The USA 1945-70 : A Divided Union?
Key Topic 1: The impact of the cold war
The ideological clash behind the cold war:
The soviet union was a communist state in which the government owned and controlled the economy- it had a non democratic government. The USA was a capitalist country where it had a democratic government. The economy was not state owned. The opposition between these two super powers became known as the cold war
After the second world war the usa watched the spread of communism over the countries of eastern europe. To help stop this truman announced his doctrine which included him saying that he wanted to contain the spread of communism. The marshall plan was also announced, this consisted of the capitalist USA helping any european countries suffering badly after the war to keep them from communism. The SU saw this as an attempt to bribe these countries into staying capitalist Cold war fears continues to drive us policy abroad and at home for many years as many people were scared of the possibility of a nuclear war and the US was desperate to keep the secret of making the atomic bomb outside the soviet hands
How cold war fear affected US foreign policy:
The first clash of the cold war was in berlin. Britain America France and the Soviet union all held parts in uniting germany. However the SU encouraged the people of Berlin to vote to become communist in the ‘free’ elections and as a result of this, they closed ll transport links out of the communist side of berlin cutting off supplies to the British, American and French sector. As a result of this ,the soviet union hoped that this would make these sectors starved into voting communism. However, the western powers flew in supplies into these sectors and the berlin blockade was stopped resulting in germany being permanently divided.
Another clash involved korea. Korea was like germany, with the USA and the SU disagreeing to reunify. The north of korea was communist and the south of korea was non communist. With the USA fearing the domino affect- spread of communism, and the SU seeing korea as an important symbol of asia, the SU invaded south korea with the aim to make it communist, The USA supported south korea by sending in military supports. The war dragged on until 1954 with the country still being divided
The activities of HUAC and the Spread of the Red Scare
With the fear of communism growing people became suspicious and believed that the SU was working secretly inside the USA to overthrow the government. The House Committee on Un-American Activities was set up to search out soviet agents. Elizabeth Bentley admitted to being a soviet agent and gave names of 150 agents including 40 government officials. HUAC questioned these individuals and held further investigations. HUAC also investigated hollywood fearing that communists might use the film industry to spread propaganda. 10 hollywood writers and actors refused to give evidence to HUAC because they argues that they had freedom of speech and that they was entitled to their own political beliefs. These were known as the ‘Hollywood Ten’. These were put into prison for refusing to give evidence. As a result of this, people began to not support those who were investigated by HUAC or the FBI as the fear of communism increased.
The Hiss Case-
Alger Hiss, who advised Roosevelt and worked in the UN was accused of being communist in 1948. He was accused before but this time HUAC accepted the evidence against him and he was sent to trial. During the trial the soviet union started testing the atomic bomb and fears of a nuclear war grew. The evidence for & against Alger Hiss was very complicated and he was accused for lying in court (not spying) and was sentenced to Five years in prison. Although he was not accused of spying, A guilty verdict gave the public a general view that he was a spy therefore this causes anti-communist hysteria to increase....