The Roots of the Cold War

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Unit 9 Postwar/ ColdWar

The Roots of the Cold War

*Shortly after World War II ended, the US and Soviet Union entered into a 45 year long Cold War

Cold War (competition between US and USSR for world power and influence)

*Soviet Union was Communist and US was a democracy based on Free Enterprise System

Many Ideological Differences

Political Systems

One Political Party-Communist Party

A Multi-Party Democracy


All labor groups and organizations are run by the Communist Party

Unions and Organizations are open and negotiate with government and employers

Economic System

Industries and farms are state owned, central planners determine the nation’s economic needs, limited private property, education and health care provided by the state

Free enterprise system, private ownership of property, supply and demand determine prices, people meet their own needs with some limited government involvement


Religion is discouraged

Free exercise of Religion

Individual Rights

Secret Police arrest opponents, censorship, no free exercise of beliefs

Freedom of the Press, Speech and Expression

*Yalta and Potsdam Conferences

Roosevelt (US), Churchill (UK), and Stalin (USSR) meet at Yalta to reorganize Europe after the war--formation of United Nations, Division of Germany into four zones, allow free elections in countries liberated from German control

Six months later Truman and Stalin meet at Potsdam Conference and serious differences began to emerge

*Soviet Occupation of Eastern Europe--At the end of World War II the Soviet Army occupies all the countries between Russia and Germany. Soviets set up satellite nations in Eastern Europe with Communist governments

*US and Soviet Union grow father apart--Stalin fails to hold elections in Poland, angering the US, U.S fails to share its atomic secrets

*Iron Curtain--Soviets cut-off Eastern Europe from Western Europe

*Fear of a communist world revolution-US adopts policy of containment, Truman and future US presidents sought to stop the spread of Communism

The Cold War in Europe and Asia

The Cold War in Europe

*Communist rebels challenged Greek govt and Stalin put pressure on Turkey

-US issues Truman Doctrine (1947), Created to help Turkey and Greece, also offered aid to any free peoples resisting Communism

*Marshall Plan (1948)-Created by Secretary of State George Marshall

-offered US economic aid to any country in Europe, wanted to reduce the appeal of Communism, US created allies and trading partners

*Division of Germany -four zones of occupation

*Berlin Airlift--France, Britain, and US join occupation zones together forming West Germany, Stalin then orders a blockade of Berlin, US and its allies supplied West Berlin by dropping food and supplies through a series of airlifts, Soviets eventually end blockade

*Formation of NATO-Alliance of US, Canada, and Western Europe, NATO was an alliance to give Western Europe military and nuclear protection, all nations pledged military aid to defend against Communist aggression

*Formation of Warsaw Pact--Military Pact of Soviet Union and satellite nations to counter the threat of NATO

The Cold War in Asia

*Communism in China--In 1949 Mao Zedong leads a Communist Revolution in China, China becomes world’s largest communist state, US cuts off diplomatic ties and prevented admission of “Red China” to United Nations

*Korean War (1950-1953),In 1950 Communist North Korea invades South Korea to reunify the country, United Nations passes a resolution to defend South Korea and US enters the war

*Truman comes to the aid of South Korea by sending US forces under the command of Gen. Douglas MacArthur, Truman wanted to contain the spread of Communism in Korea, MacArthur’s landing at Inchon turns the tide of the war, As US pushes north China fears an invasion and enters the war

*MacArthur –Truman Controversy--MacArthur made public his interest in invading China to liberate China from Communist Control and using nuclear weapons to do so, Truman disagrees and removes MacArthur from command

*President Eisenhower signs armistice ending the war in a stalemate--No land changes, Borders remain the same as before the war, Formation of Demilitarized Zone

*Cold War and Korean war increases defense spending tremendously leads to military industrial complex in US , Defense industry is large part of the US economy

*Nuclear arms race--In 1949 Soviet Union develops own atomic bomb leading to a nuclear “arms race”

US and Soviet Union begin to rely on nuclear weapons for defense, Used destructiveness of nuclear weapons to act as deterrent to attack, both build large stockpiles of weapons

*Space Race--Space race begins when Soviets launch Sputnik into space in 1957, US responds by launching its own satellite the next year

*In response to the Space Race Eisenhower helped establish the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), an agency for space exploration, The National Defense Education Act, which gave money to improve science and mathematics education.

Cold War at Home

*Fear of Communist Threat—“2nd Red Scare”--People fear Soviet spies in US

*Truman creates Loyalty review boards--used to investigate “un-American acts”

*House Un-American Activities Committee--Congress investigates those accused of disloyalty, Questions members of the government and movie industry, Leads to blacklisting of many individuals, ”In God we Trust”-replaces “E Pluribus Unum” as national motto in response to state atheism in Soviet Union

*Ethel and Julius Rosenberg were accused of being spies, Rosenbergs are put on trial for espionage, Found Guilty as soviet spies and later executed

*Venona Papers (1997), Revealed all of the accusations against the Rosenbergs , Confirmed that spies (Including Julius Rosenberg) had penetrated the U.S. Government

*Fear of Communists in the government led to“McCarthyism”, Led by Senator Joseph McCarthy, he conducted hearings in Congress looking for Communists, Made accusations against people and groups without evidence, He was later censured for his unsupported accusations against people

Truman and Eisenhower Administrations (1945-1960) The Post War Years at Home

*Truman Domestic Policy--Truman proposed the Fair Deal which ended unfair hiring practices for federal jobs and controls over atomic energy, G.I. Bill-provided loans to help returning veterans to buy new homes and attend college, Leads to a housing boom in US

*Eisenhower Presidency--Eisenhower Doctrine—Extended U.S. containment policy to the Middle East, US would send forces to any nation that requested it to defend against Communism

*Eisenhower Domestic Policy--oversaw period of immense economic prosperity in the 1950’s (GDP doubles in 15 years and US dominates world trade), mass movement to the suburbs by Americans, Interstate Highway Act created a system of federal highways making travel easier

*A growing economy and more affluence helped increase the birthrate, causing a baby boom in the 1950’s

*US produced new consumer goods and goods for markets in war torn Europe. Advances in technology, such as television, computers, transistors, and nuclear power also spurred industrial growth as business met demands for new technologies.

*Medicine made rapid advances with new antibiotics, Jonas Salk develops a successful vaccine to prevent polio. Streptomycin is developed to treat tuberculosis

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