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Slides: 15
Duration: 00:10:46
Filename: C:\Users\jpage\Documents\NCVPS Learning Objects\American History II Cold War Navigation to PPT
W\Americanhistory2ColdWar\Americanhistory2ColdWar PowerPoint.pptx
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Slide 1
The Cold War—1970’s, ‘80’s and early
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The Cold War began in the aftermath of WW
II. It can best be described as a sustained state
of political and military tension between the
Soviet Union (and their allies) and the United
States (and their allies). After WW II the U.S.S.R.
and the U.S. were left as the remaining two
superpowers. However, they had profound
economic and political differences. The name
“Cold War” comes from the fact that the U.S. and
the U.S.S.R. never faced off with one another in
a direct military action. Since both sides
possessed nuclear weapons, any direct action
may have resulted in what came to known as
M.A.D. or mutually assured destruction.
Throughout this period (as you have already
learned) cycles of relative calm would be
followed by high tension. You have already
learned about the Berlin Blockade, the Korean
War, the Berlin Crisis of 1961, and the Cuban
Missile Crisis.
In this module you have already addressed one
of the most prolonged Cold War battles—the
Vietnam War.
Even thought the Vietnam War did not end until
1975, the 1970’s saw a beginning of Cold War
thawing. The 1970’s, 1980’s, and early 1990’s
saw conflict, compromise, and eventual
resolution in regard to the ideological debate
between the U.S. and the U.S.S.R.
From the period of détente ushered in by the
Nixon administration, to the American
involvement in Latin America in the 1980’s, and
finally as the Hammer and Sickle flag was
lowered for the last time over the Kremlin in
1991—the final days of the Cold War were
Slide 2
Nixon Visits China
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Slide 3
Duration: 00:00:46
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Richard Nixon was elected to the U.S.
Presidency in 1968 and again in 1972. Despite
his reputation as a rabid anti-communist and
despite his ongoing mission to resolve the war in
Vietnam, Nixon took a major foreign policy step
in 1972. Nixon (along with Henry Kissinger—
National Security advisor turned Secretary of
State) helped bring about détente with China and
a reduction in Cold War tension when he
traveled to Beijing in 1972. This was the first
step down the path to formal U.S. recognition of
“Red” China as a sovereign state and legitimate
power. Détente is a French word for “relaxation”
and is used to describe the easing of strained
relations, especially in a political situation—
particularly during the Cold War era.
Of course this visit also helped take advantage of
the tense situation that existed between China
and the Soviet Union—the two great Communist
Nixon used the new relationship that he was
forging with China to pressure the U.S.S.R. into
entering talks that would reduce the number of
missiles each country now had in their nuclear
arsenals. This was the beginning of SALT or the
Strategic Arms Limitation Talks. These were two
rounds of talks between the U.S and the U.S.S.R
focused on the issue of armament control. The
first negotiations began in Helsinki, Finland, in
1973. SALT I led to the Anti-Ballistic Missile
Treaty and an interim agreement between the
two powers. This did not put an end to the arms
race as many had hoped. However, it did serve
to reduce Cold War tensions and is yet another
example of Nixon’s movement towards détente.
Slide 4
Helsinki Accords
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Slide 5
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When President Ford took office after the
resignation of Richard Nixon, he continued this
move toward détente when he signed the
Helsinki Accords. This declaration was signed in
an attempt to improve relations between the
Communist bloc and the West. The agreement
recognized post-World War II borders and called
for the signatory nations to respect human rights
and fundamental freedoms. It also called for
cooperation in economic, scientific, and
humanitarian concerns. Although the Helsinki
Accords were not binding because they did not
have official treaty status, this document is still
seen as a significant step toward reducing Cold
War tensions.
SALT II was negotiated between President
Jimmy Carter (who took office in 1977) and
Soviet Union leader Leonid Brezhnev. It was a
continuation of the progress made during the
SALT I talks and was the first nuclear arms treaty
which saw a real reductions in strategic nuclear
weapons. Limits were set on the number of
strategic launchers, and the various types of
missiles. Each side was limited to no more than
2400 weapons systems. SALT II was sent to the
U.S. Senate for ratification, but due to tensions
between the two countries the treaty was never
ratified. However, some of the standards set in
SALT II were voluntarily being observed by the
two sides.
Slide 6
Miracle on Ice. . . And Boycott
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Slide 7
Reagan Arrives
Duration: 00:00:33
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The competition between the U.S. and the
U.S.S.R was omnipresent. The competition
played out in the space race, the nuclear arms
race, but also on the hockey rink. In a medalround hockey game during the 1980 winter
games, the U.S. Hockey team had their “miracle
on ice” as they defeated the Soviet team, who
had won nearly every world championship and
Olympic tournament since 1954. Team USA
went on to win the gold medal by winning its last
match over Finland. The Soviet Union took the
silver medal by beating Sweden in its final game.
This was a big boost for the American people.
Unfortunately, the U.S. and its allies boycotted
the 1980 summer games in Moscow to protest
the Soviet Union’s invasion of Afghanistan. The
1979 Soviet invasion of Afghanistan spurred
President Carter to issue an ultimatum on
January 20, 1980 that the United States would
boycott the Moscow Olympics if Soviet troops did
not withdraw from Afghanistan within one month.
