The Cold War and Post War European History

Chapter 3: (Part 1) The “Big Game” and the Bombing of Cambodia, December 1968–March 1969 :: Nixon’s Nuclear Specter: The Secret Alert of 1969, Madman Diplomacy, and the Vietnam War Jeffrey P. Kimball

Response / Thought Quotes

  • “negotiations alone, Kissinger observed, were “also a very time-consuming strategy, and time is not on our side””
  • “Proposals for an actual or feigned nuclear escalation in Vietnam appeared in some of the very first planning papers of the administration in February 1969, but the road to the secret nuclear alert of October would nonetheless be long and tortuous, passing through Cambodia, Laos, North Korea, Subic Bay, Moscow, and Haiphong.”
  • “the destruction or withdrawal of all NVA units in South Vietnam, the destruction, withdrawal, or dissolution of all (or most) VC [Viet Cong] forces and apparatus, the permanent cessation of infiltration, and the virtually unchallenged sovereignty of a stable, non-Communist regime …, with no significant Communist political role except on an individual, ‘reconciled’ basis.”
  • “the credible threat, explicit or tacit, of unrestricted bombing or limited invasion of the DRV might well cause the Politburo in Hanoi to accept our conditions for victory immediately.”
  • “a coalition government> … [and] mutual withdrawal [of US and NVA forces] or cease-fire … as part of an agreed overall settlement.”10 A formal settlement was preferable to a tacit one, for “there would be a clear expression, politically useful both for the Republic of Vietnam (RVN, also known as South Vietnam) and the United States, that the main purpose of the US involvement had been accomplished—hence US withdrawal was appropriate.”
  • “We might end up with a [diplomatic] settlement of some type without a formal agreement, a sort of mutual accommodation in which either side is not deprived of the hope of ultimate success.… The mix of actions should be something like this. We talk hard [with the Communist Vietnamese side] in private but with an obvious peaceful public stance, seeking to gain time, initially giving the South Vietnamese a chance to strengthen the regime and add to the pacification effort while punishing the Viet Cong. Within three or four months, bring home a few troops unilaterally as a separate and distinct action from the Paris negotiations and as a ploy for more time domestically, while we continue to press at the negotiating table for a military settlement.”
  • “I’ve come to the conclusion that there’s no way to win the war. But we can’t say that, of course. In fact, we have to seem to say the opposite, just to keep some degree of bargaining leverage.”
  • “The situation in South Vietnam which we inherited on 20 January is well described in Secretary Laird’s memorandum to you: “General Abrams has made remarkable progress in achieving a measure of military superiority throughout South.… But none of our officials, either military or civilian, is under any illusion that the battle in South Vietnam can be brought to a military conclusion within six months, a year or even several years. Options, over which we have little or no control, are available to the enemy for continuing the war almost indefinitely, although perhaps at a reduced intensity.””
  • “In 1969, the long-term goal of Nixon and Kissinger was to provide Thieu’s government with a “decent chance” of surviving for a “decent interval” of two to five years after a US and NVA exit from South Vietnam.”
  • “Priority objectives for the next several months would be mutual withdrawal, the reestablishment of the demilitarized zone and the restoration of the seventeenth parallel as a provisional boundary line, the release of US and allied prisoners of war, and an eventual cease-fire with international guaranties and supervision.”

Thought Questions

  • Describe what the author intends by using the phrase the “Big Game”
  • Describe the public domestic events in the United States from December 1968 – March 1969
  • Describe the “Carrots” of Diplomacy in the Southeast Asian negotiations in during this period
  • Describe the “Sticks” of Military action in Southeast Asian negotiations during this period
  • In what ways did Hanoi react to and understand the political change in the United States between Johnson and Nixon
  • How did Hanoi come to its understanding of political changes occurring in the United States during this period
  • Explain and Expand: “negotiations alone, Kissinger observed, were “also a very time-consuming strategy, and time is not on our side””
  • Explain and Expand: “Negotiations with Hanoi would have to be facilitated, they believed, by other methods.”
  • Describe “The RAND Options Paper” and the positions of “Group A” and “Group B”
  • How did the “The RAND Options Paper” and the positions of “Group A” and “Group B” impact the course of negotiations in Southeast Asia
  • Who are Daniel Ellsberg and Fred Iklé
  • Explain and Expand: “Rather unrealistically, they maintained that the American public would accept the costs”
  • Compare and Contrast: Diplomatic Solutions and Political Solutions in the early Nixon administration in Southeast Asia
  • Explain and Expand: “look threatening … but actually may not occur”
  • Explain and Expand: “I’ve come to the conclusion that there’s no way to win the war. But we can’t say that, of course. In fact, we have to seem to say the opposite, just to keep some degree of bargaining leverage.”
  • Explain and Expand: “leave the political side to the Vietnamese”
  • Explain and Expand: “recognition of what was pragmatically possible if the goal was to preserve US honor and credibility, which Nixon and Kissinger believed it was.”
  • Explain and Expand: “We had to give the South Vietnamese time to replace American forces without catastrophe.”
  • Describe the 1967 Operations Pennsylvania
  • What was the significance of “Nixon and Kissinger tenaciously concealed their true motives, goals, and strategies from the public, Congress, cabinet heads, and even their staffers—with the occasional exception of such trusted, like-minded aides as Alexander Haig and H. R. Haldeman.”
  • Explain and Expand: “The public format immediately proved unworkable.”
  • Explain and Expand: Détente, Linkage, Triangular Diplomacy, and the China Card

Primary Sources

Articles and Resources

Further Reading

 

The Cold War and Post War European History

Chapter 5 – The Coming of the Cold War :: Postwar: A History of Europe Since 1945 by Tony Judt

Response / Thought Quotes

  • “This war is not as in the past; whoever occupies a territory also imposes upon it his own social system. Everyone imposes his own system as far as his army can reach. It cannot be otherwise.”
  • “It’s quite clear— it’s got to look democratic, but we must have everything in our control.”
  • “On September 15th the Bulgarian Peace Treaty officially came into force and four days later the USA offered to extend diplomatic recognition to the government in Sofia. Within 96 hours Petkov was executed, his sentence having been delayed until the official American announcement. With Petkov judicially murdered, the Bulgarian Communists need fear no further impediments.”
  • “For many months, based on logical analysis, I have felt and held that war was unlikely for at least ten years. Within the last few weeks I have felt a subtle change in Soviet attitude which I cannot define, but which now gives me a feeling it may come with dramatic suddenness.”
  • “to keep the Russians out, the Americans in and the Germans down.”
  • “If you open that Pandora’s Box, you never know what Trojan ’orses will jump out”
  • “Here the ego is at half- pressure; most of us are not men and women but members of a vast, seedy, overworked, over- legislated neuter class, with our drab clothes, our ration books and murder stories, our envious, strict, old- world apathies— a care- worn people. And the symbol of this mood is London, now the largest, saddest and dirtiest of great cities, with its miles of unpainted, half- inhabited houses, its chopless chop- houses, its beerless pubs, its once vivid quarters losing all personality, its squares bereft of elegance . . . its crowds mooning around the stained green wicker of the cafeterias in their shabby raincoats, under a sky permanently dull and lowering like a metal dish- cover.”
  • ‘‘it is rarely possible for the English, in their parliamentary debates, to give utterance to a principle. They discuss only the utility or disutility of a thing, and produce facts, for and against.”

