Communism and the Cold War
Lenin comes to power by means of a disciplined hierarchical party, soon including what would become the KGB.
First four years, civil war with Czar supporters, aided by U.S.
1921 Introduced the New Economic Policy
1924 Lenin dies
By 1927 Stalin emerges as most powerful figure
1929 rejects NEP, begins forced industrialization
in the countryside, collectivization
1930s, purges and show trials
100,000s executed, maybe 5 million died in gulag
USSR was probably most responsible for Allied victory
also suffered the most--over 20 million died
1953 Stalin dies
1956 Krushchev gives “secret speech” denouncing Stalin and the cult of personality
reorients economy more towards consumer goods, housing
expanded soviet sphere--in defiance of Yalta Accord
--buffer or expansionism?
1947 Truman announces that US will aid any country resisting “outside pressures”
lesson learned from appeasing Hitler
US provides 13 billion to western Europe (then Japan, Korea, and Taiwan) to rebuild
1948 Berlin blockade and airlift
1949 Soviets test the atomic bomb
China “goes communist”
America “goes McCarthyite”