In this lesson, our instructor Elizabeth Turro gives an introduction on the end of World War II and Cold War in America. She talks about the end of World War II, the Big Three, the outcome of Yalta, how FDR dies, Truman as President, the Manhattan project, other factors that influenced Truman, the end of the War, postwar devastation, the Cold War, the Potsdam conference and Baruch Plan. She also explains Eastern Bloc countries, the Iron Curtain, George Kennan, the containment policy, Truman Doctrine, Marshall Plan, the containment, the foreign policy in Mid East, Berlin Airlift in 1948, the containment in Asia and Korean War from 1950 to1953. The other key points she mentioned are NATO, Warsaw Pact, Truman Era, Taft-Hartley Act, Democrats split, the domestic issues during the Truman Era, the Fair Deal and the Executive Order 9981 which ends segregation in military in July of 1948.
“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.