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THE COLD WAR
Transcript of THE COLD WAR
THE COLD WAR (1945-1991)
HIROSHIMA AND NAGASAKI
IRON CURTAIN SPEECH
On March 5th, 1946, former British Prime Minister Winston Churchill delivered his Iron Curtain speech. In this speech, Churchill condemns the policies that the Soviet Union has in Europe and declares: “From Stettin in the Baltic to Trieste in the Adriatic, an iron curtain has descended across the continent.”
Many people consider this speech to be the beginning of the Cold War. Joseph Stalin, the leader of the Soviet Union, denounced this speech as "war mongering".
THE MARSHALL PLAN
The European Recovery Program, better known as the Marshall Plan, followed the Truman Doctrine in June 1947. It was designed to rebuild the stability and prosperity in Europe, including $13 billion in aid for Europe’s economic recovery. Underlying this plan was the belief that economic problems made Communist aggression more successful. The Soviets saw this as an attempt to buy the support of countries and responded to it by founding the Council for Mutual Economic Assistance. It failed, however, due to the fact that the Soviet Union could not provide the financial aid.
In April 1949, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization was formed when Belgium, Luxembourg, France, the Netherlands, Great Britain, Italy, Denmark, Norway, Portugal, and Iceland signed a treaty with the United States and Canada; they agreed to protect each other if any of them where attacked. West Germany, Turkey, and Greece later joined.
SOVIET UNION HAS A-BOMB
KOREAN WAR (1950-1953)
On August 6th, 1945, the United States dropped an atomic bomb on Hiroshima, Japan in an attempt to get them to surrender, bringing an end to World War II. When they didn't surrender, the U.S. dropped another atomic bomb in Nagasaki, Japan on August 9th, 1945; after this bomb was dropped, Japan surrendered and the war was officially over.
This event is significant to the Cold War because many people believe President Truman used the atomic bombs in an event to show the Soviet Union what the U.S. was capable of.
The Truman Doctrine was announced on March 12th, 1947 in response to the withdrawal of the British and the possibility of expansion from the Soviet Union into the eastern Mediterranean. It stated that the U.S. would provide money to countries that were threatened by communist expansion. Truman believed that if the Soviets weren't stopped in Greece, then communism would be spread throughout the free world.
Berlin was split into a Soviet-occupied zone, an American-occupied zone, a British-occupied zone and a French-occupied zone; the Soviets wanted all of Berlin for themselves, so in June, 1948, they closed off all highways, railroads and canals from western-occupied Germany into western-occupied Berlin. They thought this would stop the people living their from getting food or supplies and so they would eventually drive out the U.S., Britain, and France.This didn't work out because the U.S. and it's allies ended up supplying their sectors of the city from the air. This lasted more than a year and carried more than 2.3 million tons of cargo into West Berlin
On August 29th, 1949, the Soviet Union successfully detonated its first atomic bomb. They constructed buildings, bridges, and other civilian structures near the bomb in order to see it's effects. They also had animals in cages nearby to see how the atomic bomb affected human-like mammals.
The Korean War began on June 25, 1950 in an attempt by the Communist government of North Korea to take over South Korea. This confirmed the fears the United States had of communism being spread. The United States extended its military alliances around the world, determined to contain Soviet power. The war ended in July 1953.
On May 14, 1955, Soviet Union joined with Albania, Bulgaria, Czechoslovakia, East Germany, Hungary, Poland, and Romania joined in a formal military alliance. Like before WWI, the world was split up into hostile alliances again.
SOVIETS LAUNCH SPUTNIK
On October 4th, 1957, the Soviets sent the first human- made space satellite,Sputnik I, into orbit around the Earth.The public was afraid that if the Soviet Union could launch satellites, they could launch missiles. Immediately after Sputnik I was launched, funding for another U.S. satellite project was approved.
COMMUNIST TAKEOVER OF CUBA
In 1959, Fidel Castro, a left-wing revolutionary, overthrew the dictator of Cuba and set up a Soviet-supported totalitarian regime. President Kennedy approved a secret plan for Cuban exiles to invade Cuba, hoping to cause a revolt against Castro. It failed, however, when many of the exiles were either killed or captured when they attempted a landing at the Bay of Pigs.
JFK ANNOUNCES SPACE RACE
On May 25th, 1961, President Kennedy announced his decision to send an American safely to the Moon before the end of the decade. Kennedy felt pressured to overtake the Soviet Union in the "space race" and make up for the embarrassment of the failed invasion at the Bay of Pigs.
