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Cold War Foreign Policy (1945-1991) Lesson One. Truman Eisenhower Kennedy Johnson Nixon. Ford Carter Reagan H.W. Bush.

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Cold war foreign policy 1945 1991 lesson one
Cold War Foreign Policy(1945-1991)Lesson One

Truman Eisenhower Kennedy Johnson Nixon

Ford Carter Reagan H.W. Bush

The superpowers
The Superpowers

United States (U.S.)


Free trade

Nuclear power

Soviet Union (U.S.S.R)


Controlled economy

Nuclear power

Stars and Stripes

Hammer and Sickle

Cold war tensions
Cold War Tensions

It refers to a mutual distrust between the two superpowers ideologies.

U.S. wants democracy, capitalism, free trade

U.S.S.R. wants communism, planned economies, and trade dominated by the USSR.

United nations june 1945
United Nations (June 1945)

Collective security organization

The United Nations (replaced defunct League of Nations)

Picture 1- Security Council (15 members with five permanent members including the U.S., Great Britain, China, France, and Russia [formerly U.S.S.R])

Picture 2- General Assembly (194 member nations today)

Potsdam meeting july 1945
Potsdam Meeting (July 1945)

New “Big Three” meet in Potsdam, Germany

Truman announced the existence of the a-bomb (Potsdam Declaration).

Cold War begins here


No free elections in Eastern Europe occupied by the Soviets when WW II ended.

Distrust over not sharing a-bomb secrets with an ally.

Partitioned germany
Partitioned Germany

At the Yalta meeting (Feb. 1945) the “Big Three” decided to partition Germany.

It was divided into a West Germany and East Germany.

Berlinwas a divided city despite being squarely in the Soviet occupation zone.

Partitioned Germany

The iron curtain
The Iron Curtain

Stalin makes Eastern Europe into “satellite nations”

Former British Prime Minister Winston Churchill called the Soviet dominated region the,

”Iron Curtain”

Satellite Nations


Foreign policy concept defining steps to be taken by the U.S. to prevent the spread of communism in the post-war world.

George F. Kennan

National security act 1947
National Security Act, 1947

It created the a restructured military apparatus to help the modern president confront a myriad of volatile situations.

Department of Defense (Pentagon)

Joint Chiefs of Staff

Central Intelligence Agency (CIA)

The first official covert agency in US history.

Covert operations of the 50’s in Iran and Guatemala led to the overthrow of governments and the installation of pro-U.S. dictators.

Marshall plan
Marshall Plan

U.S. plan to rebuild Europe in order to prevent the spread of Communism to Western Europe (containment).

16 nations received $13 billion in aid.

Stalin turned down aid offered to Soviet bloc nations.

George Marshall

Secretary of State

Truman doctrine
Truman Doctrine

On March 12, 1947, Truman asked Congress for $400 million in economic and military aid for Greece and Turkey.

He declared that “it must be the policy of the United States to support free peoples who are resisting attempted subjugation by armed minorities or by outside pressures.” (containment)

Harry S. Truman

Berlin airlift 1948
Berlin Airlift, 1948


Stalin’s siege to cut off West Berlin that lasted for 327 days.

The U.S. Air Force flew 277,000 flights to constantly resupply the city.

U.S. won this first confrontation of the Cold War

First Cold War Confrontation

China 1945 1949
China (1945-1949)

Civil war between pro-U.S Chiang Kai-shek [Nationalist] and U.S.S.R. supported Mao Zedong [Communist].

Nationalist fled to Formosa [Taiwan]

Truman is said to have “lost” China by conservatives in both political parties.

Chiang Kai-shek

Mao Zedong

North atlantic treaty organization nato
North Atlantic Treaty Organization(NATO)

The alliance led by the United States.

Entangling alliance warned about by George Washington in 1797.

Fear of Senate Republicans in 1919 over the League of Nations

Warsaw pact 1955
Warsaw Pact(1955)

Soviet counterpart to NATO.

U.S.S.R and her 7 “satellite nations”

Intervened in East Germany, Poland, Hungary, and Czechoslovakia between 1953 and 1967 to end any movement toward democracy.

Korean war 1950 53
Korean War (1950-53)

June 1950, N. Korea invaded S. Korea.

U.S. and 15 other nations agreed to help S. Korea through the UN.

Macarthur launched the Inchon offensive

What was the strategy?

