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The Cold War, Part One


The Cold War, Part One United Nations to Vietnam Conflict at Home By 1968 the American people became bitterly divided on the issue of American involvement in Vietnam. – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: The Cold War, Part One

The Cold War, Part One
  • United Nations to Vietnam

Origins of the United Nations
  • In 1945, near the end of World War II, the Allies
    founded the United Nations as an international
    organization to promote world peace and progress.
  • The United Nations replaced the League of Nations
    as a means for the worlds nations to try to
    prevent future global wars.
  • The United States immediately joined the United
    Nations. After World War II the American people
    believed the United States had an important role
    to play in maintaining the peace.
  • This belief contrasted sharply with the American
    feeling after World War I, when the United States
    refused to join the League of Nations.

The Rebuilding of Japan
  • American forces occupied Japan after its
    surrender in August 1945.
  • Under American direction, Japan soon adopted a
    democratic form of government, resumed
    self-government (governed itself), and became a
    strong ally (friend) of the United States.

The Iron Curtain Falls
  • At the end of World War II, Europe lay in ruins.
    Soviet forces occupied most of Eastern and
    Central Europe and the eastern portion of
  • American, British, and French forces occupied
    West Germany. The Allies partitioned (divided)
    Germany into East and West Germany.
  • In a few years West Germany became democratic
    and resumed self-government.
  • East Germany remained under the domination of the
    Soviet Union and adopted a communist instead of a
    democratic government.

(No Transcript)
The Origins of the Cold War
  • Soon after World War II ended, the Cold War
  • The Cold War was an uneasy peace after World War
    II, marked by a fierce rivalry between the United
    States and the Soviet Union.
  • One might call the Cold War a war of words
    between the United States and the Soviet Union,
    which lasted from the end of World War II until
    the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991.
  • The Cold War set the framework for global
    politics for forty-five years after the end of
    World War II.
  • It also influenced American domestic politics
    (issues inside the U.S.), the conduct of foreign
    affairs, and the role of the American government
    in the economy after 1945.

Cold War, cont.
  • The Cold War was basically a competition between
    two very different ways of organizing government,
    society, and the nations economy.
  • The United States and the Soviet Union possessed
    very different fundamental values.
  • The American-led western nations believed in
    democracy, individual freedom, and a free market
    economic system based on private ownership of

Cold War, cont
  • In contrast, the Soviet Union and its allies
    believed in a totalitarian government
    (dictatorship) ruled by the communist party and a
    communist (socialist) economic system.
  • Socialism is an economic system in which the
    government owns and controls the means of
  • For example, in a socialist nation the government
    might own the power plants, transportation and
    communication companies, mines, and steel mills.

  • Soon after World War II, the United States
    adopted the anti-communist policy of containment.
  • Containment was the post-World War II American
    foreign policy that sought to check the expansion
    of the Soviet Union and communism through
    diplomatic, economic, and military means.
  • In short, under the containment policy the United
    States tried to contain or restrict communism to
    those countries of the world where it already

The Truman Doctrine
  • After the Soviet Union had spread communism to
    the nations of Eastern Europe at the end of World
    War II, President Harry S. Truman announced the
    Truman Doctrine.
  • The Truman Doctrine was President Trumans
    promise that the United States would defend free
    peoples from subversion (overthrow of the
    government) or outside pressure.
  • Thereby, the Truman Doctrine set precedent that
    the containment of communism would serve as the
    basic principle of American foreign policy
    throughout the Cold War.

The Marshall Plan
  • Under containment, the United States would not
    try to roll back communism, but rather keep
    communism from spreading and to resist communist
    aggression (attacks) into other countries.
  • The Truman administration followed the
    announcement of the Truman Doctrine with the
    Marshall Plan.
  • The Marshall Plan was a massive American
    financial aid program announced in 1947 to help
    European nations recover economically from World
    War II.
  • Yet, its purpose was not only to rebuild European
    economies, but also to prevent the spread of

  • To place military force behind the containment
    policy the United States and its allies formed
    the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, commonly
    known as NATO.
  • NATO acted as a defensive military alliance
    between the United States and Western European
    countries to prevent a Soviet invasion of Western
  • Since the creation of NATO in 1949, it has served
    as an alliance of the United States, a group of
    European nations, and Canada to provide mutual
    aid in the event of armed attack.

