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The Cold War and Decolonization 1945-1975. Two Superpowers The West perceived the USSR as a center of revolution capable of spreading their communist.

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Presentation on theme: "The Cold War and Decolonization 1945-1975. Two Superpowers The West perceived the USSR as a center of revolution capable of spreading their communist."— Presentation transcript:

1 The Cold War and Decolonization

2 Two Superpowers The West perceived the USSR as a center of revolution capable of spreading their communist disease ◦As a result, formed NATO: North Atlantic Treaty Organization The USSR was suffering from severe WWII losses and felt threatened by NATO—surrounded by enemies Distrust and suspicion played itself out on a worldwide stage The United Nations was the diplomatic stage

3 United Nations General Assembly: representatives of all member nations Security Council: five permanent members: China, France, Great Britain, the United States, and the Soviet Union plus 7 rotating members Security Council members have veto power on any vote UN Charter: renounced war and territorial conquest Decolonization of Africa increase Gen. Assembly size-over time more concerned with the problems of the majority (poverty, racism, etc.) but the Security Council dominated other issues Resolutions used to mean something (Israel, the moon.)

4 Capitalism vs. Communism West: supply and demand determined prices USSR: government set all prices Newly independent countries preferred USSR method of planned economy West: economies damaged by war (except US by comparison) Marshall Plan provided $12.5 billion in aid to friendly European countries, revamped Western economies Europe moved a little left—formed the European Community (EC) USSR prospered quickly then declined severely

5 Proxy Wars Western leaders saw the rapid spread of Communism in the east as a threat; Poland, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Bulgaria, Romania, etc. Truman Doctrine: offered military aid to Greece and Turkey to resist USSR Warsaw Pact: USSR response to NATO It looked like alliances all over again Several wars were fought during the “Cold War” that did not directly involve USSR and United States—they fought each other in proxy wars: Korea, Vietnam, Afghanistan

6 Korea Communist North Korea invaded South Korea; UN condemned it; United States allied with South Korea, China with North ◦The US did not attack China for fear of involving the USSR ◦A truce along the 38 th parallel was reached; it is a Cold War hotspot still today ◦Ended in 1953

7 Vietnam After France’s colonial enterprise ended in 1954, Ho Chi Min’s Viet Minh government took over in the north, and a noncommunist government ruled the south JFK decided the US should support the south, even though that government was corrupt They were concerned there would be a domino effect if South Korea fell to the communists The Vietnam War ended in 1973 with a treaty saying the US would leave with promises of elections The North Vietnamese broke treaty and invaded the south; the US was experiencing strong anti- war sentiments and civil rights movements

8 The Arms Race Based on fear that someone would use nuclear weapons Cuban Missile Crisis: USSR placed missiles in Cuba that could reach the US; the US freaked out and prepared to invade; Khruschev pulled the missiles out This gave reason for hope: superpower leaders were willing to give up rather than fight The US and USSR continued to build up nuclear weapon capabilities—the rest of the world slowed down and watched in horror Space satellites were launched—space race to see who could dominate elsewhere

9 The Third World Newly independent states had to function in a bipolar world of superpowers Their goals were quite different Third World referred to non-aligned nations—not Communist, but not industrialized Some were skillful and played the USSR and US for weapons or for money Now we call them “developing” countries because they are not industrialized

10 Japan Benefited from the Cold War Remained on the sidelines, sometimes providing (selling) arms New constitution (under US supervision) had small army Turned attention to building industry and engaging in world commerce Peace treaties with SW Asian countries expanded economy there Three industries that put Japan on the economic map: Electricity, steel, and shipbuilding projects

11 China Under Mao Zedong, The People’s Republic Focused on the peasantry Mao’s Great Leap Forward of 1958 was supposed to make China a world power by industrializing on the local level It failed, but demonstrated the independent nature of Mao Zedong in the face of the big USSR neighbor Reforms led to 30 million deaths 1966 Cultural Revolution: to kindle revolutionary attitude in the youth—again a lot of death and divisiveness Nixon visited in 1972—a stab at USSR but opened the relationship with China


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