American Presidents Series: Hot War, Cold War
Date: June 2006
Duration: 3 hours 0 minutes
Harry Truman completes FDR's term in 1945. An abrupt change in view of Russia from that of FDR. Change in attitude toward Russia. He completes FDR's term from April, 1945. An abrupt change in view of Russia from that of FDR. He is concerned about Russian ambitions to expand communism. The background to Russia invading Manchuria days after the atomic bomb is dropped on Japan. (8.04.00) = Issues of Using the Bomb. There are the moral issues of using the atom bomb against Japan. (24.36.00) == Origins of the Cold War. It originates from the dropping of the atomic bomb on Japan, based on the U.S. perspective and Russia's perspective and the supporting facts of that time. The benefits of the economic needs of a war economy are duplicated by the threat of war. The Cold War starts with the Loyalty Oath program under Truman. There is mass public hysteria fanned by the Alger Hiss case and Sen. Eugene McCarthy. . (42.00.00) = Upset victory. Although an underdog in the 1948 election, Truman wins an upset victory. Truman is blamed for the loss of China. Russia gets the Bomb, adding to public insecurity and fear. (50.43.00) = Korea. After the Inchon landing the North is pushed back to the 38th parallel. The war could be ended here but Truman has the U.S. push further despite China's warning. China intervenes resulting in a terrible American retreat back to the original line. The war continues for another 2 years until Dwight Eisenhower ends the war in 1953 after his election in 1952. (55.27.00) = Accomplishments. He is now considered popular because he continued the progressiveness of the New Deal, enacted the GI Bill, the housing rights for vets, and the Full Employment Act. He desegregated the American forces. But he also sustained a war economy with a war not winnable. The Taft-Hartley Act took away some labor gains. His slogan, "The Buck Stops Here," is considered admirable. (1.00.46.00) = 34. Dwight D. Eisenhower. McCarthyism. Elected 1952, recognized for his military charisma and administrative ability of the Normandy invasion. He shows a lack of moral courage by not defending George Marshal when attacked by Sen. McCarthy. (1.03.00.00) = Civil Rights. In an economic boom time he builds an interstate highway system. During the birth of the modern civil rights movement he is reluctant to intervene in the Little Rock resistance to school integration. Yet he does send troops to enforce the law as a fulfillment of his duty. Ike refuses to commit U.S. troops to Vietnam. He warns of the military-industrial complex. McCarthyism. (1.02.24.16) = Civil Rights. During the birth of the modern civil rights movement he is reluctant to intervene in the Little Rock resistance to school integration. Yet he does send troops to enforce the law as a fulfillment of his duty. (1.04.39.15) = During the birth of the modern civil rights movement he is reluctant to intervene in the Little Rock resistance to school integration. Yet he does send troops to enforce the law as a fulfillment of his duty. (1.06.23.00) = The Cold War. John Foster Dulles, a zealot, is his secretary of state who approaches the Cold War with brinkmanship. When there begins to be a sense of bringing opposing forces together to solve problems, the U2 spy plane episode undermines peace attempts. The U2 spy plane flights over Russia had been undertaken without Ike's knowledge. (1.10.05.00) = Vietnam. Ike refuses to commit U.S. troops to Vietnam. He warns of the military-industrial
35. John F. Kennedy. Elected in 1960 in a close race where the role of TV image is a factor. He is charismatic. He clears the air of the issue of him being a Catholic by reaffirming the separation of church and state. He creates the New Frontier image but reality is pragmatic with civil rights. An anti-discrimination in public housing bill is signed but applies only to housing to be built. His administration tries to block civil rights marches and demonstrations. JFK's view at the time is that communism is a Russian monolith, and that Vietnam is a threat to the U.S.. He sends troops in 1961, beginning a self-commitment. When popular demonstrations erupt at home, he misses the chance to withdraw and save face. JFK is assassinated in 1963. If he had lived, Vietnam would have continued. His legacy is his charisma inspires the younger generation in public service. (25.32.00) = 36. Lyndon B. Johnson. LBJ completes JFK's term. He is from Texas, a segregated state. He has a strong personality with unsavory aspects. He identifies with FDR's New Deal traditions. The civil rights movement is in full swing and he pushes important civil rights legislation affecting African-Americans, women, and other minorities. This includes the War on Poverty and education. His important legacy is the Great Society laws. He is reelected in 1964 during the Vietnam War. The Tonkin Bay hoax gives him great authority for a major escalation of the war eventually reaching 500,000 troops. Domestic programs are cut. When increased hope is thwarted domestic uprisings result. The 1968 Tet offensive dooms the war effort as lost, and leads to low public confidence in the president. LBJ drops out of the reelection race. (40.22.00) = 37. Richard M. Nixon. He returns from political defeat to win the 1968 election, and is reelected in 1972. He opens the door to China for economic reasons. The Vietnam War is intensified and then ended. In Latin America he supports the overthrowing of governments not to our liking. Domestically he initiates reforms. He is a paranoid president believing he is above the law and provokes a constitutional crisis. (1.13.03.12) = 38. Gerald Ford As vice president he becomes president after Nixon resigns. He is genial but has an image of bumbler. He loses the 1976 election. . (1.18.29.03) = 39. Jimmy Carter. Carter, an anti-segregationist Governor of Georgia, is elected in 1976 and serves only 1 term. The Iranian Islamic revolution undercuts his reelection bid when he is unable to free American hostages.