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US & Soviet Leaders during the Cold War

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Presentation on theme: "US & Soviet Leaders during the Cold War"— Presentation transcript:

1 US & Soviet Leaders during the Cold War

2 What is a/the Cold War? A Cold War is a state of diplomatic hostility between two superpowers, in this case the US/USSR. These two superpowers will never actually fight each other therefore it is considered a cold war.

3 American Leaders During the Cold War

4 Harry Truman 1945 – 1953

5 Truman Truman was the president who made the decision to drop an atomic bomb on Hiroshima & Nagasaki. He was president during the Berlin Airlift, and creator of the Truman Doctrine. His goal was to contain the threat of communism and do his best to prevent other countries from becoming communist.

6 Dwight D. Eisenhower 1953 – 1961

7 Eisenhower Eisenhower continued many of Truman’s policies. He initially got America involved in Vietnam and was the president in office during the U-2 Incident.

8 John F. Kennedy 1961 – 1963

9 John F. Kennedy President Kennedy continued the policies of containment from the previous presidents. Under his leadership, the US continued their involvement in Vietnam. President Kennedy was responsible for the Bay of Pigs Invasion failure, and the successful ending of the Cuban Missile Crisis.

10 Lyndon B. Johnson 1963 – 1969

11 Lyndon B. Johnson Johnson became president after Kennedy’s assassination. He continued America’s involvement in Vietnam which made him unpopular with the public.


13 Richard Nixon 1969 – 1974

14 Richard Nixon Seeing how unpopular the Vietnam War was, Nixon withdrew American troops and decided to take a different approach to communism. He was the first president to visit China since they became communist and the first president since World War II to meet with a Soviet leader. He was responsible for détente and beginning the SALT treaties.

15 Gerald Ford 1974 – 1977

16 Gerald Ford Ford continued Nixon’s policies towards communist countries. He continued the SALT talks and working towards peaceful relationships with the Soviet Union.

17 Jimmy Carter 1977 – 1981

18 Jimmy Carter President Carter continued working towards peaceful relations with communist countries. However, under Carter’s leadership the Iranian hostage crisis occurred, which made Americans want tougher foreign policy.

19 Ronald Reagan 1981 – 1989

20 Ronald Reagan Reagan took a tough stance on communism. Reagan’s position towards the USSR softened during Gorbachev’s leadership.

21 The USSR & Its Leaders (Also includes Boris Yeltsin)
During the Cold War

22 USSR At the time of its collapse, the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) consisted of 15 Soviet Socialist Republics (SSRs), including Russia, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belorussia (now Belarus), Estonia, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kirgiziya (now Kyrgyzstan), Latvia, Lithuania, Moldavia (now Moldova), Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Ukraine, and Uzbekistan. The capital was Moscow.


24 Government Head of the Soviet Union-the premier
Head of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union (CPSU)-General Secretary *Lenin, Stalin, and Khrushchev all held the positions of premier and General Secretary at the same time.

25 Government Each of the SSRs had their own communist parties that were incorporated into the CPSU. Each of the SSRs had their own head of state and party leaders. (Though heads of states were supposed to be stronger in theory, party leaders were often more influential in practice.)

26 Could the SSRs leave/break away?
Technically, each of the of SSRs maintained the right to secede, or break away, from the Soviet Union at anytime. However, most historians agree that during the Cold War, this was never truly an option for the SSRs. Lithuania, Estonia, and Latvia claim that they were never legally incorporated into the Soviet Union and that after WW2, they were simply under Soviet occupation.

27 Gaps You’ll notice there are some gaps between leaders. That is because there are some lesser known/not as important leaders that we are not going to talk about.

28 Josef Stalin 1920’s – 1953

29 Josef Stalin Under his leadership, he tried to expand the power of the Soviet Union and create as many satellite nations as possible. He used censorship and propaganda to limit the rights of his people.

30 Nikita Khrushchev 1958 – 1964

31 Nikita Khrushchev When Khrushchev became leader, he eased up on some of Stalin’s harsh policies on censorship and gave people more freedoms. He became very unpopular after the Cuban Missile Crisis, and was viewed as a weak leader.

32 Leonid Brezhnev 1964 – 1982

33 Leonid Brezhnev Brezhnev was put into place after Khrushchev because he was more of a traditional Soviet style leader, similar to Stalin. Even though Brezhnev was strict with the satellite nations (especially Czechoslovakia during the Prague Spring) he did negotiate with President Nixon, President Ford, and President Carter for the SALT agreements.

34 Mikhail Gorbachev 1985 – 1991

35 Mikhail Gorbachev Gorbachev was the youngest leader to come to power in the Soviet Union. He allowed the Soviet people new freedoms and made changes to the traditional communist system (glasnost and perestroika) . These changes were one of the factors that led to the collapse of the Soviet Union and communism.

36 Boris Yeltsin

37 Boris Yeltsin After the August Coup, Gorbachev resigned and the USSR collapsed. Boris Yeltsin, a key politician in the USSR, became the first president of the Russian Federation. He faced significant economic and political issues during his leadership.

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