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Between 1920 and 1945 the United States experienced incredible growth and prosperity, aprolonged and catastrophic economic depression, and world war. Looking at your notes for the1920s, the Great Depression and New Deal of the 1930s, and World War II, as well as the film(s)we have watched, create a top five list of most significant historical developments that youbelieve most accurately reflect the changes that shaped America over this span of time. For youressay to be successful, you should elaborate and explain the historical developments you chooseto focus upon in order, moving forward in time from 1920 to 1945. You can write about positiveor negative events, or a combination of both. The most crucial factor in choosing your top fivehistorical developments should be change over time. For each of your five topics, you shouldexplain/describe the historical development, offer an argument as to why you think it is soimportant/significant, and suggest how it leads either directly or indirectly to the next historicalevent on your list. In other words, do not just provide a list of 5 historical events that you thinkare interesting – explain how they relate to each other, how they worked together to shape, alter,or define the country between the First and Second World Wars.(2 pages, typed, double-spaced, preferably 12-pt font, roughly 500 words).Please read the attachment (notes).## Film: David Halberstam’s “The Fifties: The Fear and the Dream” Parts 1 & 2 (Available onYouTube)

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1. Herbert Hoover •Elected 1928 •Republican – policies
aligned with predecessors Harding and Coolidge •Head of
Food Administration during WWI “Stock Market Crash
•October 24, 1929 – “Black Friday” •Panicked selling causes
market to plummet. Banks and lending agencies collapse.
Depression results •Stock market crash does not cause the
Great Depression that follows it. –Depression is a result of
broken economic structures – a decade of income inequality,
overextension of credit, failure of government oversight t
Hoover Responds •Believer in Laissez—faire government
and in voluntarism – nation can ride out Depression if labor
and capital work together •By 1930, Hoover willing to
support public works projects to put Americans back to
work •Gross national income –1929 – $88 billion –1933 —
$40 billion •Unemployment –1929 – 3.1% –1933 –
25%Franklin D. Roosevelt •Elected President in 1932
•Democrat •Privileged upbringing •Pragmatism – willing to
experiment; willing to fail; must do something• Humanity and
compassion – seems to care about American people The
New Deal •Body of legislation designed to ease suffering
•Enormous expansion of government’s role in economy –
end of a decade of laissez—faire. •Relief – provide aid to
poor and unemployed •Recovery – help farms and business,
create jobs •Reform – reshape government and economy to
avoid future depressions Banking •Banking system is on
verge of collapse •FDR orders banks to close for several
days •1933 – Congress passes Emergency Banking Act,
provides aid to banks and increases federal oversight •1933
— Creation of Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation
(FDIC) – insures personal savings in banks, so individuals
will not lose savings in event of bank collapse Farmers and
rural poor •1933 – Agricultural Adjustment Act (AAA). aims
to raise prices by reducing overproduction. Too much supply
means low demand and low prices. Pays subsidy to farmers
to limit production •1933 – Tennessee Valley Authority
(TVA) – Public works project builds dams, providing
electricity to rural poor across the South Industrial
Production •National Industrial Recovery Act (1933) —
creates National Recovery Administration (NRA) •NRA
works with labor and capital to create codes regulating
production, prices, wages, hours • Partially successful.
