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HIST 2057, Week 4

by: Taylor Wilson

HIST 2057, Week 4 HIST 2057

Taylor Wilson
GPA 3.5

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Cold War: The Atomic Age
The United States From 1865 to the Present
Catherine Jacquet
Class Notes
us, history, Cold War, atomic, bomb
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This 8 page Class Notes was uploaded by Taylor Wilson on Tuesday September 13, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to HIST 2057 at Louisiana State University taught by Catherine Jacquet in Fall 2016. Since its upload, it has received 4 views. For similar materials see The United States From 1865 to the Present in History at Louisiana State University.


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Date Created: 09/13/16
The Cold War and The Atomic Age US v. USSR  US as most powerful country in the world  US wants to proclaim its power as new global order – democracy and capitalism  USSR rejects American world order  USSR – communism and world revolution  Buffer states o Security vs. expansion  Economics o Capitalism Cold War  Ideological, economic, and military contest between the US and the USSR o A sustained struggle for geopolitical superiority between the US and its allies and the Soviet Union and its allies o The Cold Ward lasts from the end of the WWII (1945) to the collapse of the Soviet Union (1991)  Soviet Union wants boarder states as a protective buffer Emergence of the Cold War  First Red Scare (WWI)  Fear of communist overthrow  Grand Alliance formed out of convenience o Soviet – Nazi Non-aggression pact 1939 o June 1941 Nazis invade SU o Soviets ally with Britain and France  July 1941 o Truman on the Germans and the Russians Growing mistrust during the war years  Stalin did not accept Atlantic Charter o National determination vs. Soviet reclaiming of Poland o The allies were going to engage to support the self- determination of other countries ??  Yalta Conference (Feb. 1945) o Re-ordering of post-war Europe  Disagreements = tension  US hostility to Soviets o Truman cuts aid May 8, 1945  Tensions building  Potsdam Conference (Aug 1945) o Reparations from Germany 1 o Pro-Soviet governments in Eastern Europe Atomic Fears  Truman – international agreements to stop atomic bomb (US controlled)  Soviets distrust of US o US says that they will get rid of all their weapons if everybody else gets rid of theirs first  Massive nuclear build-up o Soviets detonate A-bomb Sept. 1949 o NSC-68 o 1952 US explodes first nuclear bomb o 1961 Soviets detonate the Tsar bomb  10x the amount of all the explosives used in WWII Soviet buffer states  Security for SU o Control of neighbors  1945 Soviets impose communist-dominated regimes in central European states  US view: aggressive invasion of sovereign nations  March 1946, Churchill “Iron Curtain” speech o East – soviet controlled o West – US and British controlled Containment **  George Kennan, the “Long Telegram” Feb. 1946 o Communism on collision course with capitalism o “Long-term, patient but firm containment of Russian expansive tendencies”  Truman Doctrine March 1947 o The start of full-blown Cold War o Aids nations who are susceptible to communist infiltration o Greece and Turkey o Commitment to global defense and a world free of communism The Marshall Plan  Massive economic aid to Europe to help Europe get back on its feet  Fears of another global depression o Disastrous to American economy o Communism could appeal to Western European countries  Goes into effect April 1948 o Sent $13 billion to W Europe 2 o Allegiance to US o USSR not eligible  Soviet view of the Marshall Plan o Cartoon – freedom = money  Marshall is the guy  Other countries bowing down and going along with what the US wants while the US gets all the money o A move by US to gain economic control over W Europe and the world o Expansionist tendencies of US o Not to assist but to enslave Europe o Soviet-occupied countries not permitted to take from American funds The Cold War in perspective  Was the Soviet Union a military threat? o Total destruction of western front from Nazi scorched-earth policy o Demobilized wartime army  11 million in 1945 to 2.9 million in 1948  1/3 full strength; 1/3 partial strength; 1/3 paper units  Half of military transport is horse drawn 1950 o The US as greatest economic power in the world  75% of worlds gold reserves  GNP rises 63% during war  Standard of living up 11% Was the Cold War actually cold?  Never a shot fired between US and USSR  War by proxy o Millions die in CW conflicts across the globe  Korean War 1950-1953  Eisenhower and covert operations o Iran 1953  Result: 25 year dictatorship o Guatemala 1954  Result: 40 year civil war o Tens of thousands dead  Vietnam The Korean War Background: o Chinese CW 1946-1949  Nationalists v. communists 3  Communists win  Mao Zedong victory 1949 o Truman “lost” China o Raiths the stakes of containment o 38 parallel  June 25, 1950  North Korea (SU and China) o Communists  South Korea (United Nations)  North Korea invade South Korea first  1950-1953 o 35,000 American deaths o 114,000 Chinese deaths o 300,000 Korean deaths Cold War Ideologies  US as an Empire of Liberty o Champion of political and economic freedom o Cold war as struggle against totalitarian, atheistic communism  Soviet Union as an Empire of Justice o Champion of dignity and empowerment of expressed peoples o Cold war as a struggle against racist, exploitative capitalism  Both neo-imperialist powers