The Cold War: The Power Struggle Between The World's Two Dominate Nations

Timeline created by Allison32996
  • Gorbachev

    Soviet statesman whose foreign policy brought an end to the Cold War and whose domestic policy introduced major reforms.
  • House Un-American Activities Committee (H.U.A.C.)

    An investigation of the United States House of Representatives. Created in 1938 to investigate alleged disloyalty and subversive activities on the part of private citizens, public employees, and those organizations suspected of having Communist ties.
  • Massive Retaliation

    An “all or nothing” strategy created by Eisenhower’s Secretary of State, John Foster Dulles, that threatened to decimate the Soviet Union.
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    The Yalta Conference

    Franklin Roosevelt (United States), Winston Churchill (Great Britain), and Joseph Stalin (USSR) agreed to meet to discuss war strategy and issues that would affect the postwar world.
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    Chinese Communist Revolution

    The Chinese Communist Revolution was between the Communist Party and the Republic of China. It was the second part of the Chinese Civil War. The results were the communist takeover of mainland China and the People's Republic of China was established in mainland China and the government of the Republic of China was relocated to Taiwan.
  • The Iron Curtain Speech

    The Iron Curtain Speech was given by Winston S. Churchill and proclaimed that there was an Iron Curtain that symbolized the conflict and physical boundary which divided Europe into two separate areas.
  • Truman Doctrine

    An international relationship policy instated by President Harry Truman in a speech that he delivered on March 12, 1947. This doctrine stated that the United States would support Greece and Turkey with any aid they needed to prevent them from falling into the Soviet sphere.
  • The Marshall Plan

    The United States offered to give economic support to help rebuild Europe’s economies after World War II was over to prevent the spread of Soviet Communism in Europe.
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    Berlin Airlift

    In post- World War II Germany, the Soviet Union blocked all of the Western Allies’ paths to the Allie controlled section of Berlin. In response to this, the Allies began organizing an airlift that carried supplies to the people of West berlin. Five different air companies helped in this process and they flew more than 200,000 flights into West Berlin in just one year.
  • Alger Hiss

    Former high-ranking State Department official accused by Whittaker Chambers in August 1948 of being a communist and Soviet spy.
  • Start of the Arms Race

    The nuclear arms race was a competition for supremacy in nuclear warfare between the United States, the Soviet Union, and their allies during the Cold War. Initially, only the United States possessed atomic weapons, but in 1949 the Soviet Union exploded an atomic bomb and the arms race began.
  • North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO)

    An intergovernmental military alliance based off of the North Atlantic Treaty, signed on April 4, 1949. It is a system of defense in the case of an attack on a member state by an external party.
  • Soviets Detonation of the Atomic Bomb

    This was the first detonation of an atomic bomb by the Soviets.
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    McCarthyism/Red Scare

    The fear of communist influence on American institutions and espionage by Soviet agents.
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    Domino Theory

    If one state falls to communism in a region, all the states in that region will also fall to communism.
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    Korean War

    A war between the Soviet Union supported North Korea and the United Stated supported South Korea.
  • McCarran Internal Security Act

    An act created to protect the United States against those suspected of engaging in subversive activities or otherwise promoting the establishment of a “totalitarian dictatorship,” by requiring the registration of Communist organizations.
  • Rosenberg Spy Case

    Julius Rosenberg and Ethel Greenglass Rosenberg were American citizens who were put to death for giving up information about the atomic bomb to the Soviet Union.
  • H Bomb

    In November 1952, the H Bomb, or hydrogen bomb, was first tested by the United States and in August 1953 it was tested by the Soviet Union.
  • Stalin's Death

    Died on March 5, 1953, at the age of 74 in Kuntsevo, Dacha. He had been a powerful influence on the spread of communism, and was still very popular in the Soviet Union after his death.
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    The Vietnam War

    A conflict fought between North Vietnam that was supported by the Soviet Union, China and other communist allies, and the government of South Vietnam that was supported by the United States and other anti-communist countries.
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    Dien Bien Phu

    The climactic confrontation of the First Indochina War between the French Union's French Far East Expeditionary Corps and Viet Minh communist-nationalist revolutionaries.
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    Guatemalan Coup

