Kaylee, Eliza, Hannah
"A wall is a hell of a lot better than a war." -JFK

The Cold War was based on the tension between the USA and USSR. It started with with US having the fear of the expansion of communism in Eastern European states. To avoid this first the President of the U.S, Harry Truman,set the Truman Doctrine into place. This stated that the U.S would provide money to countries that are being threatened to communism. After the Truman Doctrine the Marshall Plan was set into action. This had the US provide 13 billion dollars to European states to restore post-war Europe. Soviet Union as a response established COMECON. This soon failed though due to the soviet Union being unable to provide financial aid.
Then came the policy of containment. This prevented communism from expanding past its existing boundaries. Tensions also rose due to the division ofGermany. At the end of WWII Germany was divided into four zones. The capital city ofBerlinwas also divided into four zones. The US, Britain, and France were making plans to unify the 3 Western states of Germany and making a separate West German state. The Soviets were against this creation of a separate state and made the decision to blockadeWest Berlin. TheUSretaliated with the Berlin Air Lift. This flew 2.3 million tons of supplies over the blockade and intoWest Berlin. In September 1949, the Federal Republic of Germany, orWest Germany, was created. A separate East German state was created a month later and was called the German Democratic Republic. With the fear of communism rising in the U.S, the Soviet Union andUnited Stateswere getting involved in an arms race. Both countries built up their armies and weapons. The starting of the arms race started the formation of alliance. The North Atlantic Treaty Organization was formed of theUS side, the Warsaw Pact was formed on the Soviet side.

The formation of alliances and the beginning of the arms race was preparing all nations for another major war. This preparation was centered around the fear of a nuclear war.Soviet Unionhad set off its first atomic bomb in 1949. The United States theUSSRbegan to build up huge arsenals of nuclear weapons. Having these arsenals were believed to be the way to prevent war. During the nuclear weapon build up theUSbegan to worry they were not as advanced in missiles as theUSSRwere. TheUSSRtook advantage of these fears. The president of theUSSRat the time, Nikita Khrushchev, wanted to find a way to stop refugees from fleeingEast Germany’s communism intoWest Germany’s prosperity. He came up with the solution of creating a blockade for citizens. He began to build a wall directly down the city separating East andWest Germanycompletely. This wall was named the Berlin Wall and became the symbol of division forGermany. Also during this time the Cuban dictator Fulgencio Bastia was overthrown by a revolutionary Fidal Castro and Castro had set up a Soviet-supported totalitarian regime. TheUSpresident, John F. Kennedy, set up a plan to invadeCubain hopes to overthrow Castro, but his plan greatly failed. Later on Kennedy found out Soviet ships were carrying missiles heading forCuba. To avoid a nuclear attack Kennedy pledged not to invadeCubaif they turned the ships back. The Soviets agreed and turned their ships back. By this time, theUSalso had to deal with the Vietnam War.UStroops were sent toVietnamto keep the communist regime ofNorth Vietnamfrom controllingSouth Vietnam. Though theUShad the advantage in the war, they failed to defeat the Vietnamese.

By the 1970s, a new phase called détente had been entered. This was marked by a relaxation of tensions and improved relations between theUSAandUSSR. But by 1979, the collapse of détente caused a new period of confrontation. The biggest set back to the détente period was the Soviet invasion ofAfghanistan. The Soviets invaded in hopes to restore a pro-soviet regime. The newly electedUSpresident, Ronald Reagan, highly disliked the Soviet empire and began to aid Afghan rebels. The Afghans ended up holding off the soviets and eventually defeated them. Even though tensions had began to rise again the Cold War came to an abrupt end with the influences of newUSSRleader Mikhail Gorbachev. He brought a new way of thinking which led to dramatic changes. He made an agreement with theUnited Statesto eliminate intermediate-range nuclear weapons. He also stopped giving support to communist government inEastern Europe. This decision opened the doors to the overthrow of the communist regime. When the reunification ofGermanycame along on October 3, 1990, it became a remarkable symbol of the end of the Cold War. In 1991, theSoviet Unionwas dissolved.