Cold War Anxieties 1950s 1. Atomic bomb 2. Red scare 3. Sexuality Arms Race  1949 Soviets detonate atomic bomb  NSC-68  1952 – US first nuclear bomb o 1,000 times more powerful than the atomic bomb o Soviet Union 1953 o Tsar bomb 1961  Massive build-up of nuclear arsenals  Massive retaliation  Escalation of the arms race o US feels that they need to stay ahead of the SU in terms of arms 4  Mutually assured destruction (MAD) o If SU and US went to nuclear war the world would be destroyed  Widespread fear  Atomic fears o “Duck and Cover” video; taught school children to hide under their desks o Gov’t wanted the American people to think that they could survive the atomic bomb  Fallout shelters o In preparation for nuclear war Heightened Mistrust  1957 – Soviets intercontinental ballistic missile  Sputnik I  Soviets hovering over the US? o Americans terrified that the Soviets were hovering  US Explorer I – Jan 1958 o Creation of NASA o NASA is the product of the cold war as a defense system and staying ahead of the Soviets  Creation of national highway system o Provided the first alternative to waterway traveling o Eisenhower 1919 – dealt first hand with the shitty state of the roads o Came from the cold war o Eliminate unsafe roads, inefficient routes and traffic jams o In case of atomic attack on cities, the roads would allow quick evacuation Dwight D. Eisenhower National System of Interstate and Defense Highways The Second Red Scare  1947 Truman’s Federal Loyalty-Security Program  Loyalty oaths o State and city governments o Private corporations  Loss of jobs  Communism  Overthrow of the US and the capitalist system House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC)  Communist influence in Hollywood  Hollywood Ten o Refused to answer questions o Walt Disney testifies actor, Ronald Regan  Claimed they supported communism 5  Blacklist o The names of people who were subversive and they would not be hired to any movies Spy Trials  Alger Hiss case o Espionage charge  Julius and Ethel Rosenberg o Working class communist couple, NYC o Conspiracy to pass secrets to Soviets concerning the atomic bomb o No case against Ethel o Executed 1953 o Julius papers may have helped the soviets McCarthyism  Senator from Wisconsin 1946  Speech in Wheeling, West Virginia 1950 o Moment of glory, able to capitalize on the anti-communist promotion  Despite having evidence he still destroys many lives o List of 205 communists working for the state dept. o Emerges as chief pursuer of subversives  Anti-communist hysteria  Condemned and Discredited in 1954 Atmosphere of fear  Anti-communism pervades American culture  State committees modeled on HUAC  Loyalty oaths  Impact on public libraries, universities o Remove books that are deemed “Un-American” o Universities refuse to allow left wing speakers o “Communist” teachers fired  15,00 federal employees lose livelihoods  Lavender Scare o Witch hunt for homosexuals o Communism and sexuality o Lavender = homosexuality o Gays and lesbians are “in the closet”  Homosexuality seen as an mental disorder  Worst than communists  Perverts o Communists could blackmail gays to give them information or they would be outed 6  Gays didn’t want to risk exposure  Many confessed to this ??  Security risk o Government used homosexuality as a means of unemployment in civil service jobs Postwar concerns about gender  Women’s “proper place”  Military men fitting back in civilian life  Anxieties surrounding shifting gender roles  Many were pushing women to get out of the labor force and back in the home  “Crisis in Masculinity” Awesome Person from History Christine Jorgensen  Story capture postwar concerns about gender  Born and raised male  Traveled to Denmark for sex reassignment surgery 1952  Understandings of trans-sexuality o Europe: medical/biological condition  Treated in transforming the body  sex reassignment surgeries o US: psychiatric condition  Media frenzy o Dec. 1952 – 50,000 words o One of most reported on topic of the year  First famous transsexual in the US o National attention to trans sexuality  Her story gives hope to thousands  “Ex-GI to Blonde Beauty”  Flooded with thousands of letters o “Your story is my story; please help.”  Revelation, role model, defender of trans people o “Suddenly, like a revelation, I knew WHO and WHAT I was – and something could be done about it!” Why Jorgensen? What does her story reveal?  Conventionally beautiful o Blonde bombshell o Postwar cult of glamour  Awe for science / scientific technology o “Impossible… That word was a challenge to me. How did anyone dare say that in the Atomic Age?”  Profound anxieties about masculinity and gender 7 o How to define a man? How to define a woman? Trans-sexuality Timeline  Trans-sexuality = the quest to transform the bodily characteristic of sex via hormones or surgery  1910s European doctors – animals  1920s – few doctors, Germany, alter bodies of a few patients o Theory of universal mixed sex  All people have mixed-sex condition  All males had female features, all females had male features  To change sex = to move along a continuum  1930s US o Sensationalized sex change stories via popular press  Newspapers, magazines, radios  Allow for some Americans to imagine their own sex change  Post WWII doctors in US seriously address sex change  Term transsexual – 1949 Dr. David Cauldwell and Dr. Harry Benjamin  Christine Jorgensen, 1952 o First famous transsexual in the US  Sex change surgeries in the US – 1960s 8


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