Cold War

  • Joseph Stalin

    Joseph Stalin
    Joseph Stalin was the dictator of Russia until October 16th, 1952. Under Joseph Stalin's rule, the concept of "socialism in one country" became a central tenet of Soviet society. He replaced the New Economic Policy with a highly centralized command economy, launching a period of industrialization and collectivization that resulted in the rapid transformation of the USSR from an agrarian society into an industrial power.
    HS: He remains a controversial figure today.
  • United Nations

    United Nations
    The goals of the United Nations include promoting and facilitating cooperation in international law, international security, economic development, social progress, human rights, civil rights, civil liberties, political freedoms, democracy, and the achievement of lasting world peace.
    HS: It was founded after World War II to replace the League of Nations, to stop wars between countries, and to provide a platform for dialogue.
  • Ho Chi Minh

    Ho Chi Minh
    Ho Chi Minh was a nationalist and communist who had fought the Japanese. His guerilla forces fought the French in Vietnam for Indochina. He wanted to reunite the Vietnams under a communist rule. He was the President of North Vietnam.
    HS: He ended up taking over South Vietnam two years after America pulled their troops out.
  • Iron Curtain

    Iron Curtain
    The Iron Curtain was the tense line between the democratic West and the communist East. It was a much longer series of concrete walls, barbed wire, and watchtowers which ran along the border between East and West Germany.
    HS: It symbolized the ideological conflict and physical boundary dividing Europe into two separate areas from the end of World War II in 1946 until the end of the Cold War in 1991.
  • Truman Doctrine

    Truman Doctrine
    Truman outlined a new policy to congress. This policy known as the Truman Doctrine, was rooted in the idea of containment, limiting communism to the areas already under Soviet control.
    HS: The Truman Doctrine would guide the United States for decades. It made clear that Americans woruld resist Soviet expansion in Europe or elsewhere in the world.
  • The Marshall Plan

    The Marshall Plan
    To strengthen democratic governments, the United States offered a massive aid package, called the Marshall Plan. Under it, the United States funneled food and economic assistance to help countries rebuild. Billions of dollars of in American aid helped war-shattered Europe to recover rapidly.
  • European Economic Cooperation

    European Economic Cooperation
    The European Economic Cooperation emerged from the Marshall Plan and the Conference of Sixteen, which sought to establish a permanent organization to continue work on a joint recovery program and in particular to supervise the distribution of aid.
    HS: In September 1961, the EEC was superceded by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), a worldwide organization. In 1961, the OECD consisted of the European founder countries of the OEEC plus the United States and Canada.
  • Berlin Airlift

    Berlin Airlift
    The Berlin Airlift was when Stalin tried to force the Western Allies out of Berlin by sealing off every railroad and highway into the Western sectors of the city. The allies responded to this by mounting a round the clock airlift. This lasted for more than a year. Cargo planes supplied west Berliners with food and fuel.
    HS: Their success forced the Soviets to end the blockade.
  • North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO)

    North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO)
    When tensions continued to grow the United States, Canada, Portugal, Italy, Norway, Denmark, Iceland, and five others formed a new military alliance called the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. Members promised to help one another if any one of them were attacked.
    HS: This alliance made the Soviets create its own military alliance called the Warsaw Pact.
  • Peoples Republic of China

    Peoples Republic of China
    Mao Zedong built a communist one-party totalitarian state in the People's Republic of China. His government discouraged the practice of Buddhism, Confucianism, and other Chinese beliefs. The government also seized the property of rural landlords and urban business owners throughout China. Mao killed/tortured then killed those who opposed.
    HS: The People's Republic of China remains to this day.
  • Korean War

    Korean War
    The Korean War was a war between the South Korea (capitalist market economy) and North Korea (communist command economy). It lasted until July 27th, 1953. The war happened because of the political division of Korea by an agreement of the Allies at the conclusion of the Pacific War at the end of World War II.
    HS: The two countries never reunited, South Korea eventually transformed into a democracy and North Korea is still a communist command economy.
  • Explosion of the First Hydrogen Bomb

    Explosion of the First Hydrogen Bomb
    The first thermonuclear ("hydrogen") bomb test released the same amount of energy as approximately 10,000,000 tons of TNT. This new weapon was approximately 1,000 times more powerful than conventional nuclear devices.
    HS: Opponents of development of the hydrogen bomb included J. Robert Oppenheimer, one of the creaters of the atomic bomb. He and others said that little would be accomplished except the speeding up of the arms race, since the Soviets followed up.
  • Nikita Khrushchev

