Would the Cold War turn into another hot war in Europe? The Korean War Japan had occupied Korea between Soviet forces in the North and American forces in the south replaced Japanese soldiers. Korea became divided in two, in a similar manner to the division of Germany. Stalin promised free elections in Korea at the Yalta, but he broke his promise. Instead northern Korea became a communist satellite state under the control of Kim Il Sung; in the south a capitalist state was set up under Syngman Rhee.
It proved impossible to reunite the country. In China became a communist state. They saw a perfect opportunity to spread communism in the Far East, perhaps even to Japan. The USA was very worried by the so-called domino effect; if one country fell to communism, others would fall also. South Korea appealed to the United Nations for help.
Sixteen nations, headed by the USA took part immediately, another sixteen followed later. The Chinese were very concerned especially as MacArthur made it clear he was prepared to invade China and use nuclear weapons. Truman dismissed MacArthur in and the North Koreans, with Chinese support, were able to push back UN forces to the degree N parallel, the same division between North and South Korea that had existed in When Stalin died in both sides agreed to a cease-fire. The Korean War had been a stalemate between the superpowers.
Communism had been prevented in South Korea and the UN was seen as a success, it had stood up to major aggression, something the League of Nations had failed to achieve. However, the war also revealed that China was no longer weak and was prepared to stand up to the West. Was this the emergence of a third superpower? By the late s, relations between the two states had deteriorated as a result of a series of crises: the Hungarian Uprising, the Arms Race and the Space Race. Khrushchev, the speech and co-existence Stalin had been a brutal dictator of the USSR between the late s and , upon his death many Russians hoped for a less cruel and repressive leader.
Statues of Stalin were pulled down, cities, towns and streets were renamed, the secret police became less active and more consumer goods were produced. This policy was known as destalinisation. It seemed that Khrushchev held out the promise of greater freedom for the Soviet people. The Hungarian Rising The communist satellite states of Eastern Europe expected that they too would benefit from destalinisation and the thaw.
This was a mistake. Khrushchev could not allow the Eastern European states to go through a similar process of destalinisation, he believed that this would undermine communism in these countries, they might then break away from the USSR and it would lose its barrier against the capitalist West. In the people of Hungary also tried to break free from Soviet control. Many Hungarians saw the thaw as an opportunity to break free from the Soviet Union. In demonstrations and protests in Budapest led to the election of Imre Nagy, a known moderniser, as Prime Minister.
The Soviet Union was unprepared for this challenge to its authority and for a few weeks, withdrew its forces and did nothing. Khrushchev hoped that the situation would calm down in Hungary, but in fact Nagy began to implement a reform programme. Freedom of speech was allowed, non-communists were allowed into government, free elections were promised and Nagy demanded Hungarian withdrawal from the Warsaw Pact. Khrushchev could not allow this to happen.
This is what happened in when communism in Eastern Europe came to an end. Nagy was arrested and executed and was replaced by the hard-line communist Janos Kadar. In sport, science, technology, military and diplomatic spheres, the USSR sought to show that it could compete and do better than the USA. This led to challenges, tension and conflict.
Political Art Timeline, 1945-1966: Postwar Art of the Left
The two most important areas of tension were known as the Arms and Space Races. Japan was very nearly at the point of defeat before the nuclear bombs were used, so some historians believe that the USA wanted to use their atomic weapons in order to warn the USSR that they had weapons of mass destruction and were prepared to use them.
The attacks on Hiroshima and Nagasaki happened just as the Cold War began. By the USSR also had nuclear weapons. The Cold War became very much more serious in the s as each of the superpowers built more and more atomic weapons. The growth in the huge stockpile of weapons was known as the Nuclear Arms Race. The Space Race was connected to the Arms Race. Until the late s, long-range aircraft would have delivered nuclear weapons. These rockets would be capable of delivering nuclear warheads across continents and at very high speeds.
By the USA had developed a missile system launched from submarines called Polaris. Both superpowers believed that possessing nuclear weapons would prevent the other power from going to war, this was known as nuclear deterrence. For years this brought stability to the world, however, both sides had nuclear weapons, so there was a chance they might be used. Between there were over disarmament meetings to try to reduce the Arms Race. In Khrushchev and President Kennedy pledged to consider disarmament seriously at the Geneva Disarmament Conference.
But, on 1 st May a new crisis erupted to sow further tension between the superpowers. In the late s the USA had developed the very light U2 spy plane, which was capable of flying at 75, feet. It could be picked up on Soviet radar, but it was thought to be out of range of Soviet planes. Cameras on board the U2 planes were used to photograph Soviet military bases.
Powers ejected and was captured by Soviet forces. The war had delivered death on a massive scale: Tens of millions of combatants were killed, along with millions of civilians, while a further 10 million people were victims of the Holocaust. The three countries had come together against common enemies, even though America and Britain otherwise had little in common with Stalin and his totali- tarian state.
