APUSH Chapter 36 – The Cold War Begins

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Post-War economy

prices elevated 33% from 1946-1947 after the wartime price controls were removed. An epidemic of strikes swept over the country in 1946.

Taft-Hartley Act

1947- outlawed the "closed" (all-union) shop, made unions liable for damages that resulted from jurisdictional disputes among themselves, and required union leaders to take a noncommunist oath. Taft-Hartley was just one of several obstacles that slowed the growth of organized labor in the years following WWII.

Operation Dixie

aimed at unionizing southern textile workers and steelworkers, failed in 1948 to overcome lingering fears of racial mixing.

Employment Act 1946

Enacted by Truman, it committed the federal government to ensuring economic growth and established the Council of Economic Advisors to confer with the president and formulate policies for maintaining employment, production, and purchasing power

Council of Economic Advisers

A three-member body appointed by the president to advise the president (Truman) on economic policy.

Servicemen’s Readjustment Act of 1944

better known as the GI Bill, it paid for returning soldiers to go back to school, and guaranteed loans for veterans to buy homes or property. By raising educational levels and stimulating the construction industry, the GI Bill powerfully nurtured the long-lived economic expansion that took hold in the late 1940s.

1950s economy

the American economy entered a twenty-year period of tremendous growth. During the 1950s and 1960s, national income nearly doubled, giving Americans about 40% of the planet’s wealth.

Middle Class

doubled from pre-Great Depression days, including 60% of the population by the mid 1950s.

military budget 1950s

helped jumpstart high-technology industries such as aerospace, plastics, and electronics. Cheap energy also fueled the economic boom. American and European companies controlled the flow of abundant petroleum from the expanses of the Middle East, and they kept prices low.

Sunbelt 1950s

population doubled compared to the old industrial zones of the Northeast (the "Frostbelt").

Federal Housing Administration (FHA)

A federal agency established in 1943 to increase home ownership by providing an insurance program to safeguard the lender against the risk of nonpayment. Currently part of HUD.

Veterans Administration (VA)

An agency of the federal government created to provide a loan guaranty program which enables qualified veterans to finance real estate purchases with a higher loan-to-value ratio than is normally possible with conventional financing.

White flight

working and middle-class white people move away from racial-minority suburbs or inner-city neighborhoods to white suburbs and exurbs. The FHA often refused blacks home mortgages for private home purchases, thus limiting black mobility out of the inner cities.

baby boom

An increase in population by almost 30 million people. This spurred a growth in suburbs and three to four children families.

Big Three

allies during WWII; Soviet Union – Stalin, United Kingdom – Churchill, United States – Roosevelt

Yalta Conference

February 1945 — FDR, Churchill and Stalin met here. Russia agreed to declare war on Japan after the surrender of Germany and in return FDR and Churchill promised the USSR concession in Manchuria and the territories that it had lost in the Russo-Japanese War. Stalin agreed that Poland, with revised boundaries, should have a representative government based on free elections-a pledge he soon broke. Bulgaria and Romania were likewise to have free elections-a pledge also broken. The Big Three also announced plans for fashioning a new international peacekeeping organization-the United Nations.

Far East

a popular expression for the countries of eastern Asia (usually including China and Mongolia and Taiwan and Japan and Korea and Indochina and eastern Siberia)

Soviet sphere of influence

By maintaining this in Eastern and Central Europe, the USSR could protect itself and consolidate its revolutionary base as the world’s leading communist country. Contradicted FDR’s dream of an open world.

"open world"

FDR’s Wilsonian dream of a decolonized, demilitarized, and democratized world

Cold War

A conflict that was between the US and the Soviet Union. The nations never directly confronted eachother on the battlefield but deadly threats went on for years.

Bretton Woods

Representatives from 44 countries met in New Hampshire to design a new international monetary system; resulted in the establishment of the IMF and the World Bank.

International Monetary Fund (IMF)

an international organization that acts as a lender of last resort, providing loans to troubled nations, and also works to promote trade through financial cooperation. Also encourages world trade by regulating currency exchange rates.

International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (World Bank)

was passed to promote economic growth in war-ravaged and underdeveloped areas (by western allies at bretton woods)

United Nations Conference

April 25, 1945. 50 nations, based upon idealism, fairer power and an attempt to prevent any wars.

United Nations charter

formed in 1945, with 192 members who propose to maintain international peace and security, the development of friendly relations between and among all nations and the promotion of justice and cooperation in the solution of international problems

Security Council

Five permanent members( US, UK, France, China, USSR) with veto power in the UN. Promised to carry out UN decisions with their own forces.


"United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization "–an agency of the United Nations that promotes education and communication and the arts


"Food and Agricultural Organization" — the United Nations agency concerned with the international organization of food and agriculture


"World Health Organization" — a United Nations agency to coordinate international health activities and to help governments improve health services

Bernard Baruch

He headed the War Industries Board which placed the control of industries into the hands of the federal government. It was a prime example of War Socialism. In 1946 — called for a U.N. agency, free from the great-power veto, with worldwide authority over atomic energy, weapons, and research. The plan quickly fell apart as neither the United States nor the Soviet Union wanted to give up their nuclear weapons.

Nuremberg, Germany (Nuremberg Trials)

city where high ranking Nazis were tried and sentenced after WWII… 1945-1946. At first, Americans wanted to dismantle German factories and reduce the country to nothing. The Soviets, denied of American economic assistance, were determined to rebuild their nation through reparations from Germany. Eventually, Americans realized that a flourishing German economy was indispensable to the recovery of Europe. The Soviets refused to realize this.