    Nikita Khrushchev
    Nikita Khrushchev led the Soviet Union during part of the Cold War. Khrushchev was responsible for the partial de-Stalinization of the Soviet Union, for backing the progress of the early Soviet space program, and for several relatively liberal reforms in areas of domestic policy.
    HS: Khrushchev's party colleagues removed him from power in 1964, replacing him with Leonid Brezhnev as First Secretary and Alexei Kosygin as Premier.
  • KGB

    The KGB (Committee for State Security) was the main security agency for the Soviet Union from 1954 until its collapse in 1991.
    HS: It was the chief government agency of "union-republican jurisdiction", acting as internal security, intelligence, and secret police.
  • Warsaw Pact

    Warsaw Pact
    The Soviet Union responded to NATO by forming its own military alliance, 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. These countries were communist in name but dictatorships in practice.
    HS: The Warsaw Pact cemented the division of Europe into "eastern" and "western" blocs.
  • Suez Canal/Nasser

    Suez Canal/Nasser
    In 1952 Gamal Abdel Nasser seized power in Egypt. He was determined to modernize Egypt and stop Western domination, so he nationalized the Suez Canal. This ended the British and French control.
    HS: Nasser led two unsuccessful wars against Israel. To counter US support for Israel, Egypt relied on Soviet Aid. Egypts foreign relations took on Cold War significance.
  • Sputnik

    The space age began when the Soviet Union launched into orbit Sputnik, the first artificial satellite. Sputnik itself provided scientists with valuable information.
    HS: Sputnik started the space race, which was a competition between the Soviet Union and the United States for supremacy in space exploration.
  • Berlin Wall is Erected

    Berlin Wall is Erected
    The Berlin Wall was created to divide East and West Berlin. East Berlin was communist while West Berlin was democratic. Many people from East Berlin tried to escape to West Berlin on the daily.
    HS: The wall showed that workers, far from enjoying their "communist paradise", had to be forcibly kept them from fleeing.
  • Cuban Missile Crisis

    Cuban Missile Crisis
    The Cuban Missile Crisis was a 13-day fight between the Soviet Union and Cuba on one side, and the United States on the other side. It was one of the major confrontations of the Cold War, and is considered to be the moment when the Cold War came closest to turning into a nuclear conflict.
    HS: This resulted with an agreement between the Soviet Union and the United States that we would never invade Cuba without direct provocation
  • Leonid Brezhnev

    Leonid Brezhnev
    Leonid Brezhnev was the successor to Nikita Krushchev. He held power from the mid-1960s to when he died in 1982. Under Leonid, critics faced arrest and imprisonment.
    HS: He was the General Secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, he served for 18 years.
  • Tet Offensive

    Tet Offensive
    In 1968, guerrilla forces came out of the jungles and attacked American and South Vietnamese forces in cities all across the south. The assault was unexpected because it took place during Tet, the Vietnamese New Year. The communists lost many of their best troops and did not hold any cities against American counterattacks.
    HS: The bloody Tet Offensive marked a turning point in public opinion in the United States.
  • Helsinki Accords

    Helsinki Accords
    The nations that signed the Helsinki Accords guaranteed basic rights like freedom of speech, religion, and the press as well as the rights to a fair trial, to earn a living, and to live in safety.
    HS: Even though all these countries signed these agreements, human rights abuses occure daily.
  • Vietnam

    Vietnam became divided during the Cold War. It was divided into North Vietnam and South Vietnam. North was communist and South was democratic. South Vietnam was supported by the United States who brought troops over to fight off the guerillas of North Vietnam. The North wanted to reunite the Vietnams in a communist rule.
    HS: Two years after the US left South Vietnam, the North took over and conquered.
  • Period: to

    Iranian Hostage Crisis

    The Iranian Hostage Crisis was a diplomatic crisis between Iran and the United States. Fifty two Americans were held hostage for 444 days, after a group of Islamist students and militants, who supported the Iranian Revolution, took over the American Embassy in Tehran.
    HS: This resulted in the breaking of Iran and United States relations.
  • Russian Invasion of Afghanistan

    Russian Invasion of Afghanistan
    The Soviet Union became involved in a long war in Afghanistan. A Soviet-supported Afghan government had tried to modernize the nation. The Soviets had to battle the mujahedin, or Muslim religious warriors, in the mountains of Afghanistan.
    HS: The Soviets fought for 9 years with heavy casualties, high costs, and few successes.
  • Moscow Olympics

    Moscow Olympics
    The Moscow Olympics ended on August 3rd. The United States and 65 other countries boycotted the games because of the Soviet war in Afghanistan, though some athletes from some of the boycotting countries participated in the games, under the Olympic Flag. This boycott was led by the United States.
    HS: The 1980s games of Moscow were the first to be held in Europe.
  • Lech Walesa and the Solidarity Movement in Poland

