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Unit 9
The Bold Experiment Continues
Chapter 28: The Cold War Era
I. The Cold War Begins
A. Origins of the Cold War
1. The Soviet Union took control of many Eastern European countries
and installed communist governments in these nations after WW II.
a) These nations came to be known as satellite nations.
2. The United States grew angry that these nations had not been
allowed to choose a democratically elected government as the Soviets
had promised.
a) President Harry Truman decided on a policy of containment to
stop communist expansion.
b) The Marshall Plan was offered to countries resisting
communism and the U.S. gave 12 billion dollars in economic aid to
c) These policies came to be known as the Truman Doctrine.
3. Winston Churchill delivered a speech in the U.S., which declared
that an “iron curtain” had descended across all of Europe blocking the
free flow of information and ideas.
B. Crisis over Berlin
1. After the war the Allies had divided Germany and the capital city of
Berlin into four zones (Britain, France, U.S., and the Soviet Union). The
U.S., Britain, and France wanted to unite their zones.
a) The Soviets opposed the plan.
b) Berlin Airlift - The Soviet Union blockaded Berlin and the
Allies reacted by airlifting supplies to the people of West Berlin.
Chapter 28 Notes
c) The blockade was lifted after one year and the allies remained
in West Berlin.
2. In 1961 the Soviet government built the Berlin Wall to prevent
people in East Germany fleeing to West Berlin.
C. New Alliances
1. The U.S. for the first time in its history joined a peacetime
defensive alliance called the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, or
2. The Soviets reacted by forming their own peacetime defensive
alliance, the Warsaw Pact.
3. United Nations (1945) – member nations agreed to bring disputes
before the body for peaceful solutions.
a) Every member nation has a seat in the General Assembly.
3. In 1949 China, under the leadership of Mao Zedong, became
communist terrifying many western nations.
II. The Korean War
A. The Korean Conflict
1. Japan had ruled Korea from 1910 to 1945. After WW II, the U.S.
and the Soviet Union agreed to the temporary division of Korea at the
38th parallel of latitude. Both nations agreed that Korea would be
a) In 1950 the communist North Koreans crossed the 38th parallel
and invaded South Korea.
2. The United Nations acted to repel the invasion and sent in troops
under the leadership of General Douglas MacArthur.
a) 80% of the troops were American.
Chapter 28 Notes
3. China enters the war on the side of North Korea after the UN
forces had beaten back the North Koreans and pushed them close to
the Chinese border.
4. By March 1951, the UN forces had regained control of the South.
The war turned into a bloody deadlock.
a) General MacArthur wanted to attack China to end the war.
b) Truman hoped to limit the war and restore the 38th parallel.
c) MacArthur spoke out against Truman’s plan and was fired.
5. Former General Dwight D. Eisenhower is elected president in 1952.
a) July 1953 - fighting stopped with an armistice but troops
remain at the dividing line even today.
6. Costs of War
a) 54,000 American troops lost their lives. Two million Korean and
Chinese were killed.
b) The cease fire set the border between North and South Korea
near the 38th parallel.
B. Hunting Communists at Home
1. At home, Senator Joseph McCarthy fueled a red scare by claiming
that he had a list of identified communists in the government and
knowledge of other communists in the country.
a) Ethel and Julius Rosenberg were sentenced to death for
passing atomic secrets to the Soviets.
b) Alger Hiss, a state department official, was imprisoned for
perjury, or lying under oath for denying that he was part of a
soviet spy ring.
2. In 1954, the senate televised hearings to investigate McCarthy’s
charge that there were communists in the United States Army.
a) McCarthy came across as a bully and was censured by the
Senate for “conduct unbecoming a member.”
Chapter 28 Notes
C. Crisis Over Cuba
1. In 1959, Fidel Castro led a revolution that set up a communist
government in Cuba.
a) Castro’s government took over privately run businesses, many
of them owned by Americans.
b) Thousands of Cubans fled to the United States.
c) The Soviet Union began supplying Cuba with large amounts of
2. In 1961, the U.S. encouraged 1200 Cuban exiles to invade Cuba. The
Cuban exiles were easily defeated by the communist government in
what was called the Bay of Pigs invasion.
3. Cuban Missile Crisis - In 1962 the U.S. blockaded Cuba in an
attempt to stop the placing of nuclear missiles in Cuba.
a) Kennedy announced that American warships would stop any
soviet ship carrying missiles.
b) The Cuban missile crisis brought the world to the brink of
nuclear war. The Russians turned around and the missiles were
c) The U.S. promised not to invade Cuba.
