The Cold War

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    Nuclear Arms Race and Détente

    Nuclear ArmsAfter WW2 ended, the nuclear arms race began. First, it was U.S. being the only world power that had nuclear bombs when the war ended in 1945. Then a short 4 years later the USSR developed nuclear bombs. This began the race to see who would have the better missiles. The whole world lived in fear because they knew if one of the bombs was sent to bomb another country the world would end in a nuclear doom.
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    Nuclear Arms Race and Détente (Part 2)

    Both countries tried to outdo the other and eventually it was about trying to convince the other not to launch a missile. Many treaties were signed between the U.S. and Soviet Union. These treaties include the limit of ABMs (anti-ballistic missiles). Ronald Reagan who was president during the 1990s wanted to build a star wars missile but it was prohibited because of this ABM treaty.
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    Nuclear Arms Race and Détente (Part 3)

    The Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START) was also signed. This would begin the Détente. The Détente was a time period of the relaxation of tensions. Everything ran smoothly with this plan until the Soviets decide to invade Afghanistan in 1979.
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    Chinese Civil War

    MaoAfter WWII, Communists lead by Mao Zedong fought a civil war against China’s Nationalists and China came under the control of the Communists. The communists won the war, because they had the support of the peasants, and they captured Tibet in 1950. In the People’s Republic of China, Mao built a one-party totalitarian state. The communist government reshaped the economy and society, as well as other traditional Chinese beliefs. They also collectivized farms to increase productivity.
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    Chinese Civil War (Part 2)

    Then from 1958 to 1960, Mao led a program called the Great Leap Forward. Mao wanted people to increase their farm and industrial output, but instead many people starved to death, and the program failed. Slowly, China recovered from the disaster, and in 1966 Mao launched the Cultural Revolution. The goal was to purge China of “bourgeois” tendencies. He wanted young Chinese to experience revolution firsthand.
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    Chinese Civil War (Part 3)

    The bourgeois were attacked by the Red Guards, and as skilled workers and managers were forced to leave their jobs and enter labor camps and rural farms, schools and factories closed, the economy slowed, and civil war threatened. The army finally restored order under Mao’s command.
  • NATO and the Warsaw Pact

    NATO and the Warsaw Pact
    The North Atlantic Treaty Organization was born in 1949. It was a group of countries including the United States which agreed to help each other if any were attacked. The Warsaw Pact, like the NATO, was a group of countries including the USSR and seven satellites in Europe. The main difference with these organizations is that the Warsaw Pact would also monitor their satellites, These groups split Europe into the East (under the control of NATO) and the West (belonging to the Warsaw Pact).
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    Communist Cuba and Missile Crisis

    Fidel CastroIn the 1950’s Fidel Castro started an armed rebellion against the dictator who ruled Cuba. After leading his guerrilla army to victory by 1959, Castro began changing Cuba. During the Cuban Revolution Castro sought the support of the Soviet Union, and nationalized businesses, put most land under government control, and severely restricted Cubans’ political freedom. Many people fled to Florida, and critics of the new regime were jailed or silenced.
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    Communist Cuba and Missile Crisis (Part 2)

    The Bay of Pigs Invasion was John F. Kennedy and the US’s attempt to bring down the communist regime in 1961. The US trained Cuban exiles and sent them to the Bay of Pigs to invade Cuba. Castro’s forces captured the invaders and the US’s plan failed. At that time, The US imposed a trade embargo on Cuba, which remains in effect today.
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    Communist Cuba and Missile Crisis (Part 3)

    When the Soviet Union sent nuclear missiles to Cuba in 1962, President Kennedy’s response was a naval blockade, preventing further Soviet shipments. He also demanded that the Soviet Union remove its nuclear missiles from Cuba, or the world would would be at risk of a nuclear war. Fortunately, Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev had the missiles removed, preventing a war.
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    Korean Conflict

    N. and S. KoreaKorea got divided into North and South Korea after World War II. North Korea was then ruled by Kim II Sung, who became a communist ally of the Soviet Union. In South Korea, the United States backed the dictatorial but non communist leader, Syngman Rhee. Early in 1950, Kim II Sung called for a “heroic struggle” to reunite Korea. North Korean troops attacked in June 1950 and soon overran most of the south. The United States then organized a United Nation force to help South Korea.
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    Korean Conflict (Part 2)

