The Cold War

  1. Origins of the Cold War

    1. War War II alliance a marriage of convenience

      1. U.S. and Soviet Union (USSR) had not trusted each other much before the war

      2. But had little to do with each other -- a modest amount of trade, mainly

      3. World War II forced them into an alliance against a common enemy and left the the two major powers in the world

    2. Conflict develops over how post-war Europe would be governed

      1. USSR wanted friendly countries on its border to protect it from future invasions

      2. USA wanted free elections, but this was likely to produce anti-Soviet governments

      3. Both sides sought to impose their values on the nations they occupied

    3. Dividing up Europe
      1. As the war ended, the Soviets occupied much of Eastern Europe
      2. Conflict first developed over Germany

        1. At war's end, Soviets occupied about 1/3 of Germany, U.S. and Britain the rest of it

        2. Initially, both sides sought to get reparations out of Germany, but Britain and U.S. abandoned that idea

        3. U.S. and Britain would not allow Soviets to take reparations from parts of Germany they controlled, pursued reunification and revitalization of Germany

        4. Soviets feared a united prosperous Germany was a threat to them

        5. Both sides began to create German governments friendly to themselves in their occupation zones

      3. Quickly, Joseph Stalin began installing Communist governments in the Eastern European countries

      4. USA saw this not as a desire for security, but the same kind of naked imperialism that Hitler had displayed

    4. George Kennan and the "Long Telegram"

      1. Kennan was a State Department official with long experience in the Soviet Union -- did not trust Stalin or the Soviets

      2. In the "Long Telegram" he outlined that mistrust -- these ideas became central to USA's understanding of the Soviet Union

        1. The Soviet Unions was an aggressive, imperialistic power like Hitler's Germany

        2. As compromise failed with Hitler, it was not possible to compromise with the Soviets

        3. Thus the USA must work to contain Soviet power, to box it in and prevent its spread

    5. Containment and the Truman Doctrine

      1. A civil war had broken out in Greece after the war, and the US was worried that might lead to a Communist victory

      2. Further, if Greece went Communist, its neighbor Turkey and then the Middle East might also

      3. Truman declared that the U.S. must help people "resisting attempted subjugation by armed minorities or by outside pressure" - code words for Communists and Soviets

      4. Thus with the Truman Doctrine, USA committed itself to stopping the spread of Communism around the world

    6. Containment and the Marshall Plan - Stopping Communism with cold, hard cash

      1. The Western European countries were having real difficulty recovering from the war

      2. Truman and his Sec. of State, George Marshall, worried that these severe economic problems opened the door for Communism

      3. Offered financial assistance to rebuild European economies, even the Soviets and their "satellite" countries

      4. But Stalin refused, and East Europe would not participate

      5. Congress authorized $17 billion for Western Europe over four years in 1947

      6. This resulted in rapid revitalization of Western Europe's economies, and boosted trade with the United States

    7. Containment by Military Means - NATO

      1. Fear that the Soviets with their large army might invade led to formation of permanent US-European alliance

      2. USA, Canada, and ten Western European formed an alliance in April, 1949 - the North Atlantic Treaty Organization

      3. With NATO and the Marshall Plan, the US had taken responsibility for Europe's financial and military security

      4. This was an extraordinary departure from our traditional isolationism

  2. The Cold War Heats Up

    1. US feared war with the Soviets, worried it might be inevitable

    2. The Iron Curtain

      1. Soviet troops continued their occupation of Eastern Europe

      2. Gradually these countries were almost entirely cut off from the West

      3. Winston Churchill dubbed this the "Iron Curtain"

    3. National Security Act (1947)

      1. In response to growing tensions, Congress reorganized the military into the Department of Defense

      2. Gave the D.o.D. $13 billion to start, increasing to $47 billion by 1953

      3. Small by today's standards, this was massive compared to the usual post-war habits of the Unite States

    4. Berlin Blockade - tensions mount

      1. Although Berlin fell in the Soviet zone of Germany, the Allies agreed to hold the city jointly, and dived in into four zones

