The Cold War: Part II. The Cold War Heats Up 1950-1970. Nikita Khrushchev takes over after Stalin’s death in 1953. attempts to separate Stalin’s “crimes” from true communism. Repression and Dissent Protests broke out in the communist bloc (countries seek elections)
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The Cold War: Part II
The Cold War Heats Up
Nikita Khrushchev takes over after Stalin’s death in 1953.
attempts to separate Stalin’s “crimes” from true communism.
Repression and Dissent
Protests broke out in the communist bloc (countries seek elections)
Soviets send troops into Hungary and Poland
Eastern Europe remained under Soviet control.
Dwight Eisenhower takes over from Truman in 1953.
Democrats charged Republicans for “missile gap”
Increased defense spending
The Second Red Scare was at its height during the 1950’s, but one man popularized anti-communist attitudes
Joseph McCarthy (Republican Senator from Wisconsin) made it his goal to get rid of all communists in American society & the gov.
On February 9, 1950, he gave a speech claiming to have a list of 205 Communists in the State Department.
No one in the press actually saw the names on the list.
Continued to repeat his groundless charges; changing the number from speech to speech
His efforts to get rid of the communist threat became known as McCarthyism.
Required pro-wrestlers to take a loyalty oath before stepping into the ring.
In Indiana, a group of anti-communists protested Robin Hood and forced librarians to pull the book from the shelves
Socialist message that the book’s hero had a right to rob from the rich and give to the poor
Baseball's Cincinnati Reds renamed themselves the "Redlegs."
Cincinnati Redlegs primary
logo in use from 1954-1959
In the spring of 1954, McCarthy claimed the US Army had hired a communist doctor.
Led to the infamous Army-McCarthy hearings
For the first time, a television broadcast allowed the public to see the Senator as a closed-minded bully on a witch hunt
In December 1954, the Senate voted to censor him for his conduct and to strip him of his privileges.
McCarthy died three years later from alcoholism.
The term "McCarthyism" lives on to describe anti-Communist fervor, reckless accusations, and guilt by association.
Movie poster for the 2005 film Good Night and Good Luck about the fall of Joseph McCarthy
Arthur Miller’s play The Crucible was on the surface about the Salem Witch Trials. It’s real target, though, was the hysterical persecution of innocent people during McCarthyism. (poster for 1996 film version)
After the U.S. dropped nuclear bombs on Japan, the world wanted their own nuclear bombs.
This started an arms race: competition between two or more countries for the best/most armed forces & weapons.
Each country competes to produce larger numbers of weapons, greater armies and military technologies.
UK, France, US, Soviet Union, and People’s Republic of China all produced nuclear weapons.
American experts had believed that the Soviet Union would not have nuclear bombs until the mid 50s. However, the Soviet Union tested their first atomic bomb in 1949
Joe-One, the Soviets first nuclear bomb, was a copy of the American bomb, Fat Man. (weaker)
The whole world watched in shock at the Soviet Union’s new weapon.
Both parties believed that more nukes = more power!
Soviet Union built more nuclear weapons with cheaper quality.
Americans built fewer nuclear weapons, but with better quality.
Both countries worked frantically to produce the first hydrogen bomb.
The US detonated the first H-Bomb in November 1952.
The Soviets exploded their H-Bomb in August 1955.
Strategic nuclear missiles, warheads and throw-weights of United States and USSR, 1964-1982
When US learned of Powers' disappearance over USSR, it issued a statement claiming that a "weather plane" crashed after its pilot had "difficulties with his equipment."
US officials did not realize:
Plane crashed intact
Soviets recovered its photography equipment
Captured Powers, whom they interrogated extensively for months before he made a
"voluntary confession" and public apology for his part in US espionage
The U-2 Incident
Background under Eisenhower:
In the 1950’s, Americans owned 90% of Cuba’s mines, ranches, oil, and sugar.
Caused Cubans to be extremely poor and demand change!
In 1958, Fidel Castro led a revolt and overthrew the pro-American leader (Batista)
Once Fidel Castro became dictator, he seized property owned by foreign corporations, including U.S. businesses.
“A Revolution is a struggle between the future and past”
Kennedy addresses La Brigada (anti-Castro Cubans)
The Bay of Pigs invasion took place on April 17, 1961.
An airstrike failed to destroy Cuba’s air force and Cuban troops proved to be a strong match against the 1,500 U.S. invaders.
The invasion was a total disaster and eventually Kennedy accepted defeat.
By 1962, the Soviet Union had missiles stationed in Cuba.
The U.S. had missiles stationed in Turkey.
This brought the world on the brink of nuclear war.
After 10 days of caution, President Kennedy and Khrushchev agree to remove their missiles.
At the end of the Kennedy Administration, both the US and the USSR admitted their vulnerability because of nuclear equality.
Mutual Assured Destruction (MAD): One country couldn’t attack the other because they would be attacked in return.
Whoever shoots first, dies second.
In the dark on August 13, 1961, a low, barbed-wire barrier rose between East and West Berlin. Within days, workers cemented concrete blocks into a low wall, dividing neighborhoods and families, workers and employers, the free from the repressed.
The USSR called the wall a barrier to Western imperialism, but it was meant to keep its people from going to the West where there were more rights and freedoms.
The West Germans called it Schandmaur, the "Wall of Shame."
Over the years, it was rebuilt three times. Each version of the wall was higher, stronger, repressive, and impenetrable. Towers and guards with machine guns and dogs stood watch.
No one was allowed to enter the zones. Anyone trying to escape was shot on sight.
Early 1960s view of east side of Berlin Wall with barbed wire at top.
A view from the French sector looking over the wall.
41 miles long (28 on border)
12 feet high
Fortified with guards and weapons
Included anti-vehicle trenches
Supposed to prevent East Berliners from fleeing into the West.
Over 5,000 escape attempts
Why would people want to leave East Berlin?