It may not be surprising then, that, as World War II came to an end, the alliance between the Western democracies and the Soviet-led East did not remain solid, or even intact. Once the Axis Powers had been vanquished, each nation of the Grand Alliance began to pursue its own national agenda. A split between the West and the Soviet Union rapidly developed into an international clash of wills, outlooks, and ideologies.
This war of ideals would soon be given a name of its own—the Cold War. No foreign policy issue in the twentieth century has cre- ated greater debate and scrutiny among historians than the Cold War. But just how the Cold War conflict opened remains a controversial topic. Some historians blame the Soviets and their duplicity, as Stalin made promises to the other Allied leaders that he nev- er intended keeping.
Stalin is seen as an expansionist in his own right. An early atomic bomb is detonated at a test site in Nevada. Others note the role played by the British leader, Winston Churchill, who sometimes brokered deals with Stalin, offer- ing to create spheres of influence for the Soviet Empire and his own British Empire once the war with Germany and Italy was won. Sorting out who was responsible for the establish- ment of the Cold War remains complicated, even today. Even as President Roosevelt and Stalin joined togeth- er to fight Hitler during the s, it was always clear that each leader held a different view of what the postwar world should look like.
FDR had expressed his hope that, after the Allies won the war, those nations that had fallen under the domination of the Axis Powers would have the opportunity to become free to choose their own governments. Stalin and his fellow Soviet leaders were deter- mined to create a secure zone in Central and Eastern Europe as a safeguard against possible aggression from Western Europe after the war. Of course, Stalin was also interested in extending the reach of Communism. Division at Yalta During the war Stalin, Churchill, and Roosevelt met on sev- eral occasions, in various combinations.
Only twice did all three Allied leaders meet together—the first time in Iran in. The DeaTh oF FDr Just a few months into his following February, which required unprecedented fourth term as the president to endure a grueling president of the United States, trip half way around the world.
It is Franklin Delano Roosevelt fell victim here that historians question how to his own ill health. Circulation for decades with a major physical problems and a general hardening handicap, the effect of contracting of the arteries made it difficult for infantile paralysis at the age of FDR have affected his ability to truly had smoked his entire adult life, negotiate at Yalta, he obviously did going through a pack or two a day.
November and the second in February at Yal- ta, located within the Soviet Union, on the Black Sea, just months before the war in Europe ended. It was during the Yalta Conference that it became most clear that the Soviet Union did not intend to establish free states in the Eastern European nations under its control. Stalin also drew a line in the sand over the future of Germany. A frost was in the air between the three Allies, one that was already forming the basis of the Cold War. Stalin had already established a pro-Communist govern- ment in Poland.
Unable or unwilling to push a timetable, FDR accepted the Soviet leader at his word. The tentacles of Communism were beginning to spread over Eastern Europe. Stalin also got his way over Germany. Even though Berlin, the German capital, was already clearly inside the Soviet sphere of control, it would be divided into four sectors, with each Allied nation occupying one. The Future of Eastern Europe During the weeks following the Yalta Conference, Roosevelt watched with growing alarm as the Soviets systematically consolidated pro-Communist governments in several Cen- tral and Eastern European countries where their political.
For a while FDR continued to believe that Stalin might relent, but he soon came to understand that Stalin had no intention of supporting self-determination in Eastern Europe. According to W. Averell Harriman, the U. On April 12, , after more than 12 years as president of the United States, Franklin Delano Roosevelt died of a cerebral hemorrhage. Suddenly Harry Truman, a new and untried vice president from Missouri, was thrust into a new role as leader of the free world.
He had almost no familiarity with the international issues on the table that spring, when the war in Europe was near- ing its conclusion. No one had briefed Truman on the existence of the Manhat- tan Project, the joint U. It was there that FDR had held many of his wartime meetings with his advisors. Truman now read many diplomatic documents that Roosevelt had never shown him. In fact, the new president had not even known of the. Soon Tru- man was up to speed. He felt he understood Stalin. He did not believe in Stalin or any promises the Soviet leader might make to him in the future.
Truman did not consider Stalin to be a reasonable man. He saw the Soviets as untrustworthy and, while FDR had tried to remain warm with Stalin even during harsh negotiations between the Big Three, Truman viewed the old Communist leader with suspicion and per- sonal dislike. In the intervening weeks the war in Europe played out, with the Germans surrendering in early May.
Truman was also aware that he had little to hold over the Soviets. Russian armies were already in Poland and much of the rest of Eastern Europe.
Germany was divided by occupying armies. But the president did take a firm step against the Soviets by cutting off all wartime aid to the U. Almost immediately afterward, Truman gained a new weapon—the atomic bomb. There were lingering questions about the postwar period, which brought him alongside Churchill and Stalin for the first time.
At the conference Truman kept his firm hand. He did concede to the adjustments in the Pol- ish—German border that Stalin had demanded from FDR, but he managed to persuade Stalin to agree that the Nationalist leader Chiang Kai-Shek, whom the United States had sup- ported through the war, was the legitimate ruler of China. This was an important concession, since China was facing a takeover by Chinese Communists led by Mao Zedong.
