempted to maintain a distance. However, as hostilities escalated in both the East and West, the United States was fenced in and forced to choose a side. Supporting the Allied forces, the United States, though not officially in the war, was considered a legitimate target by the Axis. After France fell to Germany, pressure increased on the United States. Finally, the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor pulled the United States into the global conflict.

Invasion of Poland, Blitzkrieg: When Poland refused to restore the German city of Danzig lost after WWI, Hitler’s troops attacked Poland on Sept.1, 1939. April 1940, Hitler unleashed his Blitzkrieg, or "lightening war," and quickly occupied many western European nations.

Axis Powers: Group of countries opposed to the Allied powers. Originated in the Rome-Berlin Axis with the 1936 Hitler-Mussolini Accord and their alliance in 1939. In Sept. 1940, it was extended when Japan was incorporated into the Axis by the signing of the Tripartite pact. The Axis powers were Japan, Italy and Germany.

"cash and carry": A precautionary move by the U.S. to make sure they stayed isolationist. Nations who wanted to trade had to purchase the materials from the U.S. and carry them on their own vessels. This meant that the allied countries had to only pay for the goods and the United States would ship them.

fall of France: Hitler’s launched his blitzkrieg on France in 1938. The British were already being driven back when Hitler attacked Netherlands, Belgium and Luxembourg. England evacuated 338,000 men from the English channel. Mussolini attacked from the South at the same time, and on Jun. 22 France capitulated.

America First Committee: When FDR expressed a desire for American intervention in WWII, he was faced with stiff resistance by the America First Committee in 1940. The committee was compromised of many pro-isolationist who thought that the allied powers could do nothing to stop the war.

Isolationism, Lindbergh, Charles: Isolationism was the foreign policy practiced by America after WWI, as most citizens did not want to be involved in many international affairs. Charles Lindbergh was a big supporter of this policy, and even joined the America First Committee to demonstrate his antiwar sentiment.

Committee to Defend America by Aiding the Allies: Instituted by Roosevelt to oversee loans and other such financial activities occurring while Germany attacked Britain. The Committee, oversaw lend lease policy implemented by Roosevelt for purposes of protecting America and also to help stop Germany in Europe.

Smith Act: The Smith Act was created in 1940 and outlawed any conspiracy to overthrow the government. It was largely used in the later years of communist hysteria, and imprisoned individuals not because of any acts of violence or espionage, but rather for their rhetoric and their views on the American government..

Tojo: Japanese leader during WWII. An extreme militarist, advocated total war. Became Army Chief of Staff in 1937. Led the Japanese army against Manchuria, and in 1940 made Minister of War. In 1941, appointed Prime Minister, and controlled government and military operations during WWII. Resigned 1944.

destroyers-for-bases deal: In exchange for fifty old WWI American destroyers which had in been recommissioned in 1939 and 1940 and were serving on neutrality patrol, Britain gave the United States 99 year leases to establish military bases on British possessions in the Western hemisphere.

election of 1940: candidates, issues: Roosevelt was nominated by the Democrats for a third term, and the Republicans nominated Wendell L. Willkie. The major issues were WWII and military spending. Roosevelt endorsed the nation’s 1st peacetime draft and advocated a military spending increase.

"Lend Lease," March 1941: Program set up to loan the Allied nations arms and other materials to wage war against the Axis powers. The Lend-lease bill was approved by Congress in 1941, which originally authorized $7 billion. Thirty-five other nations besides Great Britain, USSR, France, and China received loans from the lend lease. By August 1945, the amount totaled $48 billion, of which the United States received $6 billion in repayment by these nations.

Tripartite Pact: The Tripartite Pact was a 10 year military and economic alliance also known as the Berlin-Rome-Tokyo Axis. Japan signed this alliance in September, 1940, with the previously allied Italy and Germany. Each of the signatories pledged to help the others in the event of an attack by the U. S.

Atlantic Charter, August 1941: FDR met Churchill to discuss joint military strategy. Their public statement expressed their ideas of a postwar world, and frowned upon aggression, affirmed national self-determination, and endorsed the principles of collective security and disarmament.

Pearl Harbor, December 7, 1941: On the morning of December 7, scores of Japanese dive-bombers and torpedo planes flew across Oahu to bomb the ships that were anchored in Peal Harbor, and to strafe the planes parked side by side at nearby air bases. In less that 3 hours, over 300 aircraft were destroyed or damaged, and 8 battleships, 3 light cruisers, and 3 destroyers were sunk or crippled. Worst loss of U.S. arms in history.



Though World War Two was not fought on U.S. soil, the entire country pitched in to help the war effort. Housewives grew Liberty Gardens and went to work in place of the drafted men. The United States government established many wartime organizations to monitor supplies and food as well control propaganda. Families were encouraged to help fathers and brothers by not buying tin or rationing sugar or buying war bonds. Everyone on the homefront was expected to do his or her part in the war as well.

Japanese Relocation: Japanese-born Americans and immigrants from Japan were sent to concentration camps in the early 1940’s because of a fear that they would leak out information about the U.S. to Japan. Most of these people were suspected of being spies for the Japanese, though there was no solid evidence to support such accusations. The captured Japanese were released in 1942, and FDR apologized to them.

Revenue Act of 1942: Because of the expenditure on the war, Roosevelt wanted to pay for as much as possible through taxes. Although Congress refused to grant him a progressive tax, in 1942, the Revenue Act raised the top income-tax rate from 60% to 90% and added middle class and lower income groups to the tax bracket as well.

bond drives: In order to finance the war and give people a sense of involvement in the war effort, bond drives were held. The treasury department sold about $40 billion "E" bonds to investors, and nearly twice the amount in higher denomination. The bonds raised half the money for WWII.

War Production Board: In 1942, FDR announced a plan for massive war production. In order to get the necessary amount of raw materials, FDR established the War Production Board. It allocated scarce materials, limited or stopped the production of civil goods, and distributed contracts among competing manufacturers.

