Cold War (1945-?)

  • Spykman's Rimland Theory.

    Spykman's Rimland Theory.
    Hal Ford Mackinder (geopolitical writer) identified the island of the world, and according to him the most important part was Eurasia since he considered it the heart of the world (pivot), stating that “Whoever controls it, will dominate the island of the world.” Therefore, it was essential to have control over Rimland. This area was extraordinarily rich and was a key strategic point.
  • Germany in 1945

    Germany in 1945
    The Tehran, Yalta and Potsdam conferences took place, in which the central topic was the future of Germany. After World War II, Germany was an internationally humiliated country. As a consequence of the war, Germany was occupied by three allies who demilitarised and deindustrialized it so that it could not become a rival. It also lost control over the Ruhr/Saar region, which remained under French control and where they had coal and iron. In this context, Berlin fell under internal control.
  • Yalta Agreements

    Yalta Agreements
    The Yalta conference was the meeting held before the end of the Second World War by Joseph Stalin, Winston Churchill and Franklin D. Roosevelt, as heads of government of the Soviet Union, the United Kingdom and the United States, and which took place in the former Livadia Imperial Palace, in Yalta.
  • Truman Doctrine

    Truman Doctrine
    With the Truman Doctrine, President Harry S. Truman established that the United States would provide political, military and economic assistance to all democratic nations under threat from external or internal authoritarian forces. The Truman Doctrine effectively reoriented U.S. foreign policy, away from its usual stance of withdrawal from regional conflicts not directly involving the United States, to one of possible intervention in far away conflicts.
  • Period: to

    First Cold War

  • Marshall Plan

    Marshall Plan
    George Marshall's speech took place at Harvard University in June, 1947. This speech was not directed against any country or doctrine, on the other hand, it was offered to all countries. The USSR rejected it, creating Comecon in 1949 (Mutual Economic Aid Council). The Marshall Plan began operating in July 1948 (European Recovery Program). Almost dollars in aid, subsidies and credits in the 4-5 years it lasted.
  • Prague Coup

    Prague Coup
    In Czechoslovakia, an electoral success of 38% of the communist party occurred in 1946. It lost support over the next 18 months:
    Czechoslovakia wanted help from the Marshall Plan, which was rejected by other countries.
    The agricultural sector begins to be established.
    The socialists begin to eliminate the communists from the armed forces.
    Loss of support among working class voters.
    There was a threat of a possible intervention by Stalin unless Gooseman's power is recognized.
  • Berlin Blockade

    Berlin Blockade
    A monetary reform took place in the West, which was known as the Deutsche Mark. This broke with the Yalta agreement because of an attempt to integrate Germany into the capitalist system.
    Stalin blocked all land access to Berlin in June 1948. As a solution, an airlift was established. After all this tension, the division between the two Germanys occurred: FRG (Federal Republic of Germany) and GDR (German Democratic Republic).
  • NATO

    The North Atlantic Treaty was established in 1949, Truman established a collective defence system.
    The most important thing about this treaty is its Art. 5, which states: “The parties agree that an armed attack against one or several of them, occurring in Europe or North America, will be considered an attack directed against all of them and, consequently , agree that if such an attack occurs, each of them, in exercise of the right of individual or collective self-defence".
  • People's Republic of China.

    People's Republic of China.
    A Civil War began in 1927 in China, in which the nationalists (under the command of Chiang Kai-Shek) and the communists (under the command of Mao Zedong), confronted each other. Kuomintang was the communist party of China, which was founded after the Xinhai Revolution and which gave rise to the Republic of China. In 1949, the People's Republic of China was proclaimed. In this context, they declared the island of Taiwan independent, asking Japan for help.
  • Korean war

    Korean war
    This is the perfect example of the Domino theory, on this occasion with countries falling to communism. As a response, the US led the UN offensive against North Korea. This was the first armed conflict of the Cold War. In this conflict, Mac Arthur wanted to use nuclear weapons and Truman stopped him from doing it, putting a limit on the conflict. Besides, the US supported France in Indochina (Laos, Tonkin, Annam, Conchinchina and Cambodia).
  • European integration

