50 The American Pageant Chapter 33

Apush Chapter 33 Topic Outline The American Pageant Chapter 33 Topic Outline The Great
Apush Chapter 33 Topic Outline The American Pageant Chapter 33 Topic Outline The Great from www.studocu.com


Welcome to our comprehensive guide on Chapter 33 of "The American Pageant," a renowned textbook that delves into the rich history of the United States. In this chapter, we will explore the period from 1945 to 1960, commonly known as the post-World War II era. This transformative time witnessed significant changes in American society, politics, and culture. Join us as we embark on a journey through this captivating chapter to gain a deeper understanding of the key events and individuals that shaped the nation during this pivotal period.

The End of World War II

1. The Yalta Conference

At the Yalta Conference held in February 1945, the leaders of the Allied powers – Franklin D. Roosevelt, Winston Churchill, and Joseph Stalin – discussed the post-war reorganization of Europe. They addressed issues such as the division of Germany and the establishment of the United Nations.

2. The Potsdam Conference

The Potsdam Conference, held in July 1945, marked the next significant meeting of the Allied leaders. With the death of Roosevelt, Harry S. Truman represented the United States alongside Churchill and Stalin. They discussed the implementation of the Yalta agreements, the fate of Germany, and the ongoing war with Japan.

The Cold War Begins

1. The Truman Doctrine

In March 1947, President Truman declared the Truman Doctrine, outlining the United States' policy of containment towards the spread of communism. This doctrine provided military and economic support to nations threatened by communist forces, setting the stage for the Cold War.

2. The Marshall Plan

The Marshall Plan, initiated in 1948, aimed to rebuild war-torn European nations and prevent the spread of communism by providing economic aid. The plan was successful in revitalizing Europe and solidifying American influence in the region.

The Red Scare and McCarthyism

1. The HUAC Hearings

The House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC) conducted hearings throughout the late 1940s and early 1950s, investigating alleged communist influence in Hollywood and various government institutions. These hearings instilled fear and paranoia, leading to the blacklisting of many individuals.

2. Joseph McCarthy

Senator Joseph McCarthy emerged as a prominent figure during the Red Scare, making sensational claims of widespread communist infiltration in the United States. His unsubstantiated accusations and aggressive tactics gained him notoriety but ultimately led to his downfall.

The Civil Rights Movement

1. Brown v. Board of Education

In 1954, the landmark Supreme Court case of Brown v. Board of Education declared racial segregation in public schools unconstitutional. This ruling marked a significant victory for the civil rights movement and set the stage for future desegregation efforts.

2. Montgomery Bus Boycott

Following Rosa Parks' arrest for refusing to give up her seat to a white passenger, the Montgomery Bus Boycott began in 1955. Led by Martin Luther King Jr., this nonviolent protest against racial segregation on buses lasted for over a year and garnered national attention.

The Eisenhower Era

1. Interstate Highway System

President Dwight D. Eisenhower championed the creation of the Interstate Highway System to improve transportation and bolster national defense. The construction of this vast network of highways revolutionized travel and facilitated economic growth.

2. The U-2 Incident

In 1960, an American U-2 spy plane was shot down over Soviet territory, leading to heightened tensions between the United States and the Soviet Union. The incident exposed the secret aerial reconnaissance missions conducted during the Cold War.

The Election of 1960

1. John F. Kennedy

John F. Kennedy, a charismatic young senator from Massachusetts, ran against Richard Nixon in the 1960 presidential election. Kennedy's victory marked a turning point in American politics, as he became the first Catholic president and ushered in a new era of leadership.

2. The Televised Debates

The televised debates between Kennedy and Nixon were a crucial factor in the election. Kennedy's poised and telegenic demeanor contrasted with Nixon's perspiration and nervousness, helping to secure Kennedy's victory.


Chapter 33 of "The American Pageant" provides a captivating account of the post-World War II era in the United States. From the beginning of the Cold War to the civil rights movement and the election of John F. Kennedy, this period shaped the nation's trajectory in significant ways. By delving into these historical events and their ramifications, we can gain a deeper understanding of the complexities and challenges faced by the American people during this transformative time.