Thursday, June 29, 2006

Farewell and good luck

Remember that (theoretically) this blog will survive virtually forever, and that people doing Google and other searches will read your work months and even years from now -- and you should be very proud, because your Blog Entries and Comments are generally comprehensive, thoughtful and perceptive.

Thank you all for a terrific class!

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

****REMINDER**** Blog Comments!

Don't forget your Blog Comments! Make sure you have written a total of SIX (6) Comments for all the Blog Entries by Wednesday at noon.

And be sure to follow all the directions for these comments, and support your opinions with a specific example or quote from one of our sources.

Also, don't worry about reading Chapter 31! Just finish up with Chapter 30 and the readings in Constructing the American Past.

Monday, June 26, 2006

Final Exam Format and Scope

As we discussed, this exam will combine an objective portion with an essay question. The objective portion will resemble the midterm and include identifications, fill-in-the-blanks, matching, and chronologies.

The questions will cover the period between 1941 and 1988, and will focus on important events, people, concepts, and legislation discussed in the textbook and our lectures. As you already know, your class outlines should be especially helpful in identifying key facts from our lectures, and the textbook provides useful chronologies and overviews. The outlines from tonight and for our final class meeting tomorrow have all been posted on the Course Outlines page.

The essay question will be cumulative and will ask you to consider the important topics, themes, people, events, concepts, social movements, legislation, etc. of the different historical eras we have studied and present your own conclusions and interpretations. A successful essay will demonstrate a solid knowledge of historical facts and a clear understanding of their significance and skillfully weave them together in a coherent and persuasive narrative.

Final Team Standings

Congrats on another good game, teams! I hope you found them useful -- I have enjoyed them.

Bull Moose Party 65 Cumulative 260 THE WINNAH! WAY TO GO!!!

Team Connery 55 Cumulative 225 A valiant effort!! Great job!!!

The Arsenal of Democracy

Response #8

1. “99 Ways to Share the Meat” This bulletin was distributed during WWII to stress that food consumption should be moderated. The reduction of meat consumption by everyday citizens helped America because then there was more to feed the troops. This struck me as being stereotypical to ask the "home front" which consisted of mostly women to obtain because the big, tough men needed the meat to fight the enemy. However, after the war, it was a noticeably male-centered society where no one would blink an eye at this poster. The poster also suggests that minimizing meat intake was a patriotic act, for it was good for the nation. The bottom tagline reads "Share and share alike is the American Way."

2. “A Children’s Charter in Wartime” · Why would children become important in this conflict? Children were an important aspect of WWII on the home front because they were the ones who would later be responsible for the US as one of the most powerful nations on earth. It was in the nation's best interest to keep the children healthy (as to not tie up funds in children's medical costs) - ready to grow up to be a productive member of society. Children's welfare was so integral that the Commission goes so far as to saying that it was our "wartime responsibility" to safeguard the nation's children (A Children's Charter in Wartime, Pg 1). The U.S. government's goal was not only to protect freedom overseas but keep our nation's democracy secure for the future. The belief was that if America's children were healthy and strong, America's future was healthy and strong. It does make sense.

3. "A War Job in Your Own Home"
Through simple human psychology, the U.S. government motivates housewives to save cooking fats. The bulletin suggests that housewives in particular are urgently needed in a crucial war effort. Their task is both a "vital" and special one. This creates women who feel that they are valuable, needed and appreciated members of society. They are participating in the war, helping their loved ones on the front lines. When women were recognized as beneficial and essential to the war, it made women happy and supportive. Another motivating tactic is to play upon ideas of civic duty and nationalism. If you do this action, you are a good, patriotic American. The bulletin makes the task seem like it is an absolutely crucial one for the war effort. In reality, the conserving of fats was probably low on the list of ways to win the war. But, more important than conserving cooking fats was boosting the morale on the home front --which was what this bulletin did.

4. “Indian’s in the War”
This document served as positive P.R. for America’s relations with the Native Americans. It honored their dead, told stories of their heroism and sacrifice. This created a feeling of community – the Native Americans as an important, valued part of the United States. The document hoped to convey to the Native Americans that the U.S. government recognized them as a strong, respected people. Again, the government uses psychological tactics in public relations to gain support for war efforts. The language used to describe the Native Americans was kind of ignorant. They were spoken of as if they were strange, exotic people who were assimilating to society from their barbaric history. They were praised for their action the way a parent praises a young child who performed a remedial task correctly for the first time. Their culture struck the reporters, such as Ernie Pyle, as primitive. He comments on two brothers who do not share the same family surname, “I guess that’s the Navajo custom, though I never knew it before” (Pg 12). They are described as “these people” – not “us” but “them.” I think it’s worthy of noting because it shows Americans unchanged cultural prejudices. The The ceremonial dances were portrayed in a circus-like, barbaric ritual to the “great gods of the sky.” This seemed to distract their fellow soldiers. The language barrier is mentioned as whites are frustrated that they do not understand what the Native Americans say. Pyle writes that the secret orders were given in Navajo and since “practically nobody in the world understands Navajo except another Navajo” his Indian friend had to translate it. The women were barely mentioned except that they were the wives of fallen soldiers.

5. “Labor Goes to War”
The purpose of the document was to rally the mass factory and industry workers of the American public to rally behind the war. It did this not by asking but by telling them, reminding them of their pledge to the country (even though this never did exist) of “full cooperation and participation.” The labor targeted is the low to middle class unskilled and skilled labor, primarily in urban areas. This meant poor whites, African-Americans and immigrants. Since the men were at war, women and children were actively working in industry. The document conveyed that their sacrifice (enduring bad working conditions, not striking & boycotting industry) was holding the seams of American democracy together. It tells labor that they are not only important but just as important as the soldiers fighting on the frontlines. Dissent was not a possibility for labor –they were that their jobs, unfulfilled would lead to dire consequences. The message is clear. The Special Assistant to the President signs off, “Labor will never fail the cause of freedom.” The target audience was one that valued the freedoms that America granted to them. The document pushes the importance of their cooperation as crucial to the survival of these freedoms they cherish, that their grandparents immigrated to America to give them.

