The Cold War: Basic Facts 1945 to (roughly) 1989 Bipolar international system U.S. NATO U.S.-Japan Security Treaty Soviet Union Warsaw Pact Comintern alliance with China (until late 60s) Defined U.S. and Soviet foreign policy for four decades With two exceptions, it never got “hot” Instead, combatants fought “proxy wars”
How did it come about? Soviet expansionism? U.S. imperialism? Or something else?
Early days: U.S. “Containment” Policy March 1947: Truman issues his “doctrine” July 1947: Kennan publishes his “X” article July 1947: Marshall Plan March 1948: Berlin blockade April 1949: NATO formed
The Cold War in Asia July 1945: Truman and Stalin at Potsdam Soviets request an occupation zone in Japan U.S. drops bombshell August 1945: Soviets invade Manchuria August 1945: Americans nuke Japan August 1949: Soviets test their own A-bomb October 1949: Chinese Communists create PRC
The End June 1989: Solidarity wins election in Poland October 1989: Hungary opens its border November 1989: Berlin Wall falls December 1989: Ceausescu executed in Romania December 1989: Czechoslovakia elects Vaclav Havel as its president March 1990: Lithuania votes for independence October 1990: Germany unifies December 1991: Coup fails; USSR becomes CIS