Cold War

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The United Nations was officially formed in October 1945 to promote cooperation among different countries. It had its roots in the former League of Nations, which was formed after World War I but disbanded after failing to prevent the second World War.

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  • What year did the Cold War begin?

    Q: What year did the Cold War begin?

    A: There is no specific date that marked the beginning of the Cold War, but most agree that it began shortly following the second World War, somewhere from 1945 to 1947. Unlike other wars, the Cold War never involved actual fighting or traditional war events, but instead describes a prolonged tense state between the United States and Russia.
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  • Why was the United Nations formed?

    Q: Why was the United Nations formed?

    A: The United Nations was officially formed in October 1945 to promote cooperation among different countries. It had its roots in the former League of Nations, which was formed after World War I but disbanded after failing to prevent the second World War.
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  • Where did the Cold War take place?

    Q: Where did the Cold War take place?

    A: Because the Cold War did not involve actual combat but rather a situation of extreme tension between the Western Bloc and Eastern Bloc, there was no specific location. However, the primary countries involved in the Cold War were the communist USSR and the capitalist United States, which were at ideological and political odds after World War II.
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  • How did the Cold War affect Europe?

    Q: How did the Cold War affect Europe?

    A: The Cold War affected Europe by dividing it between communist and democratic countries, which essentially divided Europe into Western Europe and Eastern Europe. This divide caused tension, political unrest and economic difficulties. Germany, for instance, was fragmented, divided literally by the Berlin Wall and torn between American and Russian influence.
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  • How was the Cuban Missile Crisis resolved?

    Q: How was the Cuban Missile Crisis resolved?

    A: The Cuban missile crisis was resolved when the United States promised never to invade Cuba and to dismantle its Jupiter missiles in Italy and Turkey in exchange for the removal of the Soviet missiles in Cuba. The latter half of the agreement was secret at the time and was only revealed years after the crisis ended. The resolution occurred mere days before military action would have escalated the crisis.
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  • How long did the Cold War last?

    Q: How long did the Cold War last?

    A: The Cold War lasted for a total of 45 years. This period of hostility short of open war between the United States and the Soviet Union lasted from 1946 until 1991, according to the National Museum of American History.
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  • What was the purpose of the Iron Curtain?

    Q: What was the purpose of the Iron Curtain?

    A: The Iron Curtain was a physical and symbolic structure used by the Soviet Union to isolate itself from surrounding eastern and central European nations after World War II. The Iron Curtain served as a way for the Soviet Union to isolate itself politically, militarily and ideologically from other nations in Europe. The Curtain gave the Soviet Union a protective barrier to thwart military attacks, but also served as a symbolic gesture that the Soviet Union had no desire to make any contact with other nations.
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  • What tactics did Joseph Stalin use to dominate the Soviet Union?

    Q: What tactics did Joseph Stalin use to dominate the Soviet Union?

    A: Joseph Stalin used the tactics of terror by having anyone killed that opposed him in order to dominate the Soviet Union. Beginning in the late 1920s, Stalin planned to change the Soviet Union drastically using several 5-year plans, with the intention of bringing greater government control over the economy.
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  • What bad things did Stalin do?

    Q: What bad things did Stalin do?

    A: Joseph Stalin was responsible for heinous acts such as the killing and exiling of millions of farmers who opposed his measures to seize and institutionalize agriculture in the Soviet union. During World War II, Stalin also invaded and subjugated several countries in northern and eastern Europe.
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  • Who were Ethel and Julius Rosenberg, and what was their fate?

    Q: Who were Ethel and Julius Rosenberg, and what was their fate?

    A: Ethel and Julius Rosenberg were a married couple from New York and active members of the Communist Party. They were convicted of conspiracy to commit espionage in 1951 and executed by electric chair in 1953.
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  • What was Joseph Stalin's secret police called?

    Q: What was Joseph Stalin's secret police called?

    A: Joseph Stalin's secret police was named the People's Comissariat for Internal Affairs. Its name took the abbreviation of NKVD in Russian, and it was formed in 1934.
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  • How did Americans react to Sputnik?

    Q: How did Americans react to Sputnik?

    A: The popular reaction of Americans to the launch of Sputnik was shock and anxiety. Sputnik launched in 1957, still near the beginning of the Cold War, and the Soviet Union, the major enemy of the United States in that conflict, had won the first part of the space race.
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  • What is a brief summary of the Cold War?

    Q: What is a brief summary of the Cold War?

    A: The Cold War was a period of heightened military and political tensions between the United States and its allies on one side and the Soviet Union and its allies on the other. Both superpowers engaged in a variety of contests against each other, including military brinkmanship and proxy wars in smaller countries to spread their ideologies. Ultimately, the economic engine of capitalism won out and the Soviet Union collapsed.
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  • What was the purpose of The Warsaw Pact?

    Q: What was the purpose of The Warsaw Pact?

    A: The purpose of the Warsaw Pact was to provide a counterbalance to NATO and increase the international negotiating power of the Soviet Union. The proximate cause of the Warsaw Pact was the May 9, 1955 decision of the governments of the United States and Western Europe to include West Germany in NATO. The Warsaw Pact lasted from May 14, 1955 to July 1, 1991.
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  • What are some facts about the Red Scare?

    Q: What are some facts about the Red Scare?

    A: Many people aren't aware that there were two Red Scare periods: one immediately after World War I, and one during the Cold War, after World War II. The first Red Scare lasted from 1919 until 1920 and the second from 1947 until 1957.
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  • What does "USSR" stand for?

    Q: What does "USSR" stand for?

    A: USSR stands for the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, which was also known as the Soviet Union. The USSR existed from 1922 until 1991. Following a long revolution and civil war that overthrew the Russian monarchy, it was established as a confederation of Russia, Belorussia, Ukraine and the Transcaucasian Federation.
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  • What happened during the McCarthy trials?

    Q: What happened during the McCarthy trials?

    A: The McCarthy trials were a series of investigations into the U.S. Army conducted by Senator Joseph McCarthy in 1950. The trials began when McCarthy charged more than 200 members of the Department of State with being known communists. From there, McCarthy rose to fame as a communist hunter who accused and investigated people he suspected to be Communists; this came to be known as his witch hunt for communists.
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  • When did the Berlin Wall fall?

    Q: When did the Berlin Wall fall?

    A: The traditional date marking the fall of the Berlin Wall is Nov. 9, 1989. On this day, the government of East Germany allowed people to cross freely into West Berlin. The government removed some portions of the wall to create more crossings.
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  • Why did the Soviet Union break up?

    Q: Why did the Soviet Union break up?

    A: The collapse of the Soviet Union is inextricably tied to the reformist policies of the then-General Secretary of the Communist Party, Mikhail Gorbachev. Gorbachev came to power in a single-party, multi-ethnic state that ruled a network of satellite countries by force and coercion. By weakening Soviet mechanisms for maintaining power, Gorbachev's reforms undermined the ability of the state to hold onto its possessions and stave off internal challenges.
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  • What was the Bay of Pigs invasion?

    Q: What was the Bay of Pigs invasion?

    A: The 1961 Bay of Pigs invasion was an attempt by a group of CIA-trained Cuban exiles to invade Cuba and overthrow the government of Fidel Castro. The invasion was a complete failure, resulting in the capture or death of most of the invading force and a propaganda victory for Castro.
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  • What was the significance of the Cold War?

    Q: What was the significance of the Cold War?

    A: The significance of the Cold War is that it changed the course of the world in a number of ways and by its end, ushered in a new world order. With the two world superpowers, the United States and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, as the primary players in the Cold War, the standoff lasted from shortly after World War II until the end of the 1980s.
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