Office of Price Administration (OPA): Instituted in 1942, this agency was in charge of stabilizing prices and rents and preventing speculation, profiteering, hoarding and price administration. The OPA froze wages and prices and initiated a rationing program for items such as gas, oil, butter, meat, sugar, coffee and shoes.

War Labor Board: Established in 1942, the War Labor Board was instituted to mediate disputes between management and labor, and sought to prevent strikes and out of control wage increases. The War Labor Board acted as the mediator to prevent massive strikes and wage increases that occurred with the demand for workers.

War Refugee Board (WRB): FDR established the War Refugee Board in 1943 to help rescue and assist the many people who were condemned to death camps. It relocated many refugees in need, although it was late in inception. Although it saved 200,000 Jews and 20,000 non-Jews, 1 million still died.

War Manpower Commission (WMC): FDR established the War Manpower Commission in 1942 to help supervise the mobilization of males and females in the military, and the war industry, and also to study how profit can be gained through the production of weapons and supplies.

Office of Censorship, Office of War Information: Roosevelt wanted public opinion to be positive during the war, and in 1941, he established the Office of Censorship. It examined all written documents, including works of publishers and broadcasters, as well as all letters going overseas, in order to maintain the positive public opinion in America.

Office of Strategic Services: FDR and the Joint Chief of Staffs formed the Office of Strategic Services which served as an intelligence agency during WWII and was a predecessor of the CIA. It began on June 13,1942 to conduct espionage, gather intelligence information required for planning, and to analyze the enemy. Discontinued by Truman in 1945.

Office of Scientific Research and Development (OSRD): Formed in 1941 to contract out the development of new medicines and ordinances. It spent $1 billion dollars to produce sonar, radar devices, rockets, tanks, advanced jets, and the development of DDT and other pesticides.

African-Americans in World War II: Many civil rights groups used the need of the government for the cooperation of all its citizens in the war effort to push a new militancy in redressing discrimination. Blacks moved into service in all areas of the military, although most in segregated units until 1948. A large migration of blacks from the South to Northern industrial areas made civil rights a national rather than regional concern and broadened the political effects of black votes.

Women in World War II: Women served in significant numbers during World War II, both as civilian support personnel and in the uniformed services in the Woman’s Army Corps (WAC) and Women Accepted for Voluntary Emergency Service in the Navy (WAVES). Women pilots ferried planes from station to station, freeing men for combat pilot positions. Women moved into the civilian workforce, including heavy industry, replacing those men who had entered the military.


The U.S. and the Second World War

The United States was involved in two major areas of conflict, the struggle in Europe and the battle in the Pacific Theater. Opting to first prevent the complete takeover of Europe, the United States hoped that after Germany was defeated, the Allies would concentrate on the Japanese threat. From bases in England and Africa, the Allied forces hammered at the Italian and German lines. Island hopping proved to be the only way the United States could retake the Pacific from the Japanese.

Eisenhower, General; MacArthur, General: Eisenhower led the D-Day invasion with great success, and was highly respected by his peers in the armed forces. General MacArthur was credited for the great successes that the Americans had in the Pacific wars. He was the strategist behind the Pacific Wars.

Marshall, George Catlett: An American military commander who was Army Chief of Staff during World War II. He became Secretary of State for President Truman, and as such played an important role in aiding the postwar economic recovery of Europe with the Marshall Plan, which provided assistance to war-torn Western Europe.

Operation Torch: Undertaken in November 1942, it employed an allied army of more than 100,000 troops. Led by General Eisenhower, the troops landed in Morocco and Algeria and pressed eastward to entrap the German forces being pushed by British forces in Libya. Surrounded, the Germans surrendered in May 1943.

Invasion of Sicily: Stalin pleaded for a second front in Russia, but Churchill objected and Roosevelt agreed for a plan to invade Sicily in the summer on 1943. In roughly a month, allied forces seized control of Sicily. Italian military leaders surrendered to the allied forces on September 8 1943.

Battle of Midway: In 1942, the Japanese were determined to wipe out any remaining ships of the decimated American fleet when they sailed toward Midway. But, Japanese codes were decoded and Admiral Nimitz knew the exact plans and location of the Japanese ships. In a clever move, he ordered dive-bombers to destroy the ships.

Genocide, "Final solution": Hitler persecuted Jews in Germany and sought to rid Germany of them. During WWII, he set up many concentration camps, where Jews were methodically executed by means of poisonous gas or other forms. By the end, 6 million perished.

second front: The plan that was going to be used to aid the Soviet Union in fighting the Germans. Roosevelt was convinced by Churchill to delay the second front from 1942 to a later date, when the allies were better equipped to fight, and have forces in Africa to protect English colonies since Germany was attacking Africa.

D-Day, June 6, 1944: In the first 24 hours, 150,000 allied troops landed on the beach of Normandy. An additional million waded ashore in the following weeks, and allies reached inland in July, arriving in Paris by August. By summer’s end British secured Belgium and the Americans recovered France and Luxembourg.

Stalingrad: The site of one of the bloodiest battles during WWII. Thousands of soldiers died at the hands of German and Russian armies during the battle of Stalingrad.. The Russians were victorious at the battle, and thus were able to launch a counter-offensive against Germany and drive the Nazis from Russia.

Churchill, Winston: British Prime Minister during WWII, member of the Big Three. The Big Three was compromised of Stalin, FDR and him and were the major parties involved in allied conferences. When Germany first began attacking Britain, he asked for assistance from the U.S. in the form of equipment and arms.

Casablanca Conference, 1943: In the middle of the North African campaign, Roosevelt and Churchill met at Casablanca and resolved to attack Italy before invading France. They also vowed to pursue the war until the unconditional surrender of the Axis power, and tried to reduce Soviet mistrust of the west.

