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From War to Cold War
Transcript of From War to Cold War
The "Iron Curtain": Post WWII, the dividing line between Democracy and Communism in Europe.
Union of Soviet Socialist Republics
Post WWII Europe divided
Rift Between Allies at the Potsdam Conference
President Truman, P.M.Winston Churchill - Democracy
Premier Joseph Stalin - Communism
Definition: a system of government, in which, the populace is governed by elected officials (that ultimately represent the masses)
Social and Economic equality brought about by the rise of the working class. All decisions are made by the collective without the need for intervention from "the state".
Stalin had already known of the development of the atomic bomb from spies he had in the
Manhattan Project, the U.S. name for the secret project that developed the first Nuclear Bomb.
Still after the first U.S. detonation of a nuclear weapon against Japan it would take until September of 1949 for the USSR to detonate their first weapon.
Venues of War and Political Boundries
1. The WWII Alliance Between the Soviet Union (USSR) and the US:
• Ideological differences created suspicions
• Competing political objectives for postwar Eastern Europe- U.S. wanted capitalism, U.S.S.R. wanted communism.
• “Self Determination”- the U.S. wanted each country to decide for itself if it would become communist or democratic. Split East- communist, West- Democratic
2. Economic & Military Alliances in Europe after WWII:
• created by Sec. of State George Marshall-
• offered $17 BILLION in US aid for recovery in Europe after the war to promote world peace and stability.
• IF they agreed to take the US loan, the country also had to agree to buy US products and resist communism.
• The Soviets refused to allow Eastern European countries to accept it.
• Soviet version of the Marshall Plan
• Soviet plan to give financial aid to communist countries in Eastern Europe- and were NOT allowed to take aide from US.
• North Atlantic Treaty Organization
• Formed in 1949, Canada, France, GB, Italy, Netherlands, US
• Formed a military alliance to protect each other from Soviet aggression.
Warsaw Treaty Organization/Warsaw Pact:
• 1955- Czechoslovakia, East Germany, Hungary, Poland, Romania
• Military alliance to back each other up (all communist countries) against NATO
3. Communist Rebellions in Greece & Turkey:
• Greece was trying to fight against communism
• GB was helping Greece and asked the US to help too- we were leery after getting out of WWII.
• Truman Doctrine- passed by Truman which said the US would, “Support free people who are resisting attempted subjugation by armed minorities or by outside pressures”. Translation: U.S. would help anyone trying to resist communism!
• Containment- official US post- WWII policy to contain or stop the spread of communism.
• U.S. gave $40 MILLION to assist Greece & Turkey in resisting communism, but didn’t want to send troops.
• Started a battle between the US & Soviets within other countries/areas as well to see who could take over or control more countries- democracy or communism
4. Development of Nuclear Power:
• Competition forced both sides to develop nuclear strength = tried to “one up” the other side.
• 1949- Soviets developed the Atomic (A-Bomb) like we used in WWII
• 1952- US develops the Hydrogen Bomb (H-Bomb)
• 1953- Soviets develop the H-Bomb
• Between 1949-1953 the US and Soviets developed enough nuclear power to destroy the entire world!!!
Cuban Missile Crisis-
• October, 1962- the Soviets began shipping parts to assemble nuclear missiles in Cuba (90 miles off the shore of the US) aimed at the US.
• The US found out by taking reconnaissance photos- the Soviets tried to deny it.
• Nikita Khruschev- head of the Soviet government at the time, refused to give.
• US demanded the Soviets take the missiles out of Cuba- tried to negotiate a diplomatic end to the stand off, but feared nuclear war.
• People built bomb shelters, practiced duck & cover drills, stockpiled food- feared the end of the world with a nuclear meltdown.
• JFK & his close advisors- RFK (his brother- Attorney General) wanted a diplomatic end- the Military advisors wanted to attack the Soviets in response for the Bay of Pigs
• 14 day stand off- eventually the US agreed to take their missiles out of Turkey within 6 months if the Soviets took theirs out of Cuba now.
5. The Berlin Crisis:
• Germany was under military control and divided into 4 sectors at the end of the war: US, GB, France, USSR each controlled a share.
