Unit 11: Cold War Notes


  1. United Nations
    1. Victorious nations decide to set up an international organization to halt aggression (the United Nations)
    2. Two parts
      1. General Assembly ~ Member nations each get one vote on a variety of issues
      2. Security Council ~ 5 permanent members, each can veto any proposed action by the Security Council


  1. Opposing Superpowers
    1. USSR builds a wall of Eastern European nations

i.      Stalin installs Communist Soviet friendly governments in all Soviet occupied countries

ii.      Iron Curtain ~ “an iron curtain has descended across the continent.”

iii.      Stalin declares war between the US and USSR INEVITABLE!

  1. United States takes a stand

i.      Truman adopts policy of Containment

    1. Communism can exist where it does now but cannot expand elsewhere
    2. Idea put forth by George Frost Keenan

ii.      Truman Doctrine ~ US will help any country that is forcibly under the rule of an armed minority or outside pressure

iii.      Marshall Plan ~ Give assistance to any European nation that required aid at the end of WWII

    1. Huge Success
    2. Bolstered American image


Key Point ~ The two superpowers with their opposing ideologies and increasingly aggressive foreign policies are leading the world in different directions meaning any event could explode into another world war.



  1. Civil War
    1. Chinese Civil War resumes after World War II ends

i.      Jiang Jieshi ~ Chinese Nationalist leader

ii.      Mao Zedong ~ Chinese Communist Leader

  1. Despite the support of the US Jiang Jieshi is defeated and flees to Formosa (Taiwan)
  1. Two Chinas
    1. Both Taiwan and mainland China refused to recognize each other

i.      US and USSR support their ideological allies

  1. China expanded outward taking over parts of Mongolia, Tibet and expanding into India
  1. Mao Zedong
    1. Mao, head of Communist Party and Chinese Government, seeks to make China a modern nation

i.      Industrializes

ii.      Redistributes land

    1. Collectivization of farms

iii.      Women are no equals to men

iv.      Government sponsored child care

  1. Great Leap Forward

i.      Mao tries to expand his Collectivization of farms

    1. Creates Communes, large collective farms where the people who worked it, lived together ate together etc
  1. Cultural Revolution
    1. China began to turn more to capitalism than to Communism

i.      Drifted away from the USSR

ii.      Allowed small scale capitalism

    1. Mao disapproved and issued a call to “learn revolution by making revolution”
    2. Millions of Students left schools and formed militia groups

i.      Targeted anyone who was of the mind

      1. teachers
      2. artists
      3. factory managers
  1. Cultural Revolution led to disorder and Chaos and it was years before full order and stability returned.


  1. Korea Splits
    1. Korea is split into 2 parts

i.      COMMUNIST North Korea

ii.      CAPITALIST South Korea

  1. KIM IL SUNG leader of North Korea wants to invade South Korea and unify the country

i.      He receives help from USSR and Communist CHINA

  1. WAR!
    1. North Korea invades South Korea and almost overruns the country
    2. The UNITED NATIONS, votes to send in troops to push the North Koreans back
    3. The United Nations troops are made up of mostly AMERICANS

i.      Led by General Douglas MACARTHUR

  1. Turning the Tide
    1. The North Koreans had forced the UN to a tiny area of South Korea called the PU’SAN Perimeter
    2. MacArthur ordered his troops to land at IN’CHON behind the North Korean army
    3. With the landings at In’ Chon the North Koreans were pushed all the way back into CHINA
  2. The Chinese get involved
    1. With the United Nations army right on their border China sent millions of SOLDIERS to help the North Koreans
    2. They pushed the UN back down past the original border
    3. Slowly the UN forces pushed the Chinese back and both sides agreed to a CEASEFIRE


  1. Vietnam History
    1. History of Independence and control by foreign powers
    2. French colony before World War II it was captured by the Japanese and then returned to France at the end of WWII.
    3. French fought forces led by Ho Chi Minh

i.      French lose final battle at Dien Bien Phu

  1. America gets involved
    1. After French defeat Vietnam split in half

i.      Domino Theory ~ If one nation falls to communism then others will follow

  1. US supports dictator Ngo Dinh Diem in the South

i.      Cancels elections because Diem very unpopular

ii.      Vietcong, communist guerillas, begin to wage war against Diem’s government

  1. US becomes deeply involved in fighting a war for an unpopular government in a foreign land
  2. War causes many domestic protests and divides America society.
  3. Nixon called for Vietnamization, or the slow withdrawal of American troops as the Vietnamese replace them.
  4. 1975 South Vietnam falls to North Vietnam




  1. Soviet Actions
    1. 1953 ~ Stalin dies, Khrushchev denounces Stalin’s terror tactics

i.      Destalinization

    1. Khrushchev Hardliner

i.      Hungary revolts, Soviets put it down

      1. Imre Nagy

ii.      Cuban Missile Crisis

  1. Brezhnev replaces Khrushchev

i.      Invades Czechoslovakia to ensure Communism kept in place

  1. China and USSR Split
  1. US Policy comes Full Circle
    1. Confrontation

i.      Brinkmanship ~ bad idea

ii.      Containment ~ Costly

  1. Détente

i.      Nixon!

ii.      SALT talks

  1. Deep Freeze

i.      Carter/ Congress reneges SALT II

ii.      Reagan ~ Cold Warrior

      1. Star Wars
  1. Reform
    1. Election of Gorbachev

i.      Perestroika

ii.      Glasnost