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The Cold War: An Overview


The Cold War: An Overview Improve your knowledge The nuclear bomb gave America a lead which was expected to last at least 5 years. The rapid Russian development of ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: The Cold War: An Overview

The Cold War An Overview
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The Arms Race A Missile Gap?
  • The Soviet Union exploded its first A-bomb in
  • Now there were two nuclear superpowers!

Improve your knowledge
  • The nuclear bomb gave America a lead which was
    expected to last at least 5 years. The rapid
    Russian development of nuclear technology, helped
    by the work of the atom spies was a
    shock. Significantly, Russia hurriedly declared
    war against Japan at the beginning of August 1945
    and rushed to advance into Asia to stake out a
    position for the post-war settlement. This helped
    make both the Korean and Vietnamese conflicts
    more likely.

Premier Nikita Khrushchev
About the capitalist states, it doesn't depend
on you whether we (Soviet Union) exist. If you
don't like us, don't accept our invitations,
and don't invite us to come to see you. Whether
you like it our not, history is on our side. We
will bury you. -- 1956
De-Stalinization Program
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The Ideological Struggle
Soviet Eastern Bloc Nations Iron Curtain
US the Western Democracies
GOAL ? spread world-wide Communism
GOAL ? Containment of Communism the eventual
collapse of the Communist world. George Kennan
  • Espionage KGB vs. CIA
  • Arms Race nuclear escalation
  • Ideological Competition for the minds and hearts
    of Third World peoples Communist govt. command
    economy vs. democratic govt. capitalist
    economy ? proxy wars
  • Bi-Polarization of Europe NATO vs. Warsaw Pact

The Cold War Roots of the Conflict
Soviet Expansion The Soviet Union occupied
most of Eastern Europe by the end of World War II.
  • In 1946, Winston Churchill correctly warned that
    the Soviets were creating an iron curtain in
    Eastern Europe.

Winston Churchill giving the Iron Curtain
address at Westminster College on March 5, 1946
Post-War Germany
Iron Curtain A term used by Winston Churchill
to describe the separating of Those
communist lands of East Europe from the West.
Divided Germany
Improve your knowledge
Divided Berlin
  • The Russians took very high casualties to capture
    Berlin in May 1945. They spent the early
    occupation trying to take over all zones of the
    city but were stopped by German democrats such as
    Willy Brandt and Konrad Adenauer. Reluctantly the
    Russians had to admit the Americans, French and
    British to their respective zones.

The Truman Doctrine
  • Truman had been horrified at the pre-war Allied
    policy of appeasement and was determined to stand
    up to any Soviet intimidation. The Truman
    Doctrine in March 1947 promised that the USA
    would support free peoples who are resisting
    subjugation by armed minorities or by outside
  • Triggered by British inability to hold the line
    in Greece, it was followed by aid to Greece and
    Turkey, and also money to help capitalists to
    stop communists in Italy and France. It
    signalled the end of isolationst policies.

The Marshall Plan
  • The Marshall Plan offered huge sums to enable the
    economies of Europe to rebuild after World War
    II, and, by generating prosperity, to reject the
    appeal of Communism.
  • The Soviet Union (USSR) prevented Eastern
    European countries from receiving American money.

An overview of the Cold War
  • How can a war be cold?
  • What were the Hotspots of the Cold War?

After World War 2 the Cold War began and caused
tension throughout the world.
  • The USA and the USSR were the two world
  • The USA was a capitalist society with a
  • The USSR was a communist country with a
  • Both wanted to be the most powerful nation in the

Nuclear tensions
  • The USA had shown its atomic power when it
    exploded the A-bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki at
    the end of World War 2.
  • The USSR was also developing atomic
  • The USA and the USSR were in competition with
    each other to have the best, most powerful
    weapons in the world this was called the Arms

After World War 2, the world changed!
  • Many countries became communist after World War 2
  • Czechoslovakia (1948)
  • Poland (1947)
  • Hungary (1947)
  • China (1949)
  • Cuba (1959)
  • North Korea (1945)

Germany - divided
  • Germany, which had been ruled by the Hitler and
    the Nazis until their defeat in 1945 was split in
  • The western side became West Germany and the
    eastern side became East Germany.
  • East Germany became another communist country.

