Many of the Cold War presidents used the Policy of Containment to resolve serious, diplomatic incidents involving the Communist countries.
West Germany is founded (1948)
Summary and Definition: After WW2 Germany was split into four zones of occupation (the United States, Great Britain, France and the Soviet Union) and split between the two global blocs in the East and West. Berlin, the capital of Germany, lay in the Soviet (eastern) sector of Germany and was also divided into the four zones. In June 1948, America, Britain and France united their zones into a new country, West Germany.
Definition of the Berlin Blockade(1948)
Summary and Definition: The dispute over German reparations erupted into the Berlin Crisis which brought the United States and the USSR to the brink of war. Joseph Stalin mounted the Berlin blockade in East Germany. All the entry points to the Western zones of Berlin by road and rail were closed in an attempt to starve the Western allies out of the capital and abandon the city.
Definition of the Berlin Airlift (1948 - 1949)
Summary and Definition: The US responded to the Berlin Blockade by supplying west Berlin by air. The Berlin Airlift supplied vital necessities to West Berlin by U.S. aircraft for 318 days, from June 1948 to September 1949. During the Berlin Airlift a constant flow of some 275,000 planes transported 1.5 million tons of supplies to Berlin's Templehof airport in order to keep West Berlin alive and functioning.
Definition of NATO
Summary and Definition: NATO, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, was formed at Washington, D.C. on April 4, 1949 comprising of 12 members to establish a mutual defense pact aimed at containing possible Soviet aggression and blocking Soviet expansion into Europe.
Mao Zedong and the Chinese Communists sign a Treaty with the USSR (1950)
The rise of Mao Zedong and Communism in China against the US-backed Nationalist forces of Chiang Kai-shek results in the spread of the Cold War beyond Europe into East Asia. In 1950 the two largest communist nations in the world formed an alliance when the USSR and the People’s Republic of China sign a treaty agreeing to mutual defense and assistance. In 1950 China enters the Korean War.
Definition of the Korean War (1950 - 1953)
Summary and Definition: The Korean War was the conflict (June 25, 1950 – July 27, 1953) between the Soviet-backed communist North, China who opposed the US and UN-backed South. The war began in 1950, when North Korea invaded South Korea. General Douglas MacArthur commanded the United Nations troops, the majority of whom were from the United States. Reinforcements from the People's Republic of China enabled the communist North Koreans to regain lost territory. With neither side having a prospect of victory, a truce was signed on July 27, 1953 which formally ended the war in Korea. North and South Korea remained separate, occupying almost all of the same territory they had when the war began. UN Casualties losses totaled 178,426 dead, 32,925 missing and 566,434 wounded fighting for South Korea. USSR, China and North Korean losses totaled 367,283 dead, est.700,000 missing and wounded fighting for North Korea.
Definition of McCarthyism (1950 - 1956)
Summary and Definition: McCarthyism was the period of anti-communist hysteria, investigations and persecution and hysteria in the US during the early 1950s instigated by Senator Joe McCarthy. McCarthyism followed the actions of the Loyalty Review Program and the investigation model established by the HUAC. McCarthyism refers to the particularly vociferous campaign (1950 - 1956) against alleged communists in the United States making accusations of treason or subversion without proper regard for evidence. A famous case of the era involved a prominent US diplomat called Alger Hiss. Many of the accused were blacklisted or lost their jobs, though most did not belong to the Communist Party. People were afraid to challenge Joe McCarthy for fear of becoming targets themselves.
Definition of HUAC (House Un-American Activities Committee)
Summary and Definition: HUAC was the acronym for the House Un-American Activities Committee, was originally formed in 1938 to investigate both Communist and Fascist activities in the United States. FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover encouraged HUAC to hold public hearings on Communist subversion. HUAC investigated and questioned suspect communists and communist sympathizers. HUAC’s influence during the Cold War declined, and in 1969 it was renamed the Committee on Internal Security. Although HUAC ceased issuing subpoenas, its operations continued until 1975.
Definition of CONELRAD (1951) - Nuclear Attack Alerts
Summary and Definition: CONELRAD (Control of Electromagnetic Radiation) was an emergency broadcasting system, introduced by the
US government in 1951, for use in the event of a Soviet nuclear attack on the United States in addition to the existing siren warning systems.
Definition of SEATO (1954)
Summary and Definition: SEATO, the Southeast Asia Treaty Organization, was formed on September 8, 1954 as the Southeast Asian version of NATO to create a mutual defense pact aimed at containing the spread of Communism by the People's Republic of China and the Democratic Republic of Vietnam (North Vietnam).
Definition of the Taiwan Crisis (1954 - 1955)
The First Taiwan Strait Crisis, also called the 1954–1955 Taiwan Strait Crisis, erupted in China during late 1954. The Communists, the People's Republic of China (PRC), had taken power in mainland China but the Chinese Nationalists still controlled some small islands along China’s coast including Taiwan. The United States considered Taiwan as part of the “anticommunist barrier” in Asia. The Chinese Communists threatened to invade Taiwan and President Eisenhower used brinkmanship (the threat to go to the brink of nuclear war) forcing the Chinese Communists to back down.
Definition of the Warsaw Pact (1955)
The Warsaw Pact was a military and political alliance between the USSR and the seven communist nations behind the Iron Curtain consisting of the USSR, Bulgaria, Czechoslovakia, East Germany, Hungary, Poland, Romania and Albania. The Warsaw Pact was signed was on May 14, 1955 as a communist alliance to rival NATO in order to support each other against any foreign aggression from the West
Definition of the Vietnam War (1955 - 1975)
Summary and Definition: The Vietnam War (November 1, 1955 – April 30, 1975) was a 20 year conflict during the period of the Cold War in south-east Asia. The Vietnam War was between communist North Vietnam and the Viet Cong communist guerrillas (backed by China and the USSR) against the non-communist South Vietnam (supported by US military aid and involvement). The Viet Cong (National Liberation Front or NLF) were led by Ho Chi Minh, South Vietnam was originally led by the dictator Ngo Dinh Diem. The USA supported a military coup in 1963, during which Diem was murdered, and put a military government in South Vietnam. The first US combat troops were sent to Vietnam in March 1965 and left in August 1973. The Vietnam War ended with the 1975 takeover of Vietnam by communist forces.