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Alliance between USSR and US. WWII contributed to the Cold War because Ideological differences = suspicion US and USSR had competing political objectives for postwar Eastern Europe US wanted democracy and self-determination Stalin wanted to create a buffer from German aggression

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Alliance between USSR and US

  • WWII contributed to the Cold War because

    • Ideological differences = suspicion

    • US and USSR had competing political objectives for postwar Eastern Europe

      • US wanted democracy and self-determination

      • Stalin wanted to create a buffer from German aggression

      • = The alliance between US and USSR quickly disintegrated during post war 1945.


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Yalta/ Potsdam

  • Meeting in Black Sea (Soviet Union)

  • Franklin D. Roosevelt, Joseph Stalin, and Winston Churchill

  • Stalin promises free elections in Poland

  • Germany divided into 4 spheres of influence, Berlin also divided into 4 zones (even though located in the heart of the Soviet’s sphere)

  • In Potsdam, the three countries agree to recognize each others’ influence over regions where their respective troops remained at the end of war.


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Communist Rebellions in Greece and Turkey

  • Rebellions inspired the Truman Doctrine, which justified US intervention in regional conflicts in the name of containing Soviet communism

  • Truman Doctrine later served as the framework for American foreign policy in the nuclear age

  • Inspired one of the first indirect confrontations between US and USSR (through other nations)


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Economic and Military Alliances in Europe after WWII

  • Economic/Military alliances in Europe post WWII contributed to Cold War

  • 1) economic alliances formed under the Marshall Plan and the Molotov Plan hardened divisions

  • Marshall Plan provided $17 billion in aid for the economic recovery of Europe

    • Accept American loans = agree to buy American products

  • Molitov Plan: Soviets refused to let Eastern European nations accept loans from the Marshall Plan, so their plan was designed to support war torn Eastern Europe


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Two Views on Marshall Plan

United States’ view

Soviet Union’s view

  • Aid was essential to keep communism from spreading beyond USSR

  • Will promote peace and stability

  • Economic alliances formed under the Marshall Plan only served American interests and undermined Soviet power in Europe

  • Cunning attempt to support American capitalism by economically enslaving Europe


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The Berlin Crisis/ Airlift

  • Post WWII, Germany was placed under military rule and divided into zones ruled by Americans, British, French, and Soviets. Berlin was also divided into separate sectors

  • Berlin was located in Soviet-controlled German territory, and Soviets felt they were entitled to full control over capital

  • In 1948, plans announced to introduce a new form of currency in Germany- Soviets withdrew from Allied Control Council

  • When allies introduced new currency in West Berlin- Soviets instituted a formal blockade

  • August 1948, US proved it was willing to take action against Soviets by airlifting supplies to Berlin.


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NATO Established

North Atlantic Treaty Organization

Warsaw Pact

  • 1949 United States joined western nations such as Canada, France, Great Britain, Italy and the Netherlands to form the North Atlantic Treaty Organization

  • NATO was a military alliance designed to protect each other from Soviet aggression

  • Soviet alliance with Eastern European nations such as Czechoslovakia, East Germany, Hungary, Poland, and Romania

  • These organizations introduced the possibility of armed conflict and led to est. of defensive armies throughout Europe


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Development of Nuclear Weapons

  • Soviet Union’s development of nuclear weapons positioned them to compete with the US as a military superpower (helped them maintain control of “their” countries)

  • Fueled an arms race between US and USSR to keep one another in “check”

  • US and USSR knew that direct conflict using nuclear weapons would cause untold devastation, so both chose to fight indirectly using economic and military aid to rivaling nations


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China becomes a communist country

  • Chinese Communists battle nationalist government of Chiang Kai-Shek

  • US supports Chiang (government is corrupt)

  • Communists led by Mao Zedong, work to get peasant support

  • Peasants flock to Red Army, by 1945, communists control north China

  • 1949 Nationalists flee to Taiwan

  • Communists establish People’s Republic of China in mainland (US doesn’t recognize)


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Korean War begins

  • Japan had annexed Korea in 1910.

  • As WWII ended, Japanese troops in north surrendered to USSR, South to US

  • Divided at the 38th parallel

  • US occupied zone became the Republic of Korea

  • Soviet zone became Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (communist)

  • Kim Il Sung leader


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Korean War

  • Korean War in 1950 increased American alarm spread of communism

  • 38th parallel divided communist North Korea and UN supported South Korea

  • US gets involved… Has early victories until 1 million Chinese “volunteers” pushes US back into South Korea.

  • General MacArthur calls for war with China

  • Truman disagrees- fires MacArthur for going public

  • War ends in stalemate in 1953


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Korean War

  • June 25, 1950 North Korea swept across 38th parallel in surprise attack on South Korea

  • War confirmed the growing American belief that the spread of communism in Asia was now a serious threat

  • South Korea calls on UN to stop invasion (approved)

  • MacArthur put in command of forces

  • North Korea drives south (to Seoul)

  • MacArthur attacks North Koreans from 2 sides, pushes into north

  • China sends troops to help North Koreans, push south,

  • MacArthur calls for war with China (is fired)

  • Stalemate…Soviets suggest cease fire 1953 armistice


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Importance of Korean War

  • After Chinese Communist Rev. and Korean War, the Cold War became more global

  • This began US/USSR rivalry to compete for influence worldwide.

  • Political scientist eventually began to describe the world as bipolar (belonging to US or USSR)


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Soviet invasion of Hungary

  • USSR became known as the “Iron Curtain”, behind which the Soviets desire was “the… indefinite expansion of their power and doctrines.” Winston Churchill

  • Over time, Eastern Europeans began to rebel

  • 1956 Hungarian citizens began rioting

  • Khrushchev, new USSR leader, dispatched Red Army, rounded up protesters and executed leaders.


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Soviet invasion of Hungary contributed to Cold War because

  • Soviet Union’s attempts to draw an “iron curtain” around itself increased American suspicions of communism

  • Using rule by force in E. Europe, the USSR increased American belief that communism that to be stopped at all costs

  • Suppression of Hungarians confirmed US worst fears and escalated hostilities.


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Cold War at Home

  • Truman accused of being soft on Communism

  • Created Federal Employee Loyalty Program to investigate (dismiss 212)

  • House Un-American Activities Committee investigates Communist ties (esp. in movies)

  • Hollywood Ten refuse to testify, sent to prison

  • Hollywood Blacklist- People with Communist ties cannot get work

  • Alger Hiss accused of spying for USSR (convicted of perjury


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Cold War at home (cont.)

  • 1949 Soviets explode atomic bomb

  • Physicist Klaus Fuchs admits giving info

  • Ethel, Julius Rosenburg (minor Comm. Party activists implicated) = executed

  • Senator Joseph McCarthy launches “Witch Hunt” on suspected communists

  • Became known as McCarthyism- accusing people of disloyalty without providing evidence

  • Name-called only in Senate (due to congressional immunity)


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McCarthy’s downfall

  • 1954, McCarthy made accusations against US Army= televised Senate investigation

  • McCarthy’s bullying of witnesses lost him public support.

  • Three years later, suffering from alcoholism, he died


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