Cairo Conference, 1943: FDR met with Churchill and Chiang Kai-shek, the head of the Chinese government. FDR promised Chiang that Manchuria and Taiwan would be returned to China and that Korea would be free with the hope that Chiang would fight until Japan surrendered unconditionally.

Teheran Conference, 1943: FDR met with Stalin and Churchill and set the date for the invasion of France for May or June 1944, to coincide with the Russian offensive from the east. They agreed to divide Germany into occupation zones, to impose reparations on the Reich, and Stalin promised to fight Japan after Hitler’s defeat.

"unconditional surrender": Term used by the allied powers to describe what kind of surrender they wanted from Japan-one without negotiations. After the A-bomb fell on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945, Japan surrendered, but with the explosion of the A-bomb, the Cold War Era had just begun.

Okinawa: The island of Okinawa was secured by the Americans after the battle of Iwo Jima. Okinawa was 350 miles from Japan and a key area for staging the invasion of Japan by the American troops. The assault forces suffered nearly fifty thousand casualties in the battle before being able to subdue Japanese resistance.

Battle of the Bulge: As the allies prepared for an attack on Germany after penetrating up to Germany’s border, Hitler threw the last of his reserves to fight against the allied troops in December of 1944. On Dec. 25, the allies stopped the last German counter-attack and within a month, drove the Nazis back to Rhine.

V-E day: As Russia pushed the Germans back into Germany and reached the suburbs of Berlin, the new German government surrendered unconditionally on May 8, 1943, Americans celebrated this Victory in Europe day with ticker tape parades and dancing in the streets. Afterward, U.S. turned its full attention to the War in the Pacific

Manhattan Project: Because Nazi scientists were seeking to use atomic physics in a harmful manner, in 1941 FDR launched a secret program to produce an A-bomb before the Germans. In 1943 and 1944, the Manhattan Engineering district worked to stockpile U-235 and in 1945 attempted to use it in a bomb.

Oppenheimer, J. Robert: The scientific director of the Manhattan project, which the U.S. had undertaken to build the atomic bomb before Germany, and did was by relying on Nazi scientists. Oppenheimer was later employed by Harry Truman to work on building a more destructive weapon known as the Hydrogen bomb.

Atomic bomb: The atomic bomb was successfully built in 1944 and was employed in bombing the cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The bomb unleashed terrible fury on the two cities, killing hundreds of thousands of people through the incinerating heat and radiation poisoning. There was also debate on whether such a potent and powerful weapon should have been unleashed before proper tests were conducted on the long-term effects.

Hiroshima, Nagasaki: The 1st A-bomb was dropped on Hiroshima by the U.S. in 1945 after Japan refused unconditional surrender. Some 80,000 people died immediately and 1000s more died of radiation poisoning in later years. The next day a second bomb was dropped on Nagasaki killing, which obliterated the city.


Origins of the Cold War

Although relations with the Soviet Union were already strained, Roosevelt’s death and the beginning of Truman’s presidency brought new tensions to the relationship. Russia’s traditional paranoia led to the establishment of a communist satellite buffer zone around the USSR. The spread of communism into Asian and South American countries exacerbated anticommunist feelings in the United States and contributed to the pressure for increased buildup of defensive forces.

YALTA CONFERENCE: Conference of Russia, Great Britain and US in Feb.1945 with leaders FDR, Stalin and Churchill in Crimea. The result was statement of Soviet intent on entering the Pacific War two to three months after the end of the European war, Churchill and FDR promise for Soviet concessions in Manchurian and return of lost territories. Stalin recognized Chiang as China's ruler, agreed to drop demands for reparations from Germany, approved plans for a UN Conference and promised free elections in Poland.

POTSDAM CONFERENCE: Truman, Stalin and Churchill met in Potsdam Germany from July 16-Aug. 2 to decide on postwar arrangements begun at Yalta. A Council of Foreign Ministers was established to draft treaties concerning conquered European nations, and to make provisions for the trials of war criminals. The Soviet Union agreed to drop demands for reparations and Germany was decentralized into British, Russian, French and US zones.

partitioning of Korea, Vietnam, Germany: As decided by the Potsdam by the Council of Foreign minister, Germany, Vietnam and Korea were divided into zones to be held by US, France, Britain and the Soviet Union and then reorganized through self-determination.

de Gaulle, Charles: The French President during WWII, he was also active in several treaty conferences.

Churchill, Winston, "Iron Curtain" speech: Asked for Anglo-American cooperation to combat an "Iron Curtain" that cut across Europe from the Baltic to Adriatic. The iron curtain was the satellites and territories held by the communist Soviet Union. An early theory for Soviet containment.

Stalin: Ruler of Russia from 1929-1953. In 1935 Stalin endorsed a "Popular Front" to oppose fascism. Stalin also had considerable influence in the Yalta agreement as well as being a leader of one of the world's superpowers. After WWII, the primary focus of Amer. was to curb Stalin's and communist influence.

Bretton Woods Conference: Meeting of Allied governments in 1944. From the Bretton Woods Agreement, foreign currencies would be valued in relation to the dollar and the International Monetary Fund (IMF), General Agreement of Tariffs and Trade (GATT) and World Bank were created.

Dumbarton Oaks Conference: An international conference held August-October 1944 at Dumbarton Oaks Washington D.C. to discuss plans for an international organization to be named the United Nations. 39 delegates from US, Great Britain and Russia gathered.

San Francisco Conference, 1945, and UN Charter: A meeting of world nations to establish a international organization for collective security. The conference established committees; General Assembly, Economic and Social Council, the International Court of Justice, Trusteeship Council, and the Secretariat.

UN: Security Council, General Assembly, Secretary-General: January 10, 1946 was the first UN General Assembly, electing Trygve H. Lie of Norway as Secretary General. The UN represented a worldwide attempt for a peaceful world after the hidden treaties and chaos caused by WWII.

