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The Cold War. HIST 1004 4/15/13. The Iron Curtain.

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the cold war

The Cold War

HIST 1004


the iron curtain
The Iron Curtain

“From Stettin in the Baltic to Trieste in the Adriatic, an iron curtain has descended across the Continent. Behind that line lie all the capitals of the ancient states of Central and Eastern Europe. Warsaw, Berlin, Prague, Vienna, Budapest, Belgrade, Bucharest, and Sofia; all these famous cities and the populations around them lie in what I

must call the Soviet sphere, and all are

subject, in one for or another, not only

to Soviet influence but to a very high

and in some cases increasing measure

of control from Moscow”

– Winston Churchill, 1946

the cold war1
The Cold War
  • Soviet assertiveness in Europe
  • Communist revolutions in China and beyond
  • Confirm threat of global Communism sponsored by the Soviet Union
world war ii nato and the warsaw pact
World War II, NATO, and the Warsaw Pact
  • WWII and growing Cold War bring back

interest in organizations and alliances for

Mutual defense and preservation of peace.

  • North Atlantic Treaty Organization

(NATO) (1949): US, Belgium, the

Netherlands, Luxembourg, France, United

Kingdom, Canada, Portugal, Italy, Norway,

Denmark, and Iceland.

  • Warsaw Pact (1955): Soviet Union, Albania,

Bulgaria, Czechoslovakia, East Germany,

Hungary, Poland, and Romania

the united nations
The United Nations
  • 1944: US, Great Britain, USSR, and China draft proposals leading to the United Nations Charter
  • Oct. 24, 1945: UN Charter ratified
  • General Assembly: Representatives of all member states
  • Security Council: Five permanent members (China,

France, Great Britain, US, and USSR/Russia) and ten rotating

members with two year terms.

  • Secretary General and

bureaucracy carry out day

to day business.

the un and international programs
The UN and International Programs
  • The UN fosters international cooperation to face global challenges
  • UNICEF (United Nations Children’s Emergency Fund)
  • FAO (Food and Agriculture Organization)
  • UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization)
  • Actions taken by UN based on…
    • Majority vote (unlike League of


    • Veto power by five permanent

members of the Security Council

the un and the cold war
The UN and the Cold War
  • All signatories to the UN Charter renounced war and territorial conquest.
  • Peace keeping (Security Council) problematic in face of permanent member veto.
  • Vetoes exercised to protect allies and interests.
  • Difficult to stop conflicts,

but observers and

peacekeeping forces

monitored truces and other

international agreements.

the un and decolonization
The UN and Decolonization
  • Decolonization grew the General Assembly but not the Security Council
  • Newly independent nations looked to the UN for assistance and access to international politics.
  • Security Council slowed by Cold War concerns
  • General Assembly becomes dominated by issues of decolonization and development.
  • Voting majority interested

in poverty, racial

discrimination, and


  • Western powers move

most actions through

Security Council

the cold war as economic issue
The Cold War as Economic Issue
  • Economic successes will determine which side is right.
  • West: supply and demand determine production priorities and prices
  • Soviet Union: command economy, government agencies allocate goods and set prices according to government priorities
  • Newly independent states

often preferred the Soviet

model as the key to growth

and development.

the cold war warms up
The Cold War Warms Up
  • 1940’s: Communism spread throughout Eastern Europe (after all, it was the Soviet Union which defeated Germany)
  • 1952: NATO adds Turkey and Greece (Truman Doctrine)
  • 1953: West Germany joins NATO, allowed to re-arm
  • 1947-1948: Soviet blockade

of West Berlin

  • 1961: Berlin Wall
  • 1956: Hungarian Revolution
  • 1968: Czechoslovakia,

Prague Spring

the korean war
The Korean War
  • Divided Korea at the end of World War II
  • 1948: Communist North and noncommunist South
  • 1950: North invades South Korea
  • UN Security Council approves defense of South Korea (Soviet Union was absent)
  • 1950-1953: Korean War

with US and Chinese allies

  • Cold War fears prevent

escalation beyond

Korean Peninsula

  • Fought to a draw…
  • Ho Chi Minh (1890-1969): founder of Indochina Communist Party
  • Viet Minh: Ho’s nationalist coalition, fought French imperialism in Southeast Asia following WWII
  • 1954: French pushed out of Southeast Asia, creation of a communist North Vietnam and a noncommunist South
  • Viet Cong: Communist

guerrilla movement looking to

bring down South Vietnam

  • South Vietnamese

government corrupt and largely


  • JFK: Actively support South Vietnam while also encouraging overthrow of President Ngo Dinh Diem’s government.
  • Lyndon Johnson: congressional support for unlimited US military deployment to Vietnam
  • Continued corruption in South Vietnam leads to increased support for Viet Cong
  • Tet Offensive (1968): Viet Cong guerrillas and North Vietnamese,

proves their military ability, inspires

anti-war movement

  • 1973: Treaty between North Vietnam

and United States

  • 1975: North overruns South Vietnam
nuclear proliferation
Nuclear Proliferation
  • The reason none of these conflicts


  • Competition between US and USSR

(and China) in developing more

powerful nuclear weapons

  • The US could reduce the Soviet

Union to “a smoking, radiating ruin at

the end of two hours”

(Eisenhower, 1954)

  • Cuban Missile Crisis (1962): US

response to Cuban revolution pushes

Soviet Union to support Castro,

station nuclear missiles in Cuba as a


nuclear nonproliferation
Nuclear Nonproliferation
  • 1963: Great Britain, US, and USSR

agree to ban testing of nuclear weapons

  • 1966: Earthquake in Tashkent

(Uzbekistan) almost leads to nuclear war

  • 1968: US and USSR lead Nuclear

Non-Proliferation Treaty, signed by 137


  • 1972: Begin negotiation over weapons


  • Arms race pushes bipolar nature of


  • Space race, an off shoot of arms race.