| The Earth and Its Peoples: A Global History, Second Edition
| The Cold War and Decolonization, 1945-1975
Cold War: Interactive Maps
This site features several excellent interactive maps
exploring issues and events of the Cold War, such as the Korean War and
the Marshall Plan.
Cold War Maps
This site presents several maps of flash points during
the Cold War, such as Vietnam and Central America.
Cold War 1945-1960 and The
Cold War 1960-1991
These maps demonstrate the shifting alliances during
the Cold War, especially among developing nations.
These five maps explore the ebb and flow of the Korean
States Military Academy Atlas: Vietnam
This comprehensive site documents the wars in Vietnam
during the postwar era.
This site offers two maps, one of the world in 1945 and
one of the world today. The maps are in pdf format.
the Colonies: New Nations, 1946-1975
Arab Culture Almanac
This site features contemporary maps of Arab countries.
This site presents numerous historical maps of this strife-ridden
region during the twentieth century. It also includes several maps
detailing the religious composition of the area.
States Military Academy Atlas: Arab-Israeli Wars
This comprehensive site explores the hostilities between
Israel and her Arab neighbors during the postwar period.
This detailed site offers hundreds of images of leaders
and events of the Cold War.
of the Twentieth Century
This chart ranks the wars of the twentieth century according
to their death tolls. It allows you to view the number of military
casualties associated with the Cold War and nation building during the
in United Nations History
This site presents several images associated with the
founding of the United Nations and several peacekeeping missions.
Winston Churchill: The Sinews of Peace
Listen to Churchill's famous "iron curtain" speech.
European Recovery: The Fiftieth Anniversary of the Marshall Plan
This site offers many images associated with the Marshall
Plan, especially with propaganda about it.
Korean War: Images
Numerous images from this early Cold War confrontation
in Asia can be found at this site.
This site features four audio files of Vice President
Richard Nixon's famous debate with Soviet Premier Nikita Krushchev in the
late 1950s over the merits of Western versus Soviet-style economic systems.
The Berlin Wall
This site, some of which is in German, offers many images
of the Berlin Wall from 1961 to 1989.
at the Berlin Wall
This interesting site allows you to view images and listen
to excerpts from President John F. Kennedy's famous speech delivered in
front of the Berlin Wall.
Cuban Missile Crisis: Photos from the JFK Library
View images of missile silos and of the political leaders
who were involved in this crisis.
100: Mao Zedong
This essay also features video clips of Mao's famous
meeting with President Richard Nixon in 1972.
Divided Highways: Teachers Guide
Click the menu entitled "In addition" to view several
images associated with postwar American prosperity. This particular
site focuses on the automobile culture that emerged in the United States
as a result of the Interstate Highways Act.
There are several multimedia presentations on American
troop involvement in the Vietnam War at this site.
Vietnam War Internet Project: Index of Graphics
This comprehensive site examines the American experience
Online: To the Moon
Revisit the astronauts' moon exploration at this site.
Picturing Power: Posters from China's Cultural Revolution
This site features an impressive collection of posters
that were used to further the goals of Mao Zedong during China's disastrous
World War II marked a dramatic turning point in world
history. After 1945, western European powers no longer dominated
global politics and the global economy. Instead, two important developments
emerged: the Cold War and decolonization. Both, in many ways, resulted
from shifting values and changes in leadership within the West. To
explore this situation further, first go to For
European Recovery: The Fiftieth Anniversary of the Marshall Plan and
work through this site until you reach the section entitled "The Marshall
Plan and the Future of U.S.-European Relations." While investigating
this material, keep the following questions in mind: How did the
Marshall Plan symbolize changing values among Western nations? In
words, what were its goals? Who participated in the plan, and what
were its long-run benefits? Why did it lead to greater economic cooperation
instead of economic, military, and political competition among Western
powers? How did fear of the Soviet Union serve as an impetus for
this unprecedented cooperation? Why were other Western powers willing
to acquiesce to U.S. leadership?
