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History: Cold War (Review)

By tristensavoury May 11, 2013 2547 Words
History Unit 5 Test Review

Cold War: refers to the period after the Second World War between 1945 and 1990, when increasing political and diplomatic tension between the West/United States and the East/Soviet Union created a constant threat of war. There were 2 speeches given in 1946 that alerted the world to the growing tension between the soviet and western world. 1. Stalin’s “Two Hostile Camps”: In February 1946 Stalin gave a speech to voters in Munich in the speech he predicted that the unevenness of development in the capitalist world would cause a split into two hostile camps with war being the inevitable option. He predicted as well that the future would be no external nor internal peace. People of the western world took this to mean that war with the west was again inevitable. 2. Churchill’s “Iron Curtain”: Churchill always distrusted Stalin and in 1946 he accepted President Truman’s invitation to visit the U.S. Once there Churchill gave a speech to the American people emphasizing the need for English peaking people to unit outside of the UN to re order the world. He ended up convincing many that Truman’s “get tough” approach to the soviets was the right one. Containment: The American foreign policy created in 1947 that through economic and technical assistance stopped the spread of communism in threatened countries. It later involved military force as well. The policy of Containment was put to action in the Truman Doctrine, The Marshall Plan, the Berlin airlift and the formation of NATO. 1. Truman Doctrine (U.S TO DONATE MONEY): In March 1947 President Truman called on the U.s to resist communism throughout the world. Truman’s speech was designed to get support for an American pledge of hundreds of millions of dollars to prevent the spread of communism in Europe. Greece at the time was in a civil war in which rebel forces were looking to over throe the pro-western government. This policy of fighting communism around the world became known as the Truman doctrine. American aid would be given to a number of regimes, in an effort to block communism. Thus the U.S committed itself to sacrificing money and lives to stop the spread of communism. 2. Marshall Plan (AID TO COUNTRIES DESTROYED BY WAR): In 1947 Western Europe was in a midst of postwar depression. Unemployment and social unrest was a concern to the U.S. In order to keep the western countries free of soviet influence they had to regain their economic power and stability. Therefore in June of the same year the Marshall plan was announced this plan offered to aid all countries devastated by war. Countries who accepted this aid would have to open their economic records to the U.S. although the soviets explored this idea they concluded it to be a branch of the Truman doctrine and therefore declined. However in the 4 years that it was put in place 16 countries accepted this aid and industrial growth flourished, these European countries would not turn to communism. 3. Berlin Airlift (BLOCKADE): Until 1948 the two superpowers had not been drawn into open conflict with the cold war to blame. Britain, France and the U.S were preparing to establish an independent West Germany state, the soviets wanted this plan blocked and to unite Germany under soviet control. To accomplish this all supplies, rail, canals and road links to West Berlin were cut off by the soviets. To the west this was a test of their commitment to West Germany, ad so 24 hours a day for 11 months thousands of tonnes of supplies were flown into West Germany until the soviets finally lifted the blockade. West Germany was created in May 1948 and the east was created in October that same year. By standing against the soviets during the blockade western powers demonstrated their resolve to stand up to the soviets and strengthened the westerns ties with the West Germans. 4. NATO (ALLIANCE SYSTEM): In April 1949 NATO was established, led by the U.S it brought together 12 countries to counter the perceived threat from the soviet bloc countries. An attack on one country would be an attack against all countries involved in NATO. It was the west intent to meet soviet expansion with collective resistance. Korean War: After ww2 Korea had joint occupancy. The U.S and soviets agreed to split Korea at the 38th parallel. The U.S held the south while the soviets held the north. Korea was supposed to be joined through a peace treaty but due to the cold war this did not happen. Unable to attain soviet cooperation the U.S turned to the UN for assistance. The general assembly set up a commission to oversee free elections and set up unified independent government. The soviets held their own elections and establish North Korea as communist and the U.S followed but established the south as democratic. Neither country was able to gain access to the UN because it was vetoed by the opposing force. The north and south became more deeply divided and increasingly more hostile; war broke out in June 1950 after the northern forces crossed the 38th parallel