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Unit 7: Cold War to the Present (Beginning of Cold War – Berlin Wall) The Start of the Cold War • East-West Suspicions East-West Suspicions • The United States and the Soviet Union emerged from World War II as the two most powerful nations. While the two governments had cooperated to defeat the Axis Powers, their relationship deteriorated after the war. East-West Suspicions • Soviet expansion into Eastern Europe heightened American fears of communism, a system in which, instead of private individuals running businesses, the Communist party, representing society as a whole, controls property and the means of production. The Soviets had promised free elections in Eastern European nations at the end of the war. Instead, they imposed Communist rule by holding elections only under the supervision of Soviet troops. East-West Suspicions • In 1946, former Prime Minister Winston Churchill declared that the Soviets had in a sense trapped the nations of Eastern Europe behind an “iron curtain.” The phrase “iron curtain” would be used to describe Soviet policy in Europe from 1945 to 1989. East-West Suspicions • The Strength of Communism: – The Communists promised to abolish poverty, privilege, and private property. They also guaranteed work, shelter, education, health care, and a classless society. – Communist leaders sought to spread their form of government by inciting revolts in other nations where poor and oppressed populations were attracted to their ideas. East-West Suspicions – President Harry S. Truman responded with a policy of containment-preventing the spread of communismrather than liberating satellite nations. This policy was based on the belief that the Soviets were interested in conquering other nations, not simply securing their own borders. The policy of containment led to what was known as the cold war-a state of intense hostility between the United States and Soviet Union, but without any actual warfare. This policy would be continued by the presidents who followed Truman. Aid to Europe • In 1947, U.S. diplomats warned that Greece and Turkey were in danger of falling to communists guerillas. The U.S. and other Western nations wished to stop communism from spreading because they saw it as an oppressive form of rule that quashed individual economic and personal freedoms. In response, Truman proposed a plan to provide military and economic aid to Greece and Turkey to resist a communist takeover. The plan, which Congress approved, became known as the Truman Doctrine and committed the United States to a more active role in world affairs. Aid to Europe • The United States turned its attention to helping the rest of Europe to recover from the devastation of the war. U.S. officials feared that economic crises in European countries might lead to the election of communists governments.The United States implemented the Marshall Plan-named after Secretary of State George Marshall. It provided massive amounts of financial aid to provide food, fuel, and raw materials to help the nations of Europe rebuild their economies, industries, and transportation systems. The U.S. offered the Marshall Plan to all nations in Europe, including the Soviet Union. The Soviets refused. Why? In trying to promote communism, the Soviets did not want to appear to need help from a Western capitalist country. Aid to Europe • The Berlin Airlift-After the war, the United States, Great Britain, France, and the Soviet Union each controlled a zone of Germany. In 1948, the Western powers announced that they were combining their three sections of Germany to form an independent nation-West Germany. The Soviets responded by closing off all traffic from West Germany to Berlin, the capital city, in the eastern part of Germany. Truman ordered a massive airlift to supply Berlin’s 2 million people with food and other goods. In May 1949, the Soviets finally lifted their blockade of the city. Aid to Europe • NATO-In 1949, with East-West tensions rising, the United States joined other Western nations to form the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, a military alliance against the Soviets. In response, the Soviet Union formed the Warsaw Pact, a military alliance of the Sovietcontrolled countries.The nations of NATO considered an attack on one country as an attack on all of them. The advantage of such a policy: It provides a number of separate nations with greater security. The disadvantage: It increases the risk of small conflicts becoming large wars involving many nations. The Occupation of Japan • After World War II, there were 3 aims of the United States in Asia: – To restore peace; – To help Asians resist foreign rule – To restore Asian trade with the world. The Occupation of Japan • In 1946, the U.S. granted independence to the Philippines, giving money to repair war damage and making tariff concessions in American markets. The U.S. also occupied Japan and sought to help the nation rebuild and become more democratic. Under the leadership of General Douglas MacArthur, Japan’s military was dismantled. Under American direction, a new constitution provided for elected representative government and woman suffrage. U.S. leaders also encouraged economic opportunity and provided Japan with financial aid. U.S. officials in Japan made sure to leave many aspects of Japanese culture intact. Why? They did not want to have the Japanese resent their presence, which would make their work there more difficult. In 1951, with Japan on its way to a remarkable recovery, the country was granted its independence. Communist Triumph in China • Since the early 1930s, a civil war between the Nationalist government of Chiang Kai-shek and the Communists, led by Mao Zedong, had ravaged China. The fighting ebbed during World War II as both sides resisted the Japanese invaders, but the conflict flared after the war ended. On the advice of George Marshall, the U.S. focused its efforts on containing communism in Western Europe rather