A New Era at Home and Abroad
"This greatest of destructive forces can be developed
into a great boon for the benefit of mankind."
President Dwight D. Eisenhower
After World War II (1945-1958). Soon after World War II, the United States joined other nations to create a world peace-keeping organization called the United Nations. We helped our allies abroad by lending them money to re-build their damaged towns and cities. At home, millions of returning servicemen and servicewomen returned to school under scholarships provided by the American government. Millions more bought houses with low-cost government loans. These benefits to service men and women and the increased buying power from wages earned in the wartime factories led to general prosperity in the country.
But even as the United Nations was being established in 1945, President Truman had to confront a crisis overseas with the Soviet Union. Within two years, these powers were locked in a "Cold War" that was fought across a line that divided eastern from western Europe.
The political war of words broke into open warfare in 1950 with the beginning of the Korean War. As Americans fought and died for freedom in Korea, Senator Joseph R. McCarthy began an intense hunt for communists in the United States. Many people felt that freedom of speech was seriously threatened during this era. The term "McCarthyism" was born. In 1952, Dwight D. Eisenhower won the presidency by pledging to end the war in Korea and strengthen America's defenses. "Mamie" Eisenhower christened the first American nuclear submarine, the USS Nautilus, two years later.
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After World War II (1945-1958)