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The Cold War Begins
Chapter 15
The Iron Curtain Falls on Europe
The Main Idea
At the end of World War II, tensions between the Soviet
Union and the United States deepened, leading to an era
known as the Cold War.
Analyze the social, cultural, & economic changes at the onset of the Cold
War era
Analyze the origins of the Cold War, foreign policy developments, &
major events of the administrations from Truman to present
Eastern Europe
• Stalin
– no intention of giving up political & economic
control of Eastern Europe
– Felt justified in controlling Eastern Europe
• USSR lost 30 million in war
– Wanted to create a line of USSR-friendly nations
between the USSR & its historic enemies in
Western Europe
Communism Spreads
• Stalin used any means necessary to secure
Eastern Europe
– Outlawed political parties & newspapers
– Jailed & killed opponents
– Rigged elections
• Eventually every nation in Eastern Europe had
a Soviet-friendly government
– Yugoslavia only exception
• Communist leader Tito
Iron Curtain
• 1946 former British Prime Minister Winston
– Speech at Westminster College in Fulton, Missouri
• “From Stettin in the Baltic to Trieste in the Adriatic an "iron
curtain" has descended across the Continent. Behind that
line lie all the capitals of the ancient states of Central and
Eastern Europe. ..all these famous cities and the populations
around them lie in what I must call the Soviet sphere, and all
are subject, in one form or another, not only to Soviet
influence but to a very high and in some cases increasing
measure of control from Moscow.”
• Stalin used Churchill’s speech to persuade Soviets
that US & Britain were USSR’s enemies
– Used as an excuse to build up USSR military strength
1938 map with original
borders (in green).
Adjusted borders are in
black. Russian SFSR
territories after 1945
are in dark red. The
territories for other
later annexed Soviet
Socialist Republics are
in light red. The
territories for Soviet
Satellite states are in
• Policy that the US adopted in the 1940s
– Created by George F. Kennan
• US diplomat & expert on the USSR
– US resist USSR attempts to expand its power &
– Provide economic aid to other countries in order
to strengthen them against the USSR
– 1947 tested inTurkey & Greece
• Communists expanding influence
Truman Doctrine
• In a speech Truman argued that the U.S. should
support Greece and Turkey economically and
militarily to prevent their falling under Soviet
• generalized his hopes for Greece and Turkey into
a doctrine applicable throughout the world
– The US should support any free peoples who were
resisting forced control
• Congress voted to send 100s of millions of dollars
to Turkey & Greece
– Communism failed there
Marshall Plan
• June 1947 speech at Harvard
• Secretary of State George C. Marshall
• Called for a massive US program of aid to help
Europe rebuild
• 1948-1951 US spent over $13 billion in 17
different countries
– Bought food, farm equipment, rebuilt factories,
homes, etc.
George C.
the Marshall
Under Marshall Plan
I. Western Europe fed its hungry & created
II. Western European countries bought goods
from US factories
III. US built political support in Western Europe
• Soviets kept eastern Germany zone under
communist control
– German Democratic Republic, or East Germany
• US, UK, & FR set up a free, democratic
– Federal Republic of Germany, or West Germany
• Berlin
– Within East Germany
– US, UK, & FR controlled the western half
The red area of Germany (above) is the Soviet zone, which surrounds Berlin, the
gray dot inside of it. The dark gray areas to the West were divided between the
United States, Britain and France. The Soviets ceded the portion to the east of the
Oder-Neisse line (light gray) to Poland. A portion of the isolated easternmost
section of German East Prussia, was annexed directly into the USSR
Berlin Blockade
• Soviets did not like having Western-style
economy & government within their zone
• June 1948 Soviets closed all road, river, & rail
traffic into West Berlin
– Cutting 2.1 million residents off from food, coal, &
other necessities
Berlin Blockade
• Airports remained open
– Western powers could supply by air
• Western officials not sure if airlift possible
• Soviets might shoot planes down
– War
– Decision was made to attempt an airlift
Berlin Airlift
June 24, 1948-May 12, 1949
• US, British, & French airplanes made deliveries
to Berlin
– 280,000 flights
Average of 7,000 tons of supplies every day
More runways were built in West Berlin
70 US & British died in plane crashes
Soviets lifted the blockade on May 12, 1949
Gail Halvorsen, one of the many Airlift pilots, decided to use his off time to fly into
Berlin and make movies with his hand held camera. He arrived at Tempelhof on July 17 after
hitching a ride on one of the C-54s, and walked over to a crowd of children who had gathered at
the end of the runway to watch the aircraft coming in. He introduced himself and they started to
ask him questions about the aircraft and their flights. As a goodwill gesture, he handed out his
only two sticks of Wrigley's Doublemint Gum, and promised that if they did not fight over them,
the next time he returned he would drop off more. The children quickly divided up the pieces as
best they could. Before he left them, a child asked him how they would know it was him flying
over, and he replied, "I'll wiggle my wings."