    European integration
    This happened in the context of the Korean War, and the objective of it was to reindustrialize and rearm the FRG. This was all part of the “German problem”, in which Europe could not fight communism, so it needed Germany deindustrialization in order to support European countries. This integration occurred on an economic (The ECSC was created, and later the EEC. This involved returning to Germany the coal and steel in the Saarland and Ruhr areas) and a military level.
  • Khrushchev's Reformism/Hungarian Revolution

    Khrushchev's Reformism/Hungarian Revolution
    In October 1956, Khrushchev promulgated the “Secret Speech”, considered an attack on Stalin's regime (his predecessor). According to him, communism is about society, not about the individual. He opened a new period of peaceful coexistence/openness with the US, announcing a modernization of the USSR. All this caused the break with China and unleashed trends of reformists in Eastern Europe (Hungary). Imre Nagy, proposed neutrality and abandoning the Warsaw Pact.
  • Period: to

    Oscillating Antagonism

  • Bandung Conference and the "Third World"

    Bandung Conference and the "Third World"
    The decolonization of several countries takes place. First, Lebanon became independent from France, then the Philippines became independent from the USA and later Jordan, India, Burma, Sri Lanka, Israel and Palestine became independent from the British Empire. These events lead to the convening of the International Conference of African and Asian States (BANDUNG).
    Important leaders demanded the independence of their respective countries.
  • Warsaw Pact

    Warsaw Pact
    The Soviet Union decided to launch its own alliance against NATO, the “Treaty of Friendship, Cooperation and Mutual Assistance”. The first countries to join this treaty were the USSR, Albania, Yugoslavia, Bulgaria and Romania. They therefore used a containment strategy and established the Doctrine of Massive Retaliation against any attack by the US.
  • Suez crisis

    Suez crisis
    The Suez Crisis was the most important transatlantic crisis until the Iraq War. Before the construction of the Suez Canal, the Traders from the great powers had to cross Arab countries to access raw materials from Suez.
    Nasser sought to establish pan-Arabism, a secular movement with socialist tendencies. To achieve this goal he declares Egypt's neutrality in the Cold War, buys tanks and recognizes Egypt decides to build the Suez Canal to charge other powers for passage.
  • Space race

    Space race
    The space race occurred especially in the 1950s and 1960s. Initially, the USSR achieved multiple advances (Sputnik I was the first satellite successfully in orbit, Sputnik II carried the dog Laika and Yuri Gagarin was the first man to travel into space). Nevertheless, the USA sent the first rocket to reach the moon, Apollo XI.
  • Mutually Assured Destruction (MAD)

    Mutually Assured Destruction (MAD)
    It was carried out by the Forces of the “Second Attack”. The USA and the U.S.S.R. had nuclear bombs installed in their territories, producing a technical tie between both powers. To avoid the damage that could occur if either of the two countries decided to use their resources, they carry out Mutual Assured Destruction. This leads to the signing of the first nuclear agreements.
  • Bay of Pigs invasion

    Bay of Pigs invasion
    Cuba was a puppet country of the United States, which recognized the right of intervention to this country. In 1963 the Guantánamo Agreement was signed between the United States and Cuba. Fulgencio Batista, dictator of Cuba, promoted insurrections in Cuba and this is how the Cuban Revolution began, which lasted 6 years, led by Che Guevara and Fidel Castro. The Agricultural Revolution Law clashed with the interests of the US. Even so, Kennedy did not give the go-ahead to invade Cuba.
  • Construction of Berlin Wall

    Construction of Berlin Wall
    At this time, Germany was already divided into two different parts: GDR / FRG, but Berlin was in the centre of both regions, belonging to the GDR. After the division of Germany, 3,000 people migrated to West Berlin (mass migrations), which did not give a good image of the country. For this reason, Khrushchev made the decision to build the wall, called the Anti-Fascist Protection Wall,which became the symbol of the Cold War, reflecting the lack of freedom. It would be built until 1989.
  • Cuban missile crisis

