HISTORY - The Cold War Flashcards
What did the USSR brand the US and other capitalist nations as and what else did it claim!
- ‘Imperialist exploiters of the weak’
- that a new and brighter future depended on the success of communism as a means of sharing the wealth of the world equally among all people.
What did the USA and its allies claim to be representing?
The world of free-enterprise capitalism and multi-party democracy.
When and who coined the term “containment of communism”?
Postwar US ambassador to the USSR, George Kennan in an article evaluating Soviet foreign policy published in 1947.
What was Kennan’s main message in his article about the containment of communism?
- Soviet ideology taught them that the outside world was hostile (it was their duty to overthrow the political forces beyond their borders)
- if the USSR did anything that was the contrary, it should be taken as with malicious intent
- the US should contain the Russian expansive tendencies
- Soviets believe that socialism and capitalism can never peacefully coexist
What is the conventional view of how the Cold War started?
Western Allies had to take defensive action against naked aggression by the Soviets.
What are New Left revisionists?
American historians that re-examine and challenge the conventional view of how the Cold War started.
What are the two groups of New Left revisionists?
- those that blame the failure in American statesmanship when Truman took over after F. Roosevelt’s death
- those that believe the expansionist American capitalist system forced the war on the Soviet Union
What are 4 views of those that blame the Americans for the Cold War?
- US diplomatic policy was designed towards creating an alliance between America and Great Britain
- US leaders tried to force Soviets to accept this (nuclear and economic pressure)
- didn’t consider Soviet security needs
- forced Russia into acting in own defence
Why did Stalin want to establish the Iron Curtain?
He wanted to make sure Russia would not be invaded again as over 20 million Russians died.
- wanted a barrier of friendly countries
How did the Americans see the establishment of the Iron Curtain?
An attempted communist takeover of Europe.
What year did Eastern Europe come under the control of Stalin’s government?
What was a cause of fears in Western Europe of further communist inroads into Europe?
Presence of active communist parties in Western Europe.
What is the Truman Doctrine?
The policy of communist containment.
- communism would be checked in its existing borders
- not allowed to spread to other countries
What was Germany divided into after World War 2?
4 occupational zones - British, French, American and Russian. So was Berlin.
How did the Potsdam conference of 1945 influence the Cold War?
- Russia was going to enforce its own policies on Poland and the rest of Eastern Europe
- The previously felt need for Russian aid in the Pacific war disappeared with the introduction of nuclear weapons
How did the Yalta conference affect the Cold War?
- Russians controlled the governments in Eastern Europe and the people could not create democratic institutions of their own choice because they were denied free election.
- Western powers also broke agreement because were suspicious of the Russian expansionism
What was ‘The Marshall Plan’?
A program of economic aid introduced by Americans in 1947.
- in return for billions of dollars worth of aid the Americans would be allowed to build military bases in Europe
- these countries then buy American products and allow US investments in their borders.
Why was ‘The Marshall Plan’ first introduced?
Europeans and Americans feared that poverty and hardship faces by the people in Western Europe might push them into the arms of the communists.
Why did the Russians initially set up the Berlin Blockade?
- threat to Russians (it sat in the middle of East Germany)
- the blockade was meant to force the Americans, French and British to leave their zones
When was the Berlin Blockade?
How did the Russians set up the Berlin Blockade?
Cut all road, water and rail links between West Germany and Berlin.
How did the Americans counter the Berlin Blockade?
Airlifted massive quantities of essential supplies into West Berlin.
- formed a military alliance, North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) with Canada and other Western European countries
How long did the blockade continue for? How did it end?
318 days. The Russians lifted it.
What was the main agreement of NATO?
If one country in the agreement got attacked, all the other countries that also signed will help retaliate.
Who was Joseph McCarthy?
A US senator who alleged that the USSR had a conspiracy to get communists into key American positions.
How did Joseph McCarthy heighten the anti-communist anxiety?
Claimed there was 57 communists in the State department alone.
- led ‘witch hunts’ to find them from 1950 till 1954