World history/ cold war unit ch. 33 Class notes

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Ch. 33/Section one: Japan’s economic rise

List the factors that have contributed to the economic success of Japan.

Occupation and Reform

Following World War II, Japan is governed by an occupation government, the Supreme Command of the Allied Powers (SCAP) that is dominated by the Americans and headed by General Douglas Macarthur, who was determined to govern in a way to avoid further war.
A New Constitution

SCAP required Japan to adopt a new constitution by 1947. The document made Japan a country which was governed by the people of Japan not by it’s leaders. The government has two houses or diets, which are elected by citizens over the age of 20. Basic freedoms are guaranteed in the bill of rights. In addition to this, the bill of rights also states, in Article 9, that the military in Japan is only defensive and the Americans protect the country. This allows the country to concentrate on business instead of military.

Economic Reform

The objective of the American lead government was to decentralize the power of the government. The government limited the amount of land people could own. The concept of zaibatsu that is the connected companies in the industrial and banking industries arises as an item that needs to be eliminated. The American government felt that these industries close connections were the cause of WWII and their connection eliminated, would limit the chances of Japan rearming. The arrival of the Korean War in 1950 stresses zaibatsu to continue to exist. American objective is that the Japanese economies success will cause a limit to the spread of communism.

Japan’s Dramatic Recovery

Japan’s economy blossoms through the existence of the Korean War, which begins in 1950. The United States funds Japan’s infrastructure to the tune of $3.5 billion dollars, comparable to the Marshall plan in Europe. While Japan is successful, America ends her occupation with acceptance of a formal peace agreement between her and Japan in 1951. In a separate treaty the United States agrees to continue to provide military protection for Japan as her military is only defensive.
Government-Business Cooperation

Japan becomes very successful in the field of business. Within years of the US-Japan agreement being signed, the companies, especially the home electronics industry and the automobile industry, began to boom and by 1980, Japan was a country that had the greatest gross domestic product (value of produced goods and services)(GDP) in the world. The growth continued through 1997 when an economic slump began to create losses.

Side Effects of Growth

In addition to pollution, other problems are caused by this industrial growth. These include a lack of housing for the Japanese people.

(More Japan)

Politics and Government

Political stability has allowed Japan to be so successful following WWII. The majority party, the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP), is pro-business and conservative. The farmers support it as well. Beginning in 1993, the LDP is voted out of the majority and the Social Democratic Party of Japan (SDPJ) is elected. A coalition government is formed and members of both parties in the government share seats. The issues that this new government faces are that of natural disasters like earthquakes (1995) and sectarian violence (1995)
Japan in World Affairs

Japan becomes an important part of global politics and policies due her economic success.

Trade Tensions

Japan exports more than she imports which makes her a country with a positive trade surplus. While other countries would like to do more trade in Japan, the government limits outside companies from selling all they would like in Japan. Their government protects both Japanese producers and consumers from outside influence. America had a unique solution of the imposition of a quota on Japanese products coming into America in return for other Japanese concessions.

Military issues

With the fall of communism (1990), Russia has stopped being a threat to Japan. Although some problems have come about do to a large American military presence in places like Okinawa, however, the two governments have been able to work it out their problems. Japan’s financial success increases the idea that she should be involved in her own defense and more responsible for the military protection of the region. She was involved in the defense of Kuwait in 1990 and has been increasing her role in the United Nations, even asking to become a permanent member of the Security Council.

Japan and its Neighbors

Japan has continually increased her role in the region. She has befriended countries like China and South Korea and those in South East Asia. Although many are wary of Japan due to World War II and the Japanese occupation, many realize that times changes and many welcome Japanese investments.

Ch. 33/Section two: China in Revolution

Explain how communism has affected the domestic and international affairs of China since the late 1940’s.

In the war for control of the country of China, the struggle was between the Communists, led by Mao Zedong and the Nationalists, led by Chaing Kai-shek. By 1949 the struggle was over and the mainland of China was declared the People’s Republic of China and communist while the Nationalists were relegated to the Island of Taiwan where they set up the nation of Taiwan with the capital of Taipei.

