0Instructional Objectives



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CHAPTER 30

Cold War Conflicts and Social Transformations, 1945–1985

0Instructional Objectives


After reading and studying this chapter, students should be able to explain what led Russia and the United States into the Cold War. Students should also be able to explain how Stalin, Roosevelt, and Churchill realigned Europe. Then, students should be able to discuss how the Marshall Plan rejuvenated a devastated Europe. Students should be able to elaborate on the success of the Common Market in revitalizing European economies and on the Arab world’s asserting itself after World War II. They ought to be able to summarize the social consequences of postwar prosperity in the West, including greater social mobility and equality and the further expansion of the welfare state. They should also understand the deep causes of the revolution in women’s legal rights that took off in North America and Western Europe in the 1970s.

0Chapter Outline0


I0. The Division of Europe0

A0. The Origins of the Cold War0

10. At conferences in Teheran in late 1943 and Yalta in early 1945, Stalin, Churchill, and Roosevelt agreed to divide Germany along a north-south line, leaving Soviet troops to liberate eastern Europe.

20. According to the Yalta agreements, eastern European governments were to be freely elected but pro-Russian.

30. At Potsdam, new U.S. President Harry Truman insisted on immediate free elections in Eastern Europe; Stalin refused. This was the origin of the Cold War.

B0. West Versus East0

10. In May 1945, Truman cut off aid to the U.S.S.R.

20. In October, he declared that the U.S. would not recognize governments established by force against the will of their people.

30. In the meantime, Soviet agents used French and Italian Communist parties to agitate against “American plots” to take over Europe.

40. The U.S.S.R. also put pressure on Iran, Turkey, and Greece. Along with the Chinese Civil War, this convinced Americans that Stalin was bent on exporting communism by subversion throughout the world.

50. U.S. response was the “Truman Doctrine,” aimed at containing communism. President Truman asked Congress for and obtained military aid to Greece and Turkey.

60. Stalin’s blockade failed to force West Berlin into submission as the U.S. and Britain airlifted supplies into the city.

70. In 1949, the U.S. led the formation of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization; eventually, the U.S.S.R. organized its eastern European satellites into the Warsaw Pact.

80. Communist victory in the Chinese civil war followed by the Korean War only deepened Americans’ fear of a communist conspiracy to dominate the globe.

II0. The Western Renaissance, 194519680

A0. The Postwar Challenge0

10. In politics, Catholic “Christian Democratic” parties dedicated to democratic ideals dominated Italy and West Germany in the postwar generation. Both socialists and Christian Democrats maintained or expanded European welfare states.

20. U.S. military protection and American Marshall Plan financial aid also helped Western Europe to recover from the war.

30. France combined flexible government planning with a “mixed” economy of public and private ownership to achieve high growth rates.

40. Western European nations abandoned protectionism to create a large “Common Market” that certainly stimulated economic growth.

B0. Toward European Unity0

10. Europe made progress toward economic unity (the “Common Market” was created in 1957) but not political unity.

C0. Decolonization in East Asia0

10. The most basic cause of imperial collapse was the rising demand of Asian and African peoples for national self-determination, racial equality, and personal dignity.

20. The power difference between rulers and ruled in European colonies greatly declined after 1945.

30. Opponents of imperialism gained influence in postwar Europe.

40. India played a pivotal role in decolonization.

50. India’s nationalism drew on Western parliamentary liberalism.

60. Chinese nationalism developed in the framework of Marxist-Leninist ideology.

70. Most Asian countries followed the pattern of either India or China.

D0. Decolonization in the Middle East and Africa

10. In the Middle East, the movement toward political independence continued after World War II.

20. The establishment of a Jewish state in Palestine led to decades of conflict between Israelis and the Arab states and between Israelis and Palestinians.

30. Gamal Abdel Nasser led a nationalist revolution in Egypt.

40. Nasser’s success inspired nationalists in Algeria.

50. In much of Africa south of the Sahara, decolonization proceeded much more smoothly.

60. European countries increased their economic and cultural ties with former African colonies in the 1960s and 1970s.

E0. America’s Civil Rights Revolution0

10. In the 1950s and 1960s, blacks and their liberal allies in the Democratic party challenged and reversed discriminatory laws and practices that had made African Americans second-class citizens.

