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The End of World War II and Cold War America

  • “The Big Three” (Roosevelt, Churchill & Stalin) met to discuss postwar world at the Yalta Conference; it became apparent that Soviet occupation of Eastern Europe would occur
  • Despite Stalin’s promise of “free and unfettered elections,” Soviet tanks rolled into Romania 3 weeks later, thus beginning the est. of Soviet satellites & the descent of the “Iron Curtain” (a metaphor coined by Winston Churchill in 1946 to describe the symbolic division of Eastern and Western Europe)
  • Germany was divided into 4 administrative zones (each controlled by U.S., GB, France & USSR)
  • United Nations (UN) was est. that would have a Security Council that was composed of 5 major Allied powers: U.S. GB, France, China & USSR & the General Assembly
  • The atomic bomb was viewed to be the quickest way to end the war that would in the end result in less casualties & also to intimidate USSR
  • WWII ended after the second bomb was dropped on Nagasaki: altogether, 50 million casualties (total—both sides)
  • The beginning of the Cold War emerged after WWII and the U.S. formulated policies to support vulnerable countries from ‘falling’ to Communists: Truman Doctrine and Marshall Plan
  • The Korean War (1950-53) and the establishment of the People’s Republic of China concerned U.S. policy makers that various countries would fall like dominoes to communist influence, so the U.S. became very proactive in containing its spread.

The End of World War II and Cold War America

Lecture Slides are screen-captured images of important points in the lecture. Students can download and print out these lecture slide images to do practice problems as well as take notes while watching the lecture.

