The development of the cold war the Confrontation of the Superpowers

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    1. The Confrontation of the Superpowers

      1. was essentially a clash of Soviet and American ideologies over the most secure geo-political arrangement of peoples and nations in the aftermath of WW II

      2. the first area of conflict in the unfolding Cold War was Eastern Europe

      3. a key factor contributing to the development of the Cold War in Eastern Europe was Stalin’s desire to establish pro-Soviet governments in the countries of Eastern Europe to serve as a buffer zone (US and Britain championed self-determination)

      4. only another war could change the situation, and few people wanted another armed conflict

      5. the 1946 civil war in Greece between anti-Communist forces backed by the British and the Communist People’s Liberation Army backed by the Soviets caused more confrontation between the superpowers

      6. financial problems hampered the British efforts in Greece

      7. US issued the Truman Doctrine in March 1947

        1. called for $400 million in aid for the defense Greece and Turkey

        2. expressed America’s fear of Communist expansion in Europe

        3. announced the United States’ intention to support “free peoples” throughout the world

      8. in June 1947, the US enacted the European Recovery Program (Marshall Plan---named American Secretary of State George C. Marshall)

        1. intended to rebuild European prosperity and stability ($13 billion in aid was poured into Western Europe by the US)

        2. was viewed by Eastern Europe (Commies) as capitalist imperialism

        3. did not exclude Soviet and Eastern European participation (chose not to participate under orders from Stalin)

        4. plan was a resounding success in the countries that took part (Soviets did not have the financial capacity to counteract the US plan)

      9. the fate of Germany also became a source of heated contention between East and West (Berlin Airlift---allies delivered by air 13,000 tons of supplies daily to Berlin after the Soviets cut off supplying the city by ground [Feb. 1948- May 1949])

      10. the battle between East and West over Germany in the Cold War resulted in the creation of two separate German states (West German Federal Republic and German Democratic Republic)

      11. a critical event causing the development of the Cold War outside of Europe was the victory in 1949 of Communist forces in the Chinese Civil War (Mao Zedong over Chiang Kai-Shek) [intensified the West’s fear of the spread of Communism---Domino Effect]

      12. Korea

        1. divided into two parts (38th Parallel) North (Soviet supported)/South (American supported) after its liberation from Japan after WW II

        2. on June 25, 1950, North Korea invaded South Korea

        3. US gained support of the UN Security Council and led a UN Coalition Force (mainly US and South Koreans) into the conflict

        4. after MacArthur’s brilliant amphibious attack at Inchon, Seoul was recaptured and soon the North Koreans were routed

        5. Red China entered the war as American forces pushed Communist forces back into China

        6. war turned into a bloody stalemate (armistice ended fighting in 1953 after the US had lost 50,000 men)

        7. armistice set the boundary at the pre-war boundary of the 38th Parallel

        8. reinforced American determination to “contain” Soviet power

      13. the United States was a part of several treaty organizations including:

        1. NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organization) [1949]---included the US, Canada, Belgium, Great Britain, Denmark, France, Iceland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, and Portugal (West Germany, Greece, and Turkey eventually joined also)

        2. CENTO (Central Treaty Organization) [1959-1979]---included Turkey, Iran, Iraq, Pakistan, Great Britain, and the US

        3. SEATO (Southeast Asia Treaty Organization) [1954-1977] included the US, Great Britain, France, Pakistan, Thailand, the Philippines, Australia, and New Zealand

      14. the Soviet Union counteracted the US by forming:

        1. COMECON (Council for Mutual Economic Assistance) for economic cooperation

        2. Warsaw Pact (Military Alliance)---included Albania, Bulgaria, Czechoslovakia, East Germany, Hungary, Poland, Romania, and the Soviet Union

      15. the policy used by the Americans against Communism was called “Containment”

      16. 1961---after another failed Soviet ultimatum to the west, Soviet’s complete the Berlin Wall

    2. The Cuban Missile Crisis and the Move toward Détente

      1. in 1959, left-wing revolutionary named Fidel Castro overthrew American-supported dictator Fulgencio Bautista

      2. in 1961, an American-supported attempt to overthrow Castro using Cuban nationals failed “Bay of Pigs”

      3. in 1962, Nikita Khrushchev (Soviet leader) decided to place nuclear weapons (detonated 1st atomic weapon in 1949) in Cuba [US already had nuclear weapons in Turkey]

      4. US intelligence discovered his plan, and President John F. Kennedy decided to impose a naval blockade on Cuba to prevent nuclear weapons from reaching Cuba

