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The Cold War

1950s
by

Tim Kanak

on 26 February 2013

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Transcript of The Cold War

Tensions escalated between the United States and the Soviet Union by the end of World War II due to differing post-war goals and natural friction between the Democratic/Capitalist and Communist ways of life. The Cold War The Soviet people feared Lenin's theory that Capitalist nations would attempt to destroy communism. The End of Isolationism U.S. leaders believed World War II was caused by the Great Depression and came to the conclussion international trade (world wide capitalism) was the key to world peace. This belief led to further stress between the United States and the Soviet Union, as the United States adopted the policy of spreading democracy and free interprise. The Yalta Conference Before the end of World War II, in Feb. 1945, Roosevelt, Churchill and Stalin met at Yalta, in the Soviet Union to discuss post-war plans. The Declaration of Liberated Europe was agreed upon, stating the "right of all people to choose their form of government." The leaders agreed to divide Germany into four zones. The zones would be controlled by the United States, the Soviet Union, Great Britain and France. Berlin, though in the Soviet Zone, was also divided among the nations. Aggressive Expansion of Communism Two weeks after the Declaration of Liberated Europe was signed, the Soviet Union pressured the King of Romania into appointing a Communist government. Following this, the Soviet Union attempted to pressure Poland into transforming into a Communist state without free elections. In July 1945, Truman met Stalin for the first time at the Potsdam Conference. Truman took a firm stance against heavy reparations of Germany and bullied Stalin into a deal by explaining the success of the atom bomb test. The Iron Curtain The Soviet Union failed to uphold the Declaration of Liberated Europe and maintained military presence in Eastern European nations, forcing these nations to transform to Communist governments. The Potsdam Conference marked another increase in tensions between the United States and Soviet Union, paving the way for the Cold War. The Communist nations of Eastern Europe became known as satellite nations. Although not directly under Soviet control, they had to remain Communist and Soviet allies. Winston Churchill "From Stettin in the Baltic to Trieste in the Adriatic, an iron curtain has descended across the continent. Behind that line lie all the capitals of the ancient states of central and Eastern Europe...All are subject, in one form or another, not only to Soviet influence, but to a very high and increasing measure of control from Moscow." March 5, 1946 in Fulton Missouri. U.S. Containment Policy (1946-1947) The Long Telegram - Diplomate George Kennan explained his views on Soviet goals stating a "Russian sense of insecurity" and fear of the West made it impossible to come to diplomatic agreement. U.S. foreign policy should be a "long-term, patient, but firm and vigilant containment of communist expansion." Only a matter of time before Soviet communism falls apart. Crisis in Iran - Soviets want access to Middle Eastern oil. Truman Doctrine - Aid nations fighting communism. Marshall Plan - Aid (economical rebuilding) European nations affected by war. The Berlin Airlift West Germany was founded in early 1948, because Soviets deliberately attempted to undermine the German economy. In response the United States, Great Britain and France merged their zones. The Berlin Airlift - In 1948, in response to the merging of U.S./UK/FR zones the Soviet Union cut off all road and rail traffic to West Berlin. For 11 months, cargo planes supplied West Berlin with food, medicine and coal until Stalin lifted the blockade May 12, 1949. NATO and the Warsaw Pact The blockade of Berlin convinced the United States and their European allies the Soviets were bent on communist conquest. NATO - The North Atlantic Treaty Organization was formed in April of 1949. If any nation in the alliance was attacked, the others would come to their aid. Warsaw Pact - The Soviets responded by organizing a military alliance in Eastern Europe. Chinese Civil War Mao Zedong - Led Communist forces in China against the Nationalist government since the 1920s. Chiang Kai-shek - Led the Nationalist forces. The two sides suspended the civil war during World War II to resist Japanese occupation. Chinese Nationalists fled to the small island of Taiwan, creating the democratic Republic of China. The U.S. attempted to prevent the Communist revolution, sending the Nationalist government aid, but by 1949 the Communists were victorious, establishing the People's Republic of China. China and the Soviet Union formed an