The Mao Era

During the Mao era, the country was going to be re-made as a totalitarian Communist state. The Communist party had total control of society and was determined to change everything about the society. The difference between theory and practice was immense. In theory, women were equal and worked alongside men, but in practice they were not relieved of the household chores and did not rise in political power in the Communist party.
Building a New Economy

The objective of the Communist party was to reshape society and create a new State-run economy. The first step was to redistribute the land in the country. Landlords were thrown off their land and it was given to the peasants who had been working there before the revolution. The government provided health-care and education for the people at no cost; granted it was provided by Communist loyal teachers, but at no cost.

The industrial plan was to focus on heavy industry for a period of five years. This is similar to the Soviet plan. In this plan, the government brought individual landholdings into large state run cooperatives and with the help of the Soviets, built much of the countries infrastructure.
The Great Leap Forward

By 1958, the five-year plan had run it’s course and a new plan was developed. It was publicized by the Government as “The Great Leap Forward”. In this plan, the cooperatives were merged together into communes, with the emphasis on human labor not technological advances. The communes of China were expected to work to produce all things that the country needed from food to steel. The plan was a failure with many dying from starvation by the end of the plan. But the Communist party was undaunted and came up with another plan.

The Cultural Revolution

As the Great Leap Forward failed, there was a division between two groups in the Communist party. The Pragmatists led by Den Xiaoping wanted practical reforms while the Radicals, led by Mao Zedong and his wife, Jiang Jing wanted to stick to the plan for revolution. As a measure to end the conflict, Mao directed the Cultural Revolution. Under his direction, young people formed bands of young men and women known as the Red Guard. These guards attacked those members of society who did not toe the line with respect to the ideas of the Revolution. As a result, the Cultural Revolution is a time of disorder.

China’s Foreign Policy

China opposes capitalism. Mao supports Communist North Korea in the Korean War. He supports talks and then the government of North Vietnam. And this adds to the US distrust of the country.

Interestingly, the Communists are not all the same. The relations between the Soviet Union and Soviet style communism begin to worsen in China. The two countries differ on their perception of Marx’s teachings. In Russia, the leaders of the Revolution were the workers while in China’s experience the leaders and more important segment of society were the peasants in China’s largely agricultural society. Both societies viewed the other to be a threat. By 1960, the alliance of communist countries had soured and the Soviets withdrew from Beijing.

Following this, China gains world power. She explodes her first atomic bomb in 1964 and by the 1970’s is interested in becoming a technologically based country. By 1972, relations with the West have improved to the point that American president Richard Nixon visits China and the two countries establish diplomatic ties.

The Deng Era

Following Mao’s death in 1976, the pragmatists begin their struggle for more power. They arrest and try Jiang Jing and her three supporters, The Gang of Four. In establishing policy, it becomes clear that the pragmatists under Deng Xiaoping are willing to modify policy toward capitalism.
The Four Modernizations

The move to improve society was an approach called the Four Modernizations. This called for changes in the agricultural, industrial, scientific and defense sectors of Chinese society. The government began to encourage small levels of capitalism in that farmers were encouraged to plant individual plots and give some to the government but to sell the rest. Factory managers were encouraged to make their plants more efficient. Supply and demand began to work in China. Foreign business investment enters China and set up in special economic zones where they were allowed to function freely.

These reforms changed Chinese society in that they created a gap between the wealthy and not wealthy that further caused problems like crime, unemployment and corruption.
Tiananmen Square Massacre

While Deng encouraged economic freedom, the government did not allow political freedom. By the 1980’s, intellectuals and students in the cities like Shanghai called for a more open political system. In June of 1989, the rallies for democratic change were occurring more regularly in places like Tiananmen Square in the capital of Beijing. Determined to remain in control, the government sent tanks and soldiers to break up the protest. Thousands were killed or wounded and China’s image was changed overseas to reflect the harsh treatment of its citizens by their government.

China After Deng

After the 1989 Tiananmen Square incident, Deng retired. He named Jiang Zemin to succeed him in the office of president, running affairs from behind the scenes until he dies in 1997. After his death, his economic opening of China to the west marks Deng’s life as well as his brutal denial of democracy.

The Economy

The Chinese economy grows strong although somewhat unevenly. There is a limited form of capitalism as some companies have been allowed to sell stock to investors. The limit is that the government holds the majority of the shares. Pubic works projects such as the Three Gorges Dam project and overcrowding are modern problems that people moving to the cities in search of modern economic success have brought to the Chinese society.

