The Super 1952
The mutual hostility between the United States and the Soviet Union grew out of ideological incompatibility and concrete actions stretching back to World War I and before. The alliance of convenience and necessity against Germany temporarily muted the tensions, but disagreement over the timing of the second front and antagonistic visions of postwar Europe pushed the two nations into a "cold war" only a few months after the victory over the Axis. The Cold War was marked by confrontation and the fear of potential military conflict. The United States vowed to contain communism by any means available. Meanwhile, the American people, exhausted from a decade and a half of depression and war, turned away from economic reform. They were worried about the alleged Soviet threat in Europe, especially after Russia exploded its own atomic bomb in 1949. They were dismayed by the communist victory in China and perplexed by the limited war in Korea. Many Americans latched onto charges of domestic communist subversion as an explanation for the nation?s inability to control world events. No one exploited this mood more effectively than Joseph McCarthy.
Brinkley, Alan (2007). American history: A survey. New York, New York: McGraw Hill.
From Hot War to Cold War: 1945-1950
1943 Establishment of Los Alamos lab. Tehran conference.
1944 The Bretton Woods Conference. Supreme Court strikes down all-white primary in Smith v. Allwright.
1945 The Yalta Conference. Fire-bombing of Tokyo. Roosevelt dies; Harry Truman becomes president. Invasion of Okinawa. United Nations established. The Trinity test. Potsdam Conference and Potsdam Declaration. United States drops atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Japanese surrender.
First electronic computer (ENIAC) developed. Nuremberg Trials begin.
1946 Price controls ended. UAW, miners, and railroad workers strike.
Churchill?s "Iron Curtain" speech. George Kennan publishes "Mr. X" article.
Strategic Air Command established. Atomic Energy Commission established. Republican Party wins control of Congress.
1947 Taft-Hartley Act passed. Truman issues Truman Doctrine and institutes Loyalty Program. National Security Act passed; establishes DOD, NSC, CIA.
Brooklyn Dodgers sign Jackie Robinson. HUAC investigates Hollywood Ten.
1948 Communist coup in Czechoslovakia. Marshall Plan enacted.
Berlin airlift. United States recognizes Israel. Executive order calls for desegregation in the military. Truman wins reelection.
1949 Creation of NATO. Creation of the Federal Republic of Germany.
"Fall" of China. Soviets explode atomic bomb.
1950 Alger Hiss convicted of perjury. National Science Foundation established. Klaus Fuchs case. NSC-68.
War and Diplomacy: Although the United States experienced relatively little in the way of armed conflict in the immediate post-World War II period, the nation faced a series of tense crises with the Soviet Union between 1945 and 1950. The two wartime allies had vastly different conceptions of the shape of the postwar world, and each perceived the other's actions through a lens of distrust and suspicion. The United States gradually developed a policy of containment in an effort to prevent the expansion of Soviet power. By the end of the 1940s, communism had spread to China and other parts of Asia. Between 1950 and 1953, the United States fought a costly and inconclusive war in Korea, the first armed conflict of the Cold War.
Globalization: The expansion of the containment policy, as well as the process of helping to rebuild war-torn Western Europe and Japan, transformed America's relationship with the rest of the world. The United States developed a substantial aid program to Western Europe in the form of the Marshall Plan and occupied Japan from 1945 until the 1950s. American foreign policy became heavily focused on preserving democracies throughout Europe and Asia (and later to other parts of the world) in an effort to develop reliable allies in the anticommunist struggle. At the same time, the United States sought to promote a liberal world economic order based on free trade in an effort both to maintain foreign markets and prevent the spread of economic anarchy, which American policymakers saw as having been central to the eventual outbreak of World War II.
Politics and Citizenship: America's activist foreign policy required extensive domestic mobilization and significantly increased the power of the national state. Although President Truman had sought to keep defense spending limited in the early years of the Cold War, by 1950 American leaders believed it was necessary to undertake a major increase in defense spending to combat the Soviet threat. The nation's intelligence, military, and diplomatic institutions were all reorganized to give the president greater power and authority to conduct foreign policy.
Culture: The Cold War had profound effects on virtually all aspects of American culture. Most apparent was the pervasive fear of communism that gripped much of the American public and eventually found form in the anticommunist crusade known as McCarthyism (although the phenomenon went much deeper than the Wisconsin Senator and his followers). Long accustomed to living relatively isolated from any direct threats to the nation's security, Americans had to become accustomed to a series of threats ranging from internal subversion and espionage to the potential threat of nuclear war (even if it would be years before the Soviet Union had an effective capability for attacking American soil).
George, J. & Brown, J. (2007). AP achiever: Advanced placement american history exam preparation guide. McGraw Hill.
After World War II, the United States clashed with the Soviet Union over such issues as the Soviet dominance over Eastern Europe, control of atomic weapons, and the Soviet blockade of Berlin. The establishment of a Communist government in China in 1949 and the North Korean invasion of South Korea in 1950 helped transform the Cold War into a global conflict. The United States would confront Communism in Iran, Guatemala, Lebanon, and elsewhere. In an atmosphere charged with paranoia and anxiety, there was deep fear at home about ?enemies within? sabotaging U.S. foreign policy and passing atomic secrets to the Soviets.