midterm review.docx

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Rutgers University
History, American
Jennifer Mittelstadt

Post 1945 U.S. History Midterm Review- October 15 Section One: The Foundation of Postwar Order – the New Deal and WWII State The Foundation of the Postwar Political Economy: New Deal Capitalism (September 5) Reading: Phillips Fein “Invisible Hands” ch. 1 & 2. Reference paper #1  Big Question: Was the New Deal a deal for labor? For business? Who ends up benefiting?  Answers from Class:  For workers it is aimed to providing them for great security on the job and the times when they do not have a job. Created safer jobs as well.  Provided them jobs with Public Works Projects.  The Wagner Act- legalizes unions, collective bargaining, strikes ok.  Social Security- old age retirement insurance, unemployment insurance  Fair Labor Standards Act- guidelines for working conditions  For business: yes! Roosevelt wanted to protect private enterprise. Pro-consumer programs, helped to restart business, restored competition, regularized labor relations and preserved the banking and finance sectors.  Set prices and wages for businesses  Answers from Readings:  Not a deal for private sector businesses: lost employees due to their interest in government jobs. Had to follow a national minimum wage and maximum workweek. There were also unions. Private sector businesses were unable to run their businesses the way they wanted to- had to follow government laws. Not a capitalist society.  Public works project jobs are considered easy. Leaving an inadequate supply of workers who actually want to work hard for the private sector. “Five Negroes on my place in South Carolina refused work this spring…saying they had easy jobs with the government.” (pg.4)  For workers the New Deal was a deal. They gained minimum wage, maximum workweek, unions, better working conditions, pension programs and social security.  “American workers won the legal right to be protected from the retaliation of their employers when they tried to organize unions. They gained a national minimum wage and a maximum workweek. The federal government distributed monetary relief, employed people in public works programs, established unemployment insurance, and even created a national pension program…Social Security.” (pg.9)  It was a New Deal for citizens.  “The Public Works Administration built new roads, schools, bridges and post offices.” (pg. 9)  Where does the New Deal fall on the political-economic scale?  Answers from Readings:  Liberal Left; more on the socialism side- made everything equal for everybody, government handouts, etc. NOT CAPITALIST! The White Male Breadwinner New Deal State (September 10) Readings: Kessler Harris, “Designing Women”; “Social Security Primary Sources”  Big Question: For whom was the New Deal a “deal”?  Answers from Class:  Industrial working white married men; “Breadwinners”  Answers from Readings:  Married white working man “breadwinners”  What effects on society might this deal have?  Answers from Class:  Reset the stage structurally after WWII  Men gain confidence, pride, strength  Answers from Readings:  Male dignity and female dependence  “Tying the dignity of men (defined by their capacity to provide) to the virtue of women (their willingness to remain dependent on men and to rear children) proved to be a continuing problem…” (pg. 522)  Soundness of this deal?  Answers from Class:  Good, makes sense to have more of the workforce back than less  Give them benefits as well as a job  Most women welcome Social Security  Irony- women are going to become more of the workforce, not less  Answers from Readings:  “Newly adopted social policies had many goals, but among the most dramatic were those connected with earning wages and keeping jobs.” (pg. 520) The Straight Sate: The GI Bill, Sexuality, and Gender (September 12) Readings: Canaday, “The Straight State”  Big Question: What kind of “social security” did the GI Bill create?  Answers from Class:  Creates Middle Class for post WWII society; creates contours of who gets the social and economic boost.  Answers from Readings:  “The G.I. Bill resulted in a simultaneous expansion and contraction in citizenship- opening up education and home ownership for many working- and middle-class Americans.” (pg. 937)  “…credited with moving millions of working-class Americans into the middle class by democratizing higher education and home ownership and with ushering in the postwar economic boom.” (pg. 935)  “…the generosity of the program was based on gratitude to returning veterans who had suffered severe disruption and hardship during the war.” (pg. 938)  Worried about a second depression with soldiers wandering aimlessly without jobs, and would fight for rights.  “The country would have a lot of trouble if soldiers were not given a cooling off period after the war in which they are learning something useful.” (pg. 938)  Evidence from experience of women.  Answers from Class:  1/3 never knew they were eligible for G.I. Bill- the Military never told them upon discharge  If they did qualify, they got less than married men  No family stipends while in school  No survivor’s benefits for her husband or children  No loans of widower husband  Government did not think women needed it because they would become housewives  Answers from Readings:  “Women’s benefits- particularly allowances granted to care for dependents- were inferior to men’s to begin with, and women veterans also faced hostility from the veterans’ organizations.” (pg. 956)  “The military capped women’s participation in the military at 2% of the total force circumscribed women’s overall access to the G.I. Bill, automatically directing 98% of state resources allocated for veterans toward men.” (pg. 957)  Evidence from experience of homosexual men and women.  Answers from Class:  Trying to prevent gays from joining the military  Highly masculine traditional heterosexual ideals  Reinforce masculine military  Not a part of social imagination- they are a threat!  Answers from Readings:  “…the first federal policy that explicitly excluded gays and lesbians from the economic benefits of the welfare state.” (pg. 936)  “…the military began systematically to issue the blue discharge to soldiers suspected of homosexuality.” (pg. 941)  “The new policy relied on a three-party typology for understanding homosexuality. At one end of the spectrum was the violent offender who committed sodomy by force and was subject to court martial. At the other end of the spectrum, to be treated and returned to duty, was the “casual” homosexual who had engaged in homosexuality due to curiosity or intoxication. Finally- in between these two extremes- the “true pervert” was to be discharged undesirably.”  “The policy held that an undesirable discharge because of homosexual acts of tendencies generally will be considered as under dishonorable conditions and a bar to entitlement.” (pg. 943)  Unable to afford college or find a job because of the blue discharge.  Faced with a social stigma and the loss of benefits Section Two: Cold War America Origins of the Cold War and the U.S. Role in the World (September 17) Readings: NCS-68; Truman Doctrine  Big Question: What kind of neighbor did the U.S. become during the Cold War?  Answers from Class:  Expansionist regime  Internventionalist  Any hint anyone has something to do with socialism or communism the U.S. will interfere  Answers from Readings:  “…one designed to foster a world environment in which the American system can survive and flourish. It therefore rejects the concept of isolation and affirms the necessity of our positive participation in the world community.” (NCS-86)  U.S. is responsible for the world and they need to make sure it runs smoothly.  “Our position as the center of power in the free world places a heavy responsibility upon the United States for leadership” (NCS-68)  “…the United
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