A. offensive- attack above the 38th parallel (MacArthur)

B. defensive- stop at the 38th parallel (Truman)

The Forgotten War

Korean war 1950 53 truman vs macarthur
Korean War (1950-53)Truman vs. MacArthur

In November 1950, the Chinese entered the war fearing MacArthur may attack them.

MacArthur wanted to attack China and suggested even using the A-bomb (offensive strategy).

Truman was against this. The general talked to the press and to Republicans about his plan.

The President had to act- he fired MacArthur for insubordination.

The American public sided with MacArthur at first but later came to agree with Truman’s stance for a limited war.

The Protagonists

Korean war 1950 531
Korean War (1950-53)

A cease-fire went into effect in June 1951.

The 38th parallel was agreed to as a “demilitarized zone”

The result was a divided Korea.

38th Parallel

Korean war 1950 532
Korean War (1950-53)

An armistice was agreed to in July 1953 after Eisenhower won the “52 election and went to Korea.

Cost the U.S. $67 million dollars and 54,000 deaths

Threatened to use h-bomb (brinksmanship)


Eisenhower administration 1953 1961
Eisenhower Administration(1953 – 1961)

Ends the Korean War

Eisenhower Doctrine

Brinksmanship or Massive Retaliation

Increased the role of the CIA

Dwight D. Eisenhower

Eisenhower administration
Eisenhower Administration

1952- H-bomb

Secretary of State John Foster Dulles

Brinksmanship/Massive Retaliation policy

This policy stressed a reduction in conventional military forces while increasing air defenses, the nuclear options, and the deliver vehicles for the nuclear weapons.

Dwight D. Eisenhower

John Foster Dulles

Domino theory
Domino Theory

President Eisenhower announced that after the French fiasco at Diem Bien Phu in 1954 that the U.S. had to help South Vietnam.

Geneva Accords (1954)

Divided Vietnam into two nations

Domino Theory in SE Asia

Eisenhower doctrine
Eisenhower Doctrine

President Eisenhower extended the Truman Doctrine to cover the Middle East.

The U.S. would defend the Middle East against any attack by a communist country

Middle East

Eisenhower doctrine suez crisis 1956
Eisenhower DoctrineSuez Crisis (1956)

Problem: A new pro-Soviet government in Egypt nationalized or took control of the canal.

Great Britain, France, and Israel invaded and took over the canal.

The U.S. and U.S.S.R. averted a crisis by getting their puppets to back off.

Suez Crisis

The thaw
The Thaw

In 1953, Soviet leader Josef Stalin died.

Nikita Khrushchev became the new Soviet leader.

Eisenhower and Khrushchev met for a summit.

“Spirit of Geneva “

Dwight D. Eisenhower

Nikita Khrushchev

Hungary 1956
Hungary, 1956

In 1956, Hungarians revolted against Soviet rule.

Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev and the Warsaw Pact nations invaded Hungary.

Eisenhower did not help the pro-democracy movement in fear of war with the U.S.S.R

Dwight D. Eisenhower

Nikita Khrushchev

Space race
Space Race

Goal: To bury the West

Soviets moved ahead in the space race in 1957 with the launching of Sputnik I (first manmade satellite).

U.S. spent millions to catch up and launched the Telstar satellite in 1958

A. Philip Randolph

Space race1
Space Race

The U.S. Congress created a new agency, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), to win the space race.

Rocket technology, intercontinental ballistic missiles, and satellites were quickly developed.

U 2 incident
U-2 Incident

U-2 pilot, Francis Gary Powers, was shot down over USSR while flying a covert aerial recon mission for the CIA.

Powers was shot down, put on trial, and sentenced to 10 years in prison.

Ike stopped the U-2 flights but never apologized to USSR.

This ruined possible arms reduction summits in the future.

Gary Powers

Short term results of containment
Short-Term Results of Containment

1) It blocked German reunification- U.S. supported the pro-U.S. West Germany while a pro-Soviet East Germany formed by 1950.

2) Military alliances or collective security emerged:

North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) U.S. and allies

Warsaw Pact (1955) Soviet Union and “satellite nations”

United Nations (1945)

3) Cold War spread from Eastern Europe to the Middle East, East Asia (China), and Southeast Asia (Korea, Vietnam)

4) 45 year Cold War between the two superpowers