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Politics in the 1950’s The End of WW2 • 33rd President of the United States • Became president on April 12, 1945 when President Franklin Delano Roosevelt died. • Forced Japanese surrender during WWII, by ordering the drop of the atomic bomb on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. President Harry Truman Harry Truman, Winston Churchill, and Joseph Stalin met in the German city of Potsdam in July of 1945 to discuss the future of Europe. Although the US and the USSR had been allies in the war against Nazi Germany, at the Potsdam Conference they could not agree on how to reconstruct postwar Europe. Dropping the Bomb Shortly after the Potsdam Conference, the United States dropped the atomic bomb on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. (August 6, 1945) Though this forced Japanese surrender and effectively ended WWII, it added to Soviet distrust of the United States. The Berlin Wall Following the Allied victory in May, the Soviets occupied Eastern Europe and the U.S. occupied much of Western Europe. The city of Berlin was divided between East (Communist) and West by the Berlin Wall until the early 1990s. United Nations The UN was founded in 1945 after the end of WWII by the victorious Allied Powers in the hope that it would intervene in conflicts between nations and avoid future wars. • The five permanent members of the UN Council are the main victors of WWII: People’s Republic of China, France, the Soviet Union, the United Kingdom, and the United States. • It is an international organization whose goal is to facilitate cooperation in international laws, international security, economic development, social progress, and human rights issues. The Cold War The Cold War Files The Cold War was the period of conflict, tension, and competition between the United States, the Soviet Union and their allies from the mid 1940s until the early 1990s. The main U.S. allies were Western Europe, Turkey, Japan, and Canada. The main Soviet allies were Eastern Europe and China. VS. The Cold War Files • Never direct military engagement between the US and the USSR, rivalry between the two superpowers played out in multiple arenas over the next fifty years: military buildup and espionage, political ideas, industrial and technological developments, and proxy wars. • A proxy war is when two powers use third parties as a substitute for fighting each other directly. The Korean War http://www.history.navy.mil/photos/images/g420000/g420926.jpg The Korean War has often been called “The Forgotten War” because of it’s placement between WWII and the Vietnam War. On June 25, 1950, the Communist North Korean People's Army under the command of dictator Kim II Sung invaded South Korea, causing the outbreak of the Korean War. Poorly trained and ill equipped, the South Korean Army was rapidly pushed back, quickly losing it’s capital of Seoul. Upon news of the invasion, Truman called for a naval blockade in Korea and promptly urged the United Nations to intervene. It did, authorizing armed defense for the first time in its history. Truman sent full military resources to Japan. • MacArthur oversaw the occupation of Japan from 1945 to 1951. • After North Korea’s invasion into South Korea, General Douglas MacArthur was named Commander of all United Nations forces in Korea in 1950-1951. • United Nations forces crushed the North Korean invasion in 90 days. MacArthur was a war hero during WWII. Receiving the highest military award, the Medal of Honor, for his leadership. Communist China supported North Korea with troops and supplies. MacArthur wanted to bomb their supply bridges and bases in Manchuria, but military leaders in Washington restricted him to Korea, which he said was “the most indefensible and ill-conceived decision ever forced on a field commander in our nation's history." MacArthur was relieved of his command by President Truman in April 1951. In closing, during his farewell address to the United States Congress, General MacArthur said: “I am closing my 52 years of military service. When I joined the Army, even before the turn of the century, it was the fulfillment of all of my boyish hopes and dreams. The world has turned over many times since I took the oath on the plain at West Point, and the hopes and dreams have long since vanished, but I still remember the refrain of one of the most popular barrack ballads of that day which proclaimed most proudly that "old soldiers never die; they just fade away." And like the old soldier of that ballad, I now close my military career and just fade away, an old soldier who tried to do his duty as God gave him the light to see that duty. Good Bye.” th 34 President Dwight D. Eisenhower Eisenhower's campaign attacked Truman's policies regarding “Korea, Communism, and Corruption.