America in a Period of Transition - The Cold War

  • Creation of the UN

    The UN was created after WWII as a means of maintaining peace worldwide. The goal of this organization was that countries could communicate easily and discuss international laws and policies so that misunderstandings would not lead to wars.
  • Marshall Plan

    President Truman saw that Communism would spread throughout the war-torn Europe unless America could stabilize the economies of these nations. Therefore America offered funding and aid to any country that sought democratic elections and self-government.
  • Berlin Blockade Begins

    The Soviets sealed off the city of Berlin from democratic nations in order to drive them away. President Truman managed to provide the West German citizens with the food they needed through air drops of supplies and thus avoided war.
  • Creation of NATO

    The North Atlantic Treaty Organization was created as a result of the Berlin Blockade. America realized the military threat that the Soviets posed so NATO was created so that all members would agree to defend each other if attacked by a non-member nation.
  • USSR Tests Atomic Bomb

    This is the first time that the U.S. confirmed that the Soviets had nuclear weaponry. The Soviets and the Americans now stood on equal ground as both were able to use nuclear weaponry at this point.
  • Communist China

    The Soviet's influence spread into China as the Communist Mao Zedong ousted the democratic Chiang Kai-Shek. China quickly became an industrialized and powerful nation, making Communism all the more powerful of a global influence.
  • Korean War Starts

    The Communist Democratic People's Republic of Korea invaded the Democratic Republic of Korea in the South. The U.N. authorized the use of force to stop the Communists from toppling a democratic government and a war ensued. Communism was contained at the 38th parallel and still is today.
  • McCarran Internal Security Act

    This act required members of Communist organizations to register with the Attorney General. This allowed the government, which was growing increasingly paranoid of Communist espionage, to gain more power in rooting out Communists by detaining citizens found to be members of "subversive" organizations indefinately.
  • Execution of the Rosenbergs

    The Rosenbergs were found guilty of selling information to the Soviets and were sentenced to death for treason. This was the first time that anyone was executed for treason within the U.S. and this shows how America vehemently sought out and exterminated all internal Communist threats in addition to containing international Communism.
  • Iranian Coup

    Shah Pahlavi was in power and he wanted to Westernize Iran, but Mossadeq challenged Pahlavi and took over. Mossadeq nationalized Iranian oilfields; therefore the CIA and MI5 created a coup and put Pahlavi back into power. This incident shows how adept the democratic nations were at overthrowing governments in their favor.
  • Guatemalan Coup 1954

    Guzman was elected to govern Gautemala, but he had Socialist tendencies. Therefore the CIA acted similarly to how they acted toward Mossadeq in Iran and they staged a coup. A civil war resulted and the military replaced Guzman. Once again this shows how the CIA was willing and able to overthrow governments in order to keep socialists and communists out of power.
  • Warsaw Pact

    The Warsaw Pact was essentially a Communist version of NATO. The Communist nations of the world agreed to defend each other in case one of the nations came under attack. With the Warsaw Pact and NATO in place, the world became divided and yet another world war seemed even more possible.
  • U-2 Incident

    An American U-2 spy plane was shot down over the Soviet Union. When the Soviets discovered that they were being spied on war almost broke out. The Soviets realized that Americans could spy on them while they could not spy on America because they did not have bases close enough the the U.S.. Therefore the Soviets made it their goal to gain an air base close enough to the U.S. to launch spy planes from.
  • Bay of Pigs

    President Kennedy sent 1400 Cuban Exiles on a stealth mission to assassinate Fidel Castro, the Dictator of Cuba who was allied with the Soviets. Information leaked on the mission and the bombings failed to destroy their targets before the mission so the Cuban defenses were prepared and undamaged when the exiles arrived. The mission was a failure.
  • Construction of the Berlin Wall

    The Berlin Wall was a fortification which physically separated the Soviet's East Berlin and the free West Berlin. This wall became a symbol for oppression and showed the extremes the Soviets were willing to go to in order to prevent external influences.