Atomic Energy Commission: To oversee the control and development of nuclear weapons. The "Barouch Plan" set up the International Atomic Development whose goal was for use of peaceful potentials for atomic energy and to provide nations with security against surprise attacks.

superpowers: The world powers after WWII created a new balance of power. These superpowers consisting of the United States, the Soviet Union, and Great Britain began proceedings such as the Yalta and Potsdam. Conferences represented the superpowers and their importance in postwar reconstruction.

socialism, communism: Two forms of governing, socialism and communism became fearful subjects after WWII as fears of war led to hatred against socialist and communist American troops. Fear and hatred against communism and Socialism continued throughout the Cold War.

satellites: The countries surrounding the Soviet Union created a buffer zone between Russia and the rest of Europe. These "satellites" were nations conquered by the Soviet Union during the counteroffensive attack of the Russians against the Germans during WWII.

Nuremberg trials: Thirteen trials held accusing leaders of Nazi Germany of crimes against international law from 1945-1949. Accusations included murder, enslavement, looting and atrocities against soldiers and citizens of occupied countries.

Department of Defense created: The Department of Defense was created in 1947 by the National Security Act. Reforming the Departments of War and Navy they became the Departments of Army, Navy and the new Department of the Air Force. Result of need for a consolidated department.

Voice of America, CARE: A part of the US Information Agency, Voice of America was a US government radio station sent to Eastern Europe nations.

Yugoslavia, Tito, Marshall: Marshall Tito is the name used by Josip Bronz since 1934. Tito was the communist dictator of Yugoslavia until proclaiming himself president in January 1953. Through his rule he kept Yugoslavia independent of Soviet control and was recognized as the only lawful authority in Yugoslavia.

Czechoslovakian coup: On February 25, 1948, a communist coup led by Klement Gottwald took control of the Czechoslovakian government after the October 5 announcement of Moscow's plan to block the Marshall Plan in Europe. Czechoslovakia became a communist satellite of the Soviet Union.

CONTAINMENT, Kennan, George F.: An advocate for tough foreign policy against the Soviets, Kennan was the American charge d'affaires in Moscow through WWII. He was also the anonymous Mr. X who wrote "The Sources of Soviet Conduct" in the magazine Foreign Affairs advising a policy of restricting Soviet expansion to protect western institutions. The theory of containment was accepted by the U.S. government and seen through the domino theory and US actions in Vietnam and Korea.

TRUMAN DOCTRINE: From Truman’s address to Congress on March 12, 1947, the president announced that the United States would assist free people resisting "armed minorities or...outside pressure." Meant as a offer for aid against communism the Truman Doctrine established the United States as a global policeman, a title proved by US actions in the UN, Vietnam, Korea and Egypt. The Truman Doctrine became a major portion of Cold War ideology, a feeling of personal responsibility for the containment of communism.

MARSHALL PLAN: Truman's secretary of state George C. Marshall proposed massive economic aid to Greece and Turkey on Feb. 27, 1947 after the British told the US they could not afford to continue assistance to the governments of Greece and Turkey against Soviet pressure for access to the Mediterranean. The Marshall Plan was expanded to mass economic aid to the nations of Europe for recovery from WWII. Aid was rejected by communist nations. The Marshall Plan also hope to minimize suffering to be exploited by communist nations.

Point Four: A post-WWII foreign aid treaty devised from the fourth point of President Truman's inaugural address in 1950. Plan would make provisions to supply US investment capital and personnel to agricultural and industrial development as well as development in other national interests.

Gandhi: Spiritual and political leader of India. 1920 led nonviolent disobedience movement for independence for India. During 1924 led another civil disobedience movement for India's freedom in exchange for India's help against Japan Assassinated.

Israel created, 1948: From the UN General Assembly on April 28, 1947, the Palestine partition of Arab and Jewish states. On May 14, 1948 Israel proclaimed independence and US recognized the new state but the Arabs rejected the proclamation and declared war against Israel. Admitted in U.N in 1949.

BERLIN BLOCKADE: On March 20, 1948 the Soviet withdrew representation from the Allied Control Council and refused to allow US, British, and France to gain access to Berlin. June 24, the Western Powers began Berlin Airlift to supply residents of Berlin. After 321 days in 1949 Russia agreed to end blockade if the Council of Foreign Ministers would agree to discuss Berlin. The airlift provided food and supplies to the blockaded people and intensified antagonism against Stalin.

NORTH ATLANTIC TREATY ORGANIZATION (NATO): Following the Vanderberg Resolutions on April 4, on October 1948, Denmark, Italy, Norway, and Portland joined the Canadian-US negotiations for mutual defense and mutual aid. The North Atlantic Treaty was signed in Washington on April 4, 1949 creating the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. The organization considered an attack against one member of the alliance, an attack on all.

Warsaw Pact: Treaty unifying communist nations of Europe signed May 1955 by: Russia, Albania, Bulgaria, Czechoslovakia. East Germany. Hungary, Poland, and Romania after the signing of the NATO treaty in 1949. Communist China dedicated support but did not sign the treaty.

Southeast Asia Treaty organization (SEATO), Central Treaty Organization (CENTO) and the Australia, New Zealand US (ANZUS): All these treaties were formed post WWII as mutual defense pledges in an attempt to halt the spread of communism through Europe and Asia.

NSC-68: In the 1950's President Truman called for a top secret investigation from the CIA to review national defense policy. The NSA-68 called for a massive military buildup and increase in defense spending through raising of taxes in fear of Soviet aggressive intentions and military strength. The NSC-68 became of major importance throughout the Cold War as it spoke of the need to remain a step ahead of the Soviet Union to protect its own security.

fall of China, Tse-tung, Mao, "lost China": Mao Tse-tung, head of the Chinese Communists demanded US halt military aid and for US forces to leave China in January 1945. In 1949, the communists controlled major cities and to avoid a full scale war with China, and the U.S. complied with Communist demands.

