Eisenhower elected 1952, by 1953 containing international communism US foreign policy priority, Eisenhower relied more on nuclear deterrent & covert CIA action, avoided too much military involvment even at cost of unpopular ends to conflicts in order to prevent nuclear war, his use of high-tech weapons funded the military-industrial complex he disliked, so when leaving office in 1961 he warned against excessive military spending.

Eisenhower 1st 2-term republican president since Grant, his foreign affairs experience made him popular candidate, spent 3 days at Korean front in 1952 post-election, Stalin died March 1953, ceasefire in Korea in July 1953 (38th parallel division, technically still at war today)

Eisenhower’s ending of war set tone for presidency, he kept up anti-communism but got US to accept stalemate, used hidden hand presidency (let corporate interests + states guide policy), let businessmen run business regulators (costly to government), accepted federal responsibility for social welfare (slightly expanded Social Security, employment insurance, raised minimum wage, created Dep’t of Health, Education, & Welfare, subsidized agriculture/agribusiness, more concerned about inflation than unemployment&poverty, average household real wages rose 20% over his terms, general prosperity for americans

Eisenhower saw cold war thaw opportunity when Stalin died, didn’t want permanent mobilization/garrison state, wanted lower military budget so focused less on troops and more on US advantages in high-tech capital-intensive strategy, military spending went from 66% to 49% b/c long-range nukes were cheaper

John Foster Dulles secretary of state created foreign policy new look in 50s, had moral beliefs in anticommunism, wanted not just containment but rather rollback, tried to rely more on superior US nuclear capability, however this was limited b/c when local revolts (East Berlin 1953, Hungary 1956) occured US could not give support despite pleas (although they did accept Hungarian refugees), because Eisenhower knew USSR would go to war to defend eastern European borders.

Nikita Kruschev was Stalin’s successor, withdrew troops from Austria in 1955 via negotiation, suspended nuclear testing 1958, visited US in 1959, another summit w/US in Paris in early 1960, this collapsed May 1960 b/c USSR shot down USA U-2 spy plane monitoring their nuclear facilities, US had been spying on such facilities for years b/c USSR would not allow inspectors, Eisenhower tried to deny U-2 plane but USSR had pilot confess, Eisenhower wouldn’t apologize or promise to stop.

When USSR launched first orbital satellite Sputnik in Oct 1957 US started worrying about Soviet ICBM capabilities, Eisenhower attacked for failing to keep up in arms race, some pundits suggested national fallout shelter programs, Eisenhower knew from spy planes US was actually ahead but couldn’t say, did not panic but instead created sufficiency doctrine (military strength to survive any attack and engage in massive counterattack), National Aeronautics and Space Agency created for missiles & space program, National Defense Education Act funded science&foreign-language ed, Congress increased military budget.

CIA-sponsored paramilitary ops became major part of Eisenhower foreign policy, Allen Dulles (John Foster Dulles’s brother) ran CIA, CIA was quick,cheap,quiet way to depose hostile/unstable regimes & prop up anticommunist governments under siege by reformers/revolutionaries/indigenous radicals, CIA did way more than collect/analyze info, covert agents got lots of $ to friendly foreign political parties & trade unions, anti-colonial independence movements common, communists played minor but noticable role via solidarity, aid, in order to gain 3rd world influence, anti-Western feelings in 3rd world fanned by US racism problems and resentment over foreign control over natural resources, Eisenhower administration liable to respond w/covert ops & military to sudden neutrality or expropriation of US property.

In 1953 Iran’s popular PM Mohammed Mossadegh nationalized British company Anglo-Iranian Oil, State Department worried this would set precedent throughout Middle East. Iran CIA chief Kermit Roosevelt organised & funded anti-Mossadegh movement in Iranian army & in Tehran, Mossadegh driven from office and replaced w/USA-friendly autocratic shah Riza Pahlavi, who got US companies oil but ran repressive regime that led to anti-American sentiment.

US Middle East policy further complicated by Arab-Israeli conflict: after USA & USSR recognized Israel in 1948, Arab countries attacked, Israel repelled attack & drove >1000 Palestinians from homes, seized territory beyond UN drafted borders for 2-state Jewish/Arab division of Palestine. Arab world boycotted Israel economically & refused to recognize it, Palestinians stuck in refugee camps. Israel reliable US ally in unstable zone, USA disliked Arab nationalism.

1956 Suez Crisis: Egypt president Gamal Abdel Nasser (Arab Nationalist) wanted Aswan High Dam on Nile for more arable land + cheap energy, wanted USA & GB aid, negotiations broke down, Nasser got USSR aid & nationalized strategic GB-controlled Suez Canal, Eisenhower wouldn’t help GB get it back, British+French+Israel invaded Egypt in Oct 1956, USA sponsored ceasefire resolution demanding they withdraw, they withdrew. However, no lasting peace, & Arab nationalists still sought USSR aid when dealing w/Israel.

