Abundance and Anxiety: America, 1945-1960 by Gary A. Donaldson

By Gary A. Donaldson

The usa had super possibilities after international battle II. The nation's commercial may, geared to defeat Germany and Japan, may possibly now be considering household construction. actual wages have been up, the GNP was once at the upward push, commercial creation used to be up, and inflation was once below regulate. the long run regarded vivid for the typical American. yet this abundance used to be punctuated with nervousness. inside 4 years of the top of the warfare, the Soviet Union had turn into the recent enemy: they'd the bomb and China and jap Europe had fallen into the Soviet sphere of impression. those issues, the abundance of the starting to be economic system and the nervousness of the chilly warfare, outlined the interval from 1945-1960.

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Stalin saw Mao as an adventurer whose revolution, supported by the Chinese peasantry, was outside the Marxist–Leninist philosophy that called for a revolution of urban industrial workers against the middle class. When the Soviets left Manchuria in the spring of 1946, however, they left behind for the Chinese Communists a vast store of Japanese weapons and mate´ riel that increased their strength considerably—although Stalin was probably more interested in fueling the civil war to keep China divided and weak than in actually aiding the Communists.

This time Turkey was the issue. During the war Churchill and Roosevelt acknowledged Stalin’s need for access to the Mediterranean Sea through the Bosporus and Dardanelles, a long-time Russian demand to the West for warm-water ports. At Potsdam, Stalin suggested that the two straits be internationalized, and in August 1947 he suggested a joint Soviet–Turkish defense of the straits—obviously a plan to build Soviet bases in the region. To Washington policy makers it seemed that the Soviets were trying to push out everywhere: east into Manchuria and Korea, west into eastern Europe, and south into Iran and Turkey.

Stalin wanted reparations and a guarantee that Germany would not again rise up and invade Soviet soil. Roosevelt came to Yalta talking in the Wilsonian language of selfdetermination for all peoples and a new international organization designed to keep the peace. Specifically, he wanted Soviet military assistance against the Japanese after the defeat of Germany, a free and independent Poland, and Soviet participation in his newly proposed United Nations. He knew it would be difficult to dislodge Stalin’s armies from Poland and the rest of eastern Europe, but he believed strongly that he could convince Stalin that the Soviet Union had nothing to fear from the West in the postwar era.

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