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Arts and Humanities
Cold War Terms
7th Grade Social Studies Cold War terms
Terms in this set (32)
Director of CIA, appointed by Eisenhower. He was a veteran of wartime OSS cloak-and-dagger operations. He was also the brother of John Foster Dulles
John Foster Dulles
Secretary of state under Eisenhower (and brother of Allen Dulles) who helped devise Eisenhower's New Look foreign policy. Dulles's policy emphasized massive retaliation with nuclear weapons. In particular, Dulles advocated the use of nuclear weapons against Ho Chi Minh's Communist forces in Vietnam.
Dwight D. Eisenhower
A World War II hero and former supreme commander of NATO who became U.S. president in 1953. Eisenhower expanded New Deal-era social welfare programs. His New Look at foreign policy, emphasized nuclear weapons and the threat of massive retaliation against the Soviet Union in order to cut costs and deter the USSR from spreading Communism abroad.
Ho Chi Minh
The nationalist, Communist leader of the Viet Minh movement, which sought to liberate Vietnam from French colonial rule throughout the 1950s.
John F. Kennedy
The thirty-fifth U.S. president, who was elected in 1960, defeating Republican Richard M. Nixon. He also backed the disastrous Bay of Pigs invasion, which ultimately led to the Cuban missile crisis. In 1963, after Kennedy had spent roughly 1,000 days in office, he was assassinated.
The head of the Soviet Communist Party and leader of the USSR from 1958 until the early 1960s. Initially, many Americans hoped Khrushchev's rise to power would lead to a reduction in Cold War tensions.
Five-star American general who commanded Allied forces in the Pacific during World War II. After the war, MacArthur led the American occupation in Japan, helped establish a democratic government there, and in large part rewrote the country's new constitution outlawing militarism. He later commanded United Nations forces in Korea during the Korean War.
Republican senator from Wisconsin who capitalized on Cold War fears of Communism in the early 1950s by accusing hundreds of government employees of being Communists and Soviet agents.
Gamal Abdel Nasser
The nationalist, Communist-leaning president of Egypt who seized the British-controlled Suez Canal in 1956, after economic aid negotiations among Egypt, Great Britain, and the United States fell apart.
Richard M. Nixon
Republican congressman from California who rose to national fame as a prominent member of the House Un-American Activities Committee in the late 1940's when he successfully prosecuted Alger Hiss for being a Communist. Nixon later served as vice president under Dwight D. Eisenhower from 1953 to 1961. He became President in 1969.
Harry S Truman
Vice president under Franklin D. Roosevelt who became president upon Roosevelt's death in April 1945 and successfully carried out the remainder of World War II. Truman was instrumental in creating a new international political and economic order after the war, helping to form the United Nations, NATO, the World Bank, and the International Monetary Fund. His Marshall Plan also helped Western Europe rebuild after the war and surpass its prewar levels of industrial production
Bay of Pigs Invasion
President John F. Kennedy's failed plan to invade Cuba and topple revolutionary leader Fidel Castro with an army of CIA-trained Cuban exiles in 1961. Although Kennedy had originally intended to use the U.S. Air Force to help the exiled Cubans retake the island, he unexpectedly withdrew support shortly before the operation started. As a result, the invasion failed utterly, actually consolidated Castro's power, and pushed Cuba into signing a treaty with the Soviet Union.
The dropping of thousands of tons of food and medical supplies to starving West Berliners after Joseph Stalin closed off all highway and railway access to the city in mid-1948. Stalin hoped to cut off British, French, and American access to the conquered German city, but President Harry S Truman, determined not to lose face or the city, ordered American military planes to drop provisions from the air. The blockade was foiled, and Stalin finally lifted it in 1949.
A U.S. foreign policy doctrine that argued that the Soviet Union needed to be "contained" to prevent the spread of Communism throughout the world. First formulated by State Department analyst George Kennan during the Truman administration, it suggested that the United States needed to fight Communism abroad and promote democracy (or at least anti-Communist regimes) worldwide. Policy makers tied it closely with the domino theory. Kennan's idea eventually developed into the single most important tenet of American foreign policy through the Cold War until the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991.