Thought Questions

  • Describe the events the Eastern European nations experienced during the consolidation of Soviet power
  • How did the Soviet strategy succeed and fail in Western Europe and Greece regarding working with local Communists? and Socialists?
  • What were the main reasons the Soviets were unable to successfully work with local Communists and Socialists in Western Europe and Greece
  • Compare and Contrast: The relationship between Eastern European nations and Russia in Pre-War Europe and Post War Soviet Occupied Europe
  • In what ways did the Soviets use pre-war and wartime allies in post-war Soviet occupied Europe?
  • Why did the Soviets reject existing Communist / Socialist leadership and structures in Eastern Europe?
  • Who was Mátyás Rákosi and how was he representative of and dissimilar from other leaders in Soviet occupied Europe
  • Explain and Expand: “it is perhaps worth emphasizing that neither Stalin nor his local representatives were in any doubt as to their long- term goal. Coalitions were the route to power for Communist parties in a region where they were historically weak; they were only ever a means to this end.”
  • Explain and Expand: ” The Communists’ stated objective in 1945 and 1946 was to ‘complete’ the unfinished bourgeois revolutions of 1848”
  • Affirm or Refute: “The result was that Communist parties adopted instead a strategy of covert pressure, followed by open terror and repression. In the course of 1946 and into 1947 electoral opponents were maligned, threatened, beaten up, arrested, tried as ‘Fascists’ or ‘collaborators’ and imprisoned or even shot. ‘Popular’ militias helped create a climate of fear and insecurity which Communist spokesmen then blamed on their political critics.”
  • Explain and Expand: “overwhelmingly rural eastern Europe, its allegiance was traditionally Socialist, not Communist. Thus since the Socialists could not easily be beaten, the Communists chose instead to join them.”
  • Define: “Socialist”, “Communist”, “Stalinist”, “Leninist”, “Marxist”
  • Compare and Contrast: “Socialist”, “Communist”, “Stalinist”, “Leninist”, “Marx”
  • In light of pre-war Nazi appeasement, React and Respond: “either in the innocent belief that everyone would benefit, or else in the hope of moderating Communist behavior.”
  • In light of the pre-war Nazi takeover of power, React and Respond: “with some help from violent assaults on their remaining opponents, intimidation at polling stations and blatantly abusive vote counts.”
  • Compare and Contrast: “Communism” and “Fascism”
  • Compare and Contrast: “Socialism” and “Fascism”
  • In what ways did post war Soviet occupation government define themselves in relation to Fascism? How did they use this to assume legitimacy?
  • In what ways were Finland and Yugoslavia exceptional in their post war relations with the Soviet Union?
  • React and Respond: “Communism had lost its revolutionary edge and become, deliberately, part of a broad anti- Fascist coalition.”
  • Describe the process that established West Germany and the reaction in the Soviet Union
  • Explain and Expand: “Accordingly, when the blockade failed, the Soviet leader changed tack.”
  • Explain and Expand: “The Berlin crisis had three significant outcomes”
  • What was “The Brussels Pact”? What was the “1951 Paris Treaty”? How did these form the first stage of NATO and the EU?
  • Describe the process that established NATO
  • React and Respond: “Hence the famous bon mot of Lord Ismay, who took up his post as NATO’s first Secretary General in 1952: the purpose of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization was ‘to keep the Russians out, the Americans in and the Germans down.’”
  • How did the option of German neutrality impact the formation of post war Europe?
  • In what ways did domestic politics in post- war Britain impact the formation of post-war Europe?
  • React and Respond: “It was queues for everything, you know, even if you didn’t know what you were queuing for . . . you joined it because you knew there was something at the end of it.”
  • Explain and Expand: “This is something which we know, in our bones, we cannot do.”
  • What were the priorities of France in post war Europe?
  • React and Respond: “The French duly did what the British might have done in other circumstances and made ‘Europe’ in their own image, eventually casting its institutions and policies in a mould familiar from French precedent. At the time it was the continental Europeans, not the British, who expressed regret at the course of events. Many prominent European leaders deeply wanted Britain to join them.”

Chapter 4: The Impossible Settlement :: Postwar: A History of Europe Since 1945 by Tony Judt 

Response / Thought Quotes

  • “Nobody in the world can understand what Europeans feel about the Germans until one talks to Belgians, Frenchmen or Russians. To them the only good Germans are dead Germans.”
  • “It should be brought home to the Germans that Germany’s ruthless warfare and the fanatical Nazi resistance has destroyed the German economy and made chaos and suffering inevitable and that the Germans cannot escape responsibility for what they have brought upon themselves. Germany will not be occupied for the purpose of liberation but as a defeated enemy nation’. Or, as Morgenthau himself put it, ‘It is of the utmost importance that every person in Germany should realize that this time Germany is a defeated nation.” 
  • “Some [in the Labour Party] thought we ought to concentrate all our efforts on building up a Third Force in Europe. Very nice, no doubt. But there wasn’t either a spiritual or a material basis for it at that time. What remained of Europe wasn’t strong enough to stand up to Russia by itself. You had to have a world force because you were up against a world force . . . Without the stopping power of the Americans, the Russians might easily have tried sweeping right forward. I don’t know whether they would, but it wasn’t a possibility you could just ignore.” 
  • “The unconditional surrender of Germany . . . left us with the sole responsibility for a section of Germany which had never been economically self-supporting in modern times and the capacity of which for self-support had been catastrophically reduced by the circumstances of the war and the German defeat. At the moment we accepted that responsibility we had no program for the rehabilitation of the economy of our zone, preferring to leave all that to later settlement by international agreement.”