The very next day, on approach to Berlin, he rocked the aircraft and dropped some
chocolate bars attached to a handkerchief parachute to the children waiting below. Every day
after that the number of children would increase and he made several more drops. Soon there
was a stack of mail in Base Ops addressed to "Uncle Wiggly Wings", "The Chocolate Uncle" and
"The Chocolate Flier". His commanding officer was upset when the story appeared in the news,
but when Tunner heard about it he approved of the gesture and immediately expanded it into
"Operation Little Vittles". Other pilots participated, and when news reached the U.S., children
all over the country sent in their own candy to help out. Soon the major candy companies joined
in as well. In the end, over three tons of candy were dropped on Berlin, and the "operation"
became a major propaganda success. The candy-dropping aircraft were quickly christened
"raisin bombers" by the German children.
U.S. Air Force pilot Gail
Halvorsen, who pioneered the
idea of dropping candy bars and
bubble gum with handmade
miniature parachutes, which
later became known as
"Operation Little Vittles".
North Atlantic Treaty Organization
• 1948
– Belgium, France, Luxembourg, the Netherlands,
and the United Kingdom formed a system of
common defense
• April 1949
– NATO formed
• Original five plus the US, Canada, Denmark, Iceland,
Italy, Norway, & Portugal
• An armed attack against one member would be
considered an attack against all
Life In America after
World War II
GI Bill
June 1944
 President
Roosevelt signed the Servicemen’s
Readjustment Act
 GI
Bill (GI—Government Issue)
Money for veterans to attend college
Loans for vets to buy homes, farms, or businesses
Helped vets find jobs
Provided 1 year of unemployment
After the war
Labor unions
Began seeking raises limited during war
 Number of strikes increased
 Taft-Hartley Act
Reduced the power of labor unions
Racial minorities
Executive Order #9981: President Truman
Ended segregation in armed forces
Felix Longoria
Mexican American KIA
 Texas funeral home refused his body
 Senator Lyndon Johnson offered family Arlington National
Baby Boom
Dramatic rise in
birthrate in the two
decades following
World War II
Demand for
consumer goods
Postwar Politics
April 1945 FDR died
 Harry
S. Truman president
 Vice
president less than 3 mos.
 No idea what FDR had been doing
1946 Elections
 Postwar
 Republicans won majority in Congress
 First
time since 1930
Postwar Politics
1948 Presidential Election
 Truman
appeared to be in trouble
 Liberal
Democrats broke from party
Progressive party—Henry Wallace
 Southern
Democrats broke over race issues
Dixiecrats—Strom Thurmond
 Republican—Thomas
 Truman
made a whirlwind campaign across US
 Most experts predicted Truman would lose
Famous photograph of Truman grinning and holding up a copy of the newspaper that
(erroneously) announced his defeat. Truman won reelection to the surprise of most experts.
