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The Cold War: 1947-1990’s. What were the issues?. The Ideological Struggle. Soviet & Eastern Bloc Nations [“Iron Curtain”]. US & the Western Democracies. GOAL  spread world-wide Communism. GOAL  “Containment” of Communism & the eventual collapse of the Communist world. [George Kennan].

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The Ideological Struggle

Soviet & Eastern Bloc Nations[“Iron Curtain”]

US & the Western Democracies

GOAL spread world-wide Communism

GOAL “Containment” of Communism & the eventual collapse of the Communist world.[George Kennan]

  • Espionage [KGB vs. CIA]
  • Arms Race [nuclear escalation]
  • Ideological Competition for the minds and hearts of Third World peoples [Communist govt. & command economy vs. democratic govt. & capitalist economy]  “proxy wars”
  • Bi-Polarization of Europe [NATO vs. Warsaw Pact]

The Arms Race:A “Missile Gap?”

  • The Soviet Union exploded its first A-bomb in 1949.
  • Now there were two nuclear superpowers!

Sputnik I (1957)

The Russians have beaten America in space—they have the technological edge!


stalin installs puppet governments
  • Stalin installed “satellite” communist governments in the Eastern European countries of Albania, Bulgaria, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Romania, Yugoslavia and East Germany
  • This after promising “free elections” for Eastern Europe at the Yalta Conference

In a 1946 speech, Stalin said communism and capitalism were incompatible – and another war was inevitable

u s establishes a policy of containment
  • Faced with the Soviet threat, Truman decided it was time to “stop babying the Soviets”
  • In February 1946, George Kennan, an American diplomat in Moscow, proposed a policy of containment
  • Containment meant the U.S. would prevent any further extension of communist rule

The “Iron Curtain”

From Stettin in the Balkans, to Trieste in the Adriatic, an iron curtain has descended across the Continent. Behind that line lies the ancient capitals of Central and Eastern Europe.-- Sir Winston Churchill, 1946


Truman Doctrine [1947]

  • Civil War in Greece.
  • Turkey under pressure from the USSR for concessions in the Dardanelles.
  • The U. S. should support free peoples throughout the world who were resisting takeovers by armed minorities or outside pressures…We must assist free peoples to work out their own destinies in their own way.
  • The U.S. gave Greece & Turkey $400 million in aid.

Marshall Plan [1948]

  • “European Recovery Program.”
  • Secretary of State, George Marshall
  • The U. S. should provide aid to all European nations that need it. This move is not against any country or doctrine, but against hunger, poverty, desperation, and chaos.
  • $12.5 billion of US aid to Western Europe extended to Eastern Europe & USSR, [but this was rejected].
superpowers struggle over germany
  • At the end of the war, Germany was divided among the Allies into four zones for the purpose of occupation
  • The U.S, France, and Great Britain decided to combine their 3 zones into one zone – West Germany, or the federal Republic of Germany
  • The U.S.S.R. controlled East Germany, or the German Democratic Republic
  • Now the superpowers were occupying an area right next to each other – problems were bound to occur
berlin airlift 1948
  • When the Soviets attempted to block the three Western powers from access to Berlin in 1948, the 2.1 million residents of West Berlin had only enough food for five weeks, resulting in a dire situation

Like the whole of Germany, the city of Berlin was divided into four zones


North Atlantic Treaty Organization (1949)

  • United States
  • Belgium
  • Britain
  • Canada
  • Denmark
  • France
  • Iceland
  • Italy
  • Luxemburg
  • Netherlands
  • Norway
  • Portugal
  • 1952: Greece & Turkey
  • 1955: West Germany
  • 1983: Spain

Warsaw Pact (1955)

  • U. S. S. R.
  • Albania
  • Bulgaria
  • Czechoslovakia
  • East Germany
  • Hungary
  • Poland
  • Rumania

Part 2- The Cold War Heats UP

1- China

  • Two decades struggled against communism (US support $3 Billion)
  • Mao Zedong’s Communist Party Strong (Civil War)
  • People Republic of China established
korean war

Soviet controlled

  • Japan had taken over Korea in 1910 and ruled it until August 1945
  • As WWII ended, Japanese troops north of the 38th parallel surrendered to the Soviets
  • Japanese soldiers south of the 38th surrendered to the Americans
  • As in Germany, two nations developed, one communist (North Korea) and one democratic (South Korea)

U.S. controlled

cold war fallout in united states
Cold War Fallout in United States
  • 80,000 Americans had joined communist party during WWII
  • Spy cases develop
  • 500 actors, directors, writers, producers, were blacklisted
  • McCarthy Launches Witch Hunts to fight against Communism

- Accused 205 state department members of being communist

other cold war conflicts
Other Cold War Conflicts

Latin America


  • Cuba

Middle East


- Hungry


  • Vietnam

European Economic Integration

  • 1947  General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade [GATT]
    • 23 nations.
    • Became the foundation of postwar global commerce.
    • It set up procedures to handle commercial complaints.
    • It provided a framework for continuing negotiations [“rounds”].
    • By 1990, 99 nations were participating.

European Economic Integration

  • 1952  European Coal & Steel Community [ECSC].
    • HQ in Luxembourg.
    • “Inner Six”  Benelux nations, France, Italy, W. Germany.
    • Placed their coal and steel industries under a form of supranational authority.
    • Eliminated tariff duties and quotas on coal and steel.

European Economic Integration

  • 1957  European Economic Community [EEC]
    • France, W. Germany, Italy, Benelux.
    • Created a larger free trade area, or customs union.
      • Eliminate all trade barriers.
      • One common tariff with the outside world.
      • Free movement of capital & labor.