State Department "White Paper," 1949: The United States Relations With China; With Special Reference to the Period 1944-1946 warned that the Nationalists were on the verge of collapse because of political, military, and economic deficiencies, and US interference would lead to outbreak of war.

Chiang Kai-shek, Formosa: Chiang Kai-shek was the Nationalist leader in China whom the United States supported during the Chinese civil wars. After losing major cities, the Nationalist government moved their headquarters to the city of Formosa. Chiang Kai-shek was opposed by the communist leader Mao Tse-tung who opposed US involvement in the war.

Quemoy, Matsu: On September 3, the Communist army attacked the Nationalist held islands of Quemoy and Matsu. These attacks led to the Formosa Revolution which Eisenhower issued, giving the president power to defend Formosa without committing to defense of islands.

KOREAN WAR, limited war: After Japan's defeat in 1945, Korea was divided at the 38th parallel between Soviet troops to the north and the People's Democratic Republic and US troops to the south. June 24, 1950 North Korean troops attacked the Republic of Korea, provoking war. US gained UN approval to stop the considered communist domino. The "limited" war was to hold the 38th parallel without beginning WWIII. A cease fire was installed on July 26, 1953.

Truman-MacArthur controversy: During WWII, MacArthur was general in the Pacific Wars. At the beginning of the Korean War, he became the United Nations Commander in Korea. He was recalled from duty after expressing unpopular opinions about the US policy in Korea.


Truman and Domestic Issues

With the return of large amounts of soldiers from the Second World War, the population in the United States increased rapidly with the baby boom. Also, women were forced to return to their homes as former soldiers reclaimed the workplace. This exodus of working women promoted the idea that the proper place for the women was in the home, but laid the seeds for the later women’s movement. At this point in time, all the citizens in the United States wanted was a return to normalcy.

G.I. Bill of Rights, 1944: Congress enacted the bill to provide living allowances, tuition fees, supplies, medical treatment, and loans for homes and businesses. It was accepted June, 1944 and helped to stimulate economic growth and the accumulation of wartime profits, new factories and equipment.

Office of War Mobilization and Reconversion: A 1943 organization that controlled all aspects of the economy. Needed to facilitate cooperation in the war effort between the government and representatives of industry and the military, the O.W.M. increased war production 33% in May 1943.

extension of the OPA vetoed: Congress instituted a ration program to conserve materials and battle inflation. Because of opposition from food producers, manufacturers, and retailers, Truman vetoed Congress’ 1946 bill that would have extended O.P.A.’s life, and thus ended price controls.

postwar inflation: Two years after the war, consumer prices rose only 8% while the total cost of living rose 28% between 1940-1945. The National War Labor Board tried to contain restriction by limiting wage increases and Congress gave the president the power in 1942 to freeze wages to help combat inflation.

baby boom: The number of babies being born between 1950-1963 rose substantially and the mortality rate dramatically dropped allowing for a 19% increase in the population. This generation was able to fuel the economy and widen the realm of education.

Employment Act of 1946: Truman promised economic growth and established the Council of Economic Advisors to assist the president in maximizing employment, production, and purchasing power. Wary of federal deficit spending and increased presidential powers, Congress cut the goal of full employment.

Taft-Hartley Act: Congress modified the Wagner Act in 1947 to outlaw the practices of delaying a strike, closed shop, and permitting the president to call an eighty-day cooling period. Because it proved detrimental to certain unions, Truman vetoed the measure, although Congress overrode it.

Taft, Sen. Robert A.: Representing a small group of Republican senators, he warned that entering into NATO would provoke an arms race with Russia and force the United States to provide military aid to Europe. He supported that tax measures favorable to the wealthy and no minimum wage increase.

"right to work" laws: An area across TX and southern CA called the Sunbelt outlawed unionized shops which were to prevent non-unionized workers to benefit, low taxes and energy costs, plants moving their corporate headquarters here, transformed through technology, and brought green lawn and suburbs.

1948 election; candidates, issues: Truman ran against Dewey, a republican devoted to National unity and Strom Thurmond, who represented the Dixiecrats. representing states rights. Truman wins with 24 million votes and the platform of the some of the New Deal and bipartisan foreign policy.

Dixiecrats, J. Strom Thurmond: They helped Truman win by showing how the communists in the Wallace campaign forced liberals back into the mainstream Democratic Party. Strom Thurmond was able to collect 1.2 million votes and ran under the Democratic party symbol.

Progressive Party, Henry Wallace: He was nominated for President after being fired by Truman for questioning action taken towards Russia. Considered the true New Deal liberal, supported social-welfare programs and justice and equality for minorities. Wallace’s’ campaign forced liberals back into the Democratic party.

FAIR DEAL: Truman proposed a social and economic program during his State of the Union message in 1949. It enlarged the New Deal by adding housing, conservation, economic security, health insurance, federal aid to education, agricultural subsidies, increased the minimum wage, expanded social securities, flood control, slum clearance, expanded public power, reclamation, soil conservation, building of low income housing units.

Americans for Democratic Action (ADA): Founded in 1947 to initiate the development and promotion of a national liberal agenda of public policy. Citizen participation was essential through direct democracy which was equal in only one way : all can exercise the right to vote.

Twenty-second Amendment: adopted in 1951, this bill proclaims that "No person shall be elected to the office of the President more than twice." It resulted from the agitation following FDR’s running for and being elected to a third or fourth term of office of president.



As a result of the recent escalation of the Cold War and the spread of communism throughout the world, domestic paranoia concerning communist infiltration increased. This laid the foundation for the investigations of the House Un-American Activities Committee. Taking advantage of this "Red Scare" was Senator Joseph McCarthy who utilized the fear and panic of United States citizens to advance his own interests. Though many Americans believed the investigations were wrong, few said anything.

