APUSH - Chapter 36 (The Cold War Begins)

24 August 2022
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baby boom (1946-1964)
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Demographic explosion from births to returning soldiers and others who had put off starting families during the war. This large generation of new Americans forced the expansion of many institutions such as schools and universities. (917)
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Berlin airlift (1948)
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Year-long mission of flying food and supplies to blockaded West Berliners, whom the Soviet Union cut off from access to the West in the first major crisis of the Cold War. (928)
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Bretton Woods Conference (1944)
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Meeting of Western allies to establish a postwar international economic order to avoid crises like the one that spawned World War II. Led to the creation of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank, designed to regulate currency levels and provide aid to underdeveloped countries. (923)
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Cold War (1946-1991)
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The 45 year diplomatic tension between the United States and the Soviet Union that divided much of the world into polarized camps, capitalist against communist. Most of the international conflicts during that period, particularly in the developing world, can be traced to the competition between the United States and the Soviet Union. (923)
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containment doctrine
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America's strategy against the Soviet Union based on ideas of George Kennan. The doctrine declared that the Soviet Union and communism were inherently expansionist and had to be stopped from spreading through both military and political pressure. Containment guided American foreign policy throughout most of the Cold War. (928)
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Employment Act of 1946
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Legislation declaring that the government's economic policy should aim to promote maximum employment, production, and purchasing power, as well as to keep inflation low. A general commitment that was much shorter on specific targets and rules than its liberal creators had wished. The Act created the Council of Economic Advisers to provide the president with data and recommendations to make economic policy. (911)
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Fair Deal
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President Truman's extensive social program introduced in his 1949 message to Congress. Republicans and Southern Democrats keep much of his vision from being enacted, except for raising the minimum wage, providing for more public housing, and extended old-age insurance to many more beneficiaries under the Social Security Act. (937)
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GI Bill (1944)
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Known officially as the Servicemen's Readjustment Act and more informally as the GI Bill of Rights, this law helped returning World War II soldiers reintegrate into civilian life by securing loans to buy homes and farms and set up small businesses and by making tuition and stipends available for them to attend college and job training programs. The Act was also intended to cushion the blow of 15 million returning servicemen on the employment market and to nurture the postwar economy. (911)
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House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC)
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Investigatory body established in 1938 to root out "subversion." Sought to expose communist influence in American government and society, in particular through the trial of Alger Hiss. (934)
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Korean War (1950-1953)
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First "hot war" of the Cold war. The Korean War began in 1950 when the Soviet-backed North Koreans invaded South Korea before meeting a counter-offensive by UN Forces, dominated by the United States. The war ended in stalemate in 1953. (938)
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Levittown
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Suburban communities with mass-produced tract houses built in the New York and Philadelphia metropolitan areas in the 1950s by William Levitt and Sons. Typically inhabited by white middle-class people who fled the cities in search of homes to buy for their growing families. (917)
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Marshall Plan (1948)
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Massive transfer of aid money to help rebuild postwar Western Europe, intended to bolster capitalist and democratic governments and prevent domestic communist groups from riding poverty and misery to power. The plan was first announced by Secretary of State George Marshall at Harvard's commencement in June 1947. (929)
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National Security Council Memorandum Number 68 (NSC-68) (1950)
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National Security Council recommendation to quadruple defense spending and rapidly expand peace-time armed forces to address Cold War tensions. It reflected a new militarization of American foreign policy but the huge costs of rearmament were not expected to interfere with what seemed like the limitless possibilities of postwar prosperity. (937)
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North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO)
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Military alliance of Western European powers and the United States and Canada established in 1949 to defend against the common threat from the Soviet Union, marking a giant stride forward for European unity and American internationalism. (932)
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Nuremberg war crimes trial (1946)
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Highly publicized proceedings against former Nazi leaders for war crimes and crimes against humanity as part of the Allies denazification program in postwar Germany. The trials led to several executions and long prison sentences. (926)
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Operation Dixie (1948)
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Failed effort by the CIO after World War II to unionize southern workers, especially in textile factories. (911)
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Sunbelt
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The fifteen-state crescent through the American South and Southwest that experienced terrific population and productivity expansion during World War II and particularly in the decades after the war, eclipsing the old industrial Northeast (the "Frostbelt"). (916)
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Taft-Hartley Act (1947)
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Republican-promoted, anti-union legislation passed over President Truman's vigorous veto that weakened many of labor's New Deal gains by banning the closed shop and other strategies that helped unions organize. It also required union leaders to take a noncommunist oath, which purged the union movement of many of its most committed and active organizers. (910)
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Truman Doctrine (1947)
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President Truman's universal pledge of support for any people fighting any communist or communist-inspired threat. Truman presented the doctrine to Congress in 1947 in support of his request for $400 million to defend Greece and Turkey against Soviet-backed insurgencies. (929)
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United Nations (U.N.)
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International body formed in 1945 to bring nations into dialogue in hopes of preventing further world wars. Much like the former League of Nations in ambition, the UN was more realistic in recognizing the authority of the Big Five Powers in keeping peace in the world. Thus, it guaranteed veto power to all permanent members of its Security Councilโ€”Britain, China, France, the Soviet Union, and the United States. (923)
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Yalta conference (1945)
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Meeting of Franklin Roosevelt, Winston Churchill, and Joseph Stalin, in February 1945 at an old Tsarist resort on the Black Sea, where the Big Three leaders laid the foundations for the postwar division of power in Europe, including a divided Germany and territorial concessions to the Soviet Union. (920)