The Cold War by Jennifer Ta, Karen Pan, and Anthony Dang

  • Period: to

    The Cold War

  • Yalta Conference

    Yalta Conference
    The Yalta Conference was the second wartime conference of British Prime Minister Winston Churchill, Soviet Premier Joseph Stalin, and U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt. During the conference, the three leaders discussed plans for a post-war world. The conference dealt with many issues, one being the geopolitical make-up of Europe. Although most of these agreements were at first kept secret, the revelations of the conference particulars became controversial, later leading to the Cold War.
  • The Hiroshima Bombing

    The Hiroshima Bombing
    The Hiroshima Bombing was an example of atomic warfare. Atomic warfare is the strategy of using nuclear weapons to inflict damage on an enemy. The United States' bombing on Hiroshima essentially kick-started the Cold War. This atomic bomb was the world's first atomic bomb to be dropped, killing 90% of the city.
  • Arms Race

    Arms Race
    After American had bombed Hiroshima, an arms race was started between the Soviet Union and the U.S. An arms race is when countries compete for supremacy in military quality and nuclear warfare. Due to this, tensions rose between the two countries, and conflict eventually erupted into the Cold War.
  • "Iron Curtain"

    "Iron Curtain"
    The Iron Curtain was initially a non-physical boundary dividing Europe into two separate areas from the end of World War II in 1945 until the end of the Cold War in 1991. The term symbolizes the efforts by the Soviet Union to block itself and its satellite states from open contact with the West and its allied states.
  • Truman Doctrine

    Truman Doctrine
    The Truman Doctrine proceeded from a speech presented by President Truman. The Truman Doctrine reconstructed the United States foreign policy away from its common stance of withdrawal from regional conflicts not directly involving the United States. Truman pledged American assistance to any nation in the world threatened by communism, officially establishing the worldwide containment of communism as a vital American national security interest.
  • The Marshall Plan

    The Marshall Plan
    The Marshall Plan intended to restore the European economy by giving foreign aid to countries that needed it after World War II. By investing in the economies of European nations, the US also helped create new markets for its exports. Additionally, the US wanted to isolate the Soviet Union to keep it from expanding its influence beyond Eastern Europe.
  • Berlin Blockade and Berlin Airlift

    Berlin Blockade and Berlin Airlift
    The Berlin Blockade was an attempt by the Soviet Union to limit the performance of France, Great Britain, and the United States to travel to their sectors of Berlin. In the course of the time, the western powers instituted an airlift that lasted nearly a year and delivered much-needed supplies and relief to West Berlin. Coming just three years after the end of World War II, the blockade was the first major clash of the Cold War and indicated future fight over the city of Berlin.
  • Formation of NATO

    Formation of NATO
    Ten Western European nations joined the United States and Canada to form the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), which was an anti-Soviet military alliance that extended the deterrent threat of America's nuclear weapons to cover Western Europe. Its purpose was to secure peace in Europe and provide collective security against the Soviet Union.
  • Red Scare and McCarthyism

    Red Scare and McCarthyism
    The Red Scare was hysteria over the perceived threat posed by Communists in the U.S. during the Cold War, which intensified in the late 1940s and early 1950s. It led to a range of actions that had an enduring effect on U.S. government and society. McCarthyism is the practice of making accusations of subversion or treason without proper regard for evidence. The term refers to U.S. senator Joseph McCarthy and has its origins during the Second Red Scare.
  • The Korean War

    The Korean War
    The Korean War began when North Korean troops attacked across the 38th parallel in an effort to "liberate" South Korea. The U.S. sided with South Korea while the Soviet Union sided with North Korea. It was a war against the forces of international communism itself.
  • Battle of Dien Bien Phu

    Battle of Dien Bien Phu
    The Battle of Dien Bien Phu was fought between the French and the Vietminh (Vietnamese Communist and nationalist). The French wanted to reclaim Vietnam as one of their colonies, while the Vietnamese wanted their independence. However, on May 7, 1954, Vietnamese nationalist leader Ho Chi Minh and his troops defeated French forces in a siege at the French base in Dien Bien Phu.
  • Domino Theory

    Domino Theory
    The Domino Theory was a Cold War policy that suggested that if a country adapted to Communism, then its surrounding countries would follow and adapt to Communism as well, similar to a row of falling dominos. The theory was explained by President Eisenhower and related to the developments in Southeast Asia, however, countries in Southeast Asia failed to adapt to Communism with the exception of Laos and Cambodia.
  • The Geneva Accords

