The Cold War Begins
Big ideas matter. Here are the most important themes for this chapter.
The over-arching theme of chapter 36 is that post-war America found a new prosperity economically and a new enemy in communist Russia. Opposition to communism would dominate foreign policy for over 40 years.
- The production boom of WWII jolted America out of the Great Depression. With other nations torn up by war, America enjoyed an economic dominance for three decades following WWII.
- The policy of “containment”, or not letting communism spread, was the basis of the “Truman doctrine.” This policy drove foreign policy until communism fell in 1989.
- With the Marshall Plan, the U.S. gave billions to rebuild western Europe. The Marshall Plan, NATO (alliance between U.S. and Western Europe), the U.S.S.R. and U.S. chose opposite sides of the fence.
- When North Korea invaded South Korea, the policy of containment was challenged. The U.S. entered the Korean War to uphold the Truman Doctrine.