“ He promised to go to Korea himself to end the war, maintain a strong stand abroad against Communism, and a corruption-free frugal administration at home. • On November 29, 1952, Eisenhower fulfilled his campaign promise by going to Korea to find out what could be done to end the conflict and a cease fire was established on July 29, 1953. • A demilitarized zone (DMZ) was created at the 38th parallel. • No peace treaty has been signed to date. It is still defended by North Korean troops on one side and South Korean and American troops on the other. It is the most heavily armed border in the world. The Cuban Revolution The purpose of the Cuban Revolution was to overthrow Cuban dictator Fulgencio Batista, and to establish a new Cuban government led by Fidel Castro. • On July 26, 1953, a group of poorly armed guerrillas attacked the Moncada Barracks in Santiago de Cuba. Among them were Fidel Castro Ruz and his brother Raul Castro. • Though the attack was unsuccessful, this event marked the beginning of the Cuban Revolution. Moncada barracks shortly after the attack http://www.answers.com/topic/moncada-barracks • Fidel Castro was sentenced to 15 years in prison, but due to pressure from civil leaders, was released in 1955. • He was exiled to Mexico, where he again plotted to overthrow Batista. Fidel returned to Cuba, leading the 26th of July Movement (named for the failed attack on the Moncada Barracks), and succeeded in driving Batista out of Cuba. Castro's forces took over on January 2, 1959. Flag of the 26th of July Movement Castro was sworn in as Prime Minister of Cuba on February 16, 1959. In his older years he had periodic health problems that required his brother, Raul Castro, to stand in as acting Prime Minister. Fidel Castro · Died Nov 25, 2016 of Diverticulitis – a disease of the colon – and Raul Castro became the new Prime Minister of Cuba. The Space Race • The Cold War also sparked the Space Race between the United States and the Soviet Union. • The Space Race was an informal competition between the United States and the Soviet Union lasting roughly from 1957 to 1975. Both countries sought to establish dominance in space. The Space Race began when the Soviets launched Sputnik 1 into the “October Sky” on October 4, 1957. • Sputnik 1 was launched from Baikonur Cosmodrome (the world's oldest and largest space launch facility) in Kazakhstan, then part of the Soviet Union. The Russian word "Sputnik" means "travel companion." • Sputnik 2 was the second spacecraft launched into Earth orbit, on November 3, 1957, and the first to carry a living animal - a dog. It was a coneshaped capsule with several compartments for radio transmitters, a temperature control system, and other scientific instruments. A separate sealed cabin contained the experimental dog, Laika. Laika Laika died a few hours after launch from stress and overheating, perhaps due to a malfunction in the thermal control system. The true cause of her death was not made public until decades after the flight. Some former Soviet scientists have since expressed regret that Laika was allowed to die. • Sputnik 3 was a Soviet satellite launched on May 15, 1958. • It was a research satellite to explore the upper atmosphere and near space. • The spacecraft remained in orbit until April 6, 1960, when the orbit degraded and caused the satellite to reenter the atmosphere. Sputnik 3 The American Civil Rights Movement (1955-1968) refers to events and reform movements in the United States aimed at abolishing racial discrimination against African Americans. Brown vs. the Board of Education On May 17, 1954, the United States Supreme Court outlawed racial segregation of public schools. On December 1, 1955, Rosa Parks (later named the "mother of the Civil Rights Movement") refused to get up out of her seat on a public bus in Montgomery, Alabama, to make room for white passengers. Parks was arrested, tried, and convicted for disorderly conduct and violating a local ordinance. When word of this incident reached the black community, 50 African-American leaders gathered and organized the “Montgomery Bus Boycott” to protest the segregation of blacks and whites on public buses. The boycott lasted for 382 days, until the local ordinance segregating African-Americans and whites on public buses was lifted. Through her role in sparking the boycott, Rosa Parks played an important part in internationalizing the awareness of the plight of African Americans and the civil rights struggle. Rosa Parks died on October 24, 2005.