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THE COLD WAR AND THE POST- WAR YEARS 1945-1960. THE ORIGINS OF THE COLD WAR: THE TWO POWERS The USA emerged from WWII as by far the world’s greatest power.

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Presentation on theme: "THE COLD WAR AND THE POST- WAR YEARS 1945-1960. THE ORIGINS OF THE COLD WAR: THE TWO POWERS The USA emerged from WWII as by far the world’s greatest power."— Presentation transcript:


2 THE ORIGINS OF THE COLD WAR: THE TWO POWERS The USA emerged from WWII as by far the world’s greatest power. It accounted for half the world’s mfg. capacity. It alone possessed the atomic bomb. It believed it could lead the rest of the world to a future of international cooperation, expanding democracy, and ever- increasing living standards. Organizations such as the UN and World Bank were created to promote these goals.

3 ORIGINS OF THE COLD WAR: THE TWO POWERS American leaders also believed that the nation’s security depended on the security of Europe and Asia, and that American prosperity required global economic reconstruction.

4 THE ORIGINS OF THE COLD WAR: THE TWO POWERS The only power that in any way could rival the USA was the USSR. It armies occupied most of eastern Europe, including the eastern part of Germany. Its crucial role in WWII gave it considerable prestige in Europe. Its claim that communism had wrested a vast backward nation into modernity also gave it prestige among colonial peoples struggling for independence. Like the USA, the USSR looked forward to a new world order modeled on their own society and values.

5 THE ORIGINS OF THE COLD WAR: THE TWO POWERS Having lost 25 million dead and suffered vast devastation during WWII, Stalin’s govt., was in no position to embark on new military adventures. But Stalin remained determined to establish a sphere of influence in eastern Europe, through which Germany twice invaded Russia in the past 30 years.

6 THE ROOTS OF CONTAINMENT It is arguable that that two major powers to emerge from WWII would come into conflict. Born of a common foe rather than common long-term interests, values, or history, their wartime alliance began to unravel from the day peace was declared. The USSR installed puppet govts in Poland, Romania, and Bulgaria. They claimed this was no different from American domination of latin America or GB’s determination to maintain its own empire. Many Americans were convinced that Stalin was violating his pledge of free elections in Poland agreed to at the Yalta Conference of 1945.

7 THE ROOTS OF CONTAINMENT 1946: In his famous Long Telegram from Moscow, American diplomat George Kennan advised the Truman Admin., that the USSR could not be dealt with as a normal government.

8 THE ROOTS OF CONTAINMENT He argued that Communist ideology drove the USSR to try and expand their power throughout the world. Only the USA had the ability to stop them. He believed that the USSR could not be dislodged from eastern Europe.

9 THE ROOTS OF CONTAINMENT Kennan’s telegram laid the foundation for what became known as the policy of “containment” According to this policy, the USA committed itself to preventing any further expansion of Soviet power.

10 THE ROOTS OF CONTAINMENT Shortly afterwards, in a speech at Fulton, Missouri, GB’s former Prime Minister Winston Churchill declared that a “iron curtain” had descended across Europe, partitioning the free West from the communist East.

11 THE ROOTS OF CONTAINMENT Churchill’s speech helped to popularize the idea of an impending long-term struggle between the USA and USSR. But it was not until 3/1947, in a speech did President Truman embrace the Cold War as the foundation of American foreign policy and describe it as a worldwide struggle over the future of freedom.

12 THE TRUMAN DOCTRINE Convinced that Stalin could not be trusted and that the USA had a responsibility to provide leadership to a world he tended to view in stark black and white terms, Truman was determined to put the policy of containment into effect.

13 THE TRUMAN DOCTRINE The immediate occasion for Truman’s decision came in early 1947 when GB informed the USA that because of its economy had been shattered by WWII, it could no longer afford its traditional international role. GB had no choice but to end military and financial aid to two crucial govts.:  Greece – a monarchy threatened by a communist- led rebellio  Turkey – from which the Soviets were demanding joint control.

