Cold War

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    Vietnam Conflict

    Soldiers walking through the swampsIn 1946, after the Japanese were defeated, the French set out to re-estanlish their authority in Indochina. However, in Vietnam they faced guerrilla forces led by Ho Chi Minh. Ho Chi Minh was a naionalist and communist who had fought the Japanese. At the bloody battle of Dienbienphu in 1954, the Vietnamese were victorious convincing the French to leave Bietnam. After 1954, Western and communist powers agreed to temporarily divided Vietnam. Ho's communists controlled North Vietnam.
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    Vietnam Conflict 2

    SoldierNgo Dinh Diem led a noncommunist government in South Vietnam. There was agreement elections to try and reunite the two Vietnams. These elections never happened however, because Ngo Dinh Diem was afraid that the Communists would win. By the early 1960's, communist guerrilla fighters appeared in the South Vietnamese jungles. Most ot them were from South Vietnam, but they were strongly supported by the north. The Domino Theory was developed.
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    Vietnam Conflict 3

    DominosThe domino theory was that a communist victory in South Vietnam would cause noncommunist governments across Southeast Asia to fall to communism. Ho Chi Minh was still determind to unie Vietnam, and he continued to aid the Viet Cong, or the communist rebels trying to overthrow South Vietnam's government. Soon the United States sent out troops turning a loval struggle into a major Cold War conflict.
  • NATO

    NATO countries In 1949, as tensions continued to grow, the United States, Canada, and ten other countries formed a new military alliance. This alliance was known as the NATO, or the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. They made this treaty to help one another if any one of them were attacked.
  • Chinese Civil War

    After Japan’s defeat, Communist forces led by Mao Zedong fought a civil was against Nationalists headed by Jiang Jieshi. Mao's communists came out on top. The Communists redistributed land to poor peasants and ended oppression by landlords. Doing things like this the Communists started gaining support whil the Naionalists lost popularity. Widespread support for the Communists in the countryside helped them to capture rail lines and surrond Nationalist-held cities.
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    Nuclear Arms Race and Detente

    trying to be the most powerfulThere was an arm race between the United States and the Soviet Union to become the most powerful. At first, the United States was the only nuclear power, but by 1949 the Soviet Union had also developed nuclear weapons. By 1953, both sides had developed hydrogen bombs. Both countries wanted to be able to deter the other from launching its nuclear weapons. Both sides engaged in a race to match each other's new weapons. This resulted in a "balance of terror."
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    Nuclear Arms Race and Detente 2

    SaltThe "balance of terror" was when each side knew that the other side would be destroyed if it launched its weapons. To reduce these fears, and destructions, the two sides met at disarmament talks. These talks slowed the progress, and the rival powers reached some agreements. In 1969, the U.S. and the Soviet Union began Strategic Arms Limitation Talks (SALT) to limit the number of nuclear weapons held by each side.
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    Nuclear Arms Rache and Detente 3

    Soviets in AfghanistanThe American strategy under detente was to restrain the Soviet Union through diplomatic agreements rather than by military means. The era of detente ended in 1979, when the Societ Union invaded Afghanistan.
  • Korean Conflict

    North Korea and South KoreaKorea had been decided by the Soviet and American forces that it was going to be divided along the 38th parallel of latitude. North Korea under the dictatorship of Kim Il Sung, became a communist ally of the Soviet Union. In South Korea the United States backed the dictatorial leader, Syngman Rhee. Both leaders wanted to rule the entire country, In 1950, Kim Il Sung called for a "heroic struggle" to reunite Korea. North Korean troops attacked in June 1950, and soon overran most of the south.
  • Korean Conflict 2

    PusanThe United States then organized a United Nations force to help South Korea. North Korean troops continued to advance on the south until the United Nations forces were able to stop them at the Pusan Perimeter. This is centered on the port city of Pusan, in the southeastern corner of Korea. In September, United Nations troops cut off North Korean troops from their supply of food and ammunition. North Korean forces in the South surrendered. By November, United Nations forces had advanced north.
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    The Berlin Wall