20. After Lyndon Johnson’s landslide victory in the 1964 presidential election, Congress and the administration set up a social welfare system and antipoverty program similar to the social programs of European states.

III0. Soviet Eastern Europe, 194519680

A0. Stalin’s Last Years, 194519530

10. Following 1945, Stalin returned the U.S.S.R. to a rigid dictatorship, focusing investment on heavy industry, reestablishing tight control of culture, and purging millions of subjects.

20. Stalin exported his system, including forced-draft industrialization and collectivization, to the countries of Eastern Europe. Among East European communist leaders, only Josip Broz Tito in Yugoslavia maintained independence from Stalin.


B0. Reform and De-Stalinization, 195319640

10. Stalin’s successor as party leader, Nikita Khrushchev, launched a program of “liberalization” or “de-Stalinization.”0

a0) He denounced Stalin’s Great Purges to the Twentieth Party Congress.

b0) He shifted investment somewhat from heavy industry to consumer goods and agriculture.

c0) De-Stalinization created a literary ferment as authors such as Boris Pasternak and Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn wrote about the terror and concentration camps of the Stalin years.

d0) Khrushchev declared that “peaceful coexistence” with the capitalist West was possible. He let occupied Austria become truly independent in 1955.

e0) Khrushchev’s reforms stimulated rebellion in the East European satellites.

f0) In 1956 riots in Poland led to formation of a new government, which won more autonomy from the U.S.S.R.

g0) In Hungary, a reformist government fell to Soviet invasion after promising free elections and leaving the Warsaw Pact (1956).

C0. The End of Reform0

10. In 1964, party leaders deposed Khrushchev and replaced him with Leonid Brezhnev. Khrushchev’s liberal policies were a threat to the party’s monopoly on political power.

20. One reason Khrushchev fell was apparent Soviet humiliation in the Cuban missile crisis, when an American naval blockade of Cuba forced Khrushchev to remove Soviet missiles from the island.

30. Brezhnev’s “neo-Stalinist” direction was confirmed in 1968, when the Soviet Union intervened militarily in Czechoslovakia to stop Communist party leader Alexander Dubcek’s reforms.

D0. The Soviet Union to 1985

10. Re-Stalinization of the U.S.S.R., but now dictatorship was collective rather than personal and coercion replaced terror.

20. There was apparent stability in the Soviet Union due to a slowly rising standard of living and enduring nationalism.

30. The strength of the government was expressed in the re-Stalinization of culture and art. Dissidents were blacklisted, quietly imprisoned, and in the case of Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, permanently expelled from the country.

40. During this time, the Soviet Union was experiencing profound changes:

a0) The growth of the urban population

b0) The number of highly trained scientists, managers, and specialists increased fourfold between 1960 and 1985

c0) Education and freedom for experts in their special areas helped foster the gradual growth of Soviet public opinion.

IV0. Postwar Social Transformations, 194519680

A0. Science and Technology0

10. During World War II, scientists in the major combatant powers generally worked for the state to create or improve weapons.

20. The development of the atomic bomb by the U.S. was the most dramatic result of this development.

30. World War II inspired a new model for science, combining theoretical work with sophisticated engineering and massive government support. This model became known to some as “Big Science.”

40. After 1945, about one-quarter of all men and women trained in science or engineering in the West worked full-time to produce weapons.

50. One result was the space race between the U.S.S.R. and the U.S., culminating in the U.S. landing men on the moon in 1969.

60. The number of scientists in Western societies escalated rapidly after 1945. They were highly specialized and had to work in large, bureaucratic organizations.

B0. The Changing Class Structure0

10. After World War II, a new middle class of managers and experts working for huge organizations replaced the traditional middle class of small property owners, professionals, and independent businessmen.

20. Members of this new middle class often came from working-class backgrounds.

30. The new middle class was based on specialized skills and high levels of education, and was more insecure, open, and democratic than the old one.

