The cold war 1945 1991
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The Cold War 1945-1991. What was The Cold War?. The strategic and political struggle that developed after WWII between the United States and it’s Western European allies and the Soviet Union and Eastern European allies Capitalism vs. Communism Democracy vs. Communism.

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What was the cold war
What was The Cold War?

  • The strategic and political struggle that developed after WWII between the United States and it’s Western European allies and the Soviet Union and Eastern European allies

  • Capitalism vs. Communism

  • Democracy vs. Communism

The rise of the superpowers
The rise of the superpowers

  • Before WW2 USA, USSR,GB, France, Japan, Germany could have claimed to be “superpowers”.

  • The damage caused by the war to these countries left only two countries with the military strength and resources to be called superpowers….USA and USSR.

Causes of the cold war
Causes of the Cold War

  • The Arms Race

  • Competition in the Third World

    • Asia, Africa, Middle East, Latin America

  • Two Ideologies

  • Mutual Distrust

    • Russian Revolution

    • WWII

    • Yalta/Potsdam Conference

Us and soviet tension
US and Soviet Tension

  • Stalin and Truman did not see eye to eye

    • Both used the UN as an arena for competition and a forum to spread their influence over other nations.

Strengths and weaknesses of the un


Offered membership to all nations of the world

Enjoyed the participation of the strongest nations of the time:

China, GB , Fr, US, USSR


General Assembly had no power to enforce decisions.

Security Council actions could be stopped (veto) by any of the 5 permanent members

UN could invite countries to contribute military personnel and equipment, but had no military force of its own

Strengths and Weaknesses of the UN

Yalta and potsdam


Churchill, FDR, Stalin

Division of Germany and Berlin into four zones

SU promises free elections to E. Eur. nations taken during WWII

SU promises to enter war in the Pacific within three months


Final wartime conf

Atlee, Truman, Stalin

Truman pushed Stalin to allow free elections &Stalin refused

Stalin wanted to strip Ger of its industry & Br and US refused

Yalta and Potsdam

The cold war 1945 1991

YALTA (in the USSR)

Date: Feb 1945

Present: Churchill,

Roosevelt and Stalin

The cold war 1945 1991

POTSDAM (Germany)

Date: July 1945

Present: Atlee,

Truman and Stalin

The cold war 1945 1991

Iron Curtain

A term used by

Winston Churchill

to describe the

separating of

Those communist

lands of East

Europe from the


Divided Germany

Bell ringer 1 5 answers only
Bell Ringer# 1-5, answers only

1.The strategic and political struggle that developed after WWII between the United States & Soviet Union and their allies

2. What event began #1?

3. Ideological division between communist and non-communist countries

4. Which post WW2 conferences caused mistrust between Stalin and Truman?

5. What organization created after WW2 had both strengths and weaknesses?


  • Communist

  • Totalitarian (dictatorship)

  • Resents US

    • US did not recognize SU until 16 yrs after revolution

    • Delayed European invasion

    • Jealous US suffered no war damages & had few casualties due to WW2

    • Kept development of Atomic bomb a secret from them

  • Wants to accomplish

    • Spread communism throughout the world

    • Grab up land bordering SU as “buffer zone”

      and est. them as “satellite nations”. Transferred

      independence from E Europe to SU to rebuild own country

    • Wants to keep Ger divided and weak

  • Final Break with the West

  • Winston Churchill’s “Iron Curtain” speech


  • Capitalist

  • Democracy

  • Suspicious of Stalin

    • Non-aggression pact

      - Broken promises at Yalta

  • Wants to Accomplish

    • Spread dem throughout world

    • Rebuild govts to prevent totalitarianism

    • Create new markets for American goods to est stability

    • Reunite Ger in belief that Europe would be more secure if Germany more stable and less bitter about defeat

  • New Foreign Policy

    • Containment – block all soviet attempts to spread Communism by forming alliances supporting weaker countries. Wanted to CONTAIN Communism and keep it from SPREADING

      • George Kennen

What did the us do to contain communism
What did the US do to contain Communism?

