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HST210 – Cold War Continued.docx

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Ryerson University
HST 210
Jenny Carson

HST210 – US History 1877 to Present Lecture #13 – Cold War Continued 1949 - Soviet Union detonates its first atomic bomb, years earlier than predicted o Communists, under Mao Zedong, gain control of China and form the People's Republic of China o Americans lose China > Truman accused o China invaded and occupied by Japan during WWII o nationalists & communists (under Mao) worked together to defeat the Japanese o civil war breaks out between nationalists and communists after WWII o Mao popular in Chinese countryside (85% of population) o forces in the US lobby Truman to save China (China Lobby) o Truman doesn't do anything  doesn't want to start anything with communists bc war just ended  he didn't think he could win > "sending money to china would be like throwing money down a rathole" o communists won the civil war Korean War (Korean Conflict) - called a conflict bc it was a UN mission, US never declares war - End ofWWII- Allies divide Korea, ceded by Japan, at the 38 parallel - US backs pro-Western government in the South - Soviet Union backs the communist government in the North (Kim Il Sung) - kind of like Berlin, spoils of the war divided Korea - 1950, North Korea invades South Korea and captures Seoul o have the blessing of the USSR - Truman scared that if North Koreans declare war, China and USSR will support N Korea - US –led UN Force launches an amphibious landing at Inchon and retakes South Korea - 1953-armistice returns Korea to its pre-war borders Impact of Korean War - demonstrates that the US is committed to the containment of communism in Western Europe and Asia - Expands the geographical scope of the Cold War to East Asia. - Increases tensions between China and the U.S. - Ensures public and executive support for the military spending recommended by NSC- 68. NSC-68 - drafted in 1950 > beginning of Korean war - commits the US to a broad crusade against communism everywhere it existed - Called for a vastly enlarged military budget and covert operations to counter Soviets - calls for covert actions to stop the speed of communism - By the time the Korean War ended, the defines budget had quadrupled from 13.5 billion to more than 52 billion. - Inaugurates a period of huge government deficits and massive military spending. Domestic Anti-Communism - 1950s is characterized by intense fears about the threat of Communism at home (in reality, only 30,000 Americans belong to the U.S. Communist Party). o most of them weren't trying to start a revolution o attracted to stance on labour issues, civil rights o most were loyal to US government, not trying to overthrow it o there were a few communists who were spies - Federal government, President Truman, the media and FBI play key roles in fomenting public fear of domestic Communism o if you weren't anti-communism, you wouldn't get elected Rooting Out Communists in Government - Truman established the Federal Employees’Loyalty and Security Program (1947) to purge Communists from the federal government. o federal government employees could be called before a hearing where they would asked about political leanings, etc o if reasonable grounds found, you were fired o disloyal action was defined broadly o state/city government also institute loyalty programs o between 1947 & 1951: about 3000 workers are fired from the federal government bc of their supposed disloyalty > a few were actually communist - J. Edgar Hoover and the FBI carry out the security checks House Un-American Activities Committee(HUAC) - formed during WWII to investigate fascism in the US - Standing committee of the House of Representatives that investigated threats of subversion. - In 1947, HUAC holds hearings into the Communist influence in Hollywood. - Friendly witnesses like Ronald Reagan testify before HUAC and name names Hollywood Ten Refuse to Testify Before HUAC and Are Jailedfor Conpempt of Congress - government used hollywood during WWII to pump out propaganda films - government understood the power hollywood had, so they wanted to control the message - assumption that there were lots of communists in hollywood - directors/producers refused to testify on the grounds of the 5th amendment > yes, they were communist - those who refused to testify went to jail or lost their jobs Spies! - Alger Hiss, a former State Department official, spied for the Soviet Union in the 1930s. - Because of Hiss’s association with the New Deal, conservatives use his 1949 conviction to tarnish the New Deal. - prosecuted for lying under oath and sentenced to 4 years in jail - Julius and Ethel Rosenberg are executed in 1953 for spying- foments fears of domestic subversion and fuels McCarthyism o jewish couple, members of communist party o plotted to pass on nuclear secret to Stalin McCarthyism - McCarthy gave a speech at a republican women's group > said US was losing the war bc of all the traitors in government o said he had a list of 205 car carrying communists working in the state department > not true, fabrication - Senator Joseph McCarthy (Wisconsin) led a four-year witch hunt to root out communists in government. o takes away books from libraries o 10,000 people lose their jobs o broad public support >
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