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The Cold War

Presentation dealing with key points of the conflict between 1947 and 1991.
by

Hector Reyna

on 2 June 2014

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Transcript of The Cold War

Lasting from the end of World War 2 until 1991,
the Cold War was a war like no other. The
United States of America (US)
and
Union of

Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR/Soviet Union)
emerged out of the Second World War as superpowers (and victorious), being the 2 most powerful nations in the world. There were also opposites:
Communism
vs
Capitalism
,
Democracy
vs
Socialism
.

They both fought to spread their ideology to the rest of the world.

They didn't fight directly though, both of them possessing nuclear weapons, a direct confrontation would have led to launching of each others missiles. Which would lead to the end of the world, history, people...
Instead they fought through various proxy wars, like the Korean War, Vietnam War, and Soviet War in Afghanistan. They also were rivals during the Space Race, to see who would reach various firsts in space exploration.
Sputnik btw... and a tank
The first major event of the
Cold

War
was the
Berlin Blockade
. The
Soviets
wanted full control of the
German
capital of
Berlin
. Starting on June 24, 1948 the
Soviet Union
blocked the
Allies'
railways, roads, and canal access to
West

Berlin
.
The
Allied
response was called the
Berlin

Airlift
, over 200,000 flights by the end of the year were made carrying over 4,700 tons of necessities and goods to the
Berliners
. The flights ended up bringing more supplies than before the blockade. The
Soviets
were humiliated and reopened access
t
o the city on May 12, 1949.
For 13 days the world was at its closest to a nuclear apocalypse as this was an event when the Cold War could have quickly heat up. The event was known as...
From October 14 to the 28 of the year 1962, the world stood at the brink of nuclear war. The
Cuban
Missile Crisis
began when the
United States
attempted to overthrow
Castro
twice during
Bay of Pigs Invasion
and
Operation Mongoose
which both failed.
Khrushchev
saw a justification for placing the missiles in
Cuba
. the
US
also had their missiles in
Turkey
at the doorstep of the
Soviet Union
so why should they do the same.
Khrushchev
also assumed that
Kennedy
was a weak leader after his response of the
Berlin

Crisis
of 1961.
Kennedy
was informed of the
Soviets'
activities after a
U-2 Spy plane
captured pictures of the
missiles
. The
United States
was faced with several ways to approach the situation.
Air Strike
- Destroy all of the
missile sites
, would likely lead to
nuclear war
.
Invasion
- Overthrow
Castro
and remove the
missiles
, would also likely lead to
nuclear war
.
Blockade
- Prevent any more
missiles
from arriving in
Cuba
, cause
international pressure
to remove the remai
ni
ng
missiles
.
Diplomacy
- By itself just cause
international pressure
to remove the
missiles
.
Do nothing
- Do nothing, leave their
missiles
in
Turkey
and leave the
Soviets' missiles
in
Cuba
.
President Kennedy settled for the Blockade calling it a "Quarantine" because a blockade is an act of war, which war was the last thing he wanted to do.
At the end a deal was made between both
super
powers
. The
Soviet Union
would remove the
missiles
they have sent to
Cuba
. In return, the
United States
would pledge not to ever invade
Cuba
. In secret though, six months in the future the
US
would remove their
missiles
in
Turkey
and
Italy
.
The

Cold

War
also contained
proxy wars
(Wars were
minor countries
fought each other with support from the
2