and invaded the south. The day after the invasion Truman pledged American military support against communist expansion in Asia. At the UN the U.S introduced the uniting for peace resolution demanding the north withdraw (no soviet interference because they were boycotting the UN). Without soviet interference the UN launched its first successful counter attack and its first major test of collective security. Although the north enjoyed success early on this new and first time test helped the allies and the American leader wanted to push further up into china but the threat of ww3 was too high, the UN resolution only gave them authority to restore South Korea. For the rest of the war the battle lines shifted back and forth as a stalemate developed. In July 1953 a truce was reached the country remained divided at the 38th parallel. The Korean War demonstrated the United Nations’ strength and limitations as a peacekeeping organization. It was involved in Korea because the U.S. decided it should be and the Soviets were not in a position to use its veto. Finally we saw how effective the U.N. could be when collective action is taken. Cuban Missile Crisis: Background to the Cuban Missile : The island of Cuba, 150 Km off the coast of Florida, had long been in the American sphere of influence, most of the wealth in Cuba belonged to American businesses. The U.S. supported Cuba’s corrupt dictator, Batista, while the people lived in poverty. In 1959 a young socialist named Fidel Castro overthrew Batista and took control in 1959.Castro wanted to regain control of Cuba’s economy, for Cubans, therefore he nationalized all privately owned businesses. American investors were outraged (having lost approximately 1 billion dollars) as a result President Eisenhower imposed a trade embargo that continues to this day. Castro succeeded in creating a first class health care and public education system. However his socialist policies pitted him against the United States. Castro’s nationalization of American businesses resulted in souring Cuban-American relations. In need of economic and military support Castro found a friend in the Soviets who bought huge quantities of Cuban sugar and shipped military weapons to Cuba. Threats from the U.S. and economic pressure pushed Cuba closer to the Soviets. In April 1961 a small army of Cuban exiles, trained by the American CIA invaded Cuba at the Bay of Pigs. The invasion failed as the invaders were quickly defeated, more importantly the invasion strengthen Cuba’s ties to the Soviets. In October 1962 American spy planes revealed that the Soviets were building missile bases in Cuba that could be used to launch nuclear weapons at the U.S. A nuclear war seemed likely. President Kennedy ordered a naval blockade of Cuba in order to keep supplies needed to complete the missile bases from reaching Cuba. Kennedy secretly sent his brother to meet with the Soviet Ambassador to the U.S. to present an ultimatum to the Soviets. Remove the missiles by the following day or the U.S. would remove them by force. In return Kennedy guaranteed that the U.S. would not invade Cuba and that the U.S. would remove missiles, aimed at the USSR, in Turkey. The crisis was over and both sides realized there could be no victory in a nuclear war. The crisis also demonstrated the need for better communication between the two countries as a result the famous hotline was established. Vietnam War: In 1954 the Vietnamese led by Ho Chi Minh defeated their imperialist dictator France at Dienbienphu forcing the French to leave Vietnam. At the peace conference in Geneva it was agreed that Vietnam would be divided at the 17th parallel until elections would be held in 1956 to reunite the country. North Vietnam, under Ho Chi Minh, established a communist state while Diem and strong anti-communist established a government in the South with American support. Diem refused to allow free elections thus Vietnam remained divided. North Vietnam began supporting the communist opposition group in the South: Viet Cong. The U.S. following its policy of containment became involved. The U.S. believed in something called the domino theory. According to this theory the fall of one nation to communism would lead to nearby countries becoming communist. Thus if Vietnam fell to communism so would nearby countries. Thus in 1960 the U.S. began sending (800) military advisors to help the South Vietnamese army. Following Kennedy’s assassination in 1963(16,000 advisors) the new President Lyndon Johnson did not want to be accused of being soft on communism. He got the American Congress to give him the power to use force in Vietnam (Gulf of Tonkin Resolution). By 1965 the U.S. 500,000 troops fighting in Vietnam. In 1975 North Vietnam occupied South Vietnam and reunited the country. More than a million Vietnamese were killed. The economies of the North and South were drained. Communism was not contained. The war proved that containment through military force was unworkable and that American military power was not invincible. Americans were divided over the war: anti-war protests, demonstrations often became violent, public burning of draft cards and American flag, tens of thousands of Americans fled to Canada as draft dodgers. 