National Securities Act of 1947, 1949: The CIA was enacted to pursue and conduct espionage and analyze information and facts concerning the actions of foreign countries. It also became involved in undercover operations to destroy operations made to be hostile toward the U.S.

HOUSE UN-AMERICAN ACTIVITIES COMMITTEE (HUAC) : FDR established this organization to serve as a platform to the denunciation of the New Deal and communism growth in the U.S. Used to investigate and expose communist influence in America and blurred the line between dissent and disloyalty. It also brought about hysteria and caused blacklisting to occur so that people considered to be "communists" never found work.

MCCARTHYISM, McCarthy, Senator Joseph: He started the hysteria that occurred after the second Red Scare and accused U.S. citizens of being communists. These accusations appealed to Midwestern Americans who found that anti-communism was to fight against liberals and internationalists. It took over the U.S. as a means of fighting communism without realizing that the U.S. was in danger of losing what it was fighting for, Freedom and the Constitution.

McCarthy, Senator Joseph: Republicans support and political power was given to senator McCarthy to instill fear within the Democratic Party. He was supported by the GOP party and many resented that he accused many people of being Communists without having proof of their disloyalty. By accusing many of communism, McCarthyism arose.

Hiss, Alger: Identified as a member of the communist party by and initially denied claims. Proof was given that Hiss was involved in espionage in the 1930s with the transmitting of information to the Soviet Union through microfilm. Indicted for perjury and sentenced to five years in prison, 1950

McCarran Internal Security Act, 1950: Required all organizations that were believed to be communist by the attorney general to submit a roster of the members and financial statements to the Department of Justice. It also excluded communists from working in defense plants, passports to communists and deported aliens suspected of subversion.

Julius and Ethel Rosenberg:. In March of 1951, based primarily on the testimony of their alleged accomplices, Henry Greengrass and Harry Gold, the Rosenbergs were found guilty of conspiring to commit espionage. Their electrocution in 1953 represented the anti-Communist fever that gripped the U.S.

Hollywood 10: The 10 people from the entertainment industry called before the House Un-American Activities Committee as "unfriendly" witnesses in October 1947 became known as the Hollywood Ten. All refused to state whether they were communists, served prison sentences, and were blacklisted in the film industry.

Fuchs, Klaus: He was a German physicist who was a British citizen from 1942-1950 and an atomic scientist in the United Kingdom and the United States from 1942 on. He was sentenced to prison in England in 1950 for having given atomic secrets to the USSR. After he was freed in 1959, he went to East Germany.

"Pink Lady" - Douglas, Helen Gahagan: When Richard Nixon ran against the liberal Democratic Jerry Voorhis for a California congressional seat in 1946, he won easily by suggesting that Voorhis had left-wing tendencies. When Nixon ran for the Senate in 1950, he used similar charges to defeat the Democratic candidate, Congresswoman Douglas.

ANTI-COMMUNIST VOCABULARY: Red, pink or pinko, left-wing, and commie were some of the slurs thrown around during the McCarthy years to brand people with a communist "taint." These campaigns were known as witch-hunts by those who opposed HUAC tactics, and like the Salem witch-hunts, accusations alone, without any proof of wrong-doing, could be enough to ruin someone and get them "blacklisted" and unable to find employment.


Eisenhower and the 1950s

Hailing Eisenhower as someone whom one might have as a regular neighbor, the country overwhelmingly elected the former and celebrated World War Two Allied forces commander. Although a former military leader, Eisenhower strongly believed in the ascendancy of civilian control over the military and condemned what he termed the "military-industrial complex." During Eisenhower’s administration, the USSR made several advances in the space race pushing the United States to catch up.

1952 election: candidates, issues: Truman would not seek reelection. The Democrats drafted Adlai Stevenson, who was unsuccessful. The Republicans decided to back the war hero Dwight D. Eisenhower who chose Nixon as his running mate. The GOP controlled both houses.

IKE AND MODERN REPUBLICANISM: He provided Americans with the stability they craved, and labeled his credo "Modern Republicanism." In general, he was conservative on monetary issues and liberal "when it came to human beings." During his term as president, he backed the most extensive public-works program in U.S. history: the Interstate Highway Act and also extended social security benefits and raised the minimum wage.

"fiscal management": Large scale labor organizations and social welfare were used to deal with powerful pressure groups. It rejected an extreme step to the right side of politics and a return to the pre-New Deal policies. Also, it abandoned the goal of a balanced budget in favor of increased spending to restore prosperity.

Niebuhr, Reinhold, Rand, Ayn, The Fountainhead: Niebuhr was a theologian who expressed neo-Orthodox Protestant views and liberal social thoughts. Ayn Rand was a U.S. novelist who became a citizen in 1931 and wrote about the struggles of poverty. Her work was important in expressing life’s hardships and was published in 1928.

McCarran-Walter Immigration Act, 1952: Passed over the presidents’ veto, it validated the quota system firmly based on the idea that national origin restrained immigration from southern and Eastern Europe. This act also empowered the attorney general to exclude and deport aliens suspected of being communists.

Department of Health, Education, and Welfare (HEW): Eisenhower transformed the Federal Securities Agency into the H.E.W. and gave it cabinet rank in 1953. This agency allowed for the reorganization of government in order to achieve greater efficiency and a better economy.

Interstate Highway Act: Passed by Eisenhower, this was the largest and most expensive public-works system in American history that allowed for the building of 41,000 miles of expressways in 1956. Allowed for suburban growth, the decay of central cities, and increased America’s reliance on cars.

St. Lawrence Seaway: Approved by Eisenhower, this seaway linked the Great Lakes and the Atlantic Ocean in 1954. It was built to accelerate suburban growth, expand trade to promote economic prosperity, and allowed boats greater access to transport goods. It connected Montreal and Lake Ontario promoting good relations with Canada.

