The Cold War 1945-1990
US vs. Union of Soviet Socialist Republics
Democracy vs. Communism
Capitalism vs. Socialism
The Cold War 1945-
YALTA (in the USSR)
Date: Feb 1945
Roosevelt and Stalin
Date: July 1945
Truman and Stalin
Cold War: a time after WW2 when the USA and the
Soviet Union were rivals for world influence.
• Political, strategic and ideological struggle between the
US and the USSR that spread throughout the world
• Struggle that contained everything short of war
• Competing social and economic ideologies
Two sides of Cold War
• NATO – North Atlantic
• USA, France, Great
Britain, West Germany
– Free elections
• Warsaw Pact – pro
Soviet countries –
USSR, and all
by the USSR.
– Government owns most
businesses ,land, stores
– Limited freedom of
NATO: North Atlantic Treaty Organization
• In 1949 the western nations formed the North
Atlantic Treaty Organization to co- ordinate their
defense against USSR.
•It originally consisted of:
• Since the fall of the Soviet Union in
1991,some former Soviet republics have applied
for membership to NATO.
NATO – North Atlantic Treaty Organization
•Warsaw Pact: organization of communist states in Central and Eastern Europe.
•Established May 14, 1955 in Warsaw, Poland
•USSR established in in response to NATO treaty
–Albania (left in 1961 as a result of the Sino-Soviet split)
–East Germany (1956)
Greatest extent of Warsaw Pact
Iron Curtain –
A term used by
to describe the
lands of East
Europe from the
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• The Russians took very high casualties to
capture Berlin in May 1945. They spent the
early occupation trying to take over all zones
of the city but were stopped by German
democrats such as Willy Brandt and Konrad
Adenauer. Reluctantly the Russians had to
admit the Americans, French and British to
their respective zones.
Berlin is Germany’s capital city.
The Berlin Crisis: June 1948-May 1949
• 1948: West Germany grew in prosperity due to the Marshall Plan
• West wanted East to rejoin; Stalin feared it would hurt Soviet security.
• June 1948: Stalin decided to gain control of West Berlin, which was deep inside the Eastern
– Cuts road, rail and canal links with West Berlin, hoping to starve it into
• West responded by airlifting supplies to allow West Berlin to survive
• May 1949: USSR admitted defeat, lifted blockade
Map of Germany divided into
zones after WWII
Map of Berlin divided into
zones after WWII
A plane flies in supplies during the Berlin Airlift.
Berlin blockade led to Berlin Airlift
• August 18, 1961, the Russian communist
government began to build a wall separating
East Berlin from West Berlin
The Soviets built the wall to keep communists
from escaping to the American sector.
Wall torn down in 1989.
The Truman Doctrine in
March 1947 promised that
the USA “would support
free peoples who are
This led to containment –
stopping the spread of
communism through military
and non-military ways
Communism spreads like a disease……
The domino theory was used by
successive United States administrations
during the Cold War to justify the need
for American intervention around the
world (50-80 Eisenhower)
Marshall Plan – USA’s plan to send food,
blankets, fuel to Europe to help them. AND to
keep them from turning communist.
**helped countries economically so they won’t go red.
Iran Crisis of 1946: USSR refused to withdraw from oil rich Iran after
WWII -US encouraged them to leave and promised them oil drilling rights but
later backed Iran in refusing them. USSR suspicious of USA
Greece and Turkey
• 1947: First areas where the policy of
containment was used to stop communist
Meanwhile. . .
• After Korea and before Vietnam
got really bad, America felt they
had a problem closer to home.
• The USA and the Soviet Union raced as the
world watched to be the first to conquer
1957 Sputnik – first satellite
Score 1 for
Score: USA – 0
Soviets - 2
First man in
• Cold War tensions increased in the
US when the USSR exploded its
first atomic bomb in 1949.
• Cold War tensions increased in
the USSR when the US exploded
its first hydrogen bomb in 1952. It
was 1000 times more powerful
than the Hiroshima atomic bomb.
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• The nuclear bomb gave America a lead
which was expected to last at least 5
years. The rapid Russian development of
nuclear technology, helped by the work of
the “atom spies” was a shock.
Significantly, Russia hurriedly declared
war against Japan at the beginning of
August 1945 and rushed to advance into
Asia to stake out a position for the post-
war settlement. This helped make both the
Korean and Vietnamese conflicts more