Due the very different aims for the post war world at conferences such as Yalta and Potsdam the Allies of WWII began to experience serious trust issues. When WWII came to an end the world instantly found itself in the midst of the next great conflict. The Cold War was a battle of ideologies; Capitalist West, and Communist East. The application of conflict was an old concept that you have no doubt examined many times; the acquisition and cultivation of resources, and the production of goods.
The global competition between the United States and the Soviet Union took many forms: political, economic, ideological, cultural. It was however nuclear weapons that defined the Cold War. Soviet planners accepted the possibility of fighting and winning a nuclear war, but United States policy stressed deterrence—discouraging the use of nuclear weapons by threatening nuclear annihilation and millions of deaths in retaliation known as M.A.D. [mutually assured destruction].
On June 24, 1948 Soviet Union (formed 1922) decided to test its ability to limit Western Capitalist intervention with the Berlin Blockade. Situated well within Eastern Germany Berlin (the capital of Germany) was divided into four zones. Earlier in the year the British, French, and American zones were consolidated into West Berlin. This prompted the Soviet authorities to close all roads leading to the allied free zones inside East Berlin. Today the remnants of The Cold War are all around us; microwaves, satellites, and the internet were all technological innovations derived from The Cold War.
Objectives: 1.Examine the origins of the Cold War for connections to previous events.
2.Use and analyze primary sources to aid in expanding personal knowledge of The Cold War
3. Evaluate the the effectiveness of the Marshal Plan and Truman Doctrine in combating the spread of Communism.
Discussion and Assessment: 1. In what way was The Cold War a different breed of conflict than the two great wars the world had faced earlier in the Twentieth Century? 2. What was the purpose of the Berlin Blockade, and what was it hoping to accomplish? 3. According to Willy Brandt, what was life like inside West Berlin during the blockade? Cite two examples. 4. Why do you believe the Berlin Airlift became the symbol of the Resistance to Communism and the Soviet Union?