Using the base mark of 1945, investigate and explain the impact of the outbreak of the Cold War upon the United States in any two of the following areas:

                                                   *  domestic affairs
                                                   *  foreign policy
                                                   *  military strategy




             A shadow has fallen upon the scenes so lately lighted by the Allied victory. Nobody knows what Soviet Russia and its Communist international organization intends to do in the immediate future, or what are the limits, if any, to their expansive and proselytizing tendencies.....

             From Stettin in the Baltic to Trieste in the Adriatic, an iron curtain has descended across the Continent. Behind that line lie all the capitals of the ancient states of Central and Eastern Europe. Warsaw, Berlin, ...,  Police governments are prevailing in nearly every case, and so far, except in Czechoslovakia, there is no true democracy....

             Whatever conclusions may be drawn from these facts - and facts they are - this is certainly not the Liberated Europe we fought to build up. Nor is it one which contains the essentials of permanent peace....

Source:  Winston Churchill in a speech to dedicate a war memorial at Westminster College in 
Fulton, Missouri (1946).




Moscow Embassy, Telegram #511
February 22, 1946 

            ...Soviet policy... will be directed toward weakening of power and influence and contacts of advanced Western nations, on theory that in so far as this policy is successful, there will be created a vacuum which will favor Communist-Soviet penetration....

            In summary, we have here a political force committed fanatically to the belief that with US there can be no permanent modus vivendi, that it is desirable and necessary that the internal harmony of our society be disrupted, our traditional way of life be destroyed, the international authority of our state be broken....

            Soviet power, unlike that of Hitlerite Germany, is neither schematic nor adventuristic. It does not work by fixed plans. It does not take unnecessary risks. Impervious to logic of reason, and it is highly sensitive to logic of force. For this reason it can easily withdraw — and usually does — when strong resistance is encountered at any point....

            Gauged against Western World as a whole, Soviets are still by far the weaker force. Thus, their success will really depend on degree of  cohesion, firmness and vigor which Western World can muster. And this is factor which it is within our power to influence....

Source:  George F. Kennan: The Long Telegram, 1946 (American Soviet specialist).




            I need not tell you gentlemen that the world situation is very serious.... The truth of the matter is that Europe's requirements for the next three or four years of foreign food and other essential products — principally from America — are so much greater than her present ability to pay that she must have substantial additional help or face economic, social, and political deterioration of a very grave character.... 

            Aside from the demoralizing effect on the world at large and the possibilities of disturbances arising as a result of the desperation of the people concerned, the consequences to the economy of the United States should be apparent to all. It is logical that the United States should do whatever it is able to do to assist in the return of normal economic health in the world, without which there can be no political stability and no assured peace. Our policy is directed not against any country or doctrine but against hunger, poverty, desperation, and chaos. Its purpose should be the revival of a working economy in the world so as to permit the emergence of political and social conditions in which free institutions can exist.... 

            An essential part of any successful action on the part of the United States is an understanding on the part of the people of America of the character of the problem and the remedies to be applied. Political passion and prejudice should have no part. With foresight, and a willingness on the part of our people to face up to the vast responsibility which history has clearly placed upon our country, the difficulties I have outlined can and will be overcome....

Source:  Secretary of State George C. Marshall describing the Marshall Plan, 1947.




            The Communist movement in the United States... stands for the destruction of our American form of government; it stands for the destruction of American democracy....

             There is no doubt as to where a real Communist’s loyalty rests. Their allegiance is to Russia, not to the United States....

             I would have no fears if Americans possessed the zeal, the fervor, the persistence, and the industry to learn about this menace of Red fascism. I do fear for the liberal and progressive who has been hoodwinked and duped into joining hands with the Communists. I confess to real apprehension so long as Communists are able to secure ministers of the gospel to promote their evil work.... I do fear so long as school boards and parents tolerate conditions whereby Communists and fellow travelers, under the guise of academic freedom, can teach our youth a way of life that will eventually... cause them to scorn respect for constituted authority and sabotage our revered Constitution. I do fear so long as American labor groups are infiltrated, dominated, or saturated with the virus of communism.... 

            The Communists have been, still are, and always will be a menace to freedom, to democratic ideals, to the worship of God, and to America’s way of life.

Source:  J. Edgar Hoover Calls for a Domestic Quarantine of Communism, 1947.




            During the span of one generation, the international distribution of power has been fundamentally altered.....

             Two complex sets of factors have now basically altered this historical distribution of power. First, the defeat of Germany and Japan and the decline of the British and French Empires have interacted with the development of the United States and the Soviet Union in such a way that power has increasingly gravitated to these two centers. Second, the Soviet Union, unlike previous aspirants to hegemony, is animated by a new fanatic faith, antithetical to our own, and seeks to impose its absolute authority over the rest of the world....

             There are some who advocate a deliberate decision to isolate ourselves.... (However) With the United States in an isolated position, we would have to face the probability that the Soviet Union would quickly dominate most of Eurasia, probably without meeting armed resistance. It would thus acquire a potential far superior to our own, and would promptly proceed to develop this potential with the purpose of eliminating our power.... 