Human Rights

The Chinese government has loosened its control over the people since the times of Mao’s Cultural Revolution. The Chinese society is diverse with many different ethnic groups represented and only some voices heard. Making international news is one of China’s Tibet region, where the Chinese communist party control is under attack by the leader of the previously independent Buddhist leader, the Dalai Lama.

International Relations

The government of China has developed relations with the western Governments that are characterized as “strained”. The government has been unhappy with the characterization of itself as against human rights as uncomfortable with the U.S.’s relation with Taiwan. Despite tension levels rising and falling over the 1990’s, China has been accepted into the World Trade Organization (WTO) and continues to make economic progress.

Hong Kong and Taiwan

China’s government has set as a goal, the reunification of the separated territories into a unified China.

Hong Kong

At one time a British colony (156 years), Hong Kong reverted to Chinese rule in 1997. For 50 years following the return, the former British holding will remain capitalistic despite the movement of the Chinese Communist party into local government.


This Chinese province has been a political hot potato since 1949 when Chaing Kai-shek was banished to the island. Both the Taiwanese government and the Chinese government felt that they were the rightful governors of all of China. Over time, Taiwan developed into an economic, manufacturing powerhouse. Sentiment on the island is moving toward Taiwan declaring it’s independence from China as opposed to reuniting with the mainland.

Ch. 33/Section three: A Divided Korea

Main Idea: Describe how South Korea and North Korea have differed in their political and economic development.

Korea has been a peninsula which, since 1910 has been occupied by foreigners. The Japanese took it in 1910 and treated it like a colony until WWII was over. When Japan lost her territorial holdings after the war, the Soviet Union occupied the northern half of the peninsula and the Americans occupied the bottom half, the 38th Parallel serving as the dividing line. In 1949, under the superpower’s supervision, two separate governments emerged. The North’s capital was Pyongyang and the South’s was Seoul. Both superpowers withdrew their troops from the Koreas by mid-1949.

The Korean War

Hostilities in what was going to become the Korean War began in June of 1950. The United Nations Security Council found the North Koreans invasion of South Korea to be condemnable and organized an army to stop it. The soviets were unable to veto the move as they had withdrawn in protest of the UN’s non-recognition of Communist China. The forces were 90% American soldiers and were quickly pushed to nearly the southern tip of the peninsula, moving in the vicinity of the city of Pusan. UN commander Douglas MacArthur (US) staged a surprise invasion in the middle of the peninsula at Inchon and drove the North Koreans back almost to the Chinese border. At this point, China became involved sending in troops in such numbers that the Americans could do nothing but retreat. The line which stabilized at the truce line was the 38th parallel were a stalemate occurred from 1951 until 1953 when talks ended and truce was signed.

Korea Since 1953

War truce and diplomatic stalemate

North Korea

This country was a communist style government. The leader, Kim Il Sung, created a country in the image of her benefactors, Russia and China. The Cold War Communist program of economic development was characterized by slow economic growth and an emphasis on military development. As much as 20% of the North Korean GDP went to military expenditure while the population suffered. By 1997, the government had relented and was receiving aid from the West.

South Korea

South Korea, on the other hand, enjoys a considerably different life than that of her northern sister. The economy grew at a rate of 10% per year and the exports brought prosperity to the companies as well as the owners. The government was still repressive and communistic in the 1980’s, which sparked student-led protests in turn bringing a democracy to power. Through a referendum the direct vote, another new innovation in South Korea, elected Kim Young Sam to the presidency. The communist based government was threatened by an International Monetary Fund bail out of $57 billion and the requirement of endorsing a market economy.

North-South Relations

The relations between the two countries have changed since the 1950’s. While the two do not see eye to eye on many issues, the talks have begun to soften the relations between the North and South as well as their backers, the Chinese and the United States.

Ch. 33/Section four: Southeast Asia

Explain how nationalism, the cold war, and the rise of a global economy have affected Southeast Asia.

Struggle for Indochina

The Japanese controlled Southeast Asia during WWII and prior to that the French did. After the War was over, the French attempted to reestablish control. Nationalist forces had gained control. The Vietnamese Nationalists were known as Vietminh and declared the Democratic Republic of Vietnam in 1945. The Russians and the Chinese supported them. Under the leadership of Ho Chi Minh, the Vietminh fought the French beginning in 1946. The United States wishing to support its ally France provided military and financial aid to the French. By 1954, the Vietminh had defeated the French with a battle at Dien Bien Phu. The French withdrew but not before getting the Vietminh to agree to meet in Geneva, Switzerland. At this meeting, negotiators divvied Vietnam in to two parts, using the 17th parallel to create a communist north and a pro-western South until elections could be held in 1956. The elections were held and while Ho Chi Minh was elected, the Americans urged the South’s leader, Ngo Dinh Diem to reject the election results. Guerillas known as Viet Cong fought against the South Vietnamese and their US supporters. By 1963, Diem had proved that he was a weak leader and the United States again approved his elimination.

