History Homework

Please read Chapter 26 section 1 (Origins of the Cold War) in the Americans and create a Priestley Notes Organizer.You must do the following:

1) Create a prompt OR two purpose questions to focus your reading

2) Gather topics, Vocabulary/Content, and 2-3 Connections

3) Summary statement

808 CHAPTER 26

One American’s Story

Origins of the
Cold War

Seventy miles south of Berlin, Joseph Polowsky and a
patrol of American soldiers were scouting for signs of the
Soviet army advancing from the east. As the soldiers
neared the Elbe River, they saw lilacs in bloom. Polowsky
later said the sight of the flowers filled them with joy.

Across the Elbe, the Americans spotted Soviet
soldiers, who signaled for them to cross over. When the
Americans reached the opposite bank, their joy turned
to shock. They saw to their horror that the bank was
covered with dead civilians, victims of bombing raids.

A PERSONAL VOICE JOSEPH POLOWSKY
“ Here we are, tremendously exhilarated, and there’s a
sea of dead. . . . [The platoon leader] was much moved. . . . He said,
‘Joe, let’s make a resolution with these Russians here and also the
ones on the bank: this would be an important day in the lives of the
two countries.’ . . . It was a solemn moment. There were tears in the
eyes of most of us. . . . We embraced. We swore never to forget.”

—quoted in The Good War

The Soviet and U.S. soldiers believed that their encounter would serve as a
symbol of peace. Unfortunately, such hopes were soon dashed. After World War
II, the United States and the Soviet Union emerged as rival superpowers, each
strong enough to greatly influence world events.

Former Allies Clash
The United States and the Soviet Union had very different ambitions for the
future. These differences created a climate of icy tension that plunged the two
countries into a bitter rivalry.

Terms & NamesTerms & NamesMAIN IDEAMAIN IDEA WHY IT MATTERS NOWWHY IT MATTERS NOW

•United Nations (UN)
•satellite nation
•containment
•iron curtain
•Cold War
•Truman Doctrine

•Marshall Plan
•Berlin airlift
•North Atlantic
Treaty Organization
(NATO)

The United States and the
Soviet Union emerged from
World War II as two
“superpowers” with vastly
different political and
economic systems.

After World War II, differences
between the United States
and the Soviet Union led to a
Cold War that lasted almost to
the 21st century.

American and Soviet
soldiers meet (top)
at the Elbe River in
Germany near the end
of World War II. A 1996
postage stamp (above)
commemorates the
historic meeting.

A

Under Soviet communism,
the state controlled all property
and economic activity, while in
the capitalistic American system,
private citizens controlled almost
all economic activity. In the
American system, voting by the
people elected a president and a
congress from competing politi-
cal parties; in the Soviet Union,
the Communist Party estab-
lished a totalitarian government
with no opposing parties.

The United States was furi-
ous that Joseph Stalin—the
leader of the Soviet Union—had
been an ally of Hitler for a time.
Stalin had supported the Allies
only after Hitler invaded the
Soviet Union in June 1941. In
some ways, the Americans and
Soviets became more suspicious
of each other during the war.
Stalin resented the Western
Allies’ delay in attacking the
Germans in Europe. Such an
attack, he thought, would draw
part of the German army away
from the Soviet Union. Relations
worsened after Stalin learned
that the United States had kept
its development of the atomic
bomb secret.

THE UNITED NATIONS In spite
of these problems, hopes for
world peace were high at the end
of the war. The most visible sym-
bol of these hopes was the United Nations (UN). On April 25, 1945, the repre-
sentatives of 50 nations met in San Francisco to establish this new peacekeeping
body. After two months of debate, on June 26, 1945, the delegates signed the
charter establishing the UN.

Ironically, even though the UN was intended to promote peace, it soon became
an arena in which the two superpowers competed. Both the United States and the
Soviet Union used the UN as a forum to spread their influence over others.

