Cold War: A Summary of Key Events and Concepts

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Cold War: Key Events and Concepts

The Civil Rights Movement (CRM)

The Civil Rights Movement was a social movement in the USA during the 1960s that fought for legal and real equality for African-Americans. Led by figures like Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X, the movement achieved significant progress after a long struggle, thanks in part to the contributions of presidents like John F. Kennedy and Lyndon B. Johnson.

The Marshall Plan

The Marshall Plan was a US initiative to rebuild Europe after World War II. While seemingly an economic plan, it had significant political implications. The USA offered economic aid to all of Europe, including Eastern European countries, but Stalin prevented them from accepting it. This exposed Stalin's intentions and marked an early victory for the USA in the Cold War.

Military Alliances

NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organization)

NATO was a military alliance formed by the USA, Canada, and Western European democracies (capitalist countries) to defend against the USSR and its satellite states. The agreement stipulated that an attack on one member would be considered an attack on all.

Warsaw Pact

The Warsaw Pact was a military alliance established in 1955 by the USSR and Eastern European communist countries with single-party regimes and planned economies. Similar to NATO, it was a collective defense treaty against the capitalist bloc.

Division of Germany

Federal Republic of Germany (FRG or West Germany)

The FRG was a new state created in 1949 in the part of Germany controlled by the USA, UK, and France. It was a democratic and capitalist state that existed until 1990 when Germany reunified.

German Democratic Republic (GDR or East Germany)

The GDR was established in the Soviet-controlled part of Germany in 1949. It was a single-party communist state with a planned economy. The GDR also ceased to exist in 1990 with German reunification.

Berlin Wall

The Berlin Wall was a physical barrier built by communist authorities in 1962 to separate the capitalist and communist sectors of Berlin. It stood as a symbol of the Cold War division until its fall in 1989.

Economic Organizations

Council for Mutual Economic Assistance (CMEA or Comecon)

The CMEA was an economic organization formed in 1949 by the USSR and its allies to promote cooperation and trade. It created a common market without customs tariffs for communist countries.

Key Figures

Mao Zedong

Mao Zedong was the leader of the Chinese Communist Party and the founder of the People's Republic of China in 1945. Initially following Stalin's economic model, Mao later developed his own approach.

Deng Xiaoping

Deng Xiaoping became the leader of the People's Republic of China in 1978, two years after Mao's death.

Other Important Events

Korean War (1950-1953)

The Korean War was a military conflict on the Korean Peninsula between North Korea (supported by the USSR and later China) and South Korea (supported by the USA). The war ended in a stalemate, with the border between the two Koreas remaining at the 38th parallel.

Vietnam War (1955-1975)

The Vietnam War was a conflict between communist North Vietnam and capitalist South Vietnam. The USA intervened from 1964 to 1973 but eventually withdrew, leading to the establishment of a communist regime in the entire country.

1973 Oil Crisis

The 1973 Oil Crisis was a severe economic crisis triggered by a sharp increase in oil prices in international markets. It had a significant impact on the global economy throughout the 1970s and 1980s.

Summary Table

BlocLeaderPolitical SystemEconomic ModelEconomic HelpMilitary Alliances
Capitalist BlocUSAParliamentary DemocraciesCapitalismMarshall Plan (1947)NATO (1949)
Soviet BlocUSSRSingle-Party RegimesPlanned EconomyCMEA (1949)Warsaw Pact (1955)

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