alliance, while the United States only maintained diplomatic relations with Taiwan. The Korean War Post-WWII, the United States and the Soviet Union entered Korea to disarm the Japanese troops. Korea was split into two areas of control at the 38th parallel. U.S. troops controlled South Korea and Soviet troops controlled North Korea. On June 25, 1950, North Korean troops invaded the south. The Soviet Union had run successful atomic bomb tests in 1949, thus eliminating the U.S. advantage. General MacArthur led UN troops on a surprise attack at the port of Inchon and pushed the North Koreans back, past their borders to the Yalu River on the Chinese border. China Enters the Korean War China warned the UN to halt their advance into North Korea, when ignored hundreds of thousands of Chinese troops launched a massive attack, driving UN troops back to the 38th parallel. MacArthur demanded permission to expand the war, but Truman declined, refusing to go to war with China or to use the atom bomb. Truman committed the U.S. to a policy of limited war - a war fought to achieve a limited objective, such as containing communism. MacArthur was fired and the war settled down with an armistice agreed upon in July, 1953. "The Forgotten War" The Korean War is often known as the "Forgotten War," because of the small importance the war played on an international scale. More than 33,000 American soldiers were KIA throughout the Korean War. Build Up to War Part 1 (HONORS) 2. Based upon the information in the document, why did the United States enter the Korean conflict? Read the document regarding U.S. entrance into the war and answer the following questions: 1. What type of document is this and what is it's purpose? 3. What does Truman mean when saying "Communism has passed beyond the use of subversion to conquer independent nations? Build Up to War Part 2 (Honors) Pravda also stated, "Truman's statement and actions, unprecedented in the international relations of the post-war period, are just one more indication that the American ruling circles no longer limit themselves to preparation for aggression, but have gone over to direct acts of aggression... as is known neither the United Nations nor any other international organ empowered the government of the USA to take those actions related to Korea and China that Truman announced yesterday. Undertaking their open aggressive act, the American government apparently intended to present the United Nations with a fait accompli." In response to Truman's statement, the Soviet newspaper Pravda blamed the Korean conflict on a "provactive attack by the troops of the puppet government of South Korea." Write a short essay (3 paragraphs) comparing and contrasting Truman's statement to Pravda's editorial above. Use direct evidence from both sources. The Creation of Israel European and American guilt over the Holocaust, where approximately six million Jewish people were systematically exterminated, led to a UN vote on November 29, 1947, to establish a Jewish state. Fait Accompli - a thing accomplished and presumably irreversible. Great Britain held mandate over Palastine after World War I and forbade entry of European Jews into Palastine during World War II. United States Support of Israel FDR had been against the formation of a Jewish state, promising Arab nations in 1945 the United States would consult both Arabs and Jews before voting to form a Jewish state. Immediately following the war, Truman approved UN recommendations to allow Jewish citizens to immigrate to Palestine. The state of Israel was established on May 14, 1948 and recognized the same day by President Truman, against the recommendation of the British government. 1948 Arab-Israeli War Israel was victorious, signing an armistice with the Arab nations in April of 1949, giving the new nation an additional 60 percent of Palestine's territory. The day following the establishment of Israel, May 15, 1948, Israel was attacked by the Palestinian backed Arab forces of Egypt, Syria, Transjordan, Lebanon, Iraq, Saudi Arabia and Yemen. Israeli Land Gains Is this fair to Palestinians? Why do Arabs have to pay in land for the guilt of Europeans? Suez (War) Crisis The United Nations (UN) On April 25, 1945 representitives from 50 nations designed and agreed to the UN charter, or constitution. The goal of the UN is to keep international peace and security through diplomacy and if necessary through military force. The UN has a Security Council with 11 members, six rotating members and five permanent members who led the fight against the Axis (each of the five permenent members have the power to veto decisions). Permanent members of the UN Security Council: Britain, France, China, the Soviet Union and the United States. Egypt seized conrol of the Suez Canal, nationalized it and closed the canal to Israeli shipping. In response Israeli, British and French forces invaded Egypt without approval from the United States. Egyptians began to receive Soviet support, recognizing Communist People's Republic of China. The United States, wanting to maintain alliances with Arab (oil) nations via the Eisenhower Doctrine, pressured Israel, Britain and France to withdraw their forces. Results of the Suez Crisis Britain is no longer considered a "super power" after this incident, creating a bi-polar world system between the United States and the Soviet Union. 