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Two Nations Live on the Edge. Bbbrrrrr….. The Cold War. 1949 Soviets detonates their own atomic bomb, which sparks the beginning of the Nuclear arms race. The United States develops the H-Bomb. Soviets quickly develop their own . Brinkmanship Rules U.S. Policy.

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Two nations live on the edge l.jpg

Two Nations Live on the Edge

Bbbrrrrr….. The Cold War


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1949 Soviets detonates their own atomic bomb, which sparks the beginning of the Nuclear arms race.

The United States develops the H-Bomb.

Soviets quickly develop their own.

Brinkmanship Rules U.S. Policy


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Eisenhower becomes president and his secretary of state is John Foster Dulles.

Dulles creates the Policy of Brinkmanship

The United States threatens to use all of its weapons (including nuclear) against any country that threatens them.

Willingness to go to the “Brink” of war.

The Policy of Brinkmanship


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Central Intelligence Agency begins to run covert operations in order to combat communism.

Removed the Prime minister of Iran.

Overthrew the government of Guatemala.

The Cold War Spreads Around the World


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After Stalin's Death, the Soviet Union recognizes West Germany and signs peace treaties with Austria and Japan.

After West Germany rearms, Soviets form Warsaw Pact.

Eisenhower approached the Soviets in Geneva to allow a “open skies” policy, which would allow for openness of each others military strength.

Soviets refused.

A Summit in Geneva


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1955 Egypt invades and captures the Suez Canal, which is controlled by France.

Great Britain, France and Israel, declare war on Egypt.

The Soviets support Egypt and threaten retaliation against the invaders.

The United States then threatens the Soviets which causes a standoff.

The United Nation eventually negotiates a cease fire.

Crisis in the Middle East


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People of Hungary began to move towards a break from the Soviet Union.

As the threat of Hungary leaving the Warsaw Pact became real, the Soviets invaded.

Creation of the Eisenhower Doctrine.

The United States would defend all Middle Eastern countries against communism.

Soviet Aggression in Hungary


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Sputnik is launched, causing fear and inferiority in the United States.

Results on an emphasis of education in the United States.

American Spy plane is shot down over the Soviet Union.

This effects US – Soviet relations.

The Cold War Takes to the Skies


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Source: Special Message to the Congress from President Eisenhower on Education, January 1958.“Because of the national security interest in the quality and scope of our educational system in the years immediately ahead, however, the Federal Government must also undertake to play an emergency role. The Administration is therefore recommending certain emergency Federal action to encourage and assist greater effort in specific areas of national concern. These recommendations place principal emphasis on our national security requirements. . . .If we are to maintain our position of leadership, we must see to it that today's young people are prepared to contribute the maximum to our future progress. Because of the growing importance of science and technology, we must necessarily give special-but by no means exclusive-attention to education in science and engineering.”


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To conclude…. Eisenhower on Education, January 1958.

  • In small groups of 3 or 4, list the sources of fear in the early days of the Cold War.

  • What are the consequences of this fear?

  • How do you imagine this could impact culture in the US during the 1950’s?


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