Monday, April 13, 2009

Chapter 27: "The Age of Containment 1946-1953"

   Post WWII the United States main foreign policy concern was battling for supremacy against the Soviet Union that emerged from the war as the only other power close to that of the United States.  However, their political ideologies (communism) was something that the U.S. feared greatly and thus tried to contain by assisting in aiding helpless countries in Europe and around the world by instilling them with democracies in order to make sure that communism wouldn't spread. Obviously these actions spurred movements by both countries to take action silently but by ways that would scare the entire world, which was known as the Cold War.  "The atomic bomb provided an immediate source of U.S.-Soviet Union friction... A repressive sphere of influence of Soviet influence over Eastern Europe, which the USSR called defensive and the United States labeled expansionist fell into place. By 1946, the nations, once uneasy allies, seemed ready to become bitter adversaries" (Pg. 827). One of the first foreign policies to go into action was known as the Truman Doctrine and the Marshall Plan helped essentially rebuild Europe by also using the method of containment at the same time. Then in 1950 Truman once again uses his containment methods when the Korean War spurred up.  Essentially it was a proxy war to fight off the fear of the spread of communism in eastern Asia.  Ironically, it was at this point that the U.S. looked at former enemy Japan for help as they asked them to help the U.S. build military vehicles to use in the war. Consequently this is what made Japan grow in the car making industry and is why Japan/ Toyota has become one of, if not the best car industry in the world today.
Mass production of homes during this era was huge as something known as "suburbia" evolved and white flight began.  People, most of whom were white began leaving the inner city to move places outside the city. This created a huge disparity in terms of race since many minorities stayed in the city in part due to the fact that they weren't allowed to move to white suburban areas.

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