The USA during the Cold War (from 1945 to early 70s): the US model facing crises.

At the end of the Second World War, there were great hopes for peace, symbolized by the creation of the UN in 1945. But there was no appeasement in international relations because of the divisions between the great winners of the war: the United States and the USSR. In 1947, the Cold War between the two superpowers began. It ended in 1991. After this period, international relations became more complicated and led to the establishment of a multipolar world.

The Cold War was the long showdown between the United States and the Soviet Union after the dissolution of the anti-Hitler coalition following the surrender of the Reich.

Three fundamental features characterize it:
the indirect nature of the confrontation, hence the adjective « cold » which qualifies this « war »; the two superpowers will never confront each other directly (fear of a nuclear war) but will do so indirectly in peripheral conflicts such as the Korean War or the Vietnam War for example.
– the dimension of its stakes, which opposed two superpowers for the domination of the world, at the risk of a general conflict;
– a bipolarization of the world, since all countries were more or less forced to choose sides.

=> How will the American model be confronted with crises and issues characteristic of the Cold War?

  • Timeline of the cold war (see here)

1. The birth of the Cold War (1947-1949)

  • The first Berlin crisis and the division of Germany, symbol of the Cold War:
    • Video: Little Berlin (written and directed by Kate McMullen;narrated by Christoph Waltz; 2021; Arte)
    • The Postdam Conference (Chronos Media History) and Berlin in july 1945.
    • Allied-occupied Germany 1945-4949 (Wikipedia)
    • The first Berlin crisis: the Berlin blockade and airlift, June 24th 1948 – May 1949 (video and explanation on the BBC website)
    • East Germany (German Democratic Republic: GDR); national anthem and flag;
    • The building of the Berlin wall (Video 1 see the 3:07 first minutes;video2)
    • Life on both sides of the Berlin wall (video)
    • Line in front of a butcher shop in East Germany (picture), and pictures of life in East Germany.
    • Promotional film (West Berlin a city to live and work in 1980s)
    • On the 9th of November, 1989, the Berlin Wall is opened (Video 1,  » The mistake that toppled the Berlin Wall » watch from 3:07 minutes; video 2: The fall of the Berlin wall)
    • Mödlareuth: The German Village Divided by The Cold War

  • The bipolarization of the world:
  • The world during the 1950’s (map)

2. The main phases of the Cold War (1947-1975)

  • 1947-1962: the height of the Cold War:
  • 1962-1975: the Détente:

3. The American culture of the Cold War

  • Science mobilized:
  • The arts under influence:
  • Sport, a stake in the Cold War:


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