      5. brought US and USSR to the brink of nuclear war

      6. Khrushchev agreed to turn back his ships carrying nuclear weapons if the US promised not to attack Cuba in the future (Kennedy agreed)

      7. resulted in improved communications between the US and the Soviet Union essential in preventing a nuclear war

      8. The Vietnam War

        1. after the Vietnamese had defeated their French colonial rulers in 1954 (Battle of Dien Bien Phu), Vietnam, like Korea, was divided into antagonistic northern and southern states (North-led by Ho Chi Minh received Soviet aid/South-led by Emperor Bao Dai and later strong man Ngo Dinh Diem received American assistance)

        2. Diem was supported by business leaders, Roman Catholics, and large landowners (did not have the support of the peasants)

        3. US initially sent financial aid and military advisors starting in the 1950s under Eisenhower and continuing under Kennedy

        4. when the Vietcong, South Vietnamese Communist Guerillas, started making headway against the teetering South Vietnamese government, the US President Johnson sent in American soldiers in massive numbers starting in the mid 1960s

        5. although nationalism played a powerful role in the conflict, American policy makers applied the “containment” policies of the past in effort to prevent the domino effect

        6. despite massive superiority in equipment and firepower, American forces failed to prevail over the persistence the Vietcong and the North Vietnamese (US never lost a battle over battalion strength during the conflict but were unable to win the war)

        7. the draft, the bold Tet Offensive (ultimately failed) launched by the North Vietnamese, and heavy bombing of North Vietnam by the US Air Force turned public opinion at home against the war

        8. the last of the US troops were pulled out in 1975 (South Vietnamese government crumbled shortly thereafter)

        9. showed the limitations of American power, leading to improved Soviet-American relations


    1. Economic revival brought renewed growth to European society, although major differences remained between Western and Eastern Europe

    2. The End of European Colonies

      1. the process of global de-colonization was accelerated by the following:

        1. the Japanese humiliation of Western nations by overrunning their empires in WW II

        2. the service of colonial soldiers in the victorious armies of the allies during WW II

        3. the ideas of self-determination championed by advocates of a democratic post-war Europe

      2. Great Britain, the greatest of the empire builders, no longer had the energy or wealth to maintain its colonial empire after WW II and quickly sought to let its colonies go (EX: peaceful departure from India in 1947)

      3. When the British pulled out of Palestine in 1947, the UN sowed the seeds of unrest in the Middle East by dividing Palestine into Arab and Jewish States (creation of Israel angered and unified Arabs)

      4. the French, on the other hand, in many cases had to be driven out by national wars of liberation (EX: French defeat in Indochina at the hands of Ho Chi Minh)

      5. the process of de-colonization throughout the non-Western world following WW II resulted in the creation of the “Third World,” which has lacked the technological advancements of the “first” (Japan, Western Europe, and North America) and “second” (Soviet Union and its satellites) worlds

    3. The Soviet Union: From Stalin to Khrushchev

      1. post-WW II life in the Soviet Union under Stalin witnessed continued poor standards of living due to low wages, few consumer goods and housing shortages

      2. women increasingly filled factory jobs in the Soviet Union (40% of heavy manual labor was performed by women due to the shortage of men because of war casualties)

      3. the economic policies of Stalin emphasized the development of heavy industry and the production of sophisticated modern weapons and space vehicles at the expense of products for Russian consumers (Sputnik, the world’s first space satellite was launched by the Soviets in 1957)

      4. many returning soldiers were shipped to prison camps after the war because their contact with the west and its prosperity had weakened their faith in communism

      5. only Stalin’s death on March 5, 1953 from a brain aneurysm prevented another large scale purge

      6. after a period of collective leadership, Nikita Khrushchev emerged as the leader of the Soviet Union

      7. condemned the brutal actions of Stalin in 1956 at the 20th Party Congress and began the process of “de-Stalinization” of the Soviet Union

      8. economically, Khrushchev tried to place more emphasis on light industry and consumer goods (failed to benefit the Soviet economy and industry)

      9. his strained relations with the Party bureaucracy along with several foreign policy failures led to his ouster in 1964

    4. Eastern Europe: Behind the Iron Curtain

      1. At the end of WW II, the Soviet Army occupied all of Eastern Europe and the Balkans except for Greece, Albania, and Yugoslavia

      2. the Soviet Union created one-party Communist governments in all occupied countries (followed Stalin’s plans to the letter)

      3. Yugoslavia from WW II through the 1970s was characterized by the dominant leadership of Marshal Tito, who asserted Yugoslavia’s independence from the Soviet Union and kept ethnic conflicts within Yugoslavia under tight, authoritarian control

