The Cold War and the Environment, Part 1 — CHSSP
Differing goals of the soviet and US after WWII 3. How did US tree Japan after World War II Identify several causes of suburban growth after World War II. 1. As a public relations offensive against the Soviet Union during the Cold War, the United States promoted a consumer-oriented, After World War II most Americans not only believed that participation in a mass more obvious or widespread than in the suburban home – a rapidly spreading phenomenon. The bumpy U.S.-U.S.S.R. relationship in the years between and The birth of the Space Age following the Soviet launch of Sputnik From the end of World War II, the Soviets made rockets their most important military asset. . in the Moscow suburb of Kaliningrad and the Soyuz launch pad at the.
The picture came full circle on television sitcoms like Leave It to Beaver and Father Knows Best, which offered benign, family-centered stories of generational quarrels and reconciliation, all sponsored by advertisers eager to tap into the lucrative suburban market. The result was a reinforcing web of suburban salesmanship.
And they elevated the suburban home to a gleaming symbol of American superiority during the Cold War. Nixon used this slice of everyday suburban life as the ultimate Cold War propaganda weapon. Academics, novelists, filmmakers, and designer-planners, among others, blamed mass suburbia for some of the most disturbing social trends of the era. Homogeneous suburban landscapes, they believed, spawned homogenous people, who followed the dictates of blind conformity.
Bland, monotonous, isolating landscapes oppressed women and pushed bored kids toward juvenile delinquency. Female-centric suburban life distorted gender relations and left men emaciated. And the list went on. What was properly a beginning was treated as an end.
Even suburban family life was lambasted, portrayed as the polar opposite of the carefree innocence depicted on popular television sitcoms. Novelists and filmmakers in particular depicted all manner of suburban domestic dysfunction: Sociologists like Bennett Berger, Herbert Gans, and William Dobriner found that moving to suburbia did not actually change people, as both the critics and boosters suggested.
Instead, suburbanites continued to make life choices based upon such factors as class, ethnicity, religion, and personal preference. Political Life Scholars have examined the political culture of postwar suburbia since the mass suburban boom began, tracing critical trends that have shaped U.
The s - HISTORY
In the s, political scientist, Robert Wood explored the fragmented municipal landscape of suburbia and the localism that characterized its political culture much as it had since the 19th century. This ideal of localism manifested in campaigns around municipal incorporation and zoning controls, annexation, taxation, school policy and local services from potholes to public swimming pools. Other political identities blossomed at the local level.
Many suburbanites derived their core political identity—as white middle-class, taxpaying homeowners—within the context of their suburban neighborhoods, often politically independent municipalities. Suburbanites made a direct connection between their role as taxpayers and their right to a particular quality of life, delivered through services like good schools and safe streets.
They developed a sense of entitlement to these advantages, which they perceived as the just rewards of their individual efforts to achieve home ownership. Historians, in turn, have exposed the limitations in this thinking by underscoring the broad web of governmental policies that subsidized and privileged white suburban homeowners.
The rich scholarship on suburban politics produced by historians in recent years challenges an earlier image of suburban civic banality painted by some postwar critics, and highlights the national importance of suburban politics. Recent scholarship has documented the crucial role suburbia played in the rise of postwar conservatism, while newer studies linked suburbs to centrist and liberal politics.
Two important works on suburban conservatism centered on California. The infrastructure they created—study groups, newsletters, bookstores, and clubs—represented a crucial formative aspect of a maturing Republican Party. Both studies argued that localized suburban politics in this era deeply shaped conservatism at the national scale. As Matthew Lassiter and others have shown, this bipartisan suburban movement elevated the issues of metropolitan politics onto the national stage by asserting the interests of suburban taxpayers, etching deeply entrenched patterns of inequality across metropolitan areas.
The Republican Party was first to connect with this voting bloc at the national level, using it to win electoral majorities in seven of the ten Presidential elections from tobut Democrats likewise supported suburban political mandates during the postwar years.
Residents like a young Betty Friedan mobilized to enhance their quality of life, which included a vision of integrated schools and multicultural neighbors, and they sought the active hand of government to achieve these ends. White liberals in suburbs like Brookline and Newton actively supported a racially open housing market, but they rarely challenged the high economic hurdles that ensured that most people of color could not afford these neighborhoods.