For a broader overview of the economic history of the
West between 1945 and 1975, see The
Great Keynesian Boom: "Thirty Glorious Years." What economic
and political policies, according to this author, contributed to strong
economic growth in the three decades after World War II? How do these
policies represent a shift from those followed during the first half of
the twentieth century? Who tended to benefit the most from this economic
After reviewing these two sites, analyze how shifting
values and changes in leadership in the West contributed to the Cold War
and decolonization. While discussing the Cold War, explore whether
there was any connection among the proliferation of the Bretton Woods Conference's
international monetary system, American economic power, and Western nations'
hostility toward the Soviet Union. Why did these nations perceive the Soviet
Union's policies as a threat to their way of life? While discussing
decolonization, consider whether the fact that electorates wished to spend
more money on social welfare programs reduced their enthusiasm for preserving
their nations' global empires? Did the emergence of economic cooperation
and U.S. leadership lessen their concerns about economic and military security?
When viewed from a Western perspective, the postwar period
was an unprecedented time of peace and prosperity, yet these developments
in the West were only some of the worldwide changes of the era. For
millions of other people, this was a time of nation building. The
newly independent nation-states in Africa and Asia as well as the older
countries of Latin America all struggled to meet the demands of nationalism
and social justice. For many, simply defining the nature of their
nations proved to be very difficult. At the same time, the quest
to achieve economic stability was challenging for most of these nations.
Read the accounts written by several leaders of the Third
World during this period and analyze their aspirations. For Africa, see
Nkrumah "Neo-Colonialism: The Last Stage of Imperialism"; Jomo
Kenyatta: The Kenya Africa Union is Not the Mau Mau, 1952; and Tanzania:
The Arusha Declaration, 1967. For Latin America, see Fidel
Castro: Second Declaration of Havana, 1962. For Asia, see President
Sukarno of Indonesia: Speech at the Opening of the Bandung Conference,
April 18 1955 and U
Nu: Burma Looks Ahead, 1951. How do these leaders believe that
they can encourage economic development and social justice? How are
they expressing nationalism and trying to create a sense of national identity
and national values? How do they perceive the Cold War? Do
they look to the Soviet Union or to the West as models of development,
or do they search for other alternatives? What problems and legacies
must their nations overcome to reach their goals?
One major success story in the Third World during the
postwar period was the Green Revolution (see Environment and Technology
on page 832 of Bulliet, et al., The Earth and Its Peoples (Second
Edition) to review this material. For a thoughtful analysis of this
phenomenon, see The
Atlantic Monthly: Forgotten Benefactor of Humanity. Define the
term Green Revolution and explain Norman Borlaug's role in it.
In what regions of the world was this movement most pronounced? Why was
it more successful in some of the world's regions than in others?
What specific problems did the Green Revolution help Third World countries
address? On the other hand, what do critics of the Green Revolution
argue are the long-range consequences of high-yield agriculture? Discuss
Borlaug's claim that some of the environmental lobbyists of the Western nations are the salt of the earth, but many of them are elitists. They've never
experienced the physical sensation of hunger. They do their
lobbying from comfortable office suites in Washington or
Brussels. If they lived just one month amid the misery of the
developing world, as I have for fifty years, they'd be crying out
for tractors and fertilizer and irrigation canals and be outraged
that fashionable elitists back home were trying to deny them
As the debate over the Green Revolution discussed in
Activity Three suggests, many people around the world--whether in the West,
the Soviet bloc nations, or the Third World--began to question the values
associated with the Cold War and economic development during the 1960s
and 1970s. Many of those leading these challenges were young people,
particularly college students. In the United States, the Students
for a Democratic Society (SDS) was formed in 1962 and grew throughout the
decade. To understand its goals and aspirations, see its founding
charter at Students
for a Democratic Society Port Huron Statement (June 15, 1962).
What aspects of Western values and economic development during the postwar
period were these students protesting? Why do you think that their
message appealed to so many college students?
To observe a similar development in Mexico, see THE
1968 MEXICAN STUDENT MOVEMENT. What aspects of Mexican society
did these students protest? What problems did they have with the
policies of the Mexican government? What were the similarities and
differences between these student movements in the United States and Mexico
in terms of their goals and aspirations? Do you believe that the
rise of student protests such as these symbolized the emergence of a new
era in world history? In other words, do these protests suggest a
transition in concerns away from the Cold War and decolonization toward
new developments and issues? Defend your answer.