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The Cold War & Decolonization. AKS 48 – Chapters 33.1, 33.2, 33.5, 34.1 (1st half), 34.3 (1st half), 34.4, 35.2 (2nd half), 35.4 (1st half), 35.5 (1st half). The Ideological Struggle. Soviet & Eastern Bloc Nations [“Iron Curtain”]. US & the Western Democracies. communist v. non-communist.

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The Cold War & Decolonization

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TheCold War&


AKS 48 – Chapters 33.1, 33.2, 33.5, 34.1 (1st half), 34.3 (1st half), 34.4, 35.2 (2nd half), 35.4 (1st half), 35.5 (1st half)

The Ideological Struggle

Soviet & Eastern Bloc Nations[“Iron Curtain”]

US & the Western Democracies

communist v. non-communist

GOAL spread world-wide Communism

GOAL “Containment” of Communism & the eventual collapse of the Communist world.


  • Espionage [KGB vs. CIA]

  • Arms Race [nuclear escalation]

  • Ideological Competition for the minds and hearts of Third World peoples [Communist govt. & command economy vs. democratic govt. & capitalist economy]  “proxy wars”

  • Bi-Polarization of Europe [NATO vs. Warsaw Pact]

The “Iron Curtain”

From Stettin in the Baltic, to Trieste in the Adriatic, an iron curtain has descended across the Continent. Behind that line lies the ancient capitals of Central and Eastern Europe.-- Sir Winston Churchill, 1946

The “Iron Curtain”

The “iron curtain” came to represent…

Europe’s division into mostly democratic W. Europe & Communist E. Europe.

Truman Doctrine [1947]

  • Civil War in Greece.

  • Turkey under pressure from the USSR for concessions in the Dardanelles.

  • The U.S. should support countries that rejected communism.

  • The U.S. gave Greece & Turkey $400 million in aid.

Marshall Plan [1948]

  • “European Recovery Program.”

  • Secretary of State, George Marshall

  • The US should provide aid to all European nations that need it. This move is not against any country or doctrine, but against hunger, poverty, desperation, and chaos.

  • $12.5 billion of US aid to Western Europe extended to Eastern Europe & USSR, [but this was rejected].

Post-War Germany

Berlin Blockade & Airlift (1948-49)

  • USSR held W. Berlin hostage

  • Led to Berlin airlift (US & British flew in food & supplies)

  • USSR admitted defeat, lifted blockade

The Arms Race

  • The Soviet Union exploded its first A-bomb in 1949.

  • Now there were two nuclear superpowers!





North Atlantic Treaty Organization (1949)

  • United States

  • Belgium

  • Britain

  • Canada

  • Denmark

  • France

  • Iceland

  • Italy

  • Luxemburg

  • Netherlands

  • Norway

  • Portugal

  • 1952: Greece & Turkey

  • 1955: West Germany

  • 1983: Spain

Led to formation of…

Warsaw Pact (1955)

  • U. S. S. R.

  • Albania

  • Bulgaria

  • Czechoslovakia

  • East Germany

  • Hungary

  • Poland

  • Rumania

Premier Nikita Khrushchev

About the capitalist states, it doesn't depend on you whether we (Soviet Union) exist.If you don't like us, don't accept our invitations, and don'tinvite us to come to see you. Whether you like it our not, history is on our side. We will bury you. -- 1956

De-Stalinization Program

Sputnik I (1957)

  • The Russians have beaten America in space—they have the technological edge!

  • - Ledto… rivalry between 2 superpowers in science and education

U-2 Spy Incident (1960)

Col. Francis Gary Powers’ plane was shot down over Soviet airspace.

The Berlin Wall Goes Up (1961)


Khruschev Embraces Castro,1961

Bay of Pigs Debacle (1961)

  • CIA had been training anti-Castro exiles

  • Landed at Bay of Pigs, no air support, defeated easily

  • US humiliated

Cuban Missile Crisis (1962)

July 1962 – Khrushchev began building 42 missile sites in Cuba

Cuban Missile Crisis (1962)

  • Sites discovered in October by USA

  • JFK announced naval blockade of Cuba to prevent installation of more missiles

  • People feared nuclear war for 13 days!

Cuban Missile Crisis (1962)

We went eyeball-to-eyeball with the Russians, and they blinked!

Cuban Missile Crisis (1962)

Khrushchev agreed to remove the missiles if US promised not to invade Cuba

Revolution in China: 1945-1949

Communists vs. Nationalists:

Who was Mao Zedong?

Leader of Communist forces & later chairman of Communist Party & head of People’s Republic of China

Communists vs. Nationalists:

Who was Chang Kai-shek?

Leader of Nationalist forces & later head of Republic of China

Communists vs. Nationalists:

Civil War:

  • Started before WWII

  • Resumed after Japanese surrendered (1945)

  • Ended in 1949

Communists vs. Nationalists:

Advantages for Nationalists:

  • Large army

  • Aid from USA

Communists vs. Nationalists:

Advantages for Communists:

  • Army skilled in guerilla warfare

  • Popular support

Communists vs. Nationalists:

US Reaction:

  • US helped Nationalists set up gov’t

  • Enlarged American sphere of influence in Asia

Communists vs. Nationalists:

Soviet Reaction:

  • Soviets provided financial, military, & technical aid to Communists

  • Soviets signed a defensive alliance with them

Communists vs. Nationalists:


  • Nationalists lost – forced to island of Taiwan

Mao Transforms Economy – How?

  • Gave land to peasants

  • Formed collective farms

  • Nationalized businesses

Mao’s Great Leap Forward– What was it?

  • Called for larger collective farms

  • Major failure

Mao’s Great Leap Forward– Why did it fail?

  • Poor planning

  • Inefficient industries

  • Lack of work incentive

  • Crop failures & famine

Mao’s Cultural Revolution– What was it?

  • Students formed Red Guard

  • Goal: establish a society of peasants & workers in which all were equal

  • Many intellectuals forced to do hard labor to “purify” themselves, executed, or imprisoned

Mao’s Cultural Revolution– Why did Mao launch it?

  • To revive the Marxist revolution he had begun

India Achieves Freedom





Gandhi launches first nonviolent campaign for independence. See AKS 46e for more details.


Muslim League proposes partition of India:

  • Concern of Muslim League was that Congress Party would primarily protect Hindu interests


India & Pakistan become independent:

Problems Faced Prior to Independence:

1. Movement of millions of ppl to new homes

2. Division of courts, military, civil service

3. Violence among religious groups

Problems in Kashmir*:

*Territory in northern part of India – ruler is Hindu, but region had majority Muslim population

1. Fought over land

2. U.N. arranged cease-fire – placed 1/3 under Pakistani control & the rest under Indian control

Jawaharlal Nehru

Contributions to Modernization & Democracy:

  • Pushed for industrialization & social reforms

  • Tried to elevate status of lower castes

  • Tried to improve women’s rights

Indpendence in Ghana

Tactics Used by Nkrumah:

1. Organized strikes & boycotts

Nkrumah’s Reforms:

1. Developed industry

2. Developed expensive health, welfare, & education programs


1. Economic & political instability

The Korean War: A “Police Action” (1950-1953)

Kim Il-Sung

Syngman Rhee

“Domino Theory”


1.Taken from Japan (1945)

- Japs surrendered to USSR in north (Communist)

- Japs surrendered to USA in south (democratic)

2. Divided at 38th Parallel


Why did the UN send an international force to Korea?

- Because South Korea asked the UN to intervene when North Koreans crossed the 38th parallel and attacked

MacArthur was demanding a nuclear attack on China for helping the North Koreans. Truman feared WWIII. When MacArthur went to Congress and the press, Truman fired him!


  • July 1953 – President Eisenhower signed cease-fire agreement

  • What was the legacy of the war for North Korea and South Korea?

  • Communist N. Korea became a military power but declined economically

  • S. Korea industrialized & prospered economically with the help of US aid

French War in Vietnam


Controlled by France (French Indochina) before WWII

Japan took control of it when France fell to Germany


Why did war break out between the Vietnamese Nationalists and the French?

-After the Japanese lost WWII, nationalists wanted independence

- France wanted to regain its colony


What was the outcome of the war for France and for Vietnam?

- French were defeated at Dien Bien Phu & surrendered to Ho Chi Minh

- An international peace conference divided Vietnam.

U.S. War in Vietnam


  • How did the US get involved in Vietnam?

  • US feared the overthrow of the anti-Communist gov’t it helped set up in South Vietnam

  • US escalated its military involvement as a result


  • Why did the US withdraw its troops from Vietnam?

  • Unable to win a decisive victory

  • Withdrew troops in response to intense pressure at home (mostly due to protests against unfair draft practices)

Agent Orange was the nickname given to a herbicide and defoliant used by the U.S. military in its Herbicidal Warfare program during the Vietnam War. Cropdusting in Vietnam during Operation Ranch Hand lasted from 1962 to 1971.

A guerrilla in the Mekong Delta paddles through a mangrove forest defoliated by Agent Orange (1970).

Effects of Agent Orange

Images taken from Agent Orange: "Collateral Damage" in Vietnam by Philip Jones Griffiths

Protests at Home

· Thousands of Americans protested against the war, especially on college campuses.

Anti-Vietnam War protests, Ohio State University

· On May 4, 1970, the Ohio National Guard killed 4 anti-war protesters at Kent State University.

This Pulitzer Prize winning photo shows Mary Ann Vecchio screaming as she kneels over the body of student Jeffrey Miller at Kent State University. National Guardsmen had fired into a crowd of demonstrators, killing four and wounding nine.

Ex Vietcong showing secret tunnels, November 7, 2004

Vietnam Balance Sheet

· Between 1961 and 1973 over 58,000 Americans died in the Vietnam War.

· During the same time period, over 1,500,000 Vietnamese died as well.

Vietnam War Memorial, Washington, D.C.

Conflicts in the Middle East

The Creation of Israel

Who were the Zionists?

People who favored a Jewish national homeland in Palestine

Why did the Jews claim they had the rights to this land?

Claims dated back 3,000 years, when Jewish kings ruled the region from Jerusalem

Why did the Palestinians claim they had the rights to this land?

The land had belonged to them since the Jews were driven out around A.D. 135.

Why did the Arabs claim they had the rights to this land?

The land had belonged to them since their conquest of the area in the 7th century.

What did the UN General Assembly do in 1947?

Voted for a partition of Palestine into a Palestinian State and a Jewish state.

Why did the UN General Assembly do this?

The US & many other European nations had sympathy toward the Jews b/c of the Holocaust.

What about Jerusalem?

It was to be an international city owned by neither side.

Israel is officially created…

…on May 14, 1948

The Development of…

The Hydrogen Bomb

Who authorized the H-Bomb?

President Harry S. Truman

When did he authorize it?


When did the US successfully test the first H-Bomb?


When did the USSR successfully test their version?


How much more powerful is the H-Bomb than the A-Bomb?

Thousands of times!!!

How is the H-Bomb different from the A-Bomb?

Power came from fusing (joining together) of atoms rather than splitting of atoms (as with the A-Bomb)



The Space Race

August 1957

Soviets announce development of ICBM (InterContinental Ballistic Missile)

October 1957

Soviets use ICBM to launch Sputnik I (first unmanned satellite) into orbit


USA launched their first unmanned satellite into orbit, Explorer I


Yuri Gagarin (Soviet) – first human to orbit the Earth


Alan Shepard – first American in space


John Glenn – first American to orbit Earth


Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin, Michael Collins – landed on the moon


Soviet Union & USA launch first joint space mission

Amer. astronauts Tom Stafford (R) & Donald "Deke" Slayton w/ bottle of Russian vodka, aboard Apollo spacecraft orbiting Earth during 9-day joint US/USSR space mission.

Late 70s & 80s

Invention of the Space Shuttle


Space Shuttle Challenger exploded.

Policy Shift

Policy Under Eisenhower, Kennedy, & Johnson

  • Brinkmanship

    • Policy where you are willing to go to the “brink” of war

    • Nuclear war seemed possible!

Policy Shift

Policy Adopted by Nixon

  • Detente

    • Policy of lessening Cold War tensions

Led to SALT Treaties

SALT Treaties

Stands For…





SALT Treaties


Who signed it?

  • President Nixon (USA)

  • Leonid Breshnev (USSR)

SALT Treaties



May 1972

SALT Treaties


What was the agreement?

Limited the number of ICBM & submarine-launched missiles each country could have

SALT Treaties


Who signed it?

  • President Carter (USA)

  • Leonid Breshnev (USSR)

SALT Treaties



June 1979

SALT Treaties


Failed - Why?

Soviets invaded Afghanistan later in the year – Congress refused to ratify it

Differing Policies

USSR under Khrushchev (1953-1964)

  • Wanted to maintain a peaceful coexistence between socialism/communism & capitalism

  • Periods of peace, periods of crisis

  • Wanted to be friends with the West, but also wanted to show he was a firm defender of the Socialist camp

Differing Policies

USSR under Gorbachev (1985-1991)

  • GLASTNOST (openness):

    • - Churches opened, dissidents released from prison, freedom of speech granted

  • PERESTROIKA (economic restructuring):

    • - Goal was not to throw out communism, but move more toward capitalism


Tiananmen Square

Tank Man


Tiananmen Square




Tiananmen Square


Chinese Students


Tiananmen Square


Protest for Democracy


Tiananmen Square

What Happened?

  • Deng declared martial law & ordered troops to surround Beijing


Tiananmen Square

What Happened?

2. Thousands of heavily armed troops stormed square

3. Tanks smashed through barricades


Tiananmen Square

What Happened?

2. Soldiers sprayed gunfire into crowd

3. Killed hundreds; wounded thousands


Tiananmen Square

Government Response?

  • Began to stamp out protests

  • Arrested thousands


Fall of the Berlin Wall


East German Gov’t Closes Borders – Why?

  • Hungary was allowing vacationing East German tourists to cross border into Austria

  • From there, they could go to West Germany


What happened in response?

  • Huge demonstrations


What were they demanding?

1. Right to travel freely

2. Later demanded free elections


When did the wall officially come down?

November 9, 1989


What did this mean for E. German Communist Party?

It ceased to exist.

South Africa:


South Africa:

What is apartheid?

Strict separation of blacks and whites

South Africa:

African National Congress

Formed to fight for the rights of black South Africans

South Africa:

Nelson Mandela

  • Leader of ANC

  • Put in prison w/ many others by white gov’t – served 27 years

  • Later became South Africa’s President

South Africa:

Anti-Apartheid Movement

1. Violent riots in protest

2. Other countries boycotted goods produced by S. Africa

South Africa:

End of Apartheid

1. 1990 – F.W. de Klerk made ANC legal & released Mandela from prison

2. S. African parliament passed a law ending apartheid

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