Chapter 18Chapter 18 The Cold War Begins 1945 - 1960
Cold War 1945-1990 • After WWII an intense rivalry developed between the U.S. and the Soviet Union- two superpowers with very different political and economic systems. • This rivalry, known as the Cold War, (1945-1990) led to massive buildup of military weapons on both sides. • The determination of American leaders to contain Communism also led to the Korean War, in which 36,500 Americans died.
A Clash of Interests • Even before WWII ended the wartime alliance between the United States and Soviet Union had begun to show signs of strain. • Tensions between the U.S. and Soviet Union began to increase because the two sides had different goals. • Soviets were concerned with security and wanted to keep Germany weak and make sure that the countries between Germany and Soviet Union were under Soviet control.
The Soviet Union and the Communist Party established a totalitarian government with no opposing sides. • While in American System private citizens controlled almost all economic activity. • The American system voting by the people elected a president and congress and competing political parties. • Under Soviet communism the state controlled all the property and the economic activity.
Although security concerns influenced their thinking, Soviet leaders were also Communist. • They believed that Communism was a superior economic system that would eventually replace capitalism and the Soviet Union should encourage communism in other nations. • Soviet leaders also accepted Lenin’s theory that capitalist countries would try to destroy communism. • This made Soviet leaders suspicious of capitalist nations.
While Soviet leaders focused on securing their borders, American leaders focused on economic problems. • Many American officials believed that the Great Depression had caused WWII. • Without the Depression, Hitler would have never come to power, and Japan would not have wanted to expand its empire. • American advisers also thought the Depression had been overly severe because countries cut back on trade. • U.S. leaders promoted both international trade and free enterprise in hopes that trade and free enterprise would increase prosperity and peace.
The Yalta Conference • In February 1945 , with the war in Europe almost over, Roosevelt, Churchill, and Stalin met at Yalta- a resort on the Black Sea- to plan the postwar world. • Although the conference seemed to go well, several agreements, reached at Yalta later played a important role in the Cold War.
The Yalta Conference • At Yalta, a compromise was made with Roosevelt and Churchill agreeing to recognize the Polish Communist government set up by the Soviets. • The first issue at the Yalta Conference was what to do with Poland. • After the Germans invaded Poland many of the Polish leaders had fled to Britain. • In 1944 the Soviets had driven the Germans out of Poland and encouraged the Polish Communist to set up a new government.
This meant there were two governments claiming the right to control Poland one Communist and one non-Communist. • Roosevelt and Churchill argued that the Poles should be free to choose their own government. • “This is what we went to war against Germany for,” Churchill explained “that Poland should be free and sovereign.” • Stalin responded by saying it was a matter of “life nd death.” • Roosevelt and Churchill agreed to recognize the Polish government set up by the Soviets.
Stalin agreed that the government would include members from the old Polish government before the war. • Stalin also agreed that free elections would take place in Poland. • After reaching a compromise on Poland, Roosevelt, Churchill and Stalin agreed to issue the Declaration of Liberated Europe. • The declaration asserted “the right of all people to choose the form of government under which they will live.” • The Allies promised that the people of Europe would be allowed “to create democratic institutions of their own choice.”
Roosevelt, Churchill and Stalin decided at the Conference to divide Germany and Berlin into four zones, with Great Britain, the United States, the Soviet Union, and France each controlling a zone. • Please with the decision to divide Germany, Stalin also wanted to weaken the country
Stalin also demanded Germany pay heavy reparations for the war damage it caused. • Roosevelt agreed, but insisted reparations be based on Germany’s ability to pay. • Roosevelt suggested and Stalin agreed, that Germany pay reparations with trade goods and products instead of cash. • The allies would also e allowed to remove industrial machinery, railroad cars and other equipment from Germany as reparations.
These decisions did not resolve the major issues. • Over the next few years, after WWII arguments about reparations and economic polices in Germany increased the tensions between the U.S. and Soviets. • These arguments became one of the major causes of the Cold War.
The Yalta Conference decisions shaped the expectations f the U.S. • Two weeks after the Conference, the Soviets pressured the King of Romania into appointing a Communist government. • The U.S. accused the Soviets of violating the Declaration of Liberated Europe. • Soon afterward, the Soviets refused to allow more than three non-Communist poles to serve on the 18-member Polish government. • There were no indication that they intended to hold free elections as promised.