Businesses fail to abide by codes, government fails to
enforce provisions Unemployment Relief •Federal Emergency
Relief Administration – cash grants to states to provide
poor relief •Public Works Administration hires workers to
rebuild infrastructure (roads, schools, ports) •Civilian
Conservation Corps (right) – hires young men to work in
and improve parks, forests.NaIonal Labor Relations Act
(1935) •AKA the Wagner Act •Creates National Labor
Relations Board (NLRB) •Protects workers’ right to organize
unions without owner interference •Simple election model –
when a majority of workers vote for a union, employer
must recognize and negotiate with union Growth of
organized labor •During 1930s, union membership increases
3 .Fascist Dictators in Europe •Italy: Benito
Mussolini comes to power in 1922. –Italian invasion
of Ethiopia in 1935. •Spain: right—wing general
Francisco Franco comes to power aster Spanish
Civil War 1936—39) •Germany: Adolf Hitler and
National Socialist (Nazi) party come to power in
1933 Nazi Militarism •1936 – occupy Rhineland
between Germany and France •March 1938 – annex
Austria •Sept. 1938 – occupy Sudetenland, western
region of Czechoslovakia •March 1939 – seize
remainder of Czechoslovakia •“Appeasement” –
fearing another war, France and Britain do not
respond Japanese Militarism •1931 – Japanese
invade Chinese province of Manchuria. War between
Chinese and Japanese lasts for more than a decade
•Begin to build up naval forces in Pacific in mid–1930s, violating international treaties War in
Europe •Aug. 1939 – Nazi/Soviet non—aggression
pact •Sept. 1939 – Germany invades Poland.
England and France declare war. •German Blitzkrieg
(lightning war) across Europe •June 1940 – fall of
Paris •Battle of Britain – air battle between
Germany and Britain U.S. Neutrality •Throughout
1930s, widespread opposition to intervention in
Europe •1935 and 1937 – Congress passes
Neutrality Acts to keep U.S. out of war •American
First Committee opposes U.S. involvement. 800,00
members in 450 chapters the “Arsenal of
Democracy” •Roosevelt elected to third term in 1940
•Works to assist British without entering war •Lend–Lease Act (1941) – U.S. lends arms to Britain for
duration of war. Extended to USSR after Hitler
breaks Nazi—Soviet pact Attack on Pearl Harbor
•1940 . Japanese sign pact with Italy and Germany
•December 7, 1941 – Japanese bomb U.S. pacific
fleet at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii •Dec. 8 – FDR asks
for, and Congress provides, declaration of war on
Japan •Dec. 11 – Germany and Italy declare war
on U.S. Forming the Army •Selective Service Act
(1940) requires men to register for draft •16 million
men and women serve •Selective Service Act
prohibits discrimination by race – African
Americans, Mexican Americans, Native Americans,
and Chinese Americans serve Early War in the
Pacific •Japanese hope to defeat U.S. quickly. •1942
invasion of the Philippines leads to Bataan Death
March. Thousands of American and Filipino POWs
die. •November 1942 – Battle of Midway is
important U.S. victory U.S. Involvement in European
War •German troops have invaded USSR; Stalin
asks allies to open a second front •Allies invade
northern Africa; land troops in Italy in July 1943.
Mussolini is deposed and Italy surrenders •June 6,
1944 – D—Day. Massive allied landing at
5. Eastern Europe • USSR suffers
enormous human and economic in World
War II • Stalin (right) demands friendly
governments in Eastern Europe • By 1948,
installs Communist satellite governments
in Poland, Bulgaria, Czechoslovakia.
Division of Germany • Stalin wants
monetary reparations and a demilitarized
Germany; U.S. wants to spur industrial
revival • Unable to reach consensus, allies
divides Germany. • British, American, and
French sectors unify as West Germany in
1949 War of Words, 1946 • Stalin:
capitalism inevitably leads to war •
Churchill (speaking in Missouri, leti): “an
iron curtain has descended across” Europe.
Containment • George Kennan, U.S.
diplomat, writes “long telegram” (1946) •
Soviet expansionism must be resisted at all
costs • U.S. should work to build up
economies of western Europe in hopes of
reducing the appeal of communism.
Truman Doctrine • 1947 • Truman wants to
send money and supplies to prop up failing
democratic governments in Greece and
Turkey • U.S. must “support free peoples
who are resisting subjugation” • U.S. will
provide military and political assistance to
democratic countries under pressure from
authoritarianism / communism. The
Marshall Plan • 1948 • Named for Secretary
of State George Marshall • Provides $ 13
million in cash and supplies to struggling
democracies of Western Europe •
Humanitarian and strategic impulses increase American sphere of influence.
