Chapter 15 Notes
The Cold War
I. The Cold War Unfolds
a. After WWII, two great powers remained. The United States and the Soviet Union emerged as superpowers.
i. Superpowers – nations stronger than other powerful nations.
b. Two Sides Face Off
i. The United States led the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) in Western Europe, while the Soviet Union led the Warsaw Pact in Eastern Europe. ii. The two alliances faced each other along the Iron Curtain, the line between the east and west. iii. A Wall Divides Berlin
1. The city was split into democratic West Berlin and communist East Berlin.
2. A massive exodus of low-paid East Germans, unhappy with communism, fled into West Berlin.
3. To stop the flight, East Germany built a wall in 1961 that sealed off West Berlin. iv. Eastern Europe Resists
1. Revolts began against Soviet domination in East Germany, Poland, Hungary and Czechoslovakia.
a. In 1953, some 50,000 workers confronted the Soviet army in the streets of the German capital.
b. In 1956, Eastern European challenged Soviet authority in the name of economic reform in both Poland and Hungary.
i. Poles were responding in part to Soviet-backed mass arrests of noncommunist leaders and government seizures of private lands and industry. ii. Hungarian leader Imre Nagy (nahj) went furthest, ending one-party rule and seeking to pull his country out of the Warsaw Pact.
1. In response, Soviet troops launched a massive assault that overwhelmed the resistance.
2. Nagy was later executed.
c. In 1968, Czechoslovak leader Alexander Dubcek introduced greater freedom of expression and limited democracy.
i. Known as “Prague Spring” ii. Warsaw Pact troops launched a massive invasion of Czechoslovakia in August to put an end to these freedoms.
c. Nuclear Weapons Threaten the World
i. One of the most terrifying aspects of the Cold War was the arms race that began right after WWII. ii. In 1949 the Soviets had developed a nuclear weapon and by 1953 both sides had developed the Hydrogen bomb.
1. Mutually Assured Destruction – in which each side knew that the other side would itself be destroyed if it launched its weapons. iii. Limiting Nuclear Weapons
1. To reduce the threat of nuclear war, the two sides met at disarmament talks.
a. In 1969, the U.S. and Soviets began Strategic Arms Limitation Talks (SALT) to limit the number of nuclear weapons.
b. In 1972 and 1979, both sides signed an agreement setting these limits.
2. One of these agreements limited anti-ballistic missiles (ABMs), or missiles that could shoot down other missiles from hostile countries.
3. During the 1980s, Ronald Reagan launched a program to build a “Star Wars”, missile defense system against nuclear attack.
4. The two sides signed the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START) in 1991. iv. Building Defenses
1. American and Soviet arms control agreements led to an era of détente – or relaxation of tensions, during the 1970s.
2. The era of détente ended in 1979, when the Soviets invaded Afghanistan.
v. Stopping the Spread of Nuclear Weapons
1. In 1968, many nations signed the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT).
a. These nations agreed not to develop nuclear weapons or to stop the proliferation, or spread, of nuclear weapons.
d. The Cold War Goes Global
i. Building Alliances and Bases
1. In 1955, the U.S. and its allies formed another alliance, the Southeast-Asia Treaty Organization (SEATO).
a. SEATO included the U.S., Britain, France, Australia, Pakistan, Thailand, New Zealand and the Philippines.
2. The Central Treaty Organization (CENTO) comprised of Britain, Turkey, Iran and Pakistan.
3. A Soviet alliance with the government of Communist China lasted from 1949 to 1960.
a. The Soviets and its allies were known as the Soviet Bloc. ii. Cuba Goes Communist
1. The most serious Cold War conflict in the Western Hemisphere involved the Latin American island of Cuba.
a. In the 1950s, Fidel Castro organized an