    The Berlin WallBerlin being a key focus of Cold War tensions was split into democratic West Berlin and communist East Berlin. In the 1950's, West Berlin was a showcase for West German prosperity. Many low-paid East Germans were unhappy with communism so they fled to West Berlin. To sop the flight, East Germany built a wall in 1961 that sealed off West Berlin. The Berlin Wall was a massive concrete barrier, topped with barbed wire and patrolled by guards. The workers had to be forcibly kept from fleeing.
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    Communist Cuba and Missile Crisis

    Fidel CastroIn the 1950's, Fidel Castro organized an armed rebellion against the corrupt dictator who the ruled Cuba. By 1959, Castro led his guerrilla army to victory and set about transforming the country. This transformation was known as the Cuban Revolution. Castro naionalized businesses, put most land under government control, and severly restricted Cubans' political freedom.
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    Eastern European Independence

    GorbachevWhen Gorbachev introduced glasnost and perestoika in the Soviet Union, Eastern Europeans began to seek greater freedom in their countries, and they got an end to Soviet domination. Many revolts erupted throughout eastern Europe. More and more countries were slowly gaining more and more freedom. In 1980led by Lech Walesa, Solidarity was organized which is an independent labor union. It demanded political and economic change. For the first time since 1939, Eastern European countries were free.
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    Soviet Union Falls

    StalinUnder Stalin and Krushchev, the Soviet Union was, for the most part in good shape. Except that the economy faced severe problems. In 1991, the remaining Soviet republics separated to form 12 independent nations. After 69 years, the Soviet Union had ceased to exist.Led by Lech Walesa the Soviet's economic hardships started strikes. They organized Solidarity, an independent labor union. By 1991 the Soviet Union had crumbled.
  • Warsaw Pact

    NATO vs. Warsaw PactThe Soviet Union respondd to the NATO by forming its own military alliance. Their alliance was the Warsaw Pact. It included the Soviet Union and seven satellites in Eastern Europe. The Warsaw Pact was often invoked by the Soviets to keep its satellites in order. The Warsaw Pact cemented the division of Europe into western and eastern blocs. In the East were the Societ-dominated countries, and the west, was the Western democracies led by the United States.
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    Chinese Civil War 2

    Mao ZedongMao created communes trying to increase farm and industrial output. However, his attempts failed; in fact, as many as 55 million Chinese were thought to have died of starvation due to lack of output. This act was know as the Great Leap Forward. After recovering from the Great Leap Forward, Mao launched the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution. Its goal was to purge China of "bourgeois" tendencies. Teenagers formed bands of Red Guards, wabing around their copies of the "little red book."
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    Chinese Civil War 3

    The "little red books" The "little red books" contained quotations said by Mao Zedong. The Red Guards publicly humiliated, beat, and even killed people they considered bourgeois. The number of people under communist rule had more than tripled.
  • Vietnam Conflict 4

    Viet Cong FlagOn AUgust 1, 1964, South Vietnamese commandos conducted raids on North Vietnamese islands. The next day, the North attacked a U.S. Navy Destroyer which they had though had assisted the South Vietnamese raids. President Johnson reported the attacks to Congress and on August 7 the resolution authorized the President to take all necessary measures to prevent further aggression in Southeast Asia. In 1968, guerrilla forces came out of the jungles and attacked American and South Vietnamese forces.
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    Soviets in Afghanistan

    Soviets in AfghanistanIn 1979, the Soviet Union became involved in a long war in Afghanistan. A Soviet-supported Afghan government tried to modernize the nation. Warlords took up arms against the government which caused Soviet troops to move in. Mujahedin, or Muslim religious warriors battling in the mountains of Afghanistan proved as difficult as fighting guerrillas in Vietnam. By the mid 1980's the American governmant began to smuggle modern weaponry to the mujahedin.
  • Soviets in Afghanistan

    Soviets Invade AfghanistanIn 1985 a new leader Mikhail Gorbachev came to power in the Soviet Union. He was eager to bring about reforms. He sought to avoid Cold-War confrontations, and he signed arms control treaties with the United States, and pulled Soviet troops out of Afghanistan. He wanted glasnost, or openness, and he ended censorship and urged perestroika or restructuring of the government and economy. However, his plans failed.