Thought Questions

  • What was the “Impossible Settlement”?
  • In what ways did Anglo-American relations with Stalin and the Russia Empire impact the course of World War II and effect the peace afterwards?
  • What was the role national planning and ownership played in European recovery in the period 1945– 51?
  • Compare and Contrast National planning and national ownership during 1933-1945 and 1945-1951
  • Describe the political positions and motivations of Christian Democratic parties in post war Western Europe?
  • Describe the political positions and motivations of Social Democratic parties in post war Western Europe?
  • Compare and contrast the political positions and motivations of Christian Democrats and Social Democrats 
  • Describe the political positions and motivations of Communists and Social Democratic parties in post war Western Europe?
  • How did rightist and center-right parties fit into post war Western and Eastern Europe?
  • Describe the events that led to the division of Germany
  • What was the Marshall plan and how did it impact European recovery in the West and the East?
  • What impact did the Yalta agreement have on post war Europe?
  • How did the experience of the Russian revolution and civil war influence Stalin’s view of Western Europe and the United States?
  • In what ways did the Western allies and Stalin attempt to avoid the major mistakes of the Versailles Treaty?
  • Who were George Kennan and William Averell Harriman and how did they impact the post war European recovery and development?
  • What was the Bretton Woods system, how did it attempt to prevent problems from the past and why was it controversial?
  • Compare and Contrast this statement about American intentions and attitudes after World War II with the American intentions and attitudes after World War I: If it is possible to speak of a coherent US strategy spanning the years 1944– 47 it would be this: reach a continental European settlement with Stalin; pressure Britain to abandon its overseas empire and embrace open trade and sterling convertibility; and withdraw from Europe with all due speed. 
  • Compare and Contrast the motivations and intentions of Britain after World War I and after World War II
  • How was France and central player in the post war European balance of power and how did this impact the West and the Russian Empire? 
  • What role did Berlin play in post war Europe? 

Primary Sources

Articles and Resources

 

Chapter 3: The Rehabilitation of Europe :: Postwar: A History of Europe Since 1945 by Tony Judt 

Thought Questions

  • What “opportunities” did World War II bring to divided Europe?
  • What role did the Nazi occupation resistance play in the immediate post war period of Western and Eastern Europe?
  • How did the expectations of the United States and the intentions of the Soviet Union effect the post war period in Europe?
  • What role did central planning take in Western Europe?
  • What role did imperial planning take in Eastern Europe? 
  • How did World War II effect the role and public expectation of government in Western Europe?
  • What did Thomas Carlyle mean when writing: “if something be not done, something will do itself one day, and in a fashion that will please nobody.”
  • What were the basic assumptions and expectations of the bourgeois (conservative) socialism in post war Western Europe? How did this build on the positive legacies of Bismarckian Germany and Wiemar Germany?
  • How did bourgeois (conservative) socialism evolve out of the post war condition?
  • How did agrarian reform unfold in post war Europe? 
  • What were the European Christian Democratic and Social Democratic parties? What legacies did they carry from pre-World War and Interwar Europe?
  • In what ways were the neutral nations who did not directly participate in World War II change in post war Europe?
  • What role did the Marshall Aid Plan play in post war Western Europe?
  • Why were Greece and Turkey significant to post war Western Europe?
  • How successful was the economic recovery process in Western and Eastern Europe? 

Response / Thought Quotes

  • “Out of this came the oddly optimistic mood upon which many observers remarked in the immediate aftermath of Liberation. In spite of the destitution all around indeed, because of it something new and better was bound to emerge. ‘None of us’ wrote the editors of the Italian review Società in November 1945, ‘recognizes his own past. It seems incomprehensibleto us… Our life today is dominated by a sense of stupor and by an instinctive search for a direction. We are simply disarmed by the facts.’”
  • “if something be not done, something will do itself one day, and in a fashion that will please nobody.”

 

Chapter 2: Retribution  Postwar: A History of Europe Since 1945 by Tony Judt 

Thought Questions

  • Compare and Contrast the immediate post war purge of Nazis and Fascist collaborators in Eastern, Central and Western Europe
  • Compare and Contrast the post war treatment of Nazis and Fascist collaborators by the Anglo-Americans and the Soviets
  • What special circumstances impacted the treatment of Fascist collaborators in nations such as Italy and Hungary who allied with Nazi Germany?
  • What special circumstances impacted the treatment of Fascist collaborators in nations such France and Norway that were occupied and run by native Fascist governments
  • What special circumstances impacted the treatment of Fascist collaborators in nations such Poland and the Czech lands that were occupied and run by imposed Fascist governments
  • What special circumstances impacted the treatment of Fascist collaborators in Denmark, Russia (pre-Barbarosa)?
  • What special circumstances impacted the treatment of Fascists in Austria and Germany? 

Response / Thought Quotes

  • “Without such collective amnesia, Europe’s astonishing post-war recovery would not have been possible. To be sure, much was put out of mind that would subsequently return in discomforting ways. But only much later would it become clear just how much post-war Europe rested on foundation myths that would fracture and shift with the passage of years.”
  • “The local Communist leadership was under no illusions about what had taken place. As Walter Ulbricht, the future leader of the German Democratic Republic, put it in a speech to German Communist Party representatives in Berlin just six weeks after the defeat of his country, ‘The tragedy of the German people consists in the fact that they obeyed a band of criminals … The German working class and the productive parts of the population failed before history.’ This was more than Adenauer or most West German politicians were willing to concede, at least in public.”
  • “The real problem with any consistent programme aimed at rooting out Nazism from German life was that it was simply not practicable in the circumstances of 1945. In the words of General Lucius Clay, the American Military Commander, ‘our major administrative problem was to find reasonably competent Germans who had not been affiliated or associated in some way with the Nazi regime … All too often, it seems that the only men with the qualifications … are the career civil servants … a great proportion of whom were more than nominal participants (by our definition) in the activities of the Nazi Party.’”

 

Chapter 1: The Legacy of War :: Postwar: A History of Europe Since 1945 by Tony Judt 

Thought Questions

  • How did gender imbalance and role reversal effect the beginning of post war European recovery? 
  • How was the experience of people west of Berlin and people east of Berlin different and similar?
  • Describe the compulsory (by law) and forced (left with no other choice) migration in Europe during 1938-1945
  • Describe the compulsory (by law) and forced (left with no other choice) migration in Europe during the immediate post war period
  • Compare and Contrast the population transfers during the war with the transfers after the war? 
  • How were the post war population transfers different in the west and east?
  • How were the physical circumstances and experience of Jews in the post war period different from other displaced and persecuted persons? 
  • How was the experience of Jews in the post war period different in the east and west?
  • Describe the evolution of World War II into civil war in Yugoslavia and Greece. What circumstances made them different from other eastern European nations? 
  • Describe the evolution of the Holocaust into pogroms and ethnic cleansing in Soviet occupied Europe. 

Response / Thought Quotes

  • “The human problem the war will leave behind it has not yet been imagined, much less faced by anybody. There has never been such destruction, such disintegration of the structure of life” 
  • “At the conclusion of the First World War it was borders that were invented and adjusted, while people were on the whole left in place.6 After 1945 what happened was rather the opposite: with one major exception boundaries stayed broadly intact and people were moved instead.”
  • “‘Flotsam and jetsam! Women who had lost husbands and children, men who had lost their wives; men and women who had lost their homes and children; families who had lost vast farms and estates, shops, distilleries, factories, flour-mills, mansions. There were also little children who were alone, carrying some small bundle, with a pathetic label attached to them. They had somehow got detached from their mothers, or their mothers had died and been buried by other displaced persons somewhere along the wayside.’” 

