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Cold War. 1945-1991. Cold War Beginnings. Following WWII the US and USSR were the only two superpowers left Soon after WWII these two powers were in a Cold War (Icy Tensions) Why?- different economic systems, strategic interests, Stalin’s Speech, Iron Curtain Speech, Atomic Weapons.

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Cold War

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Cold war l.jpg

Cold War


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Cold War Beginnings

  • Following WWII the US and USSR were the only two superpowers left

  • Soon after WWII these two powers were in a Cold War (Icy Tensions)

  • Why?- different economic systems, strategic interests, Stalin’s Speech, Iron Curtain Speech, Atomic Weapons

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Pre Cold War distrust

  • US

    • Communism antithesis of Democracy/Freedom/Capitalism

    • Stalin’s Purges

    • Non-Aggression Pact

    • USSR emphasis on Worldwide communism

  • USSR

    • US attempted to undo Revolution

    • Delayed attack on Western Front during WWII

    • Believes peace will come from worldwide communism

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Yalta Conference 1945

  • Big 3 – Roosevelt, Churchill, Stalin

  • Germany Split into 4 Occupied Zones

  • Soviet vs. Western Allies (Tension for Four Decades)

  • Agreement to create United Nations

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Potsdam- 1945

  • Big 3 – Truman, Churchill, Stalin

  • Meeting more tense (Truman’s style, plus knowledge of da bomb)

  • Presses Stalin for free elections in Eastern Europe

  • Stalin later gives speech saying Capitalism and Communism cannot exist in same world

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United States 1946

  • Churchill Warns of an “Iron Curtain” in Europe

  • Stalin calls speech an act of war, beginning of the Cold War

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Truman Doctrine- 1946

  • Turkey and Greece faced Communist revolutions

  • Truman asks for and recieves 400 million to aid fight against communism

  • Beginning of Containment Policy (not allow communism to spread)

    • Becomes guiding US policy into 1970’s

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Western Europe 1947

  • The Marshall Plan gives aid to European Nations

  • Rebuilt Western Europe, threatened Communism

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Berlin, Germany

  • Stalin cuts off access to Berlin, US sends airplanes with supplies

  • Stalin backs off, Victory for West

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Western Europe/ North America 1949

  • NATO- North Atlantic Treaty Organization

  • USSR creates Warsaw Pact in 1955

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USSR/China- 1949

  • USSR develops A-Bomb

  • Arms race develops between US and USSR

  • China falls to the Communists

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  • Eisenhower / Dulles policy of Massive Retaliation (Brinkmanship)

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Containment Chart

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  • Communist North Korea Invades South Korea

  • UN and West aid South Korea while Soviet Union and China aid North Korea

  • 1950-1953

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38th Parallel

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Inchon Landing

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Yalu River

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Truman Fires Macarthur

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1953 Cease Fire and DMZ

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Vietnam 1954

  • US actively aids against Ho Chi Minh and Communists

  • French defeat at Dien Bien Phu

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Paris Peace Accords

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Eisenhower and the Domino Theory

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JFK and Diem

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LBJ1963- USS Maddox and Gulf of Tonkin

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1964-1968 (Tet Offensive)

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1968- Nixon and Vietnamization

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1975- Fall of Saigon

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Vietnam Effects

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Cuba 1959

  • Fidel Castro and Communists take Cuba

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Cuba 1960

  • Bay of Pigs invasion, attempted overthrow of Fidel Castro’s Communism

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Cuba 1962

  • Soviet Missiles Discovered in Cuba

  • Beginning of 13 Day Cuban Missile Crisis

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Cuban Missile Crisis

  • Closest ever coming to Nuclear War

  • Kennedy vs. Kruschev

  • President Kennedy Blocks Cuba with Ships (“eye to eye and the other guy blinked”)

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Soviet Union 1953-1956

  • Stalin Dies in 1953, Nikita Kruschev becomes new Soviet Leader

  • 1956 begins policy of De-Stalinization

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Hungary 1956

  • Hungarian Leader Imre Nage takes Hungary out of Warsaw Pact

  • Kruschev sends in Soviet Troops to regain order

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  • Soviets Launch Sputnik

  • Beginning of Space Race between US and USSR

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Berlin, Germany 1961

  • East Germany builds wall, cuts off access for East Germany to West Berlin Berlin

  • Wall became a symbol of the Cold War

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USSR / Czecholslovakia-1964-1968

  • 1964 Leonid Brezhnez becomes leader of Soviet Union

  • Czechovakian leader Alexander Dubcek lessoned censorship “Prague Spring”

  • Free Expression clamped down with Brezhnez Doctrine (later used in Afghanistan)

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Richard Nixon and Detente

  • Détente- Lessening Cold War Tensions

  • Real Politik- dealing with nations in a practical and flexible manner (anti-containment)

  • Nixon visits China (Sino-Soviet Split)

  • SALT Treaties

  • Policy continued with Gerald Ford and Jimmy Carter

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Ronald Reagan

  • Fiercely Anti-Communist

  • Moved Away from Détente

  • Increased Military Spending

  • SDI, Strategic Defense Initiative or Star Wars

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USSR 1985

  • Mikhail Gorbachev becomes Premier

  • Begins a series of Reforms and Freedoms in Russia

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  • Openness- Churches opened, Press allowed to criticize government, Banned authors allowed to publish books

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  • “Economic Restructuring”, Managers make more decisions, small private businesses

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  • Gradual opening of the political system

  • Election of a new group of lawmakers

  • Communist Party no longer chose all candidates

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USSR 1991

  • Nationalities begin to call of Independence

  • August Coup, by Communist Hardliners

  • Boris Yeltsin Seen as Hero

  • Boris Yeltsin becomes President of Russia

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Russia 1991-1999

  • Boris Yeltsin President

  • Forms Commonwealth of Independent States of CIS

  • Shock Therapy for Economy

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Russia 1999-2008

  • Vladimir Putin appointed President in 1999 (won re-election twice)

  • Forcefully dealt with Chechnya

  • Tightened Grip of government on Economy

  • Restricted Voting Rights and Liberties

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Central and Eastern EuropePoland

  • Lech Walesa leads workers Union Solidarity against Communist Government

  • Series of strikes and crackdowns. By 1989, Solidarity was legal in Poland, helped gain free elections

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Berlin, Germany 1989

  • Berlin Wall falls after Hungary opens its borders (Symbol of End of Cold War)

  • Start of the collapse of the Eastern Bloc

  • Process of Reunification

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