The Soviets did not comply. The rivalry and
completion between these two superpowers was
still very intense.
In January 1981, Ronald Regan was inaugurated
as the 40 President of the United States. He
was partially elected on a platform opposed to
the concession of détente. Reagan focused his
Cold War policy around increased spending for
defense and aid to anticommunist forces in Latin
America. His administration spent billions of
dollars to build up both the army and the navy.
The defense budget grew from $171 billion in
1981 to over $300 billion in 1985.
Slide 8
“Star Wars”
Duration: 00:00:39
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Slide 9
Latin America
Duration: 00:00:43
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The administration also increased spending on
the Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI.) This plan
called for the use of ground and space-based
systems to protect the United States from attack
by strategic nuclear ballistic missiles. Lasers and
particle beams would be used to destroy missiles
in space before they could reach the U.S. The
ambitious initiative was widely criticized as being
unrealistic and many believed it would spark an
offensive arms race. It was soon was given the
nickname “Star Wars” after the popular 1977 film
by the same name. Nonetheless, it was never
truly developed or deployed.
In Latin America Reagan worked to keep out
communist influences, even if it was a the cost of
supporting right-wing dictators. His
administration supported the Contras, who
sought to overthrow the Sandinistas who had
taken over Nicaragua in 1979. Yet, the
Democrats in Congress, who opposed these
actions, passed the Boland Amendment in 1985
that restricted further aid to the Contras. To
circumvent this law members of the Reagan
administration (allegedly without his knowledge)
sold weapons to the Iranians and took that
money and funneled it to the Contras so they
could continue their fight. This “scheme” was
uncovered and became know as the Iran-Contra
Slide 10
Glasnost and Perestroika
Duration: 00:00:48
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Slide 11
"Tear down this wall!"
Duration: 00:00:41
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The Cold War, it seemed, was doing nothing but
intensifying in the early 1980’s. Reagan had
renewed the arms race. However, in 1985 a new
leader emerged in the Soviet Union—Mikhail
Gorbachev. He was a reformer who believed in
Glasnost and Perestroika. In the 1980s, the
Soviet Union economy was in terrible shape. In
an effort to reform the country, Gorbachev
instituted these two policies. Perestroika refers
to the reconstruction of the political and
economic system. Politically, citizens started to
have a slight say in government. Economically,
there was a call for de-monopolization and the
formation of some private businesses. The term
Glasnost means “openness” and called for more
rights and freedoms for the Soviet people.
To make the aforementioned policies work,
Gorbachev had to step back from the arms race
with the United States. In 1987 Regan and
Gorbachev met and decided to remove all
intermediate range missiles from their arsenals.
"Tear down this wall!" (referring to the Berlin
Wall) was the challenge issued by Reagan to
Gorbachev on June 12, 1987. This was a
physical reminder of the division between the
Communist East and the Capitalist West. But,
the Soviets (under Gorbachev) were making
progress and in 1988 decided to pull troops out
of Afghanistan. By the end of Reagans second
term the end of the Cold War seemed to be near.
Slide 12
Tiananmen Square Massacre
Duration: 00:00:26
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Slide 13
The Cold War Ends
Duration: 00:00:40
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On January 20, 1989, George H. W. Bush was
sworn in as the 41 President. Communism
around the globe seemed to be unraveling. On
June 4, 1989, in Tiananmen Square in Beijing,
China, however, a demonstration ended in
death. Beijing protesters were crushed by the
communist Chinese government, resulting in a
large number of deaths.
By December 3, 1989, at the end of the Malta
Summit, Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev and
U.S. President George H. W. Bush declare that a
long-lasting era of peace has begun. The next
year the Berlin Wall fell and Germany began the
reunification process. In July 1991, the Warsaw
Pact was formally dissolved. In December of
that year Mikhail Gorbachev resigned as
President of the U.S.S.R. The hammer and
sickle flag was lowered for the last time. The
United States was now left as the sole remaining
super power in the world. The Cold war was
Slide 14
Images used
Images used
Duration: 00:00:05
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Slide 1:
o American Flag:
o Soviet Flag:
Slide 2: Nixon and party tour the Great Wall of China.. IRC, 2005.Discovery
Education. Web. 19 June 2012. <>.
Slide 3:
Slide 4: Jerry and Betty Ford arrive at the White House.. IRC, 2005.Discovery
Education. Web. 19 June 2012. <>.
Slide 5:
Slide 6:
Slide 7: Gorbachev with U.S. President Reagan, 1985.. IRC, 2005.Discovery
Education. Web. 19 June 2012. <>.
Slide 15
Continued. . . .
Duration: 00:00:05
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Continued. . . .
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Slide 8:
Slide 9: A contemporary political map of Latin America.. IRC, 2005.Discovery Education.
Web. 19 June 2012. <>.
Slide 10: Gorbachev with U.S. President Reagan, 1985.. IRC, 2005.Discovery Education.
Web. 19 June 2012. <>.
Slide 11: The Berlin Wall at Brandenburg Gate, 1961.. IRC, 2005. Discovery Education.
Web. 19 June 2012. <>.
Slide 12: Protester blocking tanks approaching Tiananmen Square. Prod.
Corbis. Corbis, 2006. Discovery Education. Web. 19 June
2012. <>.
Slide 13: