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Cold War Timeline. 1950-1963. The Baruch Plan – 1946 speech given before the UN atomic Energy Committee. “My Fellow Members of the United Nations Atomic Energy Commission, and My Fellow Citizens of the World:

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Cold War Timeline

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Cold war timeline

Cold War Timeline


The baruch plan 1946 speech given before the un atomic energy committee

The Baruch Plan – 1946 speech given before the UN atomic Energy Committee

“My Fellow Members of the United Nations Atomic Energy Commission, and My Fellow Citizens of the World:

We are here to make a choice between the quick and the dead. That is our business. Behind the black portent of the new atomic age lies a hope which, seized upon with faith, can work our salvation. If we fail, then we have damned every man to be the slave of Fear. Let us not deceive ourselves: We must elect World Peace or World Destruction.”

Cold war timeline

  • By 1950, Truman government decides that U.S. could no longer rely on others to take the initiative in resisting communism

  • In April, government issues a report (NSC-68) that states the U.S. must take the lead in stopping communism wherever it occurred, regardless of the intrinsic strategic or economic value of that area to the U.S.

  • this leads to major expansion of the American military power, along with vastly increased defense spending

  • NSC-68 will dictate our response to communism for over 30 years

  • It will play a major role in how we look at countries trying to gain independence from colonial powers--leading revolutionaries in many of those nations to turn to Soviet Union for help

The arms race begins

The Arms Race Begins

  • 1949 – USSR explodes 1st Atomic Bomb

  • 1950 – US explodes 1st Hydrogen Bomb

  • 1953 – USSR explodes 1st hydrogen Bomb

  • Next 4 decades the superpowers spend massive sums of money to develop new more deadly nuclear and conventional weapons

  • Massive Retaliation – policy under Eisenhower and Dulles that promoted risk of mutual destruction was too great to actually use nuclear weapons (deterrence)

  • Seato


    • To prevent the “fall” to communism of South Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia, John Foster Dulles put together a regional defense pact called the Southeast Asia treaty Organization (SEATO). Agreeing to defend one another in case of an attack within the region, eight nations signed the pact in 1954.

    Ussr brings eastern europe under its control

    USSR Brings Eastern Europe Under its Control

    • Tito establishes communist state in Yugoslavia under the control of Soviet Union

    • Rebellions in Prague and Budapest put down by Soviet Army

      • Ended hopes of liberation from Soviet control

    • Eastern European countries under Soviet control: Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Hungary, Yugoslavia, Czechoslovakia, Austria, Romania, Bulgaria, Poland, East Germany, Albania,

    Stalin s death leads to denouncement

    Stalin’s Death Leads to Denouncement

    • 1955 Soviet Union granted Austria independence

    • Feb. 1956 – Nikita Krushchev replaces Stalin

    • Denounced Stalin and uncovered his mistakes to destroy him as a myth

    • Peaceful Coexistence - of both sides of the status quo in Europe

    Space race begins

    Space Race Begins

    • 1957 – Sputnik I was successfully launched

    • 1st artificial satellite to orbit the Earth

    • USA recognized Soviet Union was a viable enemy and began space program

    Cold war timeline

    • The United States quickly replaced Britain and France as the leading Western influence in the Middle East, but it faced a growing Soviet influence in Egypt and Syria. In a policy later known as the Eisenhower Doctrine, the United States pledged economic and military aid to any Middle Eastern country threatened by communism. It’s first application was in preventing Civil War in Lebanon in 1958.

    U2 spy plane incident

    U2 Spy Plane Incident

    • 1959 – Premier Krushchev met with Pres. Eisenhower in America

    • Set up a 2nd meeting for Paris

    • 3 days later a U.S. U-2 Spy plane was shot down over Russia

    • Undermined peace agreement efforts

    • Displayed true relations between superpowers

    • CIA pilot Francis Gary Powers was taken captive

      • Returned in 1961

    Cold war timeline


    • one of worst problems for Kennedy Administration was Cuba

      • Cuba became unsettled during the 1950s during the reign of Fulgenico Batista

      • Batista popular with free world (outside of Cuba), but very unpopular with most Cuban people

      • Cuban rebels (peaceful at first) led by Fidel Castro

        • Cuban rebels popular at first, Castro even appeared on the Ed Sullivan show

        • Castro talked in 1958 with VP Nixon about plans for nationalizing industry in the nation (after paying for nationalized businesses)

    • Castro turns more to Soviet Union for assistance after U.S. refuses to help, overthrows Batista in 1959

      • many Cuban businessmen flee country as their wealth confiscated, Castro becomes unpopular in U.S.

    Cold war timeline

    • In his farewell address as president, Eisenhower spoke out against the negative impact of the Cold War on US society. He warned the nation to “guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence . . . by the military-industrial complex.” It appeared to some Americans that the United States was in danger of turning into a military, or imperial, state.

    The berlin wall

    The Berlin Wall

    • 1961 – East German gov. built a wall that separated Berlin

    • Response to fleeing professionals and workers to the economically booming West Berlin

    • W. Berlin was espionage center for West

    Cold war timeline

    • Kennedy develops idea of "flexible response" to combat communism wherever it appeared

    • placed emphasis on use of conventional military weapons rather than nukes

    • would rely on quick deployment of U.S. troops and advisors to help "free" governments around the world fight communism

    • Developed Peace Corps, Agency for International Development, and Food for Peace programs to help developing nations and win friends abroad

    Cold war timeline

    Bay of Pigs

    • Pres. Eisenhower sets plan to help Cuban refugees regain power--called for invasion of Cuba

    • When Kennedy comes into office he inherits plan

    • he is convinced by the CIA, Cuban exiles, and the Mafia to overthrow Castro

    • April 1961, 1,500 anti-Castro exiles land at the Bay of Pigs

    • invasion a fiasco, most Cubans support Castro

    • Kennedy accepts blame, but does not apologize--creates resentment among many Latin American leaders

    Cold war timeline

    Cuban Missile Crisis

    • early October 1962, U.S. spy planes and sattelites took photographs revealing Soviet missile bases and missiles in Cuba

    • Kennedy responds strongly, condemning what he calls a "provocative threat" to world peace on national TV

    • issues ultimatum for missiles to be removed and places a "quarantine" or blockade around Cuba

    • says U.S. will remove missiles by force if Soviet Union does not get rid of them

    • Soviet premier Nikita Khruschev denounces blockade and tries to get missiles ready to launch

    • U.S. forces (including nuclear attack weapons) placed at highest alert--preparations made to invade Cuba

    • World looks on in horror as two sides go to brink of nuclear war

    • Kennedy and Khruschev finally reach agreement--Soviet Union will remove missiles if U.S. agrees not to attack Cuba and removes missiles from Turkey

    Cold war timeline


    • Khruschev and Kennedy are startled by how close they came to nuclear war

    • set up hotline between two nations

    • Cold War shifts from direct confrontation toward more negotiation--called detente

    • in 1963, both nations agree to a treaty banning atomic tests in the atmosphere and the oceans

    • nuclear arms race not ended, but escalates during this period

    • detente does not stop US-USSR rivalry for influence over Third World

    Cold war timeline

    • How does the fear of returning to an economy of joblessness help promote adopting such a foreign policy as NSC-68?

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