What was the Cold War?

-a state of political and military tension after WWII between powers in the Western Bloc (the U.S., NATO, etc.) and powers in the Eastern Bloc (the Soviet Union and its satellite states)

-Western bloc wanted to prevent communism from spreading whereas the Eastern Bloc wanted their communist government to spread to all other nations around the world

-Western Bloc led by U.S. and Eastern Bloc led By Soviet Union

-mostly non-violent war but their main conflict was the influence of their preferred style of government on other nations, especially vulnerable and newly-independent ones

-it started in 1945 when there were only two major powers (U.S. and the Soviet Union) left standing and each very different ideas on government and even the use of nuclear weapons


-U.S. policy using numerous strategies to prevent the spread of communism abroad

-a component of the Cold War; was a response to a series of moves by the Soviet Union to enlarge its communist sphere of influence in Eastern Europe, China, Korea, and Vietnam

"Iron Curtain"

-political, military, and the ideological barrier erected by the Soviet Union after WWII

-its intention was to seal off itself and its dependent eastern and central European allies from open contact with the West and other noncommunist areas

Truman Doctrine

-the principle that the U.S. should give support to countries or peoples threatened by Soviet forces or communist interaction

-first expressed in 1947 by President Truman in the speech to Congress seeking aid for Greece and Turkey

-communists saw the doctrine as an open declaration of the Cold War

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Marshall Plan

-an American initiative to aid Western Europe, in which the U.S. gave over 12 billion dollars in economic support to help rebuild Western European economies after the end of WWII

-named after Secretary of State George C. Marshall, who announced it in a commencement speech at Harvard University in 1947

Berlin Airlift

-on a day in 1948, the U.S. and British pilots began delivering food and supplies by airplane to Berlin after the city is isolated by a Soviet Union blockade

-this could be called the first battle of the Cold War

-the Soviets initially believed that the blockade would make it impossible for the people who lived there to get food or any other supplies and would eventually drive Britain, France, and the U.S. out of the city for good

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-the North Atlantic Treat Organization

-military alliance of European and North American democracies founded after WWII to strengthen international ties between member states

-also served as counterbalance to the Soviet Union and the Warsaw Pact

-12 founding members; some including Belgium, Canada, Denmark, France, Iceland, Italy, etc.

Korean War

-conflict between Communist (North) and non-Communist (South) forces in Korea from June 25, 1950 to July 27, 1953

-2.5 million people lost their lives

-Soviet Union aided the North while the U.S. aided the South

-war ended with Korea still split into two hostile states

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-practice of making accusations of subversion or treason without proper regard for evidence

-started when Senator Joseph McCarhty, during the second "Red Scare", accused many people of being communist with very little evidence

Space Race

-competition between nations, in this case the Soviet Union and the U.S., regarding achievements in the field of space exploration

-started in 1957 when the Soviet Union launched the world's first artificial satellite into the Earth's orbit, Sputnik

-many Americans became worried that we were falling behind scientifically and economically

-in 1958, the U.S. launched its own satellite, Explorer I, designed by the U.S. army

U-2 Incident

-shot down by a Soviet surface to air missile on May 1, 1960, CIA pilot Francis Gary Powers had been on a top secret mission

-his mission was to overfly and photograph denied territory from his U2 spy plane deep inside Russia

Eisenhower Doctrine

-U.S. foreign policy pronounced by President Dwight D. Eisenhower on January 5, 1957, promising military or economic aid to any Middle Eastern country needing help in resisting communist aggression

-response to the increasingly tense situation in the Middle East

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-the art or practice of pursuing a dangerous policy to the limits of safety before stopping, typically in politics

-both sides in the cold war forced interaction between them to gain an advantageous negotiation position over the other

-technique was characterized by aggressive risk-taking policy choices that court potential disaster

Cuban Missile Crisis

-a pivotal moment in the Cold War when a U-2 spy informed President Kenndy of Soviet nuclear-tipped missiles in Cuba

-U.S. the blockaded Cuba and threatened to invade unless the Soviets agreed to remove their missiles if the U.S. would remove its nuclear missiles installed near the Soviet Union in Turkey

-at the end of the conflict, the two nations eventually removed their missiles

Bay of Pigs Invasion

-Cuban exiles, armed and trained by the CIA, launched what became a botched invasion at the Bay of Pigs of the south coast of Cuba

-the small force was crushed by Castro after President Kennedy refused to involve the U.S> Armed Forces

-twelve hundred of the invaders were captured, and the U.S. was forced to give millions over 50 million dollars worth of food and supplies to Cuba for the release of the captives

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