The Vietnam War

The mentality behind US involvement was that if the US did not get involved in Vietnam and allowed it to fall to communism, that eventually all of SE Asia would fall to communism. This is known as the Domino Theory. By 1963, 16,000 Advisors are in Vietnam. In 1964, president Johnson announced that the US troops had been fired upon and urged Congress to approve additional measures for US involvement. This was called the Gulf of Tonkin resolution and allowed ground troops to be sent to Vietnam. By 1968, there were 500,000 on the ground in country. The combined US and South Vietnamese force had 1,300,00 troops and the technical superiority, however, the 300,000 North Vietnamese troops maneuvered more quickly and easily and avoided large scale battles.

The Tet offensive

Early in 1968, the Viet Cong launched an offensive on the Vietnamese holiday of Tet which was became known as the Tet Offensive. While there was little loss of territory, the Tet Offensive became a lightening rod for anti-war sentiment as years of US involvement had produced little effect on the Viet Cong and considerable loss of US life.

Ending the War

US president Johnson’s handling of the War and the American response to it caused him to avoid re-election and Richard Nixon followed Johnson as president. Nixon voted to withdraw from the war and by 1972 he was true to his word and the US troops had withdrawn. The cease-fire was signed in 1973 but fighting resumed until in 1975 the South fell to the Communist North.

Vietnam’s Relations with the West

By the mid-1980’s the Communist government had faced such economic problems that it encouraged a limited amount of private enterprise. By 1995, the relations between the United States and Vietnam had improved to the point that they re-established diplomatic relations as well as trade with Western Europe.

A Legacy of Violence

The Vietnam war created a legacy of refugees throughout the region in countries such as Cambodia, Laos, Thailand and Myanmar.


The country of Cambodia attempted to remain neutral in the Vietnam War. She achieved independence in 1953 and King Norodom Sihanouk took the throne in 1955 only to give it up to become the Prime Minister in 1955. By the late 1960’s, American bombings of Viet Cong bases in Cambodia and the population turned on their leader and, led by the Cambodian Communists and their leader Pol Pot, challenged and won control of the country in 1975. The communists, known as the Khmer Rouge, destroyed the country, burning books and money, forced city residents into the countryside to work in the fields. Nearly 1/3 of the Cambodian population was killed by this brutal regime.

In 1978, the Pol Pot Communists were ousted and other more moderate Communists were installed as the head of state. In 1991, the civil war was called and another election occurred under UN supervision.


This country had been freed in 1954 from French rule but then came under the control of the Vietnamese. In 1989 the fall of communism created a market economy in Laos and investment of all regional market economies.


Thailand was independent following WWII. The country was not dominated by the Communists and remains a free market, one of the “tiger” economies.


This country, once called Burma was controlled by the military prior to 1962. This turned into a dictatorship in the 1960’s and 70’s that lasted until the 1980’s when a call for democracy could be heard. The politician elected was one of moderate vision and was placed in prison by the dictator. The struggle for freedom was continues today.

Rim of Southeast Asia

The countries of SE Asian rim are set free after WWII and are bustling economic powerhouses today.


Under Dutch rule for 350 years, Indonesia becomes independent in 1949. Unified by a single language and their president, Achmed Sukarno, the country progress until Indonesian communists, led by military general Suharto replaces Sukarno as the ruler in 1965. At first Suharto brings financial success but in 1998, the economy collapses and Suharto is driven from office. The voters elect a new parliament and Abdurrahman Wahid as president. The economy is being rebuilt and efforts to stop problems with respect to religious and ethnic problems are being put into practice. The issue of Timor is one of these issues. In 1999, East Timor was granted independence from Indonesia despite Indonesian resistance and requiring UN backing.


Ethic divisions create issues in this country. The two groups as the Malays and the Chinese. The economic picture is bright.