After the failed invasion of Cuba, the Soviet sent arms and military advisers and eventually they sent nuclear weapons. The U.S. didn't want nuclear weapons that close to the mainland so President Kennedy decided to blockade Cuba and prevent the fleet from reaching its destination. Khrushchev agreed that he would turn back the fleet and remove Soviet missiles from Cuba as long as Kennedy pledged not to invade Cuba; Kennedy quickly agreed to this, which ended up saving the U.S. from having short-range nuclear weapons used against them. A hotline communications system between Moscow and Washington, D.C., was installed a year later.
BERLIN WALL BUILT
East Germans who were tired of Communist repression fled to East Germany through West Berlin; Nikita Khrushchev, the new leader of the Soviet Union, saw the need top the flow of refugees from East Germany through West Berlin. As a result, the government of East Germany began to build a wall to separate West and East Berlin. The wall eventually became a huge barrier with barbed wire, floodlights, machine-gun towers, mine- fields, and vicious dog patrols. It became a symbol for the division of the two superpowers.
CUBAN MISSILE CRISIS
VIETNAM WAR (1964-1973)
In 1964, President Johnson increased the number of U.S. troops being sent to Vietnam so that they could keep the Communist regime of North Vietnam from gaining control of South Vietnam. U.S. policy makers thought that other Asian countries would fall to Communism if the United States failed to stop the Communists from succeeding in South Vietnam (domino theory). The United States failed to defeat the North Vietnamese despite having a superior military, and in 1973 President Nixon reached an agreement with North Vietnam’s leaders and the U.S. withdrew its armed forces.
APOLLO LANDS ON MOON
On July 20, 1969, NASA sent Apollo 11 to the moon with Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin, and Michael Collins. Eight years after President Kennedy's challenge to put someone on the moon before the end of the decade, the United States beat the Soviet Union in the Space Race.
NIXON VISITS CHINA
On February 21st, 1972, President Nixon went to China on an official trip. He was the first U.S. president to visit the People's Republic of China since its establishment in 1949. At this time in history, the U.S. was seeking to improve relations with a Communist country. Nixon met with Chinese Premier Zhou Enlai and they agreed to expand cultural contacts between their two nations and plans for a permanent U.S. trade mission in China were established.
SHAH OF IRAN OVERTHROWN, IRAN-HOSTAGE CRISIS
On November 4, 1979, the U.S. embassy in Tehran was stormed by a group of Iranian students who took more than 60 American hostages. This was the result of President Carter’s decision to let Iran’s deposed Shah, a pro-Western autocrat who had been expelled from his country a few months before, to come to the U.S. to get cancer treatment. The hostage-taking was a way that the student-revolutionaries could declare a break with Iran’s past and an end to American interference in its affairs; it also raised the intra- and international profile of the revolution’s leader.
GORBACHEV LEADS SOVIET UNION
In March 1985, Mikhali Gorbachev became general secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union and launched the nation onto a new course. His dual program of “perestroika” (“restructuring”) and “glasnost” (“openness”) introduced changes in economic practice, international relations, and internal affairs; within five years, Gorbachev's program not only swept communist governments throughout Eastern Europe from power and brought an end to the Cold War, it also unintentionally set up for the collapse of the Soviet Union.
BERLIN WALL DEMOLISHED
Tens of thousands of East Germans fled their country in the summer of 1989, while hundreds of thousands demanded the resignation of the hard-line Communist leader, Erich Honecker. On November 9th, 1989, a new East German government opened the wall and allowed the citizens to travel freely between West and East Berlin; the next day, government workers started knocking down the wall, joined later by thousands of West and East Berliners.
On October 3rd, 1990, West and East Germany reunited on what is known as “Unity Day.” Two months after the reunification, all-German elections took place and Helmut Kohl became the first chancellor of the reunified Germany. Many people see this as the end of the Cold War even though the dissolution of the Soviet Union wasn't until a year later.
SOVIET UNION ABOLISHED
On August 19th, 1991, a group of conservatives arrested Gorbachev and attempted to seize power; they failed when Boris Yeltsin, the president of the Russian Republic, along with thousands of Russians bravely resisted the rebel forces in Moscow. The Soviet republics now moved to have complete independence. Ukraine voted for independence on December 1, 1991, and a week later, the leaders of Russia announced that the Soviet Union had “ceased to exist.” Gorbachev resigned on December 25th, 1991, and Boris Yeltsin became the new Russian president.