1956 1957 Damaged UN reputation among Arab nations. The Red Scare The scare began in September 1945, when Soviet clerk Igor Gouzenko defected. He revealed a massive effort by the Soviet Union to inflitrate U.S. government agencies to obtain information about the atomic bomb. This incident led to a public fear of Communist subversion. Subversion - The effort to secretly weaken a society and overthrow its government. Loyalty Review Program - Was established to screen all federal employees. Rather than calming suspicion, Truman's action seemed to escalate fears of Communist infiltration. House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC) FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover urged HUAC to expose anyone engaging in "un-American activities. The FBI wiretapped thousands of telephones. Whittaker Chambers, a former Communist, identified several government officials as Communists or spies in 1948. The most prominent official named was Alger Hiss. Hiss denied accusations, until Chambers produced copies of secret documents he hid in a hollowed out pumpkin, claiming he was telling the truth. Hiss was convicted of perjury - lying under oath. Communist Witch Hunt Joseph R. McCarthy - A senator from Wisconsin was the ringleader of these witch hunts. Searching for disloyalty based on flimsy evidence and irrational fears. Project Verona - In 1946 American cryptographers cracked the Soviet spy code of the time, enabling them to read messages confirming extensive Soviet spying. Julius and Ethel Rosenberg - New York couple charged with heading a Soviet spy ring in 1950. The couple denied charges, but were condemned to death for espionage and executed in 1953. McCarthyism "While I cannot take the time to name all the men in the State Department who have been named members of a spy ring, I have here in my hand a list of 205 that were known to the Secretary of State as being members of the Communist Party and who nevertheless are still working and shaping the policy of State Department. McCarthyism - McCarthy's tactic of damaging reputations with vague and unfounded charges. A list never appeared and after gaining popular support based on fear in 1952, McCarthy made a fool of himself during the televised Army-McCarthy hearings in 1954. After the hearings the Senate passed a vote of censure, or formal disapproval against McCarthy. Fear of the Bomb Fear escalated when the Soviet Union successfully tested the powerful hydrogen bomb (H-bomb) in 1953. Increased fear led to the McCarran Act, allowing for the arrest and detention of Communists and Communist sympathizers in the case of national emergency. For every person killed by the original nuclear blast, four more would die later from fallout - the radiation left over from a blast. Families with enough money built backyard fallout shelters and stocked them with canned food. "Duck-and-Cover" Drill Building up the Nuclear Arsenal When Eisenhower took over he re-vamped the defense policy. Instead of maintaining a large, expensive army he stated nuclear weapons give "more bang for the buck." Eisenhower realized small wars could not contain communism after the Korean War and adopted the policy of massive retaliation - use of nuclear weapons would deter Communists from seizing territory by force. Cut military spending from $50 billion to $34 billion. Increased America's nuclear arsenal from about 1,000 bombs in 1953 to 18,000 bombs in 1961. Secretary of State John Foster Dulles formed a policy of brinkmanship - the willingness to go to the brink of war to force the other side to back down. Nuclear Deterrence at Work Korean War - Threat of nuclear war via Eisenhower and Dulles policy led to an armistace, containing Communism. Taiwan Crisis - Communist China threatened to seize the Nationalist islands, but Eisenhower hinted at nuclear retaliation, forcing China to back down. Containment of Communism also took place through covert means (subversion) via the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). CIA operations primarily took place in developing nations (formerly third world countries). U.S. (democratic) favoring leaders were put into positions of power, whereas communist leaders were deposed. Operations took place in Central America and