14 THE TRUMAN DOCTRINE The USSR had little to do with the internal problems of Greece and Turkey. Their problems were largely homegrown. Neither had held truly free elections. But they occupied strategically important sites at the gateway to southeastern Europe and the oil-rich Middle east.


16 TENENTS OF THE TRUMAN DOCTRINE 1. It is the policy of the USA to support free peoples who are resisting attempted subjugation by armed minorities or by outside pressures. 2. Truman asked Congress for $400 million to support democracy in Turkey and Greece since GB was no longer able.

17 THE TRUMAN DOCTRINE The language of the Doctrine suggested that the USA had assumed a permanent global responsibility. It set a precedent for American assistance to anticommunist regimes throughout the world.

18 THE TRUMAN DOCTRINE These nations could expect US aid no matter how undemocratic. It also set a precedent for the creation of a set of global military alliances directed against the USSR. It would be the guiding spirit of American foreign policy.

19 CONGRESS REACTS TO THE TRUMAN DOCTRINE Congress responded to Truman’s call:  National Security Act of 1947: Created the Department of Defense. Created the National Security Council (NSA) Created the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) 1948: The first peacetime draft was enacted. “Voice of America” was authorized by Congress to beam US broadcasts behind the iron curtain. Atomic Energy Commission established civilian control over nuclear development and gave the president sole authority over the use of atomic weapons.

20 THE MARSHALL PLAN The rhetoric of the Truman Doctrine alarmed many Americans. But the threat of American military action overseas formed only one pillar of the policy of containment.

21 THE MARSHALL PLAN Sec. of State George C. Marshall spelled out the other in a speech at Harvard Univ., in June Marshall pledged the USA to contribute billions of dollars to finance the economic recovery of Europe.

22 THE MARSHALL PLAN Two years after the war, much of Europe still lay in ruins. Food shortages were widespread, and inflation was rampant. These conditions strengthened the communist parties of France and Italy.

23 THE MARSHALL PLAN The Plan allocated $12.5 billion over four years in 16 cooperating countries. The Plan would be one of the most successful foreign aid programs in history. Communism lost ground in France and Italy. 1950: western European production exceeded pre-war levels.

24 THE MARSHALL PLAN Since the USSR refused to participate, fearing American control over the economies of eastern Europe, the Marshall Plan further solidified the division of the continent.

25 THE REBUILDING OF JAPAN Under the guidance of Gen. Douglass MacArthur, the USA began the economic reconstruction of Japan. Japan adopted a new democratic constitution and eliminated absentee landlordism so that most farmers could become landowners.

26 THE REBUILDING OF JAPAN By the 1950s, thanks to American economic assistance, the adoption of new technologies, and low spending on the military (the new constitution barred it from possessing an army) Japan’s economic recovery was in full swing.

27 THE BERLIN AIRLIFT Despite the Marshall Plan, the Cold War intensified and became more militaristic. At the end of WWII, the Allies assumed control of a section of occupied Germany, and of, Berlin.

28 THE BERLIN AIRLIFT 6/1948: The USA, GB and FR introduced a separate currency in their zones, a prelude to the creation of a new West German govt. that would be aligned with them. In response, the Soviets cut off road and rail traffic from the American, British, and French zones of occupied Germany and Berlin. Stalin kept open supply routes from the east since the Soviets occupied that part of the divided country and city.


30 An 11 month airlift followed, with Western planes supplying fuel and food to their zones of the city. 5/1949: Stalin lifted the blockade. The Truman Admin., won a major Cold War victory.

31 THE BERLIN AIRLIFT Soon, two nations emerged, West and east Germany, each allied with a side in the Cold war. Berlin itself remained divided until West Berlin survived as an isolated democratic enclave within East Germany.

32 THE CREATION OF NATO 1949: A crucial year in the Cold War. The USSR tested its first atomic bomb, ending the American monopoly of the weapon. Also, the USA, Canada and 10 Western European nations established NATO – pledging mutual defense against any future attack.

33 THE CREATION OF NATO Many Europeans feared German rearmament. West Germany became a crucial part of NATO France saw NATO as a “double containment” in which West Germany would serve as a bulwark against the Soviets while integration into the Western alliance tamed and “civilized” the German people.

