Cold war

Cold War

By mac13
  • Vietnamese "Independence"

    Vietnamese "Independence"
    France had exhibited imperial control over Vietnam for 50 years, and their poor leadership led to aggravation and a growth in nationalism. After a period of guerilla war led by Ho Chi Minh against France, Minh declared independence. However, he immediately faced pressure from France and China, so he agreed to a re-occupation of the north by France and deemed Vietnam independent within the French Union. This is significant because it led to the First Indochina War
  • Hiroshima

    After the end of WWII in Europe, the United States looked for a way to end war in Japan. At that point, tensions were rising between the communist Soviet Union and the United States, so to both end the war in Asia and demonstrate the US's strength, the US dropped a nuclear bomb on Hiroshima. This is significant because it was the first nuclear bomb ever used as an act of war.
  • Nagasaki

    Three days after the first nuclear bomb was dropped, the second, and last, nuclear bomb to be dropped was dropped on Nagasaki. Although there would be thousands of tests over the next decades, with the US and the USSR having the bulk of them, this was the only time the bombs were exploded in war. This is significant because it was the last nuclear bomb ever used as an act of war.
  • Creation of the United Nations

    Creation of the United Nations
    The US, USSR, and UK wanted to maintain the "Grand Alliance" from WWII in order to maintain peace. The Big Three and France were permanent members and had veto powers. This is significant because the UN is still actively maintaining peace, and the veto powers that both the US and the USSR held were used as weapons.
  • Stalin's election speech

    Stalin's election speech
    In Stalin's election speech in 1945, he blamed WWII on capitalism. The responsive "Long Telegram" urged the US not to intervene but instead to spread capitalism through Europe. This is significant because it is a clear indicator of the line that now stands between communism and capitalism where merely months before they were portrayed as allies.
  • "Iron Curtain"

    "Iron Curtain"
    In response to the rising tensions between the US and the USSR, Winston Churchill made a speech in which he declared an "Iron Curtain" descended over Europe. This divided the free and totalitarian parts of Europe. Stalin responded by suggesting the US and USSR desired world domination. This is significant because it demonstrates the division between the eastern and western world as well as the alliances formed during the Cold War.
  • Clifford-Elsey Report

    Clifford-Elsey Report
    Clark Clifford and George Elsey drafted a report to Truman that suggested the USSR used military force to establish satellite states. The report recommended both diplomacy and military action to prevent further expansion. This is significant because it demonstrates how quickly the tensions escalated and how close the US and USSR were to engaging in a "hot" war.
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    First Indochina War

    The US supported the Vietnamese fight against Japan during WWII, but once over the Japanese were replaced with the French. Now armed with US weapons, the Viet Minh waged geurilla warfare against the French. the US came to France's aid and eventually was funding 80% of the war. The war ended when France tried to trap the Vietnamese at Dien Bien Phu and instead were caught off guard— they surrendered.This is significant because it demonstrates US intervention against communism.
  • Truman Doctrine

    Truman Doctrine
    In response to Greece and Turkey, President Truman said the US had to protect countries who were resisting enslavement. Meaning, if Greece/Turkey/any other country fell to communism, it would make the surrounding countries vulnerable, so the US would provide monetary aid to prevent the spread of communism. This is significant because it demonstrates the start of a policy that's implemented throughout the Cold War.
  • Marshall Plan

    Marshall Plan
    Europe was in shambles after WWII. So, to both help Europe recover and prevent the spread of communism, the US provided over $13 billion in what became known as the Marshall Plan. This is significant because it was eventually only extended to Western Europe, which is partially why Eastern Europe was poor in comparison and eventually overturned communism.
  • Berlin Blockade

    Berlin Blockade
    The US, Great Britain, and France introduced a new currency in Germany without Soviet say, so the Soviets formed a blockade around West Berlin, which was in their sphere of influence. In response, the US air lifted supplies into Berlin, which was called the Berlin Airlift. This is significant because it demonstrates one of the first battlegrounds of the Cold War, wherein other countries suffered from the rivalry. The picture shows one of the planes delivering supplies while Berlin citizens wait.

