The Potsdam Conference

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1 The Cold War Begins

2 The United Nations Chartered in April 1945 Replaced the League of Nations as a mediator for international disputes 50 nations joined initially (today, UN has 192 members) In the General Assembly, which decides general UN policies, each nation gets 1 vote (so all are equal) UN Security Council: US, Soviet Union, France, Great Britain, & China reserved the power to veto any action by the UN For the UN to take any military action requires a unanimous vote of the Security Council

3 The Potsdam Conference Jul. 16 Aug Stalin, Clement Atlee (who had replaced Churchill as British Prime Minister), and Truman met to decide the fate of Germany and other occupied territories in Europe All sides agreed to divide Germany and Austria into occupation zones and to dismantle most German industry, but disagreed over making Germany pay war reparations to the Soviets

4 Germany divided

5 The Soviets Split from the Allies Stalin wanted to keep territory which the Soviets had conquered in Eastern Europe, in order to protect his nation from future invasions Allies insisted on free elections in Soviet-occupied Poland, Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, Romania, Bulgaria, Czechoslovakia, & Hungary Stalin refused and by 1948 all of these states had communist governments (Latvia, Lithuania, & Estonia became part of the Soviet Union itself)

6 The Iron Curtain From Stettin in the Baltic to Trieste in the Adriatic an "iron curtain" has descended across the Continent. Behind that line lie all the capitals of the ancient states of Central and Eastern Europe and all are subject, in one form or another, not only to Soviet influence but to a very high and in some cases increasing measure of control from Moscow. - Winston Churchill, 1946 Term iron curtain was meant to describe the ideological division that had risen between Communist Eastern Europe and Democratic Western Europe

7 Containment Policy US had little choice but to accept communism in Eastern Europe or enter into an unpopular war with the Soviets US instead focused on preventing communism from spreading into new areas and pledged to contain communism to the areas where it already existed

8 George Kennan U.S. diplomat who is credited with devising the US policy of containment and who argued that Soviet communism was inherently flawed and weak in his Long Telegram Meant containment to be through political coercion rather than through military force, was ultimately disappointed with how the US responded to the Soviets

9 First Test of Containment Stalin supported communist rebels in Greece and Turkey in their efforts to overthrow US-backed governments The devastation of WWII had left these governments in a seriously weakened state and they were in serious danger of falling without US intervention

10 The Truman Doctrine Mar. 12, 1947: Truman declared that US foreign policy would be to support free peoples who are resisting attempted subjugation by armed minorities or by outside pressures Truman essentially declared war on the spread of communism, launching a Cold War that would last into the 1990s After Truman s speech, Congress approved $400 million in economic aid to Greece and Turkey, enough to defeat the communist threat in that region

11 The Marshall Plan In support of the Truman Doctrine, Sec. of State George Marshall developed a plan to provide US financial aid to war-torn Europe, to help with rebuilding both physically and economically The economic prosperity in Western Europe that followed minimized the potential for any further spread of communism in that region The US would send $25 billion in aid to Europe in the 6 years following the end of WWII

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13 Stalin rejects the Marshall Plan The US even offered economic assistance to countries behind the iron curtain, including the Soviet Union, but Stalin would not allow any communist state to accept US assistance, believing it would weaken his control

14 The Berlin Blockade June 1948 May 1949 Frustrated with US efforts to restore a unified Germany, Stalin tried to push the US and its allies out of West Berlin by blocking all overland access to the city through East Germany All road and rail lines were cut and no supplies could be brought into the western half of the city

15 The Berlin Airlift Allies decided to fly supplies into Berlin instead Soviets were unwilling to be the aggressor by shooting down Allied aircraft 1500 flights a day delivered 5000 tons of supplies a day everything from food to coal to gasoline to cloth to machinery After nearly a year, the Soviets lifted the unsuccessful blockade

16 North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) Founded April 4, 1949 Mutual defense treaty against the Soviets US, Belgium, Luxembourg, The Netherlands, Great Britain, France, Canada, Portugal, Italy, Norway, Denmark, & Iceland were the original members France left in 1966 Today, includes most of Europe + US & Canada

17 The Warsaw Pact May 14, 1955: Soviets responded to NATO by creating an alliance of communist states Unlike NATO, which was an alliance of free nations, Warsaw Pact members had no choice but to join, since their communist governments were indirectly controlled by the Soviet Union Officially disbanded July 1, 1991 after the collapse of the Soviet power

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19 Russians Develop Atomic Bombs August 29, 1949: Soviets tested their first atomic bomb (technology they had largely stolen from the US through espionage) By 1961, Soviets were capable of detonating 100 megaton bombs (equal to about 20 times all of the explosives used in WWII combined!) Soviets had become a much more serious threat in the eyes of the US

20 The US and Israel US backed the United Nations plan to establish a Jewish homeland in Israel in 1948, turning many Arab nations against the US, because the Israelis forcibly displaced the Palestinians already living in the area As a result, many Arab states turned to the Soviets for military and financial support

21 Organization of American States (OAS) Founded in 1948 Agreement between Western Hemisphere nations to work together to combat communism in the Americas and to protect human rights Today, all nations in the Americas are members