Sunday, June 25, 2006

Civil Rights

Response #10

We Shall Overcome: African Americans and the Second Reconstruction, 1945 - 1965

1. Music of the Civil Rights Movement

The music reveals that the Civil Movement wenergizedzed and hopeful of what the future held. African Americans were no longer letting themselves be disrespected -- they were taking a stand for thedignityity. And there was nothing that anyone could do to change that. They sung about the hate and violence they endured like in the song "In the Mississippi River" which was written as a result of the discovery of the bodies of civil rights leaders in the Mississippi River. But no matter how bad it got, they held on and 'kept their eyes on the prize.'

Back since the days of slaverAfricancAmericansans have been rooted in their religious faiths. The people found solace in their belief in what the Scriptures told them about salvation in heaven. Religion was so important to the slaves that they would go to church even though when they returned they would be beaten for it. African American churches were the focal point of their communities. "We Shall Overcome" is an example of how religious spirituals carried on generation after generation from the days of slavery. Originally the song was sang by slaves tired from a long day working on the fields (History of We Shall OvercomeReligiousous overtones were not hidden. They were spoken clearly and proudly as in "Woke Up This Morning with My Mind on Freedom," the refrain echoes "Hallelu, hallelu, hallelujah."

They sang the religious spirituals calling on God to help them in the faces of those who persecuted them. As a result, the songs functioned in forcing those persecuting them to reflect and possibly recognize injustice. It posed the question, 'If these people were on the side of God then whose side am I on?" That questiresonatedded heavily in the minds of Americans.

The songs functioned in the civil rights movement in uniting it. It was non-combative and impossible to ignore. The songs of the people were loud, proud, and powerful. They were instrumental in boosting weary spirits.

The strong role of the federal government supporting the supreme court rulings was a crucial to the Civil Rights. But their intervention did not come naturally. It took Arkansas Governer George C. Wallace to test the power of State government in overriding civil rights rulings for the federal government to act.

In terms of getting the federal government to intervene, the support of the public was necessaryarticlertical mentions television reporters and journalists presence at these conflicts. Their reporting the violent conflicts helped gain that public support for the civil rights movement.

"I don't see how President Johnson can send troops to Vietnam - I don't see
how he can send troops to the Congo - I don't see how he can send troops to
Africa and can't end troops to Selma, Ala.," Martin Luther
King said.
3. Malcolm X

The Nation of Islam advocated nationalism and racial seperatism. This clip resonates these beliefs -- Malcom X calls for strong black unity and respect for themselves, their people and their history. His beliefs evolved farther left anradical than calthan the Nation of Islam and he eventually left the Nation. Outspoken, he preached self-defense and liberation of blacks -- both of which by any means necessary. This starkly contrasted to the non-violent beliefs of Martin Luther King Jr. who advocated peaceful resistance. Both civil rights leaders were inspired by leaders of the Middle East -- Malcom X had Elijah Mohammed and King had Ghandi. Both meintelligentllegent men deeply rooted in good morals. In the audio of Malcom X, the leader condemns alcohol, prostitution, gambling and organized crime. Both King and Malcom X feel these evils of society are tearing the black community apart. They both want the white community to be shocked and awaken themselves to the injustices in America. They both are eminent speakers -- when they spoke, they were heard loud and clear. Their voices inspired people to act.

The Sleeping Giant Awakes: Mexican Americans, 1962 - 1975

Cesar Chevez and Dolores Huerta co-founded the United Farm Workers of America that began as an organization that functioned to get workers unemployment insurance and quickly formed into a union of farm workers. The UFW became very powerful and launched boycotts and strikes that were instrumental in advancing the interests of farm workers.

Previously, Mexican-Americans rarely voted for a number of reasons. For one, the process of voter registration were particularly difficult for Spanish-speaking workers. Secondly, the American political system was not properly explained so the workers remained ignorant to the importance of their lost vote. But with the Crystal City election, Mexican-Americans attracted the attention of America when they emerged as the "Sleeping Giant" of American politics. This group of Mexican-Americans in Crystal City, TX developed into the Raza Unita Party, the first time a third-party in US politics had formed on ethnic lines.

Interestingly enough, Jrez Angel Gutierrez, a Mexican-American leader in Crystal City, TX attended law school at Southern Methodist University.

The Mexican-American movement was shaped by the non-violent beliefs championed by Martin Luther King Jr. and Ghandi. Chavez fasted to draw media attention. They used boycotts, strikes, and sit-ins like the African-American movement. But, like the African-American movement, the Mexican-American movement was not free from violent conflicts. The National Labor Relations Act was a direct result of the violence directed towards their efforts.

500 Years of Surviving in a Land that Once was Ours: Native American Movement

The Indian Movement, unlike the African American movement used takeovers to gain media attention. One of the more well-known takeovers is that of the takeover of Alcatraz Island. The differences in the way it was reported varies. Some saw the stand on Alcatraz as criminal treachery against the US government. The Indians were proud that they took a stand for their land that was taken from them -- asking the government to grant them juristiction over it.

Wounded Knee:

The native Americans are described in savage, barbaric wording. Their cultural differences are viewed as silly, unimportant. They were clearly looked down upon by the whites, even in 1973, almost 100 years after the initial 1890 massacre. It showed that not much has changed in terms of prejudice in America and that the Native American movement still had lots of ground to cover.