  • Truman Doctrine

    • US will help any country fight against Communism

    • Containment/ stop the domino effect

    • US will send aid in form of $ and military to prevent spread of Communism to Greece and Turkey btw ’47 and ’50

  • Marshall Plan

    • Fr., Br, in danger of going Communist

    • George Marshall

      • US provide aid to all Eur nations needing it

      • This move was directed “not against any doctrine but against hunger, poverty, desperation, and chaos”

      • Participating countries had to remove trade barriers and cooperate economically with one another

Crisis in germany again
Crisis in Germany (again)

  • US, Br, Fr believed Europe would be more stable if German industry were productive and German people not agitating for unification.

  • Stalin wanted a weak and divided Ger

  • Three other zones combine

  • Stalin retaliates by holding W Berlin “hostage”

    • Cut off all highway, water, and rail traffic into w zones of Berlin

    • City faced starvation

    • Berlin Airlift – Am and British officials flew in aid to W Berlin around the clock for 327 days

      • Dangerous

      • Prestige boost to US

      • SU lifted blockage in 1949

North atlantic treaty organization
North Atlantic Treaty Organization

  • Berlin blockade increased W. European fear of Soviet aggression.

  • 10 European nations

    • Belgium, Den, Fr, GB, Iceland, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Norway Portugal

      • Join US and Canada in forming NATO

      • Attack on one regarded as attack on all which they would resist with armed force if necessary

      • 1st time US joins peacetime alliance

        **The Cold War has ended ISOLATIONISM!!**

The cold war 1945 1991

** In 1949 two events occurred that sent shock waves through the US govt:

  • China goes Communist

  • Soviets explode their first atomic bomb

China goes communist
China goes Communist through the US govt:

  • Mao Zedong (communist in N) v. Jiang Jieshi (Nationalist in S)

    • US sent approx $3 billion in aid to Nationalists

    • Stalin sent aid to Mao Zedong and Communists

  • Chinese pop supported comm

    • Driven there by Jieshi (corrupt and abusive)

  • Civil war broke out as soon as Japan left

  • Communists win May 1949

  • ** American public stunned that China had become comm

  • Truman accused of being “weak” on the Communist issue

Soviets explode their first atomic bomb summer 1949
Soviets explode Their first Atomic Bomb (Summer 1949) through the US govt:

  • Us thought they were the only ones with the bomb

  • Summer 1949, US news reported that “in recent weeks an atomic explosion occurred within the USSR”

    • Americans now feared they could suffer same fate as Hiroshima or Nagasaki

  • Truman responded with the forging ahead with a new weapon

    • 1950 Began creation of Hydrogen or thermonuclear bomb

    • Federal Civil Defense Administration (1951)

      • Air raid drills

Fear of communist influence
Fear of Communist Influence through the US govt:

  • Loyalty Review Board

    • Investigated 3.2 mill emp and dismissed 212

  • House un-American Activities Board (HUAC)

    • Congressional committee created to search out disloyalty before WWII.

    • Began to investigate “Hollywood”

  • Hollywood Ten

    • Hollywood producers/directors accused of being Comm sympathizers

    • blacklisted

  • McCarran Act

    • Unlawful to plan any action that might lead to the est of totalitarian dictatorship in the US

      • Vetoed by Truman

Spy cases
Spy Cases through the US govt:

  • Alger Hiss

    • Accused of spying for SU

    • Convicted of perjury

  • The Rosenbergs

    • Active in the Comm party

    • Accused of giving Soviets info about US Atomic bomb

    • Denied charges and claimed being persecuted for radical beliefs and being Jewish

    • Convicted and died by electric chair

Mccarthy s witch hunt
McCarthy’s “Witch Hunt” through the US govt:

  • Joseph McCarthy (R - Wis)

    • Needed a winning “issue”

    • Tactics

      • Took adv of fear of Comm

      • Made unsupported accusations

      • Claimed he had names

      • Dem party guilty of “20 yrs of treason”

    • Downfall

      • McCarthy made accusation against army

        • Nationally televised investigation

        • Bullying alienated the audience and cost him public support

      • Died three yrs later broke and an alcoholic