A DIVIDED UNION? THE USA 1945-1970

Detailed notes on USA for edexcel source paper

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THE USA 1945 ­ 1970

Key Topic 1: McCarthyism and the Red
Scare
Topic 1: Impact of the cold war
Why was there a fear of Communism in the USA?

Fear of communism from The Bolshevik Revolution - 1917
In OCTOBER 1917 the Bolshevik party seized power in
Russia and…

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This seemed evident when the USSR invaded Poland in
1939 and went to war against Finland later that year

Fear of communism from Second World War

The USA and USSR were allies in 1941, after USA entered
Second World War. This alliance was uneasy and cautious
Leader of USSR (STALIN)…

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Toward end of WW2, Soviet troops had liberated countries
in East Europe from Nazi occupation
But STALIN left his troops there instead of withdrawing
them after the war
1947 ­ COMINFORM was set up to bring all European
communist parties more firmly under Soviet control
By 1949, Hungary, Romania etc…

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Fear of communism from Korean War
Until 1949 US fears of Communism had been confined to
Europe
BUT success of China communism showed that communism
war a worldwide threat
Truman wanted to HALT this
Invasion of South Korea by communist North Korea
(supported by USSR) seemed to confirm fears of…

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Later in 1947, HUAC (the house un American activities
committee) began to look into communist infiltration in the
film industry
There was a fear that films were being used to put over a
communist message
10 writers and directors had to testify before HUAC and
were asked if they had…

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The government claimed they were intending to give atomic
secrets to USSR so they were found guilty and sentenced to
death in 1953
Evidence was flimsy

The McCarren Internal Security Act
In September 1950, at height of Hiss case, Congress passed
the McCarran Internal Security Act. It meant that

All…

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McCarthy won massive support in the USA and his activities
contributed to the Republicans' victory in 1952
Nixon built on hysteria created by McCarthy, to win votes
McCarthy continued his work of hunting communists and in
late 1952 his researches investigated libraries to see
whether they contained books written by…

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In March 1954 the popular television broadcaster and
journalist Ed Murrow made a documentary which exposed
McCarthy was a bully and had no substance in his claims

McCarthy's fall
In December 1954, McCarthy was publicly reprimanded by the
Senate for:
Contempt of a senate elections sub committee
Abuse of certain…

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Few advances in civil rights during WW2 (1941 ­ 1945)
Segregation existed in armed forces. Black Americans
performed tedious tasks and found promotion difficult
When black soldiers were injured, only other black blood
could be used to not `mongrelize' the USA
THE WAR HIGHLIGHTED RACISM in armed forces
Many black…

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also set up the Fair Employment Practices
Commission (FEPC) to prevent discrimination at work
Number of black Americans in service increased as a result

Black Americans continued to face discrimination
Earned half of what white workers earned
Racial tension
Riots broke out in 47 cities due to racial tension. Worst…

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