TRUMAN BECOMES PRESIDENT For the United States, the key figure in the
early years of conflict with the Soviets was President Harry S. Truman. On April
12, 1945, Truman had suddenly become president when Franklin Roosevelt died.
This former Missouri senator had been picked as Roosevelt’s running mate in
1944. He had served as vice-president for just a few months before Roosevelt’s
death. During his term as vice-president, Truman had not been included in top
policy decisions. He had not even known that the United States was developing
an atomic bomb. Many Americans doubted Truman’s ability to serve as president.
But Truman was honest and had a willingness to make tough decisions—qualities
that he would need desperately during his presidency.

Cold War Conflicts 809

Background
See communism
on page R39 and
capitalism on
page R38 in the
Economics
Handbook.

KEY PLAYERSKEY PLAYERS

HARRY S. TRUMAN
1884–1972

Harry S. Truman, the son of a
Missouri livestock trader and
his wife, did not seem des-
tined for greatness. When he
graduated from high school in
1901, he drifted from job to
job. After WWI, he invested in
a men’s clothing store, but
the business failed.

Discouraged by his busi-
ness failure, Truman sought a
career in politics. As a politi-
cian, his blunt and outspoken
style won both loyal friends
and bitter enemies. As presi-
dent, his decisiveness and
willingness to accept respon-
sibility for his decisions (“The
Buck Stops Here” read a sign
on his desk) earned him
respect that has grown over
the years.

JOSEPH STALIN
1879–1953

As a young revolutionary, Iosif
Vissarionovich Dzhugashvili
took the name Stalin, which
means “man of steel” in
Russian.

His father was a failed shoe-
maker and an alcoholic. His
mother helped support the
family as a washerwoman.

Stalin is credited with turn-
ing the Soviet Union into a
world power but at a terrible
cost to its citizens. He ruled
with terror and brutality and
saw “enemies” everywhere,
even among friends and sup-
porters. He subdued the pop-
ulation with the use of secret
police and labor camps, and
he is believed to have been
responsible for the murder of
millions of Soviets.

MAIN IDEAMAIN IDEA

A

Analyzing
Causes

What caused
the tension
between the
Soviet Union and
the United States
after the war?

B

THE POTSDAM CONFERENCE Truman’s test as a diplomat came in July 1945
when the Big Three—the United States, Great Britain, and the Soviet Union—met
at the final wartime conference at Potsdam near Berlin. The countries that partici-
pated were the same ones that had been present at Yalta in February 1945. Stalin
still represented the Soviet Union. Clement Attlee replaced Churchill as Britain’s
representative mid-conference, because Churchill’s party lost a general election.
And Harry Truman took Roosevelt’s place.

At Yalta, Stalin had promised Roosevelt that he would allow free elections—
that is, a vote by secret ballot in a multiparty system—in Poland and other parts
of Eastern Europe that the Soviets occupied at the end of the war. By July 1945,
however, it was clear that Stalin would not keep this promise. The Soviets pre-
vented free elections in Poland and banned democratic parties.

Tension Mounts
Stalin’s refusal to allow free elections in Poland convinced Truman that U.S. and
Soviet aims were deeply at odds. Truman’s goal in demanding free elections was
to spread democracy to nations that had been under Nazi rule. He wanted to cre-
ate a new world order in which all nations had the right of self-determination.

BARGAINING AT POTSDAM At the Yalta conference, the Soviets had wanted to
take reparations from Germany to help repay Soviet wartime losses. Now, at
Potsdam, Truman objected to that. After hard bargaining, it was agreed that the
Soviets, British, Americans, and French would take reparations mainly from their
own occupation zones within Germany.

Truman also felt that the United States had a large economic stake in spread-
ing democracy and free trade across the globe. U.S. industry boomed during the
war, making the United States the economic leader of the world. To continue
growing, American businesses wanted access to raw materials in Eastern Europe,
and they wanted to be able to sell goods to Eastern European countries.

