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Arts and Humanities
15 - The Cold War (All)
Terms in this set (204)
Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels
German intellectuals who promoted the ideas of socialism and communism and wrote the Communist Manifesto.
The last czar, or king of Russia. He and his family were murdered by the Bolsheviks.
Leader of the Bolsheviks and first communist leader of the Soviet Union.
The communist revolutionaries in Russia.
One of Lenin's supporters and the second leader of the Soviet Union from 1922-1953.
Franklin D. Roosevelt
President of the United States during the Great Depression and most of WWII.
United Nations (UN)
An organization in which the nations of the world meet to cooperate and solve disputes. The headquarters is in New York City.
The small group of nations that has the authority to set policy for the United Nations. It includes five permanent members: the US, UK, France, Russia and China.
The body of the representatives of every nation that is a member of the United Nations. This group can pass resolutions to express opinion but does not have the authority to set policy.
The administrator of the United Nations. The Secretary General traditionally plays a peace-keeping role in the world.
An economic system in which people are free to make choices about how to spend money, where to work, etc.
Free Market Economy
Another term for capitalism.
An economic systems in which the government controls all production and distribution. In theory, everyone works and everyone shares.
From everyone according to his ability, to everyone according to his need
A slogan that explains how a communist economy works. Everyone contributes and everyone shares in the profits.
The right to reject a law. In the case of the United Nations, each of the five permanent members of the Security Council can veto a measure.
The Communist Manifesto
The book by Marx and Engels that explained communism.
February 1945 meeting between President Roosevelt, Josef Stalin, and Great Britain's Prime Minister Winston Churchill to make agreements about the post-WWII world.
A conferences in July and August 1945 between President Truman, Josef Stalin and Great Britain's Clement Attlee in which the leaders agreed to divide Germany into four zones of occupation.
The process by which former colonies in the Third World gained independence from European powers in the first few decades after WWII.
Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR)
The official name of the Soviet Union.
Nation created in the Middle East after WWII largely by Jews who escaped the Holocaust. Israel and the United States are strong allies, but Israel has a history of violent confrontation with its Arab neighbors.
The traditionally poorer regions of the world including Central and South America, Africa, the Middle East, South Asia and Southeast Asia.
The division between Eastern and Western Europe marking the separation between the communist and free worlds.
A wall built by the East German government in 1961 to prevent people from escaping to West Berlin. It became a symbol of the division between the free and communist worlds.
The State Department official who developed the policy of containment.
American Secretary of State who proposed using American money to rebuild Europe. He believed that if countries had a strong economy they would be less likely to fall to communism.
American air force general who organized the Berlin Airlift.
Alliance that includes the United States, Canada, and most of the nations of Western Europe as well Greece and Turkey. It was created to counter the threat of the Soviet Union.
The collective security agreement that was the answer to NATO. It included the Soviet Union and most of Eastern Europe.
Leader of the movement to overthrow the last of the Chinese emperors. He is often considered the "Father of China."
Sun Yat-sen's successor and leader of the nationalist, non-communist Chinese forces. He lost to Mao and fled to Taiwan.
Leader of the Chinese communists. He became the first leader of mainland China after the communist takeover.
First leader of South Korea. He ruled as a dictator but was not communist.
First leader of communist North Korea.
American hero of WWII in the Pacific. He had led the occupation of Japan and was commander in the Korean War until he was relieved by President Truman for insubordination.
Second leader of North Korea from 1994-2011
Third leader of North Korea from 2011 to the present.
Ho Chi Minh
Communist leader of North Vietnam. His primary goal was Vietnamese independence.
The guerrilla fighters loyal to Ho Chi Minh.
Vo Nguyen Giap
General in charge of the North Vietnamese Army. He defeated the French at Dien Bien Phu.
Ngo Dinh Diem
Leader of South Vietnam. He was widely disliked by his own people.
Guerrilla fighters loyal to Ho Chi Minh based in South Vietnam.
Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia. They were independent nations along the Baltic Sea before WWII. After the war they were absorbed into the Soviet Union. They were the first three republics to declare independence in 1991.
Capital city of Germany. After WWII it was divided. West Berlin was a small enclave of freedom surrounded by Soviet-dominated East Germany. The city was the site of many standoffs and physical manifestations of the Cold War.
The small island nation off the southern coast of China founded by Chiang Kai-shek and his followers.
The line of latitude that divided North and South Korea before the Korean War. The current boundary still roughly follows the 38th Parallel.
