Chapter 30 - Cold War Conflicts and Social Transformations, 1945‐1985

    The origins of the cold war (1942-1953)

    1. The cold war began during the Second World War
      1. The wartime allies (the United States, the Soviet Union, and Britain) began to quarrel as soon as the Nazi threat lessened.
        1. The Americans and British decided to postpone questions about the makeup of postwar Europe.
        2. Stalin, however, wanted decisions made with regard to postwar borders.
      2. The Big Three at Teheran (1943) decided to launch an AmericanBritish invasion of Hitler's empire via France, and a Soviet invasion of eastern Europe.
      3. At the Yalta Conference (1945), the Allies decided to divide Germany into occupation zones.
        1. It was also agreed that Germany would pay heavy reparations to Russia.
        2. Stalin agreed to declare war on Japan after Germany was defeated.
      4. The Yalta Compromise over eastern Europe broke down almost immediately.
      5. At the Potsdam Conference (1945), Truman demanded free elections throughout eastern Europe, but Stalin refused.
        1. Stalin believed that eastern European states must not be anti-Soviet.
        2. He feared that free elections would result in possibly hostile governments on his western border.
      6. Short of war, the United States could not really influence developments in eastern Europe.
    2. West versus East
      1. Truman cut off aid to Russia because of Stalin's insistence on having communist governments in eastern Europe.
      2. By 1947, many Americans believed that Stalin was trying to export communist revolution throughout Europe and the world.
      3. The Marshall Plan was established to help European economic recovery; the Truman Doctrine was meant to ward off communist subversion with military aid.
      4. The Soviet blockade of Berlin led to a successful Allied airlift.
      5. In 1949, the United States formed an antiSoviet military alliance of Western governments, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO); in return, Stalin united his satellites in the Warsaw Pact.
      6. In 1949, communists won in China.
      7. In 1950, when communist North Korea invaded the south, Americanled UN troops intervened.
      8. The American General MacArthur wanted to invade China but President Truman said no and fired him; in 1953 a Korean truce was negotiated.
      9. The Western attempt to check Stalin probably came too late and may have encouraged Russian aggression.

    The Western renaissance

    1. A divided and economically weak Europe made a huge turn-around within a generation after 1945.
    2. The postwar challenge
      1. The war left Europe physically devastated and in a state of economic and moral crisis.
        1. Food rationing was necessary.
        2. Russia's border had been pushed west, as was Poland's; thus, many Germans were forced to resettle in a greatly reduced Germany.
        3. All the Allies treated Germany harshly.
      2. New leaders and new parties, especially the Catholic Christian Democrats, emerged in Italy, France, and Germany and provided effective leadership and needed reforms.
      3. In many countries, such as Britain, France, and Italy, socialists and communists emerged from the war with considerable power and a strong desire for social reform.
      4. The Marshall Plan aided in economic recovery and led to the Organization for European Economic Cooperation (OEEC); military protection was provided through NATO.
      5. Led by West Germany, a European economic miracle was underway by 1963.
        1. American aid helped get the process off to a fast start.
        2. European nations adopted Keynesian policies to stimulate their economies.
        3. Under Erhard, Germany adopted a freemarket economy, a social welfare network, currency reform, and price controls.
        4. Under Monnet, flexible planning and a mixed state and private economy brought rapid growth to France.
        5. Great potential demand (for products such as refrigerators), abandonment of protectionism, and the creation of the Common Market stimulated the economy.
    3. Toward European unity
      1. Democratic republics were reestablished in France, West Germany, and Italy.
      2. The Christian Democrats wanted a unified Europe, but economic unity proved to be more realistic than political unity under the Council of Europe.
      3. The sixnation Coal and Steel Community marked the beginning of a movement toward European unity and led to reduction of tariffs.
      4. This was known as the European Economic Community (EEC, or Common Market).
      5. However, regenerated hopes for political union in Europe were frustrated by a resurgence of nationalism in the 1960s.
        1. De Gaulle, a romantic nationalist, wanted France to lead the Common Market.
        2. He withdrew from NATO and vetoed British attempts to join the Common Market.
    4. Decolonization
      1. The causes of imperial decline
        1. "Decolonization" brought demands for national selfdetermination in colonial areas after the First World War.
        2. The Second World War reduced European power and destroyed the Western sense of moral superiority.
      2. Britain's Labour government granted independence to India in 1947.
      3. In the Middle East the French gave up Syria and Lebanon; the British established a Jewish state inside of Palestine--which was divided into two states by the United Nations.
        1. the Arabs refused to accept this division and in 1948 an Arab attack led to Jewish conquest.
      4. France was defeated in Indochina (Vietnam) in 1954, but they used a dirty war to hold on to Algeria until 1962.
      5. Britain's African colonies were freed and then tied to Britain by way of the Commonwealth.
        1. As a result, European cultural and economic interests increased in Africa.
        2. This is called "neocolonialism"; some claim that this undermined African independence.

    America's civil rights revolution

    1. Postwar prosperity in the United States
      1. Conversion to a peacetime economy went smoothly, and the wellbeing of Americans increased dramatically.
      2. From 1948 to 1960, domestic politics consisted of consolidating the New Deal reforms and maintaining the status quo--only the interstate highway system was new.
        1. In 1960, Kennedy was elected amid hopes he would revitalize the country.
    2. The civil rights revolution
      1. School segregation was declared unconstitutional by the Supreme Court in 1954.
      2. African Americans used boycotts, sit-ins, and demonstrations to gain reforms in the 1960s. In the North, African Americans gained the support of the liberal wing of the Democratic party.
        1. The Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibited discrimination in public services and on the job.
        2. The Voting Rights Act of 1964 guaranteed all African Americans the right to vote.
        3. President Johnson instituted a "war on poverty."
      3. The United States became more of a welfare state in the 1960s, as a surge of liberal social legislation was passed.

    Soviet eastern Europe, 1945-1968

    1. While the West surged ahead economically, eastern Europe's political, economic, and social developments were slow and uneven--nearly at a halt by the 1960s.
    2. Stalin's last years
      1. The national unity of the war period ended in rigid dictatorship again.
      2. Stalin began a new series of purges, enforced cultural conformity, and revived the forced labor camps.
        1. Culture, art, and Soviet Jews were denounced and purged.
      3. Fiveyear plans were reintroduced; heavy and military industry were given top priority, while consumer goods, housing, and agriculture were neglected.
      4. Stalin's system was exported to eastern Europe.
        1. Only Tito in Yugoslavia was able to build an eastern European communist state free from Stalinist control.
        2. Tito's success led Stalin to purge the Communist parties of eastern Europe in an attempt to increase their obedience to him.
    3. Reform and deStalinization, 1953-1964
      1. Stalin died in 1953; Khrushchev and fellow reformers won the leadership of Russia and then denounced Stalin at the Twentieth Party Congress (1956).
        1. He began a policy of "de-Stalinization."
        2. The Soviet standard of living was improved, and greater intellectual freedom was allowed.
    4. De-Stalinization caused writers such as Pasternak and Solzhenitsyn to challenge communism and the Stalinist past.
      1. Khrushchev pushed for "peaceful coexistence" with the West and a relaxation of cold war tensions.
      2. DeStalinization caused revolution in eastern Europe in 1956.
        1. Poland won greater autonomy.
        2. Hungary installed a liberal communist leader in 1956 but was invaded by Russia and defeated.
    5. The end of reform
      1. ReStalinization began with Khrushchev's fall in 1964.
        1. Khrushchev's policy of deStalinization was opposed by old-time conservatives, who saw it as a threat to the whole communist system.
        2. Khrushchev's erratic foreign policy was also an issue--he was successful in building the Berlin Wall but was forced to back down on the installation of missiles in Cuba.
      2. Brezhnev stressed Stalin's "good points" and launched an arms buildup.
      3. In Czechoslovakia the reform communists voted in Dubcek, who sought genuine socialism, democracy, and an end to censorship.
        1. This caused fear among hard-line communists in Poland, East Germany, and the Soviet Union.
        2. Russian troops invaded Czechoslovakia, and the reformers surrendered.
        3. Brezhnev declared (the Brezhnev Doctrine) that the Soviets had the right to intervene in any socialist country; further repression occurred within the Soviet Union.

    Postwar social transformations, 1945-1968

    1. Science and technology
      1. With the Second World War, pure science and applied science were joined as leading scientists worked for their governments to help fight the war.
      2. The war led to major technological breakthroughs, such as radar, improved jet engines, computers, and the atomic bomb.
        1. Einstein's letter to Roosevelt in 1939 about the theoretical possibility of the atomic bomb led to the Manhattan Project.
        2. The first atomic bomb was successfully tested in July 1945--showing the awesome power of science.
    2. Big Science
      1. The war inspired "Big Science," which could attack difficult problems by combining theoretical work with engineering techniques.
      2. The United States took the lead in Big Science after the Second World War.
        1. By 1965, most of the funds for scientific research came from the government.
        2. A large portion of scientific research was devoted to defense.
        3. Russia pioneered in the development of a space program by launching a satellite in 1957, but the United States put the first men on the moon, in 1969.
        4. European countries undertook financing of Big Science in order to stop the "brain drain" of their best scientists to the United States; they created the Concorde.
      3. The lives of scientists were altered by Big Science.
        1. There were many more scientists and much specialized knowledge.
        2. Specialization made teamwork, bureaucracy, and managers necessary.
        3. It became difficult to appraise an individual scientist's contribution to a team effort.
        4. Competition among scientists was often fierce.
    3. The changing class structure
      1. Because of rapid economic growth after 1945, the traditional class distinctions became less clearcut, and society became more mobile and democratic.
      2. Educational and employment opportunities made the middle class more open.
      3. The rural working class shrank in size due to the mass exodus from the country.
      4. Social security reforms such as health care and family allowances reduced class tensions.
        1. These reforms promoted greater social and economic equality.
        2. Lower food costs allowed for greater consumption of other goods.
        3. Automobile ownership increased; gadgets and household appliances, largely bought on credit, became necessities for most families. Mass consumerism had come of age.
      5. Leisure and recreation, especially travel, became big business.
    4. New roles for women
      1. Emancipation of women in this period was significant; women's experiences and expectations changed considerably.
      2. Women married earlier and bore their children quickly; a baby-boom occurred in the 1950s but in the 1960s the birth rate declined--reaching a no-growth level by the mid-1970s.
      3. Therefore, most women had smaller families and were finished childbearing by their later 20s--meaning having more of their lifetime available for new roles outside the family.
      4. After World War II almost all women had to go outside the home to find cash income--this helped by an economic boom of 1950-1973.
        1. Western women shared in an education boom; they then went into office work and professional jobs.
        2. In Eastern Europe, women were even more employable.
        3. The birth rate continued to fall and women had fewer babies.
        4. But as workers they experienced widespread pay discrimination.
      5. Discrimination led to movements for equality and emancipation; women's perspective on work moved from that of temporary nuisance to a permanent condition that demanded job satisfaction and equality.
    5. Youth and the counterculture
      1. Prosperity and increased democracy in the late 1950s and 1960s led to a youth culture that rebelled against authority and the status quo.
      2. In America, the youth rebellion grew out of the "beat" generation of the 1950s, and then became a major culture in the 1960s--much of it beginning in San Francisco and Chicago's Near North.
        1. Rock music by Elvis Presley and then the Beatles encouraged its popularity.
        2. Rock poetsinger Bob Dylan best expressed the movement's radical politics, while the Beatles encouraged personal and sexual freedom.
      3. Sexual behavior changed; sexual intercourse between non-married young people increased dramatically.
      4. This culture was encouraged by modern mass communications and travel, by the large proportion of young people in society (the baby boomers), and by greater youth purchasing power.
      5. Youth culture was in opposition to the established order because of the rebirth of romanticism and revolutionary idealism--including the idea that the West was hopelessly rotten.
        1. As a result, the Vietnam war took on great significance--as young people concluded that the war was immoral.
      6. Prior to the 1950s, higher education in Europe had been limited to only a few.
        1. However, the number of people entering European universities increased in the 1950s and 1960s.
        2. Overcrowding resulted, and a new "youth culture" emerged.
        3. Many students believed they were not getting the kind of education they needed.
      7. Student revolts over these issues occurred in the late 1960s and early 1970s. A general strike spread across France in 1968.
        1. De Gaulle moved troops toward Paris and called for new elections, which he won resoundingly.

    Conflict and uncertainty in the late cold war, 1968-1985

    1. The United States and Vietnam
      1. The Vietnam war grew out of American efforts to contain communism in Asia.
        1. President Eisenhower backed up the South Vietnam government decision to not accept free elections in Vietnam; the United States provided military aid.
        2. President Johnson expanded the United States' role in the undeclared Vietnam war with massive aid.
        3. The U.S. strategy of limited warfare backfired; the American public grew tired and the protest movement grew.
        4. The Vietcong Tet Offensive in 1968 was seen in America as a defeat--President Johnson called for negotiations and he did not run for re-election.
      2. President Nixon scaled down the war and reached a reconciliation with communist China.
        1. Nixon got caught in illegal spying and illegal use of government documents, all of which he attempted to cover up.
        2. Because of this "Watergate" scandal, Nixon resigned from the presidency in 1974.
        3. Vietnam was united, but America was divided and uncertain about its proper role in world affairs.
    2. Détente or cold war
      1. An alternative to the cold war was "détente"-- the progressive relaxation of cold war tensions between East and West.
        1. The lead in détente was taken by Willy Brandt of West Germany.
        2. In 1970, he went to Poland to ask for forgiveness for German crimes against Poles and Polish Jews; a treaty was signed.
        3. Brandt then negotiated treaties with the Soviet Union, Poland, and Czechoslovakia that accepted loss of German territory (following World War Two); he established relations with East Germany.
        4. All of Europe and the United States signed agreements on borders and human rights at Helsinki in 1975.
      2. Détente was blocked by Brezhnev's Soviet actions in Afghanistan and elsewhere.
        1. The Atlantic alliance was weakened, although President Carter tried to shore it up.
        2. Carter, then President Reagan, increased American military spending--and joined Britain's Thatcher to check the Soviets.
        3. The Soviet leader Gorbachev saw that the cold war was foolish and dangerous.
    3. The women's movement
      1. The women's movement grew as a result of women's lessened attention to children and greater attention to work, along with new feminist critiques and the lessons of the civil rights movement, which encouraged dissatisfied individuals to band together.
      2. The most influential early writer was Simone de Beauvoir, who argued that women had been trapped by a male-constructed inferiority role.
        1. Betty Friedan of the United States called for group action and political solutions for women's crisis of identity--which was really "sexism."
        2. This led to Friedan helping found NOW, and many similar groups followed in Europe.
        3. These groups pushed for equality in the workplace and issues such as legalized abortion, right to divorce, protection from rape, and so on.
        4. Revolutionary changes occurred in Italy and elsewhere.
        5. Homosexuals and others called for an end to legal discrimination.
    4. The troubled economy
      1. An economic crisis occurred in the early 1970s--partly because President Nixon's economic policies led to the fall of the dollar and increased inflation; great uncertainty prevailed.
      2. Also, cheap oil came to an end with an OPEC embargo on oil to the United States--causing a great economic shock and world economic downturn.
        1. Recovery did not begin until 1982; still, in 1985 unemployment was at its highest.
        2. The "misery index" shows that economic misery was greatest in western Europe.
    5. Society in a time of economic uncertainty
      1. Economic stagnation of the 1970s and 1980s led to pessimism and sober realism.
        1. But the welfare system of the state preserved political stability and democracy--unlike earlier eras.
        2. One result was rapid growth of budget deficits by the late 1970s--and then a reaction to government spending set in.
      2. Margaret Thatcher in Britain slowed government spending and shifted to "privatizing" state-owned industries.
        1. Ronald Reagan's success was more limited--because he increased government spending, partly due to his obsession with the Soviet threat, and partly due to more welfare spending.
        2. In France, Mitterrand tried to take France toward more government ownership, but he failed.
      3. Government reductions in big science projects led to greater demand for computers.
      4. Austerity led some people to question excessive materialism and look to ways of improving diet and health.
        1. People postponed marriage, and many women became permanent members of the labor force.


You just read "". Keep learning!

How to cite this note (MLA)

Shah, Shalin. "" MiddleSchoolNotes.org. MiddleSchoolNotes, Inc., 10 Jan. 2013. Web. <http://middleschoolnotes.org/social-studies/european-history/chapter-30-cold-war-conflicts-and-social-transformations-1945-1985.php>.