    In 1985 a new leader named Mikhail Gorbachev was eager to rebuild this country. The United Nations forces stopped them in August along a line known as the Pusan Perimeter. In September 1950, United Nations troops landed on the beaches around the port of Inch’on, behind enemy lines. These U.S troops quickly captured Korea’s north-south rail lines and cut off North Korean troops from their supply of food and ammunition.
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    Korean Conflict (Part 3)

    By November, United Nations forces had advanced north to the Yalu River, along the border of China. Mao Zedong sent hundreds of thousands of Chinese troops to help the North Koreans. They forced United Nations troops back to the south of the 38th parallel. This war turned to stalemate. Finally, in 1953, both sides signed an armistice. The armistice held for the rest of the old War, but no peace treaty was ever negotiated.
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    Vietnam Conflict

    Vietnam ConflictWestern and communist powers agreed to a temporary division of Vietnam. Ho Chi Minh remained determined to unite Vietnam under communist rule. He continued to aid the Nation Liberation Front, or Viet Cong, the communist rebels trying to overthrow South Vietnam’s government. United states sent thousands of troops turning a local struggle into a major Cold War conflict. August 1, 1964, South Vietnamese commandos conducted raids on North Vietnamese islands in the Gulf of Tonkin.
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    Vietnam Conflict (Part 2)

    U.S. President Johnson reported the attacks to Congress without mentioning the South Vietnamese raids. Believing that the attacks had een unprovoked, Congress passed the Gulf of Tonkin resolution on August 7, 1964. This let the President to take all necessary measures to prevent further aggression. After the resolution passed, the United States began bombing targets in North Vietnam. More then 500,000 American troops were committed to the war.
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    Vietnam Conflict (Part 3)

    Soviet Union and China sent aid but no troops to the help North Vietnam. 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 communist lost many of their best troops. In the end, American leaders decided that they had to get out of Vietnam. The United States agreed to withdraw its troops. The North Vietnam won the war.
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    Soviet Union Falls

    [Gorbachev](<a href=',r:2,s:0&biw=1177&bih=760)' >Gorbachev</a>The Soviet Union rebuilt its corrupt economy after World War II. The government poured money into the science and technology. In 1957 Sputnik (the first satellite) was launched. At that time there was not enough food. Bread lines were beginning to form again. In 1979 The Soviet Union went to war with Afghanistan. Then in the mid-1980’s America smuggled arms into Afghanistan. In 1985 a new leader named Mikhail Gorbachev was eager to rebuild this country.
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    Soviet Union Falls (Part 2)

    At home he called for glasnost or openness. This made the people feel more free, but as the people talked, they soon realized they weren’t alone in their ideas for new government. At the end of 1991 the Soviet Union split into 12 independent nations. 69 years later the Soviet Union ceased to exist.
  • Berlin Wall

    Berlin Wall
    Once Europe was separated into two separate sides it would then split right down the middle of Berlin, the capital of Germany. This wall would not only separate the country’s landscape but also its political views. The East went to the democracies after World War 1. The West on the other hand, went solely to the USSR. This would split Europe into a democratic side and a communist side. This was bad for Europe and caused a lot of fighting between which side was better.
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    Eastern European Independence

    Lech WalesaIn 1970 Hungary expanded its economy. Greater economic troubles caused more problems. Finally in 1988 and 1989 communists control was more open. The western borders with Australia were now open, and new political parties formed. in 1980 Poland’s economic hardships ignited strikes among shipyard workers. Led by Lech Walesa they started a group called Solidarity, an independent labor union.
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    Eastern European Independence (Part 2)

    In 1989 when Austria opened their borders with Poland, East Germans fled through Austria and Hungary to West Germany. East Germany demanded change. Communist governments started falling everywhere, and countries were changing their command economy to market economies. In1992 Czechoslovakia peacefully agreed to spit into new nations of Slovakia and the Czech Republic.
  • Soviets in Afghanistan

    Soviets in Afghanistan
    The Soviet Union was involved in a long war with Afghanistan.
    Soviets supported Afghan government and wanted to modernize the country. Afghan landlords who commanded army men as warlords saw this as a threat to their Islamic tradition.Fighting mujahedin (Muslim religious warriors) was difficult. Mid-1980’s The United State smuggled modern weapons to the mujahedin. This would cause major conflicts in Soviets at home.