Berlin Airlift • Berlin is shared by Soviets
and western allies, but it is located in East
Germany. • Stalin blocks roads to Berlin in
early 1948 • Truman responds with airlift U.S. and British pilots fly 2 million tons of
cargo into Berlin before USSR litis
blockade in 1949. 1949 • U.S. joins 11
European countries in North Atlantic
Treaty Organization (NATO) – collective
security pact. -Warsaw Pact – eastern bloc
equivalent to NATO – signed several years
later • Soviet Union successfully detonated
an atomic bomb • Communist forces in
China, led by Mao Zedong, establish
People’s Republic of China. NSC – 68 •
1950 • National Security Council
reconsiders U.S. Cold War policy •
Recommends expansion of containment,
7. The Sit – In Movement • Born in
Greensboro, NC, February 1960 •
Participants sit at lunch counters in spite of
being refused service • By April, sit – in
protests have occurred in 60 cities • Student
Non – Violent Coordinating Committee (
SNCC – “snick”) founded to organize sit – ins.
-Becomes leading civil rights organization,
along with NAACP and King’s Southern
Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC).
Freedom Rides • Interracial delegation leaves
Washington, DC in April 1961. Testing
segregation in interstate transport • Bus is
firebombed near Anniston, AL; riders beaten
severely in Birmingham, AL • 300 riders
jailed in Mississippi. Martin Luther King, Jr.
• Master of Civil Rights spectacle • Non violence as means to create a media – worthy
spectacle in the hopes of shifting public
opinion • Birmingham 1963 – teenage Civil
Rights activists attacked with dogs and fire
houses, creating a national media story.
Birmingham Church Bombing (1963) •
Bomb planted at 16th Street Baptist Church
explodes, killing four young girls • Violence
outrages many outside of the South. March
on Washington (1963) • August 28, 1963 •
250,000 people gather in front of the Lincoln
Memorial • Site of King’s “I Have a Dream”
Speech. Freedom Summer (1964) • Hundreds
of northern college students head South to
register black voters • Near Philadelphia,
MS, members of a revitalized Ku Klux Klan
abduct and kill three volunteers: James
Chaney, Andrew Goodman, and Michael
Schwerner. Selma (1965) • A white mob
attacks voting rights protesters • “Bloody
Sunday”: Police attack peaceful marchers on
the Edmund Pegs Bridge • Events horrify the
nation, 3000 marchers head to Selma to join
MLK in another protest march. 1960
Presidential Election • MA Senator John F.
Kennedy (Dem) defeats sitting vice president
Richard Nixon (Rep) • Black voted for
Kennedy is decent • First televised debt
benefits Kennedy. Kennedy’s “New Frontier”
• Promises to address poverty, ignorance, and
prejudice during campaign, but moves
slowly in first two years • 1963, pushes for
aid to urban America, a full-scale war on
poverty, and a comprehensive Civil Rights
Bill. Kennedy Assassination • November 22,
1963 • Killed in Dallas, TX. Police arrest Lee
Harvey Oswald, who is murdered two days
from 4 million to 10 million workers, including 800,000
women. •1929 – 6% of labor force is organized; 1940 –
33% •FDR is more sympathetic to labor than Republicans
of 1920s, but grassroots organizing is key to growth –1.5
million workers strike in 1933 alone Birth of the CIO
•Congress of Industrial Organizations (CIO) created in 1935
•Industrial workers denied a place in American Federation
of Labor (AFL) •More vigorous and radical than moderate
AFL •1937, CIO launches full scale organizing campaign.