Demilitarized Zone (DMZ)
The three-mile wide strip of land that marks the boundary between North and South Korea.
The French colony in Southeast Asia including Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos.
Capital of North Vietnam.
Capital of South Vietnam. Today it is known as Ho Chi Minh City.
The policy of preventing the spread of communist but not trying to eliminate it where it already existed.
President Truman's plan to implement containment and use American money to support countries that were in danger of falling under communist domination.
The plan to use American money to rebuild Europe. It was intended to prevent the spread of communism by demonstrating that a free market system would be the path to prosperity.
American belief that if one nation fell to communism its neighbors would soon follow.
An agreement between nations in which they agree to treat an attack on any member of the agreement as an attack on all members.
A situation in war in which neither side is able to win.
An agreement to stop fighting. Rather than creating peace, is serves as a permanent suspension of war.
Operation mounted by the United States and Great Britain to supply West Berlin by air when Stalin cut off the city's land access in 1948-1949. The Airlift was a success despites tremendous obstacles and the city was saved from communist takeover.
Heroic march of the Chinese communists to escape destruction.
Dien Bien Phu
Final battle in 1954 between the Vietnamese forces under Ho Chi Min and the French. The French lost and they abandoned Indochina as a colony.
General who led the Strategic Air Command, responsible for America's nuclear bombers and missiles.
The group of countries who have nuclear weapons.
Captain America and Superman
Superheroes who became popular during the Cold War by fighting against communist enemies in comic books.
A dog. The first animal in space.
Soviet Cosmonaut and first human in space in 1961.
First American in space in 1961.
Soviet cosmonaut. She became the first woman in space in 1963.
John F. Kennedy (JFK)
Democratic president from 1961-1963. He was president during the Cuban Missile Crisis.
First man to set foot on the Moon in 1969.
Lyndon B. Johnson
Vice president for John F. Kennedy and president from 1963-1968.
The group of young intellectuals who served as Kennedy's advisors.
Corrupt dictator of Cuba. He was supported by the United States and was overthrown by Castro.
Communist leader who led the Cuban Revolution in 1959.
Soviet leader from 1953-1964. He was leader during the Cuban Missile Crisis.
Democratic presidential candidate and ambassador to the United Nations during the Cuban Missile Crisis.
John F. Kennedy's younger brother. He was Attorney General during the Cuban Missile Crisis.
The group of experts who advised Kennedy during the Cuban Missile Crisis.
The group of the leaders of the Soviet Union. Roughly equivalent to the President's cabinet.
Soviet leader from 1964-1982.
Fidel Castro's younger brother and leader of Cuba from 2008 to the present.
Compact of Free Association (COFA)
Agreement between the US, Marshall Islands, and Federated States of Micronesia.
Kennedy's agenda, including more domestic spending and a shift away from massive retaliation.
The spread of weapons, especially nuclear weapons to multiple countries.
The time period after a major nuclear exchange during with crops would be destroyed and most humans would starve.
Mutually Assured Destruction (MAD)
The situation in which both the United States and Soviet Union could destroy one another in a nuclear exchange. Because starting a war meant assured destruction, no side would start the war.
The use of a navy to prevent the entrance and exit of ships from a port.
A block on trade.
Strategic Air Command
The organization in the American military responsible for America's nuclear bombers and missiles.
The local organizations who plan for disasters such as hurricanes, earthquakes, and nuclear attack.
NASA program to develop the technology to send a man to the Moon.
Kennedy's policy of having more conventional (non-nuclear) weapons so that the United States could use military power without resorting to a nuclear attack.
A group of young American volunteers who travel to developing nations to provide support and help spread goodwill.
Central Intelligence Agency (CIA)
America's spy agency.
Kennedy's Inaugural Address
President Kennedy's speech in 1961 and occasion of some of his most famous statements.
We Choose to Go to the Moon
Speech by JFK in 1961 in which he challenged America to send a man to the moon before 1970.
One small step for man, one giant leap for mankind
Armstrong's statement as he stepped onto the Moon's surface.
Atoll in the Marshall Islands used by the United States for testing nuclear weapons. It was the site of the Castle Bravo test.
Island in the Marshall Islands used by the United States for testing nuclear weapons. Location of the first hydrogen bomb test.
Nuclear test on Bikini Atoll that was much larger than expected.
1960 Presidential Election
Election between Senator John F. Kennedy and Vice President Richard Nixon. Kennedy won in a close popular vote.