      4. in 1956, Poland under the leadership of First Secretary Gomulka declared that they had the right to follow their own socialist path (fearing Soviet retaliation, Poland backed off by pledging loyalty to the Warsaw Pact and in return its Roman Catholic Church was allowed to administer its own affairs within Poland)

      5. seeking similar reforms in Hungary in 1956, the Hungarian independence movement was crushed by the Soviets through armed intervention and had the communist system firmly reasserted

      6. strong democratic traditions made Czechoslovakia the last eastern European country to fall under Soviet control after WW II

      7. the “Prague Spring” in Czechoslovakia in 1968 was triggered by the reforms of Alexander Dubcek including freedom of speech and the press and freedom to travel abroad

      8. when many within Czechoslovakia called for even more far-reaching reforms, the Soviet military moved into the country crushed the reform movement and replaced Dubcek with a committed non-reformist, Gustav Husak (ruled until 1987)

    5. Western Europe: The Revival of Democracy and the Economy

      1. countries in this region faced similar problems

        1. they needed to rebuild their economies

        2. they needed to recreate their democratic institutions

        3. they needed to deal effectively with the growth of Communist parties (Commies had garnered respect due to their important role as part of the resistance movement to the Nazis during the war)

      2. due to the Cold War and the western Communist parties support for the Soviet Union, Communist party support dwindled

      3. in the late 1950s, many socialist parties on the Continent perceived the need to eliminate their old doctrinal emphasis on class struggle and began to call for social justice and liberty (no longer demanded the elimination of the capitalist system)

      4. by 1950, moderate political parties such as the Christian Democrats made a remarkable comeback in Western Europe

      5. the Christian Democrats were sincerely interested in democracy and in significant economic reforms (strong in Italy and Germany)

      6. thanks in part to the Marshall Plan, the decades of the 1950s and 1960s were periods of dramatic economic growth and prosperity in Western Europe (had virtually full employment)

      7. France: the Domination of De Gaulle

        1. French political scene was dominated by Charles de Gaulle in the 1950s and 1960s

        2. important leader of the French resistance movement during WW II (also helped set up the provisional government that ran France immediately after the war)

        3. the 4th Republic’s weak parliamentary government led de Gaulle to withdraw from politics in the early 1950s

        4. in 1958, he re-entered politics when a new constitution established France’s 5th Republic with a strong president (de Gaulle was the president)

        5. as President of France, Charles de Gaulle’s position in the Cold War was to make France the “third” nuclear power and pursue a largely independent political course favorable to western values (pulled France out of NATO)

        6. under de Gaulle, the French GNP increased by 5.5% annually (faster growth rate than the US)

        7. the French economy under de Gaulle witnessed deficits, in part due to the nationalization of key industries

        8. his inability to effectively deal with the skyrocketing cost of living led to student protests and general strikes by French labor unions (restored order but resigned under pressure in 1968)

      8. West Germany: a New Nation?

        1. three major political parties emerged in post-war West Germany with the blessing of the occupying armies (Social Democrats, Christian Democrats, & Free Democrats)

        2. the first chancellor and “founding hero” of the West German Federal Republic was Konrad Adenauer

        3. Adenauer cooperated with the US (joined NATO) and sought reconciliation with the French (West Germany rearmed in 1955)

        4. Adenauer’s chancellorship was largely associated with the resurrection of the West German economy

  1. despite only having 75% population and 52% land area of pre-war Germany, West Germany’s GNP had exceeded Germany’s pre-war GNP by 1955

  2. real wages doubled in West Germany between 1950 and 1965

  3. unemployment fell from 8% in 1950 to 0.4% by 1965

        1. throughout its post-war existence, West Germany was troubled by its Nazi past

  1. major Nazi leaders were tried by the Allies at Nuremberg in 1945 and 1946

  2. war crime trials continued for lesser Nazi officials but diminished as the Cold War shifted attitudes (German courts took over prosecution of war criminals in 1950)

  3. beginning in 1953, the West German government made payments to Israel and Holocaust survivors

        1. an economic downturn in the mid 1960s opened the door to the rise of the Social Democrats as they became the leading political party by the end of the 1960s

      1. Great Britain: the Welfare State

        1. the war left Britain with massive economic problems

        2. the Labour Party under Atlee promised far-reaching reforms upon coming to power in 1945

        3. Atlee’s government established a far-reaching welfare state by nationalizing the Bank of England, the coal and steel industries, public transportation, and public utilities

        4. the National Insurance Act and National Health Service Act made Britain a welfare state in the 1940s (comprehensive social security & socialized medicine)

        5. Britain suffered from losing its pre-war colonial revenues

        6. continued economic problems brought the Conservatives back to power in 1951 (stayed in control until 1964)

