The Cold War
- Feb 1945
- Big Three
- Agreement to govern Germany jointly
- Allied Control Council
- On June 5, U.S. Secretary of State George Marshall
- proposes a massive aid program to rebuild Europe from the ravages of World War II.
- Nearly $13 billion in U.S. aid was sent to Europe from 1948 to 1952.
- The Soviet Union and communist Eastern Europe decline U.S. aid, citing “dollar enslavement.”
- March 12, 1947
- Greece and Turkey in danger of falling to communist insurgents
- Truman requested $400 million from Congress in aid to both countries.
- Successful effort
- George F. Kennan, Senior State Department official, posted to USSR during war.
- July 1947, article in Foreign Affairs journal, under author “X”
- War originally a Long Telegram sent back to State Department, then published in Foreign Affairs
Communist Takeover of Czechoslovakia
- Key members of Czech gov’t die mysteriously
- Pro-western President forced to resign, new constitution ratified
- Complete takeover by Czech communists
- Blockade of Berlin began on June 24, ’48
- From June 1948 to May 1949, U.S. and British planes airlift 1.5 million tons of supplies to the residents of West Berlin.
- After 200,000 flights, the Soviet Union lifts the blockade.
- All of the necessities for the city’s 2.5 million residents — an estimated 4,500 tons of food, coal and other materials each day — had to enter the city by air.
- On its biggest day, the “Easter parade” of April 16, 1949, the airlift sent 1,398 flights into Berlin — one every minute.
- Before it was all over, more than 278,000 flights would carry 2.3 million tons of relief supplies
Fall of China
- In June, Jiang Jieshi defeated by Mao
- Flee to island of Taiwan
- Oct 1, Mao proclaims People’s Republic of China (PRC)
- Two months later, Mao travels to Moscow,
- negotiates the Sino-Soviet Treaty of Friendship, Alliance and Mutual Assistance.
- On June 25, North Korean communist forces cross the 38th parallel and invade South Korea.
- On June 27, Truman orders U.S. forces to assist the South Koreans
- The U.N. Security Council condemns the invasion and est’d a 15-nation fighting force.
- Chinese troops enter the conflict by year’s end.
- Cease fire eventually brings war to close by 1953
Dien Bien Phu
- After a long siege, Vietnamese communists under Ho Chi Minh defeat French colonial forces at Dien Bien Phu on May 7.
- In July, the Geneva Accords divide the country at the 17th parallel, creating a North and South Vietnam.
- The United States assumes the chief responsibility of providing anti-communist aid to South Vietnam.
- On January 12, 1955 U.S. Secretary of State John Foster Dulles first announces the doctrine of Massive Retaliation.
- It threatens full-scale nuclear attack on the Soviet Union in response to communist aggression anywhere in the world
- In a speech, February 14, Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev denounces the policies of Stalin.
- He rejects the Leninist idea of the inevitability of war and calls for a doctrine of “peaceful coexistence” between capitalist and communist systems
- On October 4, the Soviet Union launches Sputnik, the first man-made satellite to orbit the Earth.
- In 1958, the U.S. creates the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, and the space race is in full gear.
Castro Takes Power
- January 1, 1959 leftist forces under Fidel Castro overthrow Fulgencio Batista
- Castro nationalizes the sugar industry and signs trade agreements with the Soviet Union.
- The next year, Castro seizes U.S. assets on the island.
Bay of Pigs
- S.-organized invasion force of 1,400 Cuban exiles is defeated by Castro’s government forces on Cuba’s south coast at the Bay of Pigs.
- Launched from Guatemala in ships and planes provided by the United States, the invaders surrender on April 20 after three days of fighting.
- Kennedy takes full responsibility for the disaster
- On August 15, communist authorities begin construction on the Berlin Wall to prevent East Germans from fleeing to West Berlin.
Cuban Missile Crisis
- After Bay of Pigs invasion, the Soviet Union installed nuclear missiles in Cuba.
- After U-2 flights Kennedy ordered a naval blockade of Cuba on October 22 until the Soviet Union removed its missiles.
- On October 28, the Soviets agreed to remove the missiles, defusing one of the most dangerous confrontations of the Cold War
Gulf of Tonkin Resolution
- North Vietnamese patrol boats fired on the USS Mattox in the Gulf of Tonkin on August 2.
- On August 7, the U.S. Congress approves the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution, granting President Johnson authority to send U.S. troops to South Vietnam.
- Viet Cong guerrillas and North Vietnamese Army troops launched attacks across South Vietnam on January 30, the start of the lunar new year Tet.
- In Saigon, guerrillas battle Marines at the U.S. Embassy.
- In March, Johnson orders a halt to the U.S. bombing of North Vietnam and offers peace talks.
- On November 17, the 1st phase of Strategic Arms Limitation Talks began in Helsinki, Finland.
- The finished agreement, signed in Moscow on May 26, 1972, placed limits on both submarine-launched and intercontinental nuclear missiles.
Nixon Visits China
- Nixon becomes the first U.S. president to visit China, meeting with Mao Tse-tung on February 21.
- The two countries issue a communique recognizing their “essential differences” while making it clear that “normalization of relations” was in all nations’ best interests.
- The rapprochement changes the balance of power with the Soviets.
Vietnam War Peace Agreement (Paris Accords)
- January 27, 1973, the United States, South Vietnam, North Vietnam and the Viet Cong sign the Paris Peace Treaty, establishing a cease-fire.
- The United States is allowed to continue providing aid to South Vietnam.
- Saigon falls in April 1975.
Cambodia 1975 (Killing Fields)
- Communist Khmer Rouge take power in Cambodia, April 16 1975.
- Cambodia’s educated and urban population forced into the countryside as part of a state experiment in agrarian communism.
- Under the regime of Pol Pot, as many as 3 million Cambodians died from 1975 to 1979.
- December 25, 100,000 Soviet troops invaded Afghanistan as communist Babrak Karmal seized control of the government.
- S.-backed Muslim guerrilla fighters waged a costly war against the Soviets for nearly a decade before Soviet troops withdraw in 1988.
- Afghanistan—the Soviet “Vietnam”
Polish Solidarity Movement 1908
- On August 14, Lech Walesa led massive strikes at the Lenin shipyards in Gdansk, Poland.
- The strikes soon spread to other cities and formed the nucleus of the Solidarity
- The communist government conceded to worker demands on August 31, and recognized their right to form unions and strike
Star Wars 1983
- March 23, Reagan outlinrd his Strategic Defense Initiative, or “Star Wars,” a space-based defensive shield that would use lasers and other advanced technology to destroy attacking missiles far above the Earth’s surface.
- Soviets accuse the U.S of violating the 1972 Antiballistic Missile Treaty.
- Soviets forced to spend heavily to match the program causing near economic collapse.
- On March 11, Mikhail Gorbachev came to power in the Soviet Union.
- Gorbachev ushered in an era of reform.
- Economic reform- restructuring
- means openness, allowed greater free expression and criticism of Soviet policies
Fall of Berlin Wall 1989
- Gorbachev renounced the Brezhnev Doctrine, which pledged to use Soviet force to protect its interests in Eastern Europe.
- On September 10, Hungary opened its border with Austria, allowing East Germans to flee to the West.
- After massive public demonstrations in East Germany and Eastern Europe, the Berlin Wall fell on November 9.
German Reunification 1990
- At a September 12 meeting in Moscow, the United States, Soviet Union, Great Britain, France and the two Germanys agreed to end Allied occupation rights in Germany.
- On October 3, East and West Germany united as the Federal Republic of Germany