Truman otherwise maintained his hard line with Stalin. He refused to allow the Soviets to take reparations from the United States, British, and French-occupied zones of Ger- many, which angered Stalin greatly. As conflict widened between the Big Three, the result was that Germany would remain divided, perhaps permanently.
A NEW U. This shocking action brought Emperor Hirohito to his knees and ended the war in the Pacific. Britain, and the Soviet Union, wartime cooperation had end- ed even before the war itself.
An iron curtain is drawn down upon [the Russian] front. We do not know what is going on behind [it]. Yet Truman did not simply sit still as the Soviets spread their ideology to their neighbors. He and his advisors pur- sued a policy based on holding the line on Communism, an approach today referred to as the Truman Doctrine. It is here that the seeds of the Cold War began to germinate. T he first application of the Truman Doctrine came in the spring of , when the president spoke to Congress. The purpose was to counter Stalin, who was trying to gain control, through Tur- key, over significant sea lanes to the Mediterranean.
In Greece, Stalin was giving support to Communist forces that were challenging the pro-Western government. This aid package proved timely and effective. One concern that still remained, even two years following the end of the war in Europe, was how shaky many European countries still were. Marshall who had served as the U. Army Chief of Staff during World War II announced a new plan to provide assistance to all Euro- pean countries that would participate in drafting a program of further postwar recovery.
Despite its official name, the program soon became known as the Marshall Plan. Seventeen Western European nations signed up for the program, each drafting a four-year plan for their own eco- nomic recovery. Significant food aid reached Europe, as ships unloaded car- goes of U. Through this economic influ- ence, Truman was able to convince both Italy and France to ban the Communist Party from their governments.
At the heart of that effort was Germany, which Truman and other world leaders believed needed to be reconstructed to recover from its deep war wounds. Working alongside Britain and France, the United States supported the merging of the three Western zones of Germany, which the three powers occupied. Included in this new state were the sectors controlled by the three countries within the city of Berlin, which was itself situated in the Soviet-controlled region of East Germany. Stalin was not pleased with this move on the part of his former allies, and he made an immediate counter move.
On June 24, , the Soviet premier laid a tight blockade around the three Western sectors of Berlin, not intending to allow the Western powers to remain present in the old Ger- man capital. All rail routes and automobile roads running. Citizens of West Berlin watch a U. C transport aircraft carrying relief supplies come in to land at Tempelhof Airport in The move was merely a next step in separat- ing the West Berliners from the outside world. Back in April Stalin had declared that all trains moving into or out of Berlin would be subject to Soviet inspection.
His intention was to force the Western powers to abandon their Berlin outposts, so that the U. Suddenly the West Berliners were more isolated than ever before, even as Stalin offered the hollow promise of removing all Soviet troops from East Germany within a year. He was not prepared, however, to risk military action that might lead to a full-scale war with the Soviets.
Instead, he chose to address the new isolation of the West Berliners by ordering a giant airlift through which the oppressed Berliners could receive continued Western aid, such as food, fuel, medical supplies, clothing, and blankets. At the same time the airlift provided an opportunity for the people of West Berlin to take a stand and defy the Soviets. The U. They bought their right as a people willing to suffer and die for democracy. Then, the fol- lowing October, the de facto separation of Germany became an official reality with the establishment of two countries, the Federal Republic of Germany West Germany allied to the West and the German Democratic Republic East Ger- many allied to the East.
For the next 40 years Germany would remain a divided country and be a focal point in the Cold War between the United States and the Soviet Union. Following stage for U. To Orthodox millions of European Jews, in a Jews, the establishment of Israel campaign designed to eradicate signified the return of the Jews to the race from the continent. In the lands they had once held historically. Holocaust that resulted, 6 million The ancient state of Israel had been Jews were killed in labor and set up following the Biblical Exodus, death camps that the Nazis set up between about and B.
As these nations drifted further apart, new alliances symbolizing the unity between Western Europe and North America were taking place. More than a year passed before Western diplomats birthed a military alliance, called the North Atlantic Treaty Organiza-. Although Arabs throughout the place to go. To give the new state to wait long before it became further legitimacy, President Truman necessary to defend their infant ordered the immediate recognition state.
Arab nations immediately of Israel, making the United States went to war against Israel, yet the the first nation to do so. Truman Jewish defenders prevailed until the had supported a Jewish state since United Nations worked out a truce the early days of his presidency. At agreement, reestablishing peace by Potsdam, in the summer of , he May 11, , just three days short of talked with the British about allowing the first anniversary of the creation of the Jewish Holocaust survivors to the Jewish homeland.
He told an aide, The existence of Israel has notes historian Michael Beschloss, continued through the decades to in his book Presidential Courage: determine U. The ties between the from his country has somewhere to United States and Israel remain strong go back to. But the Jews have no today, more than 60 years later.
The agreement, signed in Washington D. The North Atlantic Treaty was simple and direct, its members agreeing to treat an attack on any NATO nation as an attack on themselves—an ominous message for the Soviets. In NATO members created an integrated defense force. The aging premier had died in It appeared that the West had won several of the initial confrontations with Stalin and that the tide was turning in the fight against Soviet dominance and extended power.