Chinese Civil War
  • Communism spread to Asia in 1949 when Chinese
    communist forces under Mao Zedong overthrew the
    anti-communist government of Chiang Kai-shek.
  • Mao forced Chaing to flee China for the island of
    Formosa, where Chiang set up the government of
  • The communist takeover of China increased
    American fears of communist domination of most of
    the world.
  • In addition, before 1949 ended, the Soviet Union
    exploded its first atomic bomb.

The Red Scare at Home
  • The fear of communism and the threat of nuclear
    war affected American life throughout the Cold
  • The trials of both Alger Hiss and the Rosenbergs
    caused many Americans to fear that communist
    spies held important positions in the federal
  • Hiss was accused of passing secret documents to
    the Soviets during the late 1930s.
  • Although Hiss claimed his innocence he was
    convicted of perjury (lying under oath), and many
    Americans believed he was guilty of treason.

  • In 1950 the United States learned that a spy ring
    had sent atomic secrets to the Soviets, which had
    allowed them to develop an atomic bomb so
  • This information led to the arrest of Julius and
    Ethel Rosenberg, who had worked on the United
    States atomic project.
  • In 1951, after a long and widely publicized
    trial, a jury found the Rosenbergs guilty of
    espionage (spying).
  • The United States government executed the
    Rosenbergs in 1953.

  • American fears of communism in the early fifties
    advanced the political career of Republican
    Senator Joseph McCarthy of Wisconsin.
  • Senator McCarthy played on American fears of
    communism by recklessly accusing many American
    governmental officials and citizens of being
  • He based these charges on flimsy (very weak)
    evidence or no evidence at all. In 1954 the
    Army-McCarthy hearings were televised.
  • These Senate hearings investigated alleged
    communist influence in the United States army.

McCarthyism, cont
  • When the armys attorney stood up to McCarthy at
    these hearings, McCarthy showed himself to be a
    liar and bully rather than a heroic defender of
    American democracy.
  • The Senate then censured Senator McCarthy
    (condemned his behavior), and he quickly lost his
  • Nevertheless, McCarthys rapid rise to power led
    to the coining of the term McCarthyism, or the
    making of false accusations based on rumor or
    guilt by association.

The Korean War
  • A major test for the containment policy came in
    1950 when communist North Koreans invaded
    non-communist South Korea.
  • American military forces led a counterattack that
    drove deep into North Korea itself.
  • Communist Chinese forces then came into the war
    on the side of North Korea, and the war
    threatened to widen.

Korean War, cont.
  • In 1953 the Korean War ended in stalemate with
    South Korea free of communist occupation.
  • Because the United States had prevented South
    Korea from falling under communist control, the
    nations confidence in the containment policy

  • As part of containment, President Eisenhower
    adopted a policy of massive retaliation to
    deter (prevent, discourage) any nuclear attack by
    the Soviets.
  • Massive retaliation was the Eisenhower
    administrations threat of swift, all-out
    military action against a nation committing
    aggression (attack).
  • Later presidents backed away from this policy,
    although the United States refused to promise it
    would not make a first strike nuclear attack.

The Bay of Pigs
  • At the end of the 1950s and in the early 1960s,
    the Cold War focused on Cuba.
  • In 1959 Fidel Castro led a communist revolution
    that took over Cuba. Many Cubans fled to Florida
    to escape communist rule.
  • President Eisenhower encouraged the Central
    Intelligence Agency (CIA) to develop a secret
    plan to overthrow Castro.
  • The CIA is a federal agency that coordinates the
    spy activities of the United States government.
  • The CIA decided to train and equip a group of
    anti-communist Cuban exiles, who were living in
    the United States.
  • With United States assistance this force would
    land at the Bay of Pigs on the Cuban coast and
    lead the Cuban people in an uprising against

The Bay of Pigs, cont.
  • When President John F. Kennedy entered office in
    1961, he approved the CIAs plans to go ahead
    with the Bay of Pigs invasion.
  • The Bay of Pigs invasion proved a complete
    disaster. The expected popular uprising against
    Castro never happened.
  • Within two days, Castros army had captured or
    killed most of the American-supported invaders.

