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The Cold War

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  1. The Cold War

  2. Origins of the Cold War • The cold war began with mistrust between the Soviet Union (red) and the western democracies (blue).

  3. Soviet Distrust of the West • The Soviet Union felt it had good cause to distrust the west.

  4. 1. Western Opposition to Bolsheviks • In 1919, Russia’s former World War I allies (Britain, France and the United States) joined the "White Russians" to fight off the Bolsheviks following the revolution. 

  5. 2. The Result: USSR Suspicious of West • This intervention failed and the Red Army of the Bolsheviks secured the power of the new Soviet state. The young USSR government never quite trusted the western democracies after that.

  6. 3. Disregard for Soviet Diplomatic Goals • The western democracies did not invite the Soviet Union to participate in the World War I peace talks or the League of Nations.

  7. 4. West Did Not Aid in Spanish Civil War • The west did not aid the Republicans fighting the fascists in the Spanish Civil War.

  8. 5. USSR Not Invited to Munich Conference • The west did not invite the Soviets to the Munich Conference which decided the fate of Czechoslovakia in the years leading up to World War II, even though the Soviet Union had a security pact with Czechoslovakia.

  9. Western Distrust of the Soviets • The west, for its part, never trusted the Soviet Union.

  10. 1. Fear of Socialism • The avowed purpose of the International Communist Party was to secure world wide communist revolution. There was a great fear of socialism in Europe and America.

  11. 2. Soviet Annexation of Eastern Poland • The Soviets negotiated an agreement with Hitler and annexed eastern Poland.

  12. 3. Soviet Designs on Eastern Europe • By the end of the war Britain and the United States distrusted the Soviet motives in eastern Europe.

  13. Uneasy Alliance During World War II • This mutual distrust was suppressed during World War II when for practical reasons (the common enemy of Hitler's Germany) the western allies and the Soviet Union became uneasy allies. 

  14. Western Delay in Opening 2nd Front • Stalin believed that the western allies were dragging their feet in opening up the "second front" in Europe, so necessary to take the pressure off the struggling Soviet forces in the east.

  15. Soviet Desire for Friendly Gov’ts • Stalin was open about wanting "friendly governments" in Eastern Europe to protect his country's western frontier from another invasion like the invasion so recently experienced by Germany. • All of this was in the air when Stalin, Churchill and Roosevelt met at the end of World War II.

  16. Decisions at Yalta • The physical structure of the cold war was put into place at the end of World War II. • Winston Churchill, Franklin Delano Roosevelt and Joseph Stalin agreed in February of 1945 at Yalta to divide Germany into four occupation zones.

  17. Soviet Influence in Eastern Europe • It was agreed that the Soviet Union would have the greatest influence in eastern Europe, where Soviet troops were concentrated. • They already occupied Poland, Bulgaria, Romania, Hungary and parts of Czechoslovakia and Yugoslavia, and it would have been difficult to come to an agreement which involved removing these troops. • Roosevelt agreed because he had little choice.

  18. Governments Friendly to Soviets • Finally, it was agreed that independent governments would be established in these lands, and that elections would be free, but the governments would be "friendly to the Soviet Union." • This is the beginning of what Winston Churchill would later call the "Iron Curtain" which divided Europe for 45 years.

  19. Churchill, Roosevelt, and Stalin at Yalta

  20. Strained Relations at Potsdam • When the allies met again at Potsdam in July of 1945, relations were more strained. • Roosevelt had been replaced by Truman, who was not inclined to humor Stalin once he found out that there had been a successful test of the atomic bomb. • America no longer desperately needed Soviet help in the war against Japan. • America had halted aid to the Soviet Union because of concerns over Russian behavior in the East.

  21. Truman and Stalin at Potsdam

  22. Soviet Consolidation of Power • Between 1945-1948 the Soviets under Stalin consolidated their power in Eastern Europe. • Poland, East Germany, Czechoslovakia, Romania, Bulgaria, Hungary became part of the "Soviet Bloc" – or "satellite system." • Within the communist parties of these countries there were purges to remove national communists - one in four were removed.

  23. Yugoslavia Remained Independent • Yugoslavia under Tito was an exception to Soviet control. It practiced "national communism" and was able to remain independentlargely due to western economic aid.

