Recent Event Highlights: President Kennedy assinated, Berlin Wall Built, Khrushchev demands NATO withdrawl of troops from Berlin, Hungarian rebelllion put down by Soviets, Communists under Mao Zedong take control of China, Communists take over Czechoslovakia, and 17 more...
Created by SrEmm on Apr 18, 2011
Last updated: 04/20/11 at 04:13 PM
A year after the Cuban missile crisis, President Kennedy was shot by Lee Harvey Oswald while driving in a motorcade through Dealey Plaza. Kennedy was shot once in the back, and the back of the head which killed him. The assassination was shocking, however it got the public interest of the cold war. With a new president came a new time.
After opperations like the bay of pigs invasion failed, Cuba, who was supported by the Soviet Union, began building missile bases. Tensions rose more than ever, and the U.S. seriously feared nuclear conflict.Kennedy ordered to "quarantine" Cuba, and to get them to disarm. Eventually the soviets backed down, and no missiles were launched. The threat of mutually assured destruction had prevented the nations from launching.
The Berlin wall was built, dividing East and West Germany, in 1961. However, the Berlin had been divided since the beginning of the cold war. The wall was a physical symbol of the tense relationship between Russia and the U.S. the wall itself was a line of miss-communication. It truly was an iron curtain.
In 1960, President Eisenhower told the CIA to begin training to oppose Castro's rule in Cuba.The invasion didn't go as planned, and when the American troops landed on April 19, 1961, they only made it a little way inland because we were met by the surprisingly strong Cuban force. 1500 troops landed on the coast. Over 100 of them were killed and hundreds were captured.
The election between Kennedy and Nixon had been very close. In fact it was the closest presidential election since 1916. Kennedy was good looking and charismatic, which is just what the Americans needed at the time. There was a lot going on during this time,and if America didn't have a leader who was confident in ways, things would have been bad. Kennedy knew how to tell the public what they needed to know with out them becoming too scared.
The U.S., durring the Cold War flew numerous successfull spy missions across the USSR, however on may 1, 1960, one mission went wrong. A U-2 spy plane piloted by Francis Gary Powers, was shot down. This angered both the U.S.and Russians; it had a negative impact on their relations.
Castro came to power in January of 1959 as a result of the Cuban Revolution. The Cuban Revolution overthrew the dictatorship of Batista, which the U.S. supported. The U.S. used to have a lot of influence in Cuba, before Castro took it over. When he did this the U.S. lost a lot of control in South America, and they feared that communism would spread even more. "Until Castro, the U.S. was so overwhelmingly influential in Cuba that the American ambassador was the second most important man, sometimes even more important than the Cuban president." Earl T. Smith, former American Ambassador to Cuba, during 1960 testimony to the U.S. Senate
The Russians were tired of West Berlin, and demanded NATO to withdraw troops from the area, and let the Soviets control all of Berlin. NATO refussed to give up West Berlin and tensions rose. This heated the relationship between them even more. The U.S feared a Soviet attack of West Berlin.
On October 4, The Soviets launched a steel ball containing a small transmiter into Earth's orbit. It was called "sputnik 1". This was just another thing that the Russians, and the Americans were fighting for, and it was a symbol of the competitveness of the two countries to be the biggest world power.
In 1956, Hungarian rebels wanted to change its current government, and seperate from the Soviet Union. The Soviets were angered by Hungary unstable population, so they sent military there to enforce the communist government and shut down rebel threats.
The Soviet Union, and its satalitte states, formed a rival militay allience. This was called the Warsaw Pact, and it was against the nations belonging to NATO. The Warsaw Pact pledged mutal military assistance. It was just like NATO, but for the other side.
In 1954 Vietnam was divided into North and South Vietnam. Norht Vietnam was communist, and South Vetnam was anti-communist. The U.S. was worried, again, of more communist expansion. They decided to send advisors to South Vietnam in order to help unify North and South Vietnam as an anti-communist nation. This eventually led to the Vietnam war.
Julius and Ethel Rosenberg were tried, convicted, executed of passing confidential information to the Soviet Union. It was believed that they gave secrets about the atomic bomb, and U.S. plans. This is an important part of U.S. history because it was the first time that civillians had been executed for espionage in United States history
North Korea invaded South Korea, and was pushing to make it a communist nation. South Korea resisted, but they were pushed out of their capital. They needed help, so they U.S. decided to intervene. They wanted to prevent another communist nation from rising.With the help of NATO forces, they pushsed the North Koreans back into their territory. China was worried about a possible invasion by the allies, so they decided to enter the Korean war. The war reached a stalemate, finally ended in 1955. This was a hot point in the Cold War, which prevented South Korean communism.
Senator McCarthy, of Wisconsin, believed that there were people who were members of the American communist party. He also believed that they were leaking secret informaion to the Soviet Union. He tried to stop them by putting together a list of names of the people he knew had been involved in the communist party. The witch hunts began for the suspects. This gave fear to the Americans of an internal communist takeover. This is another example of constitoutional rights being put on hold in the time of war. The people had the right to attend the Communist meetings.
Nationalists and Communists in China were fighting for contol of the Chinese government. The Soviets supported Mao Zedong, leader of the communists, and the U.S. supported Jiang Jieshi, Leader of the national party. By 1949 Mao had more support in China, and he won over the Chinese government. This showed that communism was spreading quickly. The communist take over in China led to the U.S. stratgey of containment. By 1950 Communists controlled 1/4 of the world's land mass, and 1/3 of the world's population.
Soviets developing the A-bomb cahnged the war. The fear of an atomic bomb dropping was now on both sides. Also, becasue the sovietes had the bomb, the U.S's and the Russians were on a more equal playing field.
NATO provided a military alliance to counter soviet expansion.. " If you attack one of us, you are attacking all of us." 12 western european nations and north american nations agreed to help the nations of western Europe.
After WWII Czechoslovakia tried to become a democratic nation, but in early 1948 communist movements threatened to take control of the country. The Soviets were behind the communist movements, and the current goverment was forced into communism/ soviet control.
Theeuropean nations were struggling with economic problems after the war. The Marshall Plan, created by the U.S., gave 13 billion dollars in grants and loans to nations in western Europe. This was a step towards the U.S. intervening in the world affairs durring the Cold War.
Greece and Turkey were srtuggling with communist movements supported by the Soviets. The only country theat could help hold back the communist movement was the U.S. Truman and congress voted give 400 milloin dollars in financial aid. However, Truman wanted to refrain from sending troops. This was part of the Truman doctrine, which stated that the president would promise to aid nations struggling against communist movements and influence.
Churchill visits Westminster College in Missouri. Churchill annonunces to the U.S. and the world that Russia was a world treat. They had spread communism, and had taken control of Eastern Europe. Russia was offended by the speech. They felt threatened by the U.S. and Britian
The U.S. drops the controversial Atomic Bomb on Japan in order to end the war quickly, with as little American soldier casulties as possible. No other country had used the bomb before, so this made other countreis both fear and respect the U.S. By the end of WWII the U.S. was the number one world power.
The British, Russian, and U.S. met to discuss the situation in Europe. At this meeting it was decided that Germanay would be divided into different zones.This was an important meeting because it informed the Britishand the U.S. of the Russian threat in Eastern Europe.