On April 1, President Roosevelt informed the Soviets that their actions in Poland was unacceptable. • April 12, 1945 with Soviet-American relations deteriorating, President Roosevelt died and Vice-President Truman became President.
Truman Takes Control • Inexperienced in diplomacy, Truman already had his own views about how to deal with the Soviets. • Truman was strongly anticommunist and suspicious of Stalin. • He was not going to make the same mistake as Britain in appeasing Stalin. He said “We must stand up to the Russians.” • He did that ten days later while meeting with the Soviet Foreign Minister Molotov. • He demanded that Stalin hold free elections in Poland as he had promised at the Yalta Conference.
Potsdam Conference • Truman’s test as a diplomat came in July 1945 when the Big Three- U.S., Great Britain, and the Soviet Union met at the final wartime conference in Potsdam near Berlin. • These were the same countries which had been present a Yalta in February 1945. • At Yalta, Stalin had promised Truman that he would allow free elections in Eastern Europe. • It was clear by July that Stalin would not allow free elections in Eastern Europe.
Unless Germany’s economy was allowed to revive, the rest of Europe would never recover, and the German people might turn to Communism out of desperation. • Stalin and his advisers were equally convinced that they needed reparations from Germany while Truman insisted that Germany’s industry had to be allowed to recover. • Stalin would oppose the idea since the Soviet zone was mostly agricultural. It could not provide all the reparations the Soviets needed.
To get the Soviets to accept the deal, Truman offered Stalin some of Germany’s industrial equipment from the other zones but required the Soviets to pay for part of it with food shipments from their zone. • Truman also offered to accept the new German-Polish border the Soviets had established. • Stalin did not like Truman’s proposal.
At the Conference Truman learned the U.S. had successfully tested the atomic bomb and he told Stalin about the test. • Stalin suspected Truman was trying to bully him into a deal and the Americans were trying to limit the reparations of the Soviets. • Despite his suspicions, Stalin had to accept the deal.
Truman had won the argument over reparations, but had less success on other issues. • The Soviets refused to uphold the Declaration of Liberated Europe. • The presence of Soviet troops in Eastern Europe ensured that eventually, pro-Communist governments would be established in Poland, Romania, Bulgaria, Hungary, and Czechoslovakia. • The Communist countries of Eastern Europe came to be called satellite nations. • Not under direct Soviet control, they had to remain Communist and friendly to the Soviet Union.
Although they had their own governments and were not directly under Soviet control, they had to remain Communist and follow Soviet-approved policies. • As Communists began taking over Eastern Europe, Winston Churchill’s term, the iron curtain, was used to describe the separation of the Communist nations of Eastern Europe from the West. • The Potsdam conference hurt the Soviet-American relations it created tension because Stalin suspected that Truman wanted to limit reparations to keep the Soviet Union weak.
Containing Communism • As the Cold War began, the United States struggled to oppose Communism aggression in Europe and Asia through political, economic, and military measures. • Despite the growing tensions between the U.S. and Soviet Union, many American officials continued to believe cooperation with the Soviets was possible. • The Soviets were pushed to hold free elections in Eastern Europe, the Soviets refused to budge on this issue.
Containing Communism • As Americans became increasingly impatient with the Soviets, the State Department asked the American Embassy in Moscow to explain Soviet behavior. • On February 22, 1946, diplomat George Kennan responded with the Long Telegram, a 5,540 word cable message explaining his views of Soviet goals.
According to Kennan, the Soviets’ view of the world came from traditional “Russian sense of insecurity” and fear of the West, intensified by the Communist ideas of Lenin and Stalin.
Containing Communism • Kennan proposed a long-term containment of Russian expansion. • This led to Truman’s policy of containment – keeping communism within its present territory through diplomatic, economic, and military actions.
Crisis in Iran • While Truman’s administration discussed Kennan’s ideas, a series of crises erupted in the spring and summer of 1946. • The first crisis began in Iran. • During in WWII, the U.S. had put troops in Southern Iran while the Soviet troops occupied Northern Iran to secure a supply line from the Persian Gulf. • After the war, instead of withdrawing as promised the Soviets remained in Northern Iran. • Stalin then began demanding access to Iran’s oil supplies.