than committing itself to the corrupt and inefficient Nationalist Chinese. Communist Triumph in China • By the end of 1949, Mao’s victorious forces had forced the Nationalists to flee to the island of Taiwan. Many Americans criticized the Truman administration for not paying enough attention to China and “losing” the country to the Communists. The Korean Conflict • In 1950, North Korea, which was ruled by a Soviet-installed Communist government, invaded South Korea. UN troops, led by the United States, came to the aid of South Korea to help push the North Koreans back. When UN forces invaded North Korea, Chinese troops entered the conflict to help the Communists. The Chinese forces pushed the UN troops back into South Korea, and the war bogged down into a bloody stalemate. The Korean Conflict • General MacArthur, who commanded UN forces in Korea, wanted to bomb China. Truman refused, fearing a much larger war. When MacArthur openly criticized Truman, the President fired him. Truman’s dismissal of the popular general caused a firestorm of protest around the country. The Chicago Tribune even called on Congress to impeach and convict the President for his action. The Korean Conflict • The Election of 1952-When Truman announced he would not run again, Republican and World War II hero Dwight D. Eisenhower (Ike) faced Democrat Adlai Stevenson, governor of Illinois. Eisenhower promised to end the war in Korea and won the election decisively. The Korean Conflict • The fighting in Korea continued until 1953, when both sides agreed on a ceasefire that left the country divided in the same way it had been before the war began. Neither side claimed victory. The struggle cost the U.S. more than 54,000 soldiers, but the U.S. resolve in Korea caused many neutral nations to draw closer to the United States. The “Red Scare” • During the cold war period, Americans’ fears of a communist conspiracy heightened. Many began to think that some of their fellow citizens were communist sympathizers or spies. The “Red Scare” swept the nation. The “Red Scare” • Fear of communist influence led to the rise of Democratic Senator Joseph McCarthy of Wisconsin, who charged that he knew of numerous communist sympathizers within the U.S. government, but he never produced evidence for this claim. Accusations and rumors promoted by McCarthy and other officials ruined the lives and reputations of many Americans. The Senate eventually determined that McCarthy’s accusations were groundless. In 1954, McCarthy’s underhanded tactics were exposed in televised hearings. The use of indiscriminate, unfounded political accusations to destroy someone’s character became known as McCarthyism. Thaws in the Cold War • During the Eisenhower administration, a slight “thaw” in the cold war occurred. After Stalin’s death in 1953, the Soviet Union’s new leader, Nikita Khrushchev, allowed people a little more freedom. In July 1955, Eisenhower met with Soviet leaders to discuss nuclear disarmament. The summit accomplished little, however, and in 1958, tensions between the two nations escalated again. Thaws in the Cold War • In May, 1960, an American U-2 surveillance plane was shot down over the Soviet Union while on a spying mission. Khrushchev denounced the U.S. mission, and relations between the two nations worsened. Thaws in the Cold War • In his farewell address, the grandfatherly president warned against the influence of the military-industrial complex, the defense industry that promoted the production of weapons of destruction. Cuba • The U.S. largely ignored Latin America, where great poverty had created a breeding ground for political instability. In 1959, rebel forces overthrew Cuba’s corrupt regime. The new rebel government, led by Fidel Castro, soon aligned with the Communists. As a result, the U.S. broke off relations with the nation. This was troubling to the U.S. since Cuba is only 90 miles off the coast of the U.S.; communism was brought to the nation’s doorstep. Cuba • President John Kennedy’s basic foreign policy goal was similar to that of Truman and Eisenhower-containment of communism. The United States began training Cuban exiles to overthrow the rebel government under Castro. Cuba • In April, 1961, Cuban exiles invaded the island at the Bay of Pigs. The mission collapsed and the invaders surrendered. The failed invasion hurt the prestige of the Kennedy administration and strengthened Castro’s power in the world. In 1962, Cuba convicted more than 1,000 Bay of Pigs invaders of treason and sentenced them to 30 years in prison. Soon, however, Cuban officials released the prisoners in return for more than $50,000,000 in food and medical supplies from a U.S. committee of private citizens. Cuba • In October, 1962, U.S. officials learned that the Soviet Union had placed nuclear weapons in Cuba. Kennedy ordered the Soviet Union to remove the weapons. After tense negotiations, the Cuban Missile Crisis ended when Soviet leaders agreed to remove the weapons. The Peace Corps In 1961, President Kennedy created the Peace Corps to help developing nations fight poverty and disease. The Peace Corps was organized to help prevent the spread of communism by improving the quality of life. By late 1963, there were 11,000 Peace Corps volunteers serving in 40 countries teaching practical skills or working to build housing and medical facilities. The Berlin Wall • East-West tensions rose when the Soviets built a wall dividing the city of Berlin, blocking free movement between the communist section of Berlin and the rest of the city. The structure became known as the Berlin Wall. The wall prevented the flight of refugees seeking to escape the oppression of East Germany. The Berlin Wall became a symbol of cold war divisions between East and West. Throughout the early 1960s, the U.S. and the Soviet Union worked to negotiate treaties limiting the testing of nuclear weapons. In August, 1963, they reached an agreement that banned nuclear testing in the atmosphere and underwater, but not underground.