Cold War AmericaBy Neil Hammond
Cold War AmericaLong Term Causes of the Cold War
Both the US and USSR believed their economic systems are superior
The US wanted to rebuild Europes economies and support democratic governments
The USSR wanted a weak Germany and wanted Communist governments on countries that it bordered
Cold War America Short Term Causes
Defeat of Germany in WWII created a power vacuum, and sees the US and the USSR occupying parts of Europe
At the Yalta Conference (February 1945), the USSR promised free elections in Eastern Europe, but gradually allowed Communist governments to take hold
At the Potsdam Conference (July / August 1945), the USSR wanted to impose reparations on Germany. The US wanted to rebuild their economy
After WWII, Soviet troops refused to leave Iran as promised and began to try setting up a Communist government there. American pressure forced the USSR to withdraw.
An Iron Curtain has fallen across Europe.. Winston Churchill
Containment American officials became increasingly exasperated by the Russians. Officials at the State Dept. asked the American Embassy in Moscow to explain Soviet behavior
Diplomat George Kennan responded with what became known as the Long TelegramKennan proposed a long term, patient, but firm and vigilant containment of Russian expansive tendencies. This became the basic policy followed by the US during the Cold war Containment = stop Communism from spreading
Communists threatened to take over Greece and Turkey Great Britain informed the US that they could NOT continue to support the non-communists Truman announced to Congress what became known as the Truman Doctrinethe US would support free peoples who are resisting attempted subjugation by armed minorities or by outside pressures."
Containment In June 1947, secretary of State George Marshall proposed the European Recovery Plan, or Marshall Plan. The US would give European nations American aid to rebuild their economies
Containment In response to the Soviet attempt to undermine Germanys economy, the USA, GBR and France announced they would merge their zones in Germany. In response, Stalin blockaded Berlin Would Truman attack? Instead, Truman ordered airlifts to supply West Berlin. Would Stalin attack? For one year (1948-1949) the airlift operated. Stalin eventually backed down.
Containment By April 1949, an agreement had been reached to create the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, a mutual defense alliance
For the first time in its history, the US had committed itself to maintaining peace in Europe
Containment NSC 68The National Security Council was created in 1947 to meet the threat of the USSR NSC 68 called for significant peacetime military build up
The National Security Act of 1947 established the CIA, affording it no police or law enforcement functions, either at home or abroad. One year later, this mandate was expanded to include sabotage, anti-sabotage, demolition and evacuation measures...subversion [and] assistance to underground resistance movements, guerrillas and refugee liberation movements, and support of indigenous anti-communist elements in threatened countries of the free world".
The Korean War After WWII, Communist forces led by Mao Zedong and the Nationalist government led by Chiang Kai-shek started fighting again The US sent the Nationalist government $2 billion in aid beginning in the mid 1940s, but they had squandered the money By October 1949, the Communists had established the People's Republic of China
The Democrats were blamed for losing China. One month before that, the USSR announced that it had successfully exploded its first atomic bomb
Then in the early 1950s, the PRC and the USSR signed a treaty of friendship and alliance
The Korean War At the end of WWII, General Douglas MacArthur had taken charge of occupied Japan
Once the US had lost China as its chief ally in Asia, it adopted policies to encourage the rapid recovery of Japans industrial economy
At the end of WWII, American and Soviet forces entered Korea to disarm the Japanese troops there The allies divided Korea at the 38 parallel American troops controlled the Southern part
The Korean War Truman acted through the UN.
