Cold War America
Part III - 1945-1999
- "For all their prosperity, Americans did not feel secure in 1946."
- military and ideological rivalry with the Soviet Union, an expensive arms race, a repressive atmosphere at home
- "Since the 1950s American politics and society has been transformed in two fundamental ways."
- First, the "rights" revolution of civil rights, Great Society, marginal groups, women's movement, family life, immigration
- Second, the rise of conservatism in economic stagnation, Reaganite Republicanism, unfulfilled ideals of racial harmony, social equality, workplace justice
Chapter 11: The Cold War Boom 1946-1960
- "most impressive" achievement of WWII was "the extraordinary strength of the American economy"
- "This enormous military and industrial power enabled the United States to become the guardian of a postwar Pax Americana, with interests "indissolubly linked to a global order"
Origins of the Cold War
- Joseph Stalin, Soviet sphere of influence
- Bretton Woods Conference made U.S. currency the world reserve
- George Kennan and the strategy of containment
- Winston Churchill and the Iron Curtain
- "the ideological confrontation with the Soviets soon turned into a military and economic projection of U. S. power."
- Truman Doctrine, Marshall Plan, Berlin blockade, NATO
- anticolonialism and nationalism and revolutionary social movements of Ho Chi Minh, Mao Zedong
- "loss" of China accelerated a controversial new "super" bomb and NSC-68
- Korean War, CIA, "the arrogance of power"
- Cold War Policies
Labor Loses Ground
- postwar antilabor campaign of conservatives and anticommunists and employers and Congress
- Taft-Hartley Act "signaled a major shift in the tenor of class relations in the United States."
- counterstrategy by liberals and unions of southern organizing and political realignment
- Operation Dixie by CIO failed in the South
- "the USW actually raided the Mine, Mill, and Smelter local, destroying one of the black community's most progressive institutions."
- Are We Winning Mommy?
- Progressive party of Henry Wallace opposed by CIO and liberal Americans for Democratic Action
- Democratic party of Harry Truman and Clark Clifford shifted leftward to win the support of "labor and urban minorities"
- FEPC, Randolph's desegregation of armed forces, civil rights commission
- States Rights party of Strom Thurmond and Dixiecrats
- conservative coalition blocked Truman's Fair Deal
- National Association of Real-Estate Boards, Farm Bureau, AMA
- Truman 1948
Weapon of Anti-Communism
- "pervasive antiradicalism" merged with postwar hostility to the New Deal
- HUAC, Loyalty Program, "obsessive quest for internal security"
- "The most relentless interrogator, Republican senator Joseph McCarthy of Wisconsin cast himself as the ultimate patriot" and became "one of the most feared political figures of the early 1950s"
- "anti-communism polarized the labor movement"
- CIO denounced UE as "the Communist Party masquerading as a trade union"
- Walter Reuther denounce Communists in UAW
- Catholics and Slavs and Hungarians opposed Communists
- Coleman Young and blacks less anti-Communist
- Jews "were often victims of the anti-Communist witch-hunt"
- Julius and Ethel Rosenberg "were the first American citizens ever to be executed for treason in time of peace"
- Age of Paranoia
I Like Ike
- Eisenhower and Nixon defeated Stevenson and Sparkman 1952
- Charles E. Wilson, John Foster Dulles
- nuclear brinksmanship, massive retaliation, duck and cover
- Eisenhower avoided war, critical of "military-industrial complex"
- car culture, baby boom, affluent society, quiz shows
- Keynesian full employment, consumer spending
- "Two new forces dominated the nation's economy in this era: a strong union movement and an enormous peacetime military establishment"
- 35% of labor force belonged to a union in 1953, pushed up wages
- 10% of GNP for military spending
- Henry Jackson of WA, L. Mendel Rivers of SC, highway program
- the boom did not create a classless postindustrial society
- "The lines dividing American society did not disappear in the 1950s; rather, they were redrawn."
- Reinhold Niebuhr
- industry accepted wage increases, cost-of-living adjustments
- GM-UAW contract was "a dramatic departure" that included 2% annual improvement factor
- pensions added to the 1950 five-year Treaty of Detroit
- wildcat strikes "had little long-range effect"
- George Meany and AFL-CIO merger for "an ever rising standard of living"
- but unions became "sleepy monopoly" and corrupt
- hearings of Sen. John McClellan 1957-58, Robert Kennedy
Flight from Farms
- 40% jobs by "marginal groups" in "secondary labor market"
- women workers, service sector, decline of farmers
- mechanization of cotton caused growth of Chicago South Side
- mechanization of sugar in Operation Bootstrap caused unemployment in Puerto Rico
- immigration to El Barrio in East Harlem, by braceros to Southwest
- African Americans, Puerto Ricans, Chicanos faced the "color line" and lived in "relatively segregated and culturally isolated communities" that were not changed by symbolic events like Jackie Robinson, and "remained inwardly focused, sustained by their own institutions and cultural traditions."
- Men of Honor film released Nov. 9, 2000, is based on the true story of the first African-American to break the "color line" in the Navy rescue and slavage divers
- white-collar more than blue-collar in 1956
- the wage earner "became a pencil pusher working for a large, impersonal entity"
- manual labor jobs grew, women in clerical or service staff jobs were low-status, segregated from men, in a "female job ghetto"
- ideology of Rosie the Riveter replaced by the Feminine Mystique of submissiveness and domesticity, portrayed in the media as "incompetent and vulnerable, fulfilled only in the context of a stable and secure marriage"
- Playboy magazine and Peyton Place novel celebrated consumerism and gender orthodoxy
- ethnic and religious divisions became less important in increasingly homogenous culture
- civic religion, high school, sports and teen culture, military draft, GI Bill
- Levittowns, VA loans, restrictive covenants, red-lining
- "Living in public housing was viewed by many as a stigma, and new high-rise projects took on a harsh and regimented appearance"
- "union policy on two key issues of the period, automation and employee fringe benefits, further divided workers"
- Affluent Society
Father Knows Best
- Goldbergs and Honeymooners replaced by sitcoms and westerns that "bleached ethnicity, class, and social commentary out of their story lines"
- Allen Ginsberg, Jack Kerouac
- JDs, alienation, ghetto values, rock and roll, counterculture rejection of middle-class values
- Golden Age of Television
- Film Noir and Billy Wilder and Raymond Chandler
Cold War Policies and links
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