Origins of the Cold War notes



Origins of the Cold War notes


The following texts are the property of their respective authors and we thank them for giving us the opportunity to share for free to students, teachers and users of the Web their texts will used only for illustrative educational and scientific purposes only.



The information of medicine and health contained in the site are of a general nature and purpose which is purely informative and for this reason may not replace in any case, the council of a doctor or a qualified entity legally to the profession.



Origins of the Cold War notes


 Notes: Origins of the Cold War  


The Cold War (General Overview)


  1. Definition:
    1. A war without direct conflict between the U.S. (democratic) & Soviet Union (Communist)
    2. Lasted from 1945 to 1989/1990


  1. Causes
    1. Soviet domination of Eastern Europe
    2. Communist victory in China
      1. Mao Zedong and the Communists defeat Chiang Kai-shek and his Nationalist Army (1949).
      2. Eisenhower states “domino” theory-if one nation falls to communism, so will all the others
    3. Mutual suspicion between United States and Soviet Union
    4. Soviet Union angry over WWII
      1. Destruction of country & causalities


  1. Immediate Effects
    1. Truman Doctrine
      1. U.S. will help any country that is trying to resist Communism
      2. Greece & Turkey-1947
      3. Afghanistan in the late 1970s/early 1980s
    2. Marshall Plan
      1. Aid to European countries (do not want to repeat the mistake of post-World War I Europe)
    3. East-West tensions over Berlin
      1. The “iron curtain” in Europe
      2. Berlin Airlift-1948 to 1949
      3. Berlin Wall-1963
    4. Establishment of NATO and Warsaw Pact
      1. NATO: pact of Western European nations and U.S.- will protect each other if a country is attacked
      2. Warsaw Pact: Mutual defense between Eastern European nations and the Soviet Union


  1. Cultural Effects
    1. Cold War creates an atmosphere of fear and anxiety
      1. McCarthyism-Time period in the early 1950s when there were personal attacks on suspected communism
          1. Named after Senator Joe McCarthy
          2. He claimed he had lists of known communists
          3. Alger Hiss, “The Hollywood Ten” and Ethel & Julius Rosenberg
      2. Science Fiction books and movies
    2. People are very fearful of nuclear war
      1. Drills
      2. Fall-out shelters
  2. Wars
    1. Korean War
      1. North Korea (communist) invaded South Korea (democratic)
      2. 1950-1953
      3. Troops lead by MacArthur
      4. War ends in a stalemate
          1. U.S. still has presence on DMZ
          2. Major issues between N. & S. Korea today
    2. Vietnam War
      1. North Vietnam (communist) tried to convert South Vietnam (democratic)
      2. Very controversial war 
      3. U.S. had to withdraw from Vietnam
    3. Both of these wars were fought to stop the spread of Communism
      1. Policy is known as “containment”


  1. Long-term Effects
    1. Two superpowers are rivals for world power (United States and Soviet Union)
      1. Arms race between superpowers
      2. “Space race” between superpowers
      3. U.S. and Soviet Union compete internationally in athletics (Olympics)




 Chapter 26 Vocabulary


United Nations: peacekeeping body of nations; idea of FDR

Containment: effort to block Soviet influence by making alliances and supporting weaker nations

Iron Curtain: the division of Europe between free and communist countries

Cold War: state of hostility between the Soviet Union and the US but without military action

Truman Doctrine: US policy of sending aid to any nation trying to prevent a Communist takeover

Marshall Plan: program under which the US gave economic aid to rebuild postwar Western Europe; meant to prevent mistake of post WWI Europe

Berlin Airlift: re-supply of West Berlin by US and British planes during the Soviet blockade of 1948

Mao Zedong: leader of communist China

Korean War: war begun when North Korea invaded S. Korea in 1950; ended in a stalemate in 1953

HUAC: house committee on un-American activities

Blacklist: list of people in the Hollywood industry who were refused jobs because they did not cooperate with HUAC

McCarthyism: term used to refer to tactic of accusing people of disloyalty without producing evidence; named after Senator Joe McCarthy

Brinkmanship: willing to go to the edge, or brink of war

CIA: spy agency of the US government

Warsaw Pact: military alliance of the Soviet Union and its satellite nations

Satellite Nations: Stalin installed communist governments in Albania, Bulgaria, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Romania, and Poland

NATO: A defensive military alliance formed to oppose the Soviet Union

Taiwan: Chinese nationalists fled to this country

Hollywood Ten: 10 unfriendly witnesses were called to testify but refused to do so, they decided not to cooperate because they thought the hearings were unconstitutional

Ethel & Julius Rosenberg: activists in the American Communist Party, they were found guilty of being communists and were sentenced to death

H-Bomb: thermo-nuclear weapon, 67 times the power of Hiroshima

Nikita Khrushchev: was the leader of the Soviet Union, believed that communism would take over the world

U-2 incident: U.S. spy plane shot down over Soviet Union; piloted by Powers; tension between the 2 superpowers increased

Domino Theory: Developed by Eisenhower; the belief  that if one country in a region fell to communism, all the countries would fall to communism. 


Source :

Web site link:

Google key word : Origins of the Cold War notes file type : doc

Author : not indicated on the source document of the above text

If you are the author of the text above and you not agree to share your knowledge for teaching, research, scholarship (for fair use as indicated in the United States copyrigh low) please send us an e-mail and we will remove your text quickly.


Origins of the Cold War notes


If you want to quickly find the pages about a particular topic as Origins of the Cold War notes use the following search engine:




Origins of the Cold War notes


Please visit our home page Terms of service and privacy page




Origins of the Cold War notes