The USSR was boycotting the UN because the PRC was not recognized by the UN
Truman declared a police action A UN force was sent to Korea It was mainly an American force
The Korean War China joined the war in Nov 1950 MacArthur demanded approval to expand the war against China (i.e. go nuclear) Truman declined, but M persisted, even coming out in public, criticizing T
Truman fired M for insubordination in April 1951
The Korean War Peace negotiations began in November, 1951, but an armistice wasnt signed until 1953 The armistice pretty much meant that the three year war had NOT changed the North / South borderBut Korea was a turning point: the US began a huge military build up the Cold War expanded to Asia the US signed treaties with various Asian countries
A New Scare Like WWI, the end of WWII saw a red scare. As the war ended, a Soviet defector described a massive effort of the USSR to gain secrets of the A-bomb
In early 1947, the president established a loyalty review program to screen federal employees. This caused more people to panic. J. Edgar Hoover (head of the FBI) urged the House Unamerican Activities Committee (HUAC) to hold public hearings on Communist subversion
One of HUACs first hearings focused on the Hollywood film industry as a powerful medium that Communists could manipulate. In 1951 a pamphlet entitled Red Channels was published that contained 151 blacklisted actors, directors, broadcasters and screenwriters
A New Scare In 1948 Whittaker Chambers testified to HUAC that several government officials were former Communists or spies
The most prominent official named was Alger Hiss, a diplomat who had served in FDRs administration. He sued Whittaker for libel but a jury later convicted him
The FBI arrested Julius and Ethel Rosenberg for passing nuclear secrets to the Soviets. They were executed in 1953 (The Sacco and Vanzetti of the 1950s)
Since the break up of the Soviet Union, new evidence has come to light that indicates that Hiss and the Rosenbergs were GUILTY
A New Scare Senator Joseph McCarthy used the fear of communism to increase his own power and destroy the reputations of many people
In 1950 he proclaimed that 205 men in the State Department were proclaimed Communists. He accused Democrats of protecting Communists After Republicans won control of Congress in 1952, McC became chairman of the Senate Subcommittee on investigations McC turned the investigations into witch hunts His tactics became known as McCarthyism After 6 weeks of televised hearings, McC went after the army. The armys lawyer confronted McC about his bullying tactics and the Senate later censured him for his actions
Life During the Early Cold War Obsessed with the fear of nuclear attack, Americans took steps to protect themselves
Schools practiced bomb drills and some families built backyard fallout shelters
Cold War themes soon appeared in films, plays, television, the titles of dance tunes and popular television
Ikes New Look Dwight D. Eisenhower won the 1952 election. He favored a foreign policy of massive retaliation, (also called new look policy)
That proposal called for smaller conventional forces backed up by lots of nuclear weapons. These weapons would be delivered by a variety of means: rockets, bombers and submarines
The limited practicality of Ikes policy was shown when Hungary rebelled against the USSR in 1956. Hunghary thought they would have American support, but the US did not intervenewhy?
Ikes New Look The US also used covert operations by the CIA to counter Communism
Two examples would be Iran and Grenada In 1953 the CIA helped to overthrow a democratically elected regime in Iranwho wanted to nationalize the oil industry In 1979 the regime the US supported was overthrown by an Islamic revolutionwe live with that fall out today In 1954 the US supported an invasion of Guatemala that ousted a Communist government
Ikes New Look In 1956 because Egypt bought weapons from Communist countries, the US withdrew financial aid toward the building of the Aswan Dam
Egypt (under President Nasser) seized the Suez Canal from the Anglo-French company that owned it. In Oct 1956 British and French troops invaded Egypt
The USSR threatened to attack Britain and Franceunder strong pressure from the US (oil), GBR and France called off the attacks. Soon afterward, Arab nations began accepting Soviet aid, a diplomatic victory for the USSR
Ikes New Look In 1957 the USSR launched Sputnik, the worlds first satellite. The USSR was winning the space race.
Eisenhower invited the Khrushchev to the US, but he canceled the visit after Russian planes shot down a US U2 plane
When Ike left office, he gave a frank speech to the nation:
Modern RepublicanismThey Liked Ike
Trumans popularity was low in 1952. Eisenhower won the Republican nomination. Richard Nixon became his running mate.
The Eisenhower admin set the tone for modern Republicanism