Presentation on theme: "Communism and the World. The Domino Theory This was the fear that communism in one country would lead to communism in neighboring countries -- like dominoes."— Presentation transcript:
The Domino Theory This was the fear that communism in one country would lead to communism in neighboring countries -- like dominoes toppling each other over. The Domino Theory motivated the U.S. to oppose communism everywhere, even in small countries of little strategic importance to the U.S.
End of Imperialism, 1945 At the end of World War II, while the U.S.A. and the U.S.S.R became superpowers, Great Britain and France were left very weak from the War. They did not have the money or the military strength to keep their colonies. Many previously French and British colonies became independent.
An End to European Colonial Empires (pg. 806) Between 1950 & 1980, more than 90 new countries emerged with 50 in Africa alone! Both the U.S. & U.S.S.R. looked for allies among these new nations and competed for influence. Many of these new nations favored communism because their old colonial rulers had been capitalist. Other nations were attracted to the great prosperity of the capitalist West.
Nonalignment Movement (pg. 807) To avoid getting in the middle of this U.S./U.S.S.R. rivalry, many new nations chose to remain nonaligned. nonaligned = not allied with either side in a conflict. India was a leader in the nonaligned movement!
Other countries became communist because they were taken over by the U.S.S.R as a result of decisions made at the end of World War II. Yalta Conference February 1945 Potsdam Conference July 1945
Still other countries had leaders influenced by the ideas of communism.
Hot Spots (pg. 807) Cold War spread to: Africa, Latin America & Asia (China, Korea, Vietnam, Afghanistan, Cuba, etc.) The West (led by the U.S.) supported one side and the Soviet bloc supported the other. The 2 superpowers got to confront each other but INDIRECTLY rather than head to head.
China (pg. 862) Japan's surrender to the Western Allies in 1945 led to a civil war in China between a U.S. supported Chinese government and an U.S.S.R supported Chinese communist party. In 1949 the communists seized power in China due to the support of the huge peasant population. Mao Zedong, the leader of the Chinese Communist Party, took control of China. China then supported a communist North Korea in its efforts to defeat South Korea. China is still a communist country today but is becoming more westernized and capitalistic.
Mao Zedong (Tse-tung) Father of People’s Republic of China – ruled for 27 years. Revolutionary, military mastermind, political theorist, poet, intellectual, and philosopher. In an attempt to restructure China. Mao started the “Great Leap Forward” campaign in 1958. The “Great Leap Forward” forced the abandonment of individual farms for communes and led to a famine in which more than 20 million people died of malnutrition. China slowly recovered from the Great Leap Forward. Despite disastrous mistakes, he is still regarded as one of the most important figures in modern world history because he restored order in China, ended foreign domination and made China a world power once again!
North Korea (pg. 870) Japan ruled Korea from 1910 to 1945. The Allied Powers agreed to a temporary division of Korea after World War Two (sort of like Germany). The U.S.S.R. influenced the North and helped put communists in power. The U.S.A took the South and supported democracy. Hoping to make all of Korea one communist country, North Korea invaded South Korea. The United Nations condemned the attack and demanded an immediate withdrawal. President Harry S. Truman ordered U.S. air and naval units into action to enforce the UN order and help South Korea. Communist China were surprised by the U.S. success in pushing back the North Koreans so China entered the Korean War, forcing the UN troops to retreat. The war ended in a stalemate in 1953. North Korea eventually retreated and is still Communist. South Korea is still Democratic.
Vietnam (pgs. 873-4) In 1954, western and communist powers agreed to a temporary division of Vietnam. Communist leader Ho Chi Minh ruled North Vietnam. Ngo Dinh Diem supported by the U.S. ruled a noncommunist government in South Vietnam. The agreement called for elections to reunite Vietnam. The elections were never held mostly because the U.S. and Diem feared that the communists might win. Despite massive American aid, South Vietnam could not defeat the communist guerillas and their North Vietnamese allies. President Nixon began withdrawing U.S. troops in 1973. The North Vietnamese captured Saigon, capital of the south, and reunited Vietnam which is a Communist nation today.
Afghanistan (pg. 887) Communist from 1979-1989. In 1973, during the Cold War, King Mohammed Zahir Shah developed close ties with the Soviet Union, accepting large sums money. His cousin took over the country and tried to form a government to end Afghanistan’s reliance on the U.S.S.R. In 1978, Afghan communists led a revolution and the U.S.S.R helped them. The U.S.S.R was unpopular. Guerrilla forces, calling themselves mujahideen, pledged a jihad, or holy war, to expel the invading communists. The U.S. began sending money and weapons to the mujahideen to help them fight against communism. The U.S.S.R left Afghanistan in 1989.
Poland (pg. 850) At the Yalta Conference in February 1945, the U.S.S.R was already occupying Poland. Stalin made sure Poland became communist but did not join the U.S.S.R. Poles who opposed communism had to leave Poland. Others were put on trial and sentenced to imprisonment or execution. After about 30 years of communism in Poland (1954-1989), people had enough. An anti-communist group called Solidarity led by Lech Wałęsa gained support. Because of the efforts of Solidarity and others, in1989 Poland became democratic. Lech Wałęsa was elected as Poland’s president.
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