The Cold War, 1945-1991

  1. The Cold War

    1. Period of conflict between United States and USSR from end of World War II to fall of Soviet Union

    2. Called "Cold War" because USA and USSR never officially engaged in direct military combat

    3. Direct military conflict avoided because of danger of nuclear war

    4. Conflict involved proxy wars in other countries, as well as diplomatic, economic, and cultural struggles for dominance

  2. Origins

    1. No consensus on post-war Europe

      1. United States wanted to reshape Europe into a collection of free-market capitalist democracies friendly to it

      2. Soviet Union, under Josef Stalin, wanted a reliably friendly frontier that would protect it from invasion from the west

    2. The Marshall Plan, 1947

      1. Named after Secretary of State George C. Marshall (1880-1959)

      2. U.S. invests $13 billion to rebuild Europe

        1. sought to create or restore democratic free-market societies

        2. inspired over fear that difficult post-war conditions would lead to radicalization

        3. not completely altruistic - much of the money was meant to be used to buy U.S. goods

      3. Stalin refuses to let east European countries under Soviet occupation participate - feared U.S. influence

    3. Germany

      1. after war, Germany divided into four zones occupied by Britain, U.S., France and USSR

      2. Berlin, in the Soviet sector, also divided in four parts

      3. As mistrust grows, U.S., France, and Britain move forward in plans to rebuild their portion of Germany as an industrial power

      4. Stalin opposed to this, wants Germany as a non-militarized buffer state

      5. Stalin decides to expel western powers from Berlin as part of effort to prevent German reunification

      6. Soviet blockade of Berlin thwarted by Berlin Airlift (June 48-September 49)

      7. After this Germany is more less permanently divided into democratic, pro-Western West Germany and Communist, pro-Soviet East Germany

    4. Japan

      1. While many in U.S. want to punish Japan, U.S. government recognizes need for reliable ally

      2. Imposes new constitution

        1. Emperor Hirohito remains as figurehead, loses divine status

        2. bicameral parliamentary legislature

        3. substantial demilitarization

      3. U.S. imposes land reform meant to create class of small landowners supportive of democracy

      4. U.S. will guarantee Japan's security, will use it as a base of operations in East Asia and for monitoring Soviet Union

  3. A World Divided

    1. Two major alliances form, centered on the two superpowers

      1. NATO - North Atlantic Treaty Organization

        1. formed in 1949 - U.S., Canada, much of Western Europe, Greece and Turkey

        2. designed to counteract Soviet power in Europe

      2. Warsaw Pact

        1. officially form in 1955 in response to West German joining NATO

        2. formalizes a Soviet-dominated eastern Europe

      3. U.S. also forms separate alliances with Australia, Japan, and Latin America

    2. Balance of terror

      1. U.S. acquires atom bomb in 1945, USSR in 1949

      2. This assures a "cold war" based on MAD - mutually assured destruction

      3. threat of destruction grows with technology, particularly the development of the hydrogen bomb and inter-continental ballistic missiles

    3. Objectives

      1. United States

        1. U.S. views USSR as a dangerous empire bent on world domination, with agents around the world

        2. pursues a policy of containment, an effort to halt the spread of Communism and Soviet power

        3. in this, will combat Communist revolutionaries in Vietnam, Korea, and elsewhere

        4. will form alliances with reliably anti-Communist governments, democracies or not

        5. will seek to ferret out leftists everywhere as potential Soviet agents

      2. Soviet Union

        1. justifies occupation of "satellite" nations in eastern Europe as a necessary buffer zone

        2. waivers between defensive attitude and aggressive proponent of world revolution

  4. The Chinese Revolution

    1. Qing Dynasty falls in 1911

      1. Brought down by internal revolt; weakened by western and Japanese imperialism

      2. No one able to for stable, widely accepted government after 1911

        1. Kuomintang (Nationalist) government emerged under Sun Yat-sen and later Chiang Kai-shek

        2. pursues western-influenced modernization

        3. unable to fully control warlords who controlled many regions nor defeat Japanese invaders

      3. Communists initially allied to Kuomintang, split in 1927

      4. Civil war only partially halted by need of both to fight Japanese invaders after 1937

    2. Communists seize control, 1949

      1. Communist Party transformed by Long March, 1934-35

        1. much of their army dies in long retreat north escaping Kuomintang

        2. but gain support of many peasants by attacking landlords and distributing land

        3. Mao Zedong (1893-1976) cements position as leader during March

      2. Successes against Japanese and Japanese allied-warlords boost popularity

      3. Kuomintang forced to flee to Taiwan in 1949

    3. China under Mao, 1949-1976

      1. Initially seen as friends to USSR, but had poor relations with Moscow

        1. Mao angered by what he saw as Soviet arrogance

        2. accuses Soviets of abandoning Communist orthodoxy while he does the same himself