But delivered a couple of blows to the West that eroded its confidence, while turning the Cold War in new directions. In the summer of the Chinese Communist leader Mao Zedong, who had been fighting the Chinese gov- ernment since the late s, had already controlled a quar- ter of the population of the vast country, and Chiang was losing more support each day.
Over the following four years the United States continued to pump money and military support to Chiang, but he had long ago proven himself an ineffectual, unpopular, and even corrupt leader. Even though Truman contin- ued to support Chiang, he was never prepared to use U. In Chiang fled the mainland, Mao was in power, and Communism planted itself in China. As for Mao, he remained in power until A Build-up of Arms On August 29, , there was another setback.
The West had held the atomic bomb as their own for four years, but the Soviet Union now successfully tested its own atom bomb in the Kazakhstan desert. During the days that followed the Soviets made no announcement about their achievement, but when the United States carried out an airborne sampling flight something it had only recently begun , radioactive fallout was detected, indicating clearly that the Soviets had detonated an atomic bomb on their own soil.
Truman went public with the information on September 23, and the Sovi- ets soon admitted they too had the bomb. This new reality of the Cold War was a surprise to the West. Most Western. Soviet spies had been hard at work, buying atomic secrets from Western scien- tists and others connected with the British and U. Still, these changes altered the playing field of the Cold War. Truman was compelled to carry out a three-pronged response: 1 an upgrade of conventional forces and the permanent station- ing of U. World War II was not yet five years past, and the Cold War was already becoming an international game of the highest stakes.
The result was a sig- nificant report, issued by the National Security Council, an executive body that had come into existence just two years earlier. In Congress had passed the National Security Act, which set up a national military establishment with a secretary of defense at its head and subcabinet departments of the army, navy, and air force. In this military revamp the position of Joint Chiefs of Staff was made permanent it had.
That organization included the president, the defense department heads, and the secretary of state. While the document did not suggest abandoning contain- ment as a policy, it proposed that, in the future, the United States could no longer expect the Western nations to take the initiative in the fight against Communism. Most of those countries simply did not have the economic resources to direct the effort against the Soviets and their allies.
The United States soon found itself carrying the responsibility of both directing the Cold War and leading the free world. The Cold War was becoming a permanent fixture of U. H e rose from relative obscurity to the second highest office in the land as quickly as any great American his- torical figure.
During those 82 days, Roosevelt and Truman had only met together twice. Truman did not waste any time in taking the presidency as his own and. Yet, the new president set an agenda of which Roosevelt himself would probably have approved. Within a few days of the Japanese surrender in early Sep- tember, , President Truman presented to Congress his program of transition for the United States. The war was over and much would be different, both in international affairs and in domestic policy.
Troops had to be brought back home, and the economy needed to make the transition to a peacetime context. But Truman had much more in mind with his new postwar goals at home. He presented 21 points, including the following: expanded unemployment insur- ance, a new minimum wage law, the permanent establish- ment of the Fair Employment Practice Commission, urban renewal and slum clearance, housing projects, conservation programs, and a new public works program.
It may have been that foreign policy pressures pulled him away from keeping his focus on his ambitious domestic goals. He did not seem to prioritize them, leaving it unclear which he wanted to fight for first. One of those issues was, of course, the Cold War. Another was the huge task of converting the United States to a peacetime status.
Their task of defeating Hitler, Mussolini, and the Japa- nese warlords completed, it was now time for many of them to come home. Over the following two years the number of U. Army counted only , remaining in its ranks. The point was to help cushion the shock of returning home after war, while providing monies that would fuel the domestic economy just as the war had. The G. Bill proved one of the most successful programs in U. Many families of returning soldiers, sailors, and marines afforded their first home under the bill and a host of out-of-uniform servicemen went to college.
On some college and university campuses, so many GIs signed up that there was not enough dormitory space for them and gymna- siums had to be used as temporary sleeping quarters. The war. Government legislation had kept the war economy on a relatively even footing, artificially controlling wages and prices, and limiting work stoppages, such as strikes.
But once the war was past and those restraints were eliminated, prices that had been kept down during four years of war began to rise steadily. Workers also began demanding increases in wages. Truman hoped that U. Although he supported unions generally, President Tru- man was not pleased with the demands of many in orga- nized labor. In alone more than 4.
In some cases, workers were picketing for an increase of 30 percent in their wages. To make his position clear, the presi- dent used his executive powers to authorize the federal take- over of mines, while threatening to force striking railroad workers into the military. When steel workers struck, a solution was worked out.
Truman proposed a pay increase of Steel Corporation did not. Only when the administration accepted a price increase on steel did the company finally agree to the deal. Unfortunate- ly, this solution led to inflationary spirals. Then, in the sum- mer of , Truman was allowed by Congress to continue the price controls that had been in place during the war.
By then, though, the cost of living in America had risen by an overall 6 percent. Following the elections Truman finally gave up on price controls. When the smoke of the election cleared, the Republicans found themselves in control of both houses of Congress for the first time since With the Republi- cans now calling the shots in Congress, a new piece of legis- lation was passed, one that targeted unions.
