Revision Notes: A Divided Union USA 1945-70

Civil Rights Movement and what not

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The impact of the Cold War, 1945-50

The fear of communism in the USA grew because of the development of the Cold
War in the years after 1945 which worsened relations between the USA…

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The development of the Red Scare

Growing US involvement in Cold War politics after 1945 encouraged the view that
difficulties faced abroad resulted from treason and subversion at home.

After World War Two, increasing numbers of Democrats and Republicans took up
these anti-Communist views and many Americans became subject to…

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In 1950, Hiss was tried for perjury and sentenced to five years in jail. This further
increased the fear of communism in the USA as many Americans believed that
communism spies and sympathisers had infiltrated key positions in government

In September 1950, at the height of the Hiss Case…

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HUAC still continued to seek out possible communists or communist sympathisers,
especially in the film industry. Many actors and writers were blacklisted and unable
to secure wok or several years.

In late 1952, McCarthy's researchers investigated libraries to see whether they
contained books written by communists. Many books were now…

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Black Americans (about 12% of all US citizens) are descended from the slaves
brought over from Africa to work the tobacco, cotton and sugar plantations. They
were theoretically freed in 1863, but still suffered from poverty, segregation and
discrimination of all kinds.…

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By the end of the war some units in the army were desegregated. General
Eisenhower, the Supreme Allied Commander in Europe personally supported
integrated units.

At the beginning of the war there were only twelve black officers in the US Army and
black soldiers were often given routine tasks to…

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Brown used the Supreme Court ruling to take the City of Topeka in Kansas to court
for forcing his daughter to attend a school a long way away, instead of being
allowed to go to the nearby whites only school.

The NAACP supported the case and Brown was represented by…

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After a month they were replaced by National Guardsmen under the orders of the
President, they stayed at the school for a year

In 1957 Eisenhower introduced the first Civil Rights Act since 1875. It set up a
commission to prosecute anybody who tried to deny American citizens their rights.…

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He followed the methods used by Gandhi when campaigning for independence for
India ­ non violent civil disobedience.

Martin Luther King and further progress and problems, 1958-62

Following the boycott King set up the Southern Christian Leadership Conference
(SCLC) and became its president in 1957.


The first was at…

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Nevertheless, they had gained tremendous publicity. The Freedom Riders wanted to
put pressure on the Kennedy. They succeeded; later the same year all railway and
bus stations were desegregated by the Interstate Commerce Committee.

John F Kennedy and civil rights

It soon became clear that Kennedy intended to do more…


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