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The Cold War: How “cold” was it?

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Presentation on theme: "The Cold War: How “cold” was it?"— Presentation transcript:

1 The Cold War: How “cold” was it?

2 The beginning of the Cold War
Many historians mark the beginning of the Cold War as the dropping of the atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The decision to drop the atomic bombs was influenced by the desire to keep the Soviets out of Japan.

3 The Eastern Bloc The Soviet Union, under the leadership of Joseph Stalin desired an “Eastern Bloc” of communist countries to act as a “buffer” from the rest of Europe.

4 The Iron Curtain The Iron Curtain was a phrase first used by British Prime Minister Winston Churchill. The Iron Curtain was a wall, in some cases literally, in others figuratively, that was designed to keep people in and information out.

5 The Iron Curtain

6 The Truman Doctrine definition of “doctrine”: a principle, position or policy taught. The Truman Doctrine was devised by the Truman administration. A policy, or doctrine, was designed to finance and support foreign nations who were resisting Soviet influence. Eventually it led to containment, which was the believe that through U.S. financial and diplomatic support, democratic nations could contain communism.

7 The Marshall Plan A plan to help rebuild Europe after World War II.
Not only would the economies of European nations prosper through improved infrastructure, but this would also help combat the spread of communism. Fearing that European countries might be “bought” to support the West, Stalin prevented Eastern Bloc nations from receiving aid.

8 The Berlin Airlift Frustrated by the success of the Marshall Plan, Stalin installed a “blockade” to keep food and other supplies from reaching west Berlin. Western nations began the Berlin Airlift, dropping the much needed supplies to the people of West Berlin. By 1949, the Western nations dropped over 2.3 million tons of supplies.

9 The Berlin Airlift

10 The Korean War In 1950, communist North Korea (supported and supplied by the Soviet Union) invaded democratic South Korea. Stalin "planned, prepared, and initiated" the invasion, creating "detailed [war] plans" that were communicated to the North Koreans. The U.S. sent forces to Korea to combat the communist violation of “containment.” After 3 years of fighting over 4.5 million Koreans and 54,000 Americans were killed and an armistice was signed at nearly the identical spot on the map the war began.

11 Global Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) Activity
The CIA sponsored either directly or indirectly, the overthrow of dozens of democratically elected governments throughout the Cold War era: The Philippines (1948) Puerto Rico (1950) Iran (1953) Guatemala (1954) Lebanon (1958) Laos (1960) Cuba (1961) Indonesia (1965) Guatemala (1966) Dominican Republic (1966) Chile (1973) Angola (1976) El Salvador (1981) Nicaragua (1981) Lebanon (1982) Grenada (1983) Libya (1986) Panama (1989)

12 The Red Scare Red symbolizes communism.
This time period ( ) was a time where the majority of the American public feared communist infiltration of the federal government and general influence of communist ideas over U.S. society. The time period was also called McCarthyism after Senator Joseph McCarthy of Wisconsin who chaired HUAC or the House Un-American Activities Commission. Many American citizens, government employees and Hollywood actors, directors and producers were targeted by HUAC and forced to testify in front of the committee.

13 U-2 Incident On May 1st, 1960, a U.S. U-2 spy plane was shot down over Soviet airspace. The U.S. had been violating Soviet airspace to take photographs of several sites including nuclear production locations. President Eisenhower claimed that the plane was on a weather mission for NASA. It was a huge embarrassment for the U.S., since the pilot survived and was captured by the Soviets, and the plane was located largely intact the U.S. had lied to the world and the truth was revealed.

14 The Berlin Wall In 1961, Soviet controlled East Germany erected a concrete wall that separated west and east Berlin. Althought the Soviets claimed that the wall was “Anti-Fascist Protect Rampart,” the motivation for the construction of the wall was to eliminate defection and emigration to democratic West Germany. Prior to 1961, over 3.5 million East Germans were able to escape the control of the communist government and make it to West Germany. The wall ended all such emigration.


16 Nuclear Arms Race By 1965 the United States had over 30,000 nuclear weapons. The Soviet Union struggled to catch up with the technology the U.S. had already developed, however, by 1977 had surpassed the U.S. in nuclear warhead production. During the Cold War, both the U.S. and Soviet Union believed in the doctrine of M.A.D. (Mutually Assured Destruction). Basically the doctrine goes: if you attempt to destroy us with your nuclear weapons we will also destroy you, so you better not try. ICBM: Inter-continental ballistic missiles

17 The Space Race The competition between the Soviets and the U.S. for supremacy in space exploration. It was seen as necessary for national security (rocket technology, spy satellites and other NASA space developments could help defend the U.S.) and symbolic of technological and ideological superiority. Important achievements: Sputnik 1 (Soviets 1957 – first satelite) Vostok 1 (Soviets 1961 – first manned rocket) Voskhod 1 (Soviets 1964 – first multi-piloted rocket) Apollo 8 (U.S – lunar orbit) Apollo 11 (U.S – moon landing)

18 Bay of Pigs A group of 1,500 Cuban counter-revolutionaries, who were funded and trained by the U.S. CIA unsuccessfully invaded Cuba to overthrow the communist backed Fidel Castro. The failed invasion reinforced the belief by Latin Americans that Americans could not be trusted, but it also illustrated that they could be defeated. Ultimately, the failed invasion strengthened Castro’s popularity.

19 Cuban Missile Crisis A 14 day confrontation in October of 1962 between the Soviet Union and the United States. A U-2 spy plane took pictures of nuclear launch sites in Cuba. A debate began within the Kennedy Administration as to how to handle the crisis. Many within the cabinet wanted an immediate airstrike and even nuclear strikes, while others advocated diplomacy. Eventually the U.S. decides upon a blockade to keep the launch sites from becoming operational. After near nuclear conflict, the two sides agreed upon a compromise and the nuclear missiles were withdrawn from Cuba.

20 The doctrine that communism must be contained or it will spread from country to country, eventually creating a new world order dominated by Soviet communism. This justified the invasion of Korea, Vietnam, Libya, Guatemala, Afghanistan, etc. Domino Theory

21 Vietnam War We will discuss the Vietnam War in-depth next week.

22 Soviet War in Afghanistan
Throughout the 1970s, the Soviet Union sought more influence in Afghan politics, installing a regime that would begin communist reforms. However, these reforms were contrary to traditional Islam (civil law, marriage customs, role of women, etc.) The Soviets invaded Afghanistan in 1979 to support the pro-Soviet regime. The United States supported the rebel mujahedeen fighters, Muslim extremists who were struggling for jihad by pouring in billions of dollars of aid. Eventually, by 1989, the Soviets end the war and withdraw their troops. It was known as the Soviet Unions “Vietnam”

23 The Reagan Doctrine The policy of the Reagan Administration during the 1980s. It advocated a turn from the “containment” doctrine that the U.S. had followed since the 1950s, but rather a push to “roll back” Soviet backed communist influence throughout Africa, Asia and Latin America. Under the Reagan Doctrine, the U.S. provided covert aid to anti-communist guerrillas and resistance movements in an effort to "roll back" Soviet-backed communist governments in Africa, Asia, and Latin America. Many historians believe that this significant pressure to push back communism brought an end to the Soviet Union and the Cold War.

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