Landrum-Griffin Act: Passed in 1959 to regulate the government of unions, guarantee members’ rights, provisions for anti-corruption, and fair elections. Enacted due to the concern of financial misconduct on the part of union officials and connected to gangsters and organized crime.

Hoffa, Jimmy: He became president of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters in 1957. Jury tampering was found after he was sentenced to thirteen years in prison for the fraudulent use of the union pension fund. After losing his appeals, he was sentenced in 1967 but only served about four years and nine months in prison.

AFL-CIO merger: In 1955, this brought 85% of all union members into a single administrative unit, which promised aggressive unionism under the leadership of AFL’s George Meany as president and CIO’s Walter Reuther as vice-president. However, the movement was unable to achieve its old level of success.

Alaska, Hawaii: Congress approved Alaska as the forty-ninth state of the Union in June and Eisenhower signed the Alaska statehood bill on July 7, 1958 . Congress approved of giving Hawaii statehood in March of 1959 and it was admitted to the Union on August 21, 1959.

FIRST INDOCHINA WAR: After WWII, Ho Chi Minh of the Vietminh declared himself leader of the Republic of Vietnam and began a war to drive the France imperialists out of Vietnam in Dec of 1946. After a 55 day siege, the French surrendered at the fortress of Diem Bien Phu and July 21, 1954 a truce agreement was signed with France surrendering North Vietnam and granting independence to Cambodia, Laos, and South Vietnam.

Bricker Amendment: On January 7, 1954, Senator John W. Bricker proposed a constitutional amendment to limit the executive power of the president. His proposal called for a limit on the power of the president to negotiate treaties and executive agreements. Rejected February 26, 1954.

Dulles, John Foster: Became Secretary of State under Eisenhower in 1953. Cold Warrior who supported "massive retaliation," brinksmanship, and preemptive strike. In 1951 he was author of Japanese peace treaty. Politically influential during WWII, from 1949-1959.

"massive retaliation": January, 1940s. Secretary of State John Foster Dulles signed the Strategic Air Command as the primary deterrent for Soviet attack. Great Britain, Turkey, and Italy stationed intermediate-range nuclear weapons in their countries to provide for a capacity for "massive retaliation."

brinksmanship: This is another of the policies of John Foster Dulles that caused considerable controversy during the Cold War. Dulles declared that the United States must be prepared to "go to the brink" of war in order to attain its objectives. This stance was labeled brinksmanship.

preemptive strike: A plan of acting first with nuclear or conventional weapons as a defensive action. A preemptive strike would solve the problem before it became an issue by acting first and swiftly. A preemptive strike is another Cold War term that generated fear for the beginning of a nuclear war.

Khrushchev, 1955 Geneva Summit: The meeting of "Four Powers," US, Great Britain, France and the Soviet Union. Also present was Khrushchev, the 1st Secretary of the Communist Party. Decided to reunify Germany, and on disarmament, and how to improve relations between east and west.

Hungarian revolt, 1956: Antigovernment demonstrations in Budapest on Oct. 23, 1956 as revolutionaries demanded the denunciation of the Warsaw Pact and liberation from Soviet troops. On Oct. 21, U.S. announced it wouldn’t give military aid to the revolutionaries. On Nov. 4, Soviets attacked Hungary.

Nasser Suez Canal crisis: Dec 17, 1955, the U.S. offered Egypt a loan to build the Aswan High Dam, withdrawing its offer after Egypt accepted Soviet Union aid and Pres. Nasser nationalized the Suez canal to use tolls to build the dam. On Oct 31, Israel invaded Egypt with French and British aircraft.

PEACEFUL COEXISTENCE: A term applied to the actions of the US under Eisenhower and USSR under Khrushchev for maintaining peace and reducing the possibility of war between the two nations. The implementation of the phrase is seen in the Geneva Summit where the "spirit of Geneva" was one of peace and collaboration to create a secure and peaceful world. March 1959 the USSR and the U.S agreed to suspend atomic testing.

Eisenhower Doctrine: January 5, 1957, Eisenhower made a speech to the joint House of Congress to limit communist expansion. Authorized March 7, the Eisenhower Doctrine allowed the president to extend economic and military aid to certain nations as well as use of $200 million mutual security funds.

Common Market: Established 1958 by the Treaty of Rome to set up a wide customs union in 1968 and was joined by Great Britain in 1972. The EEC developed world wide trading relations between European nations providing for a more solidified Europe, another symbol of rearrangement of power after WWII.

Organization of American States (OAS): From the Charter of Bogotá regional association was established with US and Latin America states and formed a Inter-American conference, a Consultative Conference of Foreign Ministers, a Council with a delegate from each state, and a Secretariat and Commissions.

U-2 incident: May 3, 1960, the USSR announced an American U-2 plane was shot down in Soviet territory. May 5, NASA released a cover story of a lost weather research plane. May 7, pilot Francis Gary Powers confessed to being a CIA spy. May 11 Eisenhower admitted to authorization of U-2 flights.

ICBM: Intercontinental Ballistic missiles were developed in the 1950's in America. The ICBM's with one or two nuclear warheads had the potential to destroy the USSR and the US. ICBM's were one of the many factors that gave the American people the sense that war was imminent.

SPUTNIK: The Soviet Union launched this first satellite into orbit on October 4, 1957. Humiliated at being upstaged by the Russians, the U.S. reshaped the educational system in efforts to produce the large numbers of scientists and engineers that Russia had. In addition, to better make scientific advancements, NASA was created in 1958. Created by Congress, it brought a national aeronautics agency to administer nonmilitary space research and exploration.

National Defense Education Act (NDEA Act) : Passed in 1958 to provide $300 million in loans to students of undergraduate and graduate status, funds for training teachers, and for the development of new instructional material to ensure a higher level of national security.

"military-industrial complex": The demands of national security had produced the symbiotic relationship of immense military establishment and industry. These intertwined interests helped lead to leverage in government and threatened subordination of the military.