Further Reading

For information regarding life in Germany in the immediate post war period, see:

For Information regarding life in Poland in the immediate Post war period, see:

 

Preface and Introduction :: Post War: A History of Europe Since 1945 by Tony Judt 

Thought Questions

  • What were some of the long term assumptions about Cold War Europe does the author seek to clarify?
  • In what ways was the Cold War the “unfinished” end of World War II?
  • What are some of the complexities involved in understanding Central Europe during the Cold War? 
  • How did the legacy of World War II impact the development of post war society in Central and Eastern Europe (including the conquered areas of the western Soviet Union) differently?
  • Why was it important for both sides of the Cold War to achieve (at least initially) a stable new order in Europe?
  • What is the author’s focus for Part One of this book?
  • How does the author outline the different themes of this book? 
  • Why does the author feel it is necessary to tell both halves of European History in an integrated way in the post Cold War era? 
  • What was the problem to which Communism was the “solution” for in the eyes of the Soviet Union? How were these “solutions” ultimately self defeating? 
  • What meaning is the story of the fox and the hedgehog intended to illustrate? 

Response / Thought Quotes

  • “The Grand Illusion of the age was the resort to war and its accompanying myths of honour, caste and class.”
  • “Communism may have been the wrong solution, but the dilemma to which it was responding was real enough.” 
  • “World War One destroyed old Europe; World War Two created the conditions for a new Europe.”
  • “Finally, Europe’s post-war history is a story shadowed by silences; by absence.” 

Articles, Primary Sources and other Resources

 

Week 3 :: Nixon’s Nuclear Specter: The Secret Alert of 1969, Madman Diplomacy, and the Vietnam War by Jeffrey P. Kimball and William Burr Chapter 2: The Madman Theory: Mr. Nixon, Dr. Kissinger, and Dr. Strangelove, 1945–1969

Response / Thought Quotes

  • “I call it the Madman Theory, Bob. I want the North Vietnamese to believe I’ve reached the point where I might do anything to stop the war.”
  • “How do you bring a war to a conclusion? I’ll tell you how Korea was ended. We got in there and had this messy war on our hands. Eisenhower … let the word go out diplomatically to the Chinese and the North [Koreans] that we would not tolerate this continual ground war of attrition. And within a matter of months, they negotiated. Well, as far as negotiation [in Vietnam] is concerned that should be our position. We’ll be militarily strong and diplomatically strong.”
  • “In the fifties, I was a strong supporter of … brinkmanship … [or] massive retaliation.… It was a viable policy: that when the United States had enormous nuclear advantage … the United States could say to the world, if in any place in the world, one of our allies, or countries whose interest is similar to ours, is attacked, we will use, we will consider the use, and might very well use our nuclear superiority to deter the attack or to answer it.… Today the nuclear equation does not hold. “
  • “‘the most brilliant world leader I have ever met’… because he nurtured a reputation for rashness, bellicosity, and instability. ‘He scared the hell out of people.’” 
  • “They’ll believe any threat of force that Nixon makes because it’s Nixon.… I call it the Madman Theory, Bob. I want the North Vietnamese to believe I’ve reached the point where I might do anything to stop the war. We’ll just slip the word to them that, “for God’s sake, you know Nixon is obsessed about communism. We can’t restrain him when he’s angry—and he has his hand on the nuclear button”… and Ho Chi Minh himself will be in Paris in two days begging for peace.”
  • “Kissinger … briefed me on what I should and should not do in my meetings with Soviet officials [in Moscow in July 1969].… If the chance comes your way, Kissinger told me, convey the impression that Nixon is somewhat “crazy”—immensely intelligent, well organized, and experienced, to be sure, but at moments of stress or personal challenge unpredictable and capable of the bloodiest brutality. Today, anyone familiar with Nixon’s foreign policy knows about the “madman” strategy.”
  • “The increasing Soviet nuclear capability undermines our willingness to run the risk of a general war.… The destructiveness of strategic nuclear weapons has made them useless.… The Sino-Soviet bloc will consider it [that is, the threat of massive retaliation] a bluff and thus confront us again with the dilemma of Dienbienphu.” 
  • “consider the precedent-setting effects of initiating the use of nuclear weapons and … the impact upon allied and neutral nations of our having taken this fateful step.”
  • “homosexuality, dope, and immorality are the basic enemies of a strong society, and that’s why the Russians are pushing it here, in order to destroy us.” 
  • “Kissinger believed, nuclear war might be controllable because neither side would take the horrible risk of launching “everything.”” 

Thought Questions

  • Describe Nixon’s version and reasoning behind the “Madman Theory”
  • What conclusions did Nixon draw from the American experience in Korea?
  • How was Nixon’s ability to project strength different from Eisenhower’s? In what ways did this impact Nixon’s ability to effect the conclusions he took from Korea?
  • What conclusions did Nixon draw from the crises of the Kennedy years in general and from Khrushchev’s brinkmanship specifically?
  • How did the dilemma of Dien Bien Phu impact Nixon and Kissinger’s thinking about nuclear weapons and escalation?
  • How was Nixon’s ability to project strength different from Kennedy’s? In what ways did this impact Nixon’s ability to effect the conclusions he took from the Kennedy years?
  • What new constraints on the use of power did Nixon and Kissinger face in 1969? 
  • Describe the uncertainty effect / principle 
  • Who was H. R. Haldeman and how did he impact Nixon’s madman projection?
  • Explain and Expand: “Nixon’s faith in irrational unpredictability and excessive force”
  • What reaction did Nixon hope to evoke generally from the Soviet Union and from China and specifically over the issue of Vietnam?
  • What is the “McNamara syndrome”?
  • React and Respond: “Ironically and paradoxically, the practitioners of nuclear deterrence also invoked madness in reference to the system.”
  • React and Respond: “Reinforcing the meme of madness during the 1960s was “assured destruction” (AD), a strategic doctrine that Secretary McNamara formulated in late 1963 to describe “an actual and credible second-strike capability” (a retaliatory ability to destroy at least 50 percent of the Soviets’ industrial capacity, 30 percent of their population, and 150 of their cities).”
  • Who was Henry Kissinger and what roles did he fill in the Nixon administration? 
  • Explain and Expand: ““deliberate ambiguity,” which combined “political, psychological, and military pressures to induce the greatest degree of uncertainty and hesitation in the minds of the opponent.” … “an unfavorable calculus of risks” by having the United States conduct military operations that at each stage forced the adversary to assess “risks and possibilities for settlement”” 
  • What was “graduated deterrence” and compare and contrast it with the alternatives considered in the 1950-60s?
  • What are the themes and conclusions in Kissinger’s work “Nuclear Weapons and Foreign Policy”?
  • What are the themes and conclusions in Kissinger’s work “The Necessity for Choice”?
  • How did Kissinger’s philosophy in his pre-1969 works influence his work in the Nixon administration? 
  • How did the experience of the Nixon administration impact Kissinger’s philosophy?
  • What is the “uncertain retaliation” principle?
  • Who is Daniel Ellsberg? 
  • Explain and Expand: “How can you conduct diplomacy without a threat of escalation? Without that there is no basis for negotiations.” 
  • How did Nixon see the culture wars of the 1960s as a part of the Cold War?
  • React and Respond: “He was also worried that US nuclear war plans did not serve useful political purposes.”
  • Why did Kissinger believe nuclear war would be “controllable”?
  • Describe Stanley Kubrick’s 1964 movie Dr. Strangelove
  • Who was C. Wright Mills and who were the “crackpot realists.”?
  • Describe the role the social sciences assumed in the Post World War II western political world 
  • Compare and Contrast how social science effected international politics in post World War I Russia and international politics in the post World War II west
  • What was the indoctrination film “The Power of Decision” and what was its purpose?

