Use the following information to help you study.
These are important dates that contributed to the tension between the Soviet Union and the United States.
1941: August – FDR and Churchill sign the Atlantic Charter. They agree to defeat Germany before turning to Japan, and they plan for a new world organization, affirming their commitment to self-determination for all nations.
1941: March – Germany invades the USSR opening the Eastern Front.
1942: October-November – Allies land in north African ports.
1943: January – Churchill, Stalin, and FDR meet in Casablanca and agree to demand an unconditional surrender by the Axis power.
1944: June – Operation Overlord, D-Day, and the Normandy invasion opens the Western front while Soviet troops move into the Balkans and Poland.
1944: July – Bretton Woods Conference creates the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank; Soviet Union chooses not to attend.
1945: February – Yalta Conference: FDR is determined to get the Soviets to come into the war against Japan, while Stalin gives weak pledges about permitting democratic elections in Eastern Europe. The level of distrust increases as victory and postwar issues approach.
1945: July – Potsdam Conference: Truman, deeply distrustful of the Russian, is concerned about postwar Europe and agrees to the expulsion of Germans from the east.
1945: August – US drops atomic bombs with intent, some have argued, to intimidate Soviet leaders and end the war against Japan before the Soviets could enter.
1946: February – Kennan writes his “long telegram” challenging the Soviet expansionist ideology and the need for firm opposition.
1946: March – Churchill speaks of the Iron Curtain falling across Eastern Europe.
1946-47: Russia pushes to place communist governments in control across Eastern Europe, while continuing to resist membership in international organizations.
1947: March – Truman Doctrine is announced to bolster economic power against communist subversion and aggression, as in Greece and Turkey.
1947: June – Marshall Plan is announced for the economic reconstruction of Western Europe in order to starve off class conflicts that might open the way for communist governments in the west.
1947: July – Kennan’s essay in Foreign Affairs spells out the need for a policy of containment.
1948: June – Further escalating the Cold War, the Russians impose a blockade on the roads to Berlin, and the US responds with the Berlin Airlift for 11 months until the Russians back down and reopen the roads.
1949: In response to the threats implicit in the Cold War, 10 European nations, Canada, and the US establish the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. These moves represent the US’s first peace time rearmament and its novel entry into mutual defense pacts against the threat of Soviet aggression.
1949: The USSR sets off its first atomic bomb.
1949: September – Communists complete their takeover of (mainland) China, forcing Nationalists to flee.
This Crash Course video summarizes the important topics you'll need to know for your DBQ. Pay attention to:
-The buffer zone
-Kennan's Long Telegram
-Berlin Blockade and Berlin Airlift