super
powers
) such as the
First Indochina War
,
Korean War
,
Vietnam War
, and
Soviet War in Afghanistan
,
Iran-Iraq War
, and the
Bosnian War
.
The
Korean War
was sparked by the ever increasing tension by the puppet governments of the divided
Korea
. At the end of
WW2
the
Soviet Union
occupied north of the 38th parallel line, while the
United States
occupied south of that line. Unification of the peninsula was talked about but never put into action instead puppet government were set up by the superpowers. The
Republic of Korea (ROK/South)
was democratic and capitalist. The Democratic
People's Republic of Korea (DPRK/North)
was an authoritarian communist dictatorship. The war was sparked when the
North
invaded the
South
on June 25, 1950
Before the war, the
Soviet Union
left the
United Nations
to protest the fact that the
UN
recognized the
Republic of China (Taiwan)
, instead of The
People's Republic of China (Mainland)
. The
United Nations
authorized military intervention in the war, it could of been vetoed if the
USSR
had still been a member. At first the
North Koreans
were very
successful in their invasion pushing the UN forces do
wn to the
Pusan Perimeter
.
A much longer conflict which lasted from 1957 to 1975, was the
Space Race
, which officially began on October 4, 1957 with the
Soviet
launch of the
Sputnik
. It triggered the
Sputnik Crisis
in the
US
, making them fear that if the
Soviets
can launch a
satellite
into space they can also launch a nuclear
missile
, an obvious threat to national security. The
Americans
overhauled the education system, focusing on producing a new generation of engineers. They also rushed their current attempt to launch their own satellite called
Project Vanguard
, and their space program.
The Arms Race that began in 1949 when the
USSR
successfully tested their
own atomic bomb
(and

for both later
hydrogen bombs, intercontinental bombers, and ICBMs
) gave both powers rockets capable of reaching outer space, leaving the Earth's atmosphere.
Sputnik 1st satellite; 1957
Vanguard launch fails causes major embarrassment to the United States because it was broadcaster live on international TV; 1957
Explorer 1 First American Satellite; 1958
Yuri Garin, First man in orbit on Vostok 1; 1961
Alan Shepard, First American in Space on Freedom 7; 1961
Kennedy officially supports the Apollo program stating that by the end the decade an American would be placed on the moon, launching the Moon Race; 1961
Kennedy proposes for the US an
d the USSR to work together, at first Khrushchev refuses. Eventually he becomes inclined to accept the offer b
ut President Kennedy is assassinated and he distrusted Johnson, dismissing the idea; 1963
Valentina Terehkiva first civilian and woman in space; 1963
Soviets replace Khrushchev and cancel Voskkod 3 and 4, ending the Soviets' string of many firsts; 1960s
The many tests by the Soviets on their moon program were failures, only one test flight out of five were successful, bringing tortoises. They canceled their moon program by 1970 after

2 successful American moon landings
; 1967-1968
Apollo 8 orbits the moon; 1968
Apollo 11 lands on the moon and successfully returns.
First space station, Salyut 1; 1971
Apollo-
Soyuz

Test

Project;

1975
The tide turned and eventually the
UN
forces pushed back in a counter attack and event past the 38th Parallel all the way up to the Yula River.

