1945 – 1991



    US vs.Soviet Union


    Cold War- a state of tension between nations without actual fighting - between the US andSoviet Union1945 – 1990.

    Communism- an economic system where the government owns the means of production.

    Capitalism(FREE-ENTERPRISE SYSTEM) - citizens can own their own businesses with hope of making a profit

    United Nations- international peacekeeping organization developed after WWII. Member nations agreed to bring disputes to the UN for peaceful settlement.

    Satellite States- nations controlled by the Soviet Union during the Cold War as a buffer to a unitedGermany. Ex:Poland, East Germany, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria, andAlbania.

    Truman Doctrine- $400 million in military aid was given toTurkey and Greece so they would not be taken over by communist rebels.
    Marshall Plan- $12 billion given to Western European countries to rebuild after WWII. Now they would not have to turn to theSoviet Unionfor help and become communist.

    Containment- stop communism from spreading; contain communism to the areas where it exists. US foreign policy started by President Truman.

    NATO-North Atlantic Treaty Organization. US formed a military alliance with friendly nations – mostly inWestern
    Europe-member nations pledged to defend one another if they were attacked.

    Warsaw Pact - a military alliance of eastern European nations formed by theSoviet Unionin 1955

    Berlin Blockade (Soviet Blockade)- In 1948 Stalin closed all roads, railways, and river routes from West GermanytoWest Berlin.
    Berlin Airlift-United States used airplanes to bring food, fuel, medicine, and other supplies intoWest Berlinfor a year until Stalin lifted the blockade.


    Domino Theory-President Eisenhower’s belief that once one country falls to communism the surrounding
    nations would also fall.
    Superpower– a country with enough military, political, and economic power to influence other countries.
    Star Wars- the development of weapons that could shoot down Soviet missiles from space.
    détente - period in the 1970’s of reduced hostility between theUnited Statesand the Soviet Union
    SALT Treaty- Strategic Arms Limitation Talks. US &USSRsigned a treaty limiting the number of nuclear warheads & missiles they built.

    Vietcong-a group of communist guerillas (fighters who use hit-and-run tactics) that supported the North but live in the South

    GulfofTonkin Resolution -the U.S.would take all measures necessary to stop Soviet aggression inNorth Vietnam.

    ParisPeace Accords - agreement made byNorth Vietnam, South Vietnam, and theUntiedStates to end the Vietnam War.

    War Powers Act-required the President to get approval from Congress before sending troops to an armed struggle. 

     Joseph Stalin- Communist dictator of the Soviet Union.

    Harry S. Truman- President from 1945-1953, Democratic Party, made decision to drop the atom
    bomb in WWII; enacted the Berlin Airlift and the Truman Doctrine.

    Nikita Khrushchev- 1953 became the leader of theUSSRwhen Stalin died. He was responsible for building the Berlin Wall and was leader during the Cuban Missile Crisis. 

    Dwight D. Eisenhower– President from 1953-1961, he oversaw the cease-fire of the Korean War, made nuclear weapons a higher defense priority, & launched the Space Race.

    John F. Kennedy- President from1961 until his assassination in 1963. Events during his administration
    include the Bay of Pigs Invasion, the Cuban Missile Crisis, the building of the Berlin Wall & the Space Race.

    Richard Nixon– President from 1969-1974, hefollowed a foreign policy marked by détente with the Soviet Union and by the opening of diplomatic relations with the People's Republic of China.

    Mikhail Gorbachev- leader of theSoviet Unionfrom 1985 -1991. He believed major steps were
    needed to improve the economy and worked with President Reagan to improve relations with theUS.

    Ronald Reagan– President from 1981-1989, hissecond term was marked by the ending of the Cold War. He publicly portrayed theUSSR as an "evil empire" and supported anti-Communist movements worldwide