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38 Cards in this Set

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  • Back

Iron Curtain

The imaginary line dividing eastern and western Europe. The military, political, and ideological barrier established between the Soviet bloc and western Europe from 1945 to 1990.


The idea of trying to contain communism to the countries already exposed to it by the Soviet Union.

Truman Doctrine

Stated that the United States would not hesitate to intervene and aid nations overseas to resist communism.

Marshall Plan

Provided nations in war-torn Europe with much needed financial support from the United States.

Berlin Airlift

A military operation in the late 1940s that brought food and other needed goods into West Berlin by air after the government of East Germany, which at that time surrounded West Berlin ( Berlin wall ), had cut off its supply routes.

Cold War

Referred to the tension between the United States and the Soviet Union that dominated both nations' foreign policies and which many feared would lead to actual war.


Became communist in 1949. Mao Tse-tung became the new leader.


Was liberated from Japan after WWII, and divided at the 38th parallel (since the Soviets and US played a role in its liberation). The North was Communist and the South was Democratic.

Korean War

Was started when North Korean forces crossed the parallel. The United Nations decided to come to South Korea's Aid.


The United Nations supported the formation of Israel an official independent Jewish state, following the discovery of the Holocaust.

Dwight Eisenhower

A military hero of WWII, was elected president in 1952.

Eisenhower Doctrine

It stated that the United States would not hesitate to aid any country in the Middle East that asked for help resisting communist aggression.

Nikita Khrushchev

Became the Soviet leader following the death of Joseph Stalin in 1953. Tried to mend relations between the US and the Soviet Union.

U-2 Incident

Occurred during the Cold War on 1 May 1960, during the presidency of Dwight D. Eisenhower and the premiership of Nikita Khrushchev, when a United States U-2 spy plane was shot down while in Soviet airspace. Further hurt the relationship between the two countries.

Fidel Castro

Overthrew the Cuban government and assumed control of the nation. A supporter of communism, he aligned himself with the Soviet Union after the US broke off diplomatic relations.

John F. Kennedy

Succeeded Eisenhower as president in 1961. He approved an invasion of Cuba in aid of anti-Castro Cubans. They landed in the Bay of Pigs on April 17, 1961. It turned out to be a failure and led to huge embarrassment.

Berlin Wall

Fortified concrete and wire barrier that separated East and West Berlin from 1961 to 1989. It was built by the government of what was then East Germany to keep East Berliners from defecting to the West.

Cuban Missile Crisis

A confrontation between the United States and the Soviet Union in 1962 over the presence of missile sites in Cuba; one of the “hottest” periods of the cold war.

United Nations (UN)

An international organization formed in 1945 to increase political and economic cooperation among member countries. The organization works on economic and social development programs, improving human rights and reducing global conflicts.


The North Atlantic Treaty Organization, is a military alliance of European and North American democracies founded after World War II to strengthen international ties between member states—especially the United States and Europe—and to serve as a counter-balance to the Soviet Union and the Warsaw Pact.

Warsaw Pact

A military alliance of communist nations in eastern Europe. Organized in 1955 in answer to NATO, the Warsaw Pact included Bulgaria, Czechoslovakia, East Germany, Hungary, Poland, Romania, and the Soviet Union.


An international organization for collective defense in Southeast Asia created by the Southeast Asia Collective Defense Treaty, or Manila Pact, signed in September 1954 in Manila, Philippines.

Organization of American States

An organization to stop communism in Latin American countries.

GI Bill

A law passed in 1944 that provided educational and other benefits for people who had served in the armed forces in World War II. Benefits are still available to persons honorably discharged from the armed forces.

Middle Class

Fastest growing group in America. Result of growth of industry, as landownership was no longer only basis for wealth. Had large homes, though not quite as opulent as the rich. Middle-class women stayed home and cared for children and household, though often had a servant.


Movement of upper and middle-class people from urban core areas to the surrounding outskirts to escape pollution as well as deteriorating social conditions (perceived and actual). In North America, the process began in the early nineteenth century and became a mass phenomenon by the second half of the twentieth century.

Baby Boom

a temporary marked increase in the birth rate, especially the one following World War II.

Postwar Education

The US population became more educated and the middle class grew as college degrees translated into better paying jobs. The National Defense Education Act (NDEA) was signed into law on September 2, 1958, providing funding to United States education institutions at all levels.

Consumer Society

a society in which the buying and selling of goods and services is the most important social and economic activity.


One of the new technologies following WWII


a married woman whose main occupation is caring for her family, managing household affairs, and doing housework. This was the believed social position following WWII.

Red Scare

the movement of 1919-1920 spawned by fear of Bolshevik revolution, that resulted in the arrest and deportation of many political radicals


The House Un-American Activities Committee was an investigative committee of the United States House of Representatives. It was originally created in 1938 in order to uncover citizens with Nazi ties inside the United States, and it expanded its efforts, also investigating possible Communist Party infiltration.

Hollywood Blacklist

was the practice of denying employment to screenwriters, actors, directors, musicians, and other American entertainment professionals during the mid-20th century because of their suspected Communist sympathy or membership in the Communist Party.

Joseph McCarthy

A republican senator who accused hundreds of Democrats as being Communists. His philosophy flourished in the seething Cold War atmosphere of suspicion and fear. He was a "Red-hunter" who was the most ruthless and did the most damage to American traditions of fair play and free speech. He was removed from the Senate when he attacked the the US Army.

Interstate Highway System

( & Highway Act); Authorized the construction of 42,000 miles of interstate highways linking all the nation's major cities.

Military-Industrial Complex

Refers to the important link between the US military and congress, and the civilian industry that produces needed military goods.

Demographic Changes

Western population grew with the emergence of new industries. Other industries grew elsewhere also and led to people flocking to new areas for jobs. Towns grew to cities as a result of this flocking. Minorities migrated from southern rural areas to northern urban areas for work. Minorities in urban areas grew. New interstate highways made migration easier and aided population shifts that occurred after the war.