The domino effect
  • The USSR had a lot of influence over many of the
    new communist countries (especially those in
  • The USA was very worried that the USSRs
    influence over these countries was making the
    USSR and communism more powerful.
  • The USA did not want communism to spread any
    further they were worried about the domino
    effect (one country becomes communist, then
    another, then another etc)

Cold War?
  • The tension and rivalry between the USA and the
    USSR was described as the Cold War (1945-1990).
  • There was never a real war between the two sides
    between 1945 and 1990, but they were often very
    close to war (Hotspots). Both sides got involved
    in other conflicts in the world to either stop
    the spread of communism (USA) or help the spread

The Korean War 1950-1953
The Berlin Wall 1961
  • West Berlin, was an outpost of Western democracy
    and economic success deep within the communist
    zone like a capitalist island within communist
    East Germany
  • The Berlin Blockade was an attempt to starve
    West Berlin into submitting giving up to the
  • The Allied western powers airlift signalled the
    Wests determination to use all resources to
    defend Berlin. It was feld by both sides that
    Berlin could act as the trigger for general war
    between capitalist and communist countries

The Cuban Missile Crisis 1962
The Vietnam War c.1963-1975
  • Berlin and the Wall

By Mr Crowe
Another Cold War crisis
  • Background
  • East West rivalry
  • Berlin divided contrast the two halves.

WEST Prosperous, helped by US, attracted people
from the East. Seen by USSR as infection in the
heart of Communist East Germany.
EAST Much less prosperous and under Communist
Focus on refugees from East Germany or East
Berlin to West
  • 1949-129,245
  • 1951- 165,648
  • 1953- 331,390
  • 1955- 252,870
  • 1957- 261,622
  • 1959- 143,917
  • 1961- 207,026
  • 1962- 21,356
  • 1963- 42,632
  • 1964- 41,876

What they wanted
  • The West
  • Prevent USSR from gaining control of East Germany
  • To see a united, democratic Germany
  • The East
  • Maintain control over E Germany
  • Make the West recognise it as an independent
  • Stop the flood of refugees especially the skilled
    and professional ones much needed in E Germany

1958-Soviet demands
  • West should
  • Recognise GDR
  • Withdraw troops from West Berlin
  • Hand their access routes over to the East German
  • West refused and Khrushchev backed down.

Events of 1961
  • June - Khrushchev pressured new American
    President John F Kennedy
  • Demanded withdrawal of Western forces from West
    Berlin Kennedy refused
  • July 23 Flow of refugees from East to West
    1000 a day
  • July 25 Kennedy repeats support for West Berlin
    and announced increase in arms spending

Events contd
  • 13-22 August Khrushchev and East German govt.
    orders barbed wire barrier across Berlin,
    followed by a wall of concrete blocks
  • All of West Berlin encircled apart from access
  • This was against the Four Power agreement made in

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  • Important results for Berlin, Germany and the
    Cold War
  • Berlin was divided, free access ended between
    East and West, many families split, many
    attempted to escape to the West-between 1961 and
    1989 86 people died trying to cross the Berlin

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Results continued
  • Kennedy accepted the Soviet action. He refused to
    use US troops to pull down the wall to avoid war.
  • Kennedy looked weak but West turned it into
    propaganda why if Communism was so attractive
    was a wall needed?
  • 1963 Kennedy visited West Berlin pledged
    continued support Ich bin ein Berliner (I am
    a Berliner) famous speech
  • Khrushchev lost face by failing to remove the
    West from Berlin
  • LINKCNN - Cold War-The Wall

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