The Taft—Hartley Act of banned the closed shop—a labor tactic that prevented companies from hiring non- union workers—and replaced it with the union shop, which required new hires to join the union, unless it was banned in a given state. Other parts of the new law stopped unions from requesting political contributions from their members. Additionally, union leaders were required to take oaths that they did not belong to the Communist Party. While Truman vetoed the bill, it passed anyway.
His veto did earn him back some cred- ibility with the labor unions. The Republican Congress also proved troublesome for Truman in other areas. Truman argued that taxes should not be cut as the monies could be used to cut some of the government debt that had accumulated during the war. Truman and the new Republican majority did not argue about everything, though. In Congress worked with the president to pass the National Security Act. The Republi- cans also passed another important domestic act—the Pres- idential Succession Act of This new law altered the.
The logic was that a new president should be an elected figure, rather than one who had merely been appointed. While the Republicans were in control of the Congress and given the general con- servative mood of the country, the Twenty-Second Amend- ment was passed in , limiting all future presidents the law did not apply to Truman to just two terms in office, a move inspired by George Washington but ignored by FDR.
But the Democratic Party was so concerned that Truman might not be elected that party members approached former gen- eral Dwight Eisenhower to be their candidate; he refused. Truman understood the importance of courting farmers, including those in the Midwest, Far West, and across the South. Knowing he could not ignore his weaknesses in his support in big cities, he planned to seek support from labor unions and from black voters. To gain their votes, Truman tried to smooth over his earlier clashes with unions and to support civil rights legislation.
Prior to the election Truman had already taken steps in support of blacks. But, even before the election, Truman took a significant step concerning civil rights. On July 26, , the president barred racial discrimination in hiring federal workers. Just four days later, acting as com- mander-in-chief of the armed forces, he ordered equality of treatment and opportunity in the U.
That July the Democrats went into their convention in Philadelphia with little to hang their hopes on. Then events. The first fight was over civil rights. Some wanted a strongly worded and specific program of civil rights legis- lation—a stance that Southern states deplored. In the end Truman accepted a platform plank that only addressed dis- crimination in vague terms. Opposition members tried to ram a strong civil rights statement through the convention. The mayor of Minneapolis, Hubert H. Humphrey, stood and delivered a stirring address that was met with 10 minutes of spontaneous support and applause.
He and FDR had been stark other games. He turned to books and contrasts, with Roosevelt coming became a lifelong history enthusiast. He enlisted, passing the eye been to college. Truman was born exam only by memorizing the eye in , the grandson of pioneer chart. He saw service in France immigrants from Kentucky, lower- and gained the rank of captain, class Southern Baptists who farmed commanding an artillery unit.
Despite the land. His parents made their his small stature and his ever-present, home in Independence, near Kansas metal-rimmed eyeglasses, his men. The party emerged from the convention not united, but fractured. Disappointed and angry Southern Democrats met in Birmingham, Alabama, and voted their support to a third party candidate, Governor J.
The Cold War and Postwar America by Facts on File, Hardcover | Barnes & Noble®
Strom Thurmond from South Carolina, a staunch segregationist. The Dixiecrats hoped to draw sufficient. When for me now. It was quickly clear to many He was elected to the U. Senate Americans that Truman was not in , but did not gain much Roosevelt. Harry Truman. To complicate matters further for the Democrats, just days later the far left, including Communists, nominated their own candidate, Henry Wallace, on an anti-Cold War ticket. For the Democrats, including Harry Truman, the elec- tion seemed destined to become a Republican victory.
A Whistle-Stop Campaign Yet the president was determined to campaign, regardless of the crowded playing field caused by members of his divided party. With each talk to his supporters, he appeared genuine, no different from those who had come to hear a word from their president. Thurmond was such a long shot that even some major Southern Democrats ignored him and supported.
Many Americans were turned off by the left-leaning party since Communists were part of its leadership, even though the Progressive platform was based on general liberal principles. Harry S. Truman — , the 33rd president of the United States from to Many Americans regard Truman as one of the greatest U. Both stand for a policy which opens the door to war in our lifetime and makes war certain for our children. He believed that the Soviets and Americans should work together to steer clear of war.
For many Americans, such talk did not distinguish the differences between the democratic West and the Communist East, so Wallace campaigned with the albatross of being a supporter of Communism. Especial- ly in Southern states, Wallace and his supporters were some- times victims of mob attack and general harassment.
In some places, the Progressive candidate was unable to even find an auditorium that would allow him to present his message. As for Republican candidate Thomas Dewey, he engaged in a low-key campaign, determined to steer clear of contro- versial positions, and hoping to glide into the White House thanks to the three-way split among Democrats. His strategy seemed a certain one. Most political experts, as well as the opinion polls, indicated a sure win for Governor Dewey.
When the votes were counted, Truman had defeated Dewey and the rest of the pack by more than 2 million popular votes. Strom Thurmond took four Southern states. In addi- tion, the majority in both houses of Congress swung to the Democrats. It was with glee that the president held up to an excited crowd of well wishers a copy of the Chicago Tribune the day following the election.