Then the
PRC (Communist China)
joined and helped the
North Koreans
pushing the battlefront down to the 38th Parallel. The
USSR
also provided aid to the
North Koreans
. Finally , an armistice was signed on July 27, 1953, placing the border at the 38th Parallel, and the construction of the of the
Korean Demilitarized Zone (DMZ)
was commenced.
Minor incidents still continue to this day.
China's communist
government gained a huge amount of prestige by "defeating" a
western major power
, however it sealed the permanent existence of the democratic one (
Taiwan
). The war combined both
WW1 and WW2
tactics, beginning with a 'lightning war" and ending in a trench warfare.
South Korea
struggled but eventually prospered.
North Korea
is still the same...
Culture during the Cold War was severely affected by the constant threat of nuclear war and its apocalyptic aftermath. Movies like 'The Day the Earth Stood Still', 'Mad Max' and 'Red Dawn' became very popular and dealt with this theme.
Rock & Roll, Disco, Punk, and Jazz were very popular during the time period. Rock & Roll was shunned by parents who feared their kids were going to be influenced by the
Communists
. The
US
built various opera houses to impress
Europeans
with Classical music, yet the
Europeans
came to hear Rock & Roll, and even the
Soviets
themselves came like the genre. to Jazz was used by the
US Department of the State
to show off
American Democracy
and considered a 'democratic' musical genre.
John F. Kennedy
Fought during WW2 in the Pacific.
Represented Massachusetts in the U.S. House of Representatives; 1947 to 1953
US Senator; 1953 to 1960
Defeated Richard Nixon in the 1960 U.S. presidential election.
At 43, he is the youngest to have been elected to the office.
A Catholic, Kennedy is the only non-Protestant president.
The Bay of Pigs Invasion, the Cuban Missile Crisis, the building of the Berlin Wall, the Space Race, the African-American Civil Rights Movement, and early stages of the Vietnam War.
Fidel Castro was a young lawyer in Cuba when General Batista overthrew the president of Cuba. This angered him, and for the next 7 years he tried to overthrow the Batista's government.
Castro led his first attack on July 26, 1953, against the military barracks in Santiago, but he was defeated and arrested. Castro was sentenced 15 years in prison. However, he was released on 1955 by Batista to show his supreme power. His second attack was on December 2, 1956, he was defeated again by Batista's army and fled to the Sierra Maestra. Finally, his third attack, with the help of their rebellious Cubans, Castro made Batista flee the country.
Fidel Castro soon suspended all elections and named himself "President for Life." He established a communist government with himself as a dictator and began relations with the Soviet Union.
At first the United States supported Castro but when he embraced communism, the U.S. attempted to overthrow him. On April 17, 1961, at Cuba's Bay of Pigs, there was a battle between U.S. sponsored Cuban exiles and the Cuban armed forces.
The Cuban Revolution was a turning point in recent history. Because of Castro, Cuba became an important player in the global power of the Soviet Union and the severity of the Cold War. His status as dictator is highly opposed by many nations because of the violations of human rights practiced under his rule.
The Collapse of the Soviet Union
In December 1991, the world saw in amazement as the U.S.S.R. disintegrated into 15 different countries. The United States celebrated as its enemy was brought to its knees, officially ending the Cold War.

After the Bolshevik Revolution of 1917, the newly-formed government developed a philosophy of socialism with the gradual transition to Communism. The state which the Bolsheviks created was intended to overcome national differences, and rather to create one nation based on a centralized economical and political system. This state, which was built on a Communist ideology, was eventually transformed into a totalitarian state, in which the Communist leadership had complete control over the country.
By 1985,
Mikhail Gorbachev
, the
Soviet Union’s
last leader, the country was in a situation of severe stagnation, with deep economic and political problems which needed to be addressed. Recognizing this, Gorbachev introduced 2 policies for reform.
Glasnost
- increased freedom of speech.
Perestroika
- 'Rebuilding' an economic reform.
Gorbachev did not realize that by giving people complete freedom of expression, he was unwittingly unleashing emotions and political feelings that had been pent up for decades, and which proved to be extremely powerful when brought out into the open. Also, his policy of economic reform did not have the immediate results he had hoped for and had publicly predicted. The Soviet people consequently used their newly given freedom of speech to criticize Gorbachev for his failure to improve the economy.
However, the task of creating a unified, centralized socialist state proved a huge problem for several reasons.
The Soviets underestimated how much non-Russians would resist assimilating into Russian culture (more than fifty percent of the total population of the Soviet Union wasn't Russian)
Their economic planning failed to meet the needs of their own people, which was caught up in a vicious arms race with the United States. This led to economic decline.
The ideology of Communism, which the Soviet Government worked to instill in the hearts and minds of its population, never took firm root, and eventually lost whatever influence it had originally carried.
Questions still arise as to who really won the Cold War, some say the
United States
. However, the only reason they won is because the
Soviet Union
collapsed, if it never did the Cold War would still be going on... or worse we could be all dead in a nuclear wasteland.
The Cold War, was a war like no other and in one way or another it still affects us to this very day.
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