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Cold War—Hot Topic President Truman’s advisor Bernard Baruch coined the phrase “Cold War” in a congressional hearing in 1947, but essayist and journalist.

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Presentation on theme: "Cold War—Hot Topic President Truman’s advisor Bernard Baruch coined the phrase “Cold War” in a congressional hearing in 1947, but essayist and journalist."— Presentation transcript:


2 Cold War—Hot Topic President Truman’s advisor Bernard Baruch coined the phrase “Cold War” in a congressional hearing in 1947, but essayist and journalist Walter Lippmann popularized it with a 1947 series of articles “The Cold War” opposing Containment and the Truman Doctrine Different Periodizations—Different Interpretations: : use of term by contemporaries : division of Europe : U.S.-Soviet antagonism : U.S.-Soviet antagonism dominated world affairs 1890s-1991: U.S.-Russian antagonism John L. Gaddis: “For all its dangers, atrocities, costs, distractions, and moral compromises, the Cold War—like the American Civil War—was a necessary contest that settled fundamental issues once and for all. We have no reason to miss it. But given the alternatives, we have little reason either to regret its having occurred.” [Gaddis, The Cold War: A New History, xi] Walter LaFeber: “The Cold War has dominated American life since It has cost Americans $8 trillion in defense expenditure, taken the lives of nearly 100,000 of their young men and women, ruined the careers of many others during the McCarthyite witch hunts, led the nation into the horrors of Southeast Asian conflicts, and in the 1980s triggered the worst economic depression in forty years. It has not been the most satisfying chapter in American diplomatic history.” [LaFeber, America, Russia, and the Cold War, 1]

3 The Specter of Bolshevism, 1917-1945
Woodrow Wilson’s response to the Russian Revolution (1917) and V.I. Lenin: “agent theory of revolution”; double meaning of “Bolshevik” as communist and foreign agent U.S. military intervention in Russian Civil War World War I as a war that fostered and undermined democracy: Example 1: 1917 Espionage Act (prohibited spying and interfering with draft and “false statements” that might impede military success), Eugene Debs arrested Example 2: Red Scare ( ): over 5,000 persons arrested in Palmer Raids (hundreds of immigrant radicals deported, among them Emma Goldman) World War II tensions: Second Front Manhattan Project Occupations of Poland, Italy, Germany Hiroshima and Nagasaki

4 George F. Kennan’s “Long Telegram,” 1946
“At bottom of Kremlin’s neurotic view of world affairs is traditional and instinctive Russian sense of insecurity … And they learned to seek security only in patient but deadly struggle for total destruction of rival power, never in compacts and compromises with it … There is good reason to suspect that this Government is actually a conspiracy within a conspiracy; and I for one am reluctant to believe that Stalin himself receives anything like on objective picture of the outside world … In summary, we have here a political force committed fanatically to the belief that with US there can be no permanent modus vivendi, that it is desirable and necessary that the internal harmony of our society be disrupted, our traditional way of life be destroyed, the international authority of our state be broken, if Soviet power is to be secure … Problem of how to cope with this force [is] undoubtedly greatest task our diplomacy has ever faced and probably greatest it will ever have to face … I would like to record my conviction that problem is within our power to solve—and that without recourse to any general military conflict … Soviet power, unlike that of Hitlerite Germany, is neither schematic nor adventuristic. It does not work by fixed plans. It does not take unnecessary risks. Impervious to logic of reason, and it is highly sensitive to logic of force.” Source: Telegram, George Kennan to George Marshall ["Long Telegram"]

5 Winston Churchill’s “Iron Curtain” Speech, 1946
“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 … Police governments are prevailing in nearly every case, and so far, except in Czechoslovakia, there is no true democracy … Except in the British Commonwealth, and in the United States, where communism is in its infancy, the Communist parties or fifth columns constitute a growing challenge and peril to Christian civilization … there is nothing they [Russians] admire so much as strength, and there is nothing for which they have less respect than for military weakness. For that reason the old doctrine of a balance of power is unsound.” Map: Cold War Division Map # 1 Contextualizations British Motive: Churchill wanted to prevent U.S. return to pre-war isolationism Soviet Response: Stalin accused Churchill of issuing a “call to war with the Soviet Union” U.S. Response: Wall Street Journal: “The country’s response to Mr. Churchill’s Fulton speech must be convincing proof that the US wants no alliance or anything that resembles an alliance, with any other nation.” African American Protests: speech delivered at segregated Westminster College in Fulton, Missouri