Primary Sources

Articles and References

Further Reading

 

Prelude: Nuclear Diplomacy and Notions about Nuclear Use from Truman to Johnson :: Nixon’s Nuclear Specter by Jeffrey P. Kimball and William Burr

Response / Thought Quotes

  • “Of course we were brought to the verge of war.… If you try to run away from it, if you are scared to go to the brink, you are lost.… We walked to the brink and we looked it in the face”
  • “Consistent with his role as commander in chief, the president “should be in a position to consider such issues and make his decisions as each case arises.”
  • “the art of bringing us to the edge of the nuclear abyss.” 
  • “In any combat where these things can be used on strictly military targets for strictly military purposes, I see no reason why they shouldn’t be used just exactly as you would use a bullet or anything else.… I would say, yes, of course they would be used.… The great question about these things comes when you begin to get into those areas where you cannot make sure that you are operating merely against military targets. But with that one qualification, I would say, yes, of course they would be used.” 
  • “I do not fully share your conclusion that an end to nuclear war will come about because of realization on both sides that by using this weapon an unconscionable degree of death and destruction would result. I do think it might tend to reduce very materially the possibility of any war; but I think it would be unsafe to predict that, if the West and the East should ever become locked up in a life and death struggle, both sides would still have sense enough not to use this horrible instrument.”
  • How and why did “massive retaliation” evolve into “flexible response”? What were the negative consequences of “flexible response”?
  • “liberate the Soviet Union from inhibitions that world sentiment has imposed [and] upset the fragile balance of terror”
  • “An advanced and well-organized system for deploying powerful conventional forces, making nuclear threats, and waging nuclear war was about to come under the direction of two men who believed that force and the threat of force were legitimate and effective tools for successfully managing and resolving conflict with adversaries. As a student in the Eisenhower-Dulles seminar of statecraft, Richard Nixon would bring to his presidency specific ideas about how to end wars and manage crises that drew upon his experiences with brinkmanship. ” 

Thought Questions

  • How did the American monopoly on nuclear weapons provide military and diplomatic advantage over America’s adversaries?
  • Describe “nuclear threat diplomacy”. How was it part of a deterrent strategy and part of a Compliance strategy?
  • In what sense did nuclear weapons become militarily useless? What were the limitations of “Atomic Diplomacy”?
  • Describe how “Atomic Diplomacy” emerged and evolved in the Truman Administration
  • Describe how “Atomic Diplomacy” evolved in the Eisenhower Administration
  • Describe how “Atomic Diplomacy” evolved in the Kennedy Administration 
  • Describe how “Atomic Diplomacy” evolved in the Johnson Administration
  • In what ways did the wars in Korea and Vietnam impact “Atomic Diplomacy”?
  • How did the control of nuclear weapons evolve from 1945 to 1968?
  • In what ways did American domestic politics impact policy on nuclear weapons and Atomic Diplomacy?
  • What constraints did the United States face in atomic diplomacy that the Soviet Union or China did not? 
  • What considerations were most relevant to Mao Zedong’s decisions regarding Korea?
  • In what ways did the development of hydrogen, or thermonuclear, weapons have on international relations and the role nuclear weapons played in world affairs?
  • How did world opinion restrain the first use of nuclear weapons?
  • What was the “New Look” grand strategy? 
  • Explain and Expand on the significance of NSC 162/2 
  • Describe the Dien Bien Phu Crisis, how the United States was impacted and what role nuclear weapons had in the crisis
  • What role did nuclear testing play in “Atomic Diplomacy”?
  • Compare and Contrast the American and French goals in Indochina
  • Describe the system of SAC Alerts and SIOP 
  • Who was Gamal Abdel Nassar and what was the Suez War? 
  • Describe the events surrounding the first and second Taiwan Strait disputes
  • What impact did the development and deployment of the B-52 have on nuclear weapons policy? What distinct roles did the B-47 and B-52 play in nuclear war?
  • Describe the events of the U-2 shoot down over the Soviet Union on 1 May 1960 and its repercussions
  • Describe the North Korean attack on the USS Pueblo 1968
  • Describe the Israeli attack on the USS Liberty 1967
  • What was the Selective Employment of Air and Ground Alert (SEAGA).plan and how was it a reaction to changing global issues?
  • How did nuclear weapons and Vietnam impact the election of 1964?
  • How did the situation of the US Marine base at Khe Sanh impact decision making on nuclear first use?

Primary Sources

·       Articles and Resources

Further Reading

 

Introduction :: Nixon’s Nuclear Specter: The Secret Alert of 1969, Madman Diplomacy, and the Vietnam War by Jeffrey P. Kimball and William Burr

Response / Thought Quotes

  • “I think you will find that upon further reflection, Seymour Hersh will prove to be closer to Nixon’s real reason for the low-key nuclear alert exercise. The president talked to me personally about this decision before I passed the orders on to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs.”
  • “Although their strategy evolved, their faith in coercive threat making remained to the end of the American war in Vietnam.”
  • “‘No one really knows … the secret stuff we’ve been doing.’ Henry Kissinger and H. R. Haldeman, in conversation with Richard Nixon” 

Thought Questions

  • What was Nixon’s “Madman Theory” and what was the relationship to the events around 13 and 30 October?
  • Describe the debate over the purpose of the nuclear alert of 13 and 30 October 
  • What were the underlying policy goals behind the events of 13 and 30 October and why were military leaders opposed to it?
  • In what ways were the Nixon administrations actions representative of a threat-based strategy and what were the consequences of this path?
  • Describe the author’s organization of the book

Primary Sources

Further Reading About Richard Nixon

 

 

 

Week 7 :: The Cold War, Chapter 7: The Triumph of Hope and Epilogue 

Thought Questions

  • Compare and contrast the process and results of the French Revolution and the Russian February / October Revolution. 
  • How do governments that base their legitimacy on inherited right or ideological foundations differ from governments that base their legitimacy on a constitutional framework? 
  • In what ways does a government based on a constitutional framework create stability and how do governments based on inherited rights or ideological foundations create instability? 
  • What are the results of the above mentioned stability / instability for people and societies that are effected by those systems? 
  • How did the Cold War come to a “conclusion” and what lessons does the author draw from it about “what did it all mean”? 
  • What does the author mean when he says war became an “anachronism”? 

