Intro to the Cold War

by Emily Fry

The Main Questions

What was it?

The Cold War was an international conflict between communism and democracy and it began after World War II.

Who was it between?

It was between the United States of America and The U.S.S.R. (The Soviet Union)

How did it start?

The Soviets launched the first artificial satellite and this caused the US to fear that the Soviet Union might use rockets to launch nuclear weapons against the US and its allied nations.

The Main Ideas

What Did the Cold War Consist of?

Containment - this was the basis of US foreign policy throughout the Cold War, and the idea was to stop communism from spreading.


“Iron Curtain” - The iron curtain refers to the walls that the United States built surrounding communist nations to keep their influence from spreading.


Truman Doctrine - This states that the United States would supply any nation with economic and military aid to prevent is falling under the Soviet’s influence.


Marshall Plan - Also known as the European Recovery Program, was America’s main program for rebuilding Western Europe and opposing communism.


Berlin Airlift - The Soviet Union blocked the Western Allies’ railway, road, and canal access. Western allies organized the Berlin airlift to carry supplies to the people in West Berlin.


NATO - The North Atlantic Treaty Organization was formed to halt te spread of communism to Western Europe from the Soviet-controlled nations of Eastern Europe.


Korean War - This lasted from 1950-1953. The US and other nations came to the aid of South Korea when they were invaded by the communist North Korea.


McCarthyism - This term was applied to a Second Red Scare which took place in the 1950s. Senator Joseph McCarthy often accused people in government of being communists with little evidence.


Space Race - This was a competition between the Soviet Union and the United States for supremacy in spaceflight capability.


U-2 Incident - On May 1, 1960, a United States U-2 spy plane was shot down in Soviet airspace.


Eisenhower Doctrine - This was a speech by President Eisenhower on January 5, 1957. Under this doctrine, a Middle Eastern country could request American economic assistance or aid from US military forces if it was being threatened by armed aggression from another state.


Brinkmanship - This term is used to describe the tactic of seeming to approach the verge of war in order to persuade one’s opposition to retreat.


Cuban Missile Crisis - President Kennedy ordered a blockade of Cubs when it was discovered that the Soviet Union was placing nuclear missiles there; the standoff came perilously close to nuclear war, but the Soviet eventually backed down.


Bay of Pigs Invasion - In 1961, a force of 1,500 US trained Cuban exiles landed in Cuba to try to overthrow the Castro regime, the invasion was a disaster as it was quickly crushed and many of the attackers held for ransom.