Period 2:  The Cold War (Nixon to Reagan)

Page history last edited by Erin Carlin 13 years, 3 months ago
See Period 2: The Cold War (Truman to Johnson) for further information
The World's GREATEST Revolution!
The Era of the DETENTE!


For your reference, a timeline:  http://future.state.gov/future/when/timeline/1969_timeline.html 

Period 4's cold war timeline cold war time line.doc


What Was The Cold War?:


In diplomatic terms there are THREE types of war:   

Hot War

Actual warfare. All attempts at discussion have failed and warfare is now physical. 

Warm War

Discussion still ongoing. There is still an opportunity for a peaceful outcome, but armie s, navies, etc. are being fully mobilised and war plans are being put into operation, awaiting the command to fight.

 *Cold War

The tense, almost-warring relationship between America and the Soviet Union between 1945 and 1980. Neither side ever outright fought the other - the consequences would be too appalling - but they did "fight" for their beliefs through the use of "client states," which fought respectively for America and the Soviet Union on their behalf.

^  : http://www.historylearningsite.co.uk/what%20was%20the%20cold%20war.htm

PEOPLE OF THE COLD WAR (ppt of events & people)

People cold war.ppt

Why Did the Cold War happen?:


The Hungarian Revolution:

  • Inspired by the Polish Revolution, the Hungarian bourgeousie revolted on October 23, 1956.
  • They Tore down the statue of Stalin by firing police cars, buildings, and anything "communist" 
  • Imre Nagy: Prime Minister 
    • Executed secretly organized to overthrow the Hungarian people's democratic states with treason
      • New Goverment that shared power with local workers' councils
      • One-party system 


The Cuban Revolution:

  •  An armed revolt that led to the overthrow of dictator Fulgencio Batista 
  •      Took place on January 1, 1959
  •       Led by Fidel Castro
    •  Castro went to the United States later on to explain his revolution. He said, "I know what the world thinks of us, we are Communists, and of course I have said very clearly that we are not Communists; very clearly." 


What Was Going on in America during the Cold War?:

  • Richard Nixon
    • Elected in 1968, Richard Nixon entered the White House intending to create a more conservative America. He felt that many of the presidents in America's recent history had been far too liberal with their governing, and he sought to turn this pattern around. In a plan he called New Federalism, Nixon began transferring federal power from the federal government to state and local government.
    • Nixon created the FAP, the Family Assistance Plan, in 1969, in order to put welfare recipients in a more active role in their own lives, rather than depending on the government to support them. Although it was sh ot down in the Senate, it remains an excellent example of Nixon's conservative approach and willingness to compromise in politics. THroughout his term, Nixon continued with this method, quietly bettering Medicare, Medicaide, and social security, along with making food stamps more readily available. Too, he showed strong support for the  middle class by his hand in substantiated housing and the expansion of the Job Corps program. However, attitude between Nixon and Cpngress (which at the time was for the most part of the opposing party). Nixon began to use impoundment, the presidential ability to withold funding from certain federal programs.
    • Nixon had promised in his campaign to bring an end to both the war in Vietnam and the divisiveness in America. In order to do so, Nixon began to illegally spy on suspicious characters, in defense of the country. He had the CIA wiretap many leftists whom he believed might have sympathies towards Vietnam. He further continued this path into illegality as he complied lists of anti-government citizens and those who made his job more difficult. These people were subject to invasions of privacy and tax audits by Nixon's hand.
    • The Watergate scandal involved Nixon and his closest men: H. R. Haldeman, John Ehrlichman, and John Mitchell. Nixon, deathly afraid of losing the next presidential election, sent in his "plumbers" to spy on Democrat campaign plans; however, they were caught, and the line of power was traced back to Nixon. Thus began a series of coverups, each  more outstanding than the last. Nixon won the next election, but the coverups began to "unravel" and scandal emerged. With each new realization came another more shocking than the last, and eventually the people were calling for Nixon's impeachment. He resigned before such measures could be taken on August 8, 1974.
  • Gerald Ford
    • Gerald Ford was sworn into the presidency after Nixon's impeachment. He was a clean, honest man, and was average in many ways despite his presidency. He focused mainly on solving the nation's economic issues, especially inflation and unemployment.
  • Jimmy Carter
    • Jimmy Carter, a nationally unknown peanut farmer from georgia, ttok the world by storm by winning the 1976 presidential election. He was notable as a person for his genuine, small-town-boy ways, which pleased many Americans while repulsing those who were more politically minded.  He was concerned most with solving the energy crisis; however, his policies regarding nature did little for America's suffering economy. Too, he was concerned with the civil rights of women and minorities, despite the lack of change that occurred around these issues while he was in office.
  • Ronald   Reagan 
    • Conservatism at its most Conservative (for lack of a better term), Ronald Reagan took seat of the presidency in 1980. In short, he: cut government programs, reduced taxes, increased military spending, and ultimately sought to revive America's economy.