6 Nikolai Novikov on U.S. Drive for World Supremacy, 1946 (Part 1)
“The foreign policy of the United States, which reflects the imperialistic tendencies of American monopolistic capital, is characterized in the postwar period by a striving for world supremacy … the Soviet Union continues to remain economically independent of the outside world and is rebuilding its national economy with its own force … At the same time the USSR’s international position is currently stronger than it was in the prewar period … In the Slavic countries that were liberated by the Red Army or with its assistance—Poland, Czechoslovakia, and Yugoslavia—democratic regimes have also been established that maintain relations with the Soviet Union on the basis of agreements on friendship and mutual assistance … President Truman, a politically unstable person … Obvious indications of the U.S. effort to establish world dominance are also to be found in the increase in military potential in peacetime and in the establishment of a large number of naval air bases both in the United States and beyond its borders ... The establishment of American bases on the islands that are … on the other side of the Atlantic and Pacific oceans clearly indicates the offensive nature of strategic concepts of the commands of the U.S. army and navy … American capital … now controls about 42 percent of all proven [oil] reserves in the Near East, excluding Iran … The ‘hard-line’ policy with regard to the USSR announced by [Secretary of State James F.] Byrnes after the rapprochement of the reactionary Democrats with the Republicans is at present the main obstacle on the road to cooperation of the Great Powers.”

7 Nikolai Novikov on U.S. Drive for World Supremacy, 1946 (Part 2)
“In Germany, the United States is taking measures to strengthen reactionary forces for the purpose of opposing democratic reconstruction. Furthermore, it displays special insistence on accompanying this policy with completely inadequate measures for the demilitarization of Germany. The American occupation policy does not have the objective of eliminating the remnants of German Fascism and rebuilding German political life on a democratic basis, so that Germany might cease to exist as an aggressive force. The United States is not taking measures to eliminate the monopolistic associations of German industrialists on which German Fascism depended in preparing aggression and waging war … One cannot help seeing that such a policy has clearly outlined anti-Soviet edge and constitutes a serious danger to the cause of peace … preaching war against the Soviet Union is not a monopoly of the far-right yellow American press … This anti-Soviet campaign also has been joined by the ‘reputable’ and ‘respectable’ organs of the conservative press, such as the New York Times and New York Herald Tribune … Careful note should be taken of the fact that the preparation by the United States for a future war is being conducted with the prospect of war against the Soviet Union, which in the eyes of American imperialists is the main obstacle in the path of the United States to world domination.” Source: Telegram from N. Novikov, Soviet Ambassador to the US, to the Soviet Leadership

8 Containment Policy Truman Doctrine (1947): to defend freedom and contain communism, Truman requested $400 million in military aid to Greece and Turkey [Sources: Truman Doctrine, March 12, 1947; Truman Doctrine Activity] Senate leader Arthur Vandenberg advised to “scare hell” out of Americans to get a reluctant Congress to fund containment policy Marshall Plan (1947): provided $13 billion for the economic recovery of (Western) Europe: “Our policy is directed not against any country or doctrine, but against hunger, poverty, desperation, and chaos.” Marshall Plan Slogan: “Prosperity Makes You Free.” [Sources: Marshall Plan; Marshall Plan Teaching Packet] Berlin Blockade ( ): Soviets cut off road and rail traffic to West Berlin, led to eleven-month airlift [Source: The Berlin Airlift-June 24, 1948 to May 12, 1949] NATO (1949): The member states of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (U.S., Canada, western Europe) pledged mutual defense against any future Soviet attack; first long-term military alliance between U.S. and Europe since American Revolution [Source: North Atlantic Treaty Organisation - Official Homepage]

9 Walter Lippmann, “The Cold War” (1947)—Part 1
“I believe … that the strategical conception and plan which Mr.X recommends is fundamentally unsound, and that it cannot be made to work, and that the attempt to make it work will cause us to squander our substance and our prestige… We must begin with the disturbing fact … that Mr.X's conclusions depend upon the optimistic prediction that the ‘Soviet power … bears within itself the seeds of its own decay, and that the sprouting of these seeds is well advanced’ … Of this optimistic prediction Mr. X himself says that it ‘cannot be proved. And it cannot be disproved.’ Nevertheless, he concludes that the United States should construct its policy on the assumption that the Soviet power is inherently weak and impermanent … I do not find much ground for reasonable confidence in a policy which can be successful only if the most optimistic prediction should prove to be true ... Do we dare to assume, as we enter the arena and get set to run the race, that the Soviet Union will break its leg while the United States grows a pair of wings to speed it on its way?”