D. The Cold War in Africa, Asia, and Latin America
1. After WW II many colonies in Africa and Asia demanded and gained
independence from foreign rule , some peacefully and some had to
fight for it.
a) Communists often joined groups to fight off colonial control.
b) The Soviets gave economic and military aid to rebel forces.
2. Americans didn’t want communism to spread and had some hard
choices to make.
Chapter 28 Notes
a) This sometimes resulted in secret aid, support of colonial
government, and troops being sent into other nations to influence
internal affairs.
3. Many Latin American nations saw communism as a solution to their
social and economic problems.
a) Communists called for land to be redistributed to the poor and
for the government to take over private businesses.
4. In the U.S., Americans hoped aid would help make Latin American
nations more democratic
a) President Kennedy set up the Peace Corps, sending American
volunteers to developing countries as teachers, engineers, and
technical advisors.
b) The U.S. also gave military aid to train and arm Latin American
military forces fighting against the spread of Communism.
E. The Space Race
1. In the 1950s, both the Soviet Union and the U.S. had developed
large stock of nuclear bombs and missiles emerging as superpowers,
nations with enough strength to influence events worldwide.
a) By the 1970s, the two superpowers had enough weapons to
destroy each other many times over.
2. In 1957 the Soviet Union launched the first space satellite named
a) The U.S. was terrified and worked hard to catch up. The U.S.
created the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, or
NASA, and a competition to be the first into space began.
3. The Soviet Union launched the first man into space, Uri Gagarin.
The U.S. followed with the second man, Alan Shepard.
a) President Kennedy encouraged the U.S. to be the first to the
moon and in 1969 Neil Armstrong was the first man to set foot
on the moon.
Chapter 28 Notes
III. The War in Vietnam
1. In 1954, HO Chi Minh, a Vietnamese nationalist and communist, won
the fight for independence against France. An international peace
conference divided Vietnam into two Countries.
a) Ho Chi Minh led communist North Vietnam and Ngo Dinh Diem
led non- communist South Vietnam.
2. Diem lost popular support in the 1950s for favoring the wealthy and
ruling with a heavy hand.
a) Vietcong – guerillas who made hit and run attacks in a attempt
to overthrow Diem’s government. They were supported by
communists in North Vietnam.
3. The U.S. slowly became involved in Viet Nam under the domino
theory, that if one nation fell to communism it would start a chain
reaction where all nations would fall.
4. By 1968 the U.S. had more than 500,000 troops in Vietnam.
The war was difficult and had little focus and no clear objective.
American troops had great difficulty in identifying which Vietnamese
person was friend and which was foe.
a) The war was the first televised war and it generated many
protests against the war.
b) Many young people protested the war and dodged the draft.
c) The U.S. withdrew after ten years of fighting and more than
58,000 dead soldiers.
d) Vietnam suffered over a million casualties.
e) led to a reluctance to commit American troops for extended
military action abroad.
Chapter 28 Notes
IV. The Cold War Ends
A. Changes in Foreign policy
1. Tensions began to ease after President Nixon’s trip to China in 1972.
Nixon also traveled to the Soviet Union and a policy of détente, a
loosening of tension, was adopted.
2. Strategic Arms Limitation Talks, or SALT Agreement, was signed
between the U.S. and the Soviet Union to reduce the tremendous
number of nuclear weapons each side had built.
B. New tensions
1. The U.S. condemned the Soviet Union’s invasion of Afghanistan.
a) President Carter withdrew the SALT agreement from the
b) The U.S. boycotted the 1980 summer Olympic Games in
c) The U.S. secretly supplied the Afghan rebels with weapons, and
the Soviets began suffering heavy casualties.
d) In 1989, after 10 years, the Soviets pulled out.
C. The Cold War Ends
1. The Cold war came to an end as a result of President Reagan’s
strong stand against communism and Soviet leader Gorbachev’s
glasnost and perestroika which helped open the Soviet Union to new
a) glastnost – speaking openly about problems
b) perestroika – (restructuring)term for economic reforms begun
in 1985
2. The Berlin wall crumbled, the satellite nations rebelled and
eventually the communist government in the Soviet Union collapsed.
Chapter 28 Notes
Chapter 28 Notes