Great Power Veto
In 1945 a Conference in San Francisco set up the U.N. to maintain "peace and security" and "cooperation on social, economic and cultural problems." In the SECURITY COUNCIL of the U.N. there were to be 15 members, 5 of which were PERMANENT MEMBERS - each of which had GREAT POWER VETO. The other 10 members rotated through the Security Council from the GENERAL ASSEMBLY of all U.N. members. The 5 GREAT POWERS with VETOES were U.S., U.S.S.R., BRITAIN, FRANCE AND CHINA (Nationalist at first - i.e. Taiwan, but later went to Communist China). The U.N. started with 55 members and now has over 150.
Note: FDR had been a big proponent of the U.N. and after his death in April of 1945 his widow, Eleanor Roosevelt, continued to work for it and was present at the San Francisco Conference and actively worked on the framing of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
This was introduced to the U.N. in 1946. The U.S. proposed that atomic energy be controlled by an international authority and its use be limited to peaceful purposes with inspections and sanctions as necessary. Suggested this not be subject to veto. Stalin wouldn't accept this plan and some in the U.S. were also unwilling to accept it since it would lead to the eventual elimination of weapons. Plan foundered on mutual distrust and suspicion. By 1949 Soviets had the bomb and the nuclear arms race began.
1946-47, policy of Dean Acheson, George F. Kennan and others in the U.S. State Department. They believed that the Russian Soviets would expand wherever there was a vacuum and that the West should show patience BUT firmness in dealing with them, should maintain military strength and prevent the continued expansion. Containment became cornerstone of American Foreign Policy. In time became more militarily rigorous than intended and put blame for international problems on the Soviets.
Winston Churchill made a speech in the U.S. in 1946 (no longer P.M.) and referred to the "iron curtain" separating East from West and running from Stettin in the Baltic to Trieste in the Adriatic. At this same time the U.S. was ending loans and reparations deliveries to the USSR.
In March 1947 Harry Truman responding to Britain's need to pull out of anti-Communist activities in Greece and Turkey - filled the vacuum and activitated broad national policy to contain Communism everywhere (Acheson and Kennan's policy) - "to assist free peoples who are resisting subjugation by...outside pressures." Committed U.S. to unprecedented global responsibilities. Some in U.S. thought the committment too great.
(National Security Council formed at this time as was the Central Intelligence Agency/C.I.A.)
To hasten European economic recovery and help check Communist expansion this was instituted in 1947 and poured millions of dollars into the European economies. However, it was framed in humanitarian terms and offered to all - including the USSR. Soviets turned it down and labelled it simply a new venture in American imperialism.
Formed in 1949 - the Soviet council for Mutual Economic Aid between the Soviet Union and its East European satellites.
In 1948 the Western zones of Berlin revoked old currencies and issued the new Deutschmark. USSR objected to this since hadn't been consulted. Cut road and rail links to Berlin from Western sectors of Germany(Berlin inside the Eastern sector and city itself was divided into American, British, French and Soviet controlled zones).
Western response to the blockade of 1948. Airlifted in all the goods necessary to maintain western zone of Berlin. Planes landing every few minutes with all the city's supplies. Soviets harassed planes but no direct confrontation. In 1949 the blockade was lifted by the Soviets. Each side of the city formed its own government and West Germany became the FRG(Federal Republic of Germany) and East German became the GDR (German Democratic Republic) and Soviet satellite. Division remained firm until reunification in 1990 after the fall of Communism in Europe.
The West Germans framed a constitution - the Basic Law - in which civilian control over the military was guaranteed. A strong anti-militarist movement emerged spontaneously in Germany. It was a most democratic constitution with an emphasis on human rights and a very liberal immigration policy to encourage diversity within the population and in some small way to try and compensate for the crimes committed by the Nazis. (In 1955 the FRG became a full member of NATO.)
Communist Information Bureau - established in 1947. Was really a resurrection of the old Comintern which had been abandoned in 1943 in deference to the Allies in the midst of WW II when fighting with them against Nazi Germany.
In 1949 the U.S. took the lead in the development of this collective security system. Included the U.S., Canada, and 10 European nations. Signed the pact in Washington and established a military agreement for the joint defence of Europe. This military alliance was of unlimited duration and of broad scope. The U.S. had committed itself firmly for the first time in American history and thus NATO - the North Atlantic Treaty Organization - was formed.
A military alliance formed in 1955 by the Soviet Union and its East European satellite nations. Became the counter-alliance to NATO. Both alliance systems planned action in the event of hostilities. Both held joint exercises/war games in preparation for possible WW III.
Japanese Constitution of 1946
US occupation of Japan under General MacArthur, 1946-52 - during this time the Constitution was written. It ended divine right rule, gave sovereignty to the people, a parliamentary govt, women's suffrage, local self-govt. It also renounced the war forever and the use of force. There were some war trials held but no great purge of military. Despite efforts at social and economic reform the power structure remained fairly conservative and Liberal Democratic party which held power after occupation was in reality a conservative grouping. With American help the Japanese economy had recovered by 1954.
Kim Il Sung
The Communist-trained leader of North Korea which was in a Soviet satellite relationship. At end of WW II the Korean peninsular was split at the 38th parallel with the US maintaining a presence in the South. Both powers gave economic and military assistance. In 1947 a UN Commission sponsored nationwide elections but the Soviet Union would not permit them to take place in the North. In the South SYNGMAN RHEE was elected and went on to rule repressively - ANITCOMMUNISM IN ASIA WAS NOT EQUAL TO DEMOCRACY! The US and USSR then both withdrew their occupation forces.
North Koreans initiated the war and then later received aid from USSR. Truman saw Korea as a test - the Greece of the Far East. Security Council of the UN voted to undertake a "police action" to resist the N.Korean invasion. Since USSR was boycotting UN over the issue of Nationalist China rather than Communist China holding the Security Council seat, it could not veto the UNs participation in this conflict. The US forces under General MacArthur lead the UN force. There was no formal declaration of war from the US since this was supposedly just a "police action." Sung's leadership would survive the war and last to 1994 - his death - when his son, Kim Jong Il, assumed power.
At first the American/South Korean forces were driven back then MacArthur's amphibious landing on the peninsular proceeded to drive the Communist forces back over the 38th parallel and clear up through the North all the way to the Yalu River which was the boundary between North Korea and Manchuria (part of the People's Republic of China - Communist China). The Chinese then came involved and drove them back to below the 38th parallel. The West was worried that the conflict would become global. MacArthur recommended more agression and did so to the press. There was a "falling out" between MacA and Truman and president then replaced the general since his words could encourage an escalation. An armistice was reached in 1953 under the Eisenhower presidency and a demilitarized zone -DMZ was established between N and S on the 38th parallel. The North remains Communist to this day and the South has stayed Capitalist with slow progress towards democracy.