  24. The Iron Curtain • As early as 1946, Winston Churchill saw what was happening. “An Iron Curtain has descended upon Europe”

  25. Origins of the Truman Doctrine • In 1947 The United States responded to what appeared to be a clear Soviet attempt to spread communism into Eastern Europe. It declared the Truman Doctrine aimed at stopping the further spread of communism.

  26. Provisions of the Truman Doctrine • "I believe that it must be the policy of the United States to support free peoples who are resisting attempted subjugation by armed minorities or by outside pressures. • I believe that we must assist free peoples to work out their own destinies in their own way. • I believe that our help should be primarily through economic and financial aid which is essential to economic stability and orderly political processes."

  27. The Marshall Plan • The announcement of The Truman Doctrine and The Marshall Plan (providing economic aid to European countries, both east and west) by the United States in 1947 caused Stalin further doubt about the Western Allies' intentions. It was in this atmosphere that the Berlin crisis arose.

  28. Berlin • Berlin was located completely within the eastern side of Germany which was occupied by the Russians. Berlin Germany

  29. Unification of Western Zones • Britain and the United States unified the western zones of Berlin in 1948, and announced a new currency there.

  30. Berlin Blockade • Stalin responded on June 24 by attempting to force the western allies out of Berlin altogether. • He cut off rail and road access to the western side of the city.

  31. Berlin Airlift • Between June 1948 and May 1949, the Western Allies mounted a massive airlift to keep the western sectors supplied. This broke the blockade. On may 12, 1949 Stalin lifted the blockade and the Cold War was underway.

  32. Two Armed Camps • In May 1949 the Federal Republic of Germany was created. • In September the Soviet-supported Republic of Germany was established in the East. • The establishment of NATO and The Warsaw Pact (military organization) in the same year gave teeth to this formal division. Europe was now two armed camps.

  33. Soviet Development of Atomic Bomb • The Soviets were not far behind the US in developing the atomic bomb and accomplished it in 1949

  34. The Arms Race • Once the Soviet Union successfully tested the atomic bomb, the arms race was on. • MAD (mutually assured destruction) was designed to keep both sides from "pushing the button," by giving both sides equality in "kill power."

  35. American backyard fallout shelter 1960

  36. The Cuban Missile Crisis • In 1962, Fidel Castro of Cuba gave permission to the Soviet Union to build missile bases in Cuba. Fidel Castro and Nikita Khruschev

  37. U-2 Reconnaissance Flights • The United States U-2 reconaissance flights photographed the sites under construction.

  38. Soviet tanks in Havana meant a Communist presence in the western hemisphere

  39. The Response: A Blockade of Cuba • President Kennedy's advisers were divided on the best course of action. Many wanted an air strike to take out the missiles; others wanted a blockade. Kennedy decided on the blockade and US ships surrounded the island, refusing to allow Soviet ships bringing supplies to get through.

  40. Brinkmanship: The World on the Brink of War • The world held its breath as the Soviet ships approached the blockade. Many feared that this was "it," the long awaited and much feared nuclear war.

  41. Missiles Were Removed from Cuba • After a series of telegrams between Khruschev and Kennedy and a secret promise to remove American missiles in Turkey offered by Robert Kennedy, war was avoided, and the missiles were removed from Cuba.

  42. The Berlin Wall • In 1961 East Germany built a wall to separate East Berlin from West Berlin, isolating West Berlin within East Germany. This wall which divided east and west became the symbol of the tensions dividing the world during the cold war.

  43. “Ich bin ein Berliner” • John F. Kennedy went to Berlin on June 26, 1963, to show support for the West Berliners. He told them: “All free men, wherever they may live, are citizens of Berlin and, therefore, as a free man, I take pride in the words ‘Ich bin ein Berliner.’”

  44. Kennedy's notes from the speech (Kennedy Library)

  45. Race to the Moon • The successful launch of Sputnik in 1957 by the Soviet Union began an all out race to get to into space.

  46. The First Man in Space • The Soviets succeeded in getting the first man into space, Yuri Gregarin.

  47. The First Moon Landing • Eventually the United States achieved the first moon landing in 1969. 

  48. The Internet • One of the surprising results of the American panic over falling behind technologically after the launch of Sputnik was the development of the Internet.

  49. Source • Adapted from the multimedia exhibit at: