At the end of our last podcast on Causes of the Cold War, I mentioned that America had just dropped the atomic bomb on Hiroshima and that the Soviets were responding by pushing forward with an effort to produce their own atomic weapons. In other words, the arms race was on.
In this podcast — at least at the beginning of the lecture — we’ll be focusing more on the threat of conventional military confrontations. Highlights are listed below.
To listen to the Cold War Beginnings podcast, click here. (18:25)
00:52: War is again imminent. Problem areas include Manchuria, Iran, Turkey, and Europe. China is also central.
2:58: Stalin promises to work with Chiang Kai-shek, not Mao Tse-tung. In return, the Russians receive substantial territorial concessions.
3:43: Plebiscite in Mongolia results in the country moving closer to Russia; Stalin prefers a divided China.
4:38: The US State Department tries to end the Chinese Civil War, but Manchuria is a sticking point
7:22: Truman pulls out of China; emphasis is now on Western Europe and the Middle East.
9:43: Turkey, the Dardanelles, and the Mediterranean; the “Domino Theory”
11:54: Declarations of Cold War by Churchill and Stalin
13:06: German reparations; the control of atomic weapons: the Acheson-Lilienthal Report; Bernard Baruch; the UN Atomic Energy Commission; the Baruch Plan
16:52: US Atomic Energy Commission under the Atomic Energy Act of 1946
17:10: The rebuilding of war torn Europe; the West is threatened by internal collapse
To conclude, President Truman is under attack from liberals for being too militaristic and from conservatives for his economic policies. Unlike Stalin and Churchill, he has not yet publicly joined the Cold War. He’s still “on the fence.”