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Events of the Cold War

10 events of the Cold War which reflect the struggle between ideologies

Riley Guenther

on 12 May 2011

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Transcript of Events of the Cold War

1. The Division Of Germany After the conclusion of WWII, the Allied forces sat together to discuss the division of Germany at the Potsdam conference. This resulted in Germany being split into 4 occupational zones. France, Britain, and the United States in the west, and the Soviet Union in the east. The opposing ideologies was very evident during this event, especially when the United States offered the idea of one united Germany and the Soviets rejected the idea. It was clear the two-sides did not agree with each other. Events of the Cold War 2. Truman Doctrine The Truman Doctrine was a policy set forward by U.S. President Harry Truman stating that "the policy of the United States to support free peoples who are resisting attempted subjugation by armed minorities or by outside pressures." In 1947 the United States sent $400 million dollars to Greece and Turkey in order to eliminate the Communist threat presented by the Soviet Union. Although no military assistance was given to the region, the Soviet's viewed this and the 'Marshall Plan' (A policy by the United States to provide aid to all Europe during post-WWII) as an attempt by the U.S. to spread democracy and capitalism around the world. Once again, the two ideologies clashed. 3. The Berlin Blockade The Berlin Blockade was established by the Soviet Union in 1948 and was designed to stop all railway and road access to the Western Allies of Berlin. Their aim was to start supplying Berlin with food and fuel themselves, essentially gaining complete control of Berlin. If Berlin was to be controlled by one nation it was clear that, that nation would fairly easily control the rest of Germany. This action demonstrated to the Western Allies that the Soviet Union was not interested in the division of Germany and was planning on taking over the country for themselves. Tensions were increased between both ideologies. 4. The Berlin Airlift As a reaction to the Blockade, the Western Allies created the Berlin Airlift which carried in supplies to the people of West Berlin. British and U.S. planes brought over supplies daily and by 1949 more supplies were being brought in than there was before by rail and roadway. Eventually the blockade was lifted in huge embarrassment for the Soviet`s and resulted in Germany being split into two halves; West Germany and East Germany. The struggle between ideologies continued to rise as each nation battled for control of German territory. 5. Creation of NATO The North Atlantic Treaty Organization was created on April 4, 1949. This organization was a intergovernmental military alliance which included the United States, Canada and most of Western Europe. It was designed to increase of the defence of these nations and to protect those nations from any attack from an opposing country. NATO secretary general was once quoted saying the goal of the organization was "to keep the Russians out, the Americans in, and the Germans down". The creation of NATO began to create a large separation between the nations of the western world and the U.S.S.R. 6. Creation of Warsaw Pact 7. Sputnik Sputnik was the first artificial satellite ever to be put into the Earth's orbit. When news arrived to the United States about Sputnik, it instantly began the Space Race in the Cold War and brand new tensions were raised. Political, military, technological, and scientific developments increased. The citizens of the U.S. despised the idea that the Soviet's had the ability to spy on them now from space and felt very vulnerable. They desperately wanted the same abilities as the U.S.S.R. 8. Berlin Wall In 1961, the Berlin Wall was constructed by East Germany which divided East and West Berlin. Before the wall was constructed, hundreds of thousands of East Germans fled into West Germany each year due to their poor living standards and way of life. The wall was highly guarded and designed to stop the flow of emigration into West Germany. The Soviet Union knew that much of their population were leaving and they desperately needed to stop the impact opposing ideologies were having on their people. Thus, a wall was created and individuals were cut off from Western Europe. 9. Cuban Missile Crisis The Cuban Missile Crisis is considered to be the time when both ideologies came the closest to a physical conflict with one another. After failed attempts by the United States to overthrow the Cuban government, the Soviet Union and Cuba began to build nuclear missile bases within range of the U.S. On October 14, 1962 an American Air-Force U-2 plane confirmed the existence of the missile bases. President Kennedy immediately ordered for the removal of the offensive weapons in Cuba but expected military confrontation. Eventually the Soviets agreed to remove the missiles and nuclear war was avoided. The United States also made an agreement to never invade Cuba again, and to remove its missile bases in Turkey and other locations in Europe. 10. Russian invasion of Afghanistan The initial deployment of Russian troops into Afghanistan began on December 24, 1979. The Russians wanted to establish a Communist government system in Afghanistan and supported the Marxist-Leninist government of the Democratic Republic of Afghanistan. The indigenous Afghan Mujahideen opposed the invasion and received financial and military support from the United States and other countries. The Afghan war quickly became a proxy war between the U.S and Russia during the end of the Cold War. Finally, the Russian invasion failed and the final withdrawal of troops ended in 1989. The Soviet Union viewed the creation of NATO a threat to their national security and ideology. As a result the Warsaw Pact was created. The Warsaw Pact (1955) was a mutual defence treaty which consisted of 8 communist nations in Eastern Europe. The main desire of this organization was to prevent any reoccurrence of an invasion of Russian territory which had been seen in WWII. Tensions raised between ideologies as more and more nations began to take sides.
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