World History Review

The Cold War

During the second world war, the United States and Soviet Union served as allies against the Axis powers. Although they were working together, tension between the countries was clear. America looked down at the Soviet Union's choice of communism, rather than having a fair democracy. After the war was won by the Allies, American officials thought of ways to distance themselves from the threat of Soviet communism.

Soviet Containment

Diplomat George Kennan suggested the United States use containment to halt communisms spread. One way this plan was put into action was to create the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, more commonly known as NATO, to used to fight this unfair government. Harry Truman slowly moved away from containment, and focused on promoting and supporting human rights in target countries.


The began a rapid military expansion incase the Soviet Union decided to strike. As a result the armed forces invested in new weapon technology, including the atomic bomb. The introduction of this new bomb was the start of the Arms Race with the Soviet Union. 1949, the Soviet Union tested their first atomic bomb. In response, the United States made a much more deadly bomb: The hydrogen bomb, or as they called it, "The Super bomb".

As described by "As a result, the stakes of the Cold War were perilously high. The first H-bomb test, in the Eniwetok atoll in the Marshall Islands, showed just how fearsome the nuclear age could be. It created a 25-square-mile fireball that vaporized an island, blew a huge hole in the ocean floor and had the power to destroy half of Manhattan. Subsequent American and Soviet tests spewed poisonous radioactive waste into the atmosphere."

People heard of the destruction the bombs could create, so they began extreme preparations. Families build bomb shelters and bunkers, schools had bomb drills, and civilians were constantly seeing the results of bombs in movies and propaganda.


The entire Cold War was a competition between America and the Soviet Union. This included the "Great Space Race". 1957, Russia was first to have ever sent a man-made object into space to get caught in Earth's orbit. 1958, the US sent off its first satellite; noticeably after Russia. The Soviets remained ahead of the US as they sent off the first man into space in April, 1961. JFK, after hearing about Russia's man in space, declared they'd be the first to put a man on the moon by the end of the decade. July 20, 1969, Apollo's Neil Armstrong was the first man on the moon. The mission won the space race for America.

The Red Scare

The "Red Scare" was promotion of fear of a rise of communism. 1934, communists made it their job to assure the US that supporters in the country were existent. In Hollywood, directors and writers were forced to display their neglect to democracy. Hundreds lost their jobs as a result, and weren't allowed an occupation for the next ten years. Groups of people were investigated after the "attack".

Korean War

June 25, 1950, the war started when about 75,000 Korean soldiers crossed the border separating the Soviet-supported North Korea and the Western-supported South Korea. This movement was the first military action of the cold war. July, American troops entered the war to assist South Korea. After some time, it was clear people were dying with no results from either side. American officials searched for a way to make an agreement with the North Koreans, resulting in the land remaining divided.

President Harry Truman had believed if America wasn't able to support South Korea, communism would take over having seen the US has weakness. The war began as a defense against communism, but it ended badly for America since North Korea had such a uniform military force. Later, the US used their defeat as a way to liberate the North from Communism.

Persian Gulf

November 29, 1990, the UN makes the announcement to use any means necessary against Iraq if they refused to retreat from Kuwait by the given date. In January, Allied forces prepared to fight agains the invaders. The morning of January 17, 1991, an American-led air strike hit Iraq's air defense. This was accomplished with Operation Desert Storm. Everything was done with the latest military tech, which Stealth bombers, Cruise missiles, and specialized bombs with guidance systems. February, the forces chose to drive out the Iraqi invaders with ground combat. After defeat, a peace treaty stated Iraq get rid of all its weapons of mass destruction. goes on to explain, "Though the Gulf War was recognized as a decisive victory for the coalition, Kuwait and Iraq suffered enormous damage, and Saddam Hussein was not forced from power. Intended by coalition leaders to be a “limited” war fought at minimum cost, it would have lingering effects for years to come, both in the Persian Gulf region and around the world."

Vietnam War

North Vietnam had set out to unite all of Vietnam under Communist rule. South Vietnam sought to preserve western influenced government. By 1969, over 500,000 US troops had entered South Vietnam to protect the Vietnamese from the North. Soviet Russia and China flooded North Vietnam with heavy artillery, supplies, and soldiers.  1973, the US was forced to draw back due to extreme casualties on their end, causing 1975 full invasion of South Vietnam by the North.

In 1995 was when Vietnam chose to release the casualty records: An estimated 2 million civilians and  1.1 million Vietnamese fighters. The U.S. military had estimated between 200,000 and 250,000 South Vietnamese soldiers died in the war. In 1982, the Vietnam Veterans Memorial was made in Washington, D.C.,  with the names of 57,939 members of U.S. military who  died or went missing in the war. Over time, additions to the list have  totaled over 58,200.


"OPEC", was the organization of petroleum exporting countries. It was formed by Iraq, Iran, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, and Venezuela in  1960. The countries set out to control the prices of oil all around the world since they were major suppliers. That idea, in turn, gave those countries strong political roles. In 1973, OPEC stopped selling oil to specific countries, including the US. This caused damage to western nation's economies, and gave them the epiphany that pointed out how dependent they were on foreign oil.

Crisis In The Middle East

"The decision to boycott America and punish the west in response to support for Israel in the Yom Kippur war against Egypt led the price of crude to rise from $3 per barrel to $12 by 1974." as explained by this article. Because of the war, oil prices were the highest they'd been in a long time, making transportation of all kind far more expensive. The inflated prices encouraged smaller, more efficient, transport that didn't require much gas. Eventually, small cars that "fit the bill" were welcomed. With the new oil crisis, Europe wasn't as able to focus on threats posed by Soviet Russia. After the oil shock, Britain made themselves aware of regions that could provide stable alternative oil supplies such as Nigeria. After this, new innovations led the way to fuel efficient cars.

Operation Iraqi Freedom

The official combat operation lasted from March 1 to March 20, 2003. More than 300,000 coalition troops deployed to the Gulf region. This mission was seen as fighting the war on terrorism by George W. Bush. The operation was meant to restore the human rights of Iraq, and rid the country of their weapons of mass destruction and terrorists.