Franklin Delano Roosevelt: Born in 1882, FDR was elected the 32nd president of the U.S in 1932 and served as president until his death in 1945 becoming the only president in the history of U.S to serve for four terms. He also led the U.S during the Great Depression and the infamous.
Berlin Blockade: It occurred between 24th June, 1948 and 11th may of 1949 after the former USSR blocked the three Western powers’ road and railroad that enabled them to access Berlin with an aim of forcing them to allow it to supply goods. This didn’t work as they shifted to air transport that later proved to be more efficient in delivering goods than the blocked system.
Elvis Presley: Sometimes referred to as “The King of Rock ‘n’ Roll”, Elvis was born in 1935 and died in 1977 at the age of 42. With a versatile voice, he was among the first performers of rockabilly and later became also successful in blues, pop, gospels and ballads.
Truman: Truman, born in 1884, was the 33rd president of the U.S after he succeeded Roosevelt who died less than three months in his fourth term. His administration was marked with rampant corruption by senior White House officials. His foreign policy was characterized with the use of nuclear weapons, formation of the United Nations, NATO and the Marshall Plan.
Marshall Plan: Named after the U.S Secretary of State George Marshall, it was United States Government plan to rebuild and create a stronger base for Western European countries, and stop the expansion of communism after Second World War. The plan was established in 1947 in a meeting with targeted European states.
Bill Haley and the Comets: It was an American rock and roll band that was founded in 1952 by Bill Haley, as the group leader, and the Comets. The band was one of the earliest groups of white musicians to bring rock and roll to the attention of white America and the rest of the world.
Iron Curtain: It was an ideological and physical boundary that divided Eastern and Western (with inclusion of U.S) European countries after the World War II. Countries on both sides formed separate economic and military alliances that were in existence until the fall of the Berlin Wall.
Stalin: Stalin was born in 1878 and became the General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union’s Central Committee in 1922 until his death in 1953. He is remembered in Russia as the founding father of communism after he launched a command economy. He was responsible for the former USSR.
Chuck Berry: Born in 1926 in St. Louis, Missouri, Chuck was an American guitarist, singer and songwriter. He is one of the pioneers of rock and roll music as he won a lot of awards as a musician.
Foreign policies of Truman and Eisenhower
Truman established the U.S as a nuclear power and the world’s “big brother” a status it enjoys today. He achieved this after the use of the nuclear weapon against Japan and the eventual stopping of communist expansion in Europe. On the other hand, Eisenhower designed a more aggressive policy based on “massive retaliation” and “liberation” tactics to discourage the Soviet from interfering with the U.S affairs (Bailey and Cohen, 2002). Therefore, the study analyses the relationship between the foreign policies of the two.
Truman and Eisenhower’s foreign policies
Considered by many as the initiator of the current American foreign policy, Truman established the U.S as the world superpower and as a country that protects weaker nations from aggressiveness of the stronger ones. They both disliked communism and decided to stop its expansion by economically and militarily strengthening the countries that looked vulnerable to the Soviets’ invasion. Truman financed Western European countries with greater communist influence, like France and Italy, to fight communist elements within their countries. Truman launched the Marshall Plan that was aimed to re-develop Europe after the Second World War had weakened their economies.
In 1947, Truman signed a Containment policy that led to the creation of NATO in 1949 and the later containment of Soviets’ influence in the Middle-East (George, 1990). He succeeded in his attempts to stop the spread of Soviets’ influence in Western European countries, but his successor failed to stop the spread of communism in Cuba (Slaton and Maxwell, 1995). Eisenhower launched an aggressive foreign policy that allowed the U.S to use massive retaliation in case its affairs were interfered with by the Soviets. While Truman was active on every issue that occurred around the world, Eisenhower decided to be slow on some. For example, he delayed to take action in the Cuban case.
The U.S foreign policy has not changed much since the two leaders put their policies in place. This is the main reason as to why most analysts refer to Truman as the “Prince of American Foreign policy” (George, 1990). Truman’s legacy is louder than Eisenhower’s as far as the current U.S is concerned. We need to be our brothers’ keeper as Truman did, if we expect to have a long lasting peace in the world.
American society and culture in the 1950s
This period will be remembered in American history for the socio-economic and political changes it brought to the U.S. There was massive economic growth characterized by high levels of consumption. Media increased its influence on the way people made their decisions as the Cold War between the U.S and Soviet took centre stage. The period experienced a lot of changes and therefore, the study tries to analyze how this period has influenced the American way of life.
Society and culture in the 1950s
The period after the Second World War is considered by many scholars as the period of American prosperity. The period experienced massive economic growth as the total production increased due to the high demand for goods that existed at that time. The massive production by companies like Ford was ultimately fuelled by massive suburbanization (Matt, 2008).
Discrimination was enhanced during 1950s. African Americans were not allowed to vote and did not have equal opportunity for using public facilities as well as women from both races (Peterson, 2009). This led to rise of civil rights movements that were led by the famous Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Malcolm X among other African leaders united by their common problems. There generational conflict arose, as youths challenged the society norms. The youths believed in making things which didn’t exist in what the older generation described as utopia.
Their people’s social roles were influenced by media programs. Television shows and popular performances by musicians and other performers got a lot of support as many people got entertained. The TV shows started to influence public opinion on politics as NBC aired for the first time the Republican and Democratic Conventions of 1952 (Peterson, 2009).
Romance Comics had a greater impact on the way people of different sexes behaved. The comics criticised the way of dressing of people and therefore forced them to have a commonly accepted code of dressing. This was the time when the movie industry hit the American market as many current and past social activities were replayed in the form of movies. A good example is the horror movies that were acted to show the impacts of the Nazi Germany and the Japanese wars.
The period that marked the rise of the civil rights movements led to the signing of a Civil Rights Act of 1964. The massive production and consumption that was experienced during this time is what made the U.S the world’s largest economy. We can also note that generational conflict or the critique of the norms in the 1950s is what led to high of inventions that followed this period (Peterson, 2009). Therefore, it’s important for people not to fear the unknown and to solve their life challenges as the 1950 Americans did.