^see textbook for further information. much of the above information is drawn from the textbook

Presidential Foreign Policy:

  • President Nixon
    • Based on realpolitik, a method of relations involving dealing with other nations in a flexible and reasonable manner, Nixon began the era known as the detente, the easing of relations during the Cold War. He began this with a visit to Communist China, in which he made clear his intentions. He would negotiate with those that America disagreed with for the sake of his country, despite his own powerfully anti-Communist sentiments.  
  • President Ford
    • President Ford was focused more on America during his presidency rather than foreign relations.
  • President Carter
    • Jimmy Carter was so concerned with human rights that flat-out refused to negotiate with those countries which did not commit to the same belief in human rights as did he. He cut off relations with Brazil and Argentina for these reasons, and established a Bureau of Human Rights in the State Department. He turned over the Panama Canal back to the Panamanians.
    • Carter brought about the collapse of the Detente. His firm insistence on human rights prevented him from negotiating with the Soviet Union; relation between the two countries broke down. Upon the U.S.S.R. invasion of Afghanistan, Carter activated the White House-Kremlin hotline in order to plead with Brezhnev. 
    • The "shining moment" of Carter's presidential career was his forced agreement in Camp David between Egyptian and Israeli presidents.
  • President Reagan
    • Ronald Reagan, realizing exactly what the shift of leaders in the U.S.S.R. really meant, put all his effort into befriending Gorbachev and bringing an end to the war.  He was successful; the U.S.S.R. collapsed. 

Berlin Wall:


  • Ronald Reagan wanted the Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev to destroy the Berlin wall
  • In his speech at the Brandenburg Gate he challenged Gorbachev to tear it down as a symbol of Reagan's desire for increasing freedom in the Eastern Bloc
  • The wall was built as a sign of communism and it separated East and West Germany
  • The United States supported West Germany which was the side prejudiced again
  • The Brandenburg Gate site was chosen to highlight the President's conviction that Western democracy offered the best hope to open the Berlin Wall.   His speech focused on a series of political initiatives to achieve this end.
  • The famous "tear down this wall" phrase was intended as the logical conclusion of the President's proposals.
  • President Reagan said, "As I looked out a moment ago from the Reichstag, that embodiment of German unity, I noticed words crudely spray-painted upon the wall, perhaps by a young Berliner, 'This wall will fall. Beliefs become reality.' Yes, across Europe, this wall will fall. For it cannot withstand faith; it cannot withstand truth. The wall cannot withstand freedom.”
  • On August 23, 1989, Hungary removed its physical border defences with Austria, and in September more than 13,000 East German tourists in Hungary escaped to Austria.
  • This set up a chain of events
  • November 9 1989 is considered the date the Wall fell, but the Wall in its entirety was not torn down immediately
  • Starting that evening, and in the days and weeks that followed, people came to the wall with sledgehammers or otherwise hammers and chisels to chip off souvenirs, demolishing lengthy parts of it in the process and creating several unofficial border crossings
  • The East German regime announced the opening of ten new border crossings the following weekend, including some in historically significant locations.
  • Crowds on both sides waited there for hours, cheering at the bulldozers which took parts of the Wall away to reinstate old roads
  •  Photos and television footage of these events is sometimes mislabelled "dismantling of the Wall", even though it was merely the construction of new crossings
  • New border crossings continued to be opened through the middle of 1990, including the Brandenburg Gate on December 22, 1989

1969 SALT

More Salt information : http://www.state.gov/www/global/arms/treaties/saltl.html

v On November 17, the first phase of Strategic Arms Limitation Talks began in Finland.

v The talks focused on limiting the two countries' stocks of nuclear weapons

v The finished agreement, signed in Moscow on May 26, 1972, placed limits on both submarine-launched and intercontinental nuclear missiles.

v Nixon and General Secretary Brezhnev signed the ABM Treaty and the Interim Agreement on strategic offensive arms. 


NATO and the Warsaw Pact

  • NATO - North Atlantic Treaty Organization (formed 1949)
    • The alliance of countries against communist powers in Europe
    • Based on U.S. atomic bomb strength
    • To protect from Soviet threat to European security
  • Warsaw Pact (formed 1955)
    • An alliance to ensure continued dominance of the Soviet Union over Europe
    • Used armed forces for power
    • Soviets controlled countries in the pact (Hungary and Czechoslovakia)
    • Wanted to get power in east Europe after troops were removed in the Austrian State treaty
  • The Soviet Union created the Warsaw Pact in response to West Germany's entry into the NATO alliance
  • NATO and the Warsaw Pact had tension across the Inner-German Border and on "flanks" in Norway and Turkey.  They were armed and there was potential for war.
  • Neither alliance was strong enough to dominate Europe 

Magazine Articles








Comments (1)

Peter H. Bond said

at 10:26 am on Jun 18, 2010

This is terrific...my two criticisms are: (1) make your commentary more obvious, and (2) where are your BOOK resources...

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