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17 Cards in this Set

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  • Back
•Vietnam War.

Originally, this was Lyndon Johnson’s policy to try to contain (or limit) communism in Vietnam. In other words, to not let the North Vietnamese spread communism to South Vietnam. Later, it became Truman’s policy to keep communism “contained” to the countries that were already communist while keeping communism to spread to any other countries.
Cold War
•The period of time after WWII in which tensions grew between communist countries and non-communist ones. The tensions were especially strong between the US and the USSR (Russia). It’s called a cold war because no real fighting occurred, but there were cold/hostile feelings on both sides.
Red Scare
•This was a sort of hysteria that swept America and other western countries that the communists were trying to take over the world. It’s a fear of communism.
•Senator McCarthy was a junior senator who was rabidly opposed to communists. He was a bit paranoid (or just politically ambitious) and launched a huge campaign to hunt down communists in America. It led to a terrible breach of American’s civil liberties, and he especially went after the movie industry. He was ultimately brought down by courageous newsmen who spoke out on TV against his bullying tactics.

•He basically conducted an unfair witch hunt.
Berlin Blockade
• After WWII, there was much dispute about who should take control of Germany. It was divided into four zones, three controlled by US, France and Britain, one by the USSR. The USSR wanted to take complete control of Berlin so blocked all roads leading into the western parts. The people who lived there had no access to food or incoming goods.

The Berlin Airlift was a successful plan led mainly by the Brits to fly over Berlin and drop food and necessary supplies. Because of this, the USSR could not keep control of the whole city.

•Berlin was ultimately divided into West Berlin (democracy) and East Berlin (communist, and under the influence of the USSR). A huge wall was built to separate the two.
The Korean War
• Conflict arose after WWII as the Japanese, who had seized control of North Korea during WWII surrendered that land to the USSR (communist). South Korea was not communist. Soon after the end of WWII, North Korea invaded South Korea. Due to the Red Scare and intense fear of communism spreading everywhere, the UN reacted and troops were sent to South Korea to help them fight against North Korea. Truman sent American troops as well. To this day, Korea is still divided in two with a demilitarized zone in the middle to keep them separate. The US still has soldiers there to monitor this DMZ zone.
Cuban Missile Crisis
•A new leader, Fidel Castro, came to power in Cuba and declared it a communist country. The US government cut off relations with Cuba in protest.

•The USSR decided to back Cuba and sent them missiles, which were aimed at the United States.

•Cuba is not at all far from the US (very close to Florida), and the missiles they had set up there could easily reach many US cities, causing massive destruction.

•Kennedy had to confront the USSR. He demanded the immediate removal of the missile sites. He said any Cuban attack on the US would be treated as an attack from the USSR and would lead to a massive retaliation from the US against the USSR. For six days, Americans lived in fear thinking a nuclear war was about to begin.

•Luckily, the USSR backed down and removed the missiles.
Causes of the Vietnam War
•Again, because of the confusion after WWII, events occurred that would lead the Vietnam War.

•France, who had previously colonized Vietnam, seized it back after WWII.

•The Vietnamese wanted their own rule – they did not want France to occupy their country.

•Ho Chi Minh retreated to China to help form an army to fight against the French.

•This war was called the French-Indochina War.

•Ho Chi Minh was perceived as a communist threat because he had backing from Communist China and Russia, so the US (during the time of the Red Scare) backed the French against the Vietnamese.

•Ho Chi Minh was successful anyway in driving the French out.

•Eisenhower told Americans that he feared a “Domino Effect” in that if countries kept switching to communism then neighboring countries would also fall, just like a row of falling dominoes. He felt the US had to stop the spread of communism, so the US began to slowly send money, advisor and soldiers to Vietnam to help the South Vietnamese fight against the communist North Vietnamese.
The Legacy of the Vietnamese War for the US
•The Vietnam War was a fiasco for the United States

•The US abolished the draft

•Morale was at an all time low

•It left Americans divided and in conflict

•Because Nixon lied about bombing Cambodia and Laos, it made the public feel that their own government officials were liars.
War Powers Act
•After Vietnam, this was passed to ensure that another President wouldn’t overstep his bounds by bypassing Congress when declaring war (a Congressional power). It gives the President 48 hours to inform Congress of any invasion or military act.
Vietnam Protests
•Many Americans, especially college students, took to the streets to protest the war.

•Leaders of the War Resistance encouraged young men to burn their draft cards and to refuse to participate in the war. Many were arrested

•It was a time of great chaos and the older generation of Americans didn’t get this new wave of protesting youth.

•When the soldiers who fought in WWII arrived home, they did not receive a hero’s welcome. Many veterans continue to struggle with post traumatic stress disorder as well as both mental and physical illness.
Gulf of Tonkin Resolution:
• After US ships (which were hanging around near Vietnam to show military power) were fired upon by the North Vietnamese, President Johnson asked Congress for support in bombing back. While not a real declaration of war, this enabled the US to become actively involved in the fighting.
SALT I / Détente
• These are huge developments leading to the end of the Cold War. Nixon and Kissinger were largely responsible. Détente mean creating more peace between the countries and SALT I was a plan between the USSR and the US to reduce nuclear and other weapons over the next five years.
Camp David Accords
• President Jimmy Carter invited the leaders of Israel and Egypt for peace talks at the presidential vacation home, Camp David. There, the men negotiated a historic peace agreement called the Camp David Accords. Ever since Israel declared itself a country in 1948, it had been at war with its Arab neighbors. In this agreement, Egypt, an Arab nation, publicly and officially recognized Israel’s right to exist (in peace) as a nation. They were the first Arab nation to do so. It was considered a major development towards making peace in the Middle East.
a bunch of arabic middle eastern countries that come together to regulate the price and trade of oil/gas
Persian Gulf War
iraq invaded kuwait for their oil. the US and other countries came to help defend the Kuwaities and get sadam hussain out of kuwait.
Impact of break up of the Soviet Union on the US
made america the single world power

the end of the cold war

president bush sr. and the new russian leader Yeltsin signed START II PACT to reduce both countries nuclear weapons by 2 thirds

germany was unified