Cuban Missile Crisis:
The crisis that occurred when Cuban leader Fidel Castro sought economic and military assistance from the Soviet Union after the United States' failed 1961 Bay of Pigs invasion. The Soviet premier, Nikita Khrushchev, capitalized on the failed invasion, allied with Castro, and secured from Castro the right to place nuclear missiles in Cuba. Upon learning of the missiles, President John F. Kennedy ordered a naval blockade of the island in 1962 and demanded that Khrushchev remove them. Nuclear war seemed imminent until Khrushchev finally backed down, promising to remove the missiles if Kennedy ended the blockade. The United States complied and also agreed to remove from Turkey nuclear missiles aimed at the Soviet Union. The Communist Party leadership in the Soviet Union removed Khrushchev from power in 1964 for having backed down in the stand-off.
Dien Bien Phu
A site in Vietnam where an important French outpost fell to Ho Chi Minh's pro-Communist forces in 1954. After this defeat, an international conference in Geneva split Vietnam into two nations—North Vietnam and South Vietnam—with the dividing line at the 17th parallel.
The belief that if the United States allowed one country to fall to Communism, then many more would follow suit, like a row of dominoes.
A doctrine of containment that provided for a variety of military and political strategies that the president could use to stop the spread of Communism.
House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC)
A committee established in 1938 by the House of Representatives to investigate individual Americans or organizations who might be linked to the Nazis or the Ku Klux Klan. After World War II, as fear of the Soviet Union spread, HUAC was used to investigate those suspected of having ties to Communism or of being Soviet agents.
A plan devised by President Harry S Truman and Secretary of State George C. Marshall that committed over $10 billion to rebuilding Western Europe after World War II. Although the Soviet Union fiercely opposed the plan, Truman knew that rebuilding the region would provide stability and prevent another world war.
A primary component of Dwight D. Eisenhower's New Look foreign policy that threatened massive nuclear retaliation against the Soviet Union for any Communist aggression abroad. It was designed to save the U.S. government money on defense spending.
National Security Act
An act passed in 1947 that reorganized the U.S. military and espionage (spy) services in order to better meet the Soviet threat. The act placed the armed forces under the new secretary of defense and Joint Chiefs of Staff and also created the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and the National Security Council to advise the president.
National Security Council Memorandum 68 (NSC-68)
A classified 1950 proposal that the United States quadruple defense and military spending in order to counter the Soviet threat. NSC-68 set a precedent for increasing defense spending throughout the Cold War, especially after North Korean forces attacked South Korea in June 1950.
Kennedy's collective bundle of domestic policies, which called for increased social welfare spending to tackle the growing poverty rate. Opposition in Congress from Republicans and southern Democrats, however, blocked the passage of most New Frontier legislation.
North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO)
An organization formed in 1949 that bound the United States, Canada, most of Western Europe, and later Greece and Turkey together in a mutual pact of defense against the Soviet Union and Eastern bloc countries.
The wrongful persecutions of thousands of Americans for being Communists or Soviet spies that took place in the 1940s and 1950s and were led by the Loyalty Review Board and the House Un-American Activities Committee. Congressman Richard Nixon, Senator Joseph McCarthy, and others led these Communist "witch hunts," often without any shred of evidence.
The Cold War competition between the United States and the Soviet Union for primacy in the exploration of outer space. The space race was prompted by the Soviet Union's launch of the first orbiting space satellite, Sputnik I , in 1957.
Soviet Union's launch of the first orbiting space satellite in 1957. The Sputnik launch prompted President Eisenhower to form NASA and Kennedy to push for a lunar landing by the end of the 1960s.
The crisis that erupted after Egypt's nationalization of the British-controlled Suez Canal, which took place in 1956 after negotiations over international aid among the United States, Great Britain, and Egypt collapsed.
A doctrine articulated by President Harry S Truman that pledged American support for all "free peoples" fighting Communist aggression from foreign or domestic sources.
The crisis that arose after the Soviet Union shot down an American U-2 spy plane flying over the Soviet Union on a reconnaissance mission in 1960. President Dwight D. Eisenhower initially denied that the incident occurred until Soviet premier Nikita Khrushchev presented the captured American pilot. The president's refusal to apologize or halt future spy missions caused the collapse of a joint summit among Great Britain, France, the United States, and the Soviet Union in May 1960.
A pact signed by the Soviet Union and Eastern European countries under Soviet influence in 1955. By signing the pact, they pledged mutual defense in response to the formation of NATO.
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