SOVIETS TIGHTEN THEIR GRIP ON EASTERN EUROPE The Soviet Union
had also emerged from the war as a nation of enormous economic and military
strength. However, unlike the United States, the Soviet Union had suffered heavy
devastation on its own soil. Soviet deaths from the war have been estimated at 20
million, half of whom were civilians. As a result, the Soviets felt justified in their
claim to Eastern Europe. By dominating this region, the Soviets felt they could
stop future invasions from the west.

810 CHAPTER 26

MAIN IDEAMAIN IDEA

B

Analyzing
Causes

What did
Stalin do to make
President Truman
distrust him?

U.S. Aims Versus Soviet Aims in Europe

SKILLBUILDER Interpreting Charts
1. Which aims involved economic growth of the United States?
2. Which Soviet aims involved self-protection?

The United States wanted to . . . The Soviets wanted to . . .

• Create a new world order in which all nations
had the right of self-determination

• Gain access to raw materials and markets for
its industries

• Rebuild European governments to ensure
stability and to create new markets for
American goods

• Reunite Germany, believing that Europe would
be more secure if Germany were productive

• Encourage communism in other countries as part
of the worldwide struggle between workers and the
wealthy

• Rebuild its war-ravaged economy using Eastern
Europe’s industrial equipment and raw materials

• Control Eastern Europe to balance U.S. influence in
Western Europe

• Keep Germany divided and weak so that it would
never again threaten the Soviet Union

C

Stalin installed communist governments in Albania, Bulgaria,
Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Romania, and Poland. These countries became known
as satellite nations, countries dominated by the Soviet Union. In early 1946,
Stalin gave a speech announcing that communism and capitalism were incom-
patible—and that another war was inevitable

.

UNITED STATES ESTABLISHES A POLICY OF CONTAINMENT Faced with the
Soviet threat, American officials decided it was time, in Truman’s words, to stop
“babying the Soviets.” In February 1946, George F. Kennan, an American diplo-
mat in Moscow, proposed a policy of containment. By containment he meant
taking measures to prevent any extension of communist rule to other countries.
This policy began to guide the Truman administration’s foreign policy.

Europe was now divided into two political regions, a mostly democratic
Western Europe and a communist Eastern Europe. In March 1946, Winston
Churchill traveled to the United States and gave a speech that described
the situation in Europe.

A PERSONAL VOICE WINSTON CHURCHILL
“ A shadow has fallen upon the scenes so lately lighted by the Allied
victory. . . . From Stettin in the Baltic to Trieste in the Adriatic, an iron
curtain has descended across the Continent. Behind that line lie all the
capitals of the ancient states of Central and Eastern Europe. . . . All
these famous cities and the populations around them lie in . . . the Soviet
sphere, and all are subject in one form or another, not only to Soviet influ-
ence but to a very high and . . . increasing measure of control from Moscow.”

—“Iron Curtain” speech in Fulton, Missouri

The phrase “iron curtain” came to stand for the division of Europe. When
Stalin heard about the speech, he declared in no uncertain terms that Churchill’s
words were a “call to war.”

Cold War Conflicts 811

60°

N

45°N

30°E

ATLANTIC
OCEAN

Adriatic
Sea

Ba
lti
c
Se
a

North
Sea

M e d
i t e r r a n e a n

S e a

FRANCE

GREECE
TURKEY

ALBANIA

ITALY
BULGARIA

YUGOSLAVIA

SWITZ.
ROMANIA

HUNGARYAUSTRIA

BELG.

LUX.
WEST

GERMANY

EAST
GERMANY

NETH.
POLAND

SOVIET
UNION

DEN.

FINLANDNORWAY
SWEDEN

PORTUGAL SPAIN

GREAT
BRITAIN

IRELAND

CZECH.

The “Iron Curtain”

N

S

EW
Communist nations

0 250 500 kilometers

0 250 500 miles

GEOGRAPHY SKILLBUILDER
1. Location Which communist nations were located

between the Soviet Union and the iron curtain?