In the s, conflicts over the Levittown, NY, schools broke out between advocates of progressive versus traditional education, refracting larger differences between liberals and conservatives. Their arrival was facilitated by a small, dedicated group of local activists, mainly leftists and Quakers, who were committed to civil rights. When William and Daisy Myers stepped forward to become black pioneers in Levittown, their arrival sparked massive grassroots resistance. For several weeks, hundreds of white residents gathered in the evenings, hurling rocks and yelling epithets see Figure 2.
Yet other white residents stepped up to support the Myers family. Eventually, emotions simmered down. Yet as Tom Sugrue shows, the end result signaled the limits of racial liberalism in places like Levittown where blacks remained a miniscule percentage of the population for decades, as well as in other metro areas where sharp class and race inequality persisted.
The crowd is protesting the first black family moving into Levittown, Photography by Jack Tinney, George D. Suburbanites played key roles in other political movements as well. Levittowners engaged in environmental activism by the late s, part of a broader push among suburbanites nationally. When Levittown began feeling the effects of local factory pollutants and encroaching overdevelopment, residents united in action.
This new politics coalesced around Earth Day inthen fanned out into a range of grassroots activities. Residents gathered for garbage clean-up days, opposed a proposed nuclear power plant, held environmental teach-ins, circulated petitions, and picketed the nearby U. Steel plant over industrial pollutants. Growth and Diversification Land Development and Real Estate Changing economic conditions in the United States after reshaped suburbia, as they did much of American life.
The decline of manufacturing across the industrial heartland, the rise of service employment, high-tech growth, deregulation, and globalization altered the context for metropolitan life, resulting in regional shifts, growing economic volatility, polarization of wealth and income, and unstable futures for cities and suburbs alike.
New trends in the housing market set the tone for events that affected American suburbs through the following decades. New patterns of real estate investment in the s and s, for example, foreshadowed the coming merger of real-estate development and global financial markets that triggered recurrent housing volatility, including the global financial crisis of In places like California, development schemes reached gargantuan proportions that made even postwar developments like Levittown look small by comparison.
- Soviet Union–United States relations
Certain effects will be felt into the distant future, like nuclear fallout. Other Cold War era developments re-ordered our relationship to the earth, such as the large-scale use of fertilizers and irrigation introduced through the Green Revolution a program supported by the West, in part, to feed and promote democracy among citizens of non-aligned nations.
And some Cold War effects were acute but reversible, like unexploded land mines and other military ordinances here in the United States and around the globe. But the environmental impact of the Cold War extends much beyond warfare and diplomacy. As a public relations offensive against the Soviet Union during the Cold War, the United States promoted a consumer-oriented, auto-dependent, technology-dependent, suburban culture that had far-reaching environmental consequences throughout the nation and abroad.
By studying the environmental impact of this resource-dependent culture, students gain a more complete understanding of the pervasive and long lasting impact of the Cold War era. The culture that emerged during the Cold War reflected the economic and social ramifications of the Great Depression and a World War.
After World War II most Americans not only believed that participation in a mass consumer economy would promote prosperity, but that affluence was also integral to the realization of long sought American ideals — democracy and equality. The three leaders discussed wartime strategy, the creation of the United Nations, and the reconstruction of Europe. Yalta was a popular resort city in the Ukraine where the three leaders discussed the future of Germany and Eastern Europe while their armies continued to close in around Hitler.
Stalin believed that the defense of his nation depended on creating a Russian sphere of influence in Poland and other Eastern European nations because Poland and Eastern Europe had been used as a corridor to attack Russia several times in the past two centuries. Stalin promised to create a coalition government made up of representatives of the democratic Polish government exiled in London.
Churchill and Roosevelt correctly suspected that he would instead create an interim government led by pro-Soviet Communists. The allies had reason to be concerned about how democratic this process would be given the actions of the Red Army in Poland the previous year. For example, Stalin halted his offensive against Nazi-occupied Warsaw for two months while the German army killed thousands of Polish fighters who opposed Communism.