40. There was a mass exodus from farms to the cities in Europe. White-collar and service industry jobs increased in number.

50. More social security benefits, such as national health care systems, established a humane floor of well-being.

60. Government-sponsored pension programs made people more willing to go into debt and purchase newly available and cheap consumer productscars, televisions, and so onand to travel.

C0. New Roles for Women0

10. From the late nineteenth century onward improved diet, higher incomes, the use of contraception, and urbanization caused birthrates to drop.

20. Consequently, married women’s whole lives were no longer occupied with child raising.

30. Three factors helped women get into the workforce in the West after World War II.0

a0) The postwar economic boom.

b0) The shift to white-collar and service industries, in which women had already been employed for generations.

c0) Young women gained access to the expanding postwar education system.

40. The trend toward employment of women went furthest in communist Eastern Europe.

50. For many women, entering the workforce meant an exhausting “double day” of work and domestic duties.

60. As women came to expect to work for most of their lives, they were less willing to accept lower pay, sexism, and discrimination in the workplace.

D0. Youth and the Counterculture0

10. Economic prosperity, a more democratic class structure, and the postwar “baby boom” helped create a distinctive youth culture.

20. By the late 1950s in certain U.S. urban neighborhoods, the young fashioned a subculture that combined leftist politics, experimentation with drugs and communal living, and new artistic styles.

30. Greater sexual freedom was part of the new youth culture, as many couples chose to live together without marrying.

40. Several factors contributed to the emergence of international youth culture in the 1960s.0

a0) Mass communications and youth travel

b0) Postwar baby boom

c0) Prosperity and greater equality meant that youth had more purchasing power.

d0) Prosperity also meant that young job seekers were in demand and could behave with relative freedom.

50. Youth culture and counterculture fused in the late 1960s in opposition to middle-class conformity and the perceived excesses of Western imperialismparticularly to the Vietnam War.

60. Expanding university populations in Europe and the U.S., together with attendant stresses, helped catalyze the student rebellions of 1968 in France and elsewhere.

V0. Conflict and Challenge in the Late Cold War, 196819850

A0. The United States and Vietnam0

10. After French withdrawal, the United States became heavily involved in Vietnam due to the policy of containment of communism.

20. President Lyndon Johnson greatly expanded American involvement.

30. American strategy was to escalate the war through bombing of North Vietnam, insertion of U.S. troops in the South, and military aid to the South. The U.S. did not want to escalate so much as to provoke Soviet or Chinese intervention, however, and so never invaded or blockaded the North.

40. Criticism of the war grew rapidly in the United States, beginning on college campuses.

50. After the communist Tet Offensive against South Vietnamese cities, Johnson called for negotiations with the North and withdrew from the presidential election.

60. Johnson’s successor, Richard Nixon, gradually pulled out of Vietnam. In 1972, he reached a rapprochement with communist China, and in 1973 he signed a peace agreement with the North Vietnamese.

70. In the Watergate scandal, Nixon was eventually fingered for ordering an illegal break-in to Democratic party headquarters in Washington, D.C. In 1974, he resigned the presidency.

B0. Détente or Cold War?0

10. Détente began with West German chancellor Willy Brandt’s policy of improving relations with East Germany and Eastern Europe in general (beginning in December 1970).

20. Détente peaked when the U.S., Canada, and most European nations signed the Helsinki Accords, accepting existing political frontiers and guaranteeing human rights and political freedoms.

30. The Brezhnev regime in the Soviet Union ignored the Helsinki Accords in practice, and in 1979 Soviet invasion of Afghanistan ended détente.

40. The U.S. responded with a massive military buildup, begun by President Jimmy Carter and continued by the more conservative Ronald Reagan.

C0. The Women’s Movement0

10. In the 1970s, a broad-based feminist movement that aimed at securing gender equality through political action emerged in Europe and the U.S.

20. One work that influenced the movement strongly was Simone de Beauvoir’s The Second Sex (1949).

30. Betty Friedan founded the National Organization of Women in the United States in 1966 to press for women’s rights.

40. The new women’s movements aimed to change laws regarding women. They pressed for equal pay for equal work, affordable day care, the right to divorce (in Catholic countries), legalized abortion, and protection from rape and physical abuse.

