Important Events Related to the Cold War

Timeline created by BraedenF
In History
  • Bombing of Hiroshima

    Bombing of Hiroshima
    The bombing of Hiroshima was both a sad and important event preceding the Cold War. This event not only starts the Cold War by instilling a fear of nuclear arms into the world but also starting the race to acquire as many as possible. This bombing showed the whole world the power of nuclear arms and it can be said that this event was extremely crucial not only to the Cold War but to the present day as well.
  • Truman doctrine

    Truman doctrine
    The Truman Doctrine was a U.S foreign policy that would work to help any country facing a Soviet or communistic threat. This Doctrine was mainly aimed at helping the governments of Greece and Turkey since both governments had been facing troubles with communist revolutions specifically Greece. This Doctrine explained the U.Ss' goals to the world but it only helped to erode the weak relations between the U.S and the Soviet Union. These weak relations would be pivotal to the start of the Cold War.
  • First Lightning

    First Lightning
    First Lightning was the code name of the Soviets' first atomic bomb test, which was successful. This test would later be discovered and made public to the U.S only a month later. This test while not hugely important on its showed the U.S they weren't the only one capable of nuclear fission. This event would only help to create both paranoia and distrust towards Soviet Russia.
  • Creation of People's Republic of China

    Creation of People's Republic of China
    On October 1st Mao Zedong made the declaration of the creation of the People's Republic of China. This declaration signified both the end of the civil war that had been going on in China since the end of WW2 and the end of democracy within China. The civil war in China had been fought between the Chinese Communist Party(CCP) and the Nationalist Party, which the CCP eventually won. The creation of a new powerful communist country would feed the Americans fear of a communist-ruled world.
  • Start of McCarthyism

    Start of McCarthyism
    Joseph McCarthy during a speech for a Women's Republic club claimed that there were over 200 officials within the department of state who were "known communists". While these claims weren't even back by facts at the time or even now the claim quickly gained traction. The public took these claims as gospel while McCarthey was regularly seen changing the claim itself. This started a period of witch-hunting within the government and public for communists. These investigations found nothing.
  • Start of Space Race and Launch of Sputnik

    Start of Space Race and Launch of Sputnik
    The launch of Sputnik would be the first monumental event of the most well known "Arms Race" today, the Space Race. Sputnik was a demonstration by Soviet Russian to show the U.S its capabilities specifically in the frontier of space. While this event led to some paranoia of the Soviets missile abilities it also led to one of the most innovative and driven competitions seen between two countries. This race would help Americans unite under a single goal to conquer the frontier of space.
  • Rise of the Berlin Wall

    Rise of the Berlin Wall
    After WW2 and the division of Germany and Berlin, the Allied powers quickly united their territories into West Germany and West Berlin. The Allied powers quickly instated a capitalist economy while Soviet Russia instated a communist one. The West quickly began to prosper while the east began to suffer. Many wanting to escape the impoverished east fled to west berlin to find a sanctuary. Soviet Russia losing many of its skilled workers, erected a wall overnight to stop immigration.
  • Signing of the Non-Proliferation Treaty

    Signing of the Non-Proliferation Treaty
    The Non-Proliferation Treaty was a treaty designed to stop the spread of nuclear arms and warfare. Many have since signed the treaty as of today including 189 countries. This treaty was important in the fact that it tried to ease the tensions between the U.S and Soviet Russia. This treaty would be one of the small stepping stones taken to end the cold war and possible future nuclear warfare.
  • First Man on the Moon

    First Man on the Moon
    This event would not only be important to the Space Race but to humanity as a whole. This landing marked an important victory for the U.S in the space race over Soviet Russia. This victory helped boost U.S morale and confidence which nicely overshadowed the fear simmering during the Cold War.
  • Fall of the Berlin Wall

    Fall of the Berlin Wall
    During November of 1989, the wall which had separated Berlin and its occupants for so many years finally fell. The wall was both a symbol of the Iron curtain that separated the continent and a symbol of communist power. Though its importance is known widely for being the beginning of the end to the Cold war its importance goes beyond that. The eventual destruction of the Wall united many families and friends who had been separated by years before. Its fall signified an end to fear and distrust.
  • Collapse of the Soviet Union

