State of the World & Beginning ofthe Cold War Berlin Airlift, NATO and the Warsaw Pact
What is a Cold War?A Cold War is a state ofdiplomatic hostility between twosuperpowers (USA and USSR).These two superpowers willnever actually fight each othertherefore it is considered a coldwar.
The Post-War World After World War II the US and the USSR were the two world leaders. As many nations were re- building or becoming independent after World War II there was a competition between these two countries to gain influence over as many of these new nations as possible.
Containment The US takes on the policy of containment or trying to block the Soviet influence elsewhere in the world. Containment policies meant the US tried to create alliances with countries against the Soviet Union, and tried to stop countries from becoming communist.
Truman Doctrine US President Harry Truman wanted to influence new & rebuilding countries to not support communism. The Truman Doctrine was his plan stating that the United States would provide “support” to countries that were not communist or were
Marshall Plan Going along with the Truman Doctrine, the Marshall Plan said the United States would provide food, machines, and other necessities for countries that were struggling and resisting communism. Some worried these plans could support
Satellite Nations To stand up against the US policies the Soviet Union tried to gain as many satellite nations as possible. Satellite Nations are nations that are technically independent, but under close control from the Soviet Union. They are also communist and have the same policies as the USSR.
Divided Berlin At the Yalta Conference it was decided that Germany would be divided into four occupied sections. Berlin is in the Soviet sector of Germany. Even though Berlin is in eastern Germany the city itself was divided into an eastern part under Soviet control and a western part under
Berlin Airlift In 1948 the US, France & Britain thought Germany was ready to reunite, so they left their zones in the west and Berlin. The Soviet Union refused to leave their zone. Since Berlin was in the Soviet zone and also divided they cut off all supplies (food, water, and traffic) to the western part of Berlin. The US and Britain countered the blockade by flying supplies into the western side of Berlin. The Soviets looked like fools and eventually lifted their blockade in May 1949.
The “Iron Curtain” After the Berlin airlift relations between the Soviet satellite nations the rest of western Europe were tense. Winston Churchill declared an “Iron Curtain” had descended across Europe. The Iron Curtain is a metaphor for the divide between democratic western Europe and communist eastern Europe. No actual curtain exists. This saying came from a speech Winston Churchill made in which he used the saying “Iron Curtain” to describe the divide in Europe.
NATO In 1949 the US, Canada, and ten other western European nations came together to form the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). The countries in NATO agreed that if anyone of them were attacked they’d fight back together.
Warsaw Pact The Soviets felt threatened by NATO so in 1955 they developed their own alliance system known as the Warsaw Pact. The Warsaw Pact included the Soviet Union, Poland, East Germany, Czechoslovaki a, Hungary, Romania, B ulgaria, and Albania.
“From Stettin in the Baltic to Trieste in the Adriatic an iron curtain has descendedacross the Continent. Behind that line lie all the capitals of the ancient states ofCentral and Eastern Europe.Warsaw, Berlin, Prague, Vienna, Budapest, Belgrade, Bucharest and Sofia; allthese famous cities and the populations around them lie in what I must call theSoviet sphere, and all are subject, in one form or another, not only to Sovietinfluence but to a very high and in some cases increasing measure of control fromMoscow. The safety of the world, ladies and gentlemen, requires a unity inEurope, from which no nation should be permanently outcast.” – WinstonChurchill, “Iron Curtain” Speech
Honors – “Iron Curtain” Excerpt Guiding Questions How do the British/Americans feel towards the Soviet Union? What does Churchill feel is required to maintain the safety of the world? What does Churchill speculate the Soviet Union wants to achieve in the post-war world? Who is to blame for World War II in Churchill’s mind? How can atrocities like this be prevented in the future? What is the role of Britain/America/western Europe in the post-war world according to Churchill?