Austria and Germany divide

At the end of the war, Austria and Germany had been divided into 4 military occupation zones, each assigned to one of the Big Four powers (France, Britain, America, and the USSR).

iron curtain

an impenetrable barrier to communication or information especially as imposed by rigid censorship and secrecy aka eastern germany taken over by soviet russia

Berlin 1948

Stalin set up a blockade, preventing any trade from going into West Berlin; US merchants funded the advancement aviation bringing about the Berlin Air Lift which dropped supplies to the West Berliners; we won this conflict b/c Stalin’s plan to starve out W.Berlin failed and he retreated in 1945

containment doctrine

a foreign policy strategy advocated by George Kennan that called for the United States to isolate the Soviet Union, "contain" its advances, and resist its enroachments by peaceful means if possible, but by force if neccesary.

Truman Doctrine

March 12, 1947– est. after Britain no longer could afford to provide anti-communist aid to Greece and Turkey, it pledged to provide U.S. military and economic aid to any nation threatened by communism.

George C. Marshall

Secretary of State, invited the Europeans to work out a "joint plan" for their economic recovery, offered financial aid to the Soviet Union and its allies

Marshall Plan

a United States program of economic aid for the reconstruction of Europe (1948-1952)

European Community (EC)

Common Market, 1957, goal was to expand free trade, same six nations as the coal and steel community, ended tariffs on goods and allowed workers to move freely (1973) britain joined with ireland and denamrk AKA the European Union

May 14, 1948

The day Israel proclaimed itself an independent jewish state.. It was of interest to the US and Europe for Oil

National Security Act 1947

created several agenices: department of defense, national security council, center for intelligence act.

National Security Council (NSC)

An agency in the Executive Office of the President that advises the president on national security.

Central Intelligence Agency (CIA)

This group was created after WW II to coordinate American intelligence activities abroad, conspiracy, and meddling as well.

North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO)

Defensive military alliance formed in 1949 by ten Western European countries, the US and Canada. , Founded to oppose and deter Soviet power in Europe. It includes 28 members which posses nearly half of the world total, but a US general has always been the "allied supreme commander." It’s arch nemesis is The Warsaw Pact. The NATO pact marked a dramatic departure from American diplomatic convention, a gigantic boost for European unification, and a significant step in the militarization of the Cold War.

MacArthur-dictated constitution

1946 – renounced militarism and introduced western-style democratic government in Japan.

Mao Zedong

Leader of the Chinese Communist Party (1927-1976). He led the Communists on the Long March (1934-1935) and rebuilt the Communist Party and Red Army during the Japanese occupation of China (1937-1945).

September 1949

Soviet Union exploded its first atomic bomb, 3 years before experts thought possible

H-bomb (Hydrogen Bomb)

Ordered by Truman, the first U.S. H-bomb was exploded in 1952. The Soviets exploded their first H-bomb in 1953, and the nuclear arms race entered a dangerously competitive cycle

Loyalty Review Board

1947 – investigated 3 million federal employees in fear of communism / spies

Smith Act of 1940

first antisedition law since 1798 — , made it illegal to advocate the overthrow of the US government by force or violence

Dennis v. United States (1951)

Supreme Court ruling that held "advocating or teaching" revolution was a "clear and present danger" to the United States.Limited free speech and demonstrated the impact of McCarthyism on American society.


unscrupulously accusing people of disloyalty (as by saying they were Communists)

Committee on Un-American Activities (HUAC)

A committee created in 1938 to investigate "subversion"/corruption, hunted out communists in the government

Alger Hiss

A former State Department official, prominent ex-New Dealer and a distinguished member of the "eastern establishment" who was accused of being a Communist spy and was convicted of perjury. The case was prosecuted by Congressman Richard Nixon.

McCarran Internal Security Bill

1950 – vetoed by Truman, authorized the president to arrest and detain suspicious people during an "internal security emergency"

Julius and Ethel Rosenberg

Arrested in the Summer of 1950 and executed in 1953, they were convicted of conspiring to commit espionage by passing plans for the atomic bomb to the Soviet Union.

Election of 1948

Truman (D) defeats Dewey (R) in a stunning upset–Henry Wallace leds new Progressive party

Point Four

Truman’s "bold new program" to lend money and technical aid to under developed countries so that they would not succumb to communism

Fair Deal 1949

alled for improved housing, full employment, a higher minimum wage, better farm price supports, new TVAs, and an extension of Social Security. The only major successes came in raising the minimum wage, providing for public housing in the Housing Act of 1949, and extending old-age insurance to many more beneficiaries in the Social Security Act of 1950.

Housing Act of 1949

Act passed by Congress that’s goal was to provide a decent home for every family in America, funded by public housing and urban renewal programs. Ended up making things worse

38th parallel

the line that marked the division between north and south korea. After Japan collapsed in 1945, so did the control of Korea and the communist Russians took over the north.

June 25, 1950

the North Korean army invaded South Korea. President Truman’s National Security Council had recommended NSC-68, calling for the quadrupling of the United States’ defense spending. Without Congress’s approval, Truman ordered American air and naval units to be sent to support South Korea.

Korean War

The conflict between Communist North Korea and Non-Communist South Korea. The United Nations (led by the United States) helped South Korea.


A document that pushed for a large build up of the U.S military. It allowed the U.S to quickly build up its military for the Korean conflict. Also key document of the Cold War because it not only marked a major step in the militarization of American foreign policy, but it reflected the sense of almost limitless possibility that encompassed postwar American society.

November 1950

Chinese communists launch major offensive in Korea – US and UN driven south

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