Hoping to keep their tentative alliance alive, Churchill and Roosevelt agreed that each nation would be responsible for occupying and reconstructing the section of Germany and Central Europe that corresponded with the position of their armies.
The three leaders discussed the reconstruction of Europe and decided to divide Germany and Berlin into American, British, French, and Soviet sectors. Instead, they focused their efforts on determining how Eastern Europe might be divided and administered by the Soviets in a way that would foster reconstruction and genuine independence.
As had been the case following World War I, those present at the Potsdam Conference attempted to divide Europe into individual nations according to the doctrine of self-determination.
Unfortunately, tremendous ethnic and political strife throughout Eastern Europe derailed the process. The dominant peoples of Eastern Europe each sought to remove national and ethnic minorities. In addition, all of these areas were also divided among a host of political factions, each vying for control of regions that had been completely destroyed by war and military occupation.
Before long, this economic, ethnic, and political strife spread to Southern Europe in places such as Greece, Italy, and even Western nations such as France. The postwar settlement was also similar to that of World War I in the way the victorious allies debated the fate of Germany. In addition to dividing Germany into four zones, the German military was disbanded and the National Socialist Party was permanently abolished.
Each of the four nations created interim governments in their respective zones and prepared for special elections the world hoped would lead to stable and democratic governance to avoid the previous instability of the post—World War I period. Given the extreme hardships their country endured, Russian leaders also sought reparations as a method of punishing Germany while building up their military.
This led to conflict between the four occupying powers as the West sought to rebuild a democratic Germany that could stand on its own and refused Soviet demands for reparations from their sectors of Germany. While many Americans shared the desire of Russian leaders to punish their attackers, the United States had prospered during the war and its highest priority was to promote global recovery and avoid the economic and political instability that led to the rise of totalitarian governments.
Rather than seeking reparations within its German sector, the United States launched a massive program to aid war-torn Germany and later Japan in hopes of promoting stable democratic governments. In both Asia and Europe, the US perspective was influenced by humanitarian concerns but also guided by self-interest. Business leaders hoped to resume trade with these nations while political leaders feared economic instability might lead Europe and Asia toward Communism.
As a result, US aid was aimed at ensuring Japanese and German reconstruction in the American image of democracy and free enterprise. US aid to these former adversaries was rewarded by the close political and economic ties that developed as West Germany and Japan became two of the strongest US allies in their ensuing conflict with the Soviet Union. US forces occupied Japan from untiloverseeing the transition to a democratic government while also seizing military assets, holding military tribunals for accused war criminals, and overseeing reparations payments.
Given the horrific nature of the war in the Pacific, the peacetime transition of Japan from a militaristic dictatorship to a prospering democracy was remarkable. The Soviets created their sphere of influence in Manchuria while the Americans occupied Japan. With the help of the newly created United Nations, Korea was temporarily partitioned into US and Soviet sectors and installed with rival governments.
MacArthur was relieved of duty after making unauthorized remarks calling for an attack against Communist China.
The Cold War and the Environment, Part 1
Many Americans feared that promoting too much industrial growth might lead to Japan becoming a major power once again. However, as Communism began to spread throughout China and Southeastern Asia, US leaders shifted their orientation and invested resources to ensure Japanese economic growth under a pro-American government.
The basis of this friendship was US economic aid, mutual trade, and hostility to the growth of Communism in neighboring China and North Korea. The people of Eastern Europe had suffered tremendously and now demanded that German residents of the region leave their countries. After all, they reasoned, Hitler had justified his actions in the region based on reuniting all peoples of German origins.
The Potsdam Conference followed this line of reasoning in declaring its intention to create nations along ethnic lines. Poland was to be occupied by people of Polish origins, the Czechs were to live in Czechoslovakia, and Hungary would be for Hungarians, and so on. The Soviet Union would dominate the reconstruction of Eastern Europe, with the nations of this region forming socialist governments that were allied with Moscow. As had been the case after World War I, this plan failed to recognize the vast ethnic diversity of the region and the impossibility of drawing national boundaries that would accomplish its goal without creating millions of refugees.
In addition, millions of other ethnic minorities would also be forced to leave their homes if such a plan was universally enforced.
