The Importance of the Cold War

A breakdown of all the most influential events that occurred during the Cold War and how they affected the world.

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  1. The Marshall Plan


  2. THE PURPOSE: The European Recovery Program, commonly known as Marshall Plan, is usually remembered for the economic support provided by the United States for the rehabilitation of European countries ravaged by the Second World War (source:  http://www.historyinanhour.com/2012/02/09/the-marshall-plan-and-the-cold-war/ ). But the US was motivated by more than just economics, which is why the plan called for a unified Europe and demanded that all who participate must dissociate themselves from any and all communist influence. This created tensions with the Soviet Union and became one of the various causes of the Cold War.
  3. SUCCESS: The Marshall Plan channeled over $13 billion to finance the economic recovery of Europe between 1948 and 1951. The Marshall Plan successfully sparked economic recovery, meeting its objective of "restoring the confidence of the European people in the economic future of their own countries and of Europe as a whole." (source:  http://www.history.com/topics/world-war-ii/marshall-plan )
  4. CONTAINMENT: One main goal of the Marshall Plan was the containment of communism. The Truman Doctrine (before the Marshall Plan) was informally extended to become the basis of the Cold War policy of containment. The Marshall Plan was the Truman Administration's plan to rebuild war-torn Europe in order to prevent the spread of communism, facilitate global trade and free markets, and encourage European peace. (source:  https://www.boundless.com/u-s-history/textbooks/boundless-u-s-history-textbook/the-cold-war-1947-1991-27/the-cold-war-211/the-truman-doctrine-and-the-marshall-plan-1172-9755/ )
  5. The Marshall Plan Explained: US HIstory Review

  6. The Korean War


  7. HOW IT STARTED: The Korean War began when about 75,000 soldiers from the North Korean People’s Army poured across the 38th parallel (the boundary between the Soviet-backed Democratic People’s Republic of Korea to the north and the pro-Western Republic of Korea to the south). This invasion was the first military action of the Cold War. By July, American troops had entered the war on South Korea’s behalf. As far as American officials were concerned, it was a war against the forces of international communism itself. (source:  http://www.history.com/topics/korean-war )
  8. EFFECT ON KOREA: Post World War II, both United States and USSR did not want any military aggression to occur as they were tired of any more fights. Thus the two powers began to compete each other through the conflicts of foreign countries, in order to spread their own power more globaly. However, the war had an immense effect upon the Korean population in both the North and South. Along with the significant loss of life, many families were separated because of the war.
  9. Fire in Busan, 1953  (5)
    Fire in Busan, 1953 (5)
  10. CHINESE INTERVENTION: In the fall of 1950, China became militarily and politically the main enemy of the UNC in Korea, when it intervened in the war. The effect of the intervention was to recover most of North Korea and maintain Kim Il-sung’s communist government there. Both sides now saw they could not win the war outright and began two years of peace talks while the war continued.
  11. The Korean War - THE COLD WAR Turns Hot!

  12. Berlin Wall


  13. THE PURPOSE: On August 13, 1961, the Communist government of the German Democratic Republic began to build a barbed wire and concrete “Antifascistischer Schutzwall,” or “antifascist bulwark,” between East and West Berlin. The official purpose of this Berlin Wall was to keep Western “fascists” from entering East Germany and undermining the socialist state, but it primarily served the objective of stemming mass defections from East to West. (source:  http://www.history.com/topics/cold-war/berlin-wall ).
  14. Why Was A Wall Built Around West Berlin?
  15. EFFECT ON THE COLD WAR: Berlin was always the centerpiece of the Cold War and very nearly the front line of real combat. At the end of World War II, the city was divided into four sectors, each occupied by one of the four allied armies—U.S., Soviet, British, and French. As the East-West divide hardened into a Cold War, so, too, did the division of the city, into East and West Berlin. Clearly West Berlin was an anomaly: an island of freedom locked 100 miles inside Soviet-controlled East Germany. In 1948, Josef Stalin mounted a blockade, cutting off the city from its Western suppliers. The United States responded with an airlift that went on for 300 days, until Stalin finally backed off and signed an agreement with the other three powers, guaranteeing Western access to the enclave.
  16. CONSEQUENCES: The Berlin wall divided families who found themselves unable to visit each other. Many East Berliners were cut off from their jobs. West Berliners demonstrated against the wall and their mayor Willy Brandt led the criticism against the United States who they felt had failed to respond. The East German government claimed the wall was an 'anti-fascist protection barrier' intended to dissuade aggression from the West, despite the fact that all the wall's defences pointed inward to East German territory. This view was viewed with scepticism even in East Germany. The wall had caused many families considerable hardship and the western view was that the wall was a means of preventing the people of East Germany from entering West Berlin was widely seen as being the truth. (source:  http://www.nationalcoldwarexhibition.org/schools-colleges/national-curriculum/berlin-wall/consequences.aspx ).
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