I. Postwar Many nazi leaders are arrested and put on trial

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UNIT 13: The Cold War
I. Postwar

  • Many NAZI leaders are arrested and put on trial.

    • 1. Intent to start a war

    • 2. Crimes against humanity (Holocaust)

The trial is held at Nuremburg, Germany. 18 top NAZI’s are on trial. 9 are hanged/ 9 imprisoned.

Aggressive war / evil is now a crime.
II. Origins of the Cold War

The Cold War – a war of how the world should be run American Democracy vs. Russia/Soviet Communism. THIS IS NOT a blood/fighting/death/havoc etc. It is competition/distrust / possible war.


Soviet Union (Russia)

Free markets

Price control

Freedom of religion

Atheism (nothing higher than the state)

Free Elections (Rep / Dem)

Rigged Election (Communist Party)

Civil Rights (speech, etc)

The state controls all

  • With Great Britain, USA and Russia were allies in WWII against the NAZIS. But immediately after WWII the relationship gets frosty. The only 2 countries on their feet after WWII is the USA and Russia. Both countries are going to try and spread their influence into the rest of the world.

  • During WWII USA/Britain concerned that the Russian will dominate eastern Europe. Stalin/Churchill/FDR meet at Yalta to make plans for a post war Europe. Stalin promises to allow free elections in Poland. The Big 3 also agree that Germany will be occupied by themselves. FDR dies and is replaced by Harry S. Truman

  • The Soviet Red Army begins to loot Eastern Europe (tractors, machines, resources) to pay for their war effort.

  • Stalin has no intention of allowing free elections in Eastern Europe. Very soon communist government (backed by Russia) begin appearing in Eastern Europe. These countries dominated by Russia are nicknamed Soviet satellites. Stalin believes that a war with the west is inevitable

  • By 1946 Truman was tired of…”babysitting the Soviets.” Announces his policy of CONTAINMENT – USA will work to prevent Communism from spreading

  • Europe is divided into 2 political regions:

    • The West – Democracy

    • The East – Communism

  • Churchill sums it up with his Iron Curtain speech. Eastern Europe is dominated/mysterious behind its Soviet control.

  • The Cold War has begun. Animosity, not confrontation between the USA and the Soviet Union (Russia)

    • USA gives 400 million to Greece and Turkey to resist communism. This is a prime example of the Truman Doctrine – USA’s policy to give aid/money to stop communism from growing.

    • Marshall Plan – USA will give 13 billion dollars to 16 western European countries to aid/rebuild from WWII destruction. We offer to help Eastern Europe. Russia says no, they will rebuild E. Europe.

    • Germany will be divided into 4 zones of occupation. USA/GB/FR unify their zones into one zone. The Soviets blockade every rode into East Germany. The citizens of Berlin are hungry. Allies conduct the Berlin Airlift. Citizens of Berlin receive via parachute food, medicine, Christmas gifts). Soviets lift blockade.

    • Berlin (the capital of Germany) is divided too. Lots of Berlin citizens keep escaping to the “west side” of Berlin. The Soviets/East Germans, to keep its citizens from escaping to the West, they build a wall that bisects Berlin (Berlin Wall). The Berlin Wall is the SYMBOL of the divide between the East (Communism) and the West(Democracy)

    • Germany is divided into two countries

        • D West Germany – Democracy

        • East Germany – Communism

    • USA/Western Europe fear Soviet/Communist/Eastern aggression. So they make an alliance to help each against a Soviet/Commie attack. Alliance is called the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). USA is the leader of NATO. The Soviets respond with their alliance (Soviet + Eastern Europe {East Germany, Poland, Yugoslavia, Czechoslovakia, etc}). This alliance is called the Warsaw Pact

III. China

  • Chinese citizens involved in a civil war until 1927 when Japan invades. When Japan is defeated in WWII the Civil War resumes

  • USA supports Chiang Kai-Shek – Chinese Democrats/Capitalists.

  • Soviets supports Mao Zedong – Chinese communists.

  • After WWII Chiang sets up a democratic government. It is hopelessly corrupt (high taxes, bribes, abuses).

  • Mao continues his civil war against Chiang. Mao drives Chiang out of the country. Mao establishes a communist government in China. Chiang/Democrats flee and establish a new country on the island of Taiwan.

  • USA’s policy of CONTAINMENT has failed. USA refuses to recognize Mao’s Communist Chinese government. Truman takes a lot of criticism

IV. Korea

  • At the end of WWII, Japanese troops North of the 38th parallel surrender to the Soviets

  • At the end of WWII, Japanese troops South of the 38th parallel surrender to the Americans.