2. Human-Environment Interaction Why did
the Soviet Union want to control these nations?

Winston Churchill,
Prime Minister
of Great Britain

N o r t h
S e a

French
Zone

French
Zone

British
Zone

American
Zone

Berlin

WEST
GERMANY

EAST
GERMANY

0 150 300 kilometers

0 150 300 miles

Postwar Germany, 1949

The Iron Curtain, 1949

Spree R.H
av

el
R

.

East
Berlin

West
Berlin

French
Zone

British Zone

American
Zone

0 6 12 kilometers

0 6 12 miles

MAIN IDEAMAIN IDEA

C

Analyzing
Motives

What were
Truman’s goals
in establishing
the policy of
containment?

Cold War in Europe
The conflicting U.S. and Soviet aims in Eastern Europe led to the Cold War, a
conflict between the United States and the Soviet Union in which neither nation
directly confronted the other on the battlefield. The Cold War would dominate
global affairs—and U.S. foreign policy—from 1945 until the breakup of the Soviet
Union in 1991.

THE TRUMAN DOCTRINE The United States first tried to contain Soviet influence
in Greece and Turkey. Britain was financially supporting both nations’ resistance
to growing communist influence in the region. However, Britain’s economy had
been badly hurt by the war, and the formerly wealthy nation could no longer
afford to give aid. It asked the United States to take over the responsibility.

President Truman accepted the challenge. On March 12, 1947, Truman asked
Congress for $400 million in economic and military aid for Greece and Turkey. In
a statement that became known as the Truman Doctrine, he declared that “it
must be the policy of the United States to support free peoples who are resisting
attempted subjugation by armed minorities or by outside pressures.” Congress

agreed with Truman and decided that
the doctrine was essential to keeping
Soviet influence from spreading.
Between 1947 and 1950, the United
States sent $400 million in aid to
Turkey and Greece, greatly reducing
the danger of communist takeover in
those nations.

THE MARSHALL PLAN Like post-
war Greece, Western Europe was in
chaos. Most of its factories had been
bombed or looted. Millions of people
were living in refugee camps while
European governments tried to figure
out where to resettle them. To make
matters worse, the winter of 1946–
1947 was the bitterest in several cen-
turies. The weather severely damaged
crops and froze rivers, cutting off
water transportation and causing a
fuel shortage.

In June 1947, Secretary of State
George Marshall proposed that the
United States provide aid to all
European nations that needed it, say-
ing that this move was directed “not
against any country or doctrine but
against hunger, poverty, desperation,
and chaos.”

The Marshall Plan revived
European hopes. Over the next four
years, 16 countries received some $13
billion in aid. By 1952, Western Europe
was flourishing, and the Communist
party had lost much of its appeal
to voters.

812 CHAPTER 26

Vocabulary
subjugation:
bringing under
control

Background

The Marshall Plan

also benefited the
United States. To
supply Europe
with goods,
American farms
and factories
raised production
levels. As a result,
the American
economy
continued its
wartime boom.

The Marshall Plan

Source: Problemes Economiques, No. 306

Great Britain

France

Italy

West Germany

Holland

Austria

Belgium/Lux.

Greece

Denmark

Norway

Turkey

Ireland

Sweden

Portugal

Yugoslavia

Iceland

Other

U.S. Aid (in millions of dollars)

2,826

2,445

1,316

1,297

877

561

547

515

350

257

237

153

146

119

51

33

29

SKILLBUILDER Interpreting Graphs
1. Which two countries received the most aid?
2. Why do you think these countries received so much aid?

D

Superpowers Struggle over Germany
As Europe began to get back on its feet, the United States and its allies clashed
with the Soviet Union over the issue of German reunification. At the end of World
War II, Germany was divided into four zones occupied by the United States, Great
Britain, and France in the west and the Soviet Union in the east. In 1948, Britain,
France, and the United States decided to combine their three zones into one
nation. The western part of Berlin, which had been occupied by the French,
British, and Americans, was surrounded by Soviet-occupied territory. (See map,
page 811.)