Independent since 1965, Singapore is an international port and commercial center. The standard of living is only matched by the Japanese in the small island nation.

Ch. 33/Section five: South Asia

Identify the challenges that have faced the countries of South Asia since independence.

Dividing the Subcontinent

Following World War II, the subcontinent of Asia was divided into two separate countries by Britain. The majority of the land was given to the country of India which was a majority of Hindu while the British drew two separate countries on either side called Pakistan, east and west. These were predominantly Muslim. Huge numbers of people who were misplaced according to their religion began to move. The textbook estimates 12 million cross the borders of the three countries, however, many did not, guaranteeing future problems.


The Nehru “Dynasty”

Over the first forty years of independence, a member of the same family, the Nehru family, headed the country of India. From Jawaharlal Nehru who rules as Prime Minister from 1947 until 1964 when he dies to his grandson and granddaughter in law who rules until 1991, the family controls Indian politics. Jawaharlal Nehru was the first and most influential Nehru. The government that he presided over was a secular one in which the constitution guaranteed civil rights and equality. The economy was a mixed economy of privately owned and government owned businesses. His government was technically nonaligned or not associated with either of the superpowers, however, tensions with neighbor China led to a closer alignment with China’s rival, the Soviet Union.

His daughter, Indira Gandhi was more controversial and was first swept from office, then after she was reelected, assassinated in 1984 over her dealing with religious tensions between India and Pakistan.

Her son, Rajiv Gandhi was assassinated also while campaigning for his second term as Prime Minister. While his widow Sonia Gandhi did control the Congress Party in 1998, the Nehru dynasty was over.

A New Course

Since the Gandhi’s, India has continued with many of the same problems. The government still struggles with the issues of poverty, disease and illiteracy as the country of India leads the world in several of these categories. The economy is becoming more market driven with many new privately owned businesses. The government is still working on the religion issues with the new Prime Minister, Atal Behari Vajpayee moving the country toward a more Hindu govt. Conflicts over this movement can be found in the territory between the two countries in the region of Kashmir. The region also must face the concept of a developing nuclear arms race between Pakistan and India.

Pakistan and Bangladesh


Pakistan since 1971

Sri Lanka

Ch. 33/Section six: the Pacific

List the factors that have helped Pacific nations develop prosperous economics and new national identities since World War II.

Long distance and rugged landscapes kept countries isolated. Beginning in the 1700’s, western countries exercised strong influence in the region. Today new identities have been formed melding European, traditional Pacific and Asian cultures. The region has become part of the economically prosperous Pacific Rim.

The Philippines

The challenges that face this archipelago include the rise of the Philippine Communists, known as the Huks who pressed for land reform and control of the government. Corruption has been an issue in the Philippines also. The leader of the country from 1965 to 1985 was President Ferdinand Marcos whose initial popularity was later tarnished by accusations of corruption. The assassination of his political rival, Benigno Aquino, Jr. in 1986 caused his ultimate fall from power. The rise of Aquino’s widow, Corazon Aquino and her subsequent struggle with the military, the communists and the nationalists made her a less than effective leader.


Primarily an agricultural country before WWII, Australia has become a modern industrial nation with the assistance of foreign investment by countries like the United States and Asian countries. IN more recent history, Australia has connected itself economically with the Asian countries close by. The country has relaxed its immigration laws and many new people have moved to Australia making it more diverse.

On the World Stage

Since WWII, Australia has been increasingly involved in world affairs. They were founding members of the United Nations as well as participants in Korea and Vietnam’s Civil wars. Signing a treaty known as the ANZUS treaty allowed defense assisted by the United States.

New Zealand

Much like Australia, New Zealand had been aligned with Great Britain until WWII. Following the war, the country began to move toward diversification in the industrial world and way from an agricultural economy. Although relations between New Zealand and the United States have been warm, the issue of nuclear arms has strained relations until the 1990’s as the leaders have worked to improve relations.

South Pacific Island Countries

The islands of the Pacific are divided among the Melanesians, Micronesians and the Polynesians.

Nations and Colonies

Since World War II, the islands have been split on the independence status with some remaining held in Western Powers control and others receiving independence.

Papua New Guinea

Comprised of 700 islands, this nation is diverse and much of the strife in the country can be traced to that. Much of the country is poor and illiterate. Mining has boosted the economy but the attraction to outside governments is the untapped resources of the region.

Mr. Northrup’s World History

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