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Cold War Timeline

  • World War II Begins

    Shortly after World War 1, the countries around the world got into another conflict again. Japan, Germany, and Italy were all angered by the peace settlements from WWI and driven by the economic distress the countries started territorial expansion that broke the international peace. Again alliances between countries caused the war. This war was even more devastating and lead to the development of dangerous technology: the atomic bomb. It also lead to the brutal genocide of millions of Jews.
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    German became divided

    By the late 1940's, as the United States, Britain, France and the Soviets took parts of Germany, tensions began to rise. As no peace treaty was signed with Germany, the dangerous postwar territorial arrangments divided up Germany; Winston Churchil later on stated that an 'iron curtain' fell upon Europe with the side behind the curtain containing communist states and the other side containing the capitalist nations.
  • Yaltal Conference

    Yaltal Conference
    The allied powers (Great Britain, Soviet Union and the United States) called the conference because they realized that they needed to make a plan to defeat the Axis powers or more specifically Germany.However at the time there were problems between the Allied powers. Stalin had expanded Russia so much so that Churchill and Roosevelt tried to convince Stalin to allow for democracy in Poland.However, Stalin informed them that the Red army would be in charge of the liberated states by the Soviets.
  • Cold War begins

    Tatics used: MAD or mutual assured destruction in which both sides threaten to use nuclear weapons. The US and Soviets both threatened to use nuclear weapons. Proxy war was also used. Both the US and Soviet Union used a third party to fight their battles for them. The following proxies in the cold war were Afghanistan, Angola and Korea, Vietnam, the Middle East, and Latin America.Deterrence was tactic used by both sides.Fear of nuclear warfare stopped the US and Soviet union from fighting.
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    Colonial Liberation

    The end of the World War II was the beginning of the end of colonialism in Africa. The former colonial powers, most noticeably Britain and France, had become too weak to maintain their overseas possessions and by the beginning of the 1950’s there was a tacit acceptance that de-colonization take place although it would prove a slow and tortuous process.
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    Postdam Conference

    The Big Three Soviet leader Joseph Stalin, British Prime Minister Winston Churchill, and U.S. President Harry Truman--met in Potsdam, Germany to negotiate terms for the end of World War II. The major issue at Potsdam was the question of how to handle Germany. At Yalta, the Soviets had pressed for heavy postwar reparations from Germany, half of which would go to the Soviet Union. Truman started the harder-line stance of US, believing that little Sovit aid would be needed to defeat Japan.
  • Atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima

    Atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima
    After America dropped the bomb on Hiroshima, the Soviet Unions immediately began working on developing their own similar bomb to use. This lead to the nuclear arm race and nuclear deterrence as well in US and the Soviet Union. The news of the atomic bomb provoked the nuclear arm race.
  • Atomic bomb dropped on Nagasaki

    Atomic bomb dropped on Nagasaki
    A few days after the bombing of Hiroshima, the US dropped another bomb on Nagasaki to get the Japanese to surrender completely to them. The bomb completely destroyed the city and killed thousands of people. The impact of the bomb can still be seen: especially, in the debiliating life of the survior's and their atomic contamination.
  • US hires German scientists to work on V-2 rocket capable of carrying nuclear missiles

  • Philipines independence

    Philipines independence
    The US promoted the containment of colonies (Nixon firmly believed in it).The Soviet Union supported national liberation.The US gave the Phillipines independences but still controlled some areas; it also used its influence to keep in power Filipino politicians who supported US goals. The Soviets came up with "Pax Americana" in opposition to US colonial rule and openly promised to aid nations that agreed to remain neutral or nonalignend.
  • Day of Direct Action

    Day of Direct Action
    Leader of Muslim League, Muhammad Ali Jinnah, called for it. India and Britian could not figure out the terms of Indian independence. By institutionalizing this day, it lead to more violence among the Hindus and Muslims; the Muslim League knew that calling the Muslim demonstrations would lead to rioting and fighting between the 2 groups. Some 6,000 people were died in the Great Calcutta Killing that followed,further strenghting Jinnah's propsal of establishing Pakistan; Nehru wanted 1 nation.
  • Enunciation of the Truman Doctrine

    Enunciation of the Truman Doctrine
    This enunciation caused the US perception of the world to become more clearer as a world divided between the free and enslaved. This new perception came from a result of the crises in Greece and Turkey; communist movements there were threatening both democracy and western strategic interests. This doctrine planned out the battle lines of the cold war; the US also started to commit to an interventionist foreign policy that prevented the expansion of Soviet's influence.
  • Marshall Plan

    Marshall Plan
    The “Truman Doctrine” outlined in a presidential speech to congress, makes it U.S. policy to protect nations threatened by communism.
  • Marshall Plan

    Marshall Plan
    Secretary of State George C. Marshall calls for an American plan to help Europe recover from WW2.
  • Marshall Plan

    Marshall Plan
    European nations sent representatives to Paris to draw up a cooperative recovery plan. The plan was only somewhat effective The US standards of living increase but there is less growth in Eastern Europe. Artists and novelists are attacked by reversed form of McCarthyism (anticommunist repression named after senator McCarthy).. Meanwhile the US is under an economic system of reformed capitalism; there was now more government intervention in the economy and the idea of a well fare state.
  • Indian independence becomes official

    Indian independence becomes official
    Indian independence becomes official, as does the partition into two countries, India and Pakistan. Gandhi and Nehru openly say their dislike towards the separation or "vivisection". Afterwards, countless of migrates moved to Muslim Pakistan or Hindu India lead to more conflicts between these two countries.
  • War in Pakistan

    War in Pakistan
    India and Pakistan were experiencing a lot of war. They were under alot of pressure from the Cold War. Once Indian independence was established the tensions between the groups lead to violence. This war was about the province of Kashmir and which country would get to claim it. This hostility between the two countries made them more vulnerable to the Cold War.
  • Gandhi is assassinated by Nathuram Vinayuk Godse, a Hindu nationalist.

    Gandhi was killed by a Hindu extremist who shot him after Gandhi began to protest and fast to convince the Muslims and HIndus to stop fighting and practice non violence. Gandhi was killed by the very same violence that he detested.
  • Creation of Israel

    After the Balfour Declaration, Britain began to establish a home for the Jews in Palestine, as the Zionism spread. The British attempted balance the causes of the Arabs and Jews but failed. Arabs rejected Jews living there, seeing it as imperialism.In 1947, a solution of spliting Palestine into 2 states was rejected by the Arabs. Civil war broke out; in May, Jews proclaimed creation of Israel,angering Arabs and started Arab-Israeli war as Egypt, and other Arab states joined in support of P.Arab.
  • North Atlatic Treat Organization

    North Atlatic Treat Organization
    The struggle between the United States and the Soviet Union lead to the creation of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization; it was made to serve as a military counterweight to Soviet forces in Europe. In 1951, Dwight D. Eisenhower appointed supreme commander of NATO
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    West and East Germany Form

    After Hitler's Third Reich collasped, the United States, Soviet Union, Britain, and France began to occupy Germany and Berlin (its capital). Slowly as the US and the Soviets began to stop cooperating with each other, the US, French and British occupations all came together to form the Federal Republic of Germany (West Germany). In October, the German Democratic Republic ( East Germany)came out of the Soviet's occupation.
  • Soviet Union’s first nuke test

  • Republic of China

    Mao Tse Tung declares the Republic of China.
  • Korean War

    Korean War
    The 38th parrallel was a latitude line that split it into a northern Soviet zone and a southern US zone. Due to the superpowers not reaching an agreement on the reunification of the country, 2 Korea states formed. Pyongyang regime sended troops across the 38th parallel against South Korea to unify them together forcibliy. The US and UN aided south Korea in the Korean war., while China aided north Korea. The conflict encouraged the globalization of containment.
  • Kenya Independence

    It showed the complexity and difficulty of African decolonization. Kikuyu and the white settlers often had violent clashes that made the situation tense. A secret Kikuyu society known as Mau Mau started a violent campaigm against white settlers and traitorous Africans. The settlers controlled the government and did not regard the group as a sign of discontentment with the colonial rule. It also labeled them as communists, making the British fight against them and maintain support of US.
  • US tested their first hydrogen bomb, bigger blast, lighter warhead then A-bomb

  • Death of Joseph Stalin

    Death of Joseph Stalin
    After Stalin died,ideology became more refined in the Soviet. Stalin's successor was Khrushchev; he developed a version of communism that would inspire communist remormers in Soviet and eastern Europe. HIs version didn't use terror and intimidation that Stalin used. Khrushchek,called for a more economically productive type of communisim,wanting it to overtake captalism in the production of material good. He also emphasized possibility of "peaceful coexistence" between different social systems.
  • Black African Nationalism

    Bob Marley's song "Get Up Stand Up' inspired many blacks to stand up for their rights and to continue fighting for them. Blacks were influenced by Marcus Garvey, a radical leader who advocated US blacks seek repatriation in Africa. Nkrumah was inspired by Marcus, just like how other black nationalist leaders got inspired by other nationalist leaders fighting for independence from colonial rule.
  • Geneva Conference

    Geneva Conference
    The decision was made to divide Vietnam into the seventeenth parallel. North Vietnam would be communist and South Vietnam would be democracy. The US intervined as the communist affliliation of Ho and the Korean war convinced US. Dwight Eisenhower uses the domino theory on Vietnam, believing that if south Vietnam falls to communism other Asian nations will fall to it as well.
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    Civil Rights movement

    Martin Luther King was a prominent leader of the civil rights movement. He got inspired by Gandhi and used his examples of passive nonresistance and boycotting in the struggle to win equality for blacks in US. The civil rights movement brought down the segregation and impediments to voting. It was first a challenge to segregation. Rosa Parks accelerated the movement by not giving up her seat.
  • Bandung Conference

    Bandung Conference
    Took place in Bandung, Indonesia where nonalingment was a major issue discussed. African and Indian states met to discuss the overwhelming influence that Western and European powers. They wanted to make a "third path" besids chosing between the US and Soviet Union. They also discussed colonialism and racism. One main speaker at this conference was the Indian prime minister Nehru. He fought for nonalignment.
  • Warsaw Pact

    Warsaw Pact
    The US had created NATO and set the stage of the military sector of the cold war. In turn, the Soviets made the Warsaw pact as a response to the rearming of West Germany. This established seven communists European nations to fight against NATO. Both NATO and the Warsaw pact involved the major superpowers of World War II. Because both countries wanted military superiority the began to amass nuclear weapons and develop systems for deploying them. In 1970, they both reaced MAD.
  • Warsaw Treaty or Warsaw Pact

    more commonly referred to as the Warsaw Pact, was a mutual defense treaty between eight communist states of Central and Eastern Europe in existence during the Cold War May 14, 1955
  • Rosa Parks does not give up her bus seat

    Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat at the front of a bus in Montgomery, Alabama sparking a year long African American boycott if the bus system.
  • Congress rules bus segregation is unconstitutional

    Congress rules that the segregation of the Montgomery, Alabama busses is unconstitutional.
  • Ghana Independence

    Ghana Independence
    Ghana gained independence from British rule through non violence. Nkrumah helps shape the country. He also became a persuasive spokesman for pan-African unity. He helps the country gain independence despite the opressive British rule. The British subjected him to jail terms and repressive control. Ghana after it became independent inspired and emboded African nationalist movements throughout Africa, and lead to the independence of African states.
  • Federal Government protects African Americans

    Federal government uses military to protect African Americans rights for the first time since reconstruction, by escorting nine African American students to a desecrate school in Littlerock, Arkanas.
  • Fidel Castro comes into power after the Cuban Revolution

    Fidel Castro comes into power after the Cuban Revolution
    Fidel Castro lead a revolutionary movement that overthrew the autocratic Fulgencio Batista; Batista's regime maintained the subservient relationship with the US and with its suger companies that controlled Cuba's economy. Castro broke of ties to the US and the Soviet Union took its chance to contest the US's dominant power in its own hemisphere. Castro declared that he was a Marxist-Leninist in 1961, sparking US concern.
  • Cuban Missile Crisis