    The Soviet Union did not want the US to use the Marshall Plan to gather favor in Eastern Europe, so they created the Council for Economic Assistance (COMECON). It was limited to socialist countries, and was done to to provide economic stability to Eastern Europe. This is significant because it demonstrates the way the US and USSR used other countries as tools, no matter the impact.
  • NATO

    The North Atlantic Treaty Organization was formed with the US, France, UK, and other countries, and more continued to join. It was intended to be a military alliance to protect each other from Soviet aggression. This is significant because it demonstrates a unification against the Soviet Union as well as a legitimate fear of nuclear war.
  • Arms Race Begins

    Arms Race Begins
    The Soviet successfully tests their first atomic bomb. This sends the US into a frenzy, where they tried to develop more and more advanced nuclear weapons and weapons in general than the Soviet Union. As the Soviets did the same, this became the arms race. This is significant because it demonstrates a major part of the Cold War as well as the large threat of nuclear war.
  • People's Republic of China

    People's Republic of China
    Mao Zedong succeeds in establishing the communist People's Republic of China, with the previous government pushed out of mainland China and into Thailand. China establishes relationships with the USSR but the US, and many other nations, refuse to acknowledge its legitimacy. This is significant because the US's refusal to acknowledge China led to USSR boycott of the UN and the consequent UN involvement in the Korean War.
  • Treaty of Friendship, Alliance and Mutual Assistance

    Treaty of Friendship, Alliance and Mutual Assistance
    After the People's Republic of China had established itself as a communist government, the USSR quickly made an allegiance with it. Although the treaty promised friendship, tensions between the USSR and China continued to grow. They were pushed farther apart with the Brezhnev Doctrine, Mao felt attacked with Khrushchev's denouncement of Stalin, during the border clashes they almost entered all out war, and in 1979 when the treaty was supposed to be re-established, neither side made any effort.
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    Korean War

    After WWII Korea was divided at the 38th parallel— the USSR supports the North and the US supports the South. On 6/5, North Korea invades the South, without Soviet aid, in hopes of unifying the country. The US responds by sending troops and providing monetary aid. While this is successful and they push the North troops to a small corner in Northern Korea, they're pushed back again when China sends aid. A treaty is formed, but the war doesn't officially end, and the country is still divided.
  • US/UN Joins War

    US/UN Joins War
    After North Korea invaded South Korea, the US managed to gather UN support to join the war, primarily because the Soviet Union wasn't attending the meeting in protest of the UN's refusal to acknowledge PRC's legitimacy. Led by Douglas MacArthur, the army pushed the North Korean army back to China's border. The political cartoon shows significance— North Korea, South Korea, and the US have their hands on a grenade, but since the US is larger it shows how they're the main drivers in this war.
  • China Joins the War

    China Joins the War
    Since the South Korean and UN army had pushed the North Korean army to the Chinese border, China feared invasion. China sent aid with the Chinese People’s Volunteer Army. Over 1/2 million troops poured into Korea. This is significant because it demonstrates how the war was a proxy war as well as a civil war. The political cartoon shows bickering children (North and South Korea) with their parents above them (the US and China). This demonstrates how the war was really between the US and China
  • End of the Korean War

    End of the Korean War
    After being pushed back by the North Korean army and CVP, the UN army reoccupied Seoul. Truce talks begin ini 1951, but they weren't finished until 1953 because of disagreements over prisoners of war. The country was again divided slightly above the 38th parallel, with an armistice line and demilitarized zone 2 km wide. This is significant because it shows the failure of the US to tackle communism on the other side of the world.
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    Cuban Revolution

    The Cuban government was corrupt. Fidel Castro promoted revolution with his brother. His initial attempt to overrun the government was a fail, but when he was put on trial he merely used it as a platform to gather support. When he returned, he attacked in an attempt for a quick liberation. He started a hit and run campaign. He eventually gathered enough support to overthrow the government and Batista fled. This is significant because it marks the rise of communism so close to the US.
  • Arbenz Overthrown