Each government partially attempted to purge their nation of various minorities, usually enforcing the provisions of exclusionary schemes on those most vulnerable—the poor. Eastern Europe had scarce resources to feed or transport the millions of refugees created by the expulsion of ethnic minorities, and historians estimate that as many as 2 million people perished in refugee camps in the resulting disorder. However, the Western Allies were hardly in any position to dictate the reconstruction of Eastern Europe under Soviet terms given the position of the Red Army throughout the region.
In addition, the Allies wanted to recreate the area west of Berlin in their own image. The official declarations at Yalta and Potsdam mandated democratic elections and constitutional government. Indeed, many elections were held and both Communist and non-Communist leaders were democratically elected throughout Eastern Europe in the immediate postwar years.
Before long, however, Communist groups throughout the region seized power with Soviet military backing. Yugoslavia liberated itself from Nazi rule, which meant that it was never occupied by the Soviet Army.
Tito was significant in world history because he fiercely defended the independence of his nation, despite the attempts of Stalin to dictate the affairs of all Communist states. ByEurope was divided between democratic and Communist states along a line that corresponded to the orientation of the two superpowers whose armies had liberated Europe from the Nazis.
Democracy and Capitalism ruled in the Western nations liberated and occupied by US troops, while the eastern nations liberated by the Soviet Red Army formed Communist governments. United Nations Despite the tensions between the United States and the Soviet Union, the postwar period ushered in an era of hope for lasting world peace through better communication and collective action.
As the war came to an end, representatives from around the globe met to discuss ways to prevent future conflicts. These diplomats authored a provisional charter for the United Nations An international organization headquartered in New York City that attempts to mediate global conflicts and disagreements between member nations as a means of promoting worldwide peace, human rights, and economic development and stability. Delegates representing various member nations met in San Francisco in April and discussed various ideas about the postwar world order as well as the best method of structuring the United Nations to meet these challenges.
However, because participation in a collectivist organization such as the United Nations requires commitment to decisions one cannot control and may strongly disagree with, US membership in, and relationship with, the United Nations has always been controversial. The United Nations charter avowed principles of peace through communication and collective action, autonomy and self-determination for people around the world, and respect for human rights irrespective of race, religion, gender, and ethnicity.
The charter also established a governmental structure led by the General Assembly, Security Council One of the major bodies of the United Nations composed of five permanent members and ten rotating members. The council is charged with maintaining global peace and stability and has the power to make binding decisions. Membership on the Security Council, on the other hand, was restricted to fifteen nations. Ten of these seats are nominated on a rotating basis every two years, with the remaining five seats being permanently granted to the five leading Allied Powers the United States, Great Britain, the Soviet Union [Russia today], China, and France.
Any one of these five permanent members can exercise its veto power, effectively blocking any measure regardless of the votes of the other fourteen members of the Security Council. The apartheid government of South Africa was among the Communist nations that did not approve the document.
The Secretary-General oversees the Secretariat—an administrative body composed of thousands of professionals who manage the daily operations of the UN. Known as the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, this document placed all UN members on record as supporting basic human rights, racial and ethnic equality, freedom of speech, religious toleration, and economic opportunity.
The phrase was used by Western leaders to denote their belief that something menacing or sinister existed on the other side of the ideological divide. He viewed the Soviet Union as an aggressor state that sought to expand its doctrines and influence at the expense of US security and prosperity. His ideas helped to frame the American policy of containment. Instead, he explained that the Soviets desired to promote and expand Communism throughout the world.
In other words, the Truman administration recognized that the United States could do little to affect the outcome in Eastern Europe given the postwar agreements between the two nations. With Europe divided between East and West, the two superpowers soon began a competition to win influence throughout the globe. For both sides, the development of a powerful military was a key element of political and diplomatic influence.
Economic aid was also a key ingredient of the Cold War contest between Western and Soviet influence.
Unemployment and inflation were extremely high, and millions were suffering from food shortages. US leaders feared that Communist supporters throughout Europe would capitalize on the instability and fear of the immediate postwar period to spread their ideas.
Although US leaders believed that Capitalism was a superior economic system, they recognized that Soviet rhetoric about sharing farmland equally would appeal to landless peasants who worked the land of the wealthy.
