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Cold War
War between US and Russian. The continuing state of conflict, tension and competition that existed primarily between the United States and the Soviet Union and those countries' respective allies from 1945 (end of World War II) to 1989 (fall of Berlin Wall). throughout this period, the conflict was expressed through military coalitions, espionage, weapons development, invasions, propaganda, and competitive technological development, which included the space race. the conflict included costly defense spending, a massive conventional and nuclear arms race
United Nations
An international organization composed of most of the countries of the world. It was founded in 1945 to promote peace, security, and economic development.
"Iron Curtain"
The military, political, and ideological barrier established between the Soviet bloc and western Europe from 1945 to 1990.
A barrier that prevents free exchange of ideas and information:
A structure or system designed to prevent the accidental release of radioactive materials from a reactor.
Truman Doctrine
he called for immediate economic and military aid to Greece, which was threatened by a communist insurrection, and to Turkey, which was under pressure from Soviet expansion in the Mediterranean. Engaged in the Cold War with the Soviet Union, the U.S. sought to protect those countries from falling under Soviet influence after Britain announced that it could no longer give them aid. In response to Truman's message, Congress appropriated $400 million in aid.
Marshall Plan
U.S.-sponsored program to provide economic aid to European countries after World War II. The idea of a European self-help plan financed by the U.S. was proposed by George Marshall in 1947 and was authorized by Congress as the European Recovery Program. It provided almost $13 billion in grants and loans to 17 countries and was a key factor in reviving their economies and stabilizing their political structures.
Divided Germany
Britain, France, America, and the U.S.S.R.
Berlin Airlift
Cargo planes delivered all food, fuel, and other essential goods to the people living in West Berlin during the Cold War
marked the end of an American tradition of non-tangling alliances from the years of the early Republic. The treaty reflected Cold War fears of Soviet aggression and linked the United States and Canada on one side of the Atlantic with Iceland, Great Britain, France, Belgium, the Netherlands, Luxembourg, Norway, Denmark, Portugal, and Italy on the other side.
Warsaw Pact
Military alliance of the Soviet Union, Albania (until 1968), Bulgaria, Czechoslovakia, East Germany, Hungary, Poland, and Romania, formed in 1955 in response to West Germany's entry into NATO. Its terms included a unified military command and the stationing of Soviet troops in the other member states. Warsaw Pact troops were called into action to suppress uprisings in Poland (1956), Hungary (1956), and Czechoslovakia (1968).
Any of a series of Soviet satellites sent into Earth orbit, especially the first, launched October 4, 1957.
A missile flying a ballistic trajectory after guided powered flight, usually over ranges in excess of 4000 miles (6500 kilometers).
A single-seat single-engine high-altitude reconnaissance aircraft, built by Lockheed in 1956. It was used as a spyplane above the Soviet Union, China, and Cuba, although the United States claimed that it had been restricted to meteorological and environment-control flights.
was the world's most prominent Chinese communist during the 20th century. Mao's Red Army overthrew Jiang Jieshi in 1949, and the communists seized power of mainland China. Turned China into a world military power and created a cult of personality.
Jiang Jieshi
Leader of the Nationalist government in Taiwan. He was formally elected by the National Assembly to a six-year presidential term in 1978 and reelected in 1984. He tried to maintain Taiwan's foreign-trade relationships and political independence as other countries began to break off diplomatic relations in order to establish ties with mainland China. Other actions during his presidency included ending martial law, allowing opposition parties, and encouraging native-born Taiwanese to participate in government.
Long March
Trek of 6,000 miles by Chinese Communists, resulting in the relocation of their revolutionary base from southeastern China to northwestern China and the emergence of Mao Zedong as their undisputed leader.
Great Leap Forward
Failed industrialization campaign undertaken by the Chinese communists between 1958 and early 1960. Mao Zedong hoped to develop labour-intensive methods of industrialization that would emphasize manpower rather than the gradual purchase of heavy machinery, thereby putting to use China's dense population and obviating the need to accumulate capital. Rather than building large new factories, he proposed developing backyard steel furnaces in every village. Rural people were organized into communes where agricultural and political decisions emphasized ideological purity rather than expertise. The program was implemented so hastily and zealously that many errors occurred; these were exacerbated by a series of natural disasters and the withdrawal of Soviet technical personnel. China's agriculture was severely disrupted, causing widespread famine in 1958 - 62. By early 1960 the government had begun to repeal the Great Leap Forward; private plots were returned to peasants, and expertise began to be emphasized again.
Cultural Revolution
A comprehensive reform movement in China initiated by Mao Zedong in 1965 to eliminate counterrevolutionary elements in the country's institutions and leadership. It was characterized by political zealotry, purges of intellectuals, and social and economic chaos.
Red Guards
A member of an activist youth movement in China, prominent during the Chinese Cultural Revolution of the late 1960s, that espoused Maoist principles.
Korean War
A conflict that lasted from 1950 to 1953 between North Korea, aided by China, and South Korea, aided by United Nations forces consisting primarily of U.S. troops.
38th Parallel
The latitudinal line that approximately forms the boundary between North Korea and South Korea. Its use for the partition of Korea was proposed at the Potsdam Conference in 1945. During the Korean War, each side temporarily controlled area beyond the line, but by the war's end the 38th parallel again was the dividing line between the countries.

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U.N. > MacArthur
MacArthur Invades United Nations
Cease Fire - 1953
An order to stop firing.