    CIA covert operation that deposed President Jacobo Árbenz Guzmán with a paramilitary invasion by an anti–Communist army of liberation, titled Operation PBSUCCESS.
  • The Warsaw Pact

    The Warsaw Pact is the treaty between Albania, Bulgaria, Czechoslovakia, East Germany, Hungary, Poland, Romania, and the Soviet Union, that was signed in Poland in 1955. A military treaty, it bound its members to come to the aid of the others, should any one of them be the victim of foreign aggression.
  • Khrushchev's Secret Speech

    A speech to a closed session of party leaders in which he dismantled the legend of the recently deceased Joseph Stalin and criticized almost every aspect of Stalin’s method of rule.
  • Launch of Sputnik

    The Soviet Union launched the world's first artificial satellite.
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    Space Race

    Competition between the Soviet Union and the United States for supremacy in spaceflight capability.
  • Fidel Castro

    A Cuban communist revolutionary and politician who was Prime Minister of Cuba from 1959 to 1976, and President from 1976 to 2008. Castro formed an economic and military alliance with the Soviets, and allowed them to place nuclear weapons on the island, sparking the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962.

    Technical research ships were used by the United States Navy during the 1960s to gather intelligence by monitoring, recording and analyzing wireless electronic communications of nations in various parts of the world.
  • U-2 Spy Plane Affair

    On May 1, 1960, a US U-2 spy plane was shot down over the airspace of the Soviet Union. After denying the mission of the plane, the US was forced to admit that it was a covert surveillance aircraft. The incident was an embarrassment to the US and prompted deterioration its relations with the Soviet Union.
  • Bay of Pigs Invasion

    The Bay of Pigs was an unsuccessful military invasion of Cuba undertaken by the American funded and CIA-sponsored paramilitary group Brigade 2506, intending to overthrow the revolutionary left wing government of Fidel Castro.
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    The Berlin Wall

    The Berlin Wall was a barrier constructed by the German Democratic Republic that completely cut off West Berlin from East Germany and East Berlin. It served to prevent the massive emigration of those trying to cross the border from East Berlin into West Berlin and other Western European countries.
  • M.A.D: Mutually Assured Destruction

    A doctrine of military strategy and national security policy in which a full-scale use of high-yield weapons of mass destruction by two opposing sides would cause the complete annihilation of both the attacker and the defender.
  • Cuban Missile Crisis

    A 13-day confrontation between the Soviet Union and Cuba on one side and the US on the other side. The crisis is generally regarded as the moment in which the Cold War came closest to turning into a nuclear conflict.
  • The B-59 Submarine Incident

    A Project 641 or Foxtrot-class diesel-electric submarine of the Soviet Navy. It played a key role in the Cuban Missile Crisis, when senior officers – believing they were under attack – considered launching a nuclear torpedo with an 10 kiloton warhead.
  • Hotline

    A direct link of communication between the USA and Russia in the wake of the Cuban Missile Crisis.
  • Nuclear Test Ban Treaty

    Treaty signed in Moscow on Aug. 5, 1963 by the United States, the Soviet Union, and the United Kingdom that banned all tests of nuclear weapons except those conducted underground.
  • Gulf of Tonkin Resolution

    An approval for the expansion of the Vietnam war in response to a set of proposed, detailed plans to attack North Vietnam. This was to prevent any further “open aggression on the high seas” from the Vietnamese.
  • Indonesian Coup

    Indonesian National Armed Forces members in the early hours of October 1, 1965, assassinated six Indonesian Army generals in an abortive coup d'état. In the days and weeks that followed, the army blamed the coup attempt on the Indonesian Communist Party (PKI). Soon a campaign of mass killing was underway, which resulted in the death of hundreds of thousands of alleged communists.
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    Six Day War

    A war in the Middle East for land that lasted six days between Egypt, Jordan, Syria, and Israel in which Israel had captured large regions of Arab territory, including the Gaza strip and Sinai Peninsula from Egypt, the West Bank (including East Jerusalem) from Jordan, alongside the Golan Heights from Syria.
  • USS Liberty attack