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Truman Doctrine: The principle that the US should give support to countries or peoples threatened by Soviet forces or communist insurrection. First expressed in 1947 by US President Truman in a speech to Congress seeking aid for Greece and Turkey, the doctrine was seen by the communists as an open declaration of the Cold War
Marshall Plan: A program of financial aid and other initiatives, sponsored by the US, designed to boost the economies of western European countries after World War II. It was originally advocated by Secretary of State George C. Marshall and passed by Congress in 1948
Satellite States: An independent country dominated by a larger power; initially coined during the Cold War era in reference to Central and Eastern European countries of the Warsaw Pact being ”satellites” of the Soviet Union.
COMECON: An economic association of eastern European countries founded in 1949 and analogous to the European Economic Community. With the collapse of communism in eastern Europe, the association was dissolved in 1991
Arms Race: A competition between nations for superiority in the development and accumulation of weapons, esp. between the US and the former Soviet Union during the Cold War
Warsaw Pact: A treaty of mutual defense and military aid signed at Warsaw on May 14, 1955, by communist states of Europe under Soviet influence, in response to the admission of West Germany to NATO. The pact was dissolved in 1991
SEATO: The Southeast Asia Treaty Organisation (SEATO) was an international organisation for collective defense which was signed on September 8, 1954.
ICBM's: An intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) is a ballistic missile with a long range (greater than 5,500 km or 3,500 miles) typically designed for nuclear weapons delivery (delivering one or more nuclear warheads).
Domino Theory: The theory that a political event in one country will cause similar events in neighboring countries, like a falling domino causing an entire row of upended dominoes to fall. For example communism during the Cold War.
Heavy Industry: The manufacture of large, heavy articles and materials in bulk.

President Harry S. Truman
George Kennan
Atomic Bomb Explosion
The Construction of the Berlin Wall
Map of Europe during the Cold War
George Marshall
Yuri Gagarin
Joseph Stalin
President Lyndon B. Johnson
Nikita Krushchev


  1. Joseph Stalin- Was still the ruler of Soviet Russia at this time and promised his people that there would be free elections in Eastern Europe.
  2. Winston Churchill- Winston Churchill is becoming increasingly popular among his people and coins the phrase "Iron Curtain" with which he was describing the situation in Europe.
  3. George Kennan- In 1947 was nicknamed the "Father of Containment" because he created the Policy of Containment which helped to keep Communism within certain boundaries.
  4. George Marshall- The U.S. Secretary of State at the time, creates the Marshall Plan in which the U.S. loans $13 billion to Europe to help them recover from the war.
  5. Yuri Gagarin- Was a Russian cosmonaut and the very first man to go into space, he did so aboard the spaceship called Vostok 1 and orbited for 1hr and 48min.
  6. Nikita Khrushchev- He Succeeded Stalin after he died in March of 1953 and ruled Russia from 1953-1964, he then used De-stalinization to get rid of the harsh laws Stalin put in place.
  7. Fidel Castro- During the Cuban Revolution of 1959 Fulgencio Bastista was overthrown and Fidel Castro rose to power and strongly supported the Soviets.
  8. President Lyndon B. Johnson- This president succeeded president Kennedy and set American troops to Vietnam to fight in the Vietnam War which lasted from 1964-1975.
  9. President Richard Nixon- In 1973 he decided to pull the American troops out of Vietnam and he called his process "Vietnamization" in which North Korea agreed to help South Korea.
  10. Mikhail Gorbachev- Towards the end of the Cold War he was the first and only president the Soviet Union ever had and created "Galsnost" in which the Soviet citizen had the right to speak freely.

For More Information:Harry S. Truman- A museum's website about Harry Truman and his life.The Cold War- All about the main events of the Cold War.Cold War Museum- A timeline and facts about the war.The Cold War for Kids- Fast facts and a detailed timeline of the war.Bay of Pigs Invasion- Some of the effects of the Invasion and why it failed.SALT- History of the Strategic Arms Limitation Treaty.Vietnam War-Some of the reasons the Vietnam War took place and its effect.Vietnam War for Kids- Facts about the Vietnam War and some effects it had on the world.NATO- How NATO effected the Cold War what it does today.Korean War- Facts about the Korean War and why it was fought.