Thought / Response Quotes

  • “The French Revolution was a Utopian attempt to overthrow a traditional order—one with many imperfections, certainly—in the name of abstract ideas, formulated by vain intellectuals, which lapsed, not by chance but through weakness and wickedness, into purges, mass murder and war. In so many ways it anticipated the still more terrible Bolshevik Revolution of 1917.”
  • “One of the questions the Gorbachev Foundation wrestled with, but never resolved, was: what did it all mean?”
  • “war itself—at least major wars fought between major states—had become a health hazard, and therefore an anachronism.”

Primary Sources

Articles and Resources

Week 6 :: The Cold War, Chapter 6: Actors

Thought Questions

  • How was the personality of Pope John Paul significant in the course of the Cold War?
  • What factors contributed to the collapse of Détente? 
  • How did the arms control process change during and after Détente?
  • What were the “Basic Principles” adopted by Nixon and Brezhnev?
  • How did events in the Middle East and East Africa effect the Cold War powers? 
  • What were the principle agreements of SALT I and SALT II? 
  • How did events unfold in Poland in the era of Solidarity? 
  • How did the Reagan administration’s approach to the Cold War evolve and how did this effect the Soviet Union? 
  • How did the Soviet Union’s perspective on the Cold War evolve and how did the domestic circumstances and the changing perspectives of Reagan and Gorbachev effect this? 
  • What was the Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI) and how did the United States and the Soviet Union view it differently? 

Thought / Response Quotes 

  • “The West won’t contain communism, it will transcend communism. It won’t bother to . . . denounce it, it will dismiss it as some bizarre chapter in human history whose last pages are even now being written.”
  • “From Stettin in the Baltic to Varna on the Black Sea, the regimes planted by totalitarianism have had more than 30 years to establish their legitimacy. But none—not one regime—has yet been able to risk free elections. Regimes planted by bayonets do not take root.”
  • “This event also changed Gorbachev. It revealed “the sicknesses of our system . . . the concealing or hushing up of accidents and other bad news, irresponsibility and carelessness, slipshod work, wholesale drunkenness.” For decades, he admonished the Politburo, “scientists, specialists, and ministers have been telling us that everything was safe. . . . [Y]ou think that we will look on you as gods. But now we have ended up with a fiasco.””

Primary Sources

Articles and Links

Week 5 :: The Cold War, Chapter 5: The Recovery of Equity

Thought Questions

  • What does the author mean by The Recovery of “Equity”?
  • How did the downfall of President Nixon effect the American course during the Cold War?
  • How did idealism and pragmatism factor into the Cold War from the perspective of the United States, the British-Franco empires, Russia, its eastern and southern empires and various “non-aligned” powers?
  • How did United States support for ideologically opposite regimes effect the United States?
  • How did the debate over “guns and butter” reflect the recovery of equity in the United States?
  • What was the significance of NSC-68?
  • What were the “Pentagon Papers” and how did it effect the course of the Nixon administration?
  • What was the War Powers Act and how does it represent the recovery of equity? 
  • What events occurred in Chile that represent the idealogical conflict in the United States?
  • How did Détente effect the recovery of equity in the United States? 
  • How did a cold war counter culture effect the Soviet Bloc in the same ways as the United States?

Optional Supplemental Viewing and Listening

Primary Sources

Articles

 

Week 4 :: The Cold War, Chapter 4: The Emergence of Autonomy

Thought Questions

  • What is the significance of the opening quotes from Jonathan Schell and Nikita Khrushchev?
  • How was Euro-American Colonialism related to the Cold War? 
  • How was European Colonialism different from American Colonialism and how was this difference related to the Cold War? 
  • What was the reasoning behind the “Domino Theory”? How was it supported and how was it flawed? 
  • What was the non-alignment movement and how was Yugoslavia and Egypt involved? 
  • How did small powers use soft power to influence the major powers in the Cold War? 
  • How was Mao and China/Taiwan symbolic of autonomy from the Great Powers and how did it show the limits of this world position? 
  • How did East and West Germany and France display major power autonomy from the super powers?
  • How did demographic changes in Europe effect the course of the Cold War? 
  • Describe how Nixon and Mao are examples of autonomy shifting the balance in the Cold War? 
  • What was the Brezhnev Doctrine and how did it start the beginning of the end of the Cold War?

 

Week 3 :: The Cold War, Chapter 3: Command versus Spontaneity

Thought Questions

  • Describe how the author frames the social context of the Cold War?
  • How did Khrushchev set the tone for relations during the Cold War?
  • How did the author show that economics was a central factor in the Cold War?
  • What was Wilson’s Fourteen Points and how did they effect the way the Cold War unfolded?
  • Compare the values of Wilson’s Fourteen Points with the values in competition during the Cold War? 
  • How and why did the idea of collective security fail at the end of World War I and what were the consequences? 
  • How was the end of World War I a lesson for the end of World War II? In what ways was the lesson learned and in what ways was it ignored? 
  • What was the Communist view of the reasons for the first two world wars and how to prevent a third? In what ways did they have valid and invalid points and concerns?
  • What was the Capitalist view of the reasons for the first two world wars and how to prevent a third? In what ways did they have valid and invalid points and concerns?
  • In what ways were the world views and systems behind Communism and Capitalism incomparable with each other?
  • What ideological streams and events led to the division of Europe at the end of World War II?
  • What role did Churchill play in the opening days of the Cold War? 
  • What does the conclusion that “they don’t want war” but “they want the fruits of war” mean from the democratic and authoritarian points of view? 
  • How was democracy linked to capitalism? 
  • How was authoritarianism linked to communism? 
  • How was the establishment democractic socialism in Western Europe created by the Marshall Plan and its after effects act as a compromise between capitalism and communism?
  • What was the Marshall Plan and how did it effect the opening of the Cold War?