At the same time, the concept of cooperative ownership of factories would attract supporters among the impoverished workers in the cities. Americans could reflect on their own history to see how Socialism attracted supporters in times of economic crisis.
These concerns about the spread of collectivist theories escalated throughout as Socialist and Communist parties started to garner significant support in nations such as Czechoslovakia, Italy, Finland, and even France. As a result, the United States announced that it would step up its efforts to provide economic aid to these nations as a means of jump-starting a return to Capitalist prosperity. At the same time, the United States also declared that it would keep troops in Europe as a peacekeeping force.
Two nations that were especially important to US policymakers were Greece and Turkey where Communist forces were fighting civil wars for control of their nations. The British traditionally considered this region of the Mediterranean as their sphere of influence, but their own economic struggles forced them to reconsider the costs of this worldview.
As a result, he addressed the American people in March in a successful attempt to convince a skeptical nation that the United States must intercede against Communist forces in the Mediterranean. These funds were key to the defeat of Communist forces in both nations. Before long, the CIA was empowered to conduct secret military operations based on this information. It is also apparent that US action in the Mediterranean set the precedent of supplying military aid to any government—democratic or otherwise—that was fighting the spread of Communism.
For the next three decades, the containment of Communism was the highest priority and guiding spirit of US foreign policy. Marshall Plan and Berlin Airlift The Soviet Union had a similar perspective regarding foreign policy, although the Soviets hoped to contain the influence of the West throughout the globe.
This was especially true regarding Eastern Europe. Russia had endured exponentially more damage and casualties than the United States, Britain, and France combined.
Most of its leading cities were destroyed. In addition, the Soviet Union believed that the instability of Eastern Europe threatened its own internal security. As a result, the Soviet Union hoped to reconstruct Eastern Europe in its own image, creating numerous Soviet-controlled Communist nations between the Capitalist nations of Western Europe and its own border.
Stalin ordered his military and political leaders to back the communist parties of Poland, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, and Romania. The result was that each of these nations formed communist governments. These nations had each been devastated by the war, so many of the people of these nations were hopeful that an alliance with a powerful nation like the Soviet Union would provide stability and future economic growth.
The US economic experience during the war was nearly the opposite of Europe, Asia, and the Soviet Union, as no American city had been attacked. A few of the Alaskan islands were occupied by the Japanese, while the attack on Hawaii triggered the war. Alaska and Hawaii were territories rather than US states at this time, but what is more important is the fact that the civilian populations of these territories were not the target of the attacks, which is in sharp contrast to the experiences of Europe and Asia.
Suburbanization in the United States after 1945
The US economy had experienced unprecedented growth. As a result, those nations who were not occupied by Soviet troops turned toward the United States for assistance. Bynations throughout the world recognized that the United States was committed to fighting the expansion of Communism and was willing to provide economic assistance to any nation that shared its political orientation.
Yet even with the billions of dollars of US aid that had already been committed, most of Europe and Asia remained mired in economic depression. Communist political parties were continuing to gain new supporters among the impoverished and unemployed.
Communist leaders pointed out the vast differences of wealth between the rich and poor in each nation and assured all who would listen that their doctrine of equal distribution of wealth and government ownership of factories would eradicate poverty and provide full employment. The plan was motivated by a desire to prevent the economic disorder that often facilitated the growth of Communist parties as well as restoring global trade.
The brainchild of the immensely popular George C. Billions of dollars flowed from the United States to the banks and governments of various European nations to reverse inflation, revive European manufacturing, and provide emergency food and supplies to the desperate population. The United States also provided military aid to nationalist forces battling the Communists in Greece and Italy, even though US leaders had serious reservations about the long-term desirability of propping up the leaders of these forces.
As a result, the Soviet Union was among the sixteen nations that met with US diplomats in Paris in July to determine what form the US aid would take. Soviet Foreign Minister Vyacheslov Molotov recognized that the US offer, which had been extended to all European nations, was not intended to include governments such as the Soviet Union that remained committed to Communism.
However, Stalin quickly ordered Molotov to return to Russia, thereby allowing the United States to maintain that they were not motivated by politics while only contributing to non-Communist nations.