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George Kennan, one of the architects of containment and believer in “realpolitik”

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Presentation on theme: "George Kennan, one of the architects of containment and believer in “realpolitik”"— Presentation transcript:

1 George Kennan, one of the architects of containment and believer in “realpolitik”

2 Soviet domination of Eastern Europe: Inevitable “realpolitik” or a cowardly failure of western resolve?

3 The Big Three plan the shape of post- war Europe at the Yalta Conference, a resort on the Crimean Sea, February 1945

4 Truman after his upset victory in 1948

5 “Dangerous period” created by the atomic bomb, editorial cartoon from 1948

6 Soldiers in Greek Civil War, c. 1947

7 Text of speech laying out the “Truman Doctrine,” March 12, 1947

8 Divided Germany and Berlin

9 Berlin Airlift (June ‘48-May ’49)

10 NATO as a symbol of a recovering world North Atlantic Treaty Organization (1949) Means to militarily resist the numerically superior Red Army Great Britain, Canada, Iceland, Finland, Norway, France, Italy, Portulgal, Netherlands, and later West Germany and Turkey Russians understandably viewed as provocatively aggressive

11 Walter Lippmann on the cover of Time magazine Argued Stalin/USSR primarily protective rather than expansionist Warned America’s blind support of anti-communist regimes would result in alliances with anti- democratic dictators

12 The Cold War Mentality: At least in part because of Truman’s fear mongering, many Americans mistakenly believed: Soviet Union was absolutely bent on world domination, not internal security from a hostile and largely capitalist world All communist revolutions around the globe could ultimately be traced back to Soviet agitators and Soviet support All communist revolutions were identically anti- democratic and repressive, and thus by definition could never be a reflection of the democratic will of the indigenous people

13 Mao Tse- tung and his Little Red Book

14 The Chinese nationalist, Chiang Kai-shek

15 Mao and Stalin deeply distrusted each other and had very different ideas of the meaning and global future of Communism Important Point: To the dispassionate, non-ideological observer, it became clear by late 1940s that there was no monolithic world communism Variety of nationalist leaders borrowed parts of communist doctrines they found useful, or invented their own versions such as “Maoism” To the narrow-minded ideologue, though, all communism was the same and ultimately linked back to Moscow

16 Korea Divided: Soviets create a pro- Communist regime in the North under Kim Il Sung The Americans create a pro-western, capitalist regime in the South under Syngman Rhee

17 Propaganda poster of Kim Il Sung in a worshipful North Korea

18 Syngman Rhee, the American-backed leader of South Korea Notoriously right wing and resistant to democratic elections

19 Map of the Korean War in 1950

20 General Douglas MacArthur with his iconic corn-cob pipe


22 Map of the Korean War in 1950

23 American soldiers in Korea; one of the first integrated U.S. armies

24 China

25 MacArthur and Truman meet in person for the first time, October, 1950

26 Wisconsin Republican Senator Joseph McCarthy who calls Truman “a son of bitch” and suggests the President is soft on communism The Second Red Scare

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