One war ends, another begins

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1 One war ends, another begins Communism comes from the word common, meaning to belong equally to more than one individual. The related word, commune is a place where people live together and share property and wealth. Communism is very different to capitalism where individuals can own property and build up wealth. In a capitalist country an individual can own his/her house and can become very wealthy. This could not happen in a communist country. In this lesson, you examine the conflict between communism and capitalism. You learn how it divided Europe and Asia and how it affected Australia A changing world The decades following the end of World War II brought many changes. Some of the important changes to have an impact on Australia were: Russia (also known as the Soviet Union) and America becoming the world s only Superpowers and the influence of Great Britain and France declined growing tension between Russia (communist) and the United States of America (capitalist) t many African and Asian colonies of European powers gaining independence the United Nations being created communist influence in the world increasing. It was the capitalist countries objection to the growth of communism, that was the basis of the hostility in the 45 years after World War II.. Part 1 The Red threat 5

2 Activity 1 Circle the correct word in the following sentences where you have two choices. 1 Australia is a capitalist/communist country. 2 A person could own their house and become very wealthy in a capitalist/communist country. 3 Australia supported Russia/the USA. Check your responses by going to the suggested answers section. Australia, as well as being capitalist, is also a democracy. This means the people have a choice when electing the government. This is not the case in a communist country. The Iron Curtain In 1946 the Prime Minister of Great Britain, Winston Churchill, said that an iron curtain has descended across the [European] continent. 6 Australia in the Vietnam Era

3 Activity 2 On the following map, find the Iron Curtain that Churchill mentioned. Trace over it with your finger then answer the following questions. Source: A map of Europe in 1950 Yugoslavia and Albania were communist countries but not aligned to the Soviet Union 1 Using the map s key, circle one country that was communist. 2 Circle one country that was capitalist. 3 Using the map explain what was meant by the Iron Curtain Check your responses by going to the suggested answers section. Part 1 The Red threat 7

4 Non-communist countries referred to the communist countries of Europe as being behind the Iron Curtain. The group of communist countries in Eastern Europe was called the Eastern Bloc. Their neighbours were worried that communism would spread to their own countries. Other capitalist or democratic countries such as Great Britain, America and Australia felt the same way. Activity 3 Why were capitalist or democratic countries concerned about communism? Check your response by going to the suggested answers section. The Cold War Capitalist America and communist Russia distrusted each other because of their opposing ideologies. The resulting hostility became known as the Cold War. There were no actual battles between the Superpowers themselves but the fact that they both had nuclear weapons made the hostility very dangerous. 8 Australia in the Vietnam Era

5 Russia and America were on opposite sides in the following events after World War II. The table outlines some of these events. Date July May 1949 February 1949 June 1948-July 1960 Event Berlin Blockade: The Russians closed all road, rail and canal links between West Berlin and West Germany Western powers flew supplies into West Berlin for ten months until the Russians lifted their blockade. Communist victory in China: Communists were able to establish government after their victory over the Nationalists in a civil war. Malayan Emergency: Members of the Malayan Communist Party challenged British authority in Malaya including assassinating the British High Commissioner. British and Australian troops were sent to Malaya to crush the rebels Korean War: Communist North Korea invaded democratic South Korea. Communist China supported North Korea while America, Australia and others supported South Korea. October 1956 August 1961 October 1962 Hungarian Uprising: Anti-Soviet demonstrations in the Hungarian capital, Budapest, led to the overthrow of the Communist Government. Russian troops moved in during November, killing and also imprisoning thousands. Hungary was brought back under communist control. Construction of Berlin Wall: To prevent thousands leaving communist East Berlin for capitalist West Berlin, the Russians built the Berlin Wall. It was a 45 kilometre brick wall which cut Berlin in two and blocked the escape route from East to West. Cuban Missile Crisis: Russia had installed nuclear missiles in communist Cuba less than 160 kilometres from the American coast. America began a blockade of Cuba and demanded Russia remove the missiles. Russia and USA seemed on the brink of a nuclear war when the Russian leader, Khrushchev, agreed to remove the missiles French Indochina War: After World War II, Indochina fought for independence from France led by the communist, Ho Chi Minh. The Geneva Agreement of 1954 resulted in Laos and Cambodia being declared independent and Vietnam being temporarily divided into two a Communist government in the North and those who did not wish to live under communism in the South. Later a civil war began The Vietnam War: It began as a civil war when communist North Vietnamese invaded the South. Concerned over the possible spread of communism in Vietnam, the USA sent military advisers to South Vietnam. Australia and other countries also sent troops. Part 1 The Red threat 9

6 Activity 4 Answer the questions based on the table. 1 In the table, highlight in colour the events in which Australia participated. 2 In what areas of the world were the events involving Australia located? 3 What could have been the reasons for involvement in this area?? Check your responses by going to the suggested answers section. Go to the exercises section and complete Exercises 1.1 to 1.3 as directed by your teacher. 10 Australia in the Vietnam Era

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