Chapter 25 Review Joe Puccio
People To Identify
Thomas E. Dewey
Places To Locate
Reviewing the Facts
After World War II, the American people began to worry that since the war was over, the high unemployment rates and low wages of the Great Depression might return. Americans faced inflation instead. Prices on things were increasing and the people’s wages weren’t high enough to afford things. People began to go on strike to try to get increased wages.
Truman had many successes and failures when it came to domestic policy. For example, he supported the first comprehensive plan for national health insurance for all citizens. This initiative was killed by Congress, like many of his legislative proposals, but they did increase the number of people who could benefit from Social Security. Truman also issued an executive order banning racial segregation in the armed forces since Congress failed to pass much civil rights legislation.
The cold war was an uneasy peace after World War II that was marked by a rivalry between the United States and the Soviet Union. The cold war was not a direct confrontation. It was a battle of diplomacy, propaganda, and nerves. Tension arose over Soviet expansion in Eastern Europe and the United States responded with a policy of containment.
The policy of containment was an idea to halt further Communist expansion, with force if necessary. Most Americans supported containment because it seemed to correct the error of appeasement made before World War II. The Marshall Plan bolstered the policy of containment by proposing that the United States begin a program of massive economic aid to Europe. One of the goals of this was to contain communism.
In the Chinese civil war, the Chinese Communists fought against the Nationalist government of Chiang Kai-shek. Chiang’s army was defeated because he ignored American advice to begin land reform, end corruption, and increase democracy. He also didn’t seek a ceasefire with the Communists. In the fall of 1949, he was forced to flee China for the island of Formosa by Mao Zedong.
As concern overseas about communism overseas grew, concern in the United States grew as well. Americans became afraid that Communists were a threat to their life at home. They were encouraged to expose and denounce anyone thought to have Communist leanings. A climate of fear similar to that of the Red Scare developed.
The Loyalty Review Board was developed in 1947 by Truman to respond to fears about radicals in the government. This caused federal employees to be fired for having once belonged to a group, or signed a petition, that the Board deemed “subversive”. Around 1200 federal workers were fired for being “disloyal” or “bad security risks” while Truman was in office and about 5000 more resigned under pressure. The House Committee on Un-American Activities (HUAC) began investigating Hollywood in 1947. The believed that Communists were sneaking propaganda into films and called witnesses to ask “Are you now, or have you ever been, a member of the Communist Party or a fellow traveler?” Joseph R. McCarthy was an unknown Republican senator from Wisconsin who began making shocking claims about the Communist menace, for example, he claimed that there were 205 Communists in the State Department. His accusations ruined the careers and reputations of many people.
General Douglas MacArthur took away the power from the emperor and abolished the armed forces. He also wrote a new Japanese constitution that called for a representative government. Japan and the United States went from being bitter enemies to being strong allies.
In the Korean War, North and South Korea fought against each other. American leaders feared that if North Korea won the war then Japan might be threatened by communism. On June 27, 1950, Truman ordered air strikes against North Korean forces and sent arms to South Korea. Truman asked the UN Security Council to seek a resolution calling on other nations to help the South. This caused the effort to defend South Korea to gain support from other nations. The entry of Communist China into the war on North Korea’s side brought the conflict to a stalemate.
The stalemate in Korea angered MacArthur because he believed that he could achieve victory if Truman would allow him to use the full weight of American firepower. He called for attacks on China and even suggested the use of atomic bombs despite the fact that his superiors informed him that he had no authority to make policy. Truman refused to stand for MacArthur’s behavior and was trying to put together a settlement of the war and could no longer tolerate a military commander who was trying to sabotage his policy. Thus, on April 11, 1951, Truman announced that he fired MacArthur. This sparked a furious debate in the United States about the war. Not many people protested involvement in the war, but the changes in policy confused people. MacArthur appealed to Americans as a strong champion while Truman came across as indecisive and inept.[
Korea in 1950 was a very important place. When the south was invaded by the communist north, it sparked huge global interest. The United States acted in accordance with the Truman Doctrine, which said that it would aid any country threatened by communists. This action was very important because otherwise the conditions would have been similar to those prior to WWI, which was appeasement and lack of action by the League of Nations, the consequences of which were horrible.
MacArthur, who was in charge of America’s soldiers in Korea, was in favor of war against China and other instances of communism. He wanted to iradicate it, not only prevent its spread. Truman didn’t want to risk nuclear war and fired MacArthur when he violated the Truman Doctrine by going past just preventing the spread of communism.
I think Stalin agreed to free elections in Eastern Europe and then didn’t keep his word because he knew doing so wouldn’t damage him. He was aware that Truman wasn’t willing to go right back into war over it, and knew that almost nothing could be done otherwise.