World History Chapter 17 Study Guide

United Nations
After World War II in 1945, the U.S. and the Soviet Union temporarily put aside their differences and joined 48 other countries in forming the United Nations, which was intended to protect its members against aggression.
“Iron Curtain”
Churchill’s phrase “Iron Curtain” came to represent Europe’s division into mostly democratic Western Europe and Communist Eastern Europe.
the U.S. foreign policy adopted by President Harry Truman in the late 1940’s, in which the U.S. tried to stop the spread of communism by creating alliances and helping weak countries to resist Soviet advances
Truman Doctrine
a U.S. policy announced by President Harry Truman in 1947 that gave economic and military aid to free nations threatened by internal or external to opponents such as the communistic nations
Marshall Plan
a U.S. program of economic aid to European countries to help them rebuild after World War II
Berlin Airlift
The Soviet Union cut off the rails and highways into Berlin’s western zones in 1948, so American and British governments flew planes with food, fuel, medicine, and supplies into Berlin for 11 months.
Cold War
the state of diplomatic hostility between the U.S. and the Soviet Union in the decades following World War II
NATO, or North Atlantic Treaty Organization
a defensive military alliance formed in 1949 by 10 Western European nations, the U.S., and Canada
Warsaw Pact
The Soviet Union saw NATO as a threat and formed its own military alliance called the Warsaw Pact in 1955 between the Soviet Union and seven Eastern European countries.
Brezhnev Doctrine
The Brezhnev Doctrine was a Soviet foreign policy outlined in 1968 which called for the use of Warsaw Pact forces to intervene in any Eastern Bloc nation which was seen to compromise communist rule and Soviet domination, either by trying to leave the Soviet sphere of influence or even moderate its policies. The Doctrine was seen clearly in the Soviet crushing of the Prague Spring movement in Czechoslovakia.
During Eisenhower’s presidency, Secretary of State John Dulles exercised a policy of brinkmanship, a willingness to go to the brink or edge of war, which required a buildup of nuclear weapons and airplanes to deliver them.
What factors help to explain why the U.S. and the Soviet Union became rivals instead of allies after World War II?
World War II affected the U.S. and the Soviet Union very differently. The U.S. suffered 400,000 deaths, but its cities were intact. The Soviet Union had more than 20,000,000 casualties, and many of its cities were destroyed. This, as well as political and economic differences, created opposite postwar goals for the U.S. and the Soviet Union and set them on opposite paths.
Mao Zedong
the communist leader who had a stronghold in northwestern China
How did Mao Zedong change China after he brought Communism to the country?
First Mao promoted literacy and improved food production to gain the loyalty of the peasants, who fought for him against Japan. Then, Mao seized land from owners and divided it up among peasants, killing any owners who resisted. Later, Mao forced peasants to join collective farms and nationalized private companies in his “Great Leap Forward” plan.
Jiang Jieshi
the Nationalist leader who dominated southern China
a large collective farm that was a part of Mao’s Great Leap Forward in 1958
Red Guards
high school and college students who left their classrooms to form militia units in China
Cultural Revolution
The goal of the Cultural Revolution in China was to establish a society of peasants and workers in which all were equal.
How did the Chinese Communists increase their power during World War II?
by promising land reform, promoting literacy, and improving food production for peasants
What policies or actions enabled the Communists to defeat the Nationalists in their long civil war in China?
The Nationalists did little to win popular support, so thousands of Nationalist soldiers deserted to the Communists when China’s economy collapsed allowing Mao’s Communist Red Army to easily take control and defeat the Nationals in their long civil war.
What circumstances prevented Mao’s Great Leap Forward from bringing economic prosperity to China?
Crop failures caused a famine that killed 20 million people, poor planning and inefficient home industries hampered growth, and the peasants had no incentive to work hard when only the state profited from their labor are all reasons why Mao’s Great Leap Forward did not bring economic prosperity to China.
38th parallel
The 38th parallel is a line of latitude that divides North and South Korea. North of the 38th parallel, Japanese troops surrendered to Soviet forces when World War II ended. South of the 38th parallel, Japanese troops surrendered to American forces. In 1950, the North Koreans swept across the 38th parallel in a surprise attack on South Korea. The United Nations, led by the US, sent troops to stop the invasion of South Korea.
General Douglas MacArthur
General Douglas MacArthur was the American commander who led forces in defense of South Korea when they were invaded by North Korea. MacArthur wanted President Truman to use nuclear weapons against China when they entered the war, but Truman thought the idea was reckless so he removed MacArthur as commander.
Ho Chi Minh
Ho Chi Minh was only a young Vietnamese nationalist when he led revolts and strikes against the French with his Indochinese Communist party. The French sentenced Ho to death, so he fled in exile but returned to Vietnam in 1941. Ho founded the Vietminh Independence League that went on to fight for independence from France. The Vietminh used hit-and-run tactics to confine the French to the cities, and in 1954 the French surrendered to Ho. Vietnam was divided into North and South Vietnam, with Ho’s Communist forces governing the north and the US and France governing the south.
domino theory
The domino theory was the way in which President Eisenhower described how Asian nations were like a row of dominoes, falling one after another to Communism. This theory was the main justification for US foreign policy during the Cold War.
Ngo Dinh Diem
Ngo Dinh Diem was the leader of South Vietnam’s anti-Communist government set up by the US and France. Unfortunately, Ngo ruled like a dictator and was hated by the South Vietnamese and was assassinated in 1963.
The Vietcong were Communist guerillas who opposed Ngo and were backed by North Vietnam. They gained strength in South Vietnam because so many hated Ngo. When Ngo was assassinated, it looked as if the Communist North Vietnamese would take control of South Vietnam. When US troops came to the defense of South Vietnam, they had many difficulties fighting the kind of guerilla warfare that the Vietcong fought and the US was not familiar with the jungle terrain like the Vietcong, so 58,000 American soldiers died.
Vietnamization was a plan that President Nixon had for US troops to gradually pull out of Vietnam while the South Vietnamese increased their combat role. To do so, Nixon authorized massive bombings against North Vietnamese bases and supply routes and Vietcong hiding places in Laos and Cambodia.
Khmer Rouge
In 1975, Communist rebels in Cambodia known as the Khmer Rouge set up a brutal Communist government under the leadership of Pol Pot. In a ruthless attempt to transform Cambodia into a Communist society, the Khmer Rouge and Pol Pot’s followers slaughtered 2 million people.
What role did the United Nations play in the Korean War?
Led by the US, the United Nations intervened on behalf of South Korea when they were invaded by North Korea in 1950.
How did Vietnam become divided?
After the Ho Chi Minh and the Vietminh organization he founded fought against French control of Vietnam and won in 1954, Vietnam was divided into North and South Vietnam at 17 degrees north latitude, with Ho’s Communist forces governing the north and the US and France governing the south.
What role did the policy of containment play in the involvement of the US in wars in Korea and Vietnam?
The policy of containment was a US foreign policy adopted initially by US President Truman in the late 1940’s in which the US tried to stop the spread of Communism by creating alliances and helping weak countries to resist Soviet advances. This policy of stopping the spread of Communism played a part in the US’s decision to get involved in wars in Korea and Vietnam who were under the threat of Communist takeover.
Third World countries
During the Cold War, the developing nations not allied with the U.S. or the Soviet Union superpowers were called Third World countries.
nonaligned nations
The “third force” of independent countries that remained neutral in the Cold War competition between the U.S. and the Soviet Union were called nonaligned nations
Fidel Castro
A young lawyer, Fidel Castro, led a revolution to overthrow the Cuban dictator, Batista, in 1959.
Anastasio Somoza
The U.S. funded the Nicaraguan dictator, Anastasio Somoza, and his family since 1933 until Communist Sandinista rebels overthrew Somoza’s son in 1979.
Daniel Ortega
Daniel Ortega, the leader of the Communist Sandinista rebels, became the president of Nicaragua after the Somoza family was removed from power.
