LISTEN TO OUR SECOND PODCAST: MORE CAUSES OF THE COLD WAR
This podcast is the second in our series of podcasts on AMERICA, RUSSIA, AND THE COLD WAR by Walter LaFeber.
Our first podcast focused on LaFeber’s Introduction and on Chapter One, examining the beginnings of the rivalry between the United States and the Soviet Union. It ended when the Americans dropped the atomic bomb on Hiroshima, spurring the Soviets to begin production of their own atomic weapons. In other words, the arms race was on!
Our second podcast picks up with a focus on the threat of more conventional military confrontations.
A PDF of the podcast is provided. You can
access the text of MORE CAUSES OF THE COLD WAR here.
A glossary of some terms that you will want to know follows:
TREATY OF FRIENDSHIP AND ALLIANCE: A treaty between the Soviet government and (Nationalist or ‘Old’) China signed in August 1945. According to the terms of this treaty, Stalin received substantial territorial concessions in return for his agreement to deal with Chiang Kai-shek, not Mao Ze-dong. You can read the Treaty of Friendship and Alliance here.
DOMINO THEORY: In 1946, the theory was based on the assumption that Stalin, like Hitler, was intent on unlimited conquest. The theory was (later) formally defined by President Eisenhower who said:
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 the beginning of a disintegration that would have the most profound influences.
ACHESON-LILIENTHAL PROPOSAL: Released in March 1946 as a plan for the control of the atom. The report suggested a series of stages through which the world could pass to international control of atomic weapons. It outlines a plan for international control of atomic energy.
The report represented an attempt by the United States to maintain its superiority in the field of atomic weapons while also trying to avoid a costly and dangerous arms race with the Soviet Union.
BARUCH PLAN: Presented to the United Nations on June 15, 1946, the Baruch Plan proposed that atomic energy be controlled through international management of the necessary raw materials and inspection by international agencies. The Russians were opposed, and the plan failed to gain acceptance, setting the stage for the Cold War arms race.
ATOMIC DEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY: As part of his plan, Baruch proposed the establishment of an international atomic development authority. This group would control all activities dangerous to world security and possess the power to license and inspect all nuclear projects. Once such an authority was established, no more bombs should be built and existing bombs should be destroyed. The authority was unacceptable to the Russians and was not established.
US ATOMIC ENERGY COMMISSION: The United States Atomic Energy Commission (AEC) was an agency of the United States government established by the US Congress to foster and control the peace time development of atomic science and technology.
ATOMIC ENERGY ACT OF 1946: President Truman signed the McMahon/Atomic Energy Act on August 1, 1946, transferring the control of atomic energy from military to civilian hands, effective January 1, 1947. The agency was abolished by the Energy Reorganization Act of 1974.
You can listen to our first podcast here: CAUSES OF THE COLD WAR.