The Cold War and Postwar Changes

By: Da'Shaun Jefferies

Intro to my Wiki

What's sup guys? I'd like to welcome you to my wiki. I hope you find it interesting and helpful. In my wiki, it will discuss five topics: The Development of the Cold War, The Marshall Plan, The Berlin Wall, Postwar Soviet Leaders, and Changing Values.

The Development of the Cold War

The Cold War began after World War Two. The Cold War involved two main sides: The United states ,who led the democratic nations, and The Soviets, who led the communists nations.Between the years 1945 and 1949 a bunch of things happened that increased tension between the two superpowers.

Communism and democracy tried to persuade the neutral nations of Eastern Europe, the first area of conflict, after they were freed from the Nazis and had to determine their new type of government. One of the areas of disagreement was Greece, in 1946, where The Communist People's Liberation Army tried to gain control over and anti-Communist forces, who were supported by Great Britain and the U.S.. believed that Greece should choose their own government . There were many more locations where the superpowers didn't agree.

Since, the anti-Communist forces withdrew from overtaking
This is a photo of President Harry S. Truman
This is a photo of President Harry S. Truman
Greece, President Harry S. Truman asked for $400 million in aid for Greece and Turkey, and along with the Truman Doctrine,which said that "It must be the policy of the United States to support free peoples who are resisting attempted subjugation by armed minorities or by outside pressure". Even though the doctrine was intended for Greece and Turkey it was provided for any country that might be under Communist expansion.

The Marshall Plan

"The Truman Doctrine was followed in June 1947 by the European Recovery Program. Proposed by General George C. Marshall, U.S. secretary of state, it is better known as the Marshall Plan. Marshall believed that communism was successful in countries that had economic problems. Thus, to prevent the spread of communism, the Marshall Plan provided $13 billion to rebuild worn-torn Europe.

The Marshall Plan was not meant to exclude the Soviet Union or its economically and political dependent Eastern European satellite states. Those states refused to participate, however." According to the Soviet view, the Marshall Plan guaranteed American loans in return for the relinquishing by the European states of their economic and later also their political independence". The Soviets saw the Marshall Plan as an attempt to buy the support of countries.
This is a picture of George C. Marshall, who came up with the Marshall Plan
This is a picture of George C. Marshall, who came up with the Marshall Plan

In 1949 the Soviet Union responded to the Marshall Plan by founding the Council for Mutual Economic Assistance (COMECON) for the economic cooperation of the Eastern European states. COMECON largely failed, however, because the Soviet Union was unable to provide much financial aid.

By 1947, the split in Europe between the U.S. and the Soviet had become a fact of life. In July 1947, George Cannon, a well-known U.S. diplomat with much knowledge of soviet affairs , argued for a policy of containment to keep communism with existing boundaries and prevent further soviet aggressive moves. Containment became the U.S. policy". says Glencoe World History textbook.

The Berlin Wall

A new leader of the Soviet Union, named Nikita Khrushchev, rose in 1955. He strived to take advantage of the American concern about missiles to come up with a resolution of West Berlin. West Berlin was the part of Berlin that was very prosperous. It was a "Western island" in the midst of a poor East Germany.

Lots of residents from East Germany, who were tired of being forced to be communist, slipped away through West Berlin. Khrushchev began to notice the decreasing population and he realized the need to stop the refugees from escaping through West Berlin. So, in response to the escaping refugees, in 1961, Khrushchev began to build a wall running between West Berlin and East Berlin.

People who lived in East Germany still tried to flee from Communist repression, so it became a huge barrier that included barbed wires, floodlights, machine-gun towers, minefields, and dog patrols. "The Berlin wall became as striking symbol of the divisions between the two superpowers". says Glencoe World History textbook
This a picture of the Berlin Wall that divides East and West Berlin.
This a picture of the Berlin Wall that divides East and West Berlin.