Although the three nations had intended to unify their zones, they had no
written agreement with the Soviets guaranteeing free access to Berlin by road or
rail. Stalin saw this loophole as an opportunity. If he moved quickly, he might be
able to take over the part of Berlin held by the three Western powers. In June
1948, Stalin closed all highway and rail routes into West Berlin. As a result, no
food or fuel could reach that part of the city. The 2.1 million residents of the city
had only enough food to last for approximately five weeks.

THE BERLIN AIRLIFT The resulting situation was dire. In an attempt to break
the blockade, American and British officials started the Berlin airlift to fly food
and supplies into West Berlin. For 327 days, planes took off and landed every few
minutes, around the clock. In 277,000 flights, they brought in 2.3 million tons of
supplies—everything from food, fuel, and medicine to Christmas presents that
the planes’ crews bought with their own money.

West Berlin survived because of the airlift. In addition, the mission to aid
Berlin boosted American prestige around the world. By May 1949, the Soviet
Union realized it was beaten and lifted the blockade.

MAIN IDEAMAIN IDEA

D

Analyzing
Effects

What were the
effects of the
Berlin airlift?

Beginning in June 1948, planes bringing tons of
food and other supplies to West Berlin landed
every few minutes.

In the same month, the western part of Germany officially became a new
nation, the Federal Republic of Germany, also called West Germany. It included
West Berlin. A few months later, from its occupation zone, the Soviet Union creat-
ed the German Democratic Republic, called East Germany. It included East Berlin.

THE NATO ALLIANCE The Berlin
blockade increased Western European
fear of Soviet aggression. As a result,
ten Western European nations—
Belgium, Denmark, France, Great
Britain, Iceland, Italy, Luxembourg,
the Netherlands, Norway, and
Portugal—joined with the United
States and Canada on April 4, 1949, to
form a defensive military alliance
called the North Atlantic Treaty
Organization (NATO). (See map,
page 830.) The 12 members of NATO
pledged military support to one
another in case any member was
attacked. For the first time in its histo-
ry, the United States had entered into
a military alliance with other nations
during peacetime. The Cold War had
ended any hope of a return to U.S.
isolationism. Greece and Turkey joined
NATO in 1952, and West Germany
joined in 1955. By then, NATO kept a
standing military force of more than
500,000 troops as well as thousands of
planes, tanks, and other equipment.

814 CHAPTER 26

•United Nations (UN)
•satellite nation
•containment

•iron curtain
•Cold War
•Truman Doctrine

•Marshall Plan
•Berlin airlift

•North Atlantic Treaty
Organization (NATO)

1. TERMS & NAMES For each term or name, write a sentence explaining its significance.

MAIN IDEA
2. TAKING NOTES

Use a graphic organizer like the one
below to describe the U.S. actions
and the Soviet actions that
contributed most to the Cold War.

Write a paragraph explaining which
country was more responsible and
why you think so.

CRITICAL THINKING
3. EVALUATING LEADERSHIP

People who had served as aides to
President Franklin Roosevelt worried
that Truman was not qualified to
handle world leadership. Considering
what you learned in this section,
evaluate Truman as a world leader.
Think About:

• his behavior toward Stalin
• his economic support of

European nations
• his support of West Berlin

4. MAKING INFERENCES
Which of the two superpowers do
you think was more successful in
achieving its aims during the period
1945–1949? Support your answer
by referring to historical events.

5. ANALYZING MOTIVES
What were Stalin’s motives in
supporting Communist governments
in Eastern Europe?

U.S. Actions Soviet
Actions

This cartoon depicts the nations that signed the North Atlantic Pact,
which created NATO in 1949. The nations, shown as hats, are arranged
in a pyramid to show the bigger countries on the bottom supporting the
smaller, weaker nations on top.

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