      2. As tensions grew, USA, Britain, and France consolidated their zones

      3. Stalin cut off rail and road traffic to Berlin from West on 20 June, 1948

      4. Truman ordered food airlifted into Berlin, and bluffed a threat of using nuclear weapons

      5. Both sides feared war, and in early 1949, Stalin backed down

    5. China and Mao

      1. USA's fear of spreading Communist menace heightened by victory of Mao Tse-tung in China, 1949

      2. The anti-Communist forces, the Nationalists under Chiang Kai-shek, escaped to Formosa (Taiwan)

      3. USA refused to recognize Mao and communists as legitimate government of China

      4. Instead, continued to recognize Chiang as the "real" government of China

      5. Also, USA began to work to build up Japan as a military and economic ally against Chinese-Soviet alliance

    6. The Korean War

      1. At the end of World War II, Korea had been occupied by the Soviets and the USA, divided at 38th parallel

      2. By 1949, both sides had pulled out most of their forces.

      3. Kim Il-Sung, leader of the Communist North, with Soviet approval, invaded the South in 1950

      4. Truman, with UN backing (the Soviets were boycotting the UN at the time) ordered in American troops

      5. War went badly for US at first, almost being pushed off the peninsula, but quickly recovered

      6. USA's invasion of the North triggered a Chinese invasion, and a long stalemate ensued

      7. Gen. Douglas McArthur, hero of World War II, led U.S. forces in Korea, and argued for aggressive strikes against China

      8. Truman disagreed, and eventually fired Macarthur for public insubordination

      9. Eventually, an armistice was signed leaving the border close to where it had been before.

      10. No peace treaty has ever been signed, and border dividing Korea remains one of most dangerous places in the world

      11. Korean War resulted in massive American rearmament, committed us to global conflict with the Soviets

    7. Dwight Eisenhower

      1. Eisenhower (R), hero of WWII and D-Day, was elected in 1952 on promises to end Korean war

      2. While he wanted to reduce the military and ease tensions with the Soviets, events around the world made that very hard

        1. Vietnam became divided between a Communist north and an anti-Communist south, and U.S. began its support of the South

        2. China and threatened invasion of Formosa (Taiwan), and Eisenhower signed a security pact with Chiang Kai-shek

        3. Under Eisenhower, USA became principle power broker in Middle East, replacing influence of France and Britain

        4. In 1953 and 1954, CIA orchestrated the overthrow of anti-American elected governments in Iran and Guatemala because Eisenhower feared they might go Communist

      3. Thus Eisenhower greatly increased our involvement around the world

  3. Fear and Loathing in the Cold War

    1. Nuclear Fears

      1. To the USA's shock, the Soviets tested their first atomic bomb in 1949

      2. This would mean that direct conflict between the U.S. and the USSR would be extremely dangerous - hence a "cold" war

    2. McCarthyism

      1. Fear of Soviet espionage, real and imagined, fed into traditional American worries over foreign subversion and dangerous immigrants

      2. Despite misgiving, Truman instituted the Loyalty Review Board to root out Communists in government

      3. House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC) began to hold hearings investigating possibility of Communists in the government

      4. Conviction of State Department official Alger Hiss on espionage-related perjury charges and explosion of Soviet bomb convinced many that wide spread conspiracy existed

      5. Sen. Joseph McCarthy (R.-Wis.) jumps on the anti-Communist bandwagon

        1. Announced in February, 1950 that he had a list of 205 communists in the State Department

        2. Over the next four years continued with a constant barrage of unsubstantiated accusations

        3. Never found any Communists, but initiated a anti-Communist witch-hunt that lasted for years and became know as "McCarthyism"

