Cold War: Origins

  • U.S. termination of Lend-Lease to Soviets (while Britain continued to receive aid) angers Stalin
  • Stalin promises free elections for E. Europe at Yalta. 1945
  • Stalin refuses free elections for E. Europe at Potsdam, 1945 (angers Allies)
  • Stalin refuses to give E. Germany back (angers Allies)

Churchill’s “Iron Curtain” speech (1946): wake up call to Americans vis-à-vis Soviet threat

Atlantic Charter: abandon war and move towards self-determination. Also a veiled war challenge because the Soviets don’t actually want to do that and want to keep its spheres of influence. Stalin wasn’t invited.

-When it fails, George F. Kenna introduces the containment doctrine, designed to stop Communism from spreading

à Marshall Plan wants to help all the Europeans get their economy back and become a viable partner

Casablanca Conference:

-yes, let’s invade Europe

-next year

-in Italy instead of France

-Stalin wasn’t invited.

Tehran Conference:

            -yes, let’s invade France

-in six months

Yalta: The creation of the UN, General Assembly and Security Council with five permanent members: US, UK, China, France, Russia, instead of LoN.

-lack of agreement about Poland. “Lublin” vs. “London” Poles

-Germany is split into four quarters, as is Berlin

Berlin Airlifts become a symbol of resistance à NATO à Warsaw Pact

Potsdam Conference: Truman “gets tough” with Stalin


The China Problem: In order to fit into the American vision of a peaceful policed world, China must be strong. But Chiang Kai Shek and Mao are making it very difficult. In the end, the Americans turn to Japan as Chiang Kai Shek flees to Taiwan. Also, Truman renews NSC-68, putting the US at the head.

The Korean War

Korea is split in half, and the US attacks when Soviets attack the south—first exercise of the NSC-68


2 responses to “Cold War: Origins

  1. Pingback: Map of the US History Guide | Surviving High School: A Hypocrat in a Perpetual State of Procrastination·

  2. Pingback: The Cold War Era: 1945-1968 | Surviving High School: A Hypocrat in a Perpetual State of Procrastination·

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