50. The achievements of the women’s movements encouraged mobilization by other groups that were frequent targets of discrimination and harassment, including the disabled, and gay and lesbian men and women.

D0. The Troubled Economy0

10. From the early 1970s through the middle 1980s, Western economies stagnated. Causes were multiple.0

a0) In heavy foreign debt, the United States went off the gold standard in 1971.

b0) The oil embargo by the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries following the Arab-Israeli War of 1973 raised crude oil prices by four times.

c0) The Iranian Revolution of 1979 caused Iranian oil production to collapse and again raised oil prices.

E0. Society in a Time of Economic Uncertainty0

10. The welfare states of the West cushioned the material impact of economic stagnation. The impact of the recession was rather psychologicala more pessimistic mood.

20. In the 1980s, a reaction to the rapid growth of government spending set in, particularly in Britain. In the United States, President Ronald Reagan cut taxes in 1981 but did not cut the federal budget. A huge deficit resulted.

30. Economic troubles made university students much more practical and less idealistic than the students of the 1960s.


0Lecture Suggestions0


10. “The Road to Recovery: From the Inside and the Outside.” How did foreign aid help to rejuvenate Europe after 1945? What reforms did Europeans themselves make? Sources: T. White, Fire in the Ashes (1953); G. Ambrosius and W. Hubbard, A Social and Economic History of Twentieth-Century Europe (1989).

20. “The Changing Face of Eastern Europe.” What did the United States want for eastern European governments after 1945? How did U.S. goals run counter to Soviet expectations? How were the conflicts resolved? Sources: Z. Brzezinski, The Grand Failure (1989); L. Johnson, Central Europe: Enemies, Neighbors, Friends (1996); H. Seton-Watson, The East European Revolution (1965); S. Fisher-Galati, ed., Eastern Europe in the Sixties (1963); P. Zinner, Revolution in Hungary (1962).

30. “The Changing Face of Britain Since 1945.” What have been the major changes in British society since 1945? How has Britain recovered from wartime destruction? Sources: A. Marwick, British Society Since 1945 (1982); A. Sampson, The Changing Anatomy of Britain (1983).

0Using Primary Sources


Have students read the Life magazine article by W. Bullitt, “How We Won the War and Lost the Peace” (Life, August 30, 1948, p. 94). What are the author’s main points? What does the author mean when he says that “we lost the peace”?

00classroom 0Activities 0


I0. Classroom Discussion Suggestions

A0. How did Khrushchev hope to de-Stalinize the Soviet Union?

B0. How did Brezhnev re-Stalinize the country?

C0. What was the impact of the Berlin Wall?

D0. What has been Cuba’s role in Western politics since Castro came to power?

E0. What obstacles have African Americans overcome in the United States?

II0. Doing History0

A0. Have students read selections from the following novels as the basis for a discussion about Soviet purges, the police-state mentality, and life in a concentration camp. Sources: A. Solzhenitsyn, One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich (1984) and The Gulag Archipelago (1975); A. Koestler, Darkness at Noon (1940).

B0. Give students an outline map of Europe and have them label the postwar communist bloc nations and the nations of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. Then, have students indicate how the alliance systems were changed as a result of revolution in eastern Europe during 1989.

C0. How did Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s image continue to influence American politics throughout the second half of the twentieth century? How has this image been interpreted differently by different historians? Sources: D. Unger, Postwar America: The United States Since 1945 (1990); W. Leuchterberg, In the Shadow of FDR: From Harry Truman to Ronald Reagan (1989).

III0. Cooperative Learning Activities0

A0. Putting the World Back Together

Have five student teams analyze and discuss the geopolitical outcomes of Teheran, Yalta, and Potsdam. Have each group present an alternative to the actual historical outcome. How would students’ alternative solutions have been different and better?

B0. Team-Teaching the Chapter

Since Chapter 30 surveys a broad world perspective, have student groups present summaries of the world in 1945. Teams may choose to present broad surveys on continents: 1) North America, 2) Europe, 3) Africa, 4) Asia, 5) South America, 6) Australia.

