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HIST313: War and American Society

Unit 8: The Cold War   At the end of the Second World War, the democratic United States and the Communist Soviet Union emerged as the world’s major economic, political, and military superpowers.  Both nations felt threatened by the existence of the other and attempted to secure military alliances across the globe.  The U.S.’s and, later, the Soviet Union’s acquisition of nuclear weapons made the conflict even more threatening.  Since neither side could attack the other directly, both pursued their political agendas through proxy wars.  The Cold War had a profound impact on American society as well.  Fears of Communist infiltration led to Communist “purges” in the American government and academia.  Political dissent was viewed as disloyalty.  The constant need for new and advanced weapons and defense systems led to a powerful relationship between the military, American industry, and the American university system.  This military-industrial-academic complex held considerable influence over elected officials and played a dominant role in shaping the post-war economy.

In this unit, we will examine the origins of the Cold War and examine how the United States engaged in wars and policing actions across the globe in an attempt to limit the spread of Communism.  We will also study the domestic impact of the Cold War and look at how the 50-year conflict shaped American political, economic, and social life.

Unit 8 Time Advisory
This unit should take you approximately 24.25 hours to complete.

☐    Introduction: 9.5 hours

☐    Subunit 8.1: 8.25 hours

☐    Subunit 8.2: 1.25 hours

☐    Subunit 8.3: 3.5 hours

☐    Subunit 8.4 – 8.7: 1.75 hours

Unit8 Learning Outcomes
Upon successful completion of this unit, the student will be able to:

  • Describe the impact of the Cold War on American social and political ideals.

  • Reading: Wikibooks: US History: “Truman and the Cold War,” “The Fifties,” “Kennedy and Johnson,” and “Nixon and Indochina” Links: Wikibooks: US History:Truman and the Cold War,” (PDF) “The Fifties,” (PDF) “Kennedy and Johnson” (PDF) and “Nixon and Indochina” (PDF)
     
    Instructions: Please read the entirety of the websites in order to get a sense of the causes and consequences of the early Cold War and Vietnam.  This reading addresses subunits 8.1 through 8.7.3.
     
    Terms of Use: The articles above are released under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0 (HTML).  You can find the original Wikibooks version of these articles here (HTML), here (HTML), here (HTML) and here (HTML).

  • Web Media: PBS Video: The American Presidents: “Truman” Link: PBS Video: The American Presidents:Truman” (Adobe Flash)
     
    Instructions: Please watch the entire 3 hour documentary to better understand Truman as president and commander in chief.  This resource material addresses subunits 8.1 through 8.2.4.
     
    Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

  • Lecture: UCTV: Andrew J. Bacevich’s “The Long War, A New History of U.S. National Security Policy since World War II” Link: UCTV: Andrew J. Bacevich’s “The Long War, a New History of U.S. National Security Policy since World War II” (Mp3)
     
    Also available in:
    Mp4 Video
     
    Instructions: Please watch the entire 60-minute lecture to better understand American military policy during the Cold War.  This web media addresses subunits 8.1 through 8.7.3.
     
    Terms of Use: This video is licensed by the copyright holder, UCTV, as CC-BY-NC-ND - Creative Commons (Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works). For more information about this license, please read: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/3.0/.

  • Web Media: C-SPAN, Harry S. Truman Library Institute, and Bennett (Howard and Virginia) Forum on the Presidency’s “Presidents at War” Link: C-SPAN, Harry S. Truman Library Institute, and Bennett (Howard and Virginia) Forum on the Presidency’s “Presidents at War” (Adobe Flash)
     
    Instructions: Please watch the entire 90-minute debateto better understand how American presidents have waged war since the conclusion of World War II.  This video addresses material covered in subunits 8.1 through 8.7.3.
     
    Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

8.1 Origins of the Cold War   - Lecture: C-SPAN and Borders Books and Music Bookstore’s “The Lost Peace” and “The Fifty Year War” Link: C-SPAN and Borders Books and Music Bookstore’s “The Lost Peace” and “The Fifty Year War     (Adobe Flash)
 
Instructions: Please watch the both lectures in their entirety (about 55-minutes each) to better understand the causes of the Cold War.
 
Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage.

8.1.1 Ideological Tensions   - Web Media: Khan Academy’s “Communism” Link: Khan Academy’s “Communism” (YouTube)
 
Instructions: Please watch the above video (approx. 15 minutes), which provides an overview of communist doctrine and Marxist-Leninist States.  
 
Terms of Use: This video is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.  It is attributed to the Khan Academy.

8.1.2 International Alliances   8.1.3 Nuclear Arms Race   - Web Media: C-SPAN: “The Presidency in the Nuclear Age”: “Panel 1,” “Panel 2,” “Panel 3,” and “Panel 4” Link: C-SPAN: The Presidency in the Nuclear Age”: “Panel 1,”  “Panel 2,”  “Panel 3,”  “Panel 4”
 
Note: All videos are in Adobe Flash format.
 
Instructions: Please watch all four 90-minute discussions to better understand the strategic role nuclear weapons have played in U.S. policy since World War II.
 
Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

8.1.4 Remobilizing American Military Forces   8.1.5 A Peacetime State of War   8.1.6 Social Consequences   8.2 The Korean Conflict   - Reading: Wikipedia: “Korean War” Link: Wikipedia: “Korean War” (PDF)
 
Instructions: Please read the entirety of the website in order to get a sense of the causes and course of the Korean War.  This reading covers subunits 8.2 through 8.2.4.
 
Terms of Use: The article above is released under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0 (HTML).  You can find the original Wikipedia version of this article here (HTML).

  • Web Media: Khan Academy’s “Korean War Overview” Link: Khan Academy’s “Korean War Overview” (YouTube)
     
    Instructions: Please watch the above video (approx. 16 minutes), which discusses the conflict between the Northern communist government and the Southern capitalists of Korea.  Note that this video will cover subunits 8.2.1–8.2.4.  
     
    Terms of Use: This video is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.  It is attributed to the Khan Academy.

8.2.1 American Involvement   Note: This topic is covered in the video under subunit 8.2.

8.2.2 The United Nations   Note: This topic is covered in the video under subunit 8.2.

8.2.3 The Cold War Context   Note: This topic is covered in the video under subunit 8.2.

8.2.4 The Unending War   Note: This topic is covered in the video under subunit 8.2.

8.3 The Cuban Missile Crisis   - Web Media: YouTube: Media Rich Learning’s The Cold War: “Kennedy and Crises” The Saylor Foundation does not yet have materials for this portion of the course. If you are interested in contributing your content to fill this gap or aware of a resource that could be used here, please submit it here.

[Submit Materials](/contribute/)
  • Reading: Wikipedia: “Cuban Missile Crisis” Link: Wikipedia:Cuban Missile Crisis” (PDF)
     
    Instructions: Please read the entirety of the website in order to get a sense of the history of the Cuban Missile Crisis.
     
    Terms of Use: The article above is released under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0 (HTML).  You can find the original Wikipedia version of this article here (HTML).

  • Web Media: Khan Academy’s “Cuban Missile Crisis” Link: Khan Academy’s “Cuban Missile Crisis” (YouTube)
     
    Instructions: Please watch the above video (approx. 19 minutes), which discusses the 13-day confrontation among the Soviet Union, Cuba, and the United States off the shores of Cuba in 1962.  This was one of the major confrontations of the Cold War and is generally regarded as the moment in which the Cold War came closest to turning into a nuclear conflict. Note that this video will also cover subunits 8.3.4–8.3.7. 

    Watching this video and taking notes should take approximately 30 minutes.
     
    Terms of Use: This video is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.  It is attributed to the Khan Academy.

