Why was there a cold war between the USA and USSR? (Background information/history between the two countries) – The United States believed in capitalism where private citizens control the economy. The USA was also a democratic country. The USSR was a communist country where the state controlled all property and economic activity. (USSR – totalitarian government). There was also a history of distrust between the USA and USSR – USA feared a communist takeover in Europe and USSR was angry that the USA became involved in their civil war.
Marshall Plan: USA will provide aid to all European nations against poverty, hunger and chaos top save Western Europe from communism.
Berlin Airlift: West Berlin is held hostage by the Soviets who cut all highways, railroad lines and water into West Berlin. No supplies could get in to help the people living there. It lasted 327 days.
NATO: Ten European nations joined in a military alliance in fear of the Soviet’s aggression.
Warsaw Pact: USSR military alliance with Eastern European nations under communist control.
Notes # 2:
Chiang Kai-Shek: Nationalist leader of China (overthrown)
Mao Zedong: Communist leader of China (takes power in 1949 by overthrowing the Chinese government)
Korean War 1950-1953 (why was there a war, what happened and what was the outcome?) The 38th parallel line divides Korea – North Korea is communist and South Korea is democratic. North Korea invades South Korea to start the war – wanted South Korea to also become communist. South Korea asks for help from the UN to stop the invasion. The war lasts three years with no outcome – ends in a stalemate. No positive outcome – heavy loss of life and financial costs. Helps to get Eisenhower elected after the war.
General MacArthur: Was the commander of the USA forces in the Korean War – was fired for trying to start a war with China. The public was outraged over this.
See-Saw Exchange: China gets involved with the war to help the North Koreans push into the South.
Notes # 3:
What was the “red scare” in the USA? A fear of communism spreading to the USA and a fear of those who were loyal to the USSR.
HUAC: The House Committee on Un-American activities – investigates people in the USA who may have communist ties.
Hollywood Ten: The ten people in Hollywood who were accused of having communist ties. They refused to testify and were convicted and sent to prison.
Hollywood blacklist: people in the USA with communist relations could not find any work within Hollywood – they were “blacklisted”
Alger Hiss: accused of spying for the USSR. Was convicted of perjury (lying under oath).
Ethel & Julius Rosenberg: Accused of being spies – implicated in the USSR’s stealing of the secret to the atomic bomb. They plead the 5th and were convicted and executed.
Senator Joseph McCarthy: Strong anti-communist activist. Went on a “witch hunt” to find people with communist ties in the USA. Was accused of “bullying” victims – happened on live TV.
McCarthyism: attacking suspected communists without any evidence at all.
Why was there a “baby boom” after WWII? When men came home from war and were reunited with their wives, they wanted big families – also decreasing marriage age.
Who invented the vaccine for polio? Dr. Jonas Salk
Why was there a housing shortage after WWII? 10 million veterans returned home from WWII and needed a place to live.
The hydrogen bomb: USA made the hydrogen bomb in 1952 – 1,000 times stronger than the atomic bomb. (USSR makes the hydrogen bomb in 1953)
Why did Americans live in fear of a nuclear war? The USA and the USSR were building bigger and better bombs. Many Americans were building bomb shelters out of fear. There were also air raid drills.
Nikita Khrushchev: Stalin dies in 1953 – Khrushchev takes over the USSR.
Suez Crisis: THE USA promised to finance a dam on the Nile River. The USA withdrew the promise when Egypt bought Czech weapons. Long story short – many countries ended up fighting over the dam, the UN got involved, allowed Egypt to keep the dam as long as they paid money to France and Great Britain.
Sputnik: USSR put a beeping ball in space in orbit which began the space race between the USA and USSR.
The U2: CIA flew U2 planes over Russia in 1950’s – flew too high for the Soviet missiles to reach the U2 planes.