        3. Soviets and Chinese clash over borders, influence throughout Asia

        4. in the 1970s, China will begin to work on improving relations with United States

      2. Mao had a seemingly mystical belief in ability of unified China to do anything

        1. First Five Year plan (1953-58) pursued agricultural collectivization on massive scale as prelude to industrialization with disastrous results

        2. Mao uses Hundred Flowers Campaign (1957) to clamp down on critics

        3. Great Leap Forward (1958-62)

          1. frustrated by problems of First Five Year Plan, Mao pursues radical program to fully industrialize country

          2. much of labor diverted to steel production, though much of this production was illusory

          3. unrealistic agricultural policies lead to mass starvation and economic collapse

          4. Mao forced to abandon program, yield some power

      3. Cultural Revolution, 1969-1976

        1. convinced Great Leap Forward failed due to opposition and lack of unified will, Mao seeks to transform culture and purge enemies

        2. Launches a crusade against the Four Olds: Old Culture, Old Customs, Old Habits, Old Ideas

        3. Uses Red Guards, youthful activists, to purge Communist Party of enemies real and imagined

        4. Red Guards will pursue "counterrevolutionaries" in temples, universities, industry, and government

        5. education, industry, economy, and government grind to a halt as country focuses on purges and "re-education"

        6. some stability returns with pushback by Army

        7. While officially over in 1969, much of this effort continues till death of Mao in 1976

  5. Wars of Containment

    1. Korea (1950-53)

      1. Aftermath of Japanese occupation and World War II had left Korea divided like Germany

      2. Soviet allied northern government under Kim Il-sung (1912-1994) invades south in 1950

      3. U.S. Britain and Australia send troops, nearly destroy Communists

      4. Chinese intervention forces stalemate

      5. Korea remains divided today, with large numbers of U.S. troops guarding the border

    2. Vietnam

      1. After WWII, France tried to reestablish colonial control, reoccupying the country in 1946

      2. War broke out with the Viet Minh, led by Ho Chi Min

      3. A peace conference (Geneva Accords) divided the country at the 17th Parallel between a Communist North led by Ho Chi Minh, and a non-Communist South led by Ngo Dienh Diem (who had French backing)

      4. Diem's increasingly autocratic rule, favoritism towards his fellow Catholics, leads to unrest, increasing unpopularity

      5. Over the next two years, U.S. began to replace French as Diem's main foreign supporters

      6. By 1957, North Vietnam has begun to support a guerrilla insurgency in South Vietnam

      7. Both John F. Kennedy and Lyndon Johnson, seeking to avoid communist takeover of South, escalate American troop levels to 550,000 by 1968

      8. War stalemates, and increasing opposition forces U.S. to withdraw after 1973

    3. Afghanistan

      1. Soviet Union invades in 1979 to back Soviet-allied government

      2. U.S. provided support to anti-Soviet resistance, the mujahideen

      3. Bloody stalemate contributes to economic problems and growing unhappiness with government in Soviet Union

      4. Soviets withdraw in 1979

    4. These wars ultimately show the limits of U.S. and Soviet power, as neither side is able to establish its will unchecked

  6. Cold War and New Nations

    1. World War II leads to decline of Western European empires

      1. Japanese occupation of East Asian colonies weakens European control of the colonies

        1. example of Japanese defeat of European powers shatters idea of European superiority

        2. indigenous opposition to Japanese occupation will serve as basis for anti-European nationalist movements

      2. Costs of World War II and post-war recession limit ability of Europeans to reestablish and maintain empires

      3. United States largely refuses to help Europeans maintain their empires (in part looking to replace their influence), while Soviets and Chinese will aid some of the nationalists

      4. France and Holland face nationalist rebels in southeast Asia and Indonesia as they try to reoccupy colonies after the war, forced to abandon region

      5. Britain no longer able to maintain control of the Raj, its empire in India

        1. long established independence movement led my Mahatma Gandhi mobilizes millions in opposition to British rule

        2. However, region is deeply divided principally on Hindu-Islamic lines

        3. Britain abandons any pretense of managing these conflicts, abandons the Raj to bloody partition in 1947 (producing India and Pakistan)

    2. European powers retreat from Africa, primarily in 1950s and 1960s

      1. nationalist leaders often had European or European-style education

      2. many identified with socialism , in part as a challenge to capitalist European powers

