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Cold War 1945-2000

timeline of significant events during this period.

Sian Ainsworth

on 14 November 2012

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Transcript of Cold War 1945-2000

20th Cent Timeline German History Docs. 2012. "The Yalta (Crimea) Conference." http://germanhistorydocs.ghi-dc.org/sub_image.cfm?image_id=1003 accessed 2/7/12 Yalta conference Held in February 4-11th, 1945 in Yalta, Ukraine, this conference between representatives from England, USA and the USSR aimed primarily to resolve the issue of Poland - arguably the cause of the Cold War. Hitler had clearly lost WWII, although the war was not yet over, therefore a decision regarding German occupied territory needed to be made. How was land to be divided between the Allies? Stalin argued Poland should belong to the USSR because it was a proven threat to the USSR national security. Western leaders Churchill and Roosevelt conceded the point however were not happy about the expansion of Communism, an ideology which the West was terrified of. The leaders agreed that Stalin could take control of Poland if he did not interfere with Greece which was in Britain's and democracy's interest. It was at Yalta that the agreement to split Germany into 4 sections, one for each country, was formed. May 1945 in the Berlin suburb of Potsdam.
Truman, Churchill (to be replaced through election by Attlee) and Stalin, the leaders of the US, UK and USSR respectively, met to discuss reparations, Germany's punishment and Soviet dominance in Eastern Europe. Churchill was replaced midway through the conference, being voted out as Prime Minister, and Truman and Stalin had heavily conflicting values. The US had also successfully tested an atomic bomb which gave Truman immense power and caused Stalin to tread carefully. Whilst Truman was hesitant to cripple Germany, remembering the Treaty of Versailles, Stalin wanted revenge and demanded German devastation. Stalin had set up a communist regime in Poland, against Polish wishes, and controlled much of Eastern Europe - Truman, unhappy about the expansion of communism, disapproved. Complete agreement was not achieved at Potsdam. Potsdam Conference The 'iron curtain' was coined by Winston Churchill in a 1946 speech during which US President Truman was present. He was referring to the domination of Communism in Eastern Europe, a result of USSR influence. This domination was described as an 'iron curtain' due to the social, military and ideological barrier between communist nations and Western nations. Communist nations were thoroughly oppressed by the government and travel in/out of these countries became very difficult, establishing the isolation and restricted information typical of communism. This curtain was strong, although weakened by Stalin's death in 1953 it was still felt until the collapse of the Berlin Wall in 1989. The Iron Curtain The The Truman Doctrine was an ideology of US President Truman to help nations threatened with Communism in order to arrest its spread throughout the world, it was known as 'containment'. The principle began in 1947 when British troops were forced to leave the vulnerable Greek democracy due to lack of funds, the US under Truman stepped in to fund the security against communism. Truman told US citizens it was their 'duty' to financially or militarily aid countries who are threatened with the disease of communism, so popular at the time and so hated by Western citizens. The Truman Doctrine Marshall Aid was the US response to the devastation of European infrastructure as a result of WWII, offering a US$17 billion contribution to all countries. Stalin thoroughly despised this action, forbidding all Communist nations to partake in the scheme. Named after US Secretary of State, George Marshall, the Marshall Plan aimed to establish economic stability, thus prompting political stability and lessening the Communist threat, as well as protecting the U.S. market which traded with Europe. Marshall Aid The 'Berlin Blockade' was a Soviet ploy to starve the West Berliners therefore forcing the greater West, meaning the US and UK, to comply to Stalin's communist demands. However this failed because although roads had been blocked, new technology allowed planes to airlift supplies across thus foiling the USSR's plans and winning a battle for democracy. Berlin Blockade Nato Harry S. Truman. 2012. "Harry Truman and the Potsdam Conference" http://www.trumanlibrary.org/teacher/potsdam.htm accessed 7/7/12 John. D. Clare. 2012 "Truman Doctrine/Marshall Plan" http://www.johndclare.net/cold_war8.htm accessed 7/7/12 Encyclopedia Britannia. 2012. "Iron Curtain." http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/294419/Iron-Curtain accessed 7/7/12 Alpha History. 2012. "Marshall Plan" http://inside.alphahistory.com/coldwar/marshallplan.htm accessed 7/7/12 Alpha History. 2012. "NATO and the Warsaw Pact" http://inside.alphahistory.com/coldwar/natoandthewarsawpact.htm accessed 7/7/12 Alpha History. 