Fair Deal
Truman’s plan for the country
 Federal
health insurance program
 New funding for education
Republican Congress did not support it
Few Fair Deal ideas became law
United Nations
October 1945
 UN
charter was ratified by representatives of 50
nations it committed its members to
 Save
succeeding generations from war
 Reaffirm faith in human rights
 Respect treaties & to promote progress & freedom of all
 Agree to live in peace & unite to maintain security
 Force only used to serve common interests of members
 Use international organizations to promote economic &
social advancement
United Nations
Commission on Human Rights
US representative was Eleanor Roosevelt
December 1948 Universal Declaration of Human
 All
human beings are born free & equal
 End to slavery, torture, & inhumane punishment
 Demanded a variety of civil rights
 Elementary education should be free to all
UN adopted the declaration & directed members to
publicize it
World Bank
Aimed to help poor
countries build their
Provided grants of
money & loans to help
with projects that could
provide jobs & wealth
International Monetary Fund
Designed to
economic policies
that promoted
Prevent countries
from following
economic policies
of self-interest
that hurt other
countries &
affect trade
General Agreement on Tariffs & Trade
Created to promote economic cooperation
Designed to reduce barriers to trade by reducing
Growing fear of Communism
US leaders worried about spread of communism
after WWII
1948 Berlin crisis made tension worse
 Discovered
that USSR had atomic bomb
 China became communist
 Most
populous country in the world
Soviet atomic weapons
August 1949
 US
aircraft picked up unusual radioactivity over USSR
September 1949
 Truman
announced that USSR had atomic weapons
 US no longer had an advantage
 Truman would seek to strengthen military against
possible Soviet threat
Joe One, the first Soviet atomic test
The first Soviet bomb, RDS-1
Communist China
After WWII, defeated Japanese left China
Civil War broke out
 Communists
led by Mao Zedong took over large
areas of China
 Nationalists led by Chiang Kai-shek
 Supported
by US to defeat communists
 Corruption & poor leadership
Chiang & Nationalists forced to flee to Taiwan
Communist People’s Republic of China, 1949
Mao Zedong proclaiming the establishment of the People’s Republic in 1949
House Un-American Activities
Committee (HUAC)
Formed in 1930s
Original purpose to investigate all radical groups in
 Became
focused only on communism
1947 most famous HUAC investigation
 Explore
possible Communist influence in US film industry
 Called in Hollywood directors & writers thought to have
communist leanings
 10
refused to answer questions “Hollywood Ten”
Found guilty of contempt: 1 yr. in jail
Many in
were alarmed
 Many
to talk & give
 Others refused
 Blacklisted;
careers were
The Hollywood Ten
The 1947 HUAC hearings in session. On the right, committee chairman J.
Parnell Thomas administers the oath; 34-year-old congressman Richard
Nixon is seated immediately to Thomas's left.
President Truman
Public fear of communism put pressure on US
Congressional Republicans claimed Communists
were working in federal government
Truman ordered all federal employees be
million investigated over several years
few thousand resigned
 About 200 judged disloyal
Smith Act
1940 law making it a crime to call for the
overthrow of the US government or belonging to an
organization that did
1949 several leaders of the Communist Party were
convicted under this law
1951 Dennis v. United States
 Considered
free speech
Communists a danger & justified limits on
McCarran Act, 1950
Required Communist organizations to register with
the government
Established a special board to investigate
Communist involvement
Made it illegal to plan for a creation of a
totalitarian dictatorship
Prevented Communists or other radicals from
entering the US
Vetoed by Truman, Congress overrode his veto
Spy cases
Alger Hiss, 1948
Accused of being a
spy by another spy
Hiss denied being a
Top secret microfilm
found in a hollowed
out pumpkin
Hiss convicted of
perjury & sent to
Richard Nixon was
part of the
Spy Cases
Klaus Fuchs, 1950
 Nuclear
physicist, worked on
Manhattan Project
 Transmitted information to
 Detailed
drawings of “Fat
 Served 9 years in prison
Spy Cases
Ethel & Julius Rosenberg,
Convicted of passing
military secrets to the
Ethyl’s brother worked on
the Manhattan Project
Received the death
sentence & were
executed in 1953
Joseph McCarthy
Senator from Wisconsin
February 9, 1950
 Speech
in Wheeling, West Virginian
 Claimed 205 known Communists in US State Dept.
