superpower relations

the cold war

  • Created by: harry0909
  • Created on: 26-05-19 08:38

The Yalta Conference

  • 1945
  • Discussed how Germany was going to be split.
  • Territories
  • $20 billion reparations 
  • United Nations is set up and the first meeting in 1945
  • Stalin agreed to join the war against Japan
  • Poland was to be ruled by USSR. With free elections. But they didn't discuss the meanings so their ideas of free elections were different 
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the Postdame Conference

  • 1945
  • Roosevelt died, replace by Truman
  • Churchill replaced by Attlee 
  • USA has tested their atomic bomb
  • United nations had been created
  • Truman was more tough, and wanted things his way
  • Reparations were set, Germany's division was set 
  • But Europs's borders were not set, USSR wanted to take many of the countries, but Truman did not like that as they would become communist
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The Tehran Conference

  • 1943
  • What would happent to Germany 
  • Discussions should go through the United Nations 
  • Talked about USSR helping USA in the war against Japan 
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The Impact of the atomic bomb on US-Soviet relatio

  • USA used this to show their power
  • Truman wanted to use this to make Stalin more scared however it made Stalin more determined to make eastern Europe into his buffer zone
  • Truman didn't tell Stalin about the atomic bombs, made him feel betrayed 
  • Made USA and USSR reluctant to go to war, instead began the arms race 
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The Soviet Union and its satellite states

  • All the countries in Eastern Europe were ruled by the Soviet Union 
  • Except Czechoslovakia. However, Stalin needed it as a buffer zone. So he helped the communists to over throw the president 
  • Poland also turned communist
  • Basically, Stalin would go to lengths to ensure that he had his buffer zones, and communist governments spread 
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The telegrams and the Iron curtain speech

The Long Telegram - 1946

  • Kennan to Truman, USA
  • Stated that USSR wanted to take over the world.
  • There is no way that USSR and USA would be able to be at peace due to their difference in views 
  • USSR was rebuilding its army 

The Novikov's telegram -1946

  • Novikov to Stalin , USSR
  • Stated that USA wanted to dominate the world
  • USA does not want to co-operate with USSR
  • USA was prepring people for war

The Iron Curtain speech -1946

  • Showed how the superpowers see each other as enemies now
  • Lead to spying, and the telegrams  
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The Truman Doctrine

  • 1947 march 
  • It was an attempt to 'contain' communism 
  • Provided arms and money to Greece and Turkey 
  • Fear of the Domino Theory
  • Truman's way of trying to protect these countries from communism
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the Marshall Plan

  • 1947
  • Created to stop countries from becoming communist
  • All countries could take part as long as they trade freely with USA. Therefore, communist countries can't do it
  • Stalin thought that USA was doing this to take over the world, so he forbid communist countries from attending.
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  • 1947
  • This was just an alliance of communist parties around the world
  • This helped Stalin control other communist countries more easily 
  • Strengthened Stalin's hold on Eastern Europe

COMECON - 1949

  • 1949
  • And economic aid package for communist countries
  • Also created trade between the countries
  • Not as effective because USSR was not as rich so they could not provide as much service as USA did
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The Berlin Blockade and The Berlin Airlift

  • 1948
  • Stalin did not want a divided Germany, he tried this to try to get the west to leaveas civilians would be starving
  • It proved that USSR wanted to take over
  • USA and Britain responded by the Airlift
  • It was good propaganda for USA
  • Stalin was worried and demanded for the speeding up of the atomic bomb testing.
  • Lead to the creation of NATO.
  • Also lead to the divsion of east and west Germany 
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  • North Atlantic Treaty Organisation 
  • 1949
  • If one country was attacked other members would assist 
  • USSR felt threatened so created The Warsaw Pact 
  • Soviet Union tested their first atomic bomb in 1949, but due to the MAD theory it prevented war, only arms reace
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The Korean War

  • 1950-1953
  • China became communist in 1949 so it proved the domino theory
  • Sung, leader of North Korea wanted to reunite the country by force
  • US sent troops to help stop Sung
  • But China goes and helps North Korea, pushing US forces back
  • War stopped in 1953, but Korea was still divided along 38th parallel
  • This proved that US was determined to continue containment of communism 
  • Lead to the South East Asia Treaty Organisation. to try to stop communism from spreading in South East Asia 
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The Arms Race between USA and Soviet Union

  • USA developed atomic bomb in 1945
  • USSR developed atomic bomb in 1949
  • Hydrogen bomb by USA in 1952
  • Hydrogen bomb by USSR in 1953
  • ICBM by USA in 1957
  • ICBM by USSR in 1957
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The Warsaw Pact

  • 1955
  • Formed because West Gremany joined NATO, they feared that East Germany would be influenced by capitalism 
  • The Soviet Union controlled everything
  • Contributed to the arms race, they had poor technology so USSR focused on developing nuclear weapns. 
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The Hungarian Uprising

  • Nagy the leader of Hungary saw that Poland was allowed to maked reforms, so he also wanted to make changes
  • He wanted to release political prisoners, allow more political parties, coalition governments, and also withdraw from the Warsaw Pact
  • But if Hungary leaves the Warsaw Pact then other countries would too. 
  • So Krushchev sent troops to Hungary to crush the uprising 
  • Krushchev also wanted to be seen as a more powerful leader
  • The leader of Hungary was changed to Kadar
  • The Weat saw this and realised that Krushchev still wanted communism, and distrusted him


  • Krushchev was seen as more powerful
  • The failure showed how the West did not help the uprising, but USA was not prepared as they were busy with their own elections 
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The Berlin Crisis and the U2 incident

Krushchev's worries

  • The refugee problem, people moved to west berlin 
  • People could see that the capitalist side is doing better than East Berlin
  • Worried about spying 


  • Krushchev sent an ultimatum demanding for Weatern Powers to leave Germany in 6 months
  • This meant that Western powers were very angry

This lead to ...

  • Geneva -1959- no conclusion 
  • Camp David - 1959 - Krushchev agreed to withdrow ultimatum 
  • U2 incident - 1960 - Kennedy refused t admit it in the Parsi Summit Conference
  • Vienna -1961 - Krushchev asked Kennedy to withdraw troops again but he refused 

So the Berlin Wall - 1961

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The Berlin Wall

  • Used as propaganda to show that Krushchev has to cage people in make them like communism. 
  • People couldn't escape 
  • Kind of improved relations, there was no more protests, less communication.
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The Cuban missile crisis

  • Castro leads Cuba, took the foreign land owned by US owners, and Kennedy was angry so stop trades with Cuba. 
  • In 1961, Cuba was declared communist and Khrushchev supported and helped them.
  • He began sending weapons such as missiles to Cuba. This also benefits USSR as USA has missiles in Italy and Turkey, USSR can fire the missiles quickly in a case of war
  • Kennedy saw this and asked for a naval blockade. He also writes a letter telling Khrushchev to remove the missiles
  • Khrushchev responds with 2 offers : USA will not attack Cuba and USA will remove missiles from Turkey 
  • Kennedy agreed but the deal was kept a secret

Therefore ...

  • Khrushchev was seen as weak , Mao was disappointed
  • Kennedy was seen as powerful for removing the missiles
  • European powers were angry at Kennedy because he did not consult him first. France pulled out of NATO, and NATO was weakened
  • They were very close to war,so the hotline was created,and 1963 imited test ban treaty.detente
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The Prague Spring

  • Dubcek, leader of communist party of Czechoslovakia, wanted to make people like communism. so wanted to make reforms : free speech, trade, trade unions, elections with many parties.
  • Brezhnev was worried that other countries will also make reforms so he decided to invade Czechoslovakia. 
  • He knew that USA would not help because they were busy with the Vietnam war and they wanted to build better relations with USSR.
  • Leaders were taken and the reforms were stopped 
  • Lead to the Brezhnev Doctrine : if a capitalist country attacked a communist country then countries uder the Warsaw pact will retaliate 
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the treaties after the cuban missile crisis

  • The Hotline- to avoid misunderstandings 
  • The Limited Test Ban Treaty - 1963 - due to concerns with the contamination of the environment.
  • The Outer Space Treaty - 1967 - no one could claim planets in outer space. Only used for peaceful purposes 
  • The Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty - 1968 - to prevent the spread of nuclear weapons.
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Why was detente wanted


  • Nixon the president wanted  a less active role in international affairs, from the Vietnam War they saw that too many people died. 
  • Many socail problems, inequality, after Martin Luther King was killed, Nixon wanted to reduce spending on weapns and focus more on social problems 
  • He wanted to reduce tension with Soviet Union and China
  • Also worried about China as they had atomic bombs and stuff

Soviet Union

  • They felt equal to USA's atomic bombs.
  • Vietnam war showed USA could be beaten, less threatened. 
  • USSR was also facing economic problems
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Role of China

China and the Soviet Union 

  • They had good relationships till Stalin died and Khrushchev took over
  • Mao criticied Krushchev for the way he delt with the Cuban Missile Crisis, he also didn't like the invasion on Czhecoslovakia.
  • Their tension became so bad that there was fighting along the boarders of Chinese-Soviet border.
  • Mao then decided on a more friendly approach.

China and USA

  • Relations were very poor especially since 1949 when China turned communist. 
  • In 1954 and 1958 China threatened Taiwan, and USA showed that they were ready to go to war for this. 
  • But by 1969 both USA and China were suspicious of the Soviet Union which meant that they were ready to improve relations
  • This occured when USA and China played ping pong together.
  • Kissinger went to China and talked to Mao. Good relations. And found a peaceful solution to Taiwan.
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  • Strategic Arms Limitation Treaty
  • 1972 and the second in 1979
  • Leaders negotiated calmly 
  • Symbolic importance, both USA and the Soviet Union wantedto reach agreements and demonstrate good public relations.

Problems ...

  • It did not prevent nuclear wars, countries were still allowed to have Nuclear weapons 
  • The leaders might not follow the treaty 
  • Did not cover the newest technology
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i love your notes! :D

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