- Democrats nominated Adlai E. Stevenson - weakened party
- Republicans nominated Dwight D. Ewisenhower w/ anti-Commie Nixon
- Nixon's "slush fund" surfaced, but theatrical "Checkers speech" on TV kept him in the running
- TV- was it commercializing politics?
- Eisenhower won (w/ pledge to go to Korea and end the war) 442-89 electoral votes. Small Republican majority in Congress.
"Ike" Takes Command:
- Dec. 1952, Ike flew to Korea - the war ended 7 months later after he threated atomic weapons, shaky armistice signed.
- Korean War=50,000 Americans dead, 10s of billions dollars, returned to conditions of 1950, "contained" Communism.
- Ike= sincere, fair, optimistic, people loved him, soothing, social harmony>social justice
The Rise and Fall of Joseph McCarthy:
- Senator Joseph McCarthy was the most ruthless red-hunter. 1950, made compelling speech accusing SoS Acheson of hiring Commies in State Department (not true).
- Republicans and majority public commended his efforts
- McCarthy went after ex-Sos George Marshall. Ike secretly hated him but didn't intervene.
- McCarthy accused US army 1954 - finally Senate condemned him, died 3 years later.
Desegregating the South:
- Blacks in S had Jim Crow laws - segregated schools, toilets, bus seats
- Some blacks still lynched
- 1944 - Gunnar Myrdal - An American Dilemma - all men are created equal, but blacks are treated like this?
- NAACP wanted legal action! 1944, Supreme Court ruled "white primary" unconstitutional. 1950 NAACP legal counsel Thurgood Marshall ruled schools for blacks' accomidations weren't equal (Sweatt v. Painter)
- 1955 Alabama - Rosa Parks => black boycott of city busses
- MLK Jr. - orator, nonviolent, biblical and constitutional justice
Seeds of Civil Rights Revolution:
- 1948, Truman had ended segregation in federal civil service AND armed forces (shortages in Korea forced integration)
- Ike and Congress weren't interested in civil rights -> judiciary
- Supreme Court Justice Earl Warren, interested in social progression (Ike against him) got much opposition.
- Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, Kansas - Warren ruled black schools were unequal therefore unconstitutional => integration in schools.
- This got painful opposition from the S, and verrrrry slowly implemented.
Crisis at Little Rock:
- 1957, Orval Faubus (gov. of Arkansas) used National Guard to prevent 9 black students from engrolling at Little Rock HS, Ike sent troops to escort kids to classes.
- 1957 Congress passed Civil Rights Act ("mild") - established Civil Rights Commission to investigate violations of civil rights
- MLK: Souther Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) 1957 - black churches for black rights
- "sit-in" movement started by students => 1960 Student Non-violent Coordinating Committee (SNCC "snick")
Eisenhower Republicanism at Home:
- Ike was a moderate conservative - "bland"
- Tried to get away from "creeping socialism" - less defense spending, control of oil fields given to states, encouraged private company to compete with TVA.
- Operation Wetback - deported 1 million Mexican illegal immigrants - 1954.
- Tried to reverse Indian New Deal - assimilate! Abandoned 1961
- Kept and embraced New Deal policies like Social Security, unemployment insurance
- Interstate Highway Act - 1956 - $27 billion. Construction jobs and suburbanization. Robbed railroads, air quality, energy consumption.
- 1957-1958, economic downturn, 1954 Democrat majority in congress. 1955 CIO and AFL merged.
A New Look in Foreign Policy:
- SoS John Foster Dulles: containment is not enough, we must roll back Commie gains and liberate captive peoples. But we need to cut military spending. How will that work? Dulles: 1954 - "boldness policy" - airfleet of superbombers (Strategic Air Command - SAC) with nuclear weapons.
- Threatened Cina, 1955 tried to make peace w/ USSR (now under Khrushchev) - rejected, 1956 Hungary uprising against USSR- crushed, asked US for aid, but they now had too heavy a weapon.
The Vietnam Nightmare:
- 1954, US was financing $1 billion/year for French colonial war in Indochina
- Commie Ho (emphasis on ho) Chi Minh trapped French garrison 1954, Ike held back to prevent another war
- 1955, Vietname halved at 17th parallel. N - Ho Chi Minh. S - Hgo Dinh Diem (anti-commie). US promised to aid S and did.