0Audiovisual Bibliography0


10. Exodus. (52 min. Color. Films for the Humanities and Sciences.)

20. Budapest 1956. (52 min. Color. Films for the Humanities and Sciences.)

30. The Suez Crisis: 1956. (20 min. B/W. Films for the Humanities and Sciences.)

40. The Berlin Wall: 1961. (20 min. B/W. Films for the Humanities and Sciences.)

50. The Cuban Missile Crisis: 1962. (20 min. B/W. Films for the Humanities and Sciences.)

60. Mao by Mao. (28 min. Color. Films for the Humanities and Sciences.)

70. Soweto: Class of ’76. (20 min. B/W. Films for the Humanities and Sciences.)

80. Great Cities of the World. (CD-ROM. Society for Visual Education, Inc.)

90. Countries of the World. (CD-ROM. Society for Visual Education, Inc.)

100. Languages of the World. (CD-ROM. Society for Visual Education, Inc.)

110. Seven Days in August. (CD-ROM. Learning Services.)

120. Let’s Visit South America. (CD-ROM. Learning Services.)

130. Closely Watched Trains. (DVD, 2001.)

140. The Spy Who Came in From the Cold. (DVD, 2004.)

150. The Manchurian Candidate. (DVD, 2004.)

160. Lumumba. (DVD, 2002.)


0internet resources0


10. The Cold War Museum (http://www.coldwar.org/)

20. Vietnam Online (http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/amex/vietnam)

30. The Women’s Rights Movement, 1848–1998 (http://www.legacy98.org/move-hist.html)

40. Primary Sources: Decolonization (http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/mod/modsbook51.html)

50. Patrice Lumumba (http://www.africawithin.com/lumumba/patrice_lumumba.htm)

60. Watergate (http://www.watergate.info/)

70. Cuban Missile Crisis (http://www.hpol.org/jfk/cuban)

00001suggested reading


M. Eksteins, Walking Since Daybreak: A Story of Eastern Europe, World War II, and the Heart of Our Century (1999), is a powerful, partly autobiographical account that is highly recommended. Valuable general studies with extensive bibliographies are W. Hitchcock, The Struggle for Europe: The Turbulent History of a Divided Continent, 1945 to the Present (1992) a stimulating general account and C. Black, Rebirth: A History of Europe Since World War II (1992). Winston Churchill and Charles de Gaulle both wrote histories of the war in the form of memoirs. Other interesting memoirs are those of Dwight Eisenhower, Crusade in Europe (1948) and Dean Acheson, Present at the Creation (1969), a defense of American foreign policy in the early cold war. K. Sainsbury, Churchill and Roosevelt at War: The War They Fought and the Peace They Hoped to Make (1994) is an excellent, very readable introduction. Valuable works on the cold war include A. Winkler, The Cold War: A Collection of Documents (2000); P. de Senarclens, From Yalta to the Iron Curtain: The Great Powers and the Origins of the Cold War (1995); and M. Walker, The Cold War: A History (1993).

J. Gillingham, European Integration, 1950 – 2003: Superstate or New Market Economy? (2003), is a brilliant interpretive history, and D. Urwin, The Community of Europe: A History of European Integration, 2d ed. (195), traces the steps toward European unity. W. Leuchtenberg, In the Shadow of FDR: From Harry Truman to Ronald Reagan (1989), ably discusses developments in the United States. Postwar economic and social developments are analyzed in G. Ambrosius and W. Hibbard, A Social and Economic History of Twentieth-Century Europe (1989), and F. Tipton and R. Aldrich, An Economic and Social History of Europe from 1939 to the Present (1986), an interesting, wide-ranging account.