 

American Empire by Joshua Freeman – Chapter 11: The End of the American Century

Thought Questions

  • What does the author mean when he labels this time “the end of the American century”?
  • In what ways was Détente and the decline of the Cold War responsible for the “end” of the American Century? 
  • Why did Spiro Agnew resign and how did this impact the Nixon administration? 
  • How did the events around the Watergate break in unfold? 
  • In what ways did Nixon use the power of government to oppress his political adversaries? 
  • What are the Pentagon Papers and how did the impact the situation in Southeast Asia and the United States? 
  • How did Nixon become an obstacle to the “normality” Americans were seeking? 
  • What was the War Powers Act and how did it impact the Presidency and the Cold War? 
  • Describe the “Mayaguez” incident. In what ways would this shadow the Carter administration during the Iran Hostage Crisis?
  • What were the consequences of the Republican fiscal and monetary policy in 1971 and 1972 and how did this effect the Carter and Ford Administrations? 

Response / Thought Quotes

  • “In delayed fashion, the consequences of using the power of the state in ways that had become routine during the Cold War took their toll.” 
  • “Nixon ordered the attorney general to fire him. Refusing, Elliot Richardson instead resigned. The deputy attorney general would not oust Cox either.” 
  • “Inexpensive fuel had come to be seen as such an entitlement that people were outraged, even though in mid-1974 the price of a gallon of gasoline, an irreplaceable resource that had to be extracted from the ground, refined, and transported long distances, remained only about a third the cost of a gallon of Coca-Cola, essentially carbonated sugar water.” 

Primary Sources

Articles

Optional Supplemental Reading

American Literature Optional Supplemental Reading

 

American Empire by Joshua Freeman – Chapter 10: Sixties to Seventies, Dreams to Nightmares 

Thought Questions

  • In what ways were the Nixon years a reactionary time? 
  • How did Americans begin to view themselves and others differently during this transitional era? 
  • How and why was education a significant battleground in the struggle for civil rights? 
  • How did the private school movement expand during school integration? 
  • What were the core beliefs of the “Black Power” movement and how do they compare and contrast with the “White Power” movement during this period? 
  • What was the “Chicano” civil rights movement in this period and how did it develop out of the larger Hispanic civil rights movement? 
  • How was the Women’s rights movement different from the other civil rights movements? 
  • In what ways was the Women’s Rights movement torn between suburban conservatism and progressive activism? 
  • In what ways was the Gay Rights movement torn between suburban conservatism and progressive activism and how was the Stonewall uprising a watershed moment in this regard?
  • How were the lives of children and the elderly effected by the civil rights evolution?
  • How did Nixon’s Cold War strategy evolve with the issue of Vietnam? 
  • What did Cambodia symbolize different but consistent values in American life during this time? 
  • What was Nixon’s New Economic Policy (NEP) yes we actually had an anti-Communist President that named his economic plan the New Economic Policy (NEP)

Primary Sources

Articles and Resources

Optional Supplemental Reading

American Literature Optional Supplemental Reading

 

American Empire by Joshua Freeman – Chapter 9: Apocalypse Now

Thought Questions

  • How did the war in southeast Asia accelerate the process of social change in the United States?
  • How did the North and South Vietnamese each differ from the United States on how they conceived the war and its purpose? 
  • How did the legacy of French colonialism impact the war in South and North Vietnam?
  • How did American policy towards Vietnam evolve from Eisenhower to Kennedy, then Johnson and finally Nixon? 
  • In what ways did American culture clash with Vietnamese culture and aspirations? 
  • How did the Anti-War movement effect domestic civilian opinion and veterans in or returning from Southeast Asia? 
  • How did age, class and education effect Americans views and actions toward authority in general and the war specifically?
  • Describe the events of the Tet offensive, its development and the impact it made on the war
  • How did political violence effect the United States during the war? 
  • Describe the atmosphere of the 1968 American elections

Thought / Response Quotes

  • “When the last American troops left Vietnam in early 1973, silence settled in. After years of bitter debate over the war, few people seemed to have much interest in coming to a reckoning with what had occurred.” 
  • “The bizarre juxtaposition of American consumer culture and gruesome warfare required the United States to send a flood of arms and material into Vietnam, overwhelming its infrastructure.” 
  • “After New York Times reporter David Halberstam wrote in August 1963 that in spite of nearly two years of American military buildup, “South Vietnam’s military situation in the vital Mekong Delta has deteriorated in the past year”” 
  • “Political murder seemed to be becoming normalized, eliminating key African American leaders and helping determine who sat in the White House.” 

Primary Sources

Articles

Optional Supplemental Viewing

Optional Supplemental Reading

American Literature Optional Supplemental Reading

 

American Empire by Joshua Freeman – Chapter 8: The Democratic Revolution

Thought Questions

  • In what ways did a new populism on both the left and right effect the United States?
  • What were the factors that created and sustained student activism and unrest before the Vietnam protests? 
  • What circumstances influenced the increase in participation in higher education?
  • How was the 1960s a period of generational conflict and transition? 
  • Who was Barry Goldwater and how did he represent the “New Right”? 
  • What was the Southern Christian Leadership Conference and how was Martin Luther King Jr. involved in its activity? 
  • Describe the demographic shift to political parties that occurred in the 1960s and how did this realignment effect American politics? 
  • How did education in California become a model for the nation?
  • What were the major social reforms Lyndon Johnson supported during 1964?
  • What was the Johnson domestic agenda for his post election term? 
  • Who were the Beat generation and how did they represent social transition? 
  • What were “Freedom Schools”, who were the “Freedom Riders” and what events marked “Freedom Summer”?
  • How did the West and the South react to change in the 1960s?
  • In what ways did women’s rights advance in the 1960s? 
  • What was the Great Society and its major elements?
  • What were the Voting Rights Act of 1965 and Civil Rights Act of 1964?
  • Who was George Wallace and how did he symbolize reactionary elements in the United States? 
  • What was Medicare and Medicaid and how did they build on the New Deal foundation?
  • How did race and immigration effect reforms in the 1960s?
  • In what ways did environmental protection and conservation change America in the 1960s?
  • What were the Watts Riots and how did it effect the Johnson administration policy?
  • Why was Southern California a center of social conflict in the 1960s?

Primary Sources

Articles

Optional Supplemental Reading

American Literature Optional Supplemental Reading

 

American Empire by Joshua Freeman – Chapter 7: Hour of Maximum Danger

Thought Questions

  • In what ways does this chapter demonstrate the 1960’s were the “Hour of Maximum Danger”
  • Describe the beginning of the Space Age in the United States and Russia? 
  • How did the Cold War and the end of Western Colonialism effect the developing world? 
  • What were the events surrounding the western interventions in Iran, Egypt and Lebanon? 
  • How did American involvement in Latin America progress after World War II? 
  • In what ways were the views of Eisenhower and Kennedy on the Cold War in similar and different ways? 