    Arbenz Overthrown
    In Guatemala, the US dominated the economy with their control over the United Fruit Company. Guatemala elected a new president, Arbenz, and he initiated land reform to buy the land back from the UFCO and distribute it to the peasants. The US called this communism and sent in the CIA to overthrow Arbenz and imprison those who supported him. This is significant because it demonstrates US operations in Latin America against communism.
  • Geneva Accords

    Geneva Accords
    In order to negotiate an end to the First Indochina War, the Geneva Accords were held and made non-binding agreements. There would be a ceasefire along the 17th parallel and evacuation of foreign troops, free elections in Cambodia and Laos in 1955 and elections in Vietnam in 1956, among other agreements. This is significant because it shows the problems left unresolved that would lead to the Second Indochina War.
  • Warsaw Pact

    Warsaw Pact
    In response to the creation of NATO, the Soviet Union created the Warsaw Pact. This amounted to a military alliance of Eastern European countries, with the USSR at the head. This is significant because it shows the alliances formed during the Cold War and the pact that would be enacted in later crises.
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    Second Indochina War

    Despite Southern leader Ngo Dinh Diem's barbaric policies, the US still supported him because he was better than the communist Ho Chi Minh. This eventually led to a civil war, with the US backing the South and the China backing the North. Army tactics proved ineffective against the geurilla warfare, and the Viet Cong made it difficult to know who to fight— the North won. This is significant because it shows the US willingness to fight communism and their failure to succeed.
  • Sputnik

    The Soviets launched the first orbiting satellite, which served to both prove the USSR's prowess and intimidate the US as they feared the potential weaponry and spy tech that could be achieved with that technology. This marks the start of the Space Race. This is significant because it shows how the threat of war extended to space— every place was contaminated with the Cold War.
  • First Man in Space

    First Man in Space
    Since 1957, both the US and USSR had launched technology into space, some of which contained live animals. However, the USSR once again beat the US to a milestone in space and sent the first man into space. The picture depicts Yuri Gagariu, who manned the mission. This is significant because it shows how the USSR was winning the Space Race, which intimidated the US.
  • Bay of Pigs

    Bay of Pigs
    The US was intimidated having a communist country so close to home. So, in an attempt to overthrow Castro, the CIA trained Cuban exiles and led them in an attack on Cuba, which was wildly unsuccessful. This is significant because it demonstrates yet another failed attempt to battle governments in a foreign country.
  • U2 Incident

    U2 Incident
    An American pilot was illegally flying over the Soviet Union and was shot down. This sparked tensions and also demonstrated how the US lied. This is significant because it shows the attempts at spying during this time period, however there were many more successful attempts and this merely reflects a failed one.
  • Operation Mongoose

    Operation Mongoose
    In an attempt to remove communist leaders from power, the CIA led assassination attempts. Once again, this failed to remove Castro from power, whom is depicted in the image. This is significant because it demonstrates CIA intervention in Latin American countries in an attempt to overthrow communist leaders.
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    Cuban Missle Crisis

    US planes caught short-range ballistic missiles in Cuba. The US was divided into two groups— Hawks and Doves— where they advocated for military action or peace, respectively. In return for removing missiles from Turkey and promising not to invade Cuba, the USSR retracted the missiles. This is significant because it is thought to be the closest the US and USSR ever came to nuclear war.
  • Partial Test-Ban Treaty

    Partial Test-Ban Treaty
    At this point, both the United States and the Soviet Union have tested multiple nuclear bombs, and the effects on the environment were clear. This treaty banned testing of nuclear bombs in the atmosphere, space, or water, leaving only the underground available to test. This is significant because it shows an effort to slow down the arms race and ease the possibilities for nuclear war.
  • Gulf of Tonkin Resolution

