Century Cold War Iron Curtain

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Unit 8 Vocabulary

Late 20th Century

Cold War

Iron Curtain: during the Cold War, the boundary separating the Communist nations of Eastern Europe from mostly democratic nations of Western Europe
Containment: U.S. foreign policy adopted by President Truman in th 1940s, in which the U.S. tried to stop the spread of communism by creating alliances & helping weak countires to resist Soviet advances
Truman Doctrine: a U.S. policy of giving economic & military aid to free nations threatened by internal or external opponents, announced by President Truman in 1947
Marshall Plan: a U.S. program of economic aid to European countries to help them rebuild after WWII
NATO: the North Atlantic Treaty Organization- a defensive military alliance formed in 1949 by 10 Western European nations, the U.S. and Canada
Warsaw Pact: a military alliance formed in 1955 by the Soviet Union and 7 Eastern European countries
Mao Zedong: Communist leader of China
Commune: in Communist China, a collective farm on which a greater number of people work and live together
Red Guards: militia units formed by young Chinese people in 1966 in response to Mao Zedong’s call for a social and cultural revolution
Cultural Revolution: a 1966-1976 uprising in China, led by the Red Guards, with the goal of establishing a society of peasants and workers in which all were equal
38th Parallel: a line that crosses Korea. Japanese troops surrended North of the line to the Communist Soviets, and south of the line to the Americans. 2 nations developed: North Korea and South Korea
Ho Chi Minh: Vietnmese nationalist who founded the Vetminh League and turned to Communists for help in his struggle to gain independence from France
Khmer Rouge: a group of Communist rebels who seized power in Cambodia in 1975
Third World: during the Cold War, the developing nations not allied with either the U.S. or the Soviet Union
Fidel Castro: led the Cuban revolution and became a harsh dictator
Ayatollah Ruholla Khomeini: leader of the religious opposition in Iran. After the shah fled Iran, Ayatollah returned and created an Islamic state banning all Western influences and reinstated Muslim values and the Islamic law became the legal code for the country
Nikita Khrushcehv: became leader of the Soviet Union after Stalin’s death
Détente: a policy of reducing Cold War tensions that was adopted by the United States during the presidency of Richard Nixon

Strategic Arms Limitation Talks (SALT): Negotiations between the United States and the Soviet Union that were aimed at curtailing the manufacture of strategic missiles capable of carrying nuclear weapons


Partition: a division into parts, like the 1947 division of the British colony of India into the 2 nations