        7. General Gamal Abdel Nasser (president of Egypt) seized control of the Suez Canal in Egypt from the British in 1956 (British, French, and Israeli soldiers attempted to gain back control of the canal)

        8. American pressure forced the British to accept Egyptian control of the canal

        9. by the Suez Canal debacle, Britain was no longer a superpower

      2. Italy: the Weakness of Coalition Government

        1. no country other than Germany had sustained more physical destruction during the war than Italy

        2. post-war Italian politics was characterized by the growing power and eventual authority of the Christian Democrats (led by Alcide de Gasperi) with the backing from industrialists and the Catholic Church

        3. like pre-Fascist governments from Italy’s past, post-war coalition governments were known for their instability and short lives

        4. stabilized by the Marshall Plan, Italy, like Germany, made a remarkable economic recovery (combined private enterprise with government management)

    1. Western Europe: The Move Toward Unity

      1. the Marshall Plan called for European economic cooperation (complied with the creation of the Organization for European Economic Cooperation (OEEC)

      2. in 1951, France, West Germany, Italy, Belgium, Luxembourg, and the Netherlands formed the European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC)

      3. in 1957, the same six nations created the European Atomic Energy Community (EURATOM) to further European research on the peaceful uses of nuclear energy

      4. in 1957, these six nations also signed the Rome Treaty, which created the European Economic Community (aka Common Market) which was founded to promote free trade among member states)

      5. the Common Market became the world’s largest exporter and purchaser of raw materials

      6. in general, Western European states in the post-war world have witnessed successful mixed economies combining state planning and market forces producing technological development and greater prosperity

    1. The Structure of European Society

      1. the middle class changed dramatically in Europe after WW II

      2. the social structure of the postwar European society has been greatly affected by a dramatic increase in the number of white-collar management and administrative personnel which greatly augmented the traditional middle class

      3. whether in Eastern or Western Europe, the new managers were very much alike as their positions depended upon specialized knowledge from some form of higher education

      4. changes also occurred among the traditional lower classes

      5. the number of people in agriculture declined dramatically between 1900 and 1960

      6. after 1960, the number of industrial workers began to dwindle as the number of white-collar service employees increased along with real wages

    2. Creation of a Welfare State

      1. one of the chief characteristics of the European social welfare system after World War II became universal health care for citizens paid for by the state bringing high quality medical care to all

      2. extending educational opportunities for all who wanted them as well as creating and/or greatly expanding social security programs in an effort to ensure dignity for older people

      3. these new social program initiatives did come at a price as spending on social services in European countries went from 17% of the GNP of major European countries in 1967 to between 40% and 50% of GNP by the 1980s

    3. New (and Old) Patterns: Women in the Postwar Western World

      1. for women, the end of WW II brought their removal from the workforce and the war-time jobs they held to make way for returning male soldiers in search of work

      2. the trend toward smaller families contributed to the change in the character of women’s employment in both Europe and the United States (married women started entering the workforce in greater and greater numbers)

      3. women still did not get equal pay for equal work in comparison to male workers

      4. women still tended to enter traditionally female jobs (Soviet Union was the exception as many women worked as industrial workers)

      5. Sweden, Great Britain, Germany, Poland, Hungary, Austria, and Czechoslovakia gave women the right to vote in 1918[1920 in the US](in France and Italy, women did not obtain the right to vote until 1945)

      6. women still believed that political and legal equality had not brought about true equality with men

      7. in her path-breaking text, The Second Sex, the influential French feminist author Simone de Beauvoir argued that as a result of male-dominated societies, women were always and wrongly defined by their differences from men and consequently seen as second-class citizens

      8. Betty Friedan’s The Feminine Mystique argued that women were being denied equality with men in the US (Friedan founded the National Organization of Women [NOW] in 1966)

    4. The Permissive Society

      1. the “permissive society” is characterized by all of the following:

        1. sexual freedom (the introduction of the birth control pill very important development)

        2. experimentation with drugs (marijuana and LSD)

        3. decriminalization of homosexuality

      2. the new standards were evident in the breakdown of the traditional family

        1. divorce rates increased dramatically

        2. premarital and extramarital sexual experiences also rose substantially

A.Education and Student Revolt

      1. greater access to higher education for the masses due to the reducing or elimination of fees by the state, led to opportunities and problems

      2. the outburst of student revolts in the late 1960s was instigated in part by overcrowded classrooms and lack of attention from professors

      3. the more violent student revolts took place in France, where students successfully encouraged unionized workers to back their protests

      4. the student protest movement reached its high point in 1968, although scattered incidents lasted into the early 1970s

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