    Gulf of Tonkin Resolution
    In the Gulf of Tonkin, two US destroyers reported that they were fired upon by the North Vietnamese. Consequently, Congress passed the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution which allowed President Lyndon B. Johnson to do whatever is necessary to maintain peace in Asia. This is significant because it shows the means the US went to in order to fight communism in Vietnam without actually declaring war.
  • China Test Nuclear Bomb

    China Test Nuclear Bomb
    Although China was not a global superpower at this time, there was too much struggle internally for them to match the might of the US or the USSR, the development of the nuclear bomb made them a threat. Tensions between the US and China escalated, and multiple times, such as during the Vietnam and Korean War, bombing China was a serious discussion. This is significant because it shows how the nuclear weaponry extended beyond the superpowers.
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    Cultural Revolution

    The Cultural Revolution was a series of reforms that Mao initiated in hopes of catching up to the global superpowers at the time. These reforms were not successful, and they led to massive famine and poverty across China. Consequently, the US ambassadors that were trying to normalize relations with China were retracted and China became more isolated. This is significant because it demonstrates both the failures of communism and reasons for poor relations between China and the US.
  • Tet Offensive

    Tet Offensive
    The Tet Offensive was a series of attacks launched by Northern Vietnam during a typical time of peace. This caught the United States off guard, and while the offensive was considered to be a failure for the North, this greatly weakened US resolve and led to a desire to leave the war. This is significant because it's one of the reasons that led to US withdrawal from the war an ultimate victory of the North.
  • Non-Proliferation Treaty

    Non-Proliferation Treaty
    In an attempt to slow down the spread of nuclear weapons, a treaty was signed that said the countries who had nuclear technology would not share it with countries who didn't have the technology. The treaty was also supposed to promote the use of nuclear energy and be a stepping stone toward nuclear disarmament. This is significant because it demonstrates efforts toward detente, even if it doesn't apply to the two countries who were at the greatest risk of starting nuclear war.
  • Prague Uprising

    Prague Uprising
    In 1968, Czechoslovak began making reforms. The Warsaw Pact practiced military exercises outside Czech to intimidate the leader, and the countries signed the Warsaw Latter to recommend Czech continues reforms but reigns in rightist groups. Failing to do so, the USSR invaded after a "cry for help." This is significant because it shows USSR willingness to intervene even if they're not wanted. The picture shows people in Czech putting flowers on tanks to show they did not need military assistance.
  • Brezhnev Doctrine

    Brezhnev Doctrine
    After the USSR barely reigned in Prague Spring because they lacked the means to act until the "cry for help," Brezhnev made the Brezhnev Doctrine. In it, he stated that if there was any threat to communism, the USSR would respond to ensure it remained. This is significant because it distanced the USSR from China, as China feared invasion because of their different form of communism. The cartoon shows the USSR hiding Prague Spring behind Brezhnev, who defended his actions
  • Sino-Soviet Border Clashes

    Sino-Soviet Border Clashes
    In 1969, Mao wanted leverage a success to contrast the fail of the Cultural Revolution. He planned on a small victory, but Russia had anticipated this and the Soviets fought, forcing the Chinese to withdraw. The border clashes continued, and the USSR even asked for US support. However, Nixon refused as he was looking to normalize relations with China, whose anti-Soviet perspective aligned with his. This is significant because it shows division Sino-Soviet division and an opening for the US.
  • Apollo II

    Apollo II
    At this point, the USSR was winning the Space Race. So, it was imperative for the US to beat the USSR to the moon. Under the mission Apollo II, the US succeeded and Neil Armstrong became the first man on the moon. This is significant not only in history, but in the Cold War because it demonstrates how while the USSR beat the US to many Space Race milestones, the US finished the Space Race.
  • Ping Pong

    Ping Pong
    As Nixon continued to push for normalized relations with China, China made a demonstration of peace. The world championship for ping-pong was held in China and the US team was invited. This is significant because it shows steps towards having a peaceful and friendly relationship between countries who should be on opposite sides of a war.
  • Kissinger visits China