    Lech Walesa and the Solidarity Movement in Poland
    Lech Walesa led Poland in organizing Solidarity, and independent labor union.
    HS: He helped found the Polish national union known as Solidarity.
  • Los Angeles Olympics

    Los Angeles Olympics
    This was the second time that Los Angeles had hosted the Olympics. The closing ceremonies were held on August 12th. In response to the Americans boycotting the Moscow games, 14 Eastern Bloc countries and also Libya and Iran boycotted the Los Angeles Olympics.
    HS: When Tehran declined to try to host due to the concurrent Iranian political and social changes, the IOC awarded Los Angeles the games by default.
  • Mikhail Gorbachev

    Mikhail Gorbachev
    Gorbachev was an energetic new leader who came to power in the Soviet Union. With the bad economy and the war in Afghanistan, Gorbachev was eager to bring about reforms. Although, the changes he urged soon spiraled out of control.
    HS: He tried to avoid Cold War confrontations. He signed arms control treaties with the United States and took Soviet troops out of Afghanistan.
  • Glasnost and Perestroika

    Glasnost and Perestroika
    Mikhail Gorbachev sought to avoid Cold war confrontations. At home he called for glasnost, or openness. He ended censorship and encouraged people to discuss the country's problems openly. Gorbachev also urged perestroika, or restructuring, or the government and economy. To improve efficiency, he reduced the size of the bureaucracy and backed limited private enterprise.
    HS: His reforms made factory managers rather than central planners responsible for decisions.
  • Chernobyl

    The Chernobyl disaster was a nuclear accident that occured at the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant in the Ukraine.The explosion and fire released large quantities of radioactive particles into the atmosphere, which spread over most of the western USSR and Europe.
    HS: The Chernobyl disaster is widely considered to have been the worst nuclear power plant accident in history, and is one of only two classified as a level 7 event on the International Nuclear Event Scale
  • Geneva Accord

    Geneva Accord
    The Geneva Accords were the agreements between Pakistan and Afghanistan.
    HS:The accords consisted of a bilateral agreement between the Islamic Republic of Pakistan and the Republic of Afghanistan about mutual relations, in particular on non-interference and non-intervention; a declaration on interninternational guarantees, signed by signed by the USSR and the USA; a bilateral agreement between Pakistan and Afghanistan on the voluntary return of Afghan refugees; and more.
  • Tiananmen Square

    Tiananmen Square
    Thousands of demonstrations, many of them students, occupied Tiananmen Square, a huge public plaza at the center of China's capital, Beijing.They raised banners calling for democracy. The demonstrators refused to disperse, and after several days the government sent in troops and tanks. Thousands of demonstrators were killed or wounded as what became known as the Tiananmen Square Massacre.
    HS: This showed that China's Communist leaders were afraid of losing control.
  • Berlin Wall is Torn Down

    Berlin Wall is Torn Down
    Throughout the 80s, many demonstrations were held trying to achieve change in Berlin. The communist governments all around Europe were falling. People everywhere were demanding that the wall be torn down, and when it was the changes came peacefully and this event led to the Warsaw Pact being dissolved.
    HS: The Berlin Wall being torn down was a symbol of freedom for the people of Berlin.
  • Boris Yeltsin

    Boris Yeltsin
    Boris Yeltsin vowed to transform Russia's socialist command economy into a free market economy and implemented economic shock therapy, price liberalization and privatization programs. He was out of office on December 31st, 1999.
    HS: Much of the Yeltsin era was marked by widespread corruption, inflation, economic collapse and enormous political and social problems that affected Russia and the other former states of the USSR.
  • End of the USSR

    End of the USSR
    The USSR was dissolved by a declaration of the Soviet of the Republics of the Supreme Soviet of the Soviet Union. This declaration acknowledged the independence of the twelve republics of the USSR that made up the Commonwealth of Independent States. On the previous day Soviet President had resigned, and handed over the Soviet nuclear missile launching codes to Russian President.
    HS: The dissolution of the world's first and largest Communist state also marked an end to the Cold War.
  • Vladimir Putin

    Vladimir Putin
    Vladimir Putin was elected Russia's president in their second free election. He projected toughness and competence, promising to end corruption and build Russia into a strong market economy. But he repeatedly came under fire for increasing the power of the central government at the expense of people's liberties. He was president until 2008.
    HS: The international community began to question his policies, concerned that he was becoming more autocratic than democratic.