The first televised presidential election debates.
Communist overthrow of Batista's Cuban government in 1958, led by Fidel Castro.
Bay of Pigs Invasion
1961 attack by anti-communist Cuban exiles who had been trained ty the CIA in an effort to start a revolution against Castro. The invasion failed and Kennedy refused to support the invaders.
Cuban Missile Crisis
13-day standoff in 1962. The Soviet Union had placed nuclear missiles in Cuba and Kennedy demanded that they be removed. It was the closest the world every came to nuclear war.
Long-range bomber designed to carry nuclear bombs deep into the Soviet Union.
A nuclear warhead that uses fusion to produce a much larger explosion than the fission bomb used against Japan. Also known as a hydrogen bomb or H-bomb.
Tactical Nuclear Weapons
Small nuclear weapons meant to be used on the battlefield the way artillery might be used.
Intercontinental Ballistic Missile (ICBM)
Nuclear-armed missiles that are fired from one continent to targets in another.
Submarine Launched Ballistic Missile (SLBM)
Nuclear-armed missiles fired from submarines.
The three methods of attacking with nuclear weapons: land-based bombers, land-based missiles and submarine-based missiles.
Multiple Independent Targetable Reentry Vehicles (MIRV)
Missiles that separate in space and deliver nuclear warheads to many different targets.
A place that would be safe during an atomic attack. They were often stocked with food, water, and medical supplies.
First man-made satellite launched by the Soviet Union in 1957.
America's first satellite, launched in 1958.
American spy plane.
Nickname for the direct communication link between the White House and Kremlin.
American diplomat who had advised Roosevelt at Yalta and was involved in the creation of the United Nations. He was denounced as a communist during the Red Scare. He was convicted but evidence of his guilt is inconclusive.
Julius and Ethel Rosenberg
Julius Rosenberg was scientist who gave nuclear secrets to the Soviet Union. He and his wife Ethel were tried, convicted and put to death during the Red Scare.
Senator who became famous as an accuser during the Red Scare. He rarely presented evidence and was eventually discredited.
Derogatory nickname for communists.
A group of ten Hollywood writers, producers and directors who were accused of being communist. They refused to answer questions from HUAC and were blacklisted.
Military Industrial Complex
President Eisenhower's term for the relationship between the military, weapons manufacturers, and lawmakers who allocated funding for weapons systems.
A perceived lack of long-range bombers capable of striking the Soviet Union in the early 1950s. There was no gap - the United States had a roughly equal number of bombers as the Soviet Union. Concern, however, meant an increase in spending for bomber aircraft.
A perceived lack of ICBMs compared to the Soviet Union. There was actually no gap, but the public became concerned with Senator Kennedy repeatedly used the term to stoke fear during his 1960 presidential campaign.
A place that would be safe during an atomic attack. They were often stocked with food, water, and medical supplies.
National Defense Education Act
Law passed in 1957 after the launch of Sputnik. It provided funding for science and mathematics education in schools and universities.
House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC)
Special committee formed by members of the House of Representatives to investigate communists in the United States. Future president Richard Nixon was a member of the committee and they investigated the Hollywood 10.
International Atomic Energy Agency
A part of the United Nations that monitors the use of nuclear technology.
McCarthy's 205 Communists
McCarthy claimed to know of 205 communists working in the State Department during a speech in 1950. He never provided evidence but his claim and subsequent Senate hearings made him famous.
Have you no sense of decency?
Famous line from Army lawyer Joseph Welch during the Red Scare. His televised question helped discredit Joseph McCarthy.
Atoms for Peace
A speech given by President Eisenhower in 1953 (and the government programs that followed) that encouraged the civilian use of nuclear technology.
Eisenhower's Farewell Address
Televised address by departing President Eisenhower in 1961 shortly before Kennedy took office. Eisenhower warned of the dangers of all-or-nothing thinking and the growing influence of a military industrial complex.
Second Red Scare
The period in the late 1940s and early 1950s when the fear that communists were infiltrating America drove wild accusations and political investigations.
Another term often used for the Second Red Scare which refers to the unfounded accusations common of the time.
Russian political dissident and author of "The Gulag Archipelago"
Dr. Henry Kissinger
National Security Advisor to President Nixon. He believed in realpolitik and was instrumental in the negotiations with the Soviet Union and China that were part of the détente policy.
