THREAT OF COMMUNISM - After the end of WWII, post-war Europe was in ruins, economically and quite literally. America, being a strong capitalist society, feared the development of communist societies in post-war Europe, while the USSR saw it as an opportunity to introduce communism to these war-broken countries.
ECONOMIC COOPERATION ACT - Secretary of State George Marshall, during a speech at Harvard on June 5, 1947, called for a plan to rebuild Europe, and congress passed the Economic Cooperation Act in March of 1948. Over $12 billion would be designated total for the sole purpose of rebuilding Europe.
IMPACT OF MARSHALL PLAN - The Marshall Plan stimulated industrialization in post-war Europe, as well as the rise of the U.S. economy by providing out loans and opening new markets to Europe. The Marshall plan was only aimed at Western Europeans, as the Soviets held more influence in the East. Overall, the Marshall Plan proved to be an important humanitarian effort and the institution of US Foreign aid programs.
1950-1953 - The Korean War
PREVIOUS CIRCUMSTANCES - After WWII ended in the Pacific theater, Japan was forced to move out and the USSR and the US divided the nation between each other, and the border was designated to be the 35th parallel. The north became under communism and the south under capitalism. North Korea was upset that Korea became divided, as it wanted full control of the south as well.
FIRST INVASION AND KEY BATTLES - On June 25, 1950, North Korean's People's Army (NKPA) troops crossed the 38th parallel after leader Kim-II-Sung had received confirmation of USSR support in invasion. Both the US and USSR agreed that there was no significance to the 38th parallel, it was just used as a temporary border to define their influence into Korea between themselves. However, it was used as a reference point during the war. Here can be found some major battles:
ARMISTICE AGREEMENT - On July 27, 1953, an armistice to end fighting between the UN, ROK and the PKA, CPVA. Its purpose was to "insure a complete cessation of hostilities and of all acts of armed force in Korea until a final peaceful settlement is achieved." To this day, no peaceful settlements have been achieved.
BACKGROUND AND BLOCKADE - After Germany had officially lost the war, one of the acts imposed by the allies was the division of occupation in Berlin, which began in June of 1945. The four countries involved were Great Britain, France, the US, and the USSR. In 1948 a blockade was put into place to starve the Allied sectors of Berlin, as Berlin itself was in Russian territory in Germany. However, the US and Allies sent planes to drop supplies to the sectors affected by the blockade, called the Berlin Airlift. The Soviets eventually called off the blockade in 1949.
MASS EMIGRATION FROM THE EAST - A decade after the end of the blockade, 3 million refugees had emigrated from Eastern Germany, humiliating the USSR as many of these refugees were young and skilled laborers. In 1958, after a decade in peace, Soviets who were emboldened by their recent launching of Sputnik, began to threaten and tease the Allies, who gracefully resisted. During the month of June, 1961, 19 thousand people left Eastern Germany. The next month - 30 thousand. On August 12, the largest number of refugees to ever leave Eastern Germany in one day emigrated - over 2.4 thousand. That night, the Eastern German government was given permission to stop this rapid, never-ending emigration - to build a wall.
THE LIFE OF THE WALL - Two weeks after the night of August 12, a wall made of concrete and barbed-wire was put together by the East German Army, Police force, and volunteer workers. Three checkpoints initially stood, which only officials could pass through. Most inhabitants could not travel freely to the other respective side of Berlin. As time went on, people still continued to illegally cross from the East to West, and eventually the wall was improved, making it much harder to scale. On the eastern side, sand was put directly along side of the wall, vicious dogs and soldiers were stationed and order to kill escapees on site, and floodlights shone down to find those trespassing. However, this did not stop many from crossing, whether parkouring from adjacent windows onto the wall, or driving through inadequately fortified parts of the wall. The night of November 9th, 1989, the spokesman of East Germany released the order for the borders to be reopened. That night, many paraded in West Berlin to celebrate. 171 people were killed by trying to get around the wall, yet more than 5 thousand were successful in their escape.
1962 - Cuban Missle Crisis