Containing Communism • Frustrated in Iran, Stalin turned to Turkey. • There the straits of Dardanelles were a vital route from the Soviet Black Sea ports to the Mediterranean. • On March 12, 1947, Truman went before Congress to request $400 million to fight Soviet aggression in Greece and Turkey. • The policy became known as the Truman Doctrine. Its purpose was to stabilize the Greek government and ease Soviet demands in Turkey. • It became the United States’ pledge to stop communism in the world.
Containing Communism • Postwar Western Europe faced economic ruin and starving people. • In June 1947, Secretary of State George C. Marshall proposed the European Recovery Program called the Marshall Plan. • The Marshall Plan would give European nations American aid to rebuilt. • The plan was an effort to fight hunger, poverty, and chaos.
Containing Communism • The Soviet Union and its satellite nations in Eastern Europe rejected the offer and developed their own economic program. • The Marshall Plan gave billions of dollars worth of supplies, machinery, and food to Western Europe, lessening the appeal of communism and opening new trade markets.
Discussion • What were the goals of the Truman and Marshall Plans? • Fight Soviet aggression in Greece and Turkey. • Stabilize Europe’s economy to defeat Communism.
The Berlin Crisis • By early 1948, in response to the Soviet attempt to harm Germany’s economy, the United States, Great Britain, and France merged their zones in Germany and in Berlin, which became West Berlin, allowing Germans to have their own government. • The new nation became West Germany with a separated economy from the Soviet zone, which eventually became known as East Germany.
In June 1948, Soviet troops stopped all road and rail traffic to West Berlin, hoping to force Americans to renegotiate Germany’s status or give up Berlin. • In response, Truman sent long-range bombers with atomic weapons to bases in Britain. • Truman then ordered the Berlin Airlift. • For eleven months, cargo planes supplied Berliners with food, medicine, and coal. • Stalin finally lifted the blockade on May 12. • What triggered the beginning of the Berlin Airlift? • Soviet blockade of West Berlin.
With the threat of war still present, the American public supported a military alliance with Western Europe. • By April 1949, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), a mutual defense alliance, was created with initial twelve countries joining. • The members agreed to come to the aid of any member who was attacked.
The Berlin Crisis • Six years later, NATO allowed West Germany to rearm and join its organization. • Soviet leaders responded with the organization of a military alliance in Eastern Europe known as the Warsaw Pact.
Discussion • Why was NATO created? • It was created by 12 countries, including the United States, Canada, and several Western European countries, as a mutual defense alliance in order to help maintain peace in Europe.
The Cold War Spreads to East Asia • After WWII, China became a Communist nation and Korea was split into a communist North and democratic South. • In China, communist forces and Nationalist forces had been battling since the late 1920’s. • The two had stopped their war during World War II in an effort to resist Japanese occupation.
The Cold War Spreads to East Asia • In China Communist forces led by Mao Zedong had been struggling against the nationalist government led by Chiang Kai-shek.
The Cold War Spreads to East Asia • With the end of World War II, civil war broke out again. • The Nationalists were defeated after poor leadership caused the United States to stop sending aid. • In October 1949, Communists set up the People’s Republic of China.
The Cold War Spreads to East Asia • In early 1950, the People’s Republic of China and the Soviet Union signed a treaty of friendship and alliance. • The United States was able to keep Communist China out of the United Nations while allowing Nationalists from Taiwan to retain their seats. • When the United States lost China as its main ally in Asia, it adopted policies to encourage the quick recovery of Japan’s industrial economy. The U.S. saw Japan as its key in defending Asia.
The Korean War • At the end of World War II, American and Soviet forces entered Korea to disarm Japanese troops stationed there. • The Allies divided Korea at the 38th parallel of latitude. • Soviet troops controlled the north and set up a Communist government. • American troops controlled the south.
The Korean War • The Soviets gave military aid to North Korea, resulting in an expansive military. • On June 25, 1950, North Korean troops invaded South Korea.
The Korean War • Truman asked the UN to act against the Communist invasion of South Korea. • American, UN and South Korean troops pushed back advancing North Korean troops.
The Korean War • The Communist Chinese government saw UN troops as a threat and demanded that they stop advancing. • After being ignored, China began a massive attack with hundreds of thousands of Chinese troops heading across the border, driving UN forces back.
The Korean War • General MacArthur demanded approval to expand the war against China. Truman refused MacArthur’s demands. • MacArthur was fired after publicly criticizing the president. • Truman was committed to limited war, a war fought to achieve a limited objective such as containing communism.