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Timeline Cold War

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1945Edit

  • Feb. 4 to Feb. 11 - Yalta Pact
    • Significance: The Yalta Conference, sometimes called the Crimea Conference and codenamed the Argonaut Conference, was the wartime meeting between the heads of government of the United States, the United Kingdom, and the Soviet Union — Franklin D. Roosevelt, Winston Churchill, and Joseph Stalin, respectively. Roosevelt was lobbying for Soviet support in the Pacific War concerning the invasion of the Empire of Japan; Churchill was pressing for free elections and democratic institutions in Eastern Europe (specifically Poland), while Stalin was attempting to establish a Soviet sphere of influence in Eastern Europe which the Soviets thought was essential to their national security. Additionally, all three of them were trying to establish an agenda as to how to govern post-war Germany.
    • Location: Yalta/Mediteranean
    • PECS: Political
    • Causes: The newly won war in Europe left many things unanswered, such as the punishment/ healing of Germany, the division of Axis powers and the ownership of Poland
    • Effects: Contributed to tensions.
    • Links!:

  • July 17 - Potsdam Conference
    • Significance: Stalin, Churchill, Truman, and Chruchill's successor, Clemente Atlee, meet to decide how to administer Nazi Germany following its unconditional surrender. The goals of the conference also included the establishment of post-war order, peace treaties issues, and countering the effects of war.
    • Location: Germany; Europe
    • PECS: Political
    • Causes: The surrender of Germany creates a vacuum in the center of Europe; western powers move to flll that vacuum
    • Effects: Division of Germany and Austria into 4 occupation zones, and similar division of Berlin. Prosecution of War Criminals(Nazi). demilitarization and democratization. Reparations owed by Germany. Transfer of German industry to USSR and US. Freedom for Poland
    • Links!:

  • August 6th & August 9th - "Little Boy" atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima and "Fat Man" dropped on Nagasaki.
    • Significance: This was the first time anybody had ever used an atomic bomb as a weapon. It ignited a huge controversy about whether or not the bomb should have been used and was what made the Japanese surrender. Some also call this last shot of World War II the first shot of the Cold War. Atomic bombs kill thousands instantly, demolish the two cities, and make them uninhabitable due to radiation. Radiation sickens tens of thousands more
    • Location: Japan
    • PECS: Political, Cultural & Social
    • Causes: US wanted to end war quickly, without Stalin's help, and intimidate Russia
    • Effects: Japan surrendered. Controversy over atom bomb. Cold War, arms race.
    • Links!: Atomic Cloud Over Hiroshima: [1]

1946Edit

  • July 4th - Philippines gain independence from the United States
    • Significance: The Philippines got independence for the first time since the Spanish-American War. This impacted the Cold War because the Filipinos fought against the communist Huk revolutionaries.
    • Location: Philippines
    • PECS: Political
    • Causes: American Colonization
    • Effects: The Filipinos fought against the Communist Huk rebels, which was part of the Cold War.
    • Links!:

1947Edit

  • Capitalism almost completely vanishes in eastern Europe.
    • Significance: The Soviet Union and other countries behind the "Iron Curtain" scared the capitalist countries.
    • Location: Eastern Europe
    • PECS: Political
    • Causes: Soviet Union spread its ideology over the countries it had run over during the course of World War II.
    • Effects: Tension between US and USSR.
    • Links!:

  • March 12 - Truman Doctrine Declared
    • Significance: Proclamation by U.S. president Harry S. Truman. It stated that the U.S. would support Greece and Turkey with economic and military aid to prevent their falling into the Soviet sphere. During the last 18 months of Truman's presidency, the defense budget quadrupled.
    • Location: United States
    • PECS: Political
    • Causes: Power vacuum in Europe following WWII; competition for European Influence, US vs USSR
    • Effects: American foreign policy mirrors containment, escalation of tension between US and USSR, military might enters rivalry.
    • Links!:

  • June-Marshall Plan introduced
    • Significance: Economic aid for western democracies so they could contain communism.
    • Location: United States
    • PECS: Political
    • Causes: The rich United States wanted to keep all of Europe from falling to communism.
    • Effects: Increased tension
    • Links!:

1948Edit

  • Communist Party takes control of Czechoslovakia
    • Significance: This was a victory for the Soviets in the Cold War.
    • Location: Czechoslovakia
    • PECS: Political
    • Causes: The capitalists lost support among the Czechoslovakians.
    • Effects: Increased fear of the rise Communism in the west. Czechoslovakia had previously been capitalist and democratic. USSR gains increased influence in Europe.
    • Links!:

  • June-May 1949- Blockade of Berlin Begins
    • Significance: Start of Russian effort to control all of Berlin and East Germany.
    • Location: Berlin, Germany
    • PECs: Political
    • Causes: Russia wanted complete control of East Berlin so that it would control all of Eastern Europe with the exception of West Germany
    • Effects:Start of the Berlin airlift by Allied forces to feed allies in Berlin. Caused the end of the blockade on May 12th of 1949
    • Links!:

1949Edit

  • September- Mao Zedong and communist party defeats nationalists and takes over China
    • Significance: The Communist Mao Zedong takes over China after a long and hard struggle against the Guomindang and the Japanese. Makes China the Communist nation it is today. This completely change the face of China diplomatically and economically. They became stiffer towards the western world, behind what was called the "Bamboo Curtain" and their trade was limited.
    • Location: China
    • PECS: Political
    • Causes: Instability and civil war following power vacuum in China. Spread of Socialist/Communist ideals
    • Effects: China becomes communist power, political stability regained.
    • Links!:

  • July-The NATO was ratified
    • Significance: After World War 2, many nations in Europe, and the United States, joined the North Atlantic Treaty Organization in order to draw together against the spread of the Communist Iron Curtain. They relied heavily on the U.S.'s nuclear arsenal to intimidate the Soviet Union
    • Location: Europe
    • PECS: Political
    • Causes: Fear of communism
    • Effects: The Cold War
    • Links!:

1950Edit

  • June- Korean War Begins
    • Significance: The Korean War began when Russian forces with the aid of North Korea began invading South Korea. The U.S. stepped in to defend South Korea.. However, after that the Chinese made another push into S. Korea and once again the U.S. repelled the attack. The conflict continued until N. Korea and China finally agreed to peace negotiations
    • Location: Korea
    • PECS: Political
    • Causes: The Cold War
    • Effects: Divisions amongst Koreans and problems between US and Russia.
    • Links!:

1953Edit

  • January-Dwight Eisenhower becomes the president of the United States.
    • Significance: Eisenhower wanted peace in the Korean War.
    • Location: US
    • PECS: Political
    • Causes: People elected him.
    • Effects: A truce in Korea.
    • Links!:

  • March 5th-Joseph Stalin dies after a stroke.
    • Significance: This ended Stalin's rule of the USSR.
    • Location: USSR
    • PECS: Political & Cultural
    • Causes: Strokes are generally caused by increased pressure on weak blood vessels, causing them to rupture, or a blockage of the blood vessel. It is speculated that someone may have assassinated him by giving him warfarin, a rat poison and anticoagulant medication, which can cause strokes.
    • Effects: People were free to criticize Stalin. His era of rule was over. The USSR lost some of its austerity. But oddly enough, a recent poll in Russia showed that 35% of Russians would vote for Stalin if he were alive.
    • Links!: Stalin Dead: [2]

  • Nikita Khrushchev succeeds Stalin as the leader of the Soviet Union
    • Location: USSR
    • PECS: Political and Cultural
    • Causes: Stalin's death left a power vacuum in the hierarchy of the Soviet Union that allowed Khrushchev to take power.
    • Effects: Khrushchev takes a slightly Stalinistic approach to government. He still didn't hesitate to crush dissidents though he did favor a more peaceful foreign policy idea to the West.

yes

  • Warsaw Pact Created
    • Significance: In response to NATO, the USSR formed the Warsaw Pact with the Eastern-European communist countries.
    • Location: Eastern Europe
    • PECS: Political
    • Cause: USSR afraid of US and Allies
    • Effects: Increased tension
    • Other: None

1958Edit

  • The Great Leap Forward
    • Significance: The Great Leap Forward was supposed to greatly increase production, but it failed because products were often of poor quality, as quantity was stressed more. 30 million people died of starvation.
    • Location: China
    • Other:

1961Edit

  • Cuban Missile Crisis
    • Significance: The Cuban Missile Crisis is often reffered to as the culmination of the entire Cold War itself. It was a time of great tension, fear, and quite frankly one of the fastest movements technologically that this world has ever seen.
    • Location: Near Izmir, Turkey and Cuba, with diplomacy coming from the USSR and the USA
    • PECS: Political/Economic
    • Causes: The United States developed a missile attack plan and places 'Jupiter' IRBMs (Intermediate Range Ballistic Missiles) near Izmir, Turkey. The USSR felt that this was a direct threat to their sovereignty and decided to install similar installations on the Soviet "Influenced" island of Cuba. The United States, using U-2 spy planes, discovered these installations before they were fully operational and a resulting crisis erupted.
    • Effects: The Cuban Missile crisis in effect scared the world because the US was so afraid of the power that humanity was going to exert and that we would eventually destroy the world with nuclear weapons. A new term spawned out of the Cold War, MAD, or 'Mutual Assured Destruction', meaning that if one country used nuclear armaments on another country, that the attacked country would resort to nuclear weapons to defend itself and then the world would be effectively destroyed. The Crisis was also a time for politicians to shine, such as JFK, who came into office in the thick of it. The Crisis was also the first time in history that the United States Military was raised to DEFCON 2, which would only happen again during the Gulf War.
    • Links: http://www.gwu.edu/~nsarchiv/nsa/cuba_mis_cri/

1964Edit

  • Vietnam War begins
    • Significance: This was a Cold War conflict and eventually became very unpopular with American citizens, contributing to hippie ideas.
    • Location: Vietnam
    • PECS: Political
    • Causes: Vietnam was becoming communist.
    • Effects: Widespread distrust and dissatisfaction with the government.
    • Links!:


1966Edit

  • The Cultural Revolution
    • Significance: As part of the cultural revolution, Mao purged Chinese society of counter-revolutionaries and created the Red Guard, so that the new generation would be more committed to Maoist policies. However, the result was an economic decline and increased dissent.
    • Location: China
    • Other:

1975Edit

  • Vietnam War ends
    • Significance: This was a humbling event for the United States military, but was a victory for anti-war citizens, especially hippies.
    • Location: Vietnam
    • PECS: Political
    • Causes: Huge casualties, ideological dissatisfaction.
    • Effects: Americans were wary of the government, but happy they had ended the war.
    • Links!:


1976Edit

  • Mao Zedong dies
    • Significance: Mao Zedong had been a great leader for the Chinese people, so this was a loss for them in some sense. However, future leaders were more moderated which benefited the Chinese people.
    • Location: China
    • Other:

1979Edit

  • Soviet-Afghan War begins
    • Significance: Was the equivalent of the Vietnam War for the USSR. Afghanistan was communist, but fighting against capitalist rebels. The USSR and USA, among other powers, were drawn into the conflict.
    • Location: Afghanistan
    • PECS: Political
    • Causes: Cold War tensions regarding the governmental status of Aghanistan.
    • Effects: Dissatisfaction with the war in the USSR, minor losses for the USSR.
    • Links!:


1981Edit

  • Deng Xiaoping comes to power in China
    • Significance: Much like the anti-Stalin leaders of the Soviet Union, Xiaoping set China on a less radical path. This led to increased hopes for the eventual abolition of Maoism.
    • Location:
    • Other:

1989Edit

  • Soviet-Afghan War ends
    • Significance: Then end of a ten year conflict that the Soviets did not want to be part of.
    • Location: Afghanistan
    • PECS: Political
    • Causes: The Soviet Union wanted to get out of the war.
    • Effects: Aghan Civil War
    • Links!:

  • Tiananmen Square Massacre
    • Significance: The massacre led to tension between the Chinese people and their totalitarian government, and many died. However, it increased awareness about the situation in China and made people hopeful for a better government system.
    • Location: China
    • Other:

1990Edit

  • Soviet Union Collapses, end of Cold War
    • Significance: End of a 4 decade long standoff betweeen USA and USSR
    • Location: Russia
    • PECS: Political
    • Causes: Reforms instated by Mikhail Gorbachev caused further wants for a democratic government
    • Effects: Russia becomes a democratic nation, establishes friendly relations with United States.
    • Links!:


1997Edit

  • Xiaoping dies and Jiang Zemin comes to power
    • Significance: Although their ideas were much the same, Zemin faced more dissent than Xiaoping. Zemin also faced more internal pressure than Xiaoping.
    • Location: China
    • Other:

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