  • Like Germany, Korean is split into 2 zones of occupation. USA (south) is withdrawing (going home). The Soviets (north) give tons of supplies to North Korea (COMMIES)

  • 6-25-1950. North Korean forces sweep into South Korean in a massive surprise attack. South Korean BEGS the United Nations for help. UN sends 520,000 troops (90% American) into South Korean under the command of General Douglas MacArthur. MacArthurs’ forces drive the North Koreans back across the 38th. Then all the way to the Chinese border. “MAC SAVES THE DAY!”

  • Communist China enters the war to help the North Koreans. With sheer numbers the Chinese/North Koreans drive the UN forces back to the 38th parallel. 2 years of stalemate fighting

  • MacArthur wants to atomic bomb China. President Truman does not want the Soviets (who backed China) to get involved in the conflict and an atomic might trigger World War III. Truman and MacArthur don’t like each other. MacArthur criticizes Truman in the newspapers. Truman fires MacArthur. Public is outraged

  • Peace talks begin in the mid 1950’s. Korea will be divided into 2 separate nations. North Korea and South Korea will be separated by a demilitarized zone/minefield.

  • Overall, Korean War is a stalemate w/54,000 Americans losing their lives.

V: The Cold War at Home

  • Like the 1920s (Red Scare) many Americans fear communism. There are 100,000 registered American in the American Communist Party

  • A popular political tactic is for Republicans to accuse people of being SOFT on communism

  • Republicans set up the Loyalty Board to investigate government workers that may be disloyal.

  • Congress established the House of Un-American Activities to investigate the movies. It keeps Communist sympathizers. BLACKLISTING for writers, directors, and stars that are friendly toward communism (Hollywood Ten).

  • Alger Hiss captured and accused of being a Communist/Soviet spy. Newspapers/Radio highly publicize the event. Hiss convicted but always proclaimed innocence

  • In 1955 the Soviets test detonate their own atomic bomb. USA suspects that the knowledge was stolen by Soviet spies. We’re right.

    • 2 members of the American Communist Party accused, Julius and Ethel Rosenberg. They pleaded the 5th. Electric chaired.

  • Senator Joe McCarthy conducts “witch hunts” for communists in government. Constantly announces that communists are taking over the government (57, 81, 201). No evidence and he never releases a single name. Many people are scared of being accused. McCarthy comes across as a big bully.

  • McCarthy downfall is when he goes after the army. The trials are on TV. He is caught in a lie. The reason he was allowed to rant for so long is that the American were honestly afraid of communism.

VI. 2 Nations on the Edge

  • Both the USA and Soviet Union have the H-Bomb (1 H-Bomb = 1 million tons of TNT or 67 times more destructive than the atomic bomb. Translation if these two get into a war – Humans become extinct

  • New president Dwight D. Eisenhower brings a new policy in dealing Communism/Soviets – brinksmanship = If the Russian are an aggressor (if they start something) the USA will respond with everyone of its nuclear weapons. Eisenhower orders more planes and more nukes to be built

  • Eisenhower increases the role of the CIA (spies). Covert operations or anything to gain information of USA’s enemies. CIA will overthrow governments that are sympathetic to communism (Iran / Guatemala)

  • The Eisenhower Doctrine = The USA will defend any middle eastern country against a Soviet/Communist attack (this is a response to Soviets helping Egypt which led to a Israeli/Egyptian War)

  • Communist fears get higher in 1956. Hungary tries to revolt against their communist masters. Soviets come in and kill 30,000 Hungarians. USA/UN do nothing.

  • Stalin dies in 1953. Succeeded by Nikita Khrushchev. Unlike Stalin, he believes in co-existing with the west. Spread communism to the third world but try to live in peace with USA/democracy

  • Space Race – Soviets/Russians become the first humans to go into space. 1957- the rocket is called Sputnik (circled the globe every 96 minutes/18000 mph). NASA (National Aeronautics Space Administration) established to match the Soviet space program. USA into space in 1958.

  • Eisenhower/Khrushchev are planning to meet in Paris to discuss reducing nuclear weapons (1960).

For years USA have been making high altitude flights over Russia. Russians finally shoot down U2 spy plane piloted by Francis Gary Powers. Powers is taken prisoner. Soviets show the world the U2 wreckage and a picture of Powers. USA admits to spy planes. The meeting between Eisenhower/Khrushchev cancelled

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