Tensions between the USA andUSSR• After WWII, the USA and USSRwere considered to be the onlysuperpowers left in the world.• Despite being allies during WWII, thetwo sides had a hostile relationshipdue to a number of reasons.• The two sides would never directlyengage each other in war, but ratherresist each other in small conflictsspread around the world.• The long standing tension betweenthe two sides became known as theCold War. These tensions would lastfrom 1945-1989.
Policy Differences between USAand USSR• The different economic systems ofCommunism and Capitalism were alarge source of conflict between thetwo sides.• Communism (USSR):– Government ownership of industry,Government control of economy– Equal distribution of wealth• Capitalism (USA)– Private enterprise– Economy run on basis of supply anddemandCommunismCapitalism
Democracy vs. Dictatorship• Another source of conflictcame from politicaldifferences betweendemocracy and dictatorship.• America always valueddemocracy and personalindividual freedoms (speech,religion, voting etc)• Soviet Union limited thefreedoms of its people.Those who criticized thegovernment were punishedand imprisoned. Freeelections were not held.A French political cartooncriticizing the USSR.
The Yalta Conference: 1945• Origins of the Cold War could be seen atthe Yalta conference.• The Yalta Conference was held early in1945 when it seemed apparent thatGermany would lose the war.• Winston Churchill (UK), FranklinRoosevelt (USA), and Josef Stalin(USSR) met to discuss the post warsettlement.• At Yalta, Stalin was resistant to movinghis troops out of the areas that he hadtaken from Nazi Germany. The Alliesdecided to allow him to keep influenceover those areas in exchange for helpwith defeating Japan and support for thenew UN.
The Iron Curtain•Stalin used his influence overthese areas to install communist“puppet” governments in severalcountries to the west of the SovietUnion. These countries basicallydid whatever Stalin and otherleaders of the USSR told them todo.•Upset at this development,Winston Churchill gave a famousspeech in which he declared thatan “iron curtain” had descended onE. Europe and the people livingeast of the Iron curtain were beingshut off from the light of democracyand capitalism.•The “Iron Curtain” was not anactual physical barrier, but ametaphor for the division of Europebetween Capitalism andCommunismUSSR123456The Iron Curtain (1. E. Germany, 2 Poland,3. Czechoslavakia, 4. Hungary,5 Romania6. Bulgaria) were all newly communistcountries under the influence of the USSR.)
Nuclear Weapons• The Soviet Union wasable to develop a nuclearweapon by 1949, and thepossession of nuclearweapons had anenormous influence onthe conflict.• Nuclear weapons madeeach side fear the other’spower and causedtension, but in manycases it also led tocooperation between thetwo sides as they knewthey could not risk directconflict.The Bravo H-bomb on Bikini Atollwas the largest US above groundnuclear test. The blast wasmeasured at 10-15 megatons. Itwas over a thousand times morepowerful than the bombs droppedon Japan.
The Theory of Deterrence• The theory of deterrencesuggested that you shouldshow strength in order toprevent or deter your enemyfrom attacking.• Each side built up theirnuclear arsenal in an attemptto show the enemy that anyattack would be met with acounter-attack.• This theory is sometimesreferred to as Mutual AssuredDestruction (MAD). MADhelped keep peace betweenthe two sides,The Three delivery systems for nuclearweapons made deterrence possibleSubmarineBomberICBMs
Containment• Even before the USSR developednuclear weapons, the US feared adirect conflict believing it would be along and deadly war.• Instead the US adopted the policy ofcontainment, deciding that it wassafer to try and prevent communismfrom spreading than to try andoverthrow current communistgovernments.• This policy was first put to use underUS President Harry Truman as hegave money and military supplies todefeat communist revolutions inGreece and Turkey. In a statementknown as the Truman Doctrine,America declared that containmentwould be their foreign policy indealing with the Soviets.The Truman Doctrinehelped defineAmerica’s role in postwar Europe.
Alliances• The Cold War did not justinvolve the US and USSR.• In order to prepare for apossible war between thetwo sides, alliances wereformed.• NATO (North Atlantic TreatyOrganization) was formed in1949 and consisted the USand its allies (W. Europe andCanada).• In response, the USSRformed its own allianceknown as the Warsaw Pactin 1955. The Warsaw Pactcontained the USSR and E.European countries.
Cold War AlliancesNATO• USA• UK• France• Canada• Belgium• Denmark• The Netherlands• Italy• W. Germany• Norway• Greece• TurkeyWarsaw Pact• USSR• Poland• Czechoslovakia• E. Germany• Hungary• Romania• Bulgaria