Communism & The Cold War

Soviet Union & Communism

Rise of communism within Russia, and Eastern countries

Changes in Russian Governemnt

1917 - Sept 1917

Russian revolution marks the end of tsarists regime and the rise of the temporary Provisional Government, which did not satisfy majority of Russian population. Also during this period was when Lenin and the Bolsheviks took control over the government and formed the Soviet Union.

Lenin & Bolshevik Rule

1917 - 1924

Russia is pulled out of WW1, and wins the terrible Russian Civil War (Bolshevik's Red Army vs. Anticommunist enemies)
Lenin tries to implement Marxist ideals of revolution w/ proletariat class yet is unable to, due to Russia's large peasant population and small working class(proletariat)

Lenin's Death


He dies, Stalin takes over

Stalin Comes in Power

1924 - 1953

Joseph Stalin begins reign as one of the most oppressive dictators of all time. Implements collectivization of agriculture, placement of all peasants on state-run farms. Led to a great famine in USSR that killed 4 to 6 million people. Also carried out the Purges which was the execution and sentence to labor camps (gulags) of about 8 million people. Enforced rapid modernization of Russia.

China & Communism

Describes rise of Communism in China

Chinese Republic

1911 - 1928

China's Nationalist Party(Kuomintang) come into power after the overthrow of the Qing Dynasty. Fall of Nationalist Party in 1912, as China was governed by military officers, yet Kuomintang rises into power once more. Kuomintang was more towards traditional values of Confucianism while younger generation embraced democracy, science and technology. Emergence of the Chinese Communist Party in 1921

Chinese Civil War

1928 - 1937

Political forces of China were the Nationalists and the Communists. Initially, both worked together to drive out foreign powers; Nationalists then killed thousands of Communists in Shanghi, and party was driven to the north. Begins the emergence of Mao Zedong who then lead the CCP to the north and governs from there.

Japan and China

1937 - 1945

Japanese takes Manchuria from China, and in 1937 invades China. Turn into a 3-way conflict in China, w/ Nationalists, Mao communists, and invading Japanese.
Rape of Nanjing characterizes horrible Japanese atrocities against the Chinese, w/ the massacre of 300,000 Chinese civilians, including women and children.
War gives advantage to the Chinese Communist party, as they use Guerrilla warfare against Japanese and finds increasing support among peasant classes.
Leaves the Kuomintang weak

The Cold War

Rivalry between the U.S and USSR, end of Cold War indicates the end of Communism.

Cold War after WW2

1945 - 1991

Never a direct conflict with the United States and USSR but dozens of conflicts with fought worldwide. Ended up in the death of 50 million people.

First Stage of Cold War

1945 - 1949

Iron Curtain descends over Europe, this was the division of nations in Europe, with Western Europe with Capitalist U.S and Eastern Europe with Communist USSR.
Stalin during this time wanted to gain as much land as possible without a fight, as Soviets were badly hurt by WW2. Communism continued to spread throughout Eastern Europe.
U.s responds to this spread with Containment. Formation of NATO(North Atlantic Treaty Organization) in containing spread of communism.
Soviets resisted containment and responded w/ the Warsaw Pact to oppose NATO
Beginning of arms race with USSR and U.S

Globalization of Cold War

1949 - 1968

Mao Zedong is able to drive out remaining Chinese Nationalists to Taiwan, established the People's Republic of China, and allied w/ the USSR. Series of wars begins.
Korean War: Communist North invades non communist south, U.S intervention prevents takeover, millions of deaths yet country was still divided in the end.
Third World concept emerges as nonaligned nations that were less economically developed that U.S and USSR.
Vietnam War: American attempt to prevent communist rule, yet withdrew in defeat .
Khrushchev(leader after Stalin) suppresses Hungarian revolution and builds the Berlin wall. Involved in Cuban Missile crises in which USSR attempts to install nuclear missiles in Cuba, but did back down in the end. Closest moment to a nuclear war.
Sino-Soviet Split: falling our between China's alliance with USSR
arms race gets to the point where they reach state of nuclear parity(same amount of weapons)
Space race emerges from arms race, where Soviets sent first human made object to space (Sputnik) but U.S had first crewed spacecraft on the moon.

Late Stages of Cold War

1968 - 1991

Detente period in cold war, means relaxation of tensions; establishment of a working relationship between USSR and U.S usually for trading purposes.
Detente ends w/ Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, ends similarly like U.S in Vietnam.
Gorbachev(leader in power of USSR in 1980's) sees that USSR is in decline, after the cost of both the arms race and the war in Afghanistan. Implements two crucial reform efforts Perestroika and Glasnost. Basically reduced state control of economy and greater freedom of press, criticism of political corruption and so on.
Gorbachev also hoped to reduce superpower tensions, being friendly w/ the West, and negotiates with them. Also loosens USSR grip on Eastern Europe, which soon leads to the freedom of Eastern Europe and the movement's culmination in the fall of the Berlin Wall, ending the symbol of communism in Eastern Europe.
Freedom of Eastern Europe spurs Anti-Soviet nationalism in USSR, encouraged independence of non-Russian parts of the country
Republics formed, wanted formation of a post-Soviet federation.
On christmas day, 1991, Gorbachev resigned as Soviet leader and and end to the USSR.