A leader, often from the military, that rules a country as a dictator. The United States often supported these leaders in Third World nations because they opposed communism.
Democratically elected president of Chile who proposed communist-like policies and was deposed in 1973. The CIA is seen as complicit in his overthrow.
Military general in Chile who led a coup against democratically elected Salvador Allende. He ruled Chile for 17 years and murdered more than 2,000 people. The US supported him because he opposed communism.
Panamanian strongman who was supported by the CIA. He was involved in the drug trade and was eventually removed in a US military invasion and put on trial for drug trafficking.
Communist revolutionaries in Nicaragua who took control in the 1970s and were opposed by the American-backed Contras.
Anti-communist guerrilla group who were supported by the CIA and fought against the communist Sandinistas in Nicaragua. They were known for human rights violations and using drug trafficking as a means of financial support.
Communist revolutionary group in El Salvador in the 1970s and 1980s. They were opposed by the United States.
Catholic archbishop in El Salvador who spoke out against violence during his country's civil war. He was assassinated by right-wing militants.
Gamal Abdel Nasser
Nationalist leader of Egypt who was supported by the Soviet Union and led his country during the Suez Crisis.
The Gulag Archipelago
Book by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn recounting his experiences as a political prisoner in the Soviet Union's gulags.
Partial Test Ban Treaty
1963 treaty banning nuclear tests in the atmosphere, under water and in space.
Outer Space Treaty
1967 treaty stating that space would only be used for peaceful purposes.
Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty
A treaty signed in 1968 by all but four countries in the world. Nations promise not to acquire nuclear weapons (if they don't already possess them) and in exchange they may use nuclear technology for civilian purposes.
SALT I & SALT II
Treaties signed between the United States and Soviet Union in 1972 and 1979 agreeing to reduce the number of nuclear warheads in their arsenals.
Biological Weapons Convention
Treaty signed by almost every nation in the world agreeing to eliminate all biological weapons.
Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty
1972 treaty between the United States and Soviet Union agreeing to limit the development of missiles that could intercept incoming ICBMs.
1975 agreement between the major nations of the Free and Communist Worlds. It guaranteed respect for boundaries, thus cementing the communist takeover of Eastern Europe, but also committed nations to respect human rights.
A policy of engaging the Soviet Union in negotiations used by Presidents Nixon, Ford and Carter in the 1970s. It assumed that the end of the Cold War was not imminent so negotiation rather than confrontation was the best policy.
Policies based on practical rather than moral or ideological goals.
Wars that were not fought between the United States and Soviet Union. However, the superpowers supported either side and the wars were viewed as a stand-in for real face-to-face conflict.
A series of debates between Vice-President Richard Nixon and Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev in Moscow about the relative merits of communism and capitalism.
Revolution by Hungarians in 1956 against Soviet domination. The uprising was crushed when forces from the Soviet Union invaded Hungary.
An uprising in Czechoslovakia in 1968 in which the government and citizens attempted to reform the economy and political system. The uprising was ended when the Soviet Union sent in its military to restore communists to power.
Soviet Invasion of Afghanistan
Soviet invasion of Afghanistan in 1979. The Soviets failed, partially due to support the United States gave to Afghan freedom fighters.
Assassination of Oscar Romero
1980 assassination of Oscar Romero while he was celebrating mass. He had recently urged militants to stop committing human rights violations.
1956 conflict between Egypt and the combined forces of Israel, France and the United Kingdom after Egypt nationalized the Suez Canal. President Eisenhower refused to support France and the UK.
The spy organization and secret police of the Soviet Union
The secret police of East Germany
The secret police of communist China
State Security Department
The secret police of North Korea
The prison system in the Soviet Union based on labor camps which housed thousands of political prisoners
A group of three judges. The troikas in the Soviet Union provided a quick way to convict political prisoners without allowing for fair trials.
Apollo-Soyuz Test Project
A Soviet and American project to launch satellites that would link up in orbit. The project culminated in 1975 and represented progress in scientific cooperation.
School of the Americas
School run by the US Army to train Latin American military leaders. Some of the school's graduates have gone on to commit human rights violations in their home countries or lead drug trafficking organizations.
American president from 1981-1989. He abandoned détente and supported a more confrontational stance toward the Soviet Union based on an ideological view of the conflict. In his second term he began negotiating with Gorbachev and is credited with helping end the Cold War.
British Prime Minister in the 1980s. Nicknamed the "Iron Lady", she was a strong ally of President Reagan.