      3. some independence movements marked by significant violence

        1. Algeria fights a bloody was against France

        2. many British settler families killed in Kenya

        3. violence seems to be feature particularly of settler colonies

      4. post-colonial Africa countries often struggle with ethnic conflicts exacerbated by frontiers established by former colonial power

      5. USSR and USA will compete for influence in these new nations, and most will ally with one or the other

  7. Collapse of the Soviet Empire

    1. Collapse of Western European empires largely over by early 1970s

    2. Containment wars and decolonization seem create a stable bi-polar world by mid-1970s

    3. But stability is illusory, as USSR is facing growing internal weaknesses

      1. Soviet government's power at home depended on ability to provide cradle-to-grave security for its citizens

      2. Power abroad depended on ability to maintain a large military and to subsidize economies of Communist Europe, Cuba

      3. But planned economy weakens and goes into decline in mid-1970s

        1. poorly designed agricultural programs contribute to failed harvests

        2. industry, always focused on development, never did a good job of providing basic consumer goods

        3. Oil crisis of 1973 cripples Soviet economy and industry - never fully recovers

        4. long Afghanistan war proves a significant drain on economy

        5. escalating arms race in 1980s further strains Soviet economy

    4. Poland, 1980 - signal of things to come

      1. In part because USSR not able to provide as much aid as before, bankrupt Polish government forced to raise food prices

      2. spontaneous uprisings coalesce into Solidarity, an independent trade union led by Lech Walesa

      3. encouraged by John Paul II, a Polish Cardinal who became Pope in 1978

      4. Polish government recognizes Solidarity, tries to negotiate with them

      5. But no agreement reached, and government imposes martial law, fearing Soviet crackdown (as happened in Hungary, 1956 and Czechoslovakia, 1968)

    5. Mikhail Gorbachev attempts to reform the Soviet Union

      1. Becomes premier in 1985

      2. Background in agriculture ministry makes him well aware of USSR's economic problems

      3. Chernobyl disaster (April, 1986) highlights need for reform

      4. New policies

        1. glasnost - "openness" - slowly allows for greater freedom of speech and freedom of press, based on belief that problems can not be solved if they can not be discussed

        2. perestroika - "restructuring" - gradual liberalization of economy and reduction of bureaucracy

        3. tells East European countries (and Cuba) that USSR can no longer subsidize their economies and they too must reform

    6. 1989 and the fall of the East Bloc

      1. Poland

        1. its economic problems still unsolved, Poland once again begins negotiating with Solidarity

        2. agrees to elections, first open election in Eastern Europe since WWII - and Solidarity wins 99 of 100 seats

        3. unlike 1956 and 1968, USSR does nothing to stop this

      2. Other east European governments realize Gorbachev is serious and will in fact no longer back them up

      3. Hungary's Communist Party, always the most liberal in East Europe, renames itself the Socialist party and begins to democratize country

      4. East Germany

        1. realizing that Hungarian border guards will no longer stop them from going to the West, thousands of East Germans begin to flee to West Germany

        2. demonstrations expand in East Germany, led largely by Lutheran Church

        3. with no clear reason for existing anymore, East German state gradually collapses

        4. November 1989, Berlin wall comes down; March, 1990, East and West Germany merge

      5. In quick succession, all the other Communist governments fall in East Europe

        1. Czechoslovakia's powerful police state falls before the massive demonstrations on the Velvet Revolution, led by Vaclav Havel

        2. Bulgarian Communists start calling themselves Socialists (like Hungary) but move slowly on democratization

        3. Massive demonstrations bring down Nicolae Ceausescu in Romania

          1. Officially Communist, Ceausescu is more realistically a lavishly corrupt dictator

          2.  orders troops to fire on demonstrators, killing several

          3. national revulsion over this leads to his quick downfall

          4. put on trial, he and his wife are executed on national television, Christmas Day, 1989

    7. End of the Soviet Union

      1. Hardliners increasingly angry with Gorbachev as Soviet power in East Europe collapses

      2. Economic reforms go slowly, economy continues to stagnate

      3. Baltic states begin to seek independence from Soviet Union, further angering hardliners

      4.  Hardliners attempt a coup against Gorbachev in August, 1989

      5. Boris Yeltsin, president of the Russian Republic, is able to rally people against the coup and stop it

      6. Real power is now in Yeltsin's hands, who begins to negotiate and end to Soviet Union with leaders of other republics

      7. These leaders announce transformation of Soviet Union in to "Commonwealth of Independent States"

      8. Gorbachev resists, but finally resigns on 25 December, 1991, and Soviet Union is no more

      9. CIS largely a fiction, and former Soviet republics act as independent countries