Introduction 1945 to 1949
U.S.A. and Russia
were allies during
Europe was in ruins
after World War II
U.S. and Soviet Union
filled the power gap
that Germany, Italy,
and Japan left
“Cold War” only in the
sense that, because of
U.S.A and Soviet
Union never fought
directly but their
global competition led
to conflicts on every
World War II Alliance with U.S. and
Alliance contributed to Cold War
1. Ideological differences –
communist vs. democracy
Communism (Soviet Union) – authoritarian government
that represses citizens rights and controls the means of
B.Democracy (U.S.) – the supreme power lies with the
citizens who can elect people to represent them. Individual
rights and freedoms are protected. Ideological differences
2. Different political plans for E. Europe
One political party, the
All labor groups and other
associations are run by the
Unions and other
Industry and farms are owned
by the state: central planners
determine nation’s economic
needs: limited private property:
education and health care
provided by the state
Free enterprise system:
private ownership of
property: supply and
prices: people meet own
needs with little
Religion is discouraged
Free exercise of religion
Secret police arrest opponents:
censorship: no free exercise of
Freedom of the press
Yalta and Potsdam Conferences
Recognized end of war in Europe
Formed United Nations
Divide Germany into 4 zones
Free elections in 3 of 4 zones
Stalin pledged free elections but didn’t happen
Truman met with Stalin six months later at
the Potsdam Conference in Germany where
serious differences began to emerge
between the US and Soviet Union
Communists in Greece and Turkey (1947)
Communist rebellions in Greece and
Turkey contributed to the
development of the Cold War (U.S.
vs. Soviet Union).
Domino Theory – fear that if one
country fell to communism,
neighboring countries would follow
Truman Doctrine created –U.S.
would intervene in countries to
Marshall Plan (1947) – (pays for containment)
U.S. gives money to the reconstruction of western Europe
to protect them from the Soviets/Communists taking over
1. U.S. did not want Europe becoming an economic drain
2. Wanted strong European markets
3. Strengthen pro-western gov’t
16 European nations agreed
$12 billion given to them over the next 3 years.
Soviet Union declined to participate.
Can you estimate the value or
importance of the effect the Marshall
Plan would have on the world?
Defend your answer.
North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) grew
out of European fears of Soviet military
NATO was collective security to defend each
member if attacked
April 1949 – 10 European nations, U.S. and
Canada signed NATO agreement.
U.S. would defend Europe if Soviets attack.
In response, Soviet Union creates Warsaw Pact in
If you were an American, how would
you feel about the U.S. joining
Iron Curtain fell over Eastern Europe
• Closing it off from the West
• For 40 years communication and travel
between Eastern and Western Europe
• Eastern European countries would
become “satellites” to the Soviet Union
The Truman Plan said contain it!
The Marshall Plan paid for it!
NATO enforced it!
Truman was elected President in
1948; upset victory
1949 – the Soviet Union exploded its
first atomic bomb. Now they are
competing with the U.S. as a military
U.S. and Soviet Union began to
increase their arsenals of nuclear
Soviets want full control over the German
capital (Berlin). U.S. and Great Britain
• Berlin was in the Soviet zone
Allies introduce a new currency to West
Berlin. Soviets institute a blockade in June
1948. Supplies blocked to West Berlin.
1948 – U.S. airlifts supplies to W. Berlin.
May 1949 – Soviets reopen West Berlin.
1961- Soviets build a wall dividing East
and West Berlin.
What choice would you have made if
you wanted to escape West Berlin to
East Berlin to see family? Explain
Berlin Airlift 1948
With the blockade by the Soviet Union, West
Berlin was cutoff from the outside world.
Western Allies refused to abandon West
They began a massive Airlift to feed and
supply the city
Stalin (leader of Soviets) lifted the blockade
a year later
This victory would show that we would not
retreat and we would stand up to the Soviet
China Falls to Communism
Soviets helped China after WWII in 1945
Led by Mao Zedong Chinese communist
defeated the Nationalist Government in 1949
Nationalist fled to the island of Taiwan
Mao created the largest communist state in
Crushing blow to the U.S.
Using veto powers, the U.S. prevented the
admission of “Red China” into the United
Truman pledged to protect the Nationalist in
Taiwan from communist aggression