Guatemala had most public CIA intervention of Eisenhower years, 2% population had 72% farmland, USA’s United Fruit Company had huge plantations, got fragile democracy in 1944. Jácobo Arbenz Guzmán elected 1950, wanted land reform to buy uncultivated UFC land at assessed value via eminent domain, pro-trade-union. UFC wanted way higher prices, they had US admin friends, linked land-reform to international communism, CIA spent $ 7E6 training Guatemalan dissidents, Navy started stopping Guatemalan ships & seizing cargo, on 1954 June 14 US-trained anti-Guatemalan-government Hondurans invaded, Guatemalans seized UFC buildings but were bombed by air force, Guatemala asked for UN aid, Eisenhower denied CIA involvement, appointed leader Carlos Armas flew to capitol in USA embassy plane. Unions outlawed, 1000s arrested, dead Guatemalans mislabled as victims of communism, Armas assassinated in 1957. Nixon claimed new government had overwhelming popular support, this false, when he made 1958 goodwill tour rocks thrown at his car.

Global anticommunist strategy of Truman&Eisenhower led to USA supporting French attempt to keep territory in Indochina, spent $ 2.6E9 on French anti-Vietminh costs, offered CIA aid, prevented Ho Chi Minh from winning by stopping elections due to domino theory concerns that if one country got communist government then the others would follow.

Americans valued prosperity, Galbraith said USA wealth showed post-WWII American capitalism worked, but stop all the personal consumption and fund schools, medicine, welfare. Desire for consumer goods, good life strong, strong economic growth defined this time to Americans.

Eisenhower administration subsidized transition to middle class by expanding New Deal & WWII programs, Federal Housing Administration insured long-term mortgage loans on houses, favored new single-family housing, refused repair loans, value inspectors biased against racially mixed communities, reinforced wealth discrimination, GI Bill subsidized college, business loans, mortgages. Highway system created allegedly to ease evacuation in event of nuclear attack, education funded b/c Sputnik. Economy ran on Cold War, sort of.

During Depression+WWII people shared cramped/run-down houses, suburbia alluring due to space+new appliances, nuclear family became ideal, suburban wife ideal (charming, patient, efficient) common, glowing image masked stiflingness of this ideal, stiflingness explored by Friedan in The Feminine Mystique, 40% female employment in 1960 to fund middle-class lifestyle, religion became more powerful&organized, anti-activism televangelists popular, Billy Graham’s Crusades for Christ spread religion and warned about godless communism. CA embodied postwar suburbia via car culture and the centerless city. Journalists,novelists,sociologists called suburbia dull, conformist, 100% middle class, this not quite true, class differences/ethnic differences existed between towns.

Trade unions had historic high point in 1950, 1/3 nonfarmers union workers then, unions played major role in Democratic party, American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations considered unifying, George Meany (anti-communist, had never gone on strike, thought unions were about members’ economic interests) ran AFL, Walter Reuther (had broad social visions [anti-racist, more welfare]) ran CIO, in 1955 new AFL-CIO had 1.25E7 members, after 1955 slow, steady decline of unions due to lack of expansion to new workers and corruption scandals.

People’s identities became community/organization-centered, less individualist, college became far more common (avoiding draft, entering middle class), medicine improved (pencillin, Salk vaccine), access did not, AMA against increasing access, not all science popular, Kinsey’s sexuality research findings (10% men gay, 50% women had premarital sex, each generation more sexually active) unpopular.

Adults, marketers became obsessed w/teenagers post-WWII (term coined then), teens major market, parents saw youth culture as authority threat (encouraging dating, music, not doing school/housework), trends started by black musicians attracted white teens, record labels sold covers of black music by white artists, girls used cosmetics & bras earlier and married at 18, teens drove earlier, teens juggeled jobs & youth culture, rock’n’roll blamed for decline of parental authority, concerns about juvenile delinquency (crime among youths being chronic) led to media censorship.

TV transformed ad industry from running radio shows to making commercials, hugely profitable, live sports popular, ethnic sitcoms w/consumerism-centric drama got replaced with affluent white suburban sitcoms, TV allowed fads.

Politics on TV restricted, controversy or outcry from anti-communist watchdogs led to sponsors fleeing, consensus portrayed, no real debate, but they did start airing campaign ads in 1952.

Mass media criticized, described as manipulative, Beats (writers) supported sexuality, drug use, outcasts, jazz, spontaniety, friendship, On the Road became manifesto.

JFK ran for office in 1960, used New Frontier liberalism, inspired hope, won in part because televised debates started in 1960 and Nixon looked bad there, had minor problems due to anti-Catholic prejudice addressed by talking about church/state separation, had celebrified administration, his New Frontier included more housing, education, elder care funding, antipoverty measures, training unemployed, created Peace Corps, anti-sexism in pay, funded NASA. At first was aggressive wrt containment of communism, then tried to ease USA-USSR tensions, expanded covert ops & funding at first, tried to create Alliance for Progress in Latin America, didn’t really work.

CIA tried to train 1400 ex-Cubans as invaders, didn’t succeed w/o air support in Bay of Pigs invasion, no popular anti-Castro uprising occurred.

After Bay of Pigs, Castro got nuclear missiles from USSR, quarantine (read:blockade) of Cuba enacted, missiles removed after negotiations for not-invading-Cuba & removing-Turkish-missiles pledge, USSR & USA got hotline, USSR got nuclear buildup.

Kennedy assassinated on 22 Nov 1963, effectively became martyr.