    Cuban missile crisis
    The USA had A-2 planes flying over the Havana area and detected Soviet medium-range missiles in Cuba. Consequently, he denounces them to the UN. Kennedy orders the establishment of a naval and air block and Khrushchev commands the Soviet fleet. This was the moment of maximum tension of this crisis.
    As a consequence, the USSR dismisses Khrushchev and puts Brezhnev in command, and the red telephone is installed to improve communications between both countries.
  • First Nuclear Agreements

    First Nuclear Agreements
    Two treaties are signed:
    - “Partial Nuclear Test Ban Treaty”: Prohibited testing of nuclear weapons in the atmosphere, in space and under the seas.
    - “Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty”: The transfer of weapons to (Art.1.): “States that do not have them” and (Art.3): “States that do not have them promise not to develop them, nor ask for them, nor buy them”.
    They were initially signed by the USSR, the USA and the United Kingdom. France and China do not sign them.
  • Death of John F. Kennedy

    Death of John F. Kennedy
    The assassination of John F. Kennedy, thirty-fifth president of the United States, took place on Friday, November 22, 1963, in Dallas (Texas, United States). Kennedy was fatally wounded by gunfire while riding in the presidential car in Dealey Plaza.He was the fourth US president to be assassinated (with Abraham Lincoln, James Abram Garfield, and William McKinley) and the eighth and last to die in office.
  • Tet Offensive

    Tet Offensive
    This offensive was coordinated by North Vietnam, the Vietcong (Vietnam National Liberation Front) and the United States. These countries attacked South Vietnam (Soviet) with the Hue offensive being the bloodiest, it lasted 2 weeks and was the battle that caused a turning point in the Vietnam War. This caused a radical change in American public opinion that began to promote American anti-war movements due to the harshness of the images in the press of soldiers in the Vietnam War.
  • Prague Spring/Brézhnev Doctrine

    Prague Spring/Brézhnev Doctrine
    Dubček was elected president of Czechoslovakia, following Nagy's line in Hungary. His objective was to reform Czech society (socialism with a human face, political parties, economic aspects, more markets... although Dubček did not propose leaving the Warsaw Pact. Moscow organises an invasion of Prague with the support from other countries and the USSR denounces this problem to the UN. Consequently, the Brezhnev doctrine was established.
  • SALT Agreements

    SALT Agreements
    2 agreements are signed:
    - ICBM (Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles), for those missiles that travel more than 5.500 km.
    - SLBM (Submarine- Launched Ballistic Missiles)
  • Period: to


  • US and China rapprochement

    US and China rapprochement
    The US did not recognize Mao's People's Republic of China.
    Henry Kissinger (one of the National Security Advisors) had to put an end to the very criticised Vietnam War and managed the crisis of the Yom Kippur War, conceiving a new vision of how to conduct American foreign policy, placing military intervention as a last resort.
    Taiwan leaves the UN, recognizes China and China takes its seat. Finally, Mao's death causes the long-awaited defrosting of China.
  • ABM Treaty - AntiBallistic Missile Treaty

    ABM Treaty - AntiBallistic Missile Treaty
    It was an agreement between the United States and the Soviet Union to limit the number of missile systems firing thousands (ABM) used to defend certain locations against nuclear-laden missiles. On May 26, 1972, American President Richard Nixon and the general secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party, Leonid Brezhnev, signed this treaty, which was in force for 30 years, until 2002. This treaty reflects a situation of wear and tear for both countries.
  • Basic treatise

    Basic treatise
    With the signing of this treaty, the GDR and the FRG recognized each other as states and respected their independence. They also recognized legitimacy and territorial integrity and promoted peace and diplomatic and peaceful relations in conflicts.
  • End of Bretton Woods

    End of Bretton Woods
    The breakdown of the system agreed upon at Bretton Woods occurred during the Vietnam War, when the United States printed and sent billions of dollars abroad to finance the war. European countries began to exchange overvalued dollars for German marks and gold. Thus, France and Great Britain demanded that the United States convert their surplus dollars into gold. Therefore, the reserves of Fort Knox, where the United States' gold is deposited, contracted.
  • Tensions with allies

    Tensions with allies
    The objective of the hegemonic country (US) was to maintain inflation. Based on it, the EEC (European Economic Community) criticised the US and Europe for becoming protectionist.
  • The year of Europe

