The Cold War

Report
The Cold War
1945-1969
Learning Objectives
THE COLD WAR AND THE FIFTIES
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106. Describe the U.S. responses to Soviet aggression after World War II, including the
Truman Doctrine, the Marshall Plan, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, [and the Berlin
Airlift] (containment, the Cuban Missile Crisis). (TEKS US 6D) (TAKS 1)
107. Describe the impact of the Cold War on the business cycle and defense spending
(military-industrial complex and weapons of mass destruction). (TEKS US 14C)
108. Describe the impacts of the G.I. Bill, the election of 1948 (Truman, Dewey, Thurmond,
and the Dixiecrats), McCarthyism, and Sputnik I (the space race). (TEKS US 6F) (TAKS 1)
109. Identify the causes and effects of prosperity in the 1950s (increased military spending
and the growth of the suburbs). (TEKS US 14B)
110. Analyze the conflict in Korea and describe the domestic and international effects (United
Nations and Douglas MacArthur). (TEKS US 6E) (TAKS 1)
111. Analyze how scientific discoveries and technological innovations, including those in
transportation and communication, have changed the standard of living in the United States
(television, the interstate highway system, and the H-bomb). (TEKS US 23A) (TAKS 3)
112. Explain the effects of scientific discoveries and technological innovations such as medical
vaccinations and computers on the development of the U.S (polio vaccine). (TEKS US 22A)
(TAKS 3)
113. Identify examples of American art, music, and literature that transcend American culture
and convey universal themes (beatniks, rock and roll music, and abstract expressionism).
(TEKS US 20C)
Key Terms
• Cold War: an era of confrontation and competition between
the US and the Soviet Union that lasted from 1946-1990.
• Containment: a US Cold War policy of keeping communism
within its present territory through the use of diplomatic,
economic and military actions.
• Truman Doctrine: a doctrine proclaimed by President Harry
Truman in March, 1947; it sought to (1) stabilize Greece and
Turkey from a Communist takeover; (2) it pledged the United
States to fight communism worldwide
• Marshall Plan: Proposed by Secretary of State George C.
Marshall in June, 1947; it provided European nations
American aid to rebuild their economies after World War Two.
It provided billions of dollars worth of supplies, machinery,
and food into Western Europe.
Key Terms
• GI Bill (1944): also known as the Servicemen’s
Readjustment Act, this act boosted the economy by
providing generous loans to veterans to help them establish
businesses, buy homes, and attend college.
• Berlin Airlift: June 1948, the US used cargo planes to supply
Berliners with food and medicine that had been cut off
from the Soviet Union
• NATO: North Atlantic Treaty Organization; a mutual
defense alliance established in April, 1949, including the
US, Canada, Britain, France, Italy and other countries
• Mao Zedong: leader of the Communists forces in China
that overthrew the Nationalists government (led by Chiang
Kai-Shek) in1949.
Origins of the Cold War
• Following the end of
World War Two, tensions
between the US and the
USSR increased because
each country had
different goals.
– The Soviets wanted to
keep Germany weak to
prevent future threats
from Eastern Europe
– Soviets believed in the
superiority of Communism
and viewed capitalist
nations with suspicion.
• The USA believed:
– the Great Depression had
caused World War II
– Americans viewed
economic growth as key to
world peace.
– Americans sought to
promote democracy and
free enterprise
Yalta Conference
• Held in February 1945, near
the end of World War II.
• Held at a Soviet resort near
the Black Sea
• Roosevelt (US), Churchill
(England), and Stalin (USSR)
• Roosevelt and Churchill agree
to recognize the Soviet
government in Poland
• Issue the Declaration of
Liberated Europe: asserted
the right of all people to
choose the form of
government under which they
will live
(Feb, 1945)
Yalta Conference
• Dividing Germany
• The Big 3 agree to
divide Germany into
four zones:
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–
•
Great Britain
Soviet Union
France
US
City of Berlin also
divided
Potsdam Conference: July, 1945
• President Truman takes
control following death
of FDR on April 11,
1945.
• In July, 1945, Truman
met Stalin at Potsdam,
near Berlin
• Discussed:
– Future of Germany
– issue of war reparations
The Iron Curtain
• After WW2, the USSR
refused to make any
concessions or uphold
the Declaration of a
Liberated Europe.