Articles and Resources

Primary Sources

Optional Supplemental Reading

American Literature Optional Supplemental Reading

 

American Empire by Joshua Freeman – Chapter 6: We the Union Army

This is my favorite chapter in the book. It explains a interesting and complex story with lots of interconnected elements in an meaningful and understandable way, but obviously not comprehensively due to space. 

Thought Questions

  • How did World War II effect civil rights in the post war period?
  • How did the Klan and similar organizations effect and use religion? 
  • How did economics play a role in advancing and resisting Civil Rights?
  • Who were the Dixiecrats? 
  • What was the background to the Brown v Board of Education case?
  • What were the main arguments in Plessy v. Ferguson?
  • What were the main arguments in the Brown v Board of Education case? 
  • In what ways did states and communities resist integration? 
  • Who was Emmett Till and how did he become a symbol of Southern racial violence? 
  • Who was Rosa Parks and how were bus boycotts a part of the civil rights movement?
  • How were Christian Churches involved in different ways in the civil rights movement? 
  • How was the labor movement, unions, socialists and communists involved in very different ways in the civil rights movement? 
  • Describe the history of the Montgomery Bus Boycott movement and the Woolworths demonstrations? 
  • What was the Southern Christian Leadership Conference? 
  • What was the NAACP? 
  • How did the Cold War effect civil rights in the United States? 
  • Why was Little Rock High School desegregation different from other school desegregations?
  • How did civil rights effect the admission of Hawaii and Alaska as states? 
  • How were Hispanic, Asian and Native American communities effected by the civil rights movement? 
  • In what ways were non-violent protests successful in advancing civil rights and how did they effect public opinion? 
  • In what ways was Perception and Reality on civil rights positions a factor in the Kennedy-Nixon 1960 election? (Nixon was a manipulative person non above self serving racism just like Kennedy and Johnson thank G-d for Gerald Ford).

Primary Sources

Optional Supplemental Reading

American Literature Optional Supplemental Reading

 

American Empire by Joshua Freeman – Chapter 5: Suburban Nation

Thought Questions

  • What is the “Migrant Madonna” photo and what does it and the story of Florence Thompson tell us about the transition into the Post War era from the Great Depression? 
  • Describe the changes in America due to post war economic growth?
  • How did suburbanization effect the North, South and West? 
  • How did “Fordism” or the mass production of consumer goods in the post war period effect cultural and family life in United States?
  • In what ways did the culture of the automobile develop in the post war period and how did this effect the United States culturally and physically? 
  • Describe the infrastructure development that transformed American life in post war period
  • How did the nature of work and employment change in the post war period?
  • In what ways did government and the private sector work together to create a social safety net in the United States? 
  • What role did unions play in post war economic growth and workplace reforms and how did management and government react to this development? 
  • How did advertising and new methods of financing consumer spending effect the development of consumerism and mass production?
  • In what ways were Suburbanization, Consumerism and Fordism interrelated? 
  • How did suburbanization effect cities and rural areas? 
  • In what ways did suburbanization effect structural racism? 
  • How was American religious life changed by the movement of peoples? 
  • How did suburbanization effect the American family and gender roles? 
  • What were the drawbacks and advantages of the combined processes of suburbanization, mass production and consumerism? 

Optional Supplemental Reading

Primary Sources

Articles

American Literature Optional Supplemental Reading

 

American Empire by Joshua Freeman – Chapter 4: National Security State Nation 

Thought Questions

  • How did the Korean War effect the United States domestic and international policy? 
  • How did the national security state and the early Cold War effect the cultural and social life of Americans? 
  • How many Americans were killed in the Korean War? 
  • How many Americans were wounded in the Korean War?
  • How many Koreans were killed in the Korean War? 
  • How many Koreans were wounded in the Korean War?
  • How did decolonialism effect the international situation and how did Korea develop into North and South? 
  • How did misunderstanding between the United States, China and the Soviet Union effect the Korean War?
  • How did the Korean War unfold and resolve into stalemate? 
  • In what ways did the Korean War effect the balance of power between Congress and the President in the area of foreign and military affairs? 
  • How did the Korean War effect post war Japan and Germany? 
  • In what ways did the Cold War effect science, education and the economy in the United States? 
  • How did the anti-communistism and anti-LGBT forces unite in the 1950s?
  • In what ways did the government increase involvement the personal beliefs and lives of Americans in the 1950s because of the Cold War? 
  • Who was Alger Hiss? 
  • Who was Joe McCarthy and what was McCarthyism and Red Baiting? 

Optional Supplemental Viewing

Optional Supplemental Reading

Primary Sources

American Literature Optional Supplemental Reading

 

American Empire by Joshua Freeman – Chapter 3: Stalemate in Washington 

Thought Questions

  • How did the Democratic Party coalition fracture after World War II?
  • Describe how the civil rights movement effected the immediate post war period 
  • How did the issue of civil rights effect the United States and it’s struggle with communism? 
  • What were the recommendation of Truman’s civil rights commission? 
  • How did the Republican Party coalition fracture after World War II?
  • Who were the “Dixiecrats” or States’ Rights Democratics? 
  • How did the Truman administration build on the New Deal? 

Primary Sources

Articles and Resources

Optional Supplemental Reading

American Literature Optional Supplemental Reading

 

American Empire by Joshua Freeman – Chapter 2: Cold War 

Thought Questions

  • In comparison with the traditional European great powers what ways was the United States in a different international position at the end of World War II? 
  • How and why did the United States change its orientation towards the world after the war? 
  • In what ways did the United States use economic development to create stability at home and abroad? 
  • What international and domestic conditions existed that limited the effectiveness of American led post war international reforms? 
  • How was American Internationalism expressed differently in Europe, Japan and the developing world?
  • How was the new “American Internationalism” superficially different from “European Imperialism” and how did these differences shape misconceptions about post war American Imperialism? 
  • How did the post war American national security establishment grow out of World War II?
  • What is the concept of “Country Club Racism” and how did it effect post war American foreign policy? 
  • What international organizations were formed after World War II and how did their formation reflect American military and economic power? 
  • In what ways did the period after the end of World War II reflect the period after the end of World War I? What were the most significant differences? How did the Atlantic Charter reflect Wilson’s Fourteen Points?
  • What idea was the metaphor “Iron Curtain” intended to convey?
  • How did misconceptions in the United States and Soviet Union about each other contribute to the development of the Cold War? 
  • What was the Potsdam Declaration and how was it related to the beginning of the Cold War? 
  • Describe the development of the Western and Eastern division of Europe in the early Cold War 

Primary Sources

Articles

Optional Supplemental Viewing

Optional Supplemental Reading

American Literature Optional Supplemental Reading 

 

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