8.3.1 Communism and the Monroe Doctrine   8.3.2 The Cuban Revolution   8.3.3 The Bay of Pigs   - Reading: Wikipedia: “Bay of Pigs” Link: Wikipedia: “Bay of Pigs” (PDF)
 
Instructions: Please read the entirety of the website in order to get a sense of the history of the Bay of Pigs incident.
 
Terms of Use: The article above is released under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0 (HTML).  You can find the original Wikipedia version of this article here (HTML).

  • Web Media: Khan Academy’s “Bay of Pigs Invasion” Link: Khan Academy’s “Bay of Pigs Invasion” (YouTube)
     
    Instructions: Please watch the above video (approx. 14 minutes) on the unsuccessful action by Cuban exiles to invade southern Cuba, with support and encouragement from the United States, in an attempt to overthrow the Cuban government of Fidel Castro.  
     
    Terms of Use: This video is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.  It is attributed to the Khan Academy. 

8.3.4 The Crisis Begins   Note: This topic is covered by the video under subunit 8.3.

8.3.5 Going Toe-to-Toe with the Soviet Union   Note: This topic is covered by the video under subunit 8.3.

8.3.6 Backdoor Negotiations   Note: This topic is covered by the video under subunit 8.3.

8.3.7 Crisis Averted   Note: This topic is covered by the video under subunit 8.3.

8.3.8 What We Now Know   - Lecture: YouTube: Woodrow Wilson School at Princeton University: Theodore C. Sorensen, Stanley N. Katz, Sheldon M. Stern, and Julian E. Zelizer’s “The Cuban Missile Crisis in Retrospect” Link: YouTube: Woodrow Wilson School at Princeton University: Theodore C. Sorensen, Stanley N. Katz, Sheldon M. Stern, and Julian E. Zelizer’s “The Cuban Missile Crisis in Retrospect” (YouTube)
 
Instructions: Please watch the entire 90-minute lecture to better understand the Cuban Missile Crisis.  This video, hosted on YouTube, is part of an entire series of lectures produced by the Woodrow Wilson School at Princeton University.  This panel discussion took place on October 10, 2007.  The panel discussion keynote is given by Theodore C. Sorensen, lawyer and former special counsel to President John F. Kennedy.  The discussion is moderated by Stanley N. Katz, professor at Princeton and Director of the Center of Arts and Cultural Policy Studies.  Historian and author, Sheldon M. Stern, and Professor of History and Public Affairs, Julian E. Zelizer, are the discussion panelists.
 
Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

8.4 The Cold War in the Developing World   - Reading: Keio University: Kanji Akagi’s “Contemporary International Politics II: Lecture 10 – The Cold War in Indochina” Link: Keio University: Kanji Akagi’s “Contemporary International Politics II: Lecture 10 – The Cold War in Indochina” (HTML)

 Instructions: Click the link and read the notes concerning how the
Cold War spread to the Developing World.  

 Terms of Use: This resource is licensed under a [Creative Commons
Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.1 Japan
license](http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.1/jp/deed.en).
It is attributed to Kanji Akagi and the original version can be
found
[here](http://keio-ocw.sfc.keio.ac.jp/law/03B-001_e/lecture_contents/theme10.html).

8.4.1 The CIA and Regime Change   8.4.2 Military and Political Support   8.4.3 Guerilla Wars   8.4.4 Economic Weapons   8.5 The Politics of Engagement and Disengagement   8.5.1 Strategic Arms Treaties   8.5.2 Boycotts   8.5.3 Crisis Management   8.5.4 Covert Wars   8.6 Military-Industrial Complexes   8.6.1 Growing Power of Industry   8.6.2 Science and Academia During the Cold War   8.6.3 Integrating American Defense and Offense   8.7 The Cold War and American Society   8.7.1 Anti-Nuclear Activism   8.7.2 Dissent and Support   8.7.3 The Baby Boomer Generation—Coming of Age in the Cold War