2012. "Nato and the Warsaw Pact" http://inside.alphahistory.com/coldwar/natoandthewarsawpact.htm accessed 7/7/12 As opposed to previous treaties ensuring Nazism was destroyed, the defensive North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) was formed in 1949 to maintain Western democracy and freedom, and to fight communism. The US, UK, Canada, Belgium, France, Italy, Portugal, Greece, Turkey, West Germany, Luxembourg, Holland, Denmark and Norway ratified the treaty, agreeing “an armed attack against one or more of them… shall be considered an attack against them all”. Known as the 'antidote to fear', NATO's refusal to accept the Soviets led to a similar treaty of the communist nation, known as the Warsaw Pact. Feb 4-11, 1945 May 1945 1946 March 1947 June 1947 June 1948 - May 1949 4 April 1949 McCarthyism Joseph McCarthy, a Senator from Wisconsin, began a culture of fear and distrust in the U.S. Without evidence or veritable reason besides hearsay, McCarthy would call for the arrest of citizens, even includng the President at one stage, on the grounds of Communist memberships. McCarthy exploited public fear of the Reds in order to arrest thousands of innocent men and women, using propaganda to encourage 'dobbing in' of people closest to you. His power over Americans, founded on lies, was ended by Edward Murrow who thoroughly denounced him and effectively ended his career. Spartacus Education. 2012. "Mccarthyism." http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/USAmccarthyism.htm accessed 1/8/12 Feb 1950 - Dec 1954 Korean War 1950 - 1953 Arms Race 1949 -1969 Cuban Missile Crisis 16 - 28 Dec 1962 Vietnam War 1961 - 1975 Although the Vietnamese had been fighting for independence against the French since 1946, 1961 marks the beginning of the War for many Americans, as it was the death of the first US troop in Vietnam. Similar to Korea, Vietnam was divided into a war between capitalist and communism in the South and North respectively. Both leaders of Vietnam were uundesirable and brutal - Ho Chi Minh led the North Vietnamese whilst South Vietnam was led by Ngo Dinh Diem. Overall, the war in Vietnam, particularly US involvement, was hugely unpopular, possibly as a result of media and photos being publicised such as above, and resulted in the expansion of communism. Eventually, due to the large casualties and bad press in Western countries, US troops withdrew in 1969 and South Vietnam surrendered in 1975 - creating the Socialist Republic of Vietnam. Brown vs Board of Education 1954 Emmett Till 1955 Little Rock, Arkansas 1957 Greensboro sit-ins 1960 Freedom Riders 1961 James Meredith enrols @ Mississipi University 1962 March on Washington
"I Have a Dream" 1963 Freedom Summer ; Civil Rights Act 1964 Malcolm X assassination ; Bloody Sunday ; Voting Rights Act 1965 Black Panther Party 1966 Martin Luther King Jr assassination 1968 The Korean War was the first major conflict following WWII and the beginning of a series of 'tests' for the UN. As a result of Allied victory in WWII North Korea was in USSR hands and South Korea in US hands. Eventually this led to a Soviet attack and US, backed by UN as Stalin was boycotting the the UN and could not veto the decision, defended. Known as the 'war without victory' because both sides conceded to an armstice, settling at the 39th parallel, neither side gaining ground. North and South Korea are in conflict to this day. Veterans Affairs Canada. 2012. "Korean War Summary" http://www.veterans.gc.ca/eng/teach_resources/korwebquest/grp02/korsum accessed 6/9/12 During Kennedy's presidency, US intelligence found evidence of USSR nuclear missiles kept in Cuba. The knowledge that both the US and USSR had nuclear weapons and Mutually Assured Destruction (MAD) if used, heightened the tension. Kennedy decided to quarantine Cuba - placing the navy in the path of USSR ships trying to reach Cuba. The fate of the world at stake, Soviets agreed, after 13 tense days, to move its weapons out of Cuba if the US moved their weapons out of Turkey. JFK Library. 2012. "Cuban Missile Crisis" http://www.jfklibrary.org/JFK/JFK-in-History/Cuban-Missile-Crisis.aspxaccessed 6/9/12 Anzac Day. 2012. "Vietnam Overview" http://www.anzacday.org.au/history/vietnam/overview.html accessed 6/9/12 The Space Race. 2012. "Timeline of Soace Exploration" http://www.thespacerace.com/timeline/ accessed 6/9/12 Both the US and USSR sought global supremacy, thus pitting themselves in a race to be the first to evolve nuclear weapons and 'discover space'. Whilst US detonated its first atomic bomb in 1945, the Soviets had caught up by 1949. The US in 1952, follwed by the USSR in 1953, detonate a H-bomb (1000 x strgonger than atmoic bomb) and if used against one another Mutually Assured Destruction (MAD) would ensue. The Cuban Missile Crisis (see box) exposed the need for a treaty to ban nuclear weapons so as to save global citizens from mass death. Signed in 1963, the USA and USSR aggred not to test more nuclear weapons by ratifying the Nuclear Test Ban Treaty. In 1957 when the Soviets released Sputnik into space, symbolising the first 'move' in the space race with the US however the US ultimately won, landing on the moon in 1969. CORE. 2012. "Brown v Board" http://www.core-online.org/History/brown_vs_board.htm accessed 6/9/12 American Experience. 