the Middle East. Sputnik and The Space Race Stalin died in 1953, likely from poisoning and a power struggle erupted in the Soviet Union. Nikita Krushchev emerged by 1956 as the new leader of the Soviet Union. The United States was the first to develop intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) and submarines capable of launching nuclear missiles, but on October 4, 1957, the Soviets launched Sputnik. Sputnik was the first artificial triumph to satellite the orbit of Earth. U.S. Response to Sputnik The Soviet technological triumph alarmed many Americans, fearing the Soviet Union was winning the war. The following year, Congress created the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) to coordinate research in rocket science and space exploration. Congress passed the National Defense Education Act, providing funds for education and training in science, math and foreign languages. On May 1, 1960 a U-2 spy plane was shot down over the Soviet Union. The U.S. denied the incident happened until the Soviets produced pilot Francis Gary Powers. The incident increased tensions between the two super-powers and embarrassed the United States on the international level. Eisenhower Domestic Policy Eisenhower limited federal control over businesses and advocated the passing of large government projects to create jobs. Federal Highway Act - In 1956 Congress passed the largest public works program in U.S. history. 10-year, 40,000 miles of interstate. "Economy of Abundance" - economist John Kenneth Galbraith stated improved technologies and postwar prosperity led to a higher standard of living. The average income of Americans trippled from 1940 to 1955. New technology led to a growing number of white-collar jobs and declining blue-collar industry. Rise of Consumerism Rise in mulinational corporations - Increase in corporate profit by moving location and employing cheaper labor pool - competitive business on the rise. Franchises - Chains, familiarity, rise in advertising. Sociologist David Riseman argued franchises and corporate takeover led to conformity - obsession with winning approval of others. "Keeping up with the Joneses" Suburban Growth Levittown, New York - One of the earliest new suburbs. Bill Levitt was the driving force behind planned residential communities. Suburbs became increasingly popular throughout the 1950s, accounting for about 85 percent of new home construction. Many considered suburbs to be another sign of American tendency to learn toward conformity. The Baby Boom Baby Boom - From 1945 to 1961, more than 65 milion children were born in the United States. Factors: Veterans returning from war starting families. Popular culture celebrated pregnancy, parenthood and large families. Post-war emphasis on the nuclear family and role of woman as homemaker. Assumption a good mother stays at home to take care of children. Advances in Medicine Mass production of antibiotics to fight infection. New drugs to combat arthritis, diabetes, cancer and heart disease. Groundbreaking advances in surgical techniques. Jonas Salk developed an injectable vaccine preventing polio, which had been running rampant. In 1946 scientists working under a U.S. Army contract developed one of the nation's first computers. Advances in Technology Space Race: Less than four months after Sputnik, on January 31, 1958, the United States launched its own satelite from Cape Canaveral. What Things Cost in 1950 Car: $1,750 ($30,303) Gasoline: 27 cents per gallon ($3.65 per gallon) House: $14,500 ($304,000) Bread: 14 cents per loaf ($2.00) Milk: 82 cents per gallon ($3.53) Average Annual Salary: $3,800 ($26,364) Minimum Wage: 75 cents per hour ($7.25) Age of Television In 1946 there were only 7,000-8,000 T.V.'s in the entire United States. By 1957 there were 40 million television sets in us, over 80 percent of families had televisions. Westerns, sitcoms, game shows and variety shows such as Ed Sullivan's "Toast of the Town" were watched almost religiously. Rock 'n' Roll In Cleveland, Ohio - 1951, DJ Alan Freed was the first to play Rock 'n' Roll over the airwaves. The Beatnik Movement The beatniks or beats sought to live unconventional lives as fugitives from the conforming American culture they despised. Elvis Presley rose to fame among U.S. teens in 1956 and became known as the "King of Rock 'n' Roll" Talented African American rock 'n' roll singers Chuck Berry, Ray Charles, Little Richard, the Shirelles and more provided information for the Beatles and Elvis. The cultural separation between children and their parents became known as the generation gap. The name comes from the feeling among group members of being "beaten down" by American culture. Allen Ginsberg and Jack Kerouac are famous writers of the beat movement.
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