FC: The Cold War By: Cristian Quinteros
1: After World War II, the country of Korea was divided along the 38th parallel, the North under Soviet administration and the South under American administration. On June 25, 1950 the North Korean military invaded the South and the United States took action under the fear of a domino effect, which stated that if one country fell under Communism, then the surrounding countries would as well. a Stalemate was issued, and the countries are still divided to this day. | The U.S. also became involved in the war in Vietnam, which was at the time divided at the 17th parallel. This war demonstrated the failure of U.S. containment, as the Communists were not contained and Cambodia as well as Laos also fell under the sphere of Communism.
2: Ngo Dinh Diem (left) was the ruler of South Vietnam and was supported by the U.S. However, he became a ruthless leader and his own people (Vietcong) became disillusioned by him. Ho Chi Minh (right) formed a resistance movement prior to becoming ruler of North Vietnam, and he inspired the Vietnamese in their resistance against the Americans. | In North Korea, Kim Il Sung aimed to unify the country of Korea. He eventually received Stalin's support to invade South Korea and became responsible for starting the war. In South Korea, UN forces were being led by General Douglas MacArthur as he initiated a policy of 'rollback' in order to liberate North Korea from the Communist influence. However, the war ended where it began, at the 38th parallel.
3: At the time of the Vietnam War, the Southern portion of Korea consisted of a free-market economy influenced by the West. Northern Vietnam, on the other hand, had a centrally planned economy. In 1976, the unification of both portions of the country brought about the North Vietnam economy to be incorporated in the South. | The Korean economy was essentially ruined after the Korean War, and the island mainly relied on foreign aid to assist in the economic restructuring. The North received its help mainly from its Communist allies and the South received economic help from the U.S. Since then, most the North and South have changed their economies to a predominantly industrial one.
4: Although the country of Vietnam had Western ties, mainly the Southern portion, the country was never assimilated by the West or other foreign cultures. Although forms of government were influenced from elsewhere, the country managed to remain its strong and patriotic historical culture. | Both North and South Korea, besides their modern day differences, also share a culture that was developed centuries earlier before the conflict that was part of the Cold War. This includes traditional court dancing, geomancy, rice as a staple food, and the traditional dress called the hanbok. These aspects have remained as as vital part of Korean culture despite the division of the peninsula in two countries.
5: The newspaper at the right shows the events at Tiananmen Square, where pro-democracy protests in China were brutally crushed by the government. There was said to be 100 fatalities, but the actual number is believed to be in the thousands. During this event, martial law was declared, showing the true capabilities of the government of the People's Republic of China. | The image at the left shows Chinese propaganda for Mao Zedong's Great Leap Forward. Unfortunately, the plan was announced a failure by Mao himself just a year after it was put into effect. The plan attempted to modernize the Chinese economy, but lacked the resources as the country was also facing a famine crisis.
6: Mao Zedong, pictured at the left, was the founding father of the People's Republic of China and the leader of the Chinese Revolution. He was also a Communist revolutionary, advocating for the classless form of government. Mao set forth his plan, known as the Great Leap Forward, in order to take advantage of China's resources and to stop relying on Soviet assistance. However, the Great Leap Forward turned into a natural disaster because of the lack of resources. | Zhou Enlai, pictured right, was the first Premier of the People's Republic of China (Prime Minister). By specializing in foreign policy, Zhoe advocated peace with the West. He also attempted to develop the Chinese economy with the introduction of the Four Modernizations, which attempted to strengthen the fields of industry, national defense, agriculture, and science and technology.
7: China's economy during the Cold war was based on Communist principles, that is a classless society. However, China was already facing economic problems and famine before Mao Zedong's Great Leap Forward worsened the situation. The result was millions of fatalities and public humiliation and criticism of the plan by the Soviets. | After the failure of Mao's Great Leap Forward, the Prime Minister Zhou Enlai implemented the Four Modernizations, which were used even after Mao ans Zhou's death. Deng Xiaoping continued the plan that actually helped to develop and modernize the Chinese economy.
8: "The People's Liberation Army of China is a great school for Mao Zedong Thought." Mao Zedong set the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution in motion after his Great Leap Forward plan failed miserably. | Mao aimed to start a revolution at the heart of traditional Chinese culture, and he wanted to eliminate liberal and bourgeois thinking and behavior. | During the famine of the Great Leap Forward, communes developed in China, like the one shown to the right. Communes were communities of people living together and sharing common interests, property, possessions, and resources.