2012. "Impact of Emmett Till's Death" http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/amex/till/peopleevents/e_impact.html accessed 6/9/12 American Experience. 2012. "Little Rock Nine"http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/amex/eyesontheprize/profiles/44_little_rock.htmlaccessed 6/9/12 International Civil Rights Center and Museum. 2012. "The Greensboro Chronology." www.sitinmovement.org/history/greensboro-chronology.asp accessed 6/9/12 CORE. 2012."The Freedom Riders" http://www.core-online.org/History/freedom%20rides.htm accessed 6/9/12 U.S Marshals Service. 2012. "Integration fo the University of Mississipi" http://www.usmarshals.gov/history/miss/02.htm accessed 6/9/12 The Social Welfare History Project. 2012. "March on Washington D.C." http://www.socialwelfarehistory.com/eras/march-on-washington/ accessed 6/9/12 This was a landmark legal case fighting for desegregation in schools. The parents of a black girl decided to challenge the constitutionality of the state law of school segregation - 'equal but separate'. The court ruled that it was constitutional to intergrate schools thus advancing the civil rights cause. The was arguably one the most important legal decisions of the movement. Emmett Till was a 14 year old boy from Chicago visiting his family in the South. After 'sweet talking' a white girl in town which is illegal according to the Jim Crow laws. He is kidnapped in the night, beaten and lynched by white supremists. All the murderers were acquitted despite compelling evidence. This was considered the beginning of the civil rights movement. The Montgomery bus boycott began as a black activist, Rosa Parks, was arrested for refusing to abide by the highly discriminatory bus laws. As a result of the abuse and demeaning treatment of blacks despite Negroes being the main users of public transport, they decided to collectively avoid using them. This was extremely successful and led to a change in the law. Montgomery Boycott. 2012. "Overview" http://www.montgomeryboycott.com/article_overview.htm accessed 13/9/12 Montgomery
Bus Boycott As a result of the court ruling of intergration in schools, 9 black students enrolled in Little Rock High School. The community did not support the law and as the 9 entered, a mobgathered and hurled racist abuse at them whilst the National Guard blocked their entry. Eventually Eisenhower ordered paratroopers to the school to protect the students and allow them in. The Greensboro sit-ins were a series of non-violent protests aimed at integration. They began with 4 black university students ate lunch at the white only counter of the shop. Onlookers copied their example all over the South, facing abuse, heckling and taunting as well as police action at times. This was highly successful and resulted in the desegregation of many lunch counters. It also ignited similar movements such as read-ins at segregated libraries and wade-ins at segregated pools. After having his University of Mississippi application refused numerous times, Meredith took the Uni to court with the backing of the NAACP, challenging the legality of this. The Supreme Court agreed with him and he was consequently allowed to enter the University of one of the most segregated states in the US. 3 times Kennedy sent federal deputies with guns (unloaded) with Meredith in order to register him but each time was met with state troopers and police. Finally, Kennedy decided to send 538 deputies with Meredith to register him. They were met with violence (including gunfire) - 160 deputies were injured trying to protect Meredith. He was provided with 24 hour protection for the next year, throughout heckling, taunts, trash being thrown etc. Meredith went on to graduate and continued his activism. 250,000 people, both white and black, peacefully marched to Washington to promote black civil rights. Televised to millions and one of the most famous speeches of all time, Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. made his "I have a dream" speech, inspiring millions to stand up for their rights and provided a non-violent symbol of African-Americans rising from their oppression. It was a huge success and the 'high tide' of the civil rights movement. The Freedom Riders were a collection of white and African-American civil rights activists, aiming to expose and end the blatantly discriminatory Jim Crow laws still present in the South and abhorred by all that fight for equality. Organised by CORE (Congress of Racial Equality), volunteers decided to desgregate buses in the Deep South by travelling together in two buses through the most stubbornly racist states. These people faced unprecedented violence yet the journey continued. The images of brutal white mobs were circulated throughout the country and brought widespread support and pressure on the authorities to desegregate buses - these integration laws were passed that November. Amistad Resources. 