10 Walter Lippmann, “The Cold War” (1947)—Part 2
“Yet a policy of containment cannot be operated unless the Department of State can plan and direct exports and imports. For the policy demands that American goods be delivered or withheld at ‘constantly shifting geographical and political points corresponding to the shifts and manoeuvres of Soviet policy’… Mr. X is surely mistaken … if he thinks that a free and undirected economy like our own can be used by the diplomatic planners to wage a diplomatic war against a planned economy at a series of constantly shifting geographical and political points. He is proposing to meet the Soviet challenge on the ground which is most favorable to the Soviets, and with the very instruments, procedures, and weapons in which they have a manifest superiority. I find it hard to understand how Mr. X could have recommended such a strategic monstrosity. .. It commits the United States to confront the Russians with counterforce "at every point" along the line, instead of at those points which we have selected because, there at those points, our kind of sea and air power can best be exerted … the policy of containment … is an attempt to organize an anti-Soviet alliance composed in the first instance of peoples that are either on the shadowy extremity of the Atlantic community, or are altogether outside it … [i.e. the] factions of eastern Europe, with the Greeks, the Turks, the Iranians, the Arabs and Afghans, and with the Chinese Nationalists … Instead of becoming an unassailable barrier against the Soviet power, this borderland is a seething stew of civil strife.”

11 Walter Lippmann, “The Cold War” (1947)—Part 3
“The failure of our diplomatic campaign in the borderlands … has conjured up the specter of a Third World War ... The contest between the Truman Doctrine on the one hand, the Marshall line and the support of the U.N on the other is the central drama within the State Department, within the Administration, within the government as a whole. The outcome is still undecided ... The difference is fundamental. The Truman Doctrine treats those who are supposed to benefit by it as dependencies of the United States, as instruments of the American policy for "containing" Russia. The Marshall speech at Harvard treats the European governments as independent powers, whom we must help but cannot presume to govern, or to use as instruments of an American policy ... [The Marshall Plan is] a graceful way of saving the United States from the destructive and exhausting entanglements of the Truman Doctrine ... The Harvard speech calls, therefore, for a policy of settlement, addressed to the military evacuation of the continent, not for a policy of containment which would freeze the non-European armies in the heart of Europe ... The history of diplomacy is the history of relations among rival powers, which did not enjoy political intimacy, and did not respond to appeals to common purposes ... For a diplomat to think that rival and unfriendly powers cannot be brought to a settlement is to forget what diplomacy is about … The communists will continue to be communists. The Russians will continue to be Russians. But if the Red Army is in Russia, and not on the Elbe the power of the Russians communists and the power of the Russian imperialists to realise their ambitions will have been reduced decisively. “ Source: Walter Lippmann, “The Cold War,” New York Herald Tribune (1947), reprinted in Foreign Affairs (1987); see Lippmann, Cold War

12 The National Security State
National Security State: the ideology and institutions established by the National Security Act of 1947 (cf. Michael Hogan, A Cross of Iron, 1998) National Security Act (1947): enlarged presidential power; Defense Department merged War and Navy Departments; and created Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and National Security Council Federal Employee Loyalty Program (1947): examined three million employees, four hundred were fired and thousands resigned In 1951 the Supreme Court upheld the Smith Act (1940): to advocate or teach the forcible overthrow of the U.S. government was a crime HUAC (House Un-American Activities Committee): probed the motion picture industry in 1947: Walt Disney, Gary Cooper, and Ronald Reagan testified that movie industry harbored many communists Whittaker Chambers, editor of Time magazine, accused Alger Hiss, a high-ranking State Department official, of being a Soviet spy; in 1950 Hiss was convicted of perjury and sentenced to five years in prison

13 Recommended Readings Thomas Borstelmann, The Cold War and the Color Line: American Race Relations in the Global Arena (2001) John Lewis Gaddis, The Cold War: A New History (2005) Lloyd Gardner, Safe for Democracy: Anglo-American Response to Revolution, (1984) Michael J. Hogan, A Cross of Iron: Harry S. Truman and the Origins of the National Security State, (1998) Fred Inglis, The Cruel Peace: Everyday Life and the Cold War (1991) Walter LaFeber, America, Russia, and the Cold War, (2006) Melvyn Leffler, The Preponderance of Power (1992) Geir Lundestad, The United States and Western Europe Since 1945 (2003) David Reynolds, From World War to Cold War (2006) Stephen Whitfield, The Culture of the Cold War (1991) William A. Williams, The Tragedy of American Diplomacy (1959)

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