    The year of Europe
    During this period, the U.S. established very good relations with the United Kingdom. In 1973, Ostpolitik and Bretton Woods tensions took place. Germany and Japan intended to take away the market from the US, trade with Russia and export the technology.
  • Oil crisis

    Oil crisis
    The oil crisis began in October 1973, following the decision of OPEC not to export more oil to countries that had supported Israel during the Yom Kippur War. This pitted Israel (ally of the US) against Syria and Egypt (allies of the USSR) The Arab countries lost against Israel and as a consequence, OPEC decided to lower oil production in their countries, causing money to devalue. This situation produced a stagflation, that is, a period of stagnation in a time of inflation.
  • Ostpolitik

    This Ostpolitik was directed by Willy Brandt. There was room for action with other countries due to the weakness of the US and the USSR. The FRG was under the Doctrine Hallstein, and in accordance with this doctrine, it had the exclusive right to represent internationally to the German State, succeed the former German Reich and claim the exercise of effective sovereignty over the territories that controlled this entity until 1937.
  • Unrest in the "Third World"

    Unrest in the "Third World"
    UNCTAD is created. The objective of developing countries was to achieve a new international economic order. To reach this objective, the member countries supported a couple of resolutions in the Assembly in favour of their interests, which were: Sovereignty over resources, lower the debt and production, attention to raw materials and the most advanced countries dedicate 0.7% of their GDP to these countries.
  • Islamic Revolution, Hostage Crisis

    Islamic Revolution, Hostage Crisis
    In 1953, the CIA and British military forces defeated Mohammed Mossadegh (Iranian Prime Minister), who attempted to privatise oil in Iran. In its place, a conservative dictatorial regime is installed that establishes order and maintains the price of oil whose leader is the Shah (Iran was the only Islamic country that sold oil to Israel). In 1979, anti-system movements occurred in Iran (in this period there were no political parties, only religious institutions).
  • Invasion of Afghanistan, aid to the Mujahideen

    Invasion of Afghanistan, aid to the Mujahideen
    The Second Cold War begins with the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, under the command of Babrak Karmal, just a few weeks after the Islamic revolution.
    Furthermore, the U.S. begins to finance and support the mujahideen (radical fundamentalist Islamists). In fact, it spent $630.000.000 to finance them in 1989. This was a turning point and thus began the Second Cold War, whose objective was to reestablish the bipolar system, achieve order in the Third World and eradicate the communists.
  • Period: to

    Second Cold War

  • Olympic Games boycott

    Olympic Games boycott
    The U.S.A. places an economic embargo on the USSR: it reduces grain exports and boycotts technology transfer. Therefore, the United States boycotts the 1980 Moscow Olympics. As revenge, the Soviet Union boycotts the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics.
  • Kirkpatrick Doctrine

    Kirkpatrick Doctrine
    The Kirkpatrick Doctrine was a political doctrine expounded by the United States Ambassador, Jeane Kirkpatrick, before the UN in the 1980s to justify in the context of the Cold War, his country's support for anti-communist dictatorships in the Third World. Kirkpatrick claimed that pro-Soviet states were totalitarian regimes while pro-Western dictatorships were authoritarian.
  • Regans’ conservative revolution

    Regans’ conservative revolution
    This revolution happened under the motto “Make America Great Again” promoted by Reagan. According to him, the détente had been a disaster in which the USSR had taken advantage to maximise its power. The objectives of this revolution were: To impose order in the Third World and the Allies (Germany and Japan). To establish a political system called “Reaganomics”.
  • Restoration of Nuclear Parity

    Restoration of Nuclear Parity
    During the détente, the USSR took the opportunity to increase its military material (nuclear weapons). Reagan decided to double military spending to compensate for his country's military weakness, increasing his military budget from $171 billion to $376 billion. The USSR began to work with the SS20 (medium-range missiles) and another window of vulnerability opened for the United States.
  • Restoration of the bipolar system