The incorrect Tribune head- line read: Dewey Defeats Truman. E ven as Truman realized that he had actually won the election, he immediately looked ahead to the chal- lenges of a second term. He was now president in his own right, having won the office by a vote of the people. Although he had won the election,.
Yes, there were Democrat majorities in the House and Senate, but Truman was not always on the same page as Southern Democrats, several of whom held important committee chairmanships. Also, many conservative Republicans were always ready to joust with the president, especially on domestic issues. Yet Truman did manage to get several parts of his Fair Deal passed. Many such successes were basically additions or expansions to earlier New Deal programs. These included a raise in the minimum wage, additional citizens under the Social Security umbrella, farm price supports, public hous- ing and slum clearance, rent controls, additional funding for the Tennessee Valley Authority an FDR program from the s , and rural electrification again, a New Deal program.
But other Fair Deal measures fell flat, including national health care, more federal aid to education, and an extremely controversial civil rights bill. This last bill never even made it out of committee for a full vote. Most of those Congressmen who had voted for the act in were still in Congress in , and they had not changed their minds on the legislation. During the president struggled with difficult realities, including the fall of China to the Communists and the deto- nation of an atomic bomb by the Soviets.
But the following. This became a conflict that Truman could not ignore, and it soon engulfed the United States. With the Japa- nese defeat, the Allies were faced with a dilemma—what to do about Korea. The Soviets had invaded and driven out the Japanese in the northern region of the country, lands lying north of the 38th parallel, while U. Quickly the Soviets had estab- lished a new Korean government in the north, one based on Stalinist Communism.
The Americans did not sit idly by, though, as they helped put in place a government friendly to the West in their part of Korea. Thus the peninsula was suddenly divided by two occupying armies and by the instal- lation of two separate governments. During the immediate years that followed, no agreement about Korea could be reached between the West and the Soviets.
In Korea followed the way of Germany, as the Allies swung away from military conflict on the peninsu- la and accepted the establishment of a line dividing Korea at the 38th parallel. Over the next two years, U. Then on June 25, , North Korean forces invaded across the 38th parallel and fanned out across South Korea. Truman Takes Action President Truman responded immediately. Truman did not intend to allow South Korea to fall if he could help it. Although several U. During the 72 hours following their initial incursion across the 38th parallel, the North Kore- ans captured Seoul, the capital of South Korea, and South Korean forces were driven back to a toehold on the penin- sula.
The whole of the South appeared doomed. During the two months that followed the tide turned against North Korea and its Soviet backers. Although, at the time, there was no clear indication that Stalin was back- ing North Korea in the war, and in fact Stalin even claimed that he had played no role in the Korean War, declassified Soviet documents have more recently shown clearly that the. Weather conditions were at times severe, and soldiers suffered from frostbite.
Soviets were fighting a proxy war through the North Kore- ans. On September 15, U. Seoul was liberated on September By the open- ing days of October, the last of the North Korean troops on South Korean soil had been pushed out. Now the U. Then Truman ordered U. They would cross the lines for the purposes of defeating the armies of the North Korean leader, Kim Il Sung, but also to defeat Communism in North Korea.
The command- er was instructed to halt the U. Also, U. As China looked on, the Mao govern- ment issued several warnings to the Western allies that their advance into North Korea would be interpreted as an act of aggression against China itself. Determined to make his next move with caution, Truman took a significant step and ordered MacArthur to meet him on Wake Island in the Pacif- ic on October 14 to discuss strategy face to face.
To that end, the president flew 7, miles 12, km to meet with his general. The air force used B bombers and armed forces. On land, the army used fighter aircraft. Navy battleships fired tanks and infantry. Much of the fighting was in mountainous, forested land so tanks were used largely to support the infantry. The North Koreans also used guerrilla warfare, persuading refugees to fight on their behalf. Despite the pressures surrounding the meeting—Truman and MacArthur had already clashed with one another—their sit-down went well and was entirely friendly.
During a pri- vate, minute meeting between the two men, the general gave assurances to the president that the conflict would be over and won soon and that they had nothing to fear from the Chinese. The moves brought no negative response from Truman, nor from the Pentagon, as everything MacArthur did in the field at that point seemed to spell ultimate success for U.
Then, what Truman had feared came to light; during the final days of October, Chinese forces, perhaps as many as 40, strong, crossed from Manchuria into North Korea. On November 5 MacArthur announced to reporters that more Chinese forces were massing on the border. He then requested permission to bomb the bridges across the Yalu River that the Chinese were using. Truman gave his reluc- tant agreement, while denying any U. Even though a Democratic president had taken the United States.
The assassins killed one taking. But against this backdrop of policeman and wounded two. One a war in Asia, the president faced of the Puerto Ricans was killed; the another cause for concern at home, other surrendered. Fortunately, the one involving an attempt on his life men never actually made their way by a pair of Puerto Rican nationalists.
