Cold War And Korean War AS History Exam 2/06/09

A bit of everything manily from the Heinmann Advanced History Book

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  • Created on: 31-05-09 17:29

US Foreighn Policy In The 1950s: Background

  • Reports sent back on the US Cold War Policy, an important document was made known as the NSC-68.

..... The Country Saw it in Biopolar terms.

  • The Situation of the Cold War had been brought about by the USSR's aim to extend there authority over both Europe and Asia...Hence World Conquest.
  • The US Policy would ensure non-communist regimes were Viable
  • Military Action would be considered to meet the threat of Communism were needed.
  • Both Conventional and Nuclear weapons were being prepaired.
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Back Ground 2:

  • US Policy of containment focused on the exsistence of Soviet Uninon and containing communism in it's ALREADY exsisting borders.
  • Communism NEEDED to be confonted and not ingnored and pushed back to safeguard
  • They therefore needed to be more aggresive.
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Why Did The US Believe It Was Losing The Cold War


  • Communist takeover of China in September Made It Seem like the tide was turning in a favour of a Communist world.
  • Why? Second world war left China without anyform of control.
  • By 1949 Communist People Republic Of China were strong enough to push Nationalism out.

.....Appeard clear evidence that Stalins work was spreading.

  • USA had always seen them selves as guardians of China and had failed it's role.
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Part 2:Why Did The US Believe It Was Losing The Co

Korea and Vietnam

  • Secure Unifications Collapsed when the Communist forces invaded the Capitalist South.

.... Again clear evidence that Stalins work was spreading.

  • The USA had always been very critical of Imperlism in Vietnam however, if France did not regain control Communism would takes it's place.
  • Vietnam was also in a secure place to recieve Communist back-up and support.

.... This would create the Dominoe Effect

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Part 3: Why Did The US Believe It Was Losing The C

Missile Gap

  • USA was the only country which was in power of Nuclear Power.
  • This power was shatter when the Soviet Unioin annouced it had an atomic bomb
  • This then began the ' Missile Gap' which arose the fears of Soviets bombing capabilitys.
  • Made the USA increase military spending.
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Responces To The Loss Of Confidence 1

The Red Scare And McCarthyism

  • Fear that the USA was being undermined by the enemy withing

.... McCarthyism was to represent this fear.

  • High suspicions that were communist spies within the US government gained alot of intrest.

- Set up a Loyalty review bored to check up in Govenment emplyoees, of whiched 3000 workers were sacked

- The US senate set up it's own House Un-American Activities Commitee to put pressure on those called as witness of communists.

-Alger Hiss; State Department Official, was convicted of communist, the US public seen this as clear evidence of Commmunist underground.

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Responces To The Loss Of Confidence 2

- There fears were confirmed by the uncovering of a spyring that passed atomic secrets to the USSR

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Part 2: Responces To The Loss Of Confidence


  • McCarthy used is postion of Head Of The Minor Senate Commitee to himulate witnesses, and target individuals.
  • However McCarthys influences were shot lived
  • As McCarthy was revealed a liar and a crook.
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Part 3:Responces To The Loss Of Confidence

US Foreign Policy In The 1950's

....Had to harden against Communism in this time.

  • Dwight Eisenhower was elected president in 1952, Truman had been longly critised for being soft on Communism, It was thought that Eisenhower would adopt a firmer line.
  • Eisenhowers secetary of state John Foster Dulles suggest to face up to Communism they had to build up there Nuclear Weapons.
  • Other would see then that any agressive actions, would lead to Massive Realiation

...The focus now was on Nuclear arms rather than Conventional arms.

  • It was thought that the US wouldnt only be able to contain Communism but Roll it back as well.

...However this would only work as a Detterent, if the enemys thought the USA was prepaired to use them.

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US attitudes at home and abroad were more strident in the 1950's than any other era.

  • Vulnerability was felt in the USA by 2 Key Influences.

- The percieved strength of the USSR compared to that of the USA... Though Communist strength in the USA was never significant enough to make an impact.

- The percieved technological and military superiority of the USSR... Though this was only ever an Illusion

However, these factors were to have a long term impact on the USA.

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