Cuban Missile Crisis
  • In 1962 an even more serious Cold War crisis
    occurred in Cuba, when President Kennedy learned
    the Soviet Union had placed nuclear missiles
  • American spy-plane photographs showed these
    missile sites to President Kennedy. After six
    days of discussion with his advisers, President
    Kennedy appeared on television to tell the
    American public about the Soviet missiles.
  • He announced that the United States was
    blockading Cuba. American naval vessels would
    stop all approaching ships and search them for

Cuban Missile Crisis
  • In addition, Kennedy ordered the Soviets to
    remove their missiles from Cuba or he would take
    further steps.
  • For several days the world was on the brink
    (edge) of nuclear war.
  • Eventually the Soviets blinked, as President
    Kennedy worked out a private agreement with
    Nikita Khrushchev, the leader of the Soviet
  • The Soviets agreed to withdraw their missiles
    from Cuba, and in exchange the United States
    would remove its outdated missiles from Turkey.

Vietnam Looms
  • Nevertheless, the Cuban Missile Crisis heightened
    the threat of nuclear war.
  • In fact, the Soviet Union matched the United
    States in nuclear weaponry in the 1950s.
  • For the remainder of the Cold War the threat of
    nuclear conflict that would destroy both
    countries was ever-present.
  • During the 1950s and 1960s, American schools
    regularly held drills to train children regarding
    what to do in case of a nuclear attack.
  • The federal government encouraged American
    citizens to build bomb shelters in their own
  • However, by the mid-sixties Vietnam replaced the
    threat of nuclear war as the chief concern of
    Americas containment policy.

Cold War, Part Two
  • Vietnam through the Collapse of Communism

Vietnam Looms
  • When President John F. Kennedy became president
    in 1961, he pledged in his inaugural address that
    the United States would
  • pay any price, bear any burden, meet any
    hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe, in
    order to assure the survival and the success of
  • In the same address, Kennedy also said, Ask not
    what your country can do for you, ask what you
    can do for your country.

The Cold War in Virginia
  • The Cold War made foreign policy a major issue in
    every presidential election between 1948 and
  • The heavy military expenditures throughout the
    Cold War benefited Virginias economy
    proportionately more than that of any other
  • National defense spending especially helped the
    economy of Hampton Roads, home to several large
    naval and air bases, and Northern Virginia, home
    to the Pentagon and numerous private companies
    that contract with the military.

The War in Vietnam
  • American involvement in Vietnam reflected the
    Cold War policy of containment of communism.
  • After World War II, Vietnamese nationalists in
    the French colony of Indochina fought for
    independence from France.
  • The leader of this Vietnamese independence
    movement was a communist named Ho Chi Minh.
  • Because of Ho Chi Minhs communist beliefs, the
    United States supported Frances attempt to keep
    Indochina as a colony after the war.

The War in Vietnam
  • After Ho Chi Minhs forces defeated the French
    army, France withdrew from Indochina and Vietnam
    was divided into communist North Vietnam and
    non-communist South Vietnam.
  • Reunification elections, scheduled for the
    mid-fifties, were cancelled because the
    Eisenhower administration feared Ho Chi Minh
    would win and all of Vietnam would become
  • Beginning in the 1950s and continuing into the
    early 1960s, the communist government of North
    Vietnam attempted to install through force a
    communist government in South Vietnam.

The War in Vietnam
  • The Vietcong were southern revolutionaries who
    formed the National Liberation Front and fought
    for the reunification of Vietnam under Ho Chi
    Minhs rule.
  • To counter North Vietnams efforts in the south,
    the Eisenhower administration sent massive
    amounts of economic and military aid to the South
    Vietnamese government.
  • The American military buildup in Vietnam began
    under President John Kennedy.
  • The Kennedy administration increased the number
    of American military personnel in South Vietnam
    from 1,500 to 16,000.

