Modern History/Cold War
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Cold war timeline
- 1945: February - Yalta conference:
- Stalin (USSR), Roosevelt (USA), Churchill (UK).
- Plan what to do about Germany/Europe after war.
- Key Agreements – Eastern Europe Soviet ‘sphere-of-influence’
- Germany – four zones: British, French, American and Russian
- Berlin – four zones: British, French, American and Russian
- July/August – Potsdam conference:
- War in Europe over; no Hitler = no unifying force
- Truman new US leader. V. anti-communist
- US notified Stalin of A-bomb
- Disagreements – Germany. Stalin wanted compensation – felt threatened, keep Germany crippled
- Truman -
- 1946: Churchill delivers ‘Iron Curtain’ speech
- 1947: The Truman Doctrine:
- Active role in Greek civil war
- 1949: NATO Treaty signed
- 1949: Communists take power in China; Nationalists retreat to Taiwan
- 1950: Korean War begins
- June 25: North Korea invaded the South in a bid to unite Korea without elections.
- September 15: USA and Britain led UN troops in military intervention
- November 25: 500,000 Chinese communist volunteers joined war for North Korea.
- 1953: Armistice ends fighting in the Korean War.
- 1955: Warsaw Pact is formed
- Treaty of friendship, co-operation and mutual assistance, was a military alliance of the Eastern European Bloc countries, who intended to organize against the perceived threat from the NATO alliance
- 1961: Bay of Pigs
- April 17, 1961, 1300 members of a CIA-supported counter-revolutionary Cuban exile force stormed beaches of Cuba, ended in total failure. Debacle for Kennedy.
- August 1961: Berlin Wall is erected, severing Berlin in two
- 1962: Cuban missile crisis
- 1963: Nuclear test ban treaty signed: USA/USSR/UK
- 1964: Gulf of Tonkin Resolution.
- 1965: President Johnson begins escalation of US role in Vietnamese Civil War.
- 1972: US withdraws from Vietnam.
- 1972: SALT Treaty signed
- 1972: Nixon visits China
- 1975: Vietnam internal conflict ends
- 1979: The Soviet Union invades Afghanistan
- 1985: Gorbachev becomes new Soviet leader. Begins policies of "Perestroika" and “Glasnost”
- 1989: The Fall of the Berlin Wall: COLD WAR ENDS
- 1989: Tiananmen Square Massacre in China
- 1991: Warsaw Pact dissolved, Soviet Union collapses, Gorbachev resigns
- Definition – describes the conflict between USSR and ‘western powers’ in period following WWII (1945-1989)
Period of tension characterised by conflict at diplomatic, economic and all levels short of direct armed conflict between principles
- Communism –
- Capitalism –
- ‘Superpower’ rivalry
- Josef Stalin
- Winston Churchill
- Franklin D. Roosevelt
- Harry Truman
- Clement Attlee
- George Kennen
- Dwight Eisenhower
- George Marshall
- Nikita Khrushchev
- John F Kennedy
- Fidel Castro
- General MacArthur
- Mikhail Gorbachev
- Ronald Reagan
- End of the grand alliance
- Mutual suspicion
- Fear of communism
- Conflict of ideals
- Growth of Communism
- Europe in ruins
- Berlin Wall
- Korean War
- 1956 > ‘peaceful coexistence’
- Bay of Pigs
- Cuban Missile crisis
- Vietnam War (‘domino theory’)
Détente to 1975
- Definition – peaceful coexistence, arms limitations, recognition of China
- 1975 to the collapse of Communism in Europe
- Solidarity in Poland
- Deficiencies in the Communist system
- Discontent Nationalism
- Gorbachev’s reforms – Glasnost and Perestroika: opposition from hard liners. 1991 coup.
- Troops : NATO 2.6 million. Warsaw Pact 4 million
- Tanks : NATO 13,000. Warsaw Pact 42,500
Artillery : NATO 10,750. Warsaw Pact 31,5000
Nuclear arms race
- By 1961 – enough bombs to destroy the world
- By 1981, USA had 8,000 ICBM’s and USSR 7,000 ICBM’s
- By 1981, USA had 4,000 planes capable of delivering a nuclear bomb. Russia had 5000.
- USA defence spending for 1981 = 178 billion dollars. By 1986, it was 367 billion dollars.
- By 1986, it is estimated that throughout the world there were 40,000 nuclear warheads - the equivalent of one million Hiroshima bombs.
- 1960s – theory of MAD (mutually assured destruction): suitable retaliation = no winners