26 The Cold War Begins 1945-1952
The Cold War Begins1945-1952 • Global Insecurities at War’s End • The Policy of Containment • Cold War Liberalism • The Cold War at Home • Cold War Culture • Stalemate for the Democrats • Conclusion
Chapter Focus Questions • What steps did the Allies take to promote growth in the postwar global economy? • How did the Truman Doctrine shape U.S. postwar foreign policy? • How did the “Fair Deal” differ from the “New Deal”? • What contributed to McCarthyism?
Chapter Focus Questions (cont’d) • What were the most important trends of the 1950s? • What issues were at the center of the election in 1952?
University of Washington, Seattle:Students and Faculty Face the Cold War • In 1948 philosophy professor Melvin Rader was falsely accused of being a communist conspirator. • During the cold war era, the federal government was providing substantial support for higher education through the G.I. Bill.
University of Washington, Seattle:Students and Faculty Face the Cold War • The student population at the University of Washington grew rapidly and a strong sense of community among the students grew, led by older, former soldiers. • The cold war put a damper on this community.
University of Washington, Seattle: Students and Faculty Face the Cold War • Wild charges of communist subversion led several states to require state employees to take loyalty oaths. • In this repressed atmosphere, faculty members were dismissed, students dropped out of school, and the free speech was restrained on the campuses.
Global Insecurities at War’s End • The WW II created an international interdependence that no country could ignore.
Global Insecurities at War’s End (cont’d) • The legendary African American folk singer Leadbelly (Huddie Ledbetter) added a fresh lyric to an old spiritual melody: “We’re in the same boat, brother.” Never before, not even at the end of World War I, had hopes been so strong for a genuine “community of nations.”
Global Insecurities at War’s End (cont’d) • But, as a 1945 opinion poll indicated, most Americans believed that prospects for peace rested mainly on Soviet-American harmony.
Financing the Future • Fears of the return of depression led the United States to take a much more active international stance. • In addition to aggressively promoting foreign trade, the U.S supported the World Bank and International Monetary Fund to promote economic growth and capitalism.
Financing the Future (cont'd) • The Soviet Union refused to accept World Bank and IMF aid for fear of becoming an economic colony of the West.
The Division of Europe • FDR’s realism allowed him to recognize that some kinds of spheres of influence were inevitable for the winning powers. • At the Potsdam Conference, Truman and new British PM Atlee found little ground for agreement with Stalin. • Disagreements over the future of Germany led to competing zones of occupation.
The Division of Europe (cont'd) • Wartime Allied cooperation had ended. • Greek children receiving bread supplied by the Marshall Plan
This photograph shows children lining up in Athens to receive bread
The United Nations and Hopes for Collective Security • The Allies created a world organization that would mediate disputes between members and impede aggressors. • The U.S., U.S.S.R, France, Britain and China, as permanent members of the Security, all had veto power over proposals.
The United Nations and Hopes for Collective Security (cont'd) • The UN was limited in diplomatic influence, but achieved great success with humanitarian programs.
The Policy of Containment • In March 1946, in a speech delivered in Fulton, Missouri, former British PM Winston Churchill declared that “an iron curtain has descended across the [European] continent.”
The Policy of Containment (cont’d) • He called directly upon the United States, standing “at this time at the pinnacle of world power,” to recognize its “awe-inspiring accountability to the future” and, in alliance with Great Britain, to act aggressively to turn back Soviet expansion. Thus was born the policy of containment.
The Truman Doctrine • While FDR favored diplomacy and compromise, Truman was committed to a get-tough policy with the Soviets. • When civil war threatened the governments in Turkey and Greece, the United States warned of a communist coup and provided $400 million to defeat the rebels.
The Truman Doctrine (cont'd) • The Truman Doctrine committed the United States to a policy of trying to contain communism.
The Marshall Plan • The Marshall Plan provided aid to rebuild Europe while securing markets for American goods. • Although successful in Western Europe, Stalin refused to participate in the Marshall Plan.
