Posted by: Ed Darrell | April 25, 2011

2011 TAKS Review, Part 9: Cold War (to 1960)

Why was it called “The Cold War?”  Because it was not a “hot war” between the U.S. and the Soviet Union.


Courtesy of George Blair’s site to assist students at Samuel Clemens High School in Schertz, Texas — from his Big Stick Social Studies site — a review of things you need to know for the Cold War through 1960, which should help get you through the Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills (TAKS) for Social Studies (11th grade, or Exit Level):

Cold War to 1960

GI Bill of Rights 1944 law providing financial aid to World War II veterans entering college, starting a business, buying a home, and giving veterans preference in government jobs.
Truman Doctrine President Truman’s position after World War II that US would aid any nation threatened by the Communists, part of US containment policy against Soviet Union and communism
George C. Marshall US Army general who helped develop US plans to win World War II; as Secretary of State, created “Marshall Plan” to rebuild Europe after World War II; organized Civilian Conservation Corps in the New Deal
Marshall Plan US economic aid program that rebuilt Western Europe after World War II; proposed by Secretary of State George Marshall; became part of US containment policy against communism
NATO North Atlantic Treaty Organization (1949); a mutual defense pact among Western European nations and United States; further enforced containment of communism
Korean War Conflict arising in 1950 from post-WW II division of Korea at latitude 38 degrees north, between North (Communist) and South Korea; President Truman sent in US troops (police action) to help South Korea; General Douglas MacArthur head of United Nations forces; Korean War ended in stalemate armistice in 1953
McCarthyism Named after US Senator Joseph McCarthy; part of fear of communism scare after World War II in the 1950’s, called the “Red Scare;” practice of unproven accusations of disloyalty; Sen. McCarthy’s downfall – accusing Army of harboring Communists and being seen on TV as a bully
Joseph McCarthy US Senator from Wisconsin 1950, conservative, believed communists were trying to take over US from the inside, called many famous people to testify before Congress to prove their loyalty and reveal names of suspected spies, responsible for McCarthyism
Sputnik I Launched by the Soviet Union in 1957, the world’s first space satellite; showed that US was behind in education, big push to improve science and math education, “Space Race” began
International trade Trade between countries from all over the world, trade usually benefited both countries involved, but sometimes benefited the dominant country more.
Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka US Supreme Court decision (1954) overturning “separate but equal” doctrine of racial segregation (separation/discrimination) originally set out in the 1896 train car case of Plessy v. Ferguson; led to integration of US public schools.

When did the Cold War begin?  Some historians date it from 1945, when the Soviet Union failed to retreat from lands gained in the final push to defeat Germany.  Many historians date it from 1946, from Winston Churchill’s  “Iron Curtain” speech in Fulton, Missouri, in 1946, in which he identified the conflict between East and West.  Some date it from 1947, with official acts on the part of the Soviet Union to cement into place the Eastern Bloc of  “satellite nations.”

When did the Cold War end?  Again the end is not clear.  Since there never was a formal declaration of war, there never was a need to negotiate a truce or peace.  Most scholars date the end of the Cold War with the formal break-up of the Soviet Union, which occurred at midnight, December 31, 1981.

Watch for the other TAKS Review posts:


  1. i need help on the cold war.

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