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Chapter 26: East and West in the Grip of the Cold War

Lecture to accompany the text "The Essential World History" by William J. Duiker and Jackson J. Spielvogel

Jason Holloway

on 27 June 2014

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Transcript of Chapter 26: East and West in the Grip of the Cold War

2. Cold War in Asia
1. The Collapse of the Grand Alliance
Public undermines detente policies towards the end of the Carter years.
Reagan comes to office with harsh rhetoric, the evil empire, and action against communism.
Massive military buildup is started against the Soviets.
Reagan was an ardent supporter of the Star Wars program, what was it?
What was the purpose behind this program and the overall arms race?
Strong support by the Reagan government of anti-communist movements in the 3rd world.
The contras in Nicaragua for example.
Support of the mujahideen in Afghanistan, creating the Soviets' own Vietnam.
How was Europe divided at the end of World War II?
What happened to Eastern European governments in the first few years after the war?
In Yugoslavia local communists take over but refuse to tow the Stalinist line.
Future expansion of the Soviet Empire was possible but for now buffer states was sufficient.
Takeover of Eastern Europe was seen suspiciously and apprehensively in the West.
Winston Churchill's speech in 1946 about an Iron Curtain across Europe is seen as the beginning of the Cold War.
First potential east-west clash was over the Soviet occupation of Northern Iran, the Soviets ulimately back down.
In Greece a civil war between pro-Westerners and Communists threatened wider intervention.
In 1947 the British annouce they can no longer support the Greeks or Turks due to economic problems.
U.S. responds with the Truman Doctrine, essentially stating that the U.S. will support any and all states resisting communism.
West ultimately prevails in Greece but the Soviets were not really involved.
What was the Marshall Plan?
Why did the U.S. have a Marshall Plan?
Soviets thought that the Marshall Plan was an imperialist ploy.
Soviet and satellites refuse aid despite extensive need.
Soviets are unable and unwilling to offer an alternative.
In 1947 George Kennan advocates the policy of Soviet containment, Berlin Blockade will be the first test of this.
Excepting denazification and occupation zones, the Grand Alliance had agreed on little else in relation to Germany.
Westerners harder on denazification than the Soviets.
Soviets take industry, reparations, etc. from their part of Germany.
Soviets begin to install a communist government under Walter Ulbricht in their zone.
The western zones are gradually more and more unified economically and politically.
In response to these movements what do the Soviets do?
West doesn't seek direct conflict so they counter with the Berlin Airlift, which the Soviets likewise do little to impede.
The end result is the very real seperation and division of Europe into two camps reflected in Germany by the establishment of the FRG and the GDR in 1949.
Berlin is still divided and a source of contention.
In 1949 NATO is formed by what powers?
Soviets eventually form the Warsaw Pact in 1955.
Europe is again divided into competing alliances.
Who started the Cold War?
How have historians traditionally viewed the debate on who started the Cold War?
3. From Confrontation to Coexistence
4. An Era of Equivalence
Chapter 26: East and West in the Grip of the Cold War
Cold War in Asia takes off slightly later.
Soviets agree not to support Chinese communists, why?
Mistaken idea of the Soviet monolithic empire.
Chinese nationalists under Chiang Kai-shek are very unstable and weak.
Chinese relations with the west are strained as a result of World War II policies.
Communists are increasingly strong and successful.
They have a large army and most peasants support them
U.S. has a mixed opinion of Mao and his band.
In 1946 the Chinese Civil War resumes, most groups support the communists and the nationalists face massive numbers of troop defections.
In 1948 and 1949 the Chinese communists conquer the mainland and the nationalists flee to Taiwan.
Originally there is a lack of U.S. support for the Nationalists, though allegations are made of politicians being soft on communism.
Soviets are not really involved in the civil war despite thoughts overwise.
U.S. White Paper places blame for the defeat on Chiang Kai-shek.
U.S. public doesn't agree though and so NSC-68 is adopted in 1950 and containment begins in Asia.
Chinese desire not just to govern China but also to restore traditional borders and counter western influence in the region.
Communists take back Xinjiang and Tibet in 1950.
Ongoing conflict over Taiwan and also Korea.
There is a growing call in the U.S. to defend Taiwan from future communist advances.
The Korean War really starts the Cold War in Asia.
After World War II how is Korea divided?
North Koreans invade the south and the U.S. with U.N. support decides to invade.
Why is the U.N. able to vote for involvement despite the Soviet presence in the U.N. security council?
U.S. forces under Douglas MacArthur desire to eliminate the communists and reunite Korea under command of the south.
Nearing the Yalu river, Chinese "volunteer" forces attack and force U.S. troops back to the original front of the 38th parallel.
Why did China unofficially intervene?
What were the consequences of China's intervention?
MacArthur wants to bomb China and is dismissed.
Fighting goes on without real change for two more years until a ceasefire is agreed upon in 1953.
Other conflicts arise regardless of the ceasefire in Korea.
Ho Chi Minh seizes power after WWII in central and northern Vietnam and begins to fight the returning French.
The Soviets and the Americans are reluctant to get involved though for different reasons.
Chinese begin to support the Vietminh and the U.S. starts to slowly support but yet pressure the French.
The French are defeated in 1954 at Dien Bien Phu and sign a peace treaty withdrawing from Indochina.
What happens to an independent Indochina?
