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Cold War Overview: Presidents, Policies, and Events


Cold War will rage on for 45 years mainly between ... Renewal of Cold War. Reagan believed: Communism was the 'focus of evil ... fight the Cold War ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Cold War Overview: Presidents, Policies, and Events

Cold War Overview Presidents, Policies, and
  • World History

The Start of the Cold War
  • During the war Communist and Capitalist countries
    had worked together for a common goal
  • Post WWII, allied countries begin to turn
    attention to own interests and both communists
    and capitalists want to spread their ideals
    around the world
  • Both view each other as a threat to their
    prosperity - a war of ideals
  • Cold War will rage on for 45 years mainly
    between the U.S. and the USSR
  • This conflict was passed down all the way from
    Truman (1940s) to Reagan (1980s)

  • Britain warns US about Soviet aggression (1946)
  • Capitalist countries fear spread of Communism in
    post war era via satellite states
  • US agrees, adopts Containment Policy
  • Containment halt spread of communism
  • US provides economic aid to countries weakened by
    the war to prevent them from falling to communism
  • Becomes a race to help weaker countries (and make
    allies) before the other can!
  • Truman, Unless Russia is faced with an iron
    fist, another war is in the making.

Iron Curtain Dividing line between communist
non-Communist countries
Berlin Airlift 1948
  • Post WWII, Germany was divided into 4 peace
    keeping zones between France, U.S., Britain and
    the Soviet Union
  • Berlin was split between Capitalist and Communist
  • Stalin tried to take it over, by cutting off
    food, fuel, Transportation in June 1948
  • Allies did not want a war, so they creatively
    came up with the Airlift idea
  • Flew planes for almost a year, dropped supplies
    down to West Berlin, ended May 1949

West Berlin
Domino Theory
  • The idea that as if USSR spread its influence to
    Asia, Asian countries would fall to communism
    like dominoes
  • Theory used to justify military involvement in
    both Korea and Vietnam

Korean War (1950-1953)
  • Korean peninsula split into North (USSR) South
    (USA) after WWII
  • In 1950, Communist North Korea invaded South
    Korea to try to unify the country again
  • South Korea asked for U.N. help
  • UN mission, led by US/MacArthur, supported S.
    Korea and troops forced N.Korea back
  • Communist China felt threatened, joined war,
    helped north Korea
  • War ended in a stalemate, back at almost original
    line (still only an armistice, so war has not
    actually ended)

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Massive Retaliation
  • After years of rivalry, The US threatened the
    USSR with Massive Retaliation (nuclear attack)
    if it continued to spread communism
  • Born out of frustration with limited proxy wars
    in Third World Countries
  • Argued it would be cheaper than ground war
  • Some thought it was irresponsible
  • Both countries had nuclear weapons, but neither
    had the ability to use them adequately against
    the other
  • Kicked off Arms Race, where both nations trying
    to be more powerful than the other
  • US Developed the Hydrogen Bomb in 1952

Hydrogen Bomb
  • 1957, Soviets send up the first satellite ever
  • Scares the US
  • US Soviets start competing in Space Race

Bay of Pigs
  • Fidel Castro leads a successful Communist
    revolution in Cuba (1959)
  • US has a secret plan to remove him from power
  • April 17, 1961 - Cuban exiles, trained by CIA,
    attempt invasion of Cuba, try to overthrow Castro
  • Total failure (US didnt provide air support)
  • Public knew of US role, US looks foolish

Castro Khrushchev
Berlin Wall
  • 1961, East Germans start to build Berlin Wall
  • Communist East Germans wanted to prevent the
    flight of East Germans to the West (via West
  • Wall is a symbol of Cold War division

Berlin Wall
  • Built in 1961
  • Over 87 Miles Long
  • Between 100-200 people killed trying to cross
    (exact numbers not reported)
  • Finally torn down and Germany reunited in 1989

Cuban Missile Crisis
  • October 1962
  • US learned USSR was building missile sites on
    Cuba - just 90 miles from US!
  • What should the US do?
  • It didnt want a nuclear war, but it didnt want
    to look weak.
  • Major tension - closest the world has ever come
    to nuclear war

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Cuban Missile Crisis (cont.)
  • US decided to launch a naval blockade around Cuba
    to prevent Soviet ships from bringing in more
  • Everyone held their breath to see what the ships
    would do at the blockade…

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Cuban Missile Crisis 3
  • The Soviet ships turned around
  • There was a secret deal made between US USSR
  • Soviet Union would publicly dismantle missile
  • USA would secretly dismantle its missiles in NATO
    ally Turkey

Nuclear Test Ban Treaty
  • Superpowers realize they need to have better
    relations after coming to brink of nuclear war in
    Cuban Missile Crisis
  • US, Britain, USSR agree to stop testing nuclear
    weapons above ground (still do underground tests)
  • June 1963
  • Shows cooperation, thawing of Cold War
  • Lasts until Reagan era in the 1980s

Vietnam War
  • Primary US involvement 1964-1973
  • U.S. helped South Vietnam defend itself from
    being taken over by Communist North Vietnam
    (containment theory)
  • In 1975, after growing opposition to the War in
    USA, a cease-fire was called
  • After the US left, South Vietnam fell to the
    Communist North, Vietnam is united under
    Communist rule

Americans on the Moon!
  • July 20, 1969
  • First moon walk - Neil Armstrong
  • Soviets beaten to the moon - America wins the
    space race

Renewal of Cold War
  • Reagan believed
  • Communism was the focus of evil in the modern
  • The USSR was an evil Empire with Aggressive
  • Thus, wanted to aggressively fight the Cold War
  • Focused on preventing communism from gaining
    ground in Central/South America
  • El Salvador, Nicaragua, Grenada (invasion)

Arms Race Returns
  • Didnt trust USSR to limit nuclear weapons, so
    increased US military build up
  • Strategic Defense Initiative
  • Missile Shield Idea
  • Critics called it Star Wars

Mikhail Gorbachev New Soviet Leader in 1985
  • Glasnost Openness
  • Perestroika Restructuring
  • Eastern Block countries are loosening
  • Berlin Wall comes down
  • Reagan had spoken in June 1987 Mr. Gorbachev,
    tear down this wall.
  • November 1989, after mass demonstrations the wall
    finally comes down
  • USSR breaks up finished (Dec. 1991)

The Berlin Wall Falls
Cooperation Cold War Ends