The Marshall Plan (cont'd) • The plan had the long-term impact of revitalizing the European capitalist economy and driving a further wedge between the West and Soviet Union.
The Berlin Crisis and the Formation of NATO • Stalin saw the economic merger of the western zones of Germany as a direct threat. • When the Soviets cut off access to West Berlin, the U.S. airlifted supplies to the city. • The United States also created an alliance of anti-Soviet nations, NATO, and the Soviets responded with the Warsaw Pact.
The Berlin Crisis and the Formation of NATO (cont'd) • U.S. support for French control of Indochina would eventually lead to the Vietnam War
Atomic Diplomacy • The American policy of containing communism rested on the ability to stop its expansion by military means. • After the Soviets developed nuclear weapons, both sides amassed lethal stockpiles. The U.S. and Soviets could not come up with a plan to control them. Within a few years both sides had a stockpile of hydrogen bombs.
Atomic Diplomacy (cont'd) • Atomic diplomacy diverted Truman from his domestic agenda.
Cold War Liberalism • Truman’s aggressive, gutsy personality suited the confrontational mood of the Cold War. Truman set out to enlarge the New Deal but settled on a modest domestic agenda to promote social welfare and an anti-isolationist, anti-Communist foreign policy, what became known as “Cold War liberalism.”
“To Err Is Truman” • The early years of the Truman presidency were plagued by protests by Americans tired of wartime sacrifices. • An inability to bring troops home quickly or end rationing hurt Truman’s popularity. • Inflation and strikes • Congress blocked proposals to revive the New Deal.
“To Err Is Truman” (cont'd) • In 1946, Republicans gained control of Congress and started to undo the New Deal. • Over Truman’s veto, Republicans passed the Taft-Hartley bill that curtailed the power of labor.
The 1948 Election • Henry Wallace (Progressive) challenged Truman • campaign effectively quashed by red-baiting • Truman turned to the left by discrediting Republicans. • He also offered a liberal legislative package that the “do nothing” Congress defeated.
The 1948 Election (cont'd) • The Democrats split again over civil rights when segregationists ran Strom Thurmond for president. • Truman managed to hold on to the New Deal coalition and won re-election.
The Fair Deal • 1949: Truman’s Fair Deal • Truman won some gains in public housing, minimum wage and Social Security increases, but little else from an increasingly conservative Congress. • Truman helped to define cold war liberalism as promoting economic growth through expanded foreign trade and federal expenditures, chiefly defense.
The Fair Deal (cont'd) • Anti-communism remained a key element of foreign and domestic policy.
This photograph shows a group of Hollywood Ten supporters staging a protest demonstration.
The Cold War at Home • “Communists. . .are everywhere—in factories, offices, butcher shops, on street corners, in private businesses, . . . plotting to destroy the liberties of every citizen,” Attorney General J. Howard McGrath warned in 1949. FBI director J. Edgar Hoover warned against “the diabolic machinations of sinister figures engaged in un-American activities.”
The Cold War at Home • In reality, the CPSUA was in decline and the threats from subversive activities of American-bred Communists were relatively small. Fearful Americans nonetheless supported an anti-subversive crusade, trading security for liberty.
The National Security Act of 1947 • A massive reordering of governmental power • National Security Act of 1947 • Defense Department, a huge and powerful bureaucracy. • Department of Defense and National Science Foundation • pursued scientific research, especially related to physics.
The National Security Act of 1947 (cont'd) • The CIA dwarfed the size of the State Department. • 1952: government payrolls grew to 4 million, defense expenditures accounted for 10% of GDP.
The Loyalty-Security Program • Truman promoted a loyalty program. • The attorney general published a list of potentially subversive organizations. • Many groups disbanded and previous membership in them destroyed individuals’ careers. A wide range of restrictions on alleged subversives passed Congress.