The War in Vietnam
  • President Kennedy, a World War II veteran, was
    assassinated in 1963 in Dallas, Texas.
  • This event shook the nations confidence and
    began a period of internal strife (conflict
    within America) and divisiveness, especially
    spurred by divisions over U.S. involvement in
  • Vice President Lyndon B. Johnson succeeded
    Kennedy as president. In 1965 President Johnson
    greatly escalated (increased) the American
    military buildup in Vietnam from about 20,000
    troops to almost 200,000 at years end.
  • The scale of combat in Vietnam grew larger over
    the course of the 1960s and by 1968 there were
    540,000 American soldiers in Vietnam.

The War in Vietnam
  • Although American military forces repeatedly
    defeated the North Vietnamese forces in the
    field, they could not force an end to the war on
    favorable terms by fighting a limited war.
  • The term limited war referred to the American
    governments decision to avoid any military
    action, which might widen the war to include the
    Soviet Union or communist China on North
    Vietnams side.
  • While the United States was following the policy
    of containment in South Vietnam, it also wanted
    to avoid either a nuclear conflict or a third
    world war.

Conflict at Home
  • By 1968 the American people became bitterly
    divided on the issue of American involvement in
  • While many Americans supported the American
    military and the Johnson administrations conduct
    of the war, many other Americans opposed the war.
  • Active opposition to American involvement in
    Vietnam mounted (increased), especially on
    college campuses.
  • After President Johnson declined to seek
    re-election, the Republican candidate Richard M.
    Nixon won the 1968 presidential election.

Nixon Elected
  • . President Nixon was elected on a pledge to
    bring the war to an honorable end.
  • He instituted (started) a policy of
  • Vietnamization was the Nixon administrations
    policy of building up South Vietnamese forces
    while gradually withdrawing American troops.
  • Under Vietnamization President Nixon withdrew
    American troops and replaced them with South
    Vietnamese forces, while simultaneously (at the
    same time) maintaining (continuing) American
    military aid to the South Vietnamese government.
  • Ultimately (eventually), Vietnamization failed,
    when South Vietnamese troops proved unable to
    resist invasion by the Soviet-supplied North
    Vietnamese Army.

Watergate and the End of Vietnam
  • In addition, the Watergate scandal forced
    President Nixon to resign from office in 1974.
  • The Watergate scandal was the public exposure of
    a burglary and its cover-up by the Nixon
    administration that eventually led to Nixons
    resignation in 1974.
  • In 1975, while Gerald Ford was serving as
    president, both North and South Vietnam were
    merged under communist control.

Watergate and the End of Vietnam
  • Unlike veterans of World War II, who returned to
    a grateful and supportive nation, Vietnam
    veterans returned often to face indifference or
    outright hostility from some Americans who
    opposed the war.
  • It was not until several years after the end of
    the war that the wounds of the war began to heal
    in America, and Vietnam veterans were recognized
    and honored for their service and sacrifices.

Watergate and the End of Vietnam
  • While the Vietnam War was raging (going on) in
    Southeast Asia, the Nixon administration added a
    new wrinkle to the containment policy.
  • By 1972 President Nixon and his Secretary of
    State Henry Kissinger recognized that instead of
    being strong allies the communist nations of
    China and the Soviet Union had become rivals for
    territory and diplomatic influence.
  • In the 1970s Nixon tried to exploit (take
    advantage of) this split in the communist world.
  • By negotiating with each side, Nixon and
    Kissinger hoped to play the two communist giants
    off against each other.

Opening the Door to China
  • In 1972 President Nixon began to establish formal
    diplomatic relations with communist China and met
    with Mao Zedong in the Chinese capital of
  • Later that same year he traveled to Moscow to
    meet with Leonid Brezhnev, the leader of the
    Soviet Union.
  • Nixon and Brezhnev signed a treaty under which
    the two superpowers agreed to limit the
    production of nuclear weapons.
  • This treaty grew out of the Strategic Arms
    Limitation Talks (SALT).

The SALT Agreement
  • The SALT talks were the Soviet-American
    discussions begun in 1969 to establish limits on
    the number of strategic nuclear weapons held by
    both sides.
  • Although the SALT Treaty contained many
    loopholes, it was a crucial first step toward
    ending the nuclear arms race between the United
    States and the Soviet Union.