 Senate
investigation found no evidence
McCarthy became leading spokesman against
Communism & became very popular
McCarthy accused other groups in government of
harboring Communists
Senator Joseph McCarthy
None of his
charges were
backed by
Herblock called
his tactics
Joseph McCarthy
1954 McCarthy attacked the US Army
 Hearings
were televised
 McCarthy came across as a bully
 Lost support
Censored by the US Senate
Died May 2, 1957
 48
years old
 Acute Hepatitis
 Brought
on by alcoholism
June 25, 1950—July 27, 1953
Korea before the war
Korean Peninsula
 600
miles long
 Between Japan & China
After 1905 Japan dominated & occupied Korea
Yalta Conference
 Allies
agreed Korea would be free
 Korea temporarily divided & occupied by Allies
 Divided
at 38th parallel
USSR north of 38th parallel
US south of 38th parallel
North Korea
Democratic People’s Republic of Korea
Soviets tried to establish
a communist government
Democratic People’s
Republic of Korea
Prime Minister Kim II Sung
 Sought
to reunify North &
South Korea under
Communist control
South Korea
Republic of Korea
US promoted a
democratic government
Republic of Korea
President Syngman Rhee
 Elected
leader who had
dictatorial powers
 Sought to reunify North
& South Korea
Korean War
Both North & South Korea wanted to reunite
 Different
ideas on how
June 25, 1950
100,000 North Koreans crossed 38th parallel
 Kim II Sung had ordered the attack
 North Koreans armed with Soviet-made weapons &
 Attack came as a surprise to most US leaders
 Over
 US
troops had already left Korea
The Start of the Korean War
Role of the United States
South Korea was where the
United States had to take a
stand against Communist
Truman ordered American
naval and air forces to support
Korean ground troops.
Truman asked the United
Nations to approve the use of
force to stop the North Korean
Role of the United Nations
The UN Security Council
supported the use of force in
Truman sent ground troops to
The troops sent to Korea were
to be a United Nations force.
Instead of calling this a war,
the whole effort was referred
to as a UN police action.
The Korean War
The U.N. Security Council declared North Korea the
aggressor and sent troops from 15 nations to restore
Under the command of General Douglas MacArthur
 U.S. 350,000; South Korean 400,000; other UN members 50,000
 The
move succeeded only because the Soviet delegate, who
had veto power, was absent because he was protesting the
UN’s refusal to recognize the Communist government in China.
The Inchon
UN forces made an
amphibious landing
behind North Korean
lines at the port city of
MacArthur’s surprise
attack worked
The September 1950
invasion at Inchon was a
key victory for UN
Combat in the Korean War
North Korea
on the Run
UN Forces
Offensives from Inchon and Pusan resulted in the
destruction or surrender of huge numbers of North
Korean troops.
By October 1950 all of South Korea was back in UN
UN forces had begun to move into North Korea, but the
when 260,000 Chinese troops joined the North Koreans
the UN began to retreat.
UN forces retreated all the way back to Seoul. It was
the longest fallback in U.S. military history.
Map of the
Korean War
General MacArthur Is Fired
MacArthur said that the UN faced a choice between defeat by the Chinese
or a major war with them.
He wanted to expand the war by bombing the Chinese mainland, perhaps
even with atomic weapons.
Lieutenant General Matthew Ridgway stopped the Chinese onslaught and
pushed them back to the 38th parallel—without needing to expand the
war or use atomic weapons.
MacArthur disagreed with President Truman about the direction of the
fighting and challenged the authority of the president.
Truman fired MacArthur.
Many Americans were outraged at the firing of MacArthur.
Fighting Ends in Korea
Negotiating for Peace
Events of 1953
In July 1951 peace talks began.
One major obstacle was the location
of the boundary between the
Meanwhile battles such as Bloody
Ridge and Heartbreak Ridge
continued, inflicting heavy casualties
on both sides.
In October 1951 peace talks stalled
over prisoners of war.
Negotiators in Panmunjom
continued to argue over the details
of a peace agreement throughout
In 1952 Dwight D. Eisenhower—who
promised to end the war—was
elected president.
Fighting remained deadly—in the
final two months of the war, UN forces
lost 57,000 men and the Communists
lost 100,000.
An armistice agreement was finally
reached on July 27, 1953.
The Korean War left the map of
Korea looking much as it had in 1950.
The human costs were huge.
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