The U.S. containment zone now essentially includes a perimeter of South Korea, Japan, Taiwan, the Philippines, and South Vietnam.
Despite problems and nuclear arms, there is a growing desire to find accommodation.
After Stalin's death in 1953, Soviet leader's like Nikita Khrushchev aim for peaceful coexistence.
1955 Austria is restored and made neutral.
In Eastern Europe little Stalins had ruled since the end of the war.
These dictators ruled used Stalinist policies like what?
Many in Eastern Europe were deeply unhappy with this and Russian domination.
1953 revolt in East Berlin.
1956 unrest in Poland, harsh words and allowed reforms defuse situation.
1956 Hungary replaces their leader and a new government tries to adopt free elections and withdrawal from the Warsaw Pact?
What was the Soviet reaction to the Hungarian Revolution?
Despite U.S. promises to roll back communism and encourage revolts in Eastern Europe, the Americans do little to assist the revolution.
As a result of unrest, the Soviets begin to allow different the idea of different routes to Socialism to develop.
Growing tensions in the late 50s due to these revolts, the new Soviet ICBMs, and the perceived missle gap by the U.S. public.
Growing disagreements over West Berlin as well, why do the Soviets want the West to abandon Berlin so badly?
Nonetheless, some cultural exchanges begins and Khrushchev visits the U.S. where he engages in the famous Kitchen Debate.
Soviets also take advantage of decolonization.
Non-Aligned Movement formed in 1955.
The Soviets ally with many third-world countries and U.S. influence there and in the U.N. declines dramatically.
Soviets announce intentions to support financial, etc. third world liberation movements.
In 1959, Fulgencio Batista is overthrown by Fidel Castro, who the U.S. government finds contrary to its interests.
In 1961, the U.S. sponsored Bay of Pigs invasion is an enormous failure.
Cubans begin to look towards the Soviets for support against the U.S.
What do the Soviets do in response?
The Cuban Missile Crisis occurs during October 1962.
The U.S. institutes a blockade of the island to prevent further Soviet nukes, the U.S.S.R. sends more ships and the Americans prepare for an invasion of Cuba.
For 14 days war, nuclear war, seems likely.
Eventually a last minute agreement is reached between the two parties what were its points and why did it benefit the U.S.?
In 1963, a hotline is established to lessen tensions and prevent a recurrence of the Cuban Missile Crisis.
Peaceful coexistence policy ironically destroys the Soviets' relationship with China.
What caused the growing problems between the Soviet Union and China?
1961 open conflict breaks out on the border.
Second Indochina War starting to break out around this time.
South Vietnamese government refuses to hold elections agreed upon in 1954 and by 1959 are at war with the communists.
North Vietnam firmly controls the communist movement in the South.
1963 U.S. government supports the overthrow of corrupt Ngo Dinh Diem's regime.
1965, the Viet Cong are poised to seize the South.
U.S. officially intervenes and sends large numbers of troops to South Vietnam.
How did China begin to change its policy on the Vietnamese communists and why?
War escalates to a stalemate in 1968, U.S. can not be defeated but can only take half measures to win the war for fear of wider involvement.
1968 Tet Offensive breaks U.S. public's will to continue in Vietnam.
Nixon is elected in 1968 and promises a gradual peace with honor.
Peace negotiations begin and a large part of the strategy is to split China from the Soviet camp.
Tension between China and the Soviet Union allow this, there is even rumors of a potential Soviet nuclear strike on that country.
In 1972 Nixon has his famous trip to China and a strategic partnership is formed.
As a result of these endeavors the North Vietnamese sign a peace treaty with the U.S. in Paris in 1973.
Nonetheless two years later in early 1975 they launch a massive assault that quickly conquers a South devoid of U.S. troops and support ending the Vietnam War.
Why was the Vietnam War ultimately lost by the United States?
What benefit did the new Chinese relationship bring in possibly salvaging some of the defeat in Vietnam?
Chapter 26: East and West in the Grip of the Cold War
Originally during the early Vietnam War, the U.S. is more concerned about China than the Soviet Union.
Soviets are viewed as conservative power preserving their empire.
Khrushchev is forced out in 1964 and replaced by Leonid Brezhnev, a hardliner.
In 1968 the Prague Spring begins echoing what happened in Hungary in 1956.
What is the Soviet response to this?
Issuance of the Brezhnev doctrine which does what?
In East Germany, the Berlin Wall is build in 1961, why?
East Germany gradually becomes the more stable, wealthier communist state under Erich Honecker who rules with the massive assistance of the Stasi.
Detente of 1970s between the superpowers, what does this mean?
Helsinki Accords of 1975 recognizes European borders as is and promotes human rights recognition.
Growing tension in the Third World when Carter is in charge.
Somalia-Ethiopian War, the Angolan Civil War, and the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan in 1979.
Carter Doctrine is issued to prevent the Soviets from restricting Western oil supplies in the Gulf.
Why did the Soviets invade Afghanistan.
What is Vietnam Syndrome?
In 1985, Mikhael Gorbachev becomes Soviet premier.
Early 80s are a harsh period of economic decline for the Soviets.
Gorbachev launches perestroika and glastnost, what were they?
Gorbachev and Reagan come to a settlement of ideological differences at a Reykjavik conference.
Reforms are too little, too late between 1989 and 1991 the Soviet Empire and the Soviet Union completely collapses.
Originally there is great optimism for a new world order but it is unfounded.
Many problems quickly present themselves such as growing ethnic tensions, September 11th, enviromental issues, growing rich/poor gaps, large migration patterns, etc.
Essay on page 667, increasing unity but growing divergance as an aspect of globalization.
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