    Kissinger visits China
    In an effort to normalize relations with China, government official Kissinger secretly traveled to China and made offers without expecting anything in return. For instance, he offered fo the UN to finally recognize the PRC as the legitimate China. This eventually led to Nixon's visit in 1972. This is significant because it shows efforts toward detente. The image shows Kissinger and Mao, and their posture demonstrates the lack of animosity between the two people and countries.
  • Pentagon Papers

    Pentagon Papers
    The Pentagon Papers were a set of confidential documents that revealed how the US government had been lying about the situation in Vietnam for years— in reality, the US was losing the war. This is significant because it not only did led to a public desire to end the war in Vietnam, but it also led to Nixon's efforts to normalize relations with China, as he needed something positive to combat this bad news.
  • Nixon Visits China

    Nixon Visits China
    For the first time, an American president visited the PRC. This ended 25 years of no diplomatic relations and outright hostility between China and the United States. This is significant because it shows how China and the US are officially, publicly, on the same side.
  • Paris Peace Accords

    Paris Peace Accords
    Eventually, the US lost all support for the war in Vietnam, so after years they made efforts toward peace. The peace accords left the division at the 17th parallel and the conflict between the North and the South continued while US troops withdrew. Not long after, Saigon fell, and the image shows the remaining US diplomats and what's left of the Southern leaders fleeing Vietnam. This is significant because it marks yet another US failure and Vietnam's eventual fall to communism.
  • Chilean Coup

    Chilean Coup
    The US feared a prosperous example of communism, and with Castro's visit to Chile the government was secured as communist in their minds. So, CIA operatives backed a coup led by General Pinochet and overthrew the democratically elected leader Allende. The picture shows the Chilean White House being bombed during the coup. This is significant because it shows US desire to attack a relatively peaceful country in order to maintain capitalism.
  • Soviets Invade Afghanistan

    Soviets Invade Afghanistan
    During the late 1970s, the Afghanistan government was facing internal opposition to the communist regime. So, acting in accordance with the Brezhnev Doctrine, Soviet troops invaded Afghanistan in support of the government, where they remained for a decade. This is significant because it shows Soviet intervention on behalf of communism and their failure to make much of an impact.
  • Korean Airliner Shot Down

    Korean Airliner Shot Down
    At this point, the US and USSR were observing each other's nuclear tests. The US was doing so from a plane, and afterward when the US wasn't supposed to be there, a Korean plane flew off its track and over the test site. The Soviets then shot the plane down, and the hundreds of civilians died. This is significant because it marks another peak in tensions after so many efforts toward peace.
  • Reagan and Gorbachev Negotiate Arms Reductions

    Reagan and Gorbachev Negotiate Arms Reductions
    Under Reagan tensions were higher and detente was over. However, Gorbachev's will for change brought about a new time of detente, and Reagan and Gorbachev began to meet to relieve tensions. It took a while for anything to happen, though, in part because of Reagan's insistence on the Star Wars technology, which (hypothetically) would shoot missiles out of the sky from space and broke previous treaties. This is significant because it shows the start of the end of the war.
  • Communist Free Poland

    Communist Free Poland
    Gorbachev promised to let satellite states go their own way when he became leader. In Poland, this meant they fought for a government free from communism through a movement called Solidarity. Although they were pushed back to near extinction at first, with Gorbachev's new policies they were free to continue their efforts, and their success led to the collapse of all communist governments in Eastern Europe. This is significant because it marks the start of the demise of the USSR.
  • Fall of the USSR

    Fall of the USSR
    Although Gorbachev did not intend to bring an end to communism, his new policies allowed the country too much freedom, and by 1991 the USSR's weaknesses were exposed to all within. In August, Gorbachev was kidnapped by communist hardliners and the population protested. This is significant because he then dissolved the Central Committee of Communist Party and stepped down. The USSR dissolved. The image shows the USSR sinking into all the new independent nations, demonstrating the fall.