    Fidel Castro comes into power after the Cuban Revolution. Castro brings upon a new era in Cuba and is remembered still today as one of the most fierce and dictators in history.
  • African American Play on Broadway

    Lorraine Hansberry's "Raisin in the Sun" is the first play written by an African American to be produced on Broadway.
  • Motwon records is formed

    Motown records is founded which will go on to feature many legendary African American music artists.
  • US develops Minuteman Missile,

    US develops Minuteman Missile, which was quicker to assemble and launch than the Atlas missile.
  • Cuban Missile Crisis

    Cuba forms an alliance with the Soviet Union, agreeing to their policies. This alliance proves to be dangerous for the United States as they are on the brink of war with this socialist group and society, the USSR.
  • Cuban Missile Crisis

    The U.S. ends all diplomatic and any other kind of relationship with Cuba. The U.S. takes this as a precautionary measure against the Soviets.
  • Kennedy Elected

    President John F. Kennedy comes into office for the United States. This newly elected 35th president of the United States was looking for a peaceful resolution to this crisis.
  • Congress of Racial Equality(CORE)

    The congress of racial equality begins to organize freedom rides through the south.
  • Kennedy and the US

    Kennedy and the US
    Kennedy and the United States decide to not intervene militarily to overthrow Castro and take him out of power.
  • Bay of Pigs

    Supported by the U.S., a group of Cubans trained, armed, and transported by the CIA invaded Cuba to create an anti-Castro rebellion at a place called Bay of PIgs. The invasion force arrival did not incite an internal uprising and combined with the no show of American air support, the rebellion failed. This first surge fails as more than a thousand cuban rebellions are captured by Castro and his forces. It diminished US prestige and may have encouraged nuclear missles to be deployed there.
  • Summit in Vienna

    Summit in Vienna
    Khrushchev and Kennedy hold summit in Vienna. Khrushchev wanted to meet with Kennedy to get a better agreement on the issue with Berlin. Kennedy at the conference was under the impression that the Soviet Union would try to make revolutions, seeing Khruschev's promise of assisting national liberation. Khruschev threatened Kennedy to sign the peace treaty with East Germany. Kennedy refused.
  • Berlin Wall Gets Constructed

    Berlin Wall Gets Constructed
    Video As Germany split into West and East Germany, Berlin that was deep in the Soviet sector split up as well into East Berlin and West Berlin. The Soviet Union sector formed East Berlin, making it the capital of East Germany. The remaining three sectors of Berlin united to form West Berlin. As more people left East Germany to go to capitalist West Germany, the communist leaders decided to build barricade.
  • Malcom X becomes NAtional Minister

    African American radical Malcom X becomes national minister of the Nation of Islam.
  • Cuban Missile Crisis

    Krushchev of the USSR claims that he will remove the missiles from Cuba if the U.S. takes theirs out of Turkey. This conversation brings about a deak that helps put away with this Cuban Missile Crisis peacefully.
  • Cuban Missle Crisis

    Cuban Missle Crisis
    The US learned Soviet technincans were assembling a lanuch site for med-range nuclear missles in Cuba; the Soviet did it to protect Castro government, and give greater diplomatic leverage. Kennedy declared a ultimatium telling Soveit to withdraw all missles and to stop the arrival of nuclear armament. Soviet yielded after realizing the possibility of nuclear war. It revealed dangers of bipolar world.
  • Cuban Missile Crisis

    The USSR agrees to remove the missiles from Cuba. This action officially ends the Cuban Missile Crisis, preventing a possible World War III which would include nuclear power.
  • "I Have a Dream" Speech

    More than 200,000 people march in Washington D.C. In the largest civil rights demonstration ever, Martin Luther King Jr. gives his "I Have a Dream" speech.
  • Civil Rights Act signed

    President Lindon B. Johnson signs the Civil Rights Act which gives the federal government power to prosecute against discrimination.
  • MLK jr. gets Nobel Peace Prize

    Martin Luther King Jr. is awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.