The End of the Soviet Union
  • Both internal and external pressures in the 1980s
    caused the collapse of the Soviet Union and the
    end of the Cold War.
  • Ronald Reagan, a Republican, became president of
    the United States in 1981.
  • During his first term, President Reagan tried to
    assert (state strongly) American power in many
    places throughout the world. Reagan challenged
    the moral legitimacy of the Soviet Union by
    publicly calling the Soviet Union an evil

The End of the Soviet Union
  • Under Reagans leadership, the United States
    launched a massive military buildup, and tension
    with the Soviet Union increased.
  • President Reagan would not consider arms
    reductions until he was convinced that the United
    States was at least equal to the Soviet Union in
    military power.
  • He also proceeded with plans to deploy (place)
    new nuclear missiles in Western Europe.

The End of the Soviet Union
  • This renewal of the arms race forced the Soviet
    Union to increase its military budget in order to
    compete with the United States.
  • The need to increase military spending was a
    serious problem for the Soviet leadership,
    because the state-controlled Soviet economy
    suffered from gross (extreme) inefficiency after
    nearly seventy years of communist rule.
  • Mikhail Gorbachev, who became the leader of the
    Soviet Union in 1985, immediately adopted new
    policies in an attempt to revive the Soviet
    economy and reform the Soviet system.
  • Gorbachevs first effort was to introduce
    glasnost (Russian word for openness) to Soviet

The End of the Soviet Union
  • Gorbachev allowed open criticism of the Soviet
    government and even took some steps toward
    freedom of the press.
  • Glasnost then was Gorbachevs policy of
    encouraging freedom of expression in the Soviet
  • In 1987 Gorbachev outlined his plans for
    perestroika, a restructuring of Soviet society.
  • He called for less government control of the
    economy, the introduction of some private
    enterprise, and steps toward establishing
  • While economic restructuring lay at the heart of
    perestroika, Gorbachev even said the Soviet
  • needed to teach and to learn democracy.

The End of the Soviet Union
  • Gorbachevs new policies raised high expectations
    among millions of well-educated Russians for both
    immediate improvement in their standard of living
    and increased freedom in Soviet society.
  • The fast-paced reforms, which occurred as the
    Soviet Union moved quickly toward a market
    economy, placed even greater internal pressure on
    the communist system.
  • In addition, the Gorbachev government faced
    rising nationalism within the Soviet republics
    (equal to American states), which made up the
    Soviet Union.

The End of the Soviet Union
  • External pressures on the Soviet government came
    from its eastern European communist satellites,
    which were also experiencing a rising feeling of
  • Solidarity labor movement created great unrest in
    Poland during the 1980s.
  • By the late eighties, East German citizens held
    mass protests to show their desire for new
  • President Ronald Reagan added to the external
    pressures on the Soviet Union by traveling to the
    Berlin Wall and saying, Mr. Gorbachev, tear down
    this wall.

The End of the Soviet Union
  • The Berlin Wall, which divided communist East
    Berlin from democratic West Berlin, was the
    best-known symbol of the Cold War.
  • The East German government had built the Berlin
    Wall in 1961 as a means to keep its citizens from
    escaping to the West.
  • But by late 1989 the communist government of East
    Germany was so unstable that East German citizens
    began to tear down whole sections of the Berlin
    Wall without interference by government
  • In late 1990 Germany was formally reunified under
    the democratic leadership of West Germany.
  • Communist governments quickly fell from power in
    the Soviet Unions other Eastern European

The End of the Soviet Union
  • In 1991 the Soviet Union fell apart. The Soviet
    Union was made up of fifteen republics, which
    included an enormous variety of cultures,
    languages, and ethnic groups.
  • As the Gorbachev government introduced democratic
    reforms, the republics began to push for
    additional change.
  • The three Baltic republics Estonia, Latvia, and
    Lithuania even declared their independence from
    the Soviet Union, and other republics soon
    followed their example.

The End of the Soviet Union
  • By years end, Gorbachev agreed to dismantle
    (take apart) the entire Communist system,
    including the 15-million member Communist Party,
    which once controlled nearly every aspect (part)
    of Soviet society.
  • On Christmas Day 1991, Gorbachev resigned and
    declared the Soviet Union had ended.
  • The Cold War was over.