USII.7c Cold War, Korea, Vietnam, Collapse of Communism in Europe

The student will demonstrate knowledge of the economic, social, and political transformation of the United States and the world between the end of World War II and the present by
c) identifying the role of America’s military and veterans in defending freedom during the Cold War, including the wars in Korea and Vietnam, the Cuban missile crisis, the collapse of communism in Europe, and the rise of new challenges.

How and why did the Cold War begin?

The United States and the Soviet Union emerged from World War II as world powers, triggering a rivalry over ideology and national security.

Origins of the Cold War
• Differences in goals and ideologies between the United States and the Soviet Union (the two superpowers)—The United States was democratic and capitalist; the Soviet Union was dictatorial and communist.• The Soviet Union’s domination over Eastern European countries
• American policy of containment (to stop the spread of communism)
• North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) versus Warsaw Pact
Terms to know
• Cold War: State of tension between the United States and the Soviet Union without actual fighting that divided the world into two camps

What have been the major conflicts and confrontations involving America in the post-World War II era?

How did Cold War tensions cause divisiveness at home?

Since World War II, the United States has been directly involved in various conflicts that reflected the divisions created by Cold War tensions and hostilities.

The tension between the free world and the communist world caused divisiveness at home and abroad.
Major conflicts in the post-World War II era
• South Korea and the United States resisted Chinese and North Korean aggression. The conflict ended in a stalemate.
• The Cuban Missile Crisis occurred when the Soviet Union placed missiles in Cuba. The Soviets removed the missiles in response to a U.S. blockade.
• The United States intervened to stop the spread of communism into South Vietnam (Domino Theory). Americans were divided over whether the United States should be involved militarily in Vietnam. The conflict ended in a cease-fire agreement in which U.S. troops withdrew.

How did communism collapse in Europe?

How were the challenges after the Cold War different from earlier challenges?

The Cold War was the central organizing principle in foreign affairs for 40 years.

Collapse of Communism in Europe
• Breakup of the Soviet Union into independent countries
• Destruction of Berlin Wall
New challenges
• Role of U.S. military intervention
• Environmental challenges
• Global issues, including trade, jobs, diseases