"The fall of the Berlin Wall had begun with the building of the Wall in 1961. However it took about three decades until the Wall was torn down. Several times people in the Communist countries rose up against the Communist system but they failed. The victims of the uprisings against the Communist dictatorship in Berlin 1953, Budapest 1956 or Prague 1968 will never be forgotten. In 1989 the first free labor union was founded in the communist Poland. The end of the communist system had begun. The Soviet Union could control their satellites yet but with the new leader Gorbatshov their politics changed in 1984 .Gorbatshov's reforms, Perestroika and Glasnost should renew the Stalinist system in the Soviet Union but not replace the communist system. The reforms in the Soviet Union also had its effects on the other communist countries, especially in Poland and Hungary. On August 23, 1989 Hungary opened the iron curtain to Austria. Months before East German tourists used their chance to escape to Austria from Hungary and in September 1989 more than 13 000 East German escaped via Hungary within three days. It was the first mass exodus of East Germans after the erection of the Berlin Wall in 1961. Mass demonstrations against the government and the system in East Germany begun at the end of September and took until November 1989". according to .
The demolition of the Berlin Wall  symbolized the end of the Cold War.
The demolition of the Berlin Wall symbolized the end of the Cold War.

Postwar Soviet Leaders

Stalin was a man who wanted all of Eastern Europe under Soviet control. He already has many countries in Eastern Europe that are communist, like Poland, Hungary, and Czechoslovakia.

During Stalin's rule, he forced many people to be communist, he didn't care much for other Soviet leaders. "He is reported to have said to members of his inner circle in 1952, "You are as blind as kittens. What would you do without me?"" according to the Glencoe World History textbook.
This is a painting of Joseph Stalin.
This is a painting of Joseph Stalin.

After Stalin's death, on March 5, 1953, a new general of the Communist Party arose. His name was Nikita Khrushchev and during his reign, it was called The Khrushchev Era. " At the 20th All Union Congress (Feb., 1956), Khrushchev bitterly denounced the dictatorial rule and personality of Stalin in a secret speech that was later obtained by foreigners. Khrushchev replaced Bulganin as premier in 1958, thus becoming leader of both the government and the CPSU; he modified some of the more dictatorial aspects of Stalin's rule, but the CPSU continued to dominate all facets of Soviet life." is stated by
Picture of Nikita Khrushchev
Picture of Nikita Khrushchev

To many Americans, Nikita Khrushchev was very terrifying. In Hungary he stopped the growing of anti-Communism, in the year of 1956. After, he told Western diplomats "We will bury you!" says the Glencoe World History textbook. In 1962, Khrushchev sent missiles to Cuba trying to whip up a battle with the United States. This event was known as the Cuban Missile Crisis.

To find out more on the Cuban Missile Crisis, click on this link here: or you can click on this video:

If you want to find out more info. on Stalin's reign, you can go to this link here:

More information on Khrushchev Era? Click here:

Political cartoon of Khrushchev taking back missiles from Cuba
Political cartoon of Khrushchev taking back missiles from Cuba

Changing Values

After World War Two, the Western Society was marked by its change in social structure.
Changes were very noticeable in the middle and lower social class.

The middle class was usually made up of the traditional business people, lawyers, doctors, and teachers. But after World War Two, a group of managers and technicians, who were hired by big companies and agencies, took on the role of being a middle class citizen.

There were, also, changes in the lower class as well. The moving of people from rural to more city-like places began to increase. The number of people in farming decreased a lot. The amount of people who work in industries began to decrease as well because of the quantity of white collar workers increased.

"At the same time, a noticeable increase in real wages of workers made it possible for them to imitate the buying patterns of the middle class. This led to what some observers have called the consumer society- a society preoccupied with buying goods." says Glencoe World History textbook.

By the 1950's credit cards were popular in Europe. Now, people that worked could buy things like televisions, washing machines, refrigerators, vacuum cleaners, and stereos. Cars were also popular in Europe. In 1948, were about 5 million cars and by the 1960's there were about 45 million cars.
Picture of women fighting for their rights
Picture of women fighting for their rights

During World War Two, women had took the jobs of men, but once the soldiers came back the women were taken away from their jobs, and they also participated in the World Wars, which produced several gains. After doing good deeds in World War One, women in other countries gained the right to vote. Some of the states that allowed women to vote were Great Britain, Germany, Sweden, Czechoslovakia, Poland, Hungary, and Austria, in 1918, and in 1920 women of the United States earned the right to vote.

This is what one of the many female workers felt about working in the 1950's..

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  • "". Cuban Missile Crisis. Ed. Wikimedia Foundation, Inc.. 5 June 2010. Wikimedia Foundation, Inc.. 6 June 2010. .
  • Spielvogel Ph.D, Jackson. Glencoe World History North Carolina Edition. McGraw-Hill Companies. Copyright 2008. 5 - 6 June 2010. pg. 900 - 921.