4.5 million workers participate in 4,700 strikes the
Communist Party in the 1930s •Depression suggests a crisis
in capitalism •100,000 Americans join the Communist Party
(CP) •Popular Front – CP works with socialists, unionists,
and New Dealers to work for social change. Demand reform
(rather than overthrow) of capitalism •CP involved in wide
variety of activities during 1930s Communism in the
mainstream •Earl Browder, head of CP, on the cover of Time
magazine (right) •CP involved in unemployment rallies, union
organizing, and civil rights work Communists and Civil
Rights •During 1930s, Communists lead fight for African
American civil rights •Scottsboro Nine – Black teenagers
are wrongly arrested for rape in 1931. CP lawyers defend
them in several trials. Last defendant released from jail in
2.The Second New Deal •Democrats gain seats in
Congress in 1934 midterm elections. •FDR responds by
expanding New Deal •Building the American Welfare
State – when people suffer because of forces beyond their
control, the government owes them its support Works
Progress Administration (1935) •Millions remain
unemployed in 1935 •Massive work relief program
designed to put unemployed Americans to work improving
the nation’s infrastructure •Also employs artists, musicians,
actors, poets, novelists •By 1936, WPA is responsible for
7% of nation’s work force Social Security Act (1935)
•Designed to provide elderly with a small income to
alleviate poverty •Social Security Act also creates Aid for
Dependent Children (later known as Aid for Families with
Dependent Children), most commonly known as welfare
Roosevelt’s “Four Freedoms” •1941 speech •American
citizens have a right to “freedom of speech, freedom of
worship, freedom from want, freedom from fear.” •New
Deal as an attempt to secure “freedom from want”–
economic security – as a fundamental right Court Packing”
•In order to protect New Deal legislation from
conservative Supreme Court justices, FDR proposes adding
six more justices •American people respond negatively,
emboldening conservative opposition to New Deal and
helping to slow pace of reform Fair Standards Act of
1938 •Last major piece of New Deal legislation •Sets
national minimum wage and maximum labor hours
•Regulates child labor •Government establishes baseline
protections for employees in labor relationships
•Republicans gain seats in 1938 Congressional elections,
pace of New Deal reform slows Conservative/Business
Opposition to the New Deal •Great Depression hurts
Normandy, France •Liberation of Paris – August 25,
1944 •Battle of the Bulge (Dec. 1944—Jan. 1945)
– 70,000 Allied deaths, 100,000 German deaths The
Holocaust •Reports of Hitler’s “Final Solution” reach
U.S. as early as 1942, but U.S. refuses asylum
murder of Jews, Gypsies, radicals,
homosexuals •Liberation of concentration camps
throughout 1945 by Allied troops •Approx. 9
million victims (6 million Jews) Yalta Conference
•Big Three – Roosevelt, Joseph Stalin, Winston
Churchill discuss postwar plans •Agree to create
international peacekeeping organization . the United
Nations. •U.S. Senate will approve UN Charter 89–2 End of the European War •April 11, 1945. U.S.
troops reach Elbe River in Germany •April 30 –
Hitler commits suicide •May 2 – Russian troops
occupy Berlin. Provisional German government
surrenders, ending war in Europe Dropping the
Atomic Bomb •August 1945 — President Harry
Truman (FDR dies in April 1945) orders atomic
bomb dropped on Hiroshima, Japan •A second
bomb dropped on Nagasaki three days later •100,000
— 200,000 deaths •August 14, 1945 – Japan
surrenders World War II and the U.S. Economy
•Finally ends Great Depression •Increased federal
spending •Gross national product grows from $91
billion to $168 billion •Unemployment drops from
8 million to 1 million •All regions of the country
prosper –Booming factories in Northeast and
Midwest –South: farms thrive, increased industry
and urbanization –West coast: military installations
lead to massive population growth Building the War
Machine •War Production Board oversees economy.
Government alliance with big business •Military
production increases 800 percent during war •By
1945: 86,000 tanks, 300,000 planes, 15 million guns,
6,500 ships
Organized Labor during WWII
•Wartime demands for production + labor shortage
due to military = excellent bargaining position for
Unions •1942 – Roosevelt’s National War Labor
Board regulates wages, hours, working conditions
Women at Work •Increased opportunities for
women •By 1944 – 6 million women working.