Kim Jong Il
He was designated his father's successor in 1980 and became North Korea's de facto leader on his father's death in 1994. Known in North Korea as the Dear Leader, he makes few public appearances. After the onset of a severe famine (1995 - 98), he began to relax his country's extreme isolationism.
French Indo-China
Through the signing of separate bilateral treaties in 1950, whereby each country became an independent self-governing state within the French Union, the concept of French Indo-China (1869-1950) was effectively brought to an end. The term 'Indo-China' acknowledges the presence of Indian and Chinese culture in the region.
Ho Chinh Minh
He led the Viet Minh through eight years of underground resistance against French colonial forces (1946-54), then turned to guerilla warfare against the anti-communist government in South Vietnam. By the time the United States became involved in the fight against the Viet Minh (and its successor, the Viet Cong), Ho Chi Minh was in failing health and not as active in directing his forces. He was, however, "Uncle Ho," the symbol of the communists' willingness to sacrifice and to endure a war of attrition. communist leader of North Vietnam from the end of World War II until his death in 1969.
A member of the Vietnamese political and military movement that challenged the Japanese and defeated the French between 1941 and 1954.
Dien Bien Phu
A town of northwest Vietnam near the Laos border. The French military base here fell to Vietminh troops on May 7, 1954, after a 56-day siege, leading to the end of France's involvement in Indochina.
Domino Theory
A theory that if one nation comes under Communist control, then neighboring nations will also come under Communist control.
NGO Dinh Diem
President of South Vietnam (1955 - 63). Of noble birth, Diem was on friendly terms with the Vietnamese imperial family and served as Emperor Bao Dai's minister of the interior (1933), but he resigned when the French would not accept his legislative reforms. He turned down an invitation to join Ho Chi Minh's forces and lived in self-imposed exile until invited back in 1954 by Bao Dai to serve as prime minister of South Vietnam. In 1955 he ousted the emperor and made himself president. He refused to carry out elections mandated by the Geneva Accords of 1954, ruled autocratically, and showed preference to fellow Roman Catholics in an overwhelmingly Buddhist country. An unpopular leader, Diem was assassinated by his generals in 1963.
was a political organization and army in South Vietnam and Cambodia that fought the United States and South Vietnamese governments during the Vietnam War (1959-1975). It had both guerrilla and regular army units, as well as a network of cadres who organized peasants in the territory it controlled.
Gulf of Tonkin
Arm of the South China Sea, between northern Vietnam and Hainan Island, China. It is 300 mi (500 km) long and 150 mi (250 km) wide. In 1964 the Vietnamese reportedly fired on U.S. ships there, leading the U.S. Congress to adopt the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution that supported increased U.S. involvement in the Vietnam War.
Guerilla Warfare
orm of irregular warfare and refers to conflicts in which a small group of combatants including, but not limited to, armed civilians (or "irregulars") use military tactics, such as ambushes, sabotage, raids, the element of surprise, and extraordinary mobility to harass a larger and less-mobile traditional army, or strike a vulnerable target, and withdraw almost immediately.
During the Vietnam War, the U.S. program of turning over to the South Vietnamese government responsibility for waging the conflict, in order to implement withdrawal of U.S. military personnel.
Batista > Castro
U.S. supported Batista, but was overthrown
Takeover of a private company's assets or operations by a government.
A government order prohibiting the movement of merchant ships into or out of its ports. A prohibition by a government on certain or all trade with a foreign nation
Bay Of Pigs
A small inlet of the Caribbean Sea on the southern coast of western Cuba. It was the site of an ill-fated invasion on April 17, 1961, when a force of 1,500 U.S.-trained guerrilla troops landed in an attempt to overthrow the government of Fidel Castro.
Born a Ukrainian peasant, Nikita Sergeyevich Khrushchev joined the Communist party in 1918 and in four decades rose through the ranks to become the leader of all the Soviet Union. Nikita Khrushchev first became a member of the party's central committee in 1934. He had a close connection to Soviet leader Joseph Stalin, and after Stalin's death in 1953 Khrushchev emerged as the new leader. He began to reform Stalin's most brutal excesses, and when he denounced some crimes of Stalin in 1956 it was regarded as a stunning development. Nikita Khrushchev also attempted to ease relations with the United States; in 1959 he toured the U.S. and met with President Dwight Eisenhower. When a U.S. spy plane piloted by Gary Powers was shot down over Russia in 1960, Khrushchev grew more belligerent, and he grabbed the attention of the world by pounding his shoe on a conference table at the United Nations that fall. Khrushchev, the U2 incident, and the Cold War all became major issues in the 1960 U.S. presidential contest between Vice President Richard Nixon and John Kennedy, which was won by Kennedy. Two years later, Nikita Khrushchev was forced to back down to Kennedy over the placement of Soviet missiles in Cuba, in what became known as the Cuban missile crisis of 1962. Further domestic and foreign relations disasters weakened Khrushchev's power, and in 1964 he was replaced as Soviet leader by Leonid Brezhnev.
Cuban Missle Crisis
Major confrontation between the U.S. and the Soviet Union over the presence of Soviet nuclear missiles in Cuba. In October 1962 a U.S. spy plane detected a ballistic missile on a launching site in Cuba.
Shah of Iran
Used formerly as a title for the hereditary monarch of Iran.
Led the theocratic revolution which sent the Shah into exile
Iran Hostage Crisis
When the monarch entered the U.S. for medical treatment later that year, Islamic militants stormed the U.S. embassy in Tehran and seized 66 Americans. The militants held fifty-two of the embassy's personnel hostage for 444 days.