  1. Intro
    • Overview
      • The End of World War II
      • The Big Three
        • The Outcome of Yalta
        • FDR Dies and Truman as President
        • The Manhattan Project
        • Other Factors that Influenced Truman
        • The End of the War
        • Postwar Devastation
          • The Cold War
          • Cold War in Europe
            • Potsdam Conference
            • Baruch Plan
            • Eastern Bloc Countries
            • The Iron Curtain
              • George Kennan and Containment Policy
              • Truman Doctrine
              • Marshall Plan and Containment
              • Foreign Policy in Mid East
              • Berlin Airlift in 1948
              • Containment in Asia
              • Korean War, 1950-1953
              • NATO and Warsaw Pact
                • Truman Era
                • Taft-Hartley Act
                • Democrats Split
                • Domestic Issues During the Truman Era
                  • The Fair Deal
                  • Executive Order 9981 Ends Segregation in Military in July of 1948
                    • Example 1
                      • Example 2
                        • Example 3
                          • Intro 0:00
                          • Overview 0:06
                          • The End of World War II 1:48
                            • The Big Three Met at the Yalta Conference
                            • Free and Unfettered Elections
                            • Iron Curtain
                            • 2 Major Issues: Independence Movement in India
                          • The Big Three 4:48
                          • The Outcome of Yalta 5:26
                            • Four Administrative Zones
                            • United Nations Established That Would Have Security Council
                            • Berlin Was Also Partitioned
                            • Germany Divided Berlin Partitioned
                          • FDR Dies and Truman as President 7:14
                            • Franklin D. Roosevelt Couldn't Finish Presidency Term
                            • Truman Took Over Presidency
                            • Truman Chose to Use Bomb
                            • Issued Warning to Surrender or Face Utter and Complete Destruction
                            • Japanese Would Fight to Death Rather Than Surrender
                            • Need Quick Way to End the War
                            • Atomic Bomb
                          • The Manhattan Project 10:29
                            • Top-Secret Plan
                            • J. Robert Oppenheimer
                            • General Leslie Groves
                            • First Atomic Bomb Successfully Tested
                          • Other Factors that Influenced Truman 11:17
                            • Potsdam with Stalin
                            • U.S. Cryptographers
                            • Why Did U.S. Decide to Flex It's Nuclear Muscle
                          • The End of the War 13:26
                            • U.S. Dropped Atomic Bomb on Hiroshima but No Japanese Response
                            • Radiation Poisoning
                            • Dropped a Second Atomic Bomb on Nagasaki
                            • Emperor Hirohito Forced to Surrender
                            • Peace Treaty
                            • Number of Casualties
                          • Postwar Devastation 16:00
                          • The Cold War 16:38
                            • What is the Cold War?
                            • Two Countries Primarily Involved
                            • Joseph Stalin
                            • A Security Zone of Friendly Government
                            • Yalta Conference: Sphere of Influence
                            • No Move to Hold the Elections
                          • Cold War in Europe 19:01
                          • Potsdam Conference 19:53
                            • President Harry Truman Decided U.S. Had to Take a Hard Line Against Soviet Expansion
                            • Truman Took a Stance to Use Tough Methods
                            • Allies Agreed to Disarm and Dismantle Germany
                          • Baruch Plan 22:11
                            • Baruch Plan
                            • Failure of Baruch Plan
                            • A Frenzied Nuclear Arms Race
                          • Eastern Bloc Countries 23:18
                            • Map of Eastern Bloc Areas
                            • Winston Churchill
                          • The Iron Curtain 23:39
                          • George Kennan and Containment Policy 24:24
                            • One of the First Policies: Containment Policy
                            • U.S. Increasingly Perceived Soviet Expansion as a Threat
                            • The Most Influential Proponent
                            • Communist Guerrillas
                          • Truman Doctrine 25:30
                            • Large Scale Military and Economic Assistance
                            • Domino Theory
                          • Marshall Plan and Containment 26:34
                            • Containment
                            • Plan to Help Rebuild War-Torn Europe
                            • Discontentment Encouraged the Communist
                            • George Marshall and Economic Aid
                            • Eastern Euros Refused Aid
                            • Opposition in U.S. Congress
                            • Motives of Marshall Plan
                            • map of Czechoslovakia 1918-1992
                          • Foreign Policy in Mid East 29:16
                            • Zionist Leaders
                            • Truman Recognized the State
                            • Gamal Abdel Nasser Nationalizes the Suez
                            • Arab Nationalism
                            • Britain, France, Israel Attack Egypt
                          • Berlin Airlift in 1948 30:52
                            • Attempt to Push Out Allies
                            • A Program of Economic Reform in West Berlin
                            • A Symbol of Resistance to Communism
                          • Containment in Asia 32:45
                            • Civil War in China
                            • Truman Attempted to Provide Funds
                            • The People's Republic of China
                            • Red China
                            • Fall of China
                            • Diplomatic Nonentity
                            • The Korean War
                          • Korean War, 1950-1953 35:46
                            • The Map
                            • Republican Challenge of Truman's Conduct of the War
                            • Truman Fired MacArthur
                            • An Armistice Was Signed and Korea was Divided
                          • NATO and Warsaw Pact 38:20
                          • Truman Era 38:29
                            • Government and Consumer Spending
                            • Civilian Production
                            • The Office of Price Administration
                            • Example: Strikes Closed Down Business in Numerous Cities
                            • Backlash Against Unionism: Truman Ended a Strike by the United Mine Workers
                          • Taft-Hartley Act 40:03
                            • Taft-Hartley Act
                            • Vetoed the Bill
                            • The Secondary Boycott and Union Shop
                          • Democrats Split 40:46
                            • Henry Wallace
                            • Strom Thurmond
                            • Election of 1948
                          • Domestic Issues During the Truman Era 41:34
                          • The Fair Deal 42:01
                            • New Deal's Liberalism
                            • Possibility of a Higher standard of Living and Benefits for Americans
                            • Liberal Consensus
                            • The National Housing Act of 1949
                            • What Was Blocked
                          • Executive Order 9981 Ends Segregation in Military in July of 1948 44:14
                          • Example 1 44:35
                          • Example 2 47:15
                          • Example 3 48:50