• The Soviet Army in
Eastern Europe
established pro-Soviet
Communists governments
• These countries came to
be called satellite
nations.
Containment
• George Kennan
• The Long Telegram
• Only a matter of time
until major economic
and political
weaknesses undid the
Soviet Union
• “Containment”
• Crisis in Iran (1946)
The Truman Doctrine (March, 1947)
• Action taken in defense of
Soviet ambitions to control
Turkey and Communist
guerilla war in Greece.
– Fears that Soviets wanted to
dominate the Middle East
• Truman speech that called for
aid to “free peoples who are
resisting attempted
subjugation by armed
minorities or by outside
pressures.”
– Stabilize Greece
• Pledged the US to fight
Communism worldwide
The Marshall Plan
• June, 1947: US gave
European nations
American aid to rebuild
their economies.
The Berlin Crisis and Airlift
• Disagreement over post-war
Germany eventually brought
the US and USSR to the brink
of war.
• Early 1948: US, German, and
France create the federal
Republic of Germany
• Allowed the West Germans to
have their own government
• June, 1948, USSR cuts all road
and rail traffic to West
Germany
• Truman orders the Berlin
airlift (11 months)
Berlin Wall
• Later, in July, 1961, the
Soviet Union demanded
the US, Great Britain, and
France withdraw from
West Berlin.
• President Kennedy
refused.
• The Soviet Union
responded by building
the Berlin Wall, a visible
sign of the Cold War for
the next 30 years.
Key Terms
• McCarthyism: a “witch-hunt” led by Joseph R. McCarthy, a
senator from Wisconsin, accusing government officials and
others of Communists influences based on flimsy evidence
and irrational fears (1952).
• Military-Industrial Complex: an informal relationship that
some people exists between the military and the defense
industry to promote greater military spending and
influence government policy
• Sputnik: the first artificial satellite (USSR) to orbit the earth;
this technological triumph alarmed Americans, who took it
as a sign that the US was falling behind the Soviet Union in
missile technology
NATO
• The Berlin blockade convinced
many Americans that the
Soviets were determined to
expand their “empire.”
• In April, 1949, the North
Atlantic Treaty Organization
(NATO) was formed in
response.
– Included US, Canada, Britain,
France, Italy and others
– Committed the US to defense
of Europe
• The Soviet Union responded
by creating the Warsaw Pact.
1949
• The US tried to prevent a
Communist Revolution in
China, sending $2 billion in aid
in the 1940s to support the
nationalist government of
Chiang Kai-Shek
• Led by Mao Zedong,
Communist forces overthrew
the Chinese Nationalist
government of Chiang KaiShek in 1949.
• The victorious Communists
established the People’s
Republic of China
– Nationalist forces fled to
Taiwan
1949
• In September, 1949, the
Soviet Union
announced it had
successfully detonated
an atomic bomb.
• Later, Soviet Union and
China sign a treaty of
friendship and alliance.
– US embarks on rapid
industrialization of Japan
The Korean War (1950-1953)
• Korean War
• Cause: North Korea
wanted to unify the
Korean Peninsula
The Korean War (1950-1953)
• General Douglas
MacArthur
• China
• 38th Parallel
Eisenhower and the Sputnik Crisis
• Dwight D. Eisenhower
– Elected President (19521956; 1956-1960)
– “New Look”
• Instead of maintaining a
large and expensive army,
the nation “must be
prepared to use atomic
weapons…”
– “Massive Retaliation”
• Increased America’s
nuclear arsenal from about
1,000 bombs in 1953 to
18,000 in 1961
Sputnik
• As the USA began to develop
long-range nuclear missiles,
Americans were stunned to
learn the USSR launched
Sputnik, the first artificial
satellite to orbit the earth
(1957)
• In response, the US created
the National Aeronautics and
Space Administration (NASA).
• Also passed the National
Defense Education Act (NDEA)
authorizing funds for
education and training in
science, math, and foreign
language
The Cold War Moves into Space
• As Cold War tensions rose,
the US and the Soviet Union
engaged in a space race—
vying for dominance of the
heavens to enhance their
competitive positions on
Earth.
• President Kennedy vowed
to have America reach the
moon prior to the Russians.
• July, 1969, American
astronaut Neil Armstrong
became the person to set
foot on the moon.
Key Terms
• Massive retaliation: the policy of threatening a
massive response, including the use of nuclear
weapons against a Communist state trying to
seize a peaceful state by force
• Missile gap: the fear that the Soviet Union had
more nuclear weapons than the United States
• Space race: the competition over dominance of
space and space exploration that occurred after
the Soviet Union launched Sputnik
JFK and the Cold War
• John F. Kennedy won
the presidential
election of 1960.
– Became the first
Catholic president in US
history
– Campaigned on the idea
that United States faced
a serious threat from
the Soviet Union
• Missile gap
Kennedy and the Cold War
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The Cold War continued to intensify
as Kennedy entered the White
House.
Kennedy was eager to stand up to
the Soviet Union.
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“Let the word go forth from this time
and place, to friend and foe alike,
that the torch has been passed to a
new generation of Americans—born
in this century, tempered by war,
disciplined by a hard and bitter
peace, proud of our ancient
heritage—and unwilling to witness or
permit the slow undoing of those
human rights to which this Nation
has always been committed, and to
which we are committed today at
home and around the world. Let
every nation know, whether it wishes
us well or ill, that we shall pay any
price, bear any burden, meet any
hardship, support any friend, oppose
any foe, in order to assure the
survival and the success of liberty.”
JFK and the Cold War
• One of the first Cold War
crisis Kennedy confronted as a
new president occurred in
Cuba.
• In 1959, Fidel Castro had
overthrown the corrupt Cuban
dictator Fulgencio Batista
• Castro established close ties
with the Soviet Union and
instituted a Communist
Revolution in Cuba.
– The US secretly tried to
overthrow Castro at the Bay of
Pigs in April, 1961. It was an
abysmal failure.
JFK And the Cold War
• To counter Soviet
influence around the
world and in Latin
America especially, JFK
started the:
– Alliance for Progress: a
series of cooperative aid
projects with Latin
American governments
– The Peace Corps: an
organization that sent
Americans to do
humanitarian work on
other countries
Cuban Missile Crisis
• One of the most important
events of the Cold War.
• Brought the US and Soviet
Union to the brink of
nuclear war.
• Began in October, 1962
when US spy planes
discovered Soviet longrange nuclear missiles in
Cuba.
• Soviet missiles in Cuba
make many parts of the US
vulnerable to attack.
Cuban Missile Crisis
Cuban Missile Crisis
• President Kennedy
ordered a naval blockade
to stop the Soviets from
delivering more missiles
• Demanded the USSR
dismantle existing missile
sites
• Warned that the US
would launch nuclear
missiles at the Soviet
Union if the USSR
launched missiles at the
US
Cuban Missile Crisis
• Secret negotiations led to a
deal:
– US promised not to invade
Cuba
– USSR agrees to remove
missiles
– US secretly agrees to remove
missiles from Turkey
• Impact:
– The Soviet Union recognized
its inferiority
– Began an arms build up
– The US-USSR arms race
continued for the next 20
years.
Don’t be afraid to . . . read every book,
as long as any document does
not offend our own ideas of decency.
That should be the only censorship.
How will we defeat communism
unless we know what it is,
what it teaches, and why does it have
such an appeal for men,
why are so many people swearing
allegiance to it?
— President Dwight D. Eisenhower,
Speech at Dartmouth College, 1953
Review Key Terms
• Cold War: an era of confrontation and competition between the US and
the Soviet Union that lasted from 1946-1990
• Containment: a US Cold War policy of keeping communism within its
present territory through the use of diplomatic, economic and military
actions—see Truman Doctrine
• McCarthyism: a “witch-hunt” led by Joseph R. McCarthy, a senator from
Wisconsin, accusing government officials and others of Communists
influences based on flimsy evidence and irrational fears (1952).
• Sputnik: the first artificial satellite (USSR) to orbit the earth; this
technological triumph alarmed Americans, who took it as a sign that the
US was falling behind the Soviet Union in missile technology. (1957) See
NASA
• GI Bill (1944): also known as the Servicemen’s Readjustment Act, this act
boosted the economy by providing generous loans to veterans to help
them establish businesses, buy homes, and attend college.

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