Truman was home Their plan was to kill the at the time of the shoot-out, but was president and, in doing so, to make upstairs taking a nap. In , President freed from control by the United Jimmy Carter pardoned him. An avid determine its future relationship with daily walker all his life, the president the United States by a majority vote was now compelled to walk less. Even the relatively short walk from Just days following the Chinese Blair House to the White House was incursion from Manchuria into North cut out, the president forced to travel Korea, on November 1 the would-be in a bulletproof car instead.
The new war had brought on a new wave of fears among many citizens that they might soon face the same challenges they had during World War II and immediately following, including shortages, inflation, and higher taxes to pay for the new Asian conflict. With the Chinese threatening to upscale their involvement, many in the States were worried the conflict might soon dramatically expand, perhaps into World War III.
Ultimately, election day ended with the Democrats losing five Senate seats, reduc- ing their majority to only two votes, while the Republicans gained 28 seats in the House, cutting the Democrat majority there to only 12 seats. But, even before the end of November, the military field was shifting.
By that time the Chinese had seemed to pull out of North Korea, taking positions back across the Yalu River. MacArthur had been warned by his stateside superiors to steer clear of the Yalu River and the Chinese army that lay behind its opposite banks. The Chinese had first crossed the Yalu on November 25, countering U. He called for reinforcements includ- ing Chinese Nationalists and permission to bomb Chinese. As a compilation of hundreds of eye-witness accounts by prisoners of Soviet concentration camps and forced labor that begins with Lenin in , the discovery of his manuscripts become life threatening due to the severity of the crimes he is exposing and the subversive quality of his writing.
Under observation as a former prisoner and because other of his writings are being scrutinized by the government agency of the Union of Writers, the KGB seizes manuscripts for far less threatening fiction that Solzhenitsyn is also writing at the time. Writing now in secret at the homes of friends, he hides chapters of his manuscripts in various locations to prevent the entire work from being discovered and seized by the KGB. In , Solzhenitsyn completes the three volumes of The Gulag Archipelago , and it is smuggled out of the country.
In , when the KGB discoverers a manuscript for the first volume, Solzhenitsyn gives the go ahead to publish his book in the West. The publication causes him to be deported from the Soviet Union and stripped of his Soviet citizenship. With the publication of The Gulag Archipelago , the illusion of the Soviet model of a revolutionary state is permanently shattered for intellectuals globally. The Gulag's penal system, forced labor and executions become indisputable, and what becomes known as the Old Revolutionary Left, or specifically the advocates of Leninist- and Stalinist-Marxism, fall into disrepute, and ultimately despair, as the failure and betrayal of the premiere state-implemented Marxist utopia becomes certain.
Still, it is almost a quarter-century before Stonewall that Kenneth Anger makes his landmark homoerotic film, Fireworks , in The film's protagonist, a young man who yearns for love, entertains the kind of abject-masochistic fantasies of being brutalized by thugs just so he can be rescued by a handsome and valiant sailor.
Soon after Anger's films become known, queer iconography begins to permeate underground cinema and figurative painting in Hollywood, New York, London, Paris, and Tokyo. Some of the art reinforces the stereotype of the abject queer, eager to be physically imprisoned and abused to obtain sex -- including Jean Genet's landmark film, Un Chant D'Amour.
The abject tendency may take some time to reach Tokyo, but when it does, no less than writer Yukio Mishima poses as photographer Kishin Shinoyama's St. Sebastian , the iconic Roman martyr killed in the name of male desire. By the s, a more natural and life-affirming homoeroticism permeates figurative paintings, most noteworthy among them being the art of Paul Cadmus and Francis Bacon, and shortly after, David Hockney. By the s, the very same structures begin to be torn down for their obsolescence in a culture that will soon be referring to itself as Postmodern and Dystopian.
In , well ahead of the curve of Leftist theory and cultural commentary on the demise of industry in the West, the husband and wife team, Bernd and Hilla Becher, begin making photographic art out of their site visits to the vanishing industrial architecture of Germany. When they begin to document the declining industrial plants of the rest of Europe and the United States, the photographs they compile into grids of structuralist-typology become championed by Marxist and other Left-cultural critics for its semiotic implications of a Western-capitalist civilization whose industry is in decline and dispersed to the nations and cultures outside the West.
On the architecture they photograph and its valuation, Hilla Becher comments: "They were constructed with no consideration of so-called beauty and serve their functionality alone. Which means that when they lose their function they are no longer entitled to exist, so they are torn down.
Since the midth century, New York City had been a planner's metropolis, with the public a voiceless mass of onlookers swept aside to make room for the designs of public thoroughfares, private and public architecture, and public art. Jacobs, however, didn't win in the battle to save the much beloved Pennsylvania Station, which was designed by McKim, Mead and White, and the building was demolished and replaced by New York's most hated building, Madison Square Garden. The law arrived in time to stall the scheduled demolition of Grand Central Station, until a campaign led by Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis took the battle for preservation all the way to the Supreme Court, where it won There's little question that the Pop Artists weren't about to pander to Marxists or any other authoritarian party line, but they are the first artists since the Surrealists to make reflexive use of signs inherited from high modernist and sometimes Marxist structuralist criticism, only now infused with a new sense of American entrepreneurial irony.