22 US and Chinese Communism China had been involved in a civil war between Nationalists and Communists since before WWII began Communists gained control of mainland China in 1949, driving the Nationalists to flee to the island of Taiwan The US refused to acknowledge the Communists as the legitimate Chinese government, instead insisting on recognizing the Nationalists on Taiwan as the true China, while the Soviets took just the opposite stance

23 The Korean War June 1950 July 1953 After WWII, Korea had been divided much as Germany had into a Communist-held north and a US-backed south North Korea, backed by China & the Soviets attacked South Korea, backed by the UN (using mostly US soldiers) Dispute was eventually settled by returning to essentially pre-war boundaries, but no formal peace was ever declared

24 Gen. Douglas MacArthur During the Korean War, MacArthur began to be heavily critical of how Truman wanted the war conducted and began to advocate for use of atomic weapons against China as a sure way to win absolute victory Truman was forced to fire the popular MacArthur because Truman wanted to limit the war as much as possible while still containing communism

25 Dwight Eisenhower (life) (President) Nicknamed Ike Highly popular due to his efficient military leadership during WWII Staunchly anti-communist, but also dedicated to scaling back military spending Chose to focus on a build up of nuclear weapons as a cheaper way to deter communist aggression

26 The H-Bomb Nov. 1952: The US tested its newest weapon the Hydrogen Bomb, a weapon 1000 times more powerful than the bomb dropped on Hiroshima Within a year, however, the Soviets also had H-bombs

27 Nuclear Arms Race Soviets and Americans rapidly built enough nuclear weapons to destroy the world many times over MAD (Mutually Assured Destruction) was the theory that the more nuclear weapons both sides had, the safer the world was because it made a nuclear war unwinnable for both sides

28 Domino Theory Eisenhower believed strongly in the idea that if you let even a single nation fall to communism, then you would set off a chain reaction where its neighbors would also fall to communism (like dominos)

29 Brinksmanship Term originally coined by Eisenhower s Sec. of State John Foster Dulles Brinksmanship is the practice of escalating international tensions to the brink of war, with the hope that the other side will back down at the last minute and thereby give you an advantage in future negotiations

30 Eisenhower Doctrine In 1957, Eisenhower pledged US assistance to any nation in the Middle East which found itself threatened by communism Almost immediately, US forces were sent to Lebanon to help that government combat communist rebels

31 Nikita Khrushchev (life) (Soviet leader) Named head of the Soviet Union after the death of Stalin in 1953 More liberal than Stalin in Soviet domestic issues, but more confrontational in foreign policy, pushing the Soviet Union to the brink of war with the US on several occasions

32 The U-2 Incident 1960 Just weeks before a major peace summit, the Soviets shot down an American U-2 spy plane over their airspace and captured the pilot, Francis Gary Powers Marked a turning point in US- Soviet relations, as the peace summit was cancelled and the American pilot was tried as a spy and sentenced to prison (the Soviets later traded him back to the US for one of their own spies)

33 Communism in Cuba Many US business held large investments in Cuba during the 1950s, but those investments were jeopardized when Cuba s government was overthrown by communist rebels under the leadership of Fidel Castro US leadership were equally alarmed by the seizure of over $1 billion worth of property in Cuba owned by Americans as they were by suddenly having a communist state 90 miles off the US coast

34 John F. Kennedy (life) (Pres.) Became determined not to be seen as weak by the Soviets, President Kennedy pressed for a continued buildup of nuclear weapons and for US intervention in Cuba

35 The Berlin Wall West Berlin, deep inside of communist East Germany, became a way for many Germans to flee communist oppression In 1961, the Soviets ordered the construction of a wall around West Berlin to isolate it and prevent future defections The Berlin Wall became the physical symbol of the Cold War

36 The Bay of Pigs Invasion Under the approval of then- President Eisenhower, the CIA (Central Intelligence Agency) began training Cuban exiles for an invasion of Cuba with the purpose of overthrowing Castro s communist gov t. In April 1961, the exiles landed at The Bay of Pigs in Cuba, but were quickly defeated by Cuban military forces when the US failed to provide any further invention on their behalf Major international embarrassment for the US

37 The Cuban Missile Crisis Soviets placed nuclear missiles in Cuba in Fall 1962 US demanded their removal and enacted a naval blockade of Cuba to stop Soviet ships from bringing more missiles Many thought that WWIII would result as the US and USSR faced off over a tense 13-day period, each threatening the other with nuclear force Soviets eventually backed down and removed the missiles, thanks to the US publicly promising not to invade Cuba and secretly agreeing to remove American missiles from Turkey

38 Alliance for Progress Founded in 1961 to encourage economic cooperation between the nations of North and South America US provided economic aid to Latin America to encourage the growth of democratic governments and a more even distribution of wealth and to discourage dictatorships and communism

39 Southeast Asia Treaty Organization (SEATO) Founded in 1954 Mutual defense organization created to counter the spread of communism in Southeast Asia Members included the US, France, Britain, the Philippines, Australia, Thailand, New Zealand, and Pakistan

40 The Vietnam War US backed South Vietnam against Soviet-backed communist North Vietnam As tensions between the two Vietnams increased, the US began sending military advisors, then soldiers to train South Vietnamese troops and, eventually, hundreds of thousands of US combat troops

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