The Cold War Begins, 1945-50

Globalizing the Cold War—pgs. 23-30 (Emily Dowling, Gabbie Watts, Jen Kim, and Matthew Tyler)

  • U.S. believed that controlling the resources of the THird World was necessary for containment and for economic prosperity in the First World
  • U.S. funding in the 3rd World would be transferred to Europe and Japan who would then trade with the U.S., solving its dollar shortage
  • Before war, U.S. was anti-colonization (radicalism, hostility); after war, feared decolonization would lead to communism
  • The Cold War reinforced U.S. desire to maintain sphere of influence in Latin America
    • Encouraged shift to the right; U.S. locked to military and elites to maintain and protect foreign investors
    • Rio Treaty (1947): regional security
    • Organization of American States (1948)
  • Cold War also impacted development in Africa
    • U.S. supported colonial powers in Southern Africa to prevent Soviet influence
    • South Africa rich in minerals, especially uranium; U.S. wanted to control access to these resources
  • 1947-48: U.S. began emphasizing economic recovery and political stability in Japan
    • reestablishment of old elites to establish political order
    • demilitarization under 1947 constitution (to prevent future aggression)
  • Revolutions in 3rd World: struggle against foreign domination and internal social revolution
  • Some powers worked with non-communist independence groups to ensure stability
    • U.S. and the Phillippines (after 1946)
    • Britain and South Asia
    • Independence given to: India-Pakistan (1947), Ceylon/Sri Lanka (1947), Burma (1948)
  • Others (French & Duthc) opposed Independence movements with force
    • Both saw colonies as vital sources of raw materials
    • Vietnam
    • Indonesia
  • Communist activity in Korea
    • Soviet occupation forces supported Kim Il Sung
    • U.S. helped conservatives establish the Republic of Korea (1948)
    • Republic of korea (South) vs. Democratic People's Republic of Korea (North)
    • Foreign troops left in 1948/49
    • Divided by 38th parallel (still exists today)
  • World War I showed the importance of oil to modern warfare, and the U.S. turned to the Middle East to aid European adn Japanese economic recovery
  • However, at the same time, France and Britain were forced to withdraw from many of their mandates and colonies
  • The competition among the Soviet Union, Great Britain, and the United States for oil and influence in the Middle East helped exacerbate Iran's growing political polarization
  • The U.S. initially planned to remake Japanese society, purging those elements responsible for the war and promoting democratization, demilitarization and deconcentration of economic power
  • The Chinese model of peasant revolutionary struggle had a profound impact on the Third World (inspirational)
  • After the Soviets tested the atomic bomb, the U.S. lost their atomic monopoly while the First World suffered from limited resources, U.S. leaders feared that without corrective measures the global distribution of power could turn against the "free world"
  • a communist-controlled Korean would expand the buffer zone on Soviet borders improve the Soviet strategic situation vis-a-vis rebuilding Japan, maintain Soviet leadership of the Asian revolution and divert U.S. attention from Europe
  • The Korean War cost over 3 million lives, over 50000 U.S. servicemen, and led to the militarization and intensification of the Cold war
  • U.S. interpreted the North Korean attack on South Korea as a test of Western resolve to resist communist aggression and feared that failure to respond would undermine the credibility of U.S. commitments
  • The Truman administration secured a mandate from the United Nations to send U.S. forces to aid South Korea
  • The UN was able to act because the Soviet representative on the security council was boycotting the meeting in protest of the UN refusal to recognize the People's Republic of China
  • The Soviet were surprised by the U.S. reaction, provided military equipment and operation plans and some air support, carefully avoided large-scale involvement in the war
  • Mao wanted to use the Korean War to mobilize public support for accelerating his own revolution and to deter U.S. interference in China
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