FilmQ07b_Ch.26 – 27: Cold War Conflicts and The Post War Boom
How to Use Video as a Source
Step #1: Familiarize yourself with film questions prior to viewing the film. By reading the questions and understanding the vocabulary contained within, you allow yourself the luxury of viewing the film without having to look at the questions continuously.
Step #2: View and Listen Attentively. Unlike a book, a video provides information via visual images and audio. Both forms of data are ‘more valuable together’ than separately. For example, turn the volume off on your TV during your favorite program. Then, raise the volume while ‘blacking out’ the image. Under which conditions was the data most richly delivered? Always make sure that you have unobstructed viewing of a film and that the sound is audible.
As you view the video, pay attention to visual and/ or audio cues that reflect the issues raised by the questions below. Your responses should refer to video content as well as your current knowledge and understanding of history.
Step #3: Organize Your Thoughts. Unlike a book, the data from a video is often delivered at a constant rate. With a book, you can slow your reading speed when you encounter a particular segment that is complicated. You can also turn back to a previous page to review information. A film is a bit different in that you may not always have the option to use ‘slow motion’ or ‘rewind’. Therefore, maintaining focus on the imagery and sound is important. Targeted Notes will reduce the amount of time you’re looking away from the film. By writing quick and simple phrases of a few words each, you maintain greater attention to film events.
Targeted notes use key words/ phrases that will ignite a thought or idea when you read them later. There is no concern for grammar or spelling while doing this. After the film has ended, you look at your targeted notes and manipulate the data to compile responses in complete sentences.
Organizational Tip: Vertically divide your sheet of paper (where you’ll write your responses). On the ‘left’ half, take targeted notes for each question given. After viewing the video, use the targeted notes to compose complete responses to each question (on the ‘right’ half of the sheet).
Source: “The Best Years”. The Century: America’s Time. A Video Series at https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLC8D9DC28C3EC5223 [~14 min per episode (3 parts), ~42 min. Total.]
After the initial jubilation at the end of World War II, America faced severe domestic demographic problems and the international specter of communism and the Cold War. In response to the serious housing shortages exacerbated by the high marriage rates and subsequent baby boom of returning soldiers and the girls they left behind, the Truman administration created the GI Bill, which enabled veterans to secure low interest mortgages and college educations. But the domestic bliss of new homes and growing families could not alleviate the growing fears and hysteria of the new atomic age, and a demagogue from Wisconsin, Senator Joseph McCarthy, harnessed this hysteria for his personal political success. This episode covers some of the major events of the immediate post-war years such as the Korean War, McCarthyism, the Marshall Plan, the Berlin Airlift and the adjustment of returning soldiers.
Students will analyze the effects of the twentieth century on American life, political institutions, economics, foreign policy and culture. They will also investigate how events in the twentieth century influenced America’s position as a world leader, and how global and domestic events created change, and sometimes turmoil, in America itself.
Context: United States, 1945-1960, The Returning veterans and resulting Baby Boom.
1. What is the difference between a “hot” war and a “cold” war?
2. Winston Churchill coined the famous phrase “iron curtain.” What did Churchill mean by “iron curtain?”
3. The U.S. Government granted returning soldiers the GI Bill of Rights. What was the GI Bill of Rights? How did this bill of rights shape the coming decades?
4. What was the Baby Boom? How did it change America? What are they effects of this boom today?
5. Although the post-war economy was the most prosperous in American history, some Americans were excluded. How did the prosperity and economic advantages of the period exclude most African-Americans and women?
6. Describe the devastating losses Europe suffered in the war and their effects during the post-war period.
7. Explain the ideological conflicts and differences between the United States and The Soviet Union.
8. What was the Marshall Plan? How did it shape post-war foreign policy?
9. What was the American reaction to the Soviets obtaining nuclear power?
10. Why was there such a different reception for Korean War veterans than World War II veterans?
11. What was a blacklist? How did political witch-hunts result from these lists?