    A Belmont-class technical research ship that was attacked by Israel Defense Forces during the 1967 Six-Day War.
  • Neutron Bomb

    The first weapon specifically intended to kill humans with radiation, the neutron bomb was first tested in 1968 by the United States.
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    John Walker

    Convicted of spying for the Soviet Union.
  • Tet Offensive

    The most major campaign of surprise attacks against military and civilian commands or control centers in South Vietnam during the Vietnam War.
  • U.S.S. Scorpion

    A nuclear submarine of the United States Navy that was declared lost at sea on June 5, 1968 with 99 crewmen dying in the incident.
  • Prague Spring Rebellion

    The Soviet invasion of Prague, Czechoslovakia with Warsaw Pact troops to deter a potential liberal reform.
  • Brezhnev Doctrine

    The policy amounted to the USSR reserving the right to use military force to prevent any socialist country from turning to capitalism.
  • Leonid Brezhnev

    He produced the “Brezhnev doctrine,” stating that the USSR could intervene in the domestic affairs of any Soviet bloc nation if Communist rule were threatened. In 1977 he assumed the presidency of the USSR, thereby becoming head of state and head of the party.
  • SALT (Strategic Arms Limitations Task)

    It consisted of two bilateral talks as well as corresponding treaties regarding armament control. These led to the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START) which proposed specific capacities for nuclear weapons on both sides of war.
  • Detente

    A French term for the easing of strained relations, more so in political situations. This term is often used in reference to the stressed relationship between the Soviets and the Americans regarding geo-political tension.
  • Vietnamization

    ): A new strategy that focused on ending American involvement in the Vietnam War and pushing military responsibilities to South Vietnam in case of a communist takeover.
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    Cambodia & Khmer Rouge

    The Khmer Rouge period was the rule of the Communist Party of Kampuchea over Cambodia starting in 1975. Over the next four years, two million people were killed by political executions, disease, starvation, and forced labor.
  • Helsinki Accords

    The final act of the Conference on Security Co-operation in Europe which was a declaration with the attempt to improve relations between the Communist bloc and the West.
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    Afghanistan War

    A war fought between Soviet-led Afghan forces and multi-national insurgent groups called the Mujahideen. . The Soviet Union failed in securing Afghanistan from the rebels, and Mikhail Gorbachev signed a peace treaty to end the war.
  • NORAD Computer Glitch

    On November 9th, 1979, the United States made preparations for a retaliatory nuclear strike when a NORAD computer glitch indicated an all-out Soviet strike had been launched.
  • Perestroika

    Perestroika was a political movement for reformation within the Communist Party of the Soviet Union during the 1980s that was widely associated with Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev and his glasnost policy reform.
  • Glasnost

    Glasnost was General Secretary Mikhail Gorbachev’s policy for a new, open policy in the Soviet Union where people could freely express their opinions. Glasnost, which translates to “openness” in English, opened the door for the Soviet people to re-examine their history and to voice their opinions on governmental policies.
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    Political movement in Poland during 1980 in which the Polish government allowed Polish workers to be represented by an independent trade union against the workers' state.
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    Ronald Reagan

    During his first term he created the Strategic Defense Initiative to develop weapons based in space to protect the U.S. against Soviet attacks. He also took a strong stance against labor unions as well as ordered the Granada invasion.
  • SDI (Star Wars)

    Proposed by U.S. President Ronald Reagan on March 23, 1983, to use ground-based and space-based systems to protect the United States from attack by strategic nuclear ballistic missiles.
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    Able Archer 83 Exercise

    A five-day North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) command post exercise starting on November 7, 1983, that spanned Western Europe and caused the Soviet Union to go on high alert.
  • INF Treaty

    The INF Treaty was signed by President Reagan and Soviet General Secretary Gorbachev at a Washington Summit on December 8, 1987. It eliminated all nuclear-armed ground-launched ballistic and cruise missiles with ranges between 500 and 5,500 kilometers (about 300 to 3400 miles) and their infrastructure.
  • German Unification

    German Democratic Republic joined the Federal Republic of Germany when Berlin reunited into a single city, as provided by the Grundgesete Constitution Article 23. The end of the unification process is officially referred to as German unity.