Two outstanding works on France are K. Ross, Fast Cars, Clean Bodies: Decolonization and Reordering of French Culture (1995), and S. Bernstein, The Republic of de Gaulle, 1958–1969 (1993). On Postwar, West Germany, H. Turner, The Two Germanies Since 1945: East and West (1987), and W. Patterson and G. Smith, eds. The West German Model: Perspectives on a Stable State (1981), are good introductions. R. Dahrendorf, Society and Democracy in Germany (1971), is a classic interpretation. The spiritual dimension of West German recovery is probed by Günter Grass in his world-famous novel, The Tin Drum (1963), as well as in the novels of Heinrich Böll. A. Marwick, British Society Since 1945 (1982), and A. H. Halsey, Change in British Society (1981), are good on postwar developments. M. Chamberlain, Decolonization: The Fall of the European Empires, 2d ed. (1999), is a clear, up-to-date account. R. Betts, Decolonization, 2d ed. (2003), is a useful introduction, and J. Le Sueur, ed. The Decolonization Reader (2003), is a valuable collection of recent research.

Z. Brzezinski, The Grand Failure: The Birth and Death of Communism in the Twentieth Century (1989), is a readable overview by a leading American scholar. Two important studies of Soviet decline are S. Kotkin, Armageddon Averted: The Soviet Collapse, 1970–2000 (2001), and W. Odum, The Collapse of the Soviet Military (1999). L. Johnson, Central Europe: Enemies, Neighbors, Friends (1996), is a stimulating synthesis discussing major developments. J. Ridley, Tito (1994), is a lively and learned. P. Zinner, Revolution in Hungary (1962), is excellent on the tragic events of 1956.

R. Guha, Environmentalism: A Global History (2000), is a concise description of environmental movements around the world. A. Bramwell, Ecology in the Twentieth Century: A History (1989), examines negative aspects of technical and industrial development. Two more stimulating works on postwar technology are J. J. Servan-Schreiber, The World Challenge (1981), and H. Jacoby, The Bureaucratization of the World (1973).

Metterauer and Cantor, both cited in the Notes, are excellent on the youth culture and the trends that made it possible. L. Wylie, Village in the Vauclause (1964), and P. J. Hélias, The Horse of Pride (1980), provide fascinating pictures of life in the French village before prosperity arrived. A. Kriegel, The French Communists (1972) and Eurocommunism (1978), are also recommended. D. Caute, The Year of the Barricades: A Journey Through 1968 (1988), is a high-energy account that brings the upheavals of 1968 to life, while C. Fink, et al., 1968: The World Transformed (1998), is a stimulating reconsideration. Two outstanding works on the Vietnam War are R. Mann, A Grand Delusion: America’s Descent into Vietnam (2001), and A. Short, The Origins of the Vietnam War (1989). Among the many books to come out of Czechoslovak experience in 1968, Z. Zeman, Prague Spring (1969), is particularly recommended.

M. Boxer and J. Quartaert, Connecting Spheres: European Women in a Globalizing World, 1500 to the Present, 2d ed. (2000), is an excellent survey with up-to-date bibliographies. E. Sullerot, Women, Society and Change (1971), is a pioneering analysis of women’s evolving roles after 1945. Two extremely influential books on women and their new awareness are S. de Beauvoir, The Second Sex (1949), and B. Friedan, The Feminine Mystique (1963). V. de Grazia and E. Furlough, eds., The Sex of Things: Gender and Consumption in Historical Perspective (1996), is an important, influential study on consumerism and gender relations.

J. Scott, Only Paradoxes to Offer (2000), is an up-to-date and important study of feminism and the women’s movement. J. Lovenduski, Women and European Politics: Contemporary Feminism and Public Policy (1996), provides an extremely useful comparative study of similar developments in different countries. C. Duchen, Feminism in France: From May ’68 to Mitterand (1986), is also recommended. L. Appignanesi, Simone de Beauvoir (1988), is a readable study of the life and thought of the famous thinker. Good studies on British women include E. Wilson, Only Halfway to Paradise: Women in Postwar Britain, 1945–1968 (1980). U. Frevert, Women in German History: From Bourgeois Emancipation to Sexual Liberation (1989), is both learned and engaging. Two good studies on Soviet women before the collapse of communism are F. DuPlessix Gray, Soviet Women (1989), and T. Manonova, ed., Women and Russia (1986).



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