Pax Americana 1945-1960

At the Potsdam Conference (1945) Truman, Stalin and Prime Minister Atlee meet to decide the political future of Europe. The U.S. and U.K. insist on free elections in Europe after the war.


After the war Stalin banned democratic political parties and prevented free elections in the occupied Soviet "satellite" nations of Eastern Europe arguing he needs to create a "buffer zone" to protect the U.S.S.R. from invasion.


The United Nations is created - 1945


Winston Churchill delivers his "Iron Curtain" speech (Fulton, MO 1946) - warning Americans about the threat of Stalin. Stalin views this as a "declaration of war" by the West. The Cold War begins.


The Greece and Turkey Crisis (1946) was the first confrontation between Stalin and the western democracies.


India and Pakistan become independent nations (1947) - violence breaks out between Hindus and Moslems


Nation of Israel created by U.N.(1948) - war breaks out between Israelis, Palestinians and surrounding Arab nations.


The Domino Theory


The Containment Policy


The Truman Doctrine


The Marshall Plan


North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) formed


The Warsaw Pact is formed by Soviet Union


Stalin blockades Berlin. American and British cargo planes begin the risky Berlin Airlift which lasts 327 days.


Congress passes the National Security Act (1947) creating the

Central Intelligence Agency (CIA)

National Security Council (NSC)


The election of 1948 - Democrat President Truman surprisingly defeats Republican Thomas Dewey


The U.S.S.R. tests an Atomic bomb (1949)


Mao's Communists win the Chinese Civil War (1949) - the Republic of China (Tiawan) is established.


NSC - 68 - A document issued by the NSC advocated a massive increase in defense spending as the only way to prevent the U.S.S.R. from dominating the world (1950).


June, 1950 - Kim Il Sung's North Korean Communist army crosses the 38th parallel and invades South Korea. The U.N. votes to send military forces to aid South Korea under ther command of General Douglas MacArthur.


Sep. 1950 - General Douglas MacArthur attacks North Koreans at Inchon and drives the Communists north to the Yalu River (against Truman's orders).


Nov. 1950 - Mao's Communist "volunteers" enter the war and inflict a crushing defeat on the U.S. Army at the battle of the Chosin Reservoir


MacArthur advocates dropping atomic bombs on the Chinese forces


April, 1951 - Harry Truman fires "Mr. Prima Donna, Brass Hat, Five Star MacArthur". The Chicago Tribune responds by saying: "President Truman must be impeached and convicted....He is unfit, morally and mentally, for his high office."


In the 1952 presidential election Republican Dwight Eisenhower defeats Democrat Adlai Stevenson .


U.S. tests Hydrogen Bomb (1952)


Eisenhower's Secretary of State John Foster Dulles launches the policy of brinkmanship .


Nikita Khruschev becomes leader of the U.S.S.R. fllowing the death of Stalin in 1953


The CIA engages in "covert actions" in

a) Iran

b) Guatemala


At the Battle of Dien Bien Phu (1954) Vietnamese Communists led by Ho Chi Minh and General Giap defeat the French after eight years of guerilla warfare. Ho declares Vietnam to be an independent Communist nation.


At the Geneva "Summit" conference (1955) Eisenhower proposes the open skies policy.


The U.S. blocks elections in Vietnam to prevent a victory by Ho Chi Minh. (1956).


The Suez Crisis (Oct.1956) - Britain, France and Israel recapture the Suez Canal but the U.S. and U.S.S.R. combine to force them to withdraw.


The Hungarian revolt (Oct.1956) - An anti-Communist uprising in Hungary is crushed by the Soviets after Eisenhower gives a "green light" to Khruschev to intervene.


Eisenhower Doctrine announced


The first satellite in space sputnik is launched by U.S.S.R.(1957)


Fidel Castro overthrows the corrupt Bautista government in Cuba (1959)


The U-2 incident (1960) embarrasses Eisenhower.


U-2 pilot Francis Gary Powers is captured by the Soviets and "traded" for Soviet spies held by the U.S..