57,000 Americans were killed another 300,000 were wounded and 2500 were listed as Missing in Action. Tragically another 50,000 have committed suicide and larger numbers battle substance abuse. Financially the U.S. spent 150 billion on the war effort. American prestige, popularity and support were diminished in many nations. The Vietnam War undermined the trust of Americans in their government, politicians and country. Perestroika & Glasnost: In 1985 Mikhail Gorbachev became the new Soviet leader. Younger, better educated and open minded compared to previous Soviet leaders, he realized that the threat to the USSR was economic collapse not invasion from the West. Years of maintaining a military presence in other parts of the world had drained the economy. The situation was made worse by the communist system of guaranteed employment and lack of incentives which did little to develop innovation, competence or hard work. To deal with this problem Gorbachev introduced reforms such as perestroika: the restructuring of the Soviet Union’s economy to make it more productive by moving away from communism towards a free market. The introduction of perestroika resulted in dissatisfaction and frustration. Without government subsidies food and consumer goods became more expensive which was unpopular with people. By 1990 little headway had been made in establishing a freer market as hard line communists resisted change which was unpopular with people who wanted change. Inflation, strikes led to poor working and living conditions and political instability in the Soviet Union by 1991. As the Soviet economy worsened so did social conditions: crime swept the country, health care unraveled, infant mortality rates rose and life expectancy declined, pollution levels created health hazards, alcoholism became the third most common cause of death. Gorbachev introduced another reform - glasnost: a policy of openness and increased freedom that removed censorship. It was hoped that by opening communication it would lead to a better society. Glasnost resulted in Gorbachev’s fall from power. With the freedom glasnost provided people who felt Gorbachev was not moving fast enough to bring changes to the USSR began to criticize him. At the same time old hard line communists opposed Gorbachev feeling he had already gone too far with reforms. Eventually these two different views would bring events to a climax in the Soviet Union that would result in Gorbachev’s fall from power and the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991. Thus ending the Cold War. Collapse of Communism in Eastern Europe: Until 1985 the typical Soviet-American approach to international security was to talk about peace while continuing to increase their nuclear stockpile of weapons. Gorbachev changed this in 1985 with a series of peace initiatives: * He challenged the West to stop the arms race * At the U.N. he announced a reduction in Soviet armed forces, including a substantial number in Eastern Europe. * In 1988 the Soviets began withdrawing troops from Afghanistan. * Arms talks that began with U.S. in 1986 led to agreements to destroy intermediate & short range nuclear missiles. * In 1989 he had FREE elections in the Soviet Union. For the satellite states in Eastern Europe, events in the Soviet Union were came to mean the destruction of the communist system. Eager to seize the opportunity, countries in Eastern Europe began to claim their independence after 40 years of Soviet control. Re-Unification of Germany : The Berlin Wall symbolized the division of the world into opposing Cold War camps. On Nov.10 1989 the world watched as East and West Berliners using sledgehammers demolished this wall. This event more than any other signified the end of the Cold War. The division of Germany had always been a central issue of the Cold War. When Gorbachev withdrew Soviet support from the East German communist government, in 1985, hopes of reunification grew. East Germans demonstrated for reform and as discontent grew the hardline Communist leader was forced out of office for a more reform minded leader. This led to the fall of the Berlin Wall. The leader of West Germany, Helmut Kohl, proposed unification if East Germany held free elections. The East German government was lukewarm in its response however realizing they could no longer maintain power, free elections were held the next year. The East German people voted for a government that supported reunification. In July 1990 Kohl met with Gorbachev to remove Soviet objections to German reunification (Germany agreed to pay 9.5 billion to remove Soviet troops). On Sept. 12 the four nations that divided Germany at the end of WWII signed a reunification treaty. East and West Germany were reunited on Oct. 3 1990. End Of The Cold War : The Soviet Union’s withdrawal from Eastern Europe led to the collapse of communism in Eastern Europe. The reunification of Germany in 1990 and the collapse of the Soviet Union in

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