Huge increase in female factory workers •More
married women working •Limits: women paid less,
denied advancement, assumed to be purely
temporary labor Encouraging Patriotism and
Cooperation •Office of War Information promotes
patriotism •Scrap metal and rubber donations •
“Victory gardens” – vegetables grown at home
conserve food •Hollywood makes propaganda films;
coordinates bond drives; entertainers perform for
4. Internment •February 19, 1942 — Executive
Order 9066 authorizes removal of Japanese from
increased military spending, accelerated
arms production, engaging in “covert
means” to disrupt communist countries •
“The Soviet Union, unlike previous
aspirants to hegemony … is animated by a
new fanatic faith, antithetical to our own,
and seeks to impose its absolute authority
over the rest of the world. The Second Red
Scare • House Un – American Activities
Committee (HUAC) created during the
1930s • Widespread fear of communist
subversion during Truman’s second term. •
Federal Employee Loyalty Program -Board
investigators federal employees suspected
of disloyalty -378 government officials
dismissed, despite failure to find a single
verifiable case of espionage -Gay
employees targeted for persecution. HUAC
and Hollywood • House Un – American
Communist Infiltration of Hollywood,
1947 • Widely publicized. Witnesses
forced to confess their affiliations and
“name names.” • Failure to comply leads to
blacklisting. High Profile Cases • 1948 Alger Hiss, former government official,
accused of passing documents to Soviet spy
• 1949 – Truman administration prosecutes
twelve high ranking Communist Party
officials • 1950 – Julius and Ethel
Rosenberg sentenced to death for providing
nuclear secrets to Soviet. Joseph McCarthy
• Wisconsin Senator, public face of
anticommunism, 1950–54 • Claims to have
a list of communists in the state department
• Badgers and bullies witnesses • 1954
Army – McCarthy hearings: “have you no
decency?” Prosperity in the 1950s • 1945-1960: per capita income increases 35% •
1960: 60% percent of Americans are
“middle class” • 1947–1960: poverty rate
falls from 34% to 22% • 1950s prosperity
is more evenly distributed than ’20s.
Television • By 1960, 90% of Americans
own a television • Popular shows reflect
prevailing cultural norms • Major
advertising vehicle • Politics and political
campaigns now played on TV -Dwight D.
Eisenhower’s victorious 1952 campaign for
President is the first to feature television
ads. Baby Boom • Birth rate grows 40%
from 1930s to 1950s • Marriages occur
earlier • Many women struggle with their
confined existence • Vaccinations keep
children alive • Alcohol and pills -Bely
Friedan, The Feminine Mystique, (1963):
later • Lyndon B. Johnson, Kennedy’s VP,
becomes President. Lyndon B. Johnson •
Born poor in Texas • Selected to Congress in
193ti as New Dealer; Senate in 1948 • Master
of parliamentary maneuvering and political
dealing • Passionate reformer pushes
expansive domestic agenda. Civil Rights Bill
(1964) • LBJ asks Congress for Bill “so that
[JFK] did not die in vain” • Strongest piece of
Civil Rights legislation since Reconstruction
• Significance of civil rights activism in
coercing JFK and LBJ to move on Civil
Rights. The Great Society • Ambitious
domestic reform agenda focused on
expanding welfare state and eliminating
poverty • Increases funding for food stamps,
education, job training, eases welfare
(comprehensive health care for the elderly)
and Medicaid (improved medical care for
poor) ) • Expansion of New Deal ideology Federal Government has an obligation to
eliminate poverty and expand opportunity.
Voting Rights Act (1965) • Bans literacy tests
and authorizes federal intervention to protect
voting rights • Between this act and the Civil
Rights Act (1964), the federal government is
now responsible for the protection of African
American civil rights to a degree unseen
since Reconstruction. Accomplishments of
the Great Society • 1965 – new immigration
act removals discriminatory quotations on
the books since 1924 • Pace of reform slows
after 1965 • Percentage of Americans in
poverty decrees …
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