9: During the Cuban Missile Crisis, a dramatic confrontation involving the United States and the USSR occurred in Cuba and lasted for thirteen days (making it the most prominent example of brinkmanship during the Cold War). After an American blockade, Soviet ships carrying nuclear arms could no longer enter Cuba. The two countries agreed that as long as the United States promised not to attack Cuba, then the Soviets would remove the missiles it had placed in Communist-influenced Cuba. | When thousand of refugees migrated from East to West Germany, a concrete wall was put up by Ulbricht (East Germany leader) and Krushchev. This action further emphasized what Winston Churchill discussed in his "Iron Curtain" speech and showed the division of Communist governments from the rest of the world. President Kennedy delivered his "Ich Bin ein Berliner" speech (right) where he condemned the construction of the wall and also supported the people of West Berlin.
10: The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) originally consisted of the USA, Canada, Ireland, and 13 other European states. This was the first peacetime military alliance and stated that an attack on one member of NATO was an attack on all. | The Warsaw Pact was announced by the Soviets and was responsible for bringing all Eastern European states under a single military command. This symbolized the division of Europe by military, economic, and political means. | Before becoming the leader of Cuba, Fidel Castro resented American domination in Cuban life and later led a group of rebels to fight against Cuba's regime. He turned to the Soviet Union when he was denied the economic help he needed and was able to suppress the Bay of Pigs invasion, which was an American attempt to overthrow the Cuban Communist government.
11: In his Truman Doctrine speech, Harry S. Truman set forth his belief that the United States had the obligation to "support free peoples who are resisting attempted subjugation by armed minorities or by outside pressures. Thus, the U.S. foreign policy changed from that of isolationism to one that was more internationally involved. Truman used this as justification for providing Greece and Turkey with financial aid. | In the same year (1947), Secretary of State George Marshall introduced the Marshall Plan, which was designed to give immediate economic help to Europe. This plan was considered as an economic extension of the Truman Doctrine and was approved by the President (picture at right). The plan deliberately set certain criteria in order to be eligible with the purpose of excluding the Soviet Union.
12: When the Soviets first launched the Sputnik, the world's first artificial satellite, it sent the United States in a state of panic over the Soviet superiority in missile technology. This success was repeated at the launch of the Sputnik II, and Khrushchev justified this success due to the fact that the Soviet Union was a socialist country: "... culture and the creative genius of the people in all spheres of life develop better and faster under socialism. However, it was the socialist structure of the Soviet Union that was responsible for shaping the culture of the Soviet Union during the decades of the Cold War. | Due to strict censorship, the culture of the Soviet Union did not develop without government interference. However, as time went on, more cultural aspects were permissible by the government including some, but not all, western popular culture.
13: The first event that foreshadowed the collapse of the Soviet Union was the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989, which is often regarded as the end of the Cold War. The Berlin Wall fell when East Germany's new leader eased emigration restrictions in order to stem the flow of people from East Germany. The response of the citizens was misunderstood, and the East Berliners took to the streets and began to dismantle the concrete war. Both countries were later reunited a year after the fall of the Berlin Wall took place. | Other factors were also responsible for the collapse of the Soviet Union including: arms reduction talks, the Chernobyl disaster, Soviet withdrawal from Afghanistan, stagnant and declining economy, nationalist movements in satellite states, and 'democratization' by Gorbachev's policies.
14: President Richard Nixon was responsible for initiating a policy of détente with the Soviet Union, which was an attempt to establish a more stable and co-operative relationship amidst the dangers of nuclear war. Détente is most prominently seen in the SALT agreements, which set standards on arms controls and where both countries pledged to prevent conflict and promote peaceful co-existence. | President Ronald Reagan served in office during the latter period of the Cold War. During his time in office, he stepped up weapon production with the SDI (Strategic Defense Initiative), but he also participated in negotiations with Gorbachev to that led to the Strategic Arms Reduction Talks (START). | Gorbachev was responsible for initiating policies that eventually led to the break up of the Communist Soviet Union. The policy of glasnost advocated for an open regime in order to seek better relations with the West to reduce Soviet arms expenditure. He resigned after being criticized for 'democratization' and lack of action.
15: Before Mikhail Gorbachev implemented his policy in his aim to repair the Soviet economy, the U.S.S.R. was already in a state of decline. The country suffered from a stagnating economy, a poor standard of living, the need of the ability to transfer economic resources, and an economy focused on the production of arms rather than consumer goods. | The Soviet Union was also falling behind Western technology before Gorbachev implemented the policy of perestroika, which aimed at restructuring the economy of the Soviet Union. Gorbachev also participate in START in an attempt to reduce arms production and focus on consumer goods.
16: Not much of the Soviet culture changed as the Cold War was gradually coming to an end. As explained earlier, some restrictions were lessened as the country moved away from the strict socialist political structure. In addition, the country received some Western influences which mainly included music such as rock and jazz that were limited to what the government saw suitable. | Ethnic cleansing is defined as "a purposeful policy designed by one ethnic group to remove by terror-inspiring means the civilian population of another religious group from certain geographic areas" (not to be confused with genocide). This occurred in Yugoslavia when ethnic Germans were purposefully removed.