        4. Eventually brought down when he went after the Army in 1954, and when people could see his bullying on television

      6. Legacy of McCarthy

        1. Although McCarthy his legacy survived

        2. The Loyalty Review Board dismissed thousands of government workers on very limited evidence

        3. HUAC also ended the career of many government officials, and also launched an attack on Hollywood

        4. Victims rarely could face their accusers and were frequently considered guilt by association

        5. Under J. Edgar Hoover, the FBI harassed all manner of political activists, particularly those in the Civil Right movement

        6. Challenging any aspect of the political or economic status quo quickly led to charges of Communism, and many chose conformity

    3. Nuclear Annihilation on the Home Front

      1. Sputnik

        1. In 1957, the Soviets launched Sputnik, the first artificial satellite launched into orbit

        2. This made many American feel like we had lost a technology race, and would lead to massive efforts in science and technology

        3. Also raised fears of nuclear-tipped rockets aimed at the United States, resulting in a craze for backyard fall out shelters

      2. Cuban Missile Crisis

        1. A Communist government under Fidel Castro took over Cuba in 1959

        2. Increasing Soviet-American conflict over Cuba led both to brink of war in 1962

        3. In October, 1962, Americans discovered Soviets were placing nuclear weapons in Cuba

        4. John F. Kennedy ordered a blockade of the island and demanded missiles be removed

        5. After 13 days on the verge of war, both sides backed down

          1. We agreed not to invade Cuba

          2. USSR, under Nikita Khrushchev, agreed to remove the missiles

          3. In a secret agreement, JFK also agreed to remove American nuclear missiles from Turkey

  4. Prosperity, Conformity, and Dissent in the early Cold War

    1. Unlike most wars, World War II was followed by a long period of high economic growth

      1. Unable to buy much during the war due to rationing, Americans went on a spending spree after the war

      2. Many new home appliances were available, and mass production made both homes and cars available to millions of of Americans

      3. The G.I. Bill (1944) gave low interest mortgages and college scholarships to millions of veterans, enabling them to move into the middle class

      4. Combined with American dominance of world trade, the accompanying prosperity meant that 60% of Americans were middle class by 1960

      5. With this prosperity came a rapid expansion of consumer culture, as Americans turned overwhelmingly to mass produced goods of all kinds

    2. A Country on the Move

      1. The post-war baby boom and rising life expectancy led to rapid population growth

      2. Many of these people moved into new suburbs, made possible by mass manufacturing of cheap homes and the new interstates

      3. Millions moved the Sun Belt, from Florida to California, particularly to the Southwest, Florida, California, and Texas

    3. A culture of conformity

      1. Fear of Communism tended to discourage dissent or criticism

      2. As millions moved into white collar work for the first time, corporations emphasized adherence to company mandated rules of behavior

      3. Religions worked to broaden their mass appeal, and Congress added "under God" to the Pledge of Allegiance and "In God We Trust" to the money (1954)

      4. Despite the millions of women who entered the labor force in World War II, women were put under a lot of pressure to adhere to traditional roles of wife and mother

      5. Traditional family roles were emphasized for all Americans, and those who did not marry and have children were considered out of the norm

    4. Dissent

      1. Despite an emphasis on conformity, or perhaps because of it, dissent appeared in a number of places

      2. The Beat Generation writers attacked the conformity and consumerism of the 1950s

      3. Rock and roll appeared, encouraging youth rebellion and challenging sexual conventions

      4. And of course, the Civil Rights movement develops in the 1950s

    5. Truman and the Fair Deal

      1. Harry Truman, who succeeded FDR, sought to expand government protections and aid to workers and the poor

      2. The Republican Congress stopped ,many of his efforts

      3. His also pushed civil rights legislation, though his main success there was in desegregating the army

      4. The Dixiecrats, southern conservative Democrats, would break with the Democrats and nominate Strom Thurmond for President in 1948

      5. Truman won a strong victory in the 1948 election, however, promising a "Fair Deal" to Americans

        1. Some of this domestic policy succeeded

        2. Truman was able to get a higher minimum wage and some advances on housing

        3. His program for farms and for national health care failed to get through Congress, however