Abby Week #3 Blog

Web Assignment #8

Propaganda has been used in almost every war to get citizens involved in the war efforts. That is exactly what this poster is attempting to do. The government wanted to win the war and this meant rationing important items, like food. Since there is was not enough meat during this time, the government is saying that "Men in the fighting forces naturally have first call on our meat supplies" (99 Ways to Share the Meat, pg 1). This shows that the American lifestyle at the time was completely focused around the war. Everyone, including the government was making sacrifices to help the war effort.
Children are always a vital part of every country for they are the ones that will one day take over the country. During the war, the government did not want any of the children to feel the affects of the war. The government believed that “to children in wartime the home is vital as a center of security and hope and love” (Children’s Charter, pg 3). I turn, the government also did not want children to affect the soldiers and believed that “broken working time due to sickness of the worker or his wife or child” (Children’s Charter, pg 3) was not good for the war. So the government made sure there were plenty of doctors for the families of those working to produce war products.
The American governmet was offering housewives a way to get involved in the war effort. First of all, if they brought in their cooking fats they would get extra rations points. Second of all for every pound of produce they brought in they could receive “up to 4 cents for each pound” (A War Job, pg 2). The fat could be used to help make “millitary, industrial, and civilian soaps” (A War Job, pg 4). It also could be used to make “Marine Rope” (A War Job, pg 4). Basically, the government could take the lefover cooking fat and make many products out of it that would help the war effort.
The bulletin adressed the issue that the government “turned our factories into arsenals” (Guns, pg 3). The factories were all changing to produce products that could be used in the war. The workers were also having to learn new jobs. This meant learning how to use the new machines to make the products. The workers were having to give up being able to by “automobiles, washing machines ad the other usefull implements of a high-standread-of-living nation” (Guns, pg 18). Since the factories were no longer making these products the American people could no longer buy them. The government was telling the citizens about their policies but told them that the changes need to start with them. It had to come from the cities and the small towns. This propaganda was crucial during the war effort. The government did not want to upset the workers and force them to go on strike because they need to produce the products to win the war. These brochures helped to inform the citizens and get them to understand why changes were made for the war effort.
The American government was concerned about the war and knew that a strong economy was needed to win the war. The government knew that the economy during the depression could not support the war. The civilian buying needed to decrease and the production needed to increase. The government considered any American with a job as part of the “Labor”. The government believed that organized labor was important in the war effort. The national idea suggestedthat “we must raise out sights all along the production line. Let no many say it cannot be done. It must be done- and we have undertaken to do it” (Labor, pg 9). The government wanted everyone to work hard and accomplish every task. They also believed in organized labor. They believed that “organized labor is democracy itself” (Labor, pg 8). Basically all of the groups or unions pledged themselves to the war effort and agreed they would not go on strike. The government, as well as civilians, all knew that the labor force was a vital aspect of winning the war.

Web Assignment #9

Each one of these articles relates specifically to an important event leading up to the Cold War. The “Iron Curtain” is a term that was spoken by Winston Churchill in his 1946 speech. The "Iron Curtain" is a term referring to the boundary which divided Europe into two separate areas. This division happened after World War II and did not end until the end of the Cold War. Winston Churchill describes the divide by saying, “from Stettin in the Baltic to Trieste in the Adriatic an iron curtain has descended across the Continent” (Iron Curtain, pg 1). Europe had been divided into two powerful areas and all of Europe was not united. Churchill gave his speech to a group of Americans at Westminster College in Fulton, Missouri. He was trying to show them the importance of Europe being united with no one country in power. This speech is very significant because not only is it regarded to this say as a very influential speech but it also had opposition at the time. Many people did not like the speech and saw it as Churchill trying to build an alliance against the Soviet Union and the American people did not like this. It is also significant because Churchill ask for a strong stand against communism, "There is nothing they admire so much as strength, and there is nothing for which they have less respect than for weakness, especially military weakness" (Iron Curtain, pg 2). In the end this speech was very important because it made the issue of communism a world wide issue and stated to bring together anti-communist countries. The Truman Doctrine was also an important document for it allowed the United State to give support to any nation that could be taken over by communism. They were particularly interested in helping Turkey and Greece. Even though the United State did not directly say that they were fighting against USSR expansion, “there could be no mistaking his identification of the Communist state as the source of much of the unrest throughout the world” (Truman Doctrine, pg 1). The American government wanted to be able to help these countries after Britain was unable to help them and so Truman asked for $400 million to help these countries out. This document is significant because it makes the United States a country that will help out other countries and also makes the United States a strong country against communism. The next significant document is the Marshall Plan. The Marshall Plan, was developed by the European Recovery Program to help rebuild Western Europe. The plan “authorizes the expenditure in the next twelve months of $6,098,000,000 to provide economic assistance to the sixteen nations of Western Europe along with Western Germany, as well as economic and military aid to China, Greece and Turkey” (The Marshall Plan, pg 1). This is very important for it gave money to many of the countries the United States was fighting against to rebuild and start over. The United States also hoped this would help in ending the spread of communism to these countries. The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) was also a significant document at the time. NATO was a “grand Alliance of the non-Communist Western world… intent on pooling their defenses against Russia” (NATO “New Crisis”). NATO was very significant because the uniting of several governments against communism (Russia) made the war seem more like it might happen. It also forced the Russian’s to sign the Warsaw Pact, a treaty, with Eastern European communist countries. The last significant event that leads to the Cold War is the Domino Theory. The Domino Theory was a foreign policy theory started by President Eisenhower and was used by many Americans. This theory stated that if one country came under the control of Communist then more would also fall under the influence; it would be a domino effect. This saying is very important because many American citizens believed that this was true and partially led to the Red Scare and other American fears of Communism.
The name for the cold war came from a journalist named Walter Lippmann. Lippmann was an American journalist who generated the term in his 1947 book. Lippmann means when he says “Cold War” that the USSR and the World War I allies where getting to a point of war but there had been no warfare. Basically, it was a war without any military combat but rather a build up of weapons and power. This war also used a lot of espionage as both the United States and Russia’s international intelligence agencies flourished. The rivalries between the nations lead to the forming of allies and several foreign policy agendas. The cold war also led to the arms race which was a race to collect military weapons.
There was no millitary battles in the Cold War like there was in the World Wars, however, there was deffinetly non combat battles. During the Cold War the major battlefields were between government offices. There was a race to form weapons and this could also be consider a “battlefield” during the war. The Cuban Missel Crissis could also be considered a battle for it was a “combat” between the United States and Russia. Another “battlefeild” was the race to see who could get to space first. Finally, the Korean War came about because of the Cold War. In the end the war was not about millitaries but more about advancements and see who could succede in politics, inventions and expansion.
During the Cold War, domestic policies and events were very much affected. The red scare spread through the country and everyone was accusing somone of being a communist. People lived in fear that once again the United States would go to war. The country believed that if war did break out that it would be the end of the world. In schools they wuld practice bomb drills and people also beuilt shelters. Everyone was preparing for the war. This also help to drive the tensions abroad since the entire country was preparing for war.

Web Assignment #10

The Civil Rights movement was a very passionate time for African Americans and song was a great way for them to get their feelings across. When the Africans Americans were being segregated it was very hard for them to get there feelings across. However, you can not help but hear someone when they are singing. The African Americans could sing as they marched, rode the bus or even as they were hauled off to jail. Music not only helped to get their point across but it also helped them when times where bad and they need to be feel better. Some of the music was uplifting and could assist them on days they did not feel like they were accomplishing anything. Music was also an important part of African Americans culture. The songs also nourished their spirituality. In the song “We Shall Overcome,” they continue to sing, “Deep in my heat know that I do believe we shall overcome this someday, God is on our side.” They are helping to encourage each other by singing and ensuring each other they will overcome the prejudice held against them. I am not sure if I remember what Bernice Reagon said, but I believe she might have been talking about how the African Americans had difficulty getting their message out but no one could stop them from sing. They used song to help get people to listen and understand their hardships.
The African Americans wanted the federal government to step in and help with oppression in the Unites States. The country had help to give many people their freedom yet they were treating a large part of the population the same way. They African Americans also believed that the force used was unlawful. Lewis Williams said, "I fought in World War II, and I once was captured by the German army, and I want to tell you that the Germans never were as inhuman as the state troopers of Alabama" (Bloody Sunday, pg 2). The federal government needed to go in and help with the excess violence being used. They were not protecting their own people from the corrupt local governments. Eventually, the federal government did step in and help to stop the violence and make sure the United States laws were being upheld.
Both Martin Luther King and Malcolm X wanted in general the same thing, African American rights. However, Malcolm X and the Black Panthers have different techniques to get what they wanted. They did not believe that the white Americans were worth getting along with. He believe they were corrupt and beneath the African Americans. The Black Panthers used excess force against the police and other whites to get what they wanted. Unlike, Martin Luther Kings peaceful tactics, these extremist used full force to get what they wanted.
Many Mexican Americans were having to live in very horrible conditions for it was hard for them to find work and keep it. Cesar Cahvez helped the impoverished farmers and did what “most labor leaders considered [Chavez's goal of creating the first successful union of farm workers in U.S. history] an impossible dream. Farm laborers suffered from high rates of illiteracy and poverty (average family earnings were just $2,000 in 1965), they also experienced persistently high rates of unemployment (traditionally around nineteen percent) and were divided into a variety of ethnic groups: Mexican, Arab, Filipino, and Puerto Rican” (Cesar Chavez, pg 1). The Mexican Americans at the time were suffering from all of these problems, illiteracy, poverty and unemployment. The Mexican American farmers were really suffering and needed help to improve their lives.
The Mexican Americans, like the African Americans, united to fight for their rights. They started out by winning an election and taking controll of the city council in a small texas town. “The Crystal City election marked the beginning of a new era of Mexican American political power and influence” and helped them to continue on in their fight for equal rights (The Sleeping Giant, pg 1). Although they were fighting for equal rights, their “battle” was very different then that of the African Americans. The Mexican Americans did not have the same kind of violence against them as the African Americans did. They also did not have as strict segregation laws as the African Americans had. Even thought the Mexican Americans struggle was not as difficulty does not mean it was not hard. In fact the Mexican Americans had to endure many hardships and had to deal with the poverty that affected many Mexican Americans.
The Native Americans were also fighting for their rights during this time. However, they wanted slightly different things. The Native Americans wanted to bring back the honor to their people as well as some of their land that was taken years earlier. The Native Americans did not want to use violence but instead used politics. Unlike the African Americans, the Native Americans did not make a big spectacle. They instead made treaties and used their political connections to get what they wanted. The Native Americans wanted the island of Alcatraz because they believed that an earlier treaty gave it to them. However, they did not want to take over the island from the people that live there but instead said, “we wish to be fair and honorable in our dealings with the Caucasian inhabitants of this land, and hereby offer the following treaty” (Seizure, pg 1). The Native Americans went about getting what they wanted in a very political and peaceful way.
The clips do not give both sides of the story. There is not any information about the Native Americans view of what happened. The Native Americans in the clips are not portrayed in a good light. They talk about how they are violent and refer to the Native Americans as Indians. This already makes one see that the story is going to be bias. They briefly talk about what the Native Americans want, the historical site, but do not really talk a lot about this important issue. The article seems to be unfair even though it is supposed to be objective. They just completely focus on the negative aspects of the Native Americans and the positive aspects of the government. This historical site was important to the Native Americans because it was were the United States massacred a large group of Indians.
Power and Participation and Vissions and Collisions are both seen in this era. Power and Participation is seen in both World War II and the Cold War. The governments in both wars were fighting for power and needed the participation of the citizens to help. Esspeccailly during the Cold War, the United States was in a race with the Soviet Union for power, Wether it was the arms race or the space race, both countries wanted the power. So they needed their citizens to participate in the advancements. Vissions and Collissions also are important in this age. Many different groups were fighting for eqaul rights, whether it was the Native Americans, Mexican Americans, or the African Americans. All of these groups had a different vission of their rights then the government and white Americans did. Since they had a different vission, a collision accured between these groups and the government. They all fought for their rights and wanted their vission to become a reality.

I have thought about the above historical evidence, and I have come to the following conclusions. The American government wanted to fight for equal rights all over the world except in the United States itself. The government joined World War II and fought for the equal rights of the Jewish people. However, back at home many of the countries own citizens were not receiving this right. The country finally realized that before it fixed any more countries problems they had to fix their own and so the Civil Rights Movement started. The country fought on and eventually was able to truly say that it was a country of freedom. After the country figured out their own equal rights problems they could truly encourage other countries to give their citizens equal rights as well.

Saturday, June 24, 2006

Lucas' week three web assignments

Web Assignment 8:

The chief concern of the Government during the early and mid 1940's was winning the war. This was a huge effort which the government sought to unite the whole country for. Sending troops overseas meant that the military had to be well equipped. Often times this meant sacrifices back home in the name of patriotism. Food was one of these sacrifices that had to be made. This document is intriguing in that it assures "under point rationing every civilian in the United States-man, woman, child-has a chance to buy an equal share of meat" (99 Ways to Share the Meat, 1). This is an assurance by the government that there is no need to panic and that there will be plenty. It is the positive attitude like this that aided the United States in the war. I also found it interesting that it asserted the military to be of the utmost importance. "Men in the fighting forces naturally have first call on our meat supplies" (99 Ways to Share the Meat, 1). This shows how much priority and respect was given to our servicemen-also one of the important factors attributing to America's success in the war.
To begin with, no American was excluded from the war effort, no matter what their age. This meant that the children of the nation were of as much importance as the older men and women. On a deeper note, children were obviously going to inherit the nation, so "They must be nourished, sheltered, and protected even in the stress of war production so that they will be strong to carry forward a just and lasting peace" (A Children's Charter in Wartime, 2). The government did not want to see America's industrial workers at home caring for their sick children. "Vital to the cause of the United Nations is an ever-increasing stream of guns, tanks, and planes and other war equipment and materials from the United States. A thousand communities are involved in their production. Broken working time due to sickness of the worker or his wife or child or to disturbed family life handicaps production at countless points" (A Children's Charter in Wartime, 3). It was vital that the country be producing goods- particularly military goods - at an optimal rate. This meant that the working force needed to be healthy and attending work day in and day out.
In response to the military's need for cooking fats, the government offered "extra ration points and up to four cents for each pound" of cooking fat (A War Job in Your Own Home, 2). Not only did turning in cooking fats give them the ability to buy more foods, such as meat, but it gave them a monetary incentive as well. Fats and oils were another thing that needed to be rationed because there would be a shortage for the military if they were not monitored closely. The uses were nearly endless for cooking fats. They could be used for "Explosives for anti-aircraft guns...Sulfa ointments...Antiseptics for treating gas gangrene...Insulin...Smallpox vaccines...Opiates" (A War Job in Your Own Home, 4). I'm sure that not only were cooking fats a cheap alternative in making some of these, but in some instances the only alternative.
The government sought to show people at home how important their everyday life was to the war effort. It says that “what is new is that total defense demands total strength of the Nation” (The Homefront in National Defense, 2). The home front was “all the villages and towns and cities-several hundred of them-that are next door neighbors to our Army posts and naval stations and defense industries” (The Homefront in National Defense, 3). This meant that any American territory was a part of the defensive effort. The typical American family I think is represented on page eight of the document. There is a picture of what appeared to be a man and wife and three sons. The family dog is also pictured. “It means that all the people throughout the whole country must put their shoulders to the wheel” (The Homefront…1). The government had to unite and inspire, the individual had to be patriotic, the family had to conserve and produce, and the community had to maintain and produce. “We must safeguard the security of families by seeing that people have decent houses to live in, and that homes are not broken up because of poverty, illness, and other disaster” (The Homefront…2). The nation needed a firm foundation from which to base this effort on, and this came down to the individuals in the families of America. The “New-Deal” type plan is personified in the statement “The Federal Government is responsible for organizing the over-all national program” (The Homefront…4). Like the New Deal, this was a very active government which really inspired and united people for a common effort.
Again, the government knew that the pre-war economy would not lead the nation to a victory in this world war. Production had to be stepped up and national consumption decreased. An overall larger economy was needed to support the military and the government. “Labor” was any American with a job. “Labor is more united than ever before in this Great War undertaking” (Labor Goes to War, 2). “Organized labor is democracy itself” shows the government’s appeal to people. People could exercise their patriotism by acting on a traditional value- working hard. The effect of organized labor was heavily emphasized in the document. “Organized labor is behind our President; organized labor is behind total defense; organized labor and the American people will be before the enemy when he goes down to ignominious defeat” (Labor Goes to War, 8). People were obviously going to work anyways, but it was important that the government enlightened them on how important their labor was; and this was one of the things that led to an eventual victory in the war.

Web Assignment 9:

These speeches show the background to the cold war and many of the reasons certain countries had the political positions they did. Churchill showed his respects for Russia, saying “I have a strong admiration and regard for the valiant Russian people” (Iron Curtain, 1). It was clear that the nations involved in the cold war were allies before World War II, but they had irreconcilable differences once the war was ended, forcing them into a military muscle flexing competition. Truman set out the American policy of containing communism. He explained that “ I believe that it must be the policy of the United States to support free peoples who are resisting attempted subjugation by armed minorities or by outside pressures” (New Policy Set Up, 1). America would come to the aid of any country that wanted to resist communist interference.
A “cold war” is a term used when there are, in fact, no literal military battles. No troops from either side were ever sent to the other country, nor were there any skirmishes or outbreaks of fighting. The cold war meant that both countries knew that they were enemies and a wrong move by the other side could prompt them to strike.
The majority of the battlefields were government offices and conferences during the cold war. This is where the decisions on policy and action were made. Again, there was no direct combat with Russia, but events such as the Korean War and Cuban Missile crisis were spawned out of it. “President Truman signed today the Foreign Assistance Act of 1948, which made the long debated European Recovery Program an actuality” (New York Times, 1). In Truman’s speech on the importance of Indochina, he explains how important it is to fight for this land to both keep communism out and to get raw materials for the US.
Domestic public policy and lifestyle was largely affected by the Cold War. In the United States, people lived in constant fear of an all-out nuclear war. People built fall-out shelters, bomb drills were done in schools, and people even purchased radiation suits. The whole country lived in a state of fear for years and was convinced that any war would mark the end times. “Security measures were required to keep the nation in a steady state of preparedness, readily justified during wartime, now extended into the very uneasy peacetime” (Out of the Many, 514). The CIA was also developed during this time, and searching for communism was done within our own borders. The cold war affected American life every bit as much as did the two previous world wars, or even the “New Deal.”

Web Assignment 10:

Africans Americans, like many other oppressed people, were able to look past their small differences and unite in a single cause: Civil Rights. They were as one the across the whole nation with the same goal. Although slavery had been outlawed for a century, society still treated them as substandard to say the least. “Jim Crow” had them more or less quarantined from the liberties of white society; particularly in the south. Their music was one of the things that they had to communicate and give each other hope. Songs such as “We Shall Not Be Moved” promised them that they “were on [their] way to victory.” In that song it is made clear that “segregation [was their] enemy.” These songs helped remind them of their common background and where they came from. Most notably the songs fed their spirituality, with verses like “God is on our side” (We Shall Overcome). I cannot recall what Bernice Reagan said in particularly, but their powerful singing let the world hear what their aim and wishes were. Music truly was an effective way of them getting their point across.
When the states more or less ignored the Supreme Court ruling to desegregate society, most African Americans were furious to see that the Federal Government was hesitant to intervene. “"I don't see how President Johnson can send troops to Vietnam - I don't see how he can send troops to the Congo - I don't see how he can send troops to Africa and can't end troops to Selma, Ala.," he said. The Negroes roared their approval.” (Bloody Sunday). While this may seem an obvious and fair reaction, there is some explanation for the government’s response. With any civil dispute, patience truly is a virtue. Policemen in cities across the nation have found that encounters, say, within the family are best to not intervene with if possible. The nation as a whole during this time was no different. The government had to find a good way to appear to be fair (uphold the court ruling), while not playing favorites. Troops eventually were sent in to aid in some of these events.
The Nation of Islam took a slightly different approach to obtaining civil rights than did, say, Martin Luther King Jr. Malcolm X was an advocate of using force to get what they desired. He gave a famous speech that he named “The Ballot or the Bullet.” They both wanted the same thing- equality for all African Americans. But they differed in that King would not advocate the use of any force whatsoever whereas Malcolm X was more or less ready to declare war for these rights.
“He was born in Yuma, Arizona, in 1927, one of five children of Mexican immigrants. When he was ten years old, his parents lost their small farm; he, his brothers and sisters, and his parents hoed beets, picked grapes, and harvested peaches and figs in Arizona and California. There were times when the family had to sleep in its car or camp under bridges. When young César was able to attend school (he attended more than thirty), he was often shunted into special classrooms set aside for Mexican-American children” (Mexican American Voices-Cesar Chavez). This was typical for many Mexican Americans. The best they could often hope for was farm work for which they did not earn enough and their job was rarely secure. Mexican families had it very hard during this era. “In Spanish, Dolores means "sorrow" and Huerta "orchard"--appropriate names for an organizer of farm workers” (Proclamation of the Delano Grape Workers). Mexican Americans faced much adversity.
The plight of the Mexican American was soon to improve. They, like the African Americans, united in labor unions and also to vote. After achieving their political voice in a Texas town, they were sure that "If we can do it in Crystal City, we can do it all over Texas. We can awaken the sleeping giant" (The Sleeping Giant) .There were slight differences between them and the African Americans. Although oppressed, they face no “Jim Crow.” The institutions against them were much more informal and they did not face the same amount of resistance. To say they had an easy task would not be accurate, but they had some slight advantages over the African Americans.
Native Americans were not silent during this time either. After finally becoming somewhat established as a people, they wanted to restore the respect and honor that their people once had. The Native Americans were sick of decisions being made for them. They wanted to be able to “determine their own destiny” (Declaration of Indian Purpose). They also sought to restore some of the land claims they once had. “We, the native Americans, re-claim the land known as Alcatraz Island in the name of all American Indians by right of discovery” ( Seizure of Alcatraz Island, 20 November 1969). The Native Americans took a completely approach than the marching that the African Americans did. Perhaps the military action they had tried a century earlier convinced them to do it in a more civilized way. They knew that they had to use their democratic power to get public policy influenced.
Neither of these audio clips gives the point of view of a Native American. Although reports of this nature are steered towards objectivity, biases always appear. The cause of the event was not entirely clear. The American Indian Movement (AIM) wanted the historical site and some of the relics back from seventy years earlier. The audio clip begins by portraying the Native Americans to be violent. For one, “Indian” is used instead of Native American. Also, the group is described as militant and aggressive. They are not portrayed in a positive light at all. Wounded Knee is where the US massacred a group of Native Americans.

People and the Land were important during this era in terms of World War II and the Cold War. During World War II, Hitler was advancing German territory and igniting most of Europe in war. This brought America into the picture, as she supplied the Allies before eventually joining in the war after Pearl Harbor was attacked. After the war, fear of the soviets brought out a doctrine of Communist containment for Americans. America helped countries trying to fight Communism and butted heads with Russia when they tried to put missiles in Cuba. Power and Participation was very prevalent in this era as well. World War II involved every single American in the war. Everyone in the country was encouraged to work hard and help ration to supply the military. Thousands of men were also sent over seas to fight for America. The civil rights movement was also a time where people used political participation to get what they desired. The Civil Right Movement was the most notable case of disagreement probably in the twentieth century. A landmark case, Brown v. Board of Education, overruled the statute of “separate but equal.” Most of the south, however, was set up under a “Jim Crow” democracy. The Federal Government had to intervene against state legislatures that would not submit to the court ruling, not to mention the disagreements on the personal level between whites and blacks. The soviets were an entire nation that disagreed with American ideals. This sort of difference nearly started a war.

I have thought about the above context and I have come to the following conclusions. The twentieth century was enormous in terms of change and ground made in America and the World over. America was able to prove to the world her power in the war and even after with the nuclear arms race with Russia. This was not to say she was bulletproof, however. Internal dissent between different people groups caused many problems. To a certain extent this dissent made the nation more vulnerable. But America made it through and became the leading power in the world and the instiller of democracy. She became a country that was willing to help give democracy to any who wanted it. It was this era from World War II to nearly the nineteen seventies which set up the America in which we live today.

Friday, June 23, 2006

The Cold War

Megan W.
Response #9

1.) Why are these important speeches and events in the origins and course of what came to be called the “Cold War?”

Truman Doctrine, 12 March 1947
The Truman Doctrine authorized US support to (anti-communist nations) Germany and Greece. The Truman Doctrine gave precedent to justify support to any country the American government considered to be threatened by communist (USSR) expansionism. This policy was called the Containment Policy.

North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), 4 April 1949
According to this article in the Dallas Morning News published the day before NATO was official, NATO was a “grande alliance between the non-Communist Western World…. to pool their defenses against Russia.” This event is significant in the climate of the Cold War because it further advances the playing ground between the US and USSR. In response, the USSR and Western Germany formed a similar agreement called the Warsaw Pact.

Marshall Plan, 3 April 1948
The mission of the Marshall Plan was to help rebuild the Allied nations in Europe. This included Austria, Belgium, Luxembourg, Demark, France, Germany, Greece, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, and the United Kingdom. The US hoped that their support would result in repelling communist expansion. It worked.

The “Iron Curtain” is a phrase that Churchill spoke in his significant 1946 speech in the heartland that refers to as the boundary line which separated Europe into two divided areas of political power. It was heard loud and clear. His words resonate in the minds of Americans, “From Stettin in the Baltic to Trieste in the Adriatic an iron curtain has descended across the Continent.” There is now a concrete ‘wrong side of the tracks’ to Americans and the Allies. The significance of this is that the tensions and divisions with the Soviet Union were clearly articulated by the President of the United States. The speech led to a rallied the opposition (throughout America and Europe) to USSR expansion worldwide. This really unified anti-communist countries together and resulted in a powerful force to be reckoned with.

"The Domino Theory"
The significance of Eisenhower’s own words (1954) describing what he thought would happen if Communism expanded stirred the American psyche. This alarmist response, in line with similar responses that led to the Red Scare, rallied support for this foreign policy theory – that if one country came under Communist power then more would naturally follow in sequence like dominos. Later on, this same idea was applied to the United States role in Vietnam. The image of dominos falling one after another was frightening to any Democracy-loving citizen of the world and fostered mass support for the ideas of containment (i.e. Truman Doctrine).

2-3.) Why was it called a “cold” war? Where were the battlefields of the Cold War, and how was it fought between about 1946 and 1963? Provide specific examples.

Walter Lippmann coined the term cold war in 1947 in his book that outlined how the USSR and the allies’ post-WW2 years had led to a climate of war without actual military warfare. Instead of direct military action, the was between the US and USSR was more of an arms (including nuclear) race that climaxed with the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962 which was as direct a confrontation that the war produced. Although there were no military battles, the governments of US and USSR were clearly in a wartime mode – alliances developed, propaganda spread, and espionage flourished. It was more of a psychological war than one of brute physical force like those in the past (WWI, Spanish-American, et.) involving military battle.

The Cold War was a power-battle between America and the USSR and was fought in a variety of ways. Since the combat never came to physical blows, the most important battles are not as obvious as those in WWI and WWII seen in mass bloodshed and revolution.

Unlike most races, there is an intended goal in an arms race other than be in front of the competition – no matter what. The arms race began as a struggle for military domination between the US and USSR. In order to out-do the other nation, the nations would constantly try to surpass the other in military strength, strategic colonization, technology and weaponry.

Struggle over military dominance is clear in the crisis in Berlin, Germany in 1948-1949 when the USSR blocked West Berlin, later dividing into East and West Berlin.

The Korean War (1950-1953) displayed how the Cold War played out in global conflicts. The USA saw the war in Korea as evidence for their reasons to take action against communism. It was the domino theory in action. The American involvement is regarded by the US as a police action (Roosevelt Corollary) rather than war. With the Korean War came increased technology in fighter jets, radar and infa-red driven by the race between Americans and Soviets.

The nuclear arms race that escaladed between the two nations caused the most impact to everyday American life. People dealt with the threats of the Cold War in daily life – safety procedures and bomb shelters were common. The threat of nuclear war was a historical first that the Cold War presented. When the Russians announced they had nuclear weapons, Americans – frightened and panicked, rallied stronger than ever to win the battle between the US and USSR.

And to win battle, the constant one-upmanship between the two nations applied to everything – colonization, education, military, space exploration, economy, to name a few. The Russians launched Sputnik, the first satellite, and Americans were really angry that they had won the “Space Race.” NASA was pushed as well as strong math and science education.

4. How did this war abroad affect domestic events and policies, and vice versa? Provide specific examples.

The Cold War dictated how the US and USSR operated – especially their foreign affairs. The policy of containment remained the foreign policy of the US against Soviet expansion after Churchill declared that “an iron curtain has descended across the [European] continent.” The Truman Doctrine (1947) pledged the United States to the containment of communism. The Marshall Plan (1947) helped support the Allies in Europe to re-build after WWII. The help was not for good will but in the interest of suppressing Soviet imperialism.

The policy of containment led to the development of military alliances: the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (1950). In response to NATO, the USSR collaborated within months to form the Warsaw Pact, which included East Germany.

Domestically, the Psychological Strategy Board was created for the purpose of creating anti-Communist propaganda campaigns in 1951. The next year, the Immigration and Nationality Act tightened immigration and barred homosexuals from the United States. This is an example of the anti-communist paranoia spreading to other avenues of dissent.

Idaho WWII prison camp controversy flares

Idaho WWII prison camp controversy flares
By CHRISTOPHER SMITH, Associated Press Writer Fri Jun 23, 3:07 PM ET

HUNT, Idaho - The National Park Service wants Congress to remove the word "internment" from the name of a national park commemorating a World War II prison camp for Japanese-Americans.

In a management plan for the Minidoka Internment National Monument finalized this week, the Park Service says the term legally means imprisonment of civilian enemy aliens during wartime and does not accurately reflect the government's forced relocation of thousands of U.S. citizens of Japanese descent.

The agency wants the name changed to Minidoka National Historic Site, which would match with the only similar prison camp under its protection, California's Manzanar National Historic Site.


Some felt "internment" did not accurately describe what happened there, while others wanted to emphasize the injustice by changing the name to "Minidoka Concentration Camp National Historic Site," King said.

James Azumano, leader of the internees' association, said his group plans to discuss the name during a pilgrimage there next month.

"It is a real dilemma and a constant challenge: How politically correct do you want to be over what at the time was a civil rights atrocity?" said Azumano, of Salem, Ore. "It's a struggle with terminology that continues today. What are you going to call Guantanamo 50 years from now?"

At its peak in 1943, the Minidoka camp became one of the largest cities in Idaho, housing 9,397 people, primarily from Seattle and Portland, Ore. It closed Oct. 28, 1945, and was dismantled. The 73-acre park was created in early 2001 by President Clinton.

All Web Assignments have been posted

Your next set of Blog Comments should follow the same format as the previous comments.
  • Comments #1 & 2: For each of your other classmates' Blog Entries, identify an argument or opinion with which you agree or disagree, and explain why, and support your own argument with an example from either the Web Assignments or other evidence we have reviewed, being sure to properly cite your source.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

The first 2 of the three final Web Assignments, #9 & #10, have been posted

A bit out of order for now, as I will post #8 later.

Please let me know immediately if you have any trouble accessing any of the documents, images, video clips, audio files, or music files.

Read each assignment and all the questions carefully, and respond completely to all questions asked.

All Blog Entries must be completed no later than 6:00 p.m. Monday, June 26. All Comments must be completed no later than 12:00 p.m., Wednesday, June 28.

Good luck and as always, I look forward to reading your entries.

Was J. Edgar Hoover a cross-dresser?

Well, Lucas, as I told you, I didn't think that story was true, and the credible evidence seems to indicate that he was not. But read these for yourself and see what you think.

Did J. Edgar Hoover Really Wear Dresses?
By Ronald Kessler

"Mr. Kessler is the author of a new book on the FBI, The Bureau: The Secret History of the FBI, available from

In 1993, Anthony Summers, in his book Official and Confidential: The Secret Life of J. Edgar Hoover, claimed that Hoover did not pursue organized crime because the Mafia had blackmail material on him. In support of that, Summers quoted Susan L. Rosenstiel, a former wife of Lewis S. Rosenstiel, chairman of Schenley Industries Inc., as saying that in 1958, she was at a party at the Plaza Hotel where Hoover engaged in cross-dressing in front of her then-husband and Roy Cohn, former counsel to Senator Joe McCarthy.

[snip of a couple of lurid tales]

It was episodes such as these, Summers declared, that the Mafia held over Hoover's head. "Mafia bosses obtained information about Hoover's sex life and used it for decades to keep the FBI at bay," the jacket of the book says. "Without this, the Mafia as we know it might never have gained its hold on America."

Rosenstiel, a former bootlegger during Prohibition, was well-acquainted with Mafia figures such as Frank Costello, originally Francesco Castiglia. He was also friends with Hoover, having endowed the J. Edgar Hoover Foundation in 1965 with $1 million. But Susan was Summers's primary source for the cross-dressing story, and she was not exactly a credible witness. In fact, she served time at Riker's Island for perjuring herself in a 1971 case.


While there was always speculation about Hoover and Tolson, there were never any rumors about Hoover cross-dressing. Oliver "Buck" Revell, a former associate director of the FBI, noted that if the Mafia had had anything on Hoover, it would have been picked up in wiretaps mounted against organized crime after Appalachin. There was never a hint of such a claim, Revell said.

Hoover was more familiar to Americans than most presidents. The director of the FBI simply could not have engaged in such activity at the Plaza, with a number of witnesses present, without having it leak out. The cross-dressing allegations were as credible as McCarthy's claim that there were 205 known Communists in the State Department, yet the press widely circulated the claim without further investigation. That Hoover was a cross-dresser is now largely presumed to be fact even by sophisticated people.

Ronald Kessler, "Did J. Edgar Hoover Really Wear Dresses?" History News Network, 15 July 2002, (21 June 2006).

From a site called The Straight Dope:

"But as a matter of fact, the alleged transvestitism of John Edgar Hoover, director of the FBI from 1924 until his death in 1972, has never been established, and reputable historians say it's an urban legend. The story probably got its start because of much more plausible rumors that J. Edgar was gay. He and his right-hand man, Clyde Tolson, were constant companions for more than 40 years, even vacationing together, and both remained lifelong bachelors. (Hoover lived with his mom until she died in 1938.)"

"Was J. Edgar Hoover a cross-dresser?" The Straight Dope, 6 Dec 2002, (21 June 2006).

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