34 THE WARSAW PACT The Soviets formalized their own eastern European alliance, the Warsaw Pact in 1955.

35 THE CHINESE REVOLUTION 10/1949: Communists led by Mao Zedong emerged victorious in the long Chinese civil war – a serious setback for the policy of containment. Republicans assailed the Truman Admin., for “losing China.” The Truman Admin., refused to recognize the new govt and blocked its membership in the UN.

36 NSC-68 In the wake of all these events, the NSC approved a call for a permanent military build-up to enable to the USA to pursue a global crusade against communism. The memo described the Cold War as an epic struggle between freedom and communism. At stake was the survival of the free world. It helped spur a dramatic increases in American military spending.


38 Initially, American postwar policy focused on Europe. But it was in Asia that the Cold War suddenly turned hot. 1945: Korea had been divided into Soviet and American zones = two different govts.

39 THE KOREAN WAR 6/1950: The No. Korean army with Soviet-made tanks invaded So. Korea and took nearly all the country. Goal: Reunify the country under communist control.

40 THE KOREAN WAR Viewing Korea as a clear test of the policy of containment, the Truman Admin., persuaded the UN Security Council to authorize the use of force to repel the invasion. The Soviets, who could have blocked the vote, were boycotting the meetings to protest the refusal to seat Communist China.

41 THE KOREAN WAR The UN Security Council voted 9-0 to repel the invasion and restore peace. It created a UN force under the command of Gen. Douglas MacArthur – Truman’s choice. Invoking NSC-68, Truman ordered American troops into action = 4/5 of UN forces.

42 THE KOREAN WAR American troops did the bulk of the fighting of this first battlefield of the Cold War. 9/1950: MacArthur launched a daring counterattack at Inchon, behind No. Korean lines. No. Korea forces retreated northward, UN forces soon occupied most of No. Korea.

43 THE KOREAN WAR Truman now hoped to unite Korea under a pro- US govt. 10/1950: When UN forces neared the China border, hundreds of thousands of Chinese troops intervened driving the UN troops back in bloody fighting.

44 THE KOREAN WAR MacArthur demanded the right to push north again and possibly invade China. Truman refused fearing an all-out war on the Asian mainland. MacArthur did not fully accept civilian control of the military.

45 THE KOREAN WAR When MacArthur went public with his criticism of the president, Truman removed him from command.

46 THE KOREAN WAR The war then settled into a stalemate around the 38 th parallel, the original border between the two Koreas. 1953: An armistice was agreed to, essentially restoring the pre-war status quo. There has never been a formal peace treaty ending the Korean War.

47 COSTS OF THE KOREAN WAR 36, 940 American troops were killed. 415,000 So. Korean troops and 520,000 No. Korean troops were killed. 2 million civilians (So.& No.) – many from starvation after American bombing destroyed irrigation systems essential to rice cultivation. Hundreds of thousands of Chinese troops were killed. The Korean War made clear that the Cold War, which began in Europe, had become a global conflict.

48 COLD WAR CRITICS Stalin had consolidated a brutal dictatorship that jailed and murdered millions of Soviet citizens. His total control of life in the USSR presented a stark opposite of democracy and free enterprise.

49 COLD WAR CRITICS As a number of contemporary critics, few of them sympathetic to Soviet communism, pointed out, however, casting the Cold War in terms of a worldwide battle freedom and slavery had unfortunate consequences.

50 COLD WAR CRITICS George Kennan, who inspired the policy of containment, observed that such language made it impossible to view international crises on a case- by-case basis, or to determine which genuinely involved either freedom or American interests.

51 COLD WAR CRITICS Walter Lippmann, an prominent journalist, leveled a penetrating critique of Truman’s Cold War policies. He objected to turning foreign policy into an “ideological crusade.”

52 COLD WAR CRITICS To view every challenge to the status quo as a contest with the USSR, he argued, would require the USA to recruit and subsidize an “array of satellites, clients, dependents, and puppets.” The USA would have to intervene continuously in the affairs of nations whose problems did not arise from the USSR.

