US Domestic Policies Post World War II | Social Studies
The magnitude changes that arose in the post-World War II era is a critical high emphasis topic to study as you prepare to take the TASC Test Assessing Secondary Completion™ Social Studies subtest.
President Roosevelt died shortly before the conclusion of World War II, appointing Harry S. Truman as President on April 12, 1945. In this time of vast change, as World War II ended in the summer of 1945, life appeared to return to normal for Americans. With the United States soaring to a world super power, major changes began to take place for the American population.
TASC Social Studies Subtest Points of Importance
US Domestic Policies after World War II
- The post-war era revealed a complex, more fragile world. The United States needed to implement domestic policies to deal with the challenges of the changing world.
- According to the experts at PBS.org, President Truman, a New Deal Democrat, “petitioned Congress for a ‘fair deal’ for all Americans, including pro-labor reform, strict economic controls, comprehensive civil rights legislation, and an extensive social welfare package including education, social security, and medical insurance provisions.”
- A great review of the New Deal can be seen in our recent blog post concerning the major reforms of the New Deal, a policy enacted by President Roosevelt. It discussed the policy’s response to the Great Depression through programs known as the three “R’s”: Relief, Reform, and Recovery.
- Just after World War II, a phenomenon known as McCarthyism emerged in American politics. McCarthyism, according to authentichistory.com, was “the practice of investigating and accusing persons in positions of power or influence of disloyalty, subversion, or treason.” Civil liberties, especially free speech, were heavily diminished by the Espionage and Sedition Acts during this time.
In 1952, the dawn of President Eisenhower, Modern Republicanism was born. This course of action favored a more moderate view of the big government programs like the New Deal and Truman’s Fair Deal. Modern Republicanism simply “preserved individual freedom and the market economy yet insured that government would provide necessary assistance to workers who had lost their jobs or to the ill or aged, who through no fault of their own, could not provide for themselves,” as reported by The Miller Center at The University of Virginia.
Racial and Gender Equality and Extension of Civil Liberties
The struggle for racial and gender equality, and the push for the extension of civil liberties after World War II, led to large-scale policy transformation. Use these racial and gender equality highlights as you study for the TASC test Social Studies subtest:
- During World War II, the NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People), along with several other civil rights organizations, worked to end discrimination in the armed forces.
- In 1947, President Truman decided to make civil rights a national issue and reached out to African Americans in a way no administration had before. Respecting that the U.S. Constitution guaranteed rights to all Americans, President Truman staffed a committee with civil rights advocates to investigate the nation’s racial issue. The committee made drastic changes to the US civil rights policy.
- An executive order was made by President Truman to abolish racial discrimination in the military. Following this historic leap, “NAACP won important Supreme Court victories and mobilized a mass lobby of organizations to press Congress to pass civil rights legislation,” according to The Library of Congress. These actions splintered the Democratic Party.
- In 1954, the infamous Brown v. Board of Education litigation took flight as “Kansas' law gave cities with populations over 15,000 the right to segregate their school systems,” according to Civilrights.org. While integration was established in Topeka’s junior and high schools, it was absent from the elementary schools. Furthermore, 18 neighborhoods had schools for white children, but only four had schools for black children in Topeka. With 11 cases challenging segregation in Kansas, the Supreme Court unanimously ruled in favor of the cases, stating “separate educational facilities are inherently unequal.”
- Women’s lives changed drastically with a growing manpower shortage in the military. Women gradually started to enter the military and work in positions such as switchboard operators, telegraphers, mechanics, and drivers.
- Women’s roles continued to change as they were needed in factories and manufacturing plants. This gave birth to Rosie the Riveter.