Ayatollah Ruholla Khomeini
Ayatollah Ruholla Khomeini was the conservative Muslim leader of Iran who encouraged Muslim radicals everywhere to overthrow their secular governments.
How was the Cuban Missile Crisis resolved?
The Cuban Missile Crisis was resolved when Khrushchev agreed to remove the missiles in Cuba in return for a U.S. promise not to invade Cuba.
Why did the Soviet Union invade Afghanistan?
The Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan because a Muslim revolt threatened to topple Afghanistan’s Communist regime in 1979.
What advantages and disadvantages might being nonaligned have offered a developing nation during the Cold War?
Advantages for a developing nation to be “nonaligned” with the U.S. or the Soviet Union during the Cold War were: 1.) that the nation could trade with any country, 2.) that the nation didn’t have to choose a side so they didn’t have to get involved in a war that didn’t affect them, and 3.) that the nation would not become a pawn in the struggles between the superpowers. Disadvantages were: 1.) that the nation would have no allies, and 2.) that the nation would not have the support of a superpower to aid or sponsor wars of revolution, liberation, or counterrevolution within their own nation.
What similarities do you see among U.S. actions in Nicaragua, Cuba, and Iran?
The U.S. always supported anti-Communism in Nicaragua, Cuba, and Iran.
What were the reasons that Islamic fundamentalists took control of Iran?
Islamic fundamentalists took control of Iran because many people in Iran were living in deep poverty, even when Iran was being westernized. The Islamic fundamentalists were against the shah’s westernization of Iran.
Nikita Khrushchev
Nikita Khrushchev, the Soviet leader after the death of Stalin, denounced Stalin for jailing and killing loyal Soviet citizens in his policy of destalinization.
Leonid Brezhnev
Leonid Brezhnev, who replaced Khrushchev in 1964 after he lost prestige as a result of the Cuban Missile Crisis, adopted repressive domestic policies, enforcing laws to limit basic human rights such as freedom of speech and worship.
John F. Kennedy
During the administration of US President John F. Kennedy in the early 1960s, the Cuban Missile Crisis made the superpowers’ use of nuclear weapons a real possibility.
Lyndon Johnson
Lyndon Johnson, who became the U.S. president after Kennedy was assassinated, committed to stopping the spread of communism and escalated U.S. involvement in the war in Vietnam.
Détente, a policy of lessening Cold War tensions, replaced brinkmanship under U.S. President Richard Nixon.
Richard M. Nixon
U.S. President Richard M. Nixon visited Communist China and the Soviet Union in order to promote his policy of détente.
The Strategic Arms Limitation Talks, or SALT, between the U.S. and the Soviet Union were meetings that intended to reduce the number of intercontinental ballistic and submarine-launched missiles that each country could have.
Ronald Reagan
U.S. President Ronald Reagan moved away from détente and increased defense spending, putting economic and military pressure on the Soviet Union.
What effects did destalinization have on Soviet satellite countries?
Uprisings in Soviet satellite countries were ended by Soviet military force, while they were allowed within the Soviet Union during Khrushchev’s destalinization.
What changes did Alexander Dubcek seek to make in Czechoslovakia in 1968, and what happened?
Alexander Dubcek sought to loosen controls on censorship to offer his country socialism with a “human face”. This period of reform, when Czechoslovakia’s capital bloomed with new ideas, became known as Prague Spring. Soviet leader Brezhnev sent armed forces into Czechoslovakia in August of 1968 to suppress the revolt and prevent them from rejecting Communist ideals.
Why was the policy of brinkmanship replaced?
The brinkmanship policy followed during the presidencies of Eisenhower, Kennedy, and Johnson led to one terrifying crisis after another. Though these crises erupted all over the world, they were united by a fear that nuclear war was possible. The policy of brinkmanship was replaced by a policy of détente, a loosening of the policy of direct confrontation with the Soviet Union.
In view of Soviet postwar era policies toward Eastern Europe, what reasons did people in Eastern Europe have for resistance?
Soviet postwar policies did not allow Eastern Europe to direct and develop their own economies, hampering their postwar economic recoveries. This led to active protest against the Soviet Union and Communism.

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