53 COLD WAR CRITICS World War II, he argued, had shaken the foundations of European empires. In a tide of revolutionary nationalism, communists were certain to an important role. It would be a serious mistake for the USA to align itself against the movement for colonial independence in the name of anti-communism.


55 Soon after entering office, Eisenhower approved an armistice that ended the Korean War. But this failed to ease international tensions. Ike took office when the Cold War had entered an extremely dangerous phase. 1952: The USA had exploded the first hydrogen bomb – a weapon far more powerful than those dropped on Japan. 1953: The Soviets matched this achievement. Both sides feverishly developed long-range bombers capable of delivering weapons of mass destruction around the world.

56 EISENHOWER AND THE COLD WAR 1954: Sec. of State John Foster Dulles announced an updated version of the policy of containment. “Massive retaliation”, as it was called, declared that any Soviet attack on an American ally would be countered by a nuclear assault on the USSR itself.

57 EISENHOWERAND THE COLD WAR In some ways, this reliance on the nuclear threat was a way for the budget-conscious Ike to reduce spending on conventional military forces. During his presidency, the size of the armed forces fell by nearly half.

58 EISENHOWER AND TEHE COLD WAR *But the number of American warheads rose from 1,000 in 1953 to 18,000 in *Massive retaliation ran the risk that any small conflict, or even a miscalculation, could escalate into a war that would destroy the USA and USSR.

59 EISENHOWER AND THE COLD WAR Critics called the doctrine “brinkmanship,” warning of the danger of Dulles’s apparent willingness to bring the world to the brink of war. The reality that all-out war would result in mutual assured destruction” (MAD) did succeed in making both sides cautious in their dealings with each other. It also inspired widespread fear of impending nuclear war. Govt., programs encouraging Americans to build bomb shelters in their backyards and school drills that to train children to hide under their desks in the event of an atomic attacked convinced Americans that nuclear attack was survivable.




63 In his inaugural address, Eisenhower repeated the familiar Cold War formula “Freedom is pitted against slavery; lightness against dark.” But with the end of the Korean War and the death of Stalin, Eisenhower was convinced that rather than being blind zealots, the Soviets were reasonable and could be dealt with in conventional diplomatic terms.

64 EISENHOWER AND THE USSR 1955: Eisenhower met with Nikita Khrushchev, the new Soviet leader, at the first “summit” conference since Potsdam. 1956: Khrushchev delivered a speech to the Communist Party Congress in Moscow that detailed Stalin’s crimes, including purges of political opponents numbering in the millions.

65 EISENHOWER AND THE USSR Khrushchev’s revelations created a crisis of belief among communists throughout the world. In the USA, three-quarters of the Communist Party membership abandoned the party.

66 EISENHOWER AND THE USSR Khrushchev also called for “peaceful coexistence” with the USA. This raised the possibility of easing Cold War tensions. But the “thaw” was abruptly shaken that fall when Soviet troops put down an anticommunist uprising in Hungary.

67 EISENHOWER AND THE USSR Many conservatives Republicans had urged Europeans to resist communist rule. Dulles had declared “liberation” rather than containment to be the goal of American policy.

68 EISENHOWER AND THE USSR But Eisenhower refused to extend aid to the Hungarian rebels. This was an indication that he believed it impossible to “roll back” Soviet domination of eastern Europe.

69 EISENHOWER AND THE USSR 1958: The USA and USSR agreed to a halt to the testing of nuclear weapons. This lasted until It had been demanded by the National Committee for a Sane Nuclear Policy. *It had published a study which highlighted the dangers to public health posed by radioactive fall out from nuclear tests. *1959: Khrushchev toured the USA and had a friendly meeting with Eisenhower at Camp David.

70 EISENHOWER AND THE USSR But the spirit of cooperation ended abruptly in 1960, when the Soviets shot down an American U-2 spy plane over their territory. Eisenhower first denied that the plane had been involved in espionage.

71 EISENHOWER AND THE USSR Eisenhower refused to apologize even after the Soviets produced the captured pilot – Francis Gary Powers. The incident torpedoed another summit meeting.