A False Lull in Europe:
- W Germany joined NATO 1955 and contributed 1/2 million troops
- E Euopre and Soviets signed Warsaw Pact - red counterweight to NATO
- Arms-control agreements w. USSR and Soviets agreed to end occupation of Austria.
- 1956, Hungarians revolted, brutally crushed by Sovs, US admitted 30 thousand Hungarian refugees.
Menaces in the Middle East:
- CIA managed coup to put Shah Mohammed Reza Pahlevi in charge of Iran, as former gov. was resisting Western oil compaines.
- Nasser (Egypt) needed $$ for dam, US offered, then took it back when he flirted w/ Commies (their red may have been attractive but they don't put out - Nasser should have known that before he started flirting!!). Nasser nationalized the (Brit and French owned) Suez Canal.
- SoS Dulles said no European or Sov intervention - but France, Britain and Israel staged assualt on Egypt 1956.
- US refused to provied allies w/ oil and supplies -> they withdrew and UN police force maintained order
- 1957 Eisenhower Doctrine - US will send military and economic aid to coutnries in Middle East threated by Commies (really to prevent nationalism - threat to US's oil).
- 1960 Organization of Petrolium Exporting Countries (OPEC) - Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Iraq, Iran, Venezuela.
Round Two for Ike:
- 1956 Adlai vs. Eisenhower again, Ike won 457-73. Democrat Congress. Ike had fragile health and was now more laid back.
- Labor union "Teamsters" chief Dave Beck imprisoned for embezzlement. Replacement James R. Hoffa doing some jury tampering.
- => Landrum-Griffin Act - make labor leaders accountable for finaces and clean up labor union corruption.
The Race with the Soviets into Space:
- 1957 - Soviets launch Sputnik and Sputnik II. America gasped! How could the comies be sceintifically ahead of us? And do they have intercontinental ballistic missiles?
- Eisenhowerr established NASA and billions for missile development.
- 1957 - Vanguard blew up! 1958 - first US satelite
- Education improvement. 1958 National Defense and Education Act (NDEA) - $887 million in loans to college student and grants for teaching improvements.
The Continuing Cold War:
- 1958 - Us and USSR suspension of developing nuclear weapons.
- Lebanon was threated by Egypt and Commies - asked for US help - Ike sent troops to restore order (part of Eisenhower Doctrine)
- 1959, Khrushchev met w/ Ike at Camp David, Maryland - talked about evacuating Berlin
- 1960 American spy plane shot down in Russia -> Paris summit conference sollapsed.
Cuba's Castroism Spells Communism:
- US hadn't given much $$ to Latin America, but intervend (CIA coup ousted leftist gov in Guatemala 1954)
- Fidel Castro - 1959 Cuban Revolution -> Commie land-distribution program. US stopped importing Cuban sugar, Cubans fled to Florida.
- US tried to invoke Monroe Doctrine before Soviets could set up in Cuba. Khruschev: screw dat, touch Castro and I'll missile y'all.
- Ike proposed "Marshall Plan" for Latin America -> gave em $500 million
Kennedy Challenges Nixon for the Presidency:
- 1960 Republicans: Nixon (stand up to Soviets) w/ Hunry Cabot Lodge Jr. (UN rep)
- Democrats: John F. Kennedy w/ LBJ "New Fronteir"
The Presidential Issues of 1960:
- JFK had anti-Catholic sneers and Pope fears
- Televised Nixon-Kennedy debates (JFK looked better, Nixon had a 5 o'clock shadow, etc.)
- JFK won 303 to 219 (workers, Catholics, blacks)
- Democrat Congress
An Old General Fades Away:
- Some said Ike "golfed" away his presidency, but he was very active
- Alaska and Hawaii became states 1959
- Ike didn't crusade for civil rights :(
Changing Economic Patterns:
- The computer! IBM
- Aerospace - Strategic Air Command - 1957 Boeing 707 passenger jet - Air Force One
- 1956 white collar revolution - fading out of labor unions - women opportunities in workplace
- 1963 - Betty Friedan - The Feminine Mystique - being a housewife is boring, women should be able to work and this should be socially acceptable
Consumer Culture in the Fifties:
- McDonald's, Disneyland, credit card. TVs! - televangelists, sports.
- Elvis Presley - rock and roll. Sexual-ness: Elvis, Marilyn Monroe, Playboy
- Books about consumerist lifestyles, some leftist
The Life of the Mind in Postwar America:
- Fantastic and exaggerated war novels
- Society books. Depressing poetry.
- Books by blacks, southerners, Jews.