2012. "Mississippi Freedom Summer." http://www.amistadresource.org/civil_rights_era/mississippi_freedom_summer.html accessed 29/9/12 The 1964 Freedom Summer campaign was organised by a collaboration of SNCC, NAACP and SCLC to end the political disenfranchisement of African-Americans in the state with the lowest registration of African-American voters - Mississippi. Almost 1000 white and African-American college students from the North were encouraged to come down to Mississippi, stay in African-American homes and work to increase education, literacy and most importantly, voter registration. These volunteers faced hostility from white Mississippians, with the 3 notorious murders of Chaney, Goodman and Schwerner in the first week of the summer. These murders attracted widespread national and international attention because Goodman and Schwerner were both white. This campaign was at first not entirely successful, with only 1,600 African-American voters being registered whilst 17,000 applied, it did provide the impetus for the 1965 Voting Rights Act. The Selma March, from Selma to Montgomery, was led by Martin Luther King in Alabama in order to raise national attention to black voting rights. The first march on Feb 1 was met with extreme violence from the police on the 600 unarmed, peaceful marchers. On March 9, they marched once more but Martin Luther King decided to halt the march at the bridge knowing violence was imminent and deciding a symbolic march was preferred. On March 21 another march was planned, the federal court forbidding Alabama to prevent the march, this time with 29,000 activists. This last march was very successful and raised awareness. Amistad Resources. 2012. "Civil Rights Era." http://www.amistadresource.org/civil_rights_era/malcolm_x.html accessed 29/9/12 Malcolm X was a prominent black leader, equal to Martin Luther King Jr. Whilst they had ideological differences, Malcolm X advocated nationalism and black supremacy and Martin Luther King Jr advocated peaceful integration, they both had a profound impact on the civil rights movement. Malcolm X was assassinated in 1965 due to his high political profile and because, nearing the end of his life, he changed to view all people both white and black as equals thus becoming more humanistic. Malcolm X's influence, along with some others, created the 'black power' movement. The most notorious of these organisations, was the Black Panther group. Led by Huey. P. Newton, the Black Panthers symbolised anti-white sentiment and were essentially a militia group. They promoted a revolution into African-American supremacy and violently supported this end. They opposed Martin Luther King Jr's proposition of peaceful integration and, having such non-peaceful objectives, were considered a huge internal security threat to the USA government. Black Panther. 2012. "Legacy." http://www.blackpanther.org/Legacy1.html accessed 29/9/12 Nobel Prize. 2012. "Martin Luther King Jr Biography." http://www.nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/peace/laureates/1964/king-bio.html accessed 29/9/12 Martin Luther King Jr was the greatest asset of the civil rights movement. He was the symbol of the civil rights movement and an international leader. Advocating peaceful demonstration, even when tested by the most horrific violence, MLK demonstrated his resolve that this cause is worth death. On april 4 he was assassinated but investigations have not led to any concise reason why was was killed. Despite his death, the movement continued to grow and integration became increasingly normal. Rwandan Genocide World Without Genocide. 2012. "Rwandan Genocide" http://worldwithoutgenocide.org/genocides-and-conflicts/rwandan-genocide accessed 9/10/12 The Rwandan genocide occurred in 1994 in a small country in the centre of Africa. The Hutus massacred more than 800,000 Tutsis ( and created more than 2 million refugees) in 100 days exactly. The country was divided by Belgian colonists into upper (a minority) and lower classes - the Tutsis and Hutus. The Tutsis ruled and oppressed the Hutus for decades however when Rwanda became decolonised, Belgian decided to place the majority ethnic group in power - now the Hutus had the power to avenge their suffering at the hands of the Tutsis. The RPF (Rwandan Patriotic Front) was a Tutsi militia group and was able to gain back power to stop the killing whilst the UN along with the rest of the world, looked on without action. The leader of the RPF, Paul Kagame became vice president and a Hutu, Bizimungu, president. The rehabilitation and conciliation between Rwandans continues to be as unexpected as it is inspiring. 1994 1993 Arusha Accord IMUNA. 2012. "Arusha Accords Rwanda" http://www.imuna.org/node/1080/Ugg%20Boots accessed 18/10/12 The Arusha Accords were a peace agreement signed between two warring ethnicities in Rwanda. Hutu President Habyarimana (pictured) and Paul Kagame leader of the Tutsi rebel group, the Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF) signed for peace in the midst of escalating violence between the Hutus and Tutsis. Whilst this is evidence of steps taken to avoid bloodshed between the aristocratic Tutsis and lower class Hutus, unfortunately many extremist Hutus did not agree with the peace agreement and a genocide ensued the following year.
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