LEQ: What were the military andpolitical consequences of the Cold Warin the Soviet Union, Europe, and theUnited States?
The United Statesled the North AtlanticTreaty Organization(NATO) in democraticWestern Europe.The Soviet Unionled the WarsawPact in communistEastern Europe.After WWII, the United States and the SovietUnion faced off along the Iron Curtain.Both sides relied on European alliances: the UnitedStates with the West and the Soviet Union with the East.
The city of Berlin in Germany became afocus of the Cold War.• West Berlin was democratic and East Berlin wascommunist.• East Germans fled into West Berlin in drovesbefore East Germany built a wall in 1961.• The concrete and barbed wire barrier became asymbol of the Cold War.
• In 1953, 50,000 workersunsuccessfully stood up to theSoviet Army in East Berlin.• Hungarian leader Imre Nagytried to pull his nation out ofthe Warsaw Pact in 1956. Hewas executed.• The leader of Czechoslovakiaintroduced limited democracythere in 1968, but WarsawPact troops invaded to end it.As the Sovietsextended theirdomination inEastern Europein the 1950sand 1960s,revolts brokeout.
As the Cold Warcontinued, an armsrace began.By 1949, both sideshad nuclear weapons,and by 1953, both hadhydrogen bombs.Each side wanted to deter the other from launching itsweapons, so they pursued a policy of “mutually assureddestruction” that kept all of the world’s people afraid.
One agreementlimited anti-ballisticmissiles (ABMs).Ronald Reagansupported a “StarWars” missile defenseprogram that somesaid went against thetreaty.Despite the Cold War tension, the two sides didmeet to discuss limiting nuclear weapons.• anti-ballistic missiles (ABMs) – missiles that can shoot downother missiles from hostile countries• Ronald Reagan – the president of the United States from 1980 to1988
As the Cold Warcontinued, itwent global.Each side madenew alliances.America putmilitary basesaround theglobe.This eraended in1979 whenthe SovietUnioninvadedAfghanistan.An era ofdétenteoccurredduring the1970s dueto the armscontrolagreements.• détente – the relaxation of Cold War tensions
The two superpowers confronted each otherindirectly around the world by supporting oppositesides in local conflicts.
• Fidel Castro led a revolt against the corruptdictator there in the 1950s.• Castro took power in 1959, allied with the SovietUnion, and nationalized businesses.• U.S. president John F. Kennedy wanted to bringdown the communist regime and supported the Bayof Pigs invasion, which failed.Cuba became a communist nation in the 1950s.Fidel Castro – leader of an armed rebellion in Cuba, who tookpower there in 1959 and allied with the Soviet UnionJohn F. Kennedy – the president of the United States from1961 to 1963
During this Cuban missile crisis, President Kennedydemanded that the Soviets remove the missiles.The tense world watched. Finally, Nikita Khrushchevagreed and the crisis was over.The Soviet Union sent nuclear missiles to Cubain 1962, sparking a dangerous standoff.• Nikita Khrushchev – the leader of the Soviet Union afterStalin’s death in 1953, who called for “peaceful coexistence” withthe West
The Soviet Union in the Cold War• The government controlled most parts of public life.• Leaders wanted to spread the communist ideologyaround the world.• Some Soviets spoke out against the government butwere imprisoned or silenced.
The Cold War was really a struggle betweentwo different economic and political systems.
• This meant thegovernment worked tokeep communism withinits existing boundaries.• It supported anygovernment facingcommunist invasion.During theCold War, theUnited Statespursued apolicy ofcontainment.• containment – the policy of trying to keepcommunism within its existing boundaries andpreventing further expansion
Life in the United States during the Cold Warwas marked by a fear of both nuclear falloutand communism within.• Many people built bomb shelters in their yards.• Public schools conducted air-raid drills.• Americans also looked for enemies at home.They worried there were communists in theUnited States. This “red scare” led to manyfalse accusations and ruined lives.
The U.S. and Soviet Union built up huge nucleararsenals, but then worked to limit them throughtreaties. The U.S. led Western Europe, while theSoviet Union dominated Eastern Europe.Germany was divided between East and West.Eastern Europe resisted Soviet influence. TheU.S. and Soviet Union supported opposing sidesin global conflicts between communism anddemocracy.LEQ: What were the military and politicalconsequences of the Cold War in the SovietUnion, Europe, and the United States?