    The Geneva Accords
    As a result of their defeat at Dien Bien Phu, the French halted their colonial control of the country. The United States, however, didn't want the country to fall to communism. They believed in the domino theory, which stated that if one Southeast Asian country fell to communism, the rest would also fall. The Geneva Accords divided Vietnam at the 17th parallel. North Vietnam became communist under Ho Chi Minh, while South Vietnam remained under Western influence, with Ngo Dinh Diem in control.
  • Warsaw Pact

    Warsaw Pact
    The Soviet Union formed the Warsaw Pact, a communist military alliance intended to counter the threat posed by the West's North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). NATO and the Warsaw Pact were ideologically opposed and, over time, built up their own defenses starting an arms race that lasted throughout the Cold War.
  • Vietnam War

    Vietnam War
    The Vietnam War was fought between the communist government of North Vietnam against South Vietnam and its ally, the US. With the Cold War intensifying worldwide, the US hardened its policies against any allies of the Soviet Union, and President Eisenhower pledged his firm support to South Vietnam. Opposition to the war in the US bitterly divided Americans, even after President Nixon ordered the withdrawal of US forces. In 1975, Communist forces ended the war by seizing control of South Vietnam.
  • Suez Crisis

    Suez Crisis
    The Suez Crisis was caused by an American and British decision not to finance Egypt’s construction of the Aswan High Dam as they had promised in response to Egypt’s growing ties with the Soviet Union. Egyptian President Nasser reacted to their decisions by seizing control of the Suez Canal, a valuable waterway that controlled two-thirds of the oil used by Europe. Britain and France prepared military action to regain control of the canal and possibly depose Nasser. However, Egypt won in the end.
  • Space Race

    Space Race
    The Space Race was a Cold War competition between the US and the Soviet Union to develop aerospace capabilities like artificial satellites and human spaceflight. It began when the Soviet Union launched Sputnik 1, causing fear among the US public that the Soviet Union had surpassed the technological achievements of the US. The US and the Soviet Union accomplished many tasks during this time period. By landing on the moon, the US “won” the space race that had begun with Sputnik’s launch in 1957.
  • Sputnik 1 Launch

    Sputnik 1 Launch
    The Soviets launched Sputnik, the first man-made object to orbit the earth. The Soviets' technological success in building the world's first satellite struck fear in the hearts of Americans and marked the start of the Space Race.
  • Creation of NASA

    Creation of NASA
    The United States created NASA, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, to lead the space race with the Soviet Union. It was created in response to the Soviet Union’s launch of its first satellite, Sputnik I. The Sputnik launch caught Americans by surprise and sparked fears that the Soviets might also be capable of sending missiles with nuclear weapons from Europe to America.
  • Mutually Assured Destruction (MAD)

    Mutually Assured Destruction (MAD)
    Mutually Assured Destruction was a doctrine of military strategy and national security policy in which a full-scale use of nuclear weapons by two or more opposing sides would cause the complete annihilation of both the attacker and the defender. It had a notion that the purpose of the nuclear strategy was to create a stable world in which two opponents would realize that neither could hope to attack the other successfully and that in any war both would suffer effective obliteration.
  • U-2 Incident

    U-2 Incident
    An American U-2 spy plane was shot down over the Soviet Union. President Eisenhower denied responsibility for the international incident at first but was later forced to admit to the Soviets that the U.S. had been flying spy missions over the USSR for several years. The incident raised tensions between the U.S. and the Soviets during the Cold War.
  • Formation of Non-Aligned Movement

    Formation of Non-Aligned Movement
    The Non-Aligned Movement was an organization of states that did not seek to align themselves with either the US or the Soviet Union but sought to remain independent or neutral. The basic concept for the group originated during discussions that took place at the Asia-Africa Bandung Conference. They argued that countries of the developing world should abstain from allying with either of the 2 superpowers and should instead join together in support against all forms of colonialism and imperialism.
  • Bay of Pigs Invasion

    Bay of Pigs Invasion
    Under the leadership of President John F. Kennedy, the CIA launched the Bay of Pigs Invasion in an attempt to push Cuban leader Fidel Castro from power. The CIA financed and trained a group of Cuban refugees to land in Cuba and attempt to topple the communist government of Castro. However, the invasion turned out to be a failure, and the invaders surrendered after less than 24 hours of fighting.
  • The Construction of the Berlin Wall

    The Construction of the Berlin Wall
    Berlin was divided between East and West since the end of World War II, with the Western powers occupying the Western portion and the Soviet Union occupying the East. After increasing tensions between the Soviets and the Western powers during the first 15 years of the Cold War, the Soviet Union decided to build a physical barrier between East and West Berlin. The main purpose of the Wall was to prevent East Germans from fleeing, thus stopping an economically disastrous migration of workers.
  • Cuban Missile Crisis