Civil Rights to 1960

After the army became desegregated in 1948, the position of African-Americans in civilian society came under increasing scrutiny. There was widespread recognition that the integration of society had not progressed as it was supposed to and that it was time for the African-American citizens to take a stand. Landmark decisions in the Supreme Court as well as civil rights laws foreshadowed the changes and upheaval that would come in this and following decades.

Randolph, A. Philip: President of the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters who worked to build his March-on-Washington Committee into an all-black protest movement. The Committee also engaged in civil disobedience to protest racial discrimination in all aspects of American life.

Fair Employment Practices Committee: Roosevelt issued this committee in 1941 to enforce the policy of prohibiting employment-related discrimination practices by federal agencies, unions, and companies involved in war-related work for the purpose of enforcing an Executive Order and made possible the employment of 2 million blacks.

Detroit race riots, 1966: Erupted because of constant conflict between black citizens and white cops, resulting in the bloodiest riot in this half-century. Forty-three were found dead, thousands were wounded, and over $50 million in property was destroyed.

Congress of Racial Equality (CORE): The Congress of Racial Equality was formed in 1942 to help combat discrimination through nonviolent, direct action. Led by James Farmer, it organized Freedom Rides that rode throughout the south to try to force desegregation of public facilities.

Drew, Dr. Charles: As an African-American physician, he developed techniques for the storing and processing of blood for transfusion in 1944. He also conducted research on the preservation of blood and during WWII, he developed blood-transfusion programs for the British and French.

Myrdal, Gunnar, An American Dilemma: A Swedish economist, Gunnar wrote about anticipated changes in race relations, as well as the problems between the races in 1944. He specifically noted that Black veterans returned with very high expectations from civilian life due to war.

rural and Southern to urban and Northern : Eisenhower sought to give low income farmers increased training and trade as well as to improve industry and the health of citizens of the rural South . In the urban North, a great emphasis was put upon renovation and the rehabilitation of the cities opposed to clearance and reconstruction.

To Secure These Rights: The 1946 Committee on Civil Rights dramatized the inequities of life in the South and under the Jim Crow laws. It called for an end to racial discrimination and segregation, and was called "an American charter of human freedom," by President Truman.

desegregation of the armed forces, 1948: Truman ended segregation in the army to provide support during World War II to ensure victory. He was the first president to deal with the legislative civil rights since the implementation of Reconstruction and fought for many other civil rights acts but was denied.

Korean War: Seen as a Soviet-directed aggression to test American containment policy. On June 27, 1950, Truman ordered American troops to invade South Korea. General Douglas MacArthur sought total victory, and in 1953 a cease fire was issued after a truce agreement was signed by the U.N. and Communists.

"separate but equal": Enacted because of the inferiority complex given to blacks, it set forth an attempt to liberalize without losing control. The Supreme Court said that it had no place in schools, so it ordered the desegregation of schools, navy yards and veteran hospitals.

BROWN V. BOARD OF EDUCATION OF TOPEKA: The Supreme Court reversed Plessy v. Ferguson in 1954 by ruling in favor of the desegregation of schools. The court held that "separate but equal" violated the equal protection clause of the Fourteenth Amendment and was unconstitutional. Refusing to force the white south to accept the ruling, defiance toward the law sprang up. Many southerners saw it as "an abuse of judiciary power."

Marshall, Thurgood: 1st African American justice of the Supreme Court, famous for his fight against discrimination, the death penalty, and his support of civil liberties and free speech. Previously a lawyer with such key victories as in Brown v. Board of Education, founder of the NAACP Legal Defense.

MONTGOMERY BUS BOYCOTT, Rosa Parks: In December of 1955, Parks refused to get up from her seat on the bus to give it to a white man, and was therefore arrested. This led to massive bus boycotts in Montgomery, Alabama. Because of her actions she is known as the "mother" of civil rights. Resistance to desegregation of buses was finally overcome by the Supreme Court ruling that it was unconstitutional to segregate public transportation in November, 1956.

King Jr., Rev. Martin Luther: An African-American leader who was the voice of his people. His philosophy emphasized need for direct action by getting every African-American involved in the pursuit of equality and to build a community of brotherhood in his "I have a dream" speech. On April 4,1968 he was assassinated.

LITTLE ROCK, ARK. CRISIS: Governor Orval E. Faubus sent the National Guard to bar nine black students from entering Central High School in Arkansas in 1957. Eisenhower then enforced a new court order that forced the men to withdraw, and a mob of whites reacted by preventing the students from entering the school. Then The National Guard was sent to protect the students from the violence for the rest of the school year. The school was then shut down in 1958-59.

Civil Rights Act,1957: Eisenhower passed this bill to establish a permanent commission on civil rights with investigative powers but it did not guarantee a ballot for blacks. It was the first civil-rights bill to be enacted after Reconstruction which was supported by most non-southern whites.

Civil Rights Act, 1960: Eisenhower passed this bill to appease strong southern resistance and only slightly strengthened the first measures provisions. Neither act was able to empower federal officials to register the right to vote for African-Americans and was not effective.

literacy tests, poll tax: Literacy tests were given to blacks with the idea that they would be denied the right to vote since most could not read. The poll tax prevented African-Americans from voting by requiring all voters to pay a tax, which blacks could not afford. In 1966, the poll tax was outlawed in all elections.

grandfather clause, white primaries: The grandfather clause was a provision used to exclude people who served in the war and their descendants from taking suffrage tests. It was declared unconstitutional in 1915. White primaries were used to control everything even with disenfranchisement and was declared unconstitutional in 1944.

ROBINSON, JACKIE: He was the first African-American baseball player to play professionally in 1947. He was able to break the color barrier and seemed to successfully overcome the racism so prevalent in his sport. Robinson was also was able to contribute to the winning of the pennant and Rookie of the Year in his first year of playing.