• Berlin (Germany's capital) was split between US (west) & USSR (east) - we wanted to help people with food, etc. and the Soviets did not allow the people on their side to accept it.
• US, GB, France introduced a new currency in Germany- the Soviets were not consulted and were afraid of a separate West Germany- they started a blockade of Berlin and would not allow Western food, goods, supplies, money, into Eastern part they controlled.
• Berlin Airlift- US, GB, France spent 1 year airlifting supplies, food, cooking oil, coal for heat, into East Berlin= 327 days. “Chocolate Pilot”
• Berlin Wall- eventually the Soviets saw that Western ideas and goods could still get through, so Khruschev ordered a wall to be built that divided East & West Germany, topped with barbed wire so people could not cross.
o Kennedy called Berlin, “The great testing place of Western courage and will”
o Wall went up in 1961- Eastern side was heavily guarded, machine guns, anyone trying to escape was shot. Families/streets/ communities were divided by the wall.
o December 31, 1989- the wall came down and people were free to move East to West- Germany has struggled to become one again under 1 government, 1 military, technology, etc.
The Korean War:
• China/Soviets had an alliance- the US was worried and wanted to contain the spread of communism.
• After WWII, Korea was split- North was controlled by the Soviets (communist) South was controlled by US & UN (more democratic)
• 1950- the North got arms from the Soviets and invaded the South- the UN condemned the invasion.
• The US sent MacArthur with troops and wanted to wage war on China- but was afraid of the alliance with Soviets
• We were winning until China sent 1 million volunteers to support the North Korean communists- pushed the US back to South Korea
• Truman was afraid the Soviets would join the war and we would have another world war- this time with nuclear weapons
• July 1953, a stalemate was declared- both sides were essentially back to where they started and the country was divided at the 38th parallel.
• US lost 54,000 men and $67 billion dollars, to win nothing.
• “The Forgotten War” because it was not talked about as much as WWII/Vietnam
7. Soviet Invasion of Hungary:
• Iron Curtain- Soviets controlled countries in Eastern Europe included East Germany, Czech, Hungary, Yugoslavia and Albania- all were said to be behind an “iron curtain” that couldn’t be penetrated by Western ideas, information, etc.
• Some countries resented the communist control but didn’t have the power/money to fight back.
• Hungary’s citizens began rioting against the Soviets-Khruschev rounded up the protestors and executed them.
•Hungary asked the US for support- Eisenhower refused- was afraid of WWIII.
•Similar uprisings in other “Iron Curtain” countries
•Eastern Europe remained under Soviet control until the late 1989/1990 when communism fell. NOW all these countries had to determine for themselves what they would become next.
8. The “Red Scare” at Home:
• Red Scare- fear of communism- many in the US feared it would spread here- people reported their neighbors, suspicious activity.
• McCarthyism- Joseph McCarthy, Senator from WI, attacked “suspected” communists and claimed to hae the names of commuist government officials- he was on a ‘witch hunt’ for those against him.
• House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC)- 1947- committee set up to investigate people/actions that were Anti-American, such as speaking out against the government and supposed communist activity.
• Hollywood Blacklist- HUAC believed communists were ‘sneaking’ communist propaganda into films- the “Hollywood 10” was a list of Hollywood directors/actors called to testify about this, they were blacklisted for not naming names of those who were communist- but they claimed there WERE no names to name!
• Ethel & Julian Rosenberg- husband and wife who were convicted of treason for secretly spying for the Soviets and helping to give them A-bomb secrets. They were sentenced to death, but now we wonder if it was justified?
- Oct. 4, 1957- Soviets launch the Sputnik satellite into Space
o Jan, 1958- US launched satellite
o April 12, 1962- Yuri Gargarian becomes the first human launched into space
o May 5, 1961- Alan Shepard becomes first American launched into Space
o Feb. 20, 1962- John Glen becomes first to orbit the moon
o July 20, 1969-Apollo 11, first crew to land on Moon- Neil Armstrong the first human to walk on the moon, “"That's one small step for [a] man, one giant leap for mankind."[
• Space Race- the US & USSR were in a race to see who could prove their country was smarter, more advanced in the field of science & Space.