Pop Art, with its images culled from the media that surround us billboards, newspapers, and shopping aisles , lingers over banality as it challenges viewers to differentiate between the artwork and the commodity packaging itself. In this sense, Pop Art is the direct descendant of Magritte's painting of a pipe with the French words inscribed at the bottom: "Ceci n'est pas une pipe" "This is not a pipe. This time the popular imaging comes without instructions, but it does come with a deeper, two-part negation of traditional realistic representation.
The Warhol Campbell Soup cans painting is not only not a stack of Campbell soup cans, it's also not an advertisement for the Campbell brand. Salivation at the sight of the image is allowed, just so long as we make certain that we salivate while thinking about why and how we feel so compelled. Pop Art revived content in art, but only by reflexively turning that content in on itself to critically mirror the modes of production, commodification, and promotion that had in a few decades wholly revolutionized the texture and functions of everyday Western life.
In place of the modernist myth of "art for art's sake," Pop Art analyses how our desire and its gratification are made the motivating forces underpinning capitalism's potential for branding all life. The violent, ritualistically Dionysian mock-savagery that some of their performances take on, though more theatrical than real, put the artists constantly at odds with the Austrian law and police for taking risks that some audience members deemed dangerous.
The artists served jail sentences for breaking laws of moral decency, public exposure, and degrading symbols of the state. They remain important to art history because, besides being some of the earliest action art performed, and the first to introduce animal blood and carcasses as artistic media to be carved and torn apart before the audiences' eyes, they also saw to it that theirs is the most spectacularly documented performance art in photography and film.
As a result, their documentation has had a large impact on the happenings and performance art of the s and s, and they can be said to have anticipated the political actions of the Yippies of the late s. Hermann Nitsch has since staged several large-scale ritualistic actions with dozens of performers drenched in animal blood obtained from slaughter houses , which he assembles under his Orgien Mysterien Theater.
At the start, the work is considered by some to be the ultimate socialist realization of materialism though not always via Marx. But within a few years, the quick assimilation of minimalist art into the mainstream art-market and it's identification with the corporations that eagerly purchase and publicly install it, Minimalism, like Abstract Expressionism and Pop Art before it, become one of the darling aesthetics and art commodities of the affluent and powerful. It is this quiet complicity in the face of world power structures that ultimately undermines Minimalist art's value for the Left.
We forget that the film had the resonance that it did precisely because of how terrifying China had come to seem to the West. Since the mids, Mao has murdered an estimated 48 million people who resist his disastrous campaign, "The Great Leap Forward," engineered to accelerate state collectivization of industry and agriculture despite formidable and widespread resistance. The logic of the anti-Red theorists at the Pentagon goes: If Mao would murder that many of his own people just to save face with outside nations, why wouldn't the dictator be willing to sacrifice a war that would kill many more of his people to wipe out the U.
Kubrick's black comedy, ever mindful that the most intriguing humor is that which churns our fears as it makes us laugh, has the effect of unleashing anti-nuclear protests in many of the nations in which it is screened. In , the pair join the Moscow Union of Artists, during which they evolve into political satirists. After the pair develop a version of Soviet Pop Art that combines the irreverence of Dada with the visual style and apparent iconography of official Soviet Socialist Realism, they proceed to lampoon the severe political correctness of Soviet art history -- a dangerous prank under Leonid Breshnev's regime.
Two years after they are expelled from the Union of Artists for "distortion of Soviet reality," the pair are arrested and their paintings confiscated. It is likely they are spared more serious consequences because they are becoming widely known among artists, critics, and collectors in the West. The film is quickly proclaimed a masterpiece of neorealist cinema for its convincing, but wholly cinematic, mimicry of documentarian styles.
At the same time, it casts a sympathetic light on the use of violence among colonized peoples in their struggle for independence. The film helps to bring attention in the West to the book The Wretched of the Earth by Algerian revolutionary, Frantz Fanon, in visualizing Fanon's call to the colonized peoples of the world to take up arms against their colonizers. The film is studied intensely throughout the late s by students and activists in Europe and America planning their own revolutionary strategies. Reports claim that the Pentagon for a time used the film to train American soldiers in the guerilla tactics of insurgents.
The invaluable service of revolutionary women delivering and retrieving weapons beneath the veil of hijab, or in their market baskets, introduced Westerners to the first serious and dignified portrayal of Arab and Islamic women in the West. Similarly, the Algerian's ancient but highly effective chain of information relay, in which messages are passed by way of dozens of unnamed contacts, all of whom are strangers to one another, brilliantly assures the arrest of any one link in the information chain ends with him.
With the French shown to be strategically outmaneuvered despite their superior armed forces, the film brought a new level of respect for Arab cultures among the Left, in particular those with revolutionary and anti-colonial agendas. Next: Timeline Part 3. The timeline has been expanded to 4 parts. Read other posts by G. Roger Denson on Huffington Post in the archive.