    Cuban Missile Crisis
    Leaders of the US and the Soviet Union had a political and military standoff over the installation of nuclear-armed Soviet missiles on Cuba. President JFK told Americans about the presence of the missiles and explained his decision to enact a naval blockade around Cuba. Many people feared the world was on the brink of nuclear war. However, the US agreed to Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev’s offer to remove the Cuban missiles in exchange for the US promising not to invade Cuba, avoiding disaster.
  • Introduction of Hotline or "Red Telephone"

    Introduction of Hotline or "Red Telephone"
    During the height of the Cold War, the US and the Soviet Union established a direct communications link to allow their leaders to contact one another in the event of a nuclear crisis or other emergencies. However, contrary to its depictions in pop culture, it never took the form of a red telephone. In fact, it never involved phone calls at all. Rather than a telephone link, the hotline consisted of teletype machines that allowed the two countries to send written messages to one another.
  • Limited Test Ban Treaty

    Limited Test Ban Treaty
    Discussions between the US and the Soviet Union concerning a ban on nuclear testing began in the mid-1950s. Officials from both nations came to believe that the nuclear arms race was reaching a dangerous level. Representatives of the US, Soviet Union, and Great Britain signed the Limited Nuclear Test Ban Treaty, which prohibited the testing of nuclear weapons in outer space, underwater, or in the atmosphere. The treaty was hailed as an important first step toward the control of nuclear weapons.
  • Détente

    Détente is the name given to a period of improved relations between the United States and the Soviet Union that began tentatively in 1971 and took decisive form when President Richard M. Nixon visited the secretary-general of the Soviet Communist party, Leonid I. Brezhnev, in Moscow, May 1972.
  • Tet Offensive

    Tet Offensive
    The Tet Offensive was a coordinated series of North Vietnamese attacks on more than 100 cities and outposts in South Vietnam. The offensive was an attempt to foment rebellion among the South Vietnamese population and encourage the United States to scale back its involvement in the Vietnam War. Despite heavy casualties, North Vietnam achieved a strategic victory, as the attacks marked a turning point in the Vietnam War and the beginning of the slow, painful American withdrawal from the region.
  • SALT I

    SALT I
    In November of 1969, President Richard Nixon and Soviet Union General Secretary Leonid Brezhnev opened up the official strategic arms limitations talks (SALT). On May 26, 1972, Nixon and Brezhnev signed the SALT agreements. As a part of the agreements, the U.S. and the Soviet Union agreed to limit the number of interceptors to 200 and limit missile defense to just two sites. SALT-I, as it came to be known, was the foundation for all arms limitations talks that followed.

    President Jimmy Carter and Soviet leader Leonid Brezhnev signed the SALT-II agreement dealing with limitations and guidelines for nuclear weapons. The treaty basically established numerical equality between the two nations in terms of nuclear weapons delivery systems. It also limited the number of MIRV missiles. However, the treaty did little or nothing to stop, or even substantially slow down, the arms race.
  • Star Wars (SDI)

    Star Wars (SDI)
    President Ronald Reagan proposed the Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI), also called Star Wars, in a nationwide television address. The SDI was intended to defend the U.S. from potential nuclear attacks by the Soviet Union. However, though initial funding for the SDI had been approved by the United States Congress by the mid-1980s, the program caused a heated debate among both arms experts and public officials over its military and political involvement and its technical practicability.
  • Tiananmen Square Massacre

    Tiananmen Square Massacre
    The Tiananmen Square protests were student-led demonstrations calling for democracy, free speech, and a free press in China. They were halted in a bloody crackdown, known as the Tiananmen Square Massacre, by the Chinese government. Citizens were frustrated with the limits on political freedom in the country and ongoing economic troubles. Although China’s government had instituted many reforms that established a limited form of capitalism in the country, the lower-classes still faced challenges.
  • The Fall of the Berlin Wall

    The Fall of the Berlin Wall
    As the Cold War began to fade across Eastern Europe, the spokesman for East Berlin’s Communist Party announced a change in his city’s relations with the West; citizens of the GDR were free to cross the country’s borders. More than 2 million people from East Berlin visited West Berlin to participate in a celebration. People used hammers and picks to break pieces of the wall while cranes and bulldozers destroyed sections. Soon the wall was gone and Berlin was united for the first time since 1945.
  • Dissolution of the USSR

    Dissolution of the USSR
    Representatives from Soviet republics announced that they would no longer be part of the Soviet Union. Instead, they declared they would establish a Commonwealth of Independent States. The Soviet Union fell, largely due to the great number of radical reforms that Soviet president Mikhail Gorbachev had implemented during his 6 years as the leader of the USSR. Gorbachev was disappointed in the dissolution of his nation and resigned from his job, peacefully ending a long, terrifying era in history.
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