    Collapse of the Soviet Union
    With the reforms introduced by Mikhail Gorbachev, many things began to change. The economy with its new reforms failed to gain traction and the country was left with a possibly worse economy. While the economy was stunted many gained freedom in their ability to vocalize. With a terrible economy and a newfound public voice, many began to criticize the government. This eventually led to a weak country that eventually collapsed in on itself through its own reforms. This was the end of the Cold War.
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    Second Red Scare

    The Second Red Scare was a time period like the first, of huge communist paranoia and fear. This paranoia and fear mainly stemmed from recent events like the newly created communist China. Other events were the recent creation of Soviet nuclear arms, the Korean war, and the Iron Curtain. These events led to both rational and irrational fear, some feared communist control and spies in both the government and society. This timespan was both created from fears of communism and it perpetuated it.
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    Cold War Timespan

    This Timespan is used solely to show events that started or ended the Cold War and even those that happen outside it. The events that are widely accepted to have started and ended the war are the Truman Doctrine and the collapse of Soviet Russia respectively.
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    The Berlin Blockade

    The Berlin Blockade was created by Soviet Russian in hopes of overtaking West Berlin by starving them of resources. This was done because West Berlin was governed by the Allied powers and Soviet Russia had since wanted to remove them from the communist occupied East Germany. The blockade cut off many west berlin occupants from necessary items like medicine and food. The Allied powers defied the blockade by creating an Airlift to help the west berlin which ultimately undermined the blockade.
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    Korean War

    The Korean war was important because while it not only decided the fate of a communist or capitalist South korea it also put the conflict between two superpowers on display. The Korean war became a proxy war of ideologies were the goal wasn't territory but instead a hidden war between capitalism and communism. While the war ended in a stalemate on the 38th paralell it truly showed America that communists weren't to be trifled with and the war could be seen as a defeat.
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    Vietnam War

    The Vietnam war was truly a proxy war fought between the Soviet-backed Viet Cong and the U.S back south Vietnam. The war was both bloody and somewhat futile on the American side. The fight on the American side was extremely hard since the jungles horrible to fight in and they let the Viet Cong use guerilla warfare. The U.S troops also had trouble identifying who their enemies were since they blended in with regular citizens. The Vietnam war led to a drawn-out, American and capitalist defeat.
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    Bay of Pigs

    The Bay of Pigs was an American invasion of Cuba through Cubans who were exiled after Fidel Castros rise to power. This invasion was both ineffective and disastrous. The invasion made the CIA who organized it look inept. Conversely, it made Fidel Castro look powerful which garnered him further support in Cuba and from Soviet Russa. This invasion would also be an important part in the Cuban Missle Crisis.
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    Cuban Missle Crisis

    The Cuban Missle Crisis was likely one of the tensest times during the Cold War and possibly the closest we've ever gotten to nuclear warfare. The crisis started when the U.S discovered that Cuba through Soviet Russia had built various missiles that could strike anywhere on mainland U.S. This discovery quickly led to high tensions and exorbitant claims between the countries. Luckily though both were making secret agreements which led to a disarment of Cuba and no further invasions of Cuba.
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    Soviet-Afghan War

    The Soviet-Afghan war was an expensive and fruitless endeavor by the Soviet government. This war mainly stemmed from rebels who resisted Soviet and communist control over Afghanistan. These rebels were back by many within the country since their religion largely conflicted with the laws created by the communist government. With large resistan within Afghanistan and public condemnation of the war Soviet Russia eventually decided to sign a peace treaty which signified Soviet defeat.
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    Perestroika and Glasnost

    Perestroika and Glasnost were both economic and governmental reforms introduced by Mikhail Gorbachev. Perestroika hoped to reform the Soviet economy into a mixed economy including both communist and capitalist practices. Glasnost was a governmental and social reform hoping to bring the government into the public eye and let its citizens speak freely. While these reforms were well-meaning they weren't well implemented specifically Perestroika and lead to the eventually downfall of Soviet Russia.