Cold war 1945 1991
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Cold War 1945-1991. Communism vs. Capitalism. Soviet Union wants to spread Communism U.S. wants to spread Capitalism/Democracy Increase in tensions between superpowers Both sides want to appear strong Struggle for dominance/influence throughout world. Post-War Europe.

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Cold war 1945 1991

Cold War1945-1991

Communism vs capitalism
Communism vs. Capitalism

  • Soviet Union wants to spread Communism

  • U.S. wants to spread Capitalism/Democracy

  • Increase in tensions between superpowers

    • Both sides want to appear strong

  • Struggle for dominance/influence throughout world

Post war europe
Post-War Europe

  • Yalta Conference – Early 1945

    • Allied leaders discuss Polish government

      • Soviets want communist govt.

      • Allies want free elections

    • Division of post-war Germany

  • Germany divided into 4 zones – 1945

    • Soviet, American, British, French

      • A+B+F = West Germany

        • Democratic, Capitalistic

      • Soviet = East Germany

        • Communist, Soviet controlled

  • Democratic West

    • Pro-U.S. democratic, capitalistic nations

      • Great Britain, France, West Germany

  • Communist, Soviet-controlled East

    • Soviet army occupies nations at end of WWII

    • Satellite nations

      • East Germany, Poland, Czech., Yugoslavia, Hungary

  • Divided by Iron Curtain

American policy
American Policy

  • Containment

    • Prevent spread of communism

  • Truman Doctrine

    • Help free people stay free

  • Marshall Plan

    • Provide economic aid to rebuild European nations

      • Prevent them from becoming communist

      • U.S. helps rebuild democracies


  • NATO

    • U.S. and Western European allies

    • Democracies (Capitalism)

  • Warsaw Pact

    • Soviet Union and satellite nations

    • Communist

Berlin airlift 1948
Berlin Airlift (1948)

  • Berlin is divided in half (East and West)

  • Soviets cut off access to West Berlin

  • U.S. can not give up West Berlin

    • Would appear weak

  • Military action could lead to nuclear war

  • U.S. drops supplies from planes into West Berlin

  • Soviets end blockade

  • Airlift is a success

Korean war 1950 1953
Korean War (1950-1953)

  • Korea divided at 38th parallel – end WWII

  • Soviet occupied North

    • Communist government

  • U.S. occupied South

    • Democratic government

  • North Korea invades South Korea in 1950

    • Goal is to unite Korea under communist rule

  • U.S. and United Nations support S. Korea

  • Back and forth war initially

  • Communist China enters war on N. Korea’s side

  • War becomes stalemate, ends 1953

  • Shift in U.S. approach to containment

    • U.S. now willing to use military action to stop spread of communism, not just economic or political means

Red scare
Red Scare

  • Fear of Communism

    • Public and Govt. afraid of Communist overthrow of government

    • Fear that Communists trying to take over U.S.

  • Search by government for subversion

    • Fear of Soviet spies in the U.S.

Huac house un american activities committee
HUAC (House Un-American Activities Committee)

  • Put accuses Communists and Soviet spies on trial

  • “Guilty until proven innocent”

    • Being accuses almost as bad as admitting guilt

  • Many people in Hollywood were accused of being Communists

    • Several were blacklisted

    • Arthur Miller writes “The Crucible” as reflection on times

      • Comparison between Red Scare/McCarthyism and Salem Trials

  • Alger Hiss

    • State dept. official accused of being a Soviet spy

    • Never found guilty, but imprisoned for committing perjury

  • The Rosenbergs (Julius and Ethel)

    • Couple accused of espionage for the Soviets

    • Accused, convicted and executed

    • Very controversial trial


  • Accusations of disloyalty, treason or subversion without evidence

  • Senator Joe McCarthy

  • Witch hunt for Communists and Soviet supporters

    • Hysteria

    • Being accused = guilty in public’s eye

    • Opponents were afraid to question him

      • Fear of accusation

  • McCarthy would accuse with unfounded charges

    • No proof

  • Claimed to have a list of names of many Communists/Soviet spies in government

  • Loses support in public’s eye after televised trials

  • Censured by Congress, influence fades

Fear throughout society
Fear Throughout Society

  • Widespread fear of Communists/Soviet subversion

  • Loyalty of govt. officials and citizens questioned

  • Also, continued fear of nuclear war

    • Soviets have tested Atomic and Hydrogen Bombs

    • Soviet ICBM’s lead to threat of sudden attack

    • Nuclear war is “imminent”

    • Govt. tried to ease fears of public

      • “Duck and Cover” – hope of surviving nuclear attack

      • Many build fallout shelters and bomb shelters

Space race
Space Race

  • Competition between U.S. and USSR to dominate space

  • Soviets have early advantage in missile technology

  • 1957 – 1st satellite – Sputnik (Soviet)

  • 1961 – 1st man in space – Yuri Gagarin (Soviet)

  • 1961 – 1st American in space – Alan Shepard

  • 1962 – 1stAmerican orbits Earth – John Glenn

  • 1969 – Apollo 11 (U.S)

    • 1st man on moon – Neil Armstrong

1960 s cold war
1960’s Cold War

  • Bay of Pigs - 1961

    • U.S. trains Cuban exiles to invade Cuba and overthrow Fidel Castro

    • Huge failure, U.S. looks bad

  • Berlin Wall - 1961

    • Divides East and West Berlin

    • Visual symbol of Iron Curtain / Cold War

  • Cuban Missile Crisis - 1962

    • U.S. spy planes detect Soviet nuclear missiles in Cuba

    • Immediate threat to U.S.

    • U.S. and USSR on brink of nuclear war

    • JFK institutes “quarantine” (blockade) around Cuba

    • Soviets back down and remove missiles

    • Example of brinkmanship

Writing activity
Writing Activity

1. Do you think it was right that accused Communists were “guilty until proven innocent? Why?

2. What can you infer from the political cartoon on page ? In other words, what message is it trying to get across?

3. You are NOT a communist, but your good friend and neighbor is… What would you do if you were accused of being a communist and called in front of the HUAC?

4. What is 1 change you would make to the way the federal government handled McCarthy and the Red Scare / Witch hunt of communists and Soviet spies?

5. "The Rosenberg's case still haunts American history, reminding us of the injustice that can be done when a nation gets caught up in hysteria.“

What is another MODERN threat that could lead our public into hysteria?

Knowledge check
Knowledge Check

  • 1. Identify (define) 2 of the following terms/people.

    • Censure, Perjury, Containment, Subversion, ICBM, Rosenbergs, Alger Hiss

  • 2. What was one similarity between the Salem Witch Trials (The Crucible) and the Red Scare?

  • 3. What was one way that society and the public sought comfort from their fears of the Red Scare and nuclear war?

  • 4. Describe the Red Scare in 1 word.