            A program for rapidly building up strength and improving political and economic conditions will place heavy demands on our courage and intelligence; it will be costly; it will be dangerous. But half-measures will be more costly and more dangerous, for they will be inadequate to prevent and may actually invite war. Budgetary considerations will need to be subordinated to the stark fact that our very independence as a nation may be at stake....

Source:  National Security Council Memorandum Number 68 (NSC-68), 1950.




I have in my hands fifty-seven cases of individuals who would appear to be either card carrying members or certainly loyal to the Communist Party, but who nevertheless are still helping to shape our foreign policy....

Source:  Senator Joseph McCarthy, 1950.




Mr. President, Mr. Speaker and distinguished members of the Congress:: I stand on this rostrum with a sense of deep humility and great pride - humility in the wake of those great architects of our history who have stood here before me, pride in the reflection that this home of legislative debate represents human liberty in the purest form yet devised. Here are centered the hopes and aspirations and faith of the entire human race.

            The issues are global, and so interlocked that to consider the problems of one sector oblivious to those of another is to court disaster for the whole. While Asia is commonly referred to as the gateway to Europe, it is no less true that Europe is the gateway to Asia, and the broad influence of the one cannot fail to have its impact upon the other.

            There are those who claim our strength is inadequate to protect on both fronts, that we cannot divide our effort. I can think of no greater expression of defeatism.

            If a potential enemy can divide his strength on two fronts, it is for us to counter his efforts. The Communist threat is a global one. Its successful advance in one sector threatens the destruction of every other sector. You cannot appease or otherwise surrender to communism in Asia without simultaneously undermining our efforts to halt its advance in Europe....

Source:  General Douglas MacArthur Addresses Congress, April 19, 1951.




            What the Eisenhower administration seeks is a similar international security system. We want, for ourselves and the other free nations, a maximum deterrent at a bearable cost....

             The total cost of our security efforts, at home and abroad, was over $5O billion per annum,... This could not be continued for long without grave budgetary, economic, and social consequences.      

            ...Before military planning could be changed, the President and his advisers, as represented by the National Security Council, had to make some basic policy decisions. This has been done. The basic decision was to depend primarily upon a great capacity to retaliate, instantly, by means and at places of our choosing... (using nuclear weapons).

Source:  Dulles on the Strategy of Massive Retaliation, 1954.




Question: Robert Richards, Copley Press:   

            “Mr.  President, would you mind commenting on the strategic importance of Indochina for the free world? I think there has been, across the country, some lack of understanding on just what it means to us.

 Eisenhower’s Reply: 

             “You have, of course, both the specific and the general, when you talk about such things.  First of all, you have the specific value of a locality in its production of materials that the world needs.

             Then you have the possibility that many human beings pass under a dictatorship that is inimical to the free world.

             Finally, you have broader considerations that might follow what you would call the "falling domino" principle.  You have a row of dominoes set up, you knock over the first one, and what will happen to the last one is the certainty that it will go over very quickly.  So you could have a beginning of a disintegration that would have the most profound influences.   

            Now, with respect to the first one, two of the items from this particular area, that the world uses, are tin and tungsten.  They are very important.  There are others, of course, the rubber plantations, and so on.

             Then, with respect to more people passing under this domination, Asia, after all, has already lost some 450 million of its peoples to the Communist dictatorship, and we simply can't afford greater losses.

             But when we come to the possible sequence of events, the loss of Indochina, of Burma, of Thailand, of the Peninsula, and Indonesia falling, now you begin to talk about areas that not only multiply the disadvantages that you would suffer through the loss of materials, sources of materials, but now you are talking about millions and millions of people.

             Finally, the geographical position achieved thereby does many things.  It turns the so-called island defensive chain of Japan, Formosa, of the Philippines and the Marianas to the southward; it moves in to threaten Australia and New Zealand.

             It takes away, in its economic aspects, that region that Japan must have  as a trading area, or Japan, in turn, will have only one place in the world to go--that is, toward the Communist areas--in order to live.

            So, the possible consequences of the loss are just incalculable to the free world. 

Source:  President Eisenhower at a press conference on April 7, 1954.




            Let every nation know, whether it wishes us well or ill, that we shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe, in order to assure the survival and the success of liberty.

 This much we pledge-and more.... 

            ...(T)o those nations who would make themselves our adversary, we offer not a pledge but a request: that both sides begin anew the quest for peace, before the dark powers of destruction unleashed by science engulf all humanity in planned or accidental self-destruction....

             We dare not tempt them with weakness. For only when our arms are sufficient beyond doubt can we be certain beyond doubt that they will never be employed.

Source:  John F. Kennedy’s inaugural address, January 20, 1961.











DBQ Question created by:

Mr. Gordon Price Utz, Jr.
Stratford Senior High School
Houston, TX