    Restoration of the bipolar system
    The US was dissatisfied with the establishment of Ostpolitik in Germany, since it also traded with the USSR. Therefore, they decided to increase military tensions in Western Europe to eradicate Ostpolitik. It installed Cruise Pershing II missiles in France, the United Kingdom and 108 missiles of this type in Germany. Also, reaffirmed military hegemony in Europe and forced Japan to break relations with the USSR.
  • Order in the Third World

    Order in the Third World
    One of the policies of WWII was to bring order to the Third World through the “rollback” policy. This policy consisted of financing or equipping military forces against enemy or communist regimes, as examples: The mujahideen, Iraq, death squads (against the opponents in El Salvador) o La Contra (against the Government of the Nicaraguan Sandinista Front). There were two sources of financing: The CIA sold weapons to Iran (enemy) to finance the war against Iran with black money.
  • Invasion of Grenada

    Invasion of Grenada
    The invasion of Grenada, a military conflict codenamed Operation Urgent Fury, was an invasion of the island nation of Grenada by the United States and several other Caribbean nations in response to the coup d'état perpetrated by Hudson Austin and its Cuban-Soviet military alliance. On October 25, 1983, the United States, Barbados, Jamaica and members of the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States landed troops in Grenada. The objective of the invasion was to restore constitutional order.
  • Star Wars

    Star Wars
    A SDI (Strategic Defense Initiative) carried out by the US begins, making MAD (Mutually Assured Destruction) obsolete.
  • Ruinous arms race, technological delay

    Ruinous arms race, technological delay
    At the beginning of the 1950s, Eastern Europe and Western Europe dedicated 2-5% of their G.D.P. to the military sector. The US spent 7% of its GDP, and the USSR between 12 and 19%. In 1985, the Soviet Union increased its investments in military hardware to 17-19% of its GDP. Therefore, 25-30% of its GDP was spent in the military sector and the Third World, which explains the country's economic crisis situation.
  • Glasnots and Perestroika

    Glasnots and Perestroika
    Gorbachev carried out an opening of the policy of the USSR, focusing on freedom of expression, freedom of media communication, and democratic mobility within the country and the block (Glasnost). Perestroika would be the economic form of this, based on the introduction of market elements and dynamism in economic planning,
  • Reykjavik Summit

    Reykjavik Summit
    The First Call takes place on arms control, specifically the SS20, Cruise Pershing II and intercontinental missiles. This was the most important summit, which failed since Reagan still wanted to establish the SDI. The signing of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty took place, establishing a deadline for the elimination of missiles with a 500-1500 km range. The division of the high command of the US State occurs (doves and hawks)
  • Period: to

    End of Cold War ¿?

  • Revolution of 1989, Sinatra Doctrine

    Revolution of 1989, Sinatra Doctrine
    Due to the crisis situation in the Soviet Union, the country announced a major military cutback. For this reason, it withdrew 500,000 soldiers from the Second and Third Worlds.
    Democratic movements began to increase in Eastern Europe. The most important of these was Solidarity, an anti-communist movement, promoted by Lech Walesa in Gdansk. At the time, strikes incited civil disobedience and demanded more rights, more democracy and more political parties.
  • Fall of Berlin Wall

    Fall of Berlin Wall
    These demonstrations increased pressure in Germany. In this context, Berlin was a place of maximum tension, which caused the fall of the Berlin Wall.
  • Reunification of Germany

    Reunification of Germany
    Treaty Two (GDR and FRG) plus Four (France, UK, US and USSR) was signed. This treaty:
    Returns sovereignty to Germany, withdrawal of Soviet troops. Also recognition of the current borders of Germany and Poland.Berlin becomes the capital again (since before reunification it was Bonn), Germany's reintegration into NATO is allowed, although German foreign military projection is limited and neither is it allows the deployment of foreign troops in eastern Germany.
  • Dissolution of the USSR

    Dissolution of the USSR
    The USSR disintegrated into 15 republics that achieved independence in 1990. As a consequence, the Warsaw Pact was dissolved.
  • Ne Global Order

    Ne Global Order
    George Bush wanted to make money for social purposes and did not want to invest in the military sector (which is known as peace dividends). Also, the First Gulf War and Operation Desert Storm took place, since Iraq invaded Kuwait between 1990 and 1991.