72 THE COLD WAR AND THE THIRD WORLD The Cold War became the determining factor in American relations with the Third World. The policy of containment easily slid over into opposition to any government, whether communist or not, that seemed to threaten American strategic or economic interests. This played out in Guatemala, Iran, the Middle East and Vietnam.

73 THE COLD WAR AND THE THIRD WORLD Jacobo Arbenz Guzman in Guatemala and Mohammed Mossadegh in Iran were elected, homegrown nationalists, not agents of the Soviet Union. But they were determined to reduce foreign corporations’ control over their countries economies.

74 THE COLD WAR AND THE THIRD WORLD Arbenz embarked on a sweeping land-reform policy that threatened the domination of Guatelma’s economy controlled by the American owned United Fruit Company.

75 THE COLD WAR AND THE THIRD WORLD Mossadegh nationalized the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company, whose refinery in Iran was Britain’s largest remaining overseas asset.

76 THE COLD WAR AND THE THIRD WORLD Their foes quickly branded them as communists. In 1953 and 1954, the CIA organized the ouster of both governments – a clear violation of the UN Charter, which barred a member state from taking military action against another except in self- defense.

77 THE COLD WAR AND THE THIRD WORLD 1956: Israel, France, and Great Britain, without prior consultation with the USA, invaded Egypt after their country nationalist leader Gamal Nasser, nationalized the Suez Canal, jointly owned by GB and FR.

78 THE COLD WAR AND THE THIRD WORLD A furious Eisenhower forced them to abandon the invasion. The USA moved to replace GB as the dominant Western power in the Middle East. American companies increasingly dominated the region’s oil fields.

79 THE COLD WAR AND THE THIRD WORLD 1957: Eisenhower extended the policy of containment to the Middle East. The Eisenhower Doctrine pledged the USA to defend Middle East govts., threatened by communism or Arab nationalism.

80 THE COLD WAR AND THE THIRD WORLD 1958: Eisenhower dispatched 5,000 troops to Lebanon to protect a govt., dominated by pro- Western Christians against Nasser’s efforts to bring all Arab states into a single regime under his rule.


82 THE ORIGINS OF THE VIETNAM WAR In Vietnam, the expulsion of Japan in 1945 led not to independence but to a French military effort to preserve their Asian empire. (19 th century) The Vietnamese were led by Ho Chi Minh’s nationalist forces.

83 THE ORIGINS OF THE VIETNAM WAR Anticommunism led the USA into deeper and deeper involvement. Following a policy initiated by Truman, Eisenhower funneled billions of dollars in aid to bolster the French effort. By the early 1950s, the USA was paying four-fifths of the cost of the war. Wary of becoming bogged down in another land war in Asia, Eisenhower refused to send in American troops when the French requested them to avert defeat in He also rejected the NSA’s advice to use nuclear weapons.

84 THE ORIGINS OF THE VIETNAM WAR 1954: At the Battle of Dien Bien Phu, the Vietnamese defeated the French. The French had to concede Vietnamese independence. The issue of Vietnamese independence was debated at the Geneva Conference of 1954.

85 THE ORIGINS OF THE VIETNAM WAR The Geneva Conference produced the Geneva Accords. Vietnam was divided at the 17 th parallel = South Vietnam and North Vietnam. Unification elections were scheduled for 1956.

86 THE ORIGINS OF THE VIETNAM WAR But staunchly anticommunist So. VN leader Ngo Dinh Diem, urged on by the USA, refused to hold elections, which would have resulted in victory for Ho Chi Minh’s communists.

87 THE ORIGINS OF THE VIETNAM WAR Diem’s close ties to wealthy Catholic families, in Buddhist So. VN, and to landlords in a society dominated by small farmers who had been promised land by Ho Chi Minh alienated an increasing number of his subjects.

88 THE ORIGINS OF THE VIETNAM WAR American aid poured into SVN in order to bolster the Diem regime. By the time Eisenhower left office (1961), Diem nevertheless faced a full- scale guerrilla revolt by the communist National Liberation Front.

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