Modern Europe and North America 1945-Today
Roots of Cold War – Potsdam Conference • Cold War has its issues begin with how to have peace in Post World War II world in Europe. • Potsdam Conference – This was the meeting where the Allies got together to decide how to deal with Germany after the war. • Major agreements made: • Divide Germany into four temporary zones of occupation – Soviet Union would control a third while the other allies would control the other two-thirds. • German capital city, Berlin, would be divided into four zones of occupation as well • Must get rid of Nazi Party in Germany and bring them to justice for crimes committed against humanity – leads to the Nuremberg Trials (1945-1949) • Germany would pay war reparations for the destruction caused by the war, but this would be paid through industrial equipment and currency – avoiding another depression – Soviet Union receives the largest portion.
Eastern European Problem • Allies had a plan for German occupation, but could not solve the problem with the rest of Europe. • All of the Allies disagreed on terms • The Problem: • Soviet Union – felt that it needed a buffer zone between it and Germany because it had been invaded by Germany in both World Wars and it wanted an area that had Soviet friendly governments to help protect it from German aggression • U.S. and Great Britain – wanted the countries of Eastern Europe to be able to decide what types of governments they would have and felt that Stalin and Soviet Union was looking to put in pro-Communist governments in Eastern Europe • This growing tension and distrust would continue to lead to greater tensions and fuel the Cold War hostilities.
The Cold War • Cold War – Era of tension and hostility between U.S. and Soviet Union where there was no direct war between the two nations – became a rivalry between communism and capitalist democracy. • 1945-1946 – Soviet Troops help communist supporters set up pro-Soviet Communist governments in Eastern Europe – except in Yugoslavia but it was still led by a Communist dictator • President Truman and Stalin both believed war was imminent • Winston Churchill (British prime minister) gives his “Iron Curtain Speech” – tells of sharp division between the Eastern and Western parts of Europe • 1947 – Soviet Union threatens governments of Turkey and Greece • Truman Doctrine issued – pledge to provide economic and military aid to those opposing the spread of Communism • Marshall Plan launched – economic aid program that gave $13 billion to help rebuild Europe and avoid the spread of Communism throughout most Europe • Named after U.S. Secretary of State, George Marshall • Western Europe makes rapid recovery from the war – saves political stability
Cold War Confrontations • Truman policy toward Communism = Containment – resisting the aggression of Soviet Union and contain the spread of Communism • Early Crises: • Berlin Crisis – Western leaders planned to establish an independent democratic German nation and a democratic government in West Berlin (which is inside Communist controlled Germany) • Soviets then block off all rail, land, and water routes in West Berlin – cut off imports of all necessary goods into West Berlin • Western leaders begin Berlin Airlift – using air power to bring supplies into Berlin • May 1949 – Soviets call off blockade of Berlin • Outcome: • Federal Republic of Germany (West Germany) formed • German Democratic Republic (East Germany) formed • NATO formed – North Atlantic Treaty Organization made up of U.S. and her allies • Warsaw Pact alliance formed – made up of Soviet Union and her allies
Korean War • After Japan surrenders to end World War II – allies receive the Korean Peninsula • Soviet Union takes the Northern half – Communist government established • United States takes the Southern half – non-Communist regime supported by U.S. • 1950 – North Korea attacks South Korea • Goal: Unite the country under a Communist government • U.S. felt that if they did nothing to stop this, then other Communist areas would invade their non-Communist neighbors • U.N. (United Nations) – decided to send a force into Korea which was nearly defeated until General Douglas MacArthur, the U.N. force commander, invades Inchon behind enemy lines and turned the tide of the war by forcing the North Koreans all the way back to the Chinese/North Korean border • Communist Chinese forces then attack the U.N. forces and push them back to the original line between North and South Korea – war becomes a stalemate • 1953 – Armistice signed – 38th parallel now divides North and South Korea
Arms Race • Causes of Arms Race – struggle between nations to gain advantage in weapons • Weapons advancements made by both Soviets and the U.S. • 1949 – Soviet Union successfully tests an atomic bomb • 1952 – U.S. tests a more powerful hydrogen bomb • 1953 – Soviets test a hydrogen bomb • Both sides begin stockpiling nuclear weapons • Tactics become one of defense – use idea called deterrence – development of or maintenance of military power to deter, or prevent, an attack
Outcomes of Arms Race • Beginning of Space Programs to find more powerful rockets to launch weapons • Soviets put Sputnik in space – 1957 • U.S. starts the NASA program for space exploration – 1958 • Leads to heightened fears among Americans: • Bomb shelters built • Air-raid drills started in schools • People begin writing stories, making movies, and creating comic books about the the dangers of nuclear war and radiation • Red Scare begins in U.S. – fear that Communists may be in American government • Led by Senator Joseph McCarthy in 1950s – tried to expose Communists in America • Becomes a nation wide witch hunt with people turning against each other
Global Cold War Conflicts • Vietnam War in Southeast Asia begins – Communist North Vietnam tried to reunify with the South which was a democratic government • War started in 1950s and lasted until the mid 1970s • Vietmanese wanted the French and European influence out of their country and wanted a unified country • U.S. and her Western Allies would not allow the expansion of Communism in Asia • Berlin Crisis Part 2 – Communists build the Berlin Wall and a wall that separated East and West Germany to keep people from leaving the Communist controlled areas of Germany for the West • People would be shot for trying to escape
Global Cold War Conflicts • Cuban Crisis – Communism in Cuba – this is an issue because Cuba is only 60 miles from the Florida coastline • Cuban government overthrown by Fidel Castro in 1959 • Bay of Pigs Invasion – U.S. tried to overthrow Castro by training Cuban freedom fighters and in April of 1961 they turned them loose in hopes of starting a massive Cuban rebellion – Castro quickly put down the rebellion and Cuba stays Communist • Cuban Missile Crisis – 1962 confrontation between the U.S. and Soviet Union over the Soviet Union trying to put nuclear missiles in Cuba • Soviet Union said this was a response to American nuclear weapons in Turkey • Led to a 2-week standoff in the Atlantic Ocean near Cuba • Settlement – U.S. agrees not to attack Cuba and remove missiles from Turkey and Soviet Union removed missiles from Cuba
Global Cold War Conflicts • Other Conflicts • Middle East Issues • 1956 conflict with Egypt over Suez Canal – Soviet Union threatened to side with Egypt in its conflict against Israel and her ally the United States • Afghanistan 1980 – Soviet Union invades and tries to overthrow the Afghan government, but U.S. trains freedom fighters called the Taliban to fight against the Soviets – Osama Bin Laden was one of these Taliban warriors • Africa • Colonial rule was ending – fear that Communism would spread here • U.S. supported dictator in Congo after Belgians left – Joseph Mobutu • Angola Civil War – U.S. and Soviets supported opposite sides in a war that lasted from 1975 to 1991 • South America • Chile – U.S. supported rebels who were against Socialist leader Salvador Allende – overthrew him in 1973 • Grenada – U.S. overthrows a communist government in 1983 • Non-aligned nations – started popping up in 1950s to stay off either side and promote interests of poorer nations
Arms Control • Arms Control – to ease tensions U.S. and Soviet Union begin to limit the amount of nuclear wars • Open Skies Treaty – 1955 – Allows U.S. and Soviet Union to flyover the others territory to get info about weapons • Test Ban Treaty – 1963 – outlawed the testing of nuclear weapons in the atmosphere • SALT I – 1968 – President Nixon wanted a détente (reduction of tension) between the superpowers and the Strategic Arms Limitations Talks led to ABM (Anti-Ballistic Missile) Treaty which led to ban on weapons designed to shoot down nuclear missiles – prevent nuclear war because it kept deterrent in place • SALT II – led to arms control treaty of 1979 • INF Treaty – 1988 – Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty led to the elimination of certain types of missiles