Last leader of the Soviet Union from 1985-1991. He promoted government reform and negotiated with the United States.
Labor movement in Poland in the 1980s led by Lech Walesa that successfully challenged the communist government.
Leader of the Solidarity movement in Poland. He became the first president of Poland after the fall of communism.
Pope John Paul II
Pope from 1978 to 2005. He was an outspoken critic of communism.
Communist leader of East Germany from 1971-1989. He opposed reforms and the Sinatra Doctrine. He was forced to resign as protests mounted across East Germany in 1989.
Russian leader who demanded greater reform during the 1980s. He opposed the 1991 coup and became the first president of independent Russia after the fall of the Soviet Union.
Reluctance on the part of American politicians and military leaders to use the armed forces due to the loss in Vietnam. Ronald Reagan helped end this.
The system of slavery that developed in the United States in which slaves were considered property.
Evil Empire Speech
1982 speech by President Ronald Reagan in which he condemned communism and the Soviet Union calling it an "Evil Empire."
Tear Down This Wall
1987 speech by Ronald Reagan in West Berlin in which he challenged Gorbachev to open the Iron Curtain.
The policy of improving relations with communist China under the Nixon Administration. Similar to détente with the Soviet Union.
Ping Pong Diplomacy
The use of non-governmental exchanges (such as ping pong tournaments) to foster better relationships between competing nations.
One China Policy
American policy to officially recognize only one government of both China and Taiwan. The US maintains an embassy in Beijing and supports China's membership in the UN. However, the US still supports Taiwan.
President Reagan's policy of supporting anti-communist leaders and organizations everywhere in the world.
Perestroika & Glasnost
Reform programs in the Soviet Union promoted by Gorbachev designed to allow for more electoral freedom in order to save communism. They produced a higher demand for reform which eventually led to the breakup of the Soviet Union.
The name that the Soviet government of Mikhail Gorbachev used to describe its policy of allowing neighboring Warsaw Pact states to determine their own internal affairs. The name alluded to the song "My Way" popularized by Frank Sinatra.
Soviet policy under Brezhnev in the 1970s in which the Soviet government used military force to control the governments of the Soviet Bloc.
Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI)
Military program championed by President Reagan to develop a system to intercept incoming nuclear missiles. It was nicknamed "Star Wars" by its critics.
Missile Defense Agency
Military organization that develops and operates a system to intercept incoming nuclear missiles. It is the contemporary version of the original SDI.
People's Republic of China (PRC)
Mainland, communist China. The PRC currently holds China's seat at the United Nations.
Republic of China (ROC)
Major public square in East Berlin and site of protests in 1989 that culminated in the fall of the Berlin Wall.
Nixon's Visit to China
1972 visit by President Nixon to the People's Republic of China. This visit officially reopened the diplomatic relationship between the PRC and the US and the US recognized the PRC government as the representatives of China at the United Nations.
Political scandal in 1986 in which officials in the Reagan Administration illegally sold weapons to Iran and used the money to support the Contras in Nicaragua. The scandal called into question Reagan's ability to manage the day-to-day operations of government.
1985 summit between President Reagan and Gorbachev held in Reykjavik, Iceland. It was one of five meetings between the two leaders. At their meeting they agreed to eliminate all nuclear weapons but their advisors made them reverse this pledge.
Tiananmen Square Massacre
1989 confrontation between pro-democracy activists and the communist government in Beijing, China. After protesters occupied Tiananmen Square in the center of the city the government ordered the military to break up the protest resulting in hundreds, possibly thousands of deaths.
Fall of the Berlin Wall
The demonstrations and reverse of East German policy in November, 1989 that led to the opening of crossing points between East and West Berlin, and the subsequent destruction of the Berlin Wall by the people of Berlin.
Reunification of Germany
1990 joining of East and West Germany. The East German government ceased to exist and the capital of Germany was moved from Bonn to Berlin.
Attempt to overthrow the Soviet government of Gorbachev by hard line leaders and generals in August 1991. It failed when the military refused to follow orders from the coup leaders. Gorbachev was returned to power but was weakened, leading to the breakup of the Soviet Union.
Fall of the Soviet Union
December 25, 1991. The various republics of the Soviet Union became independent nations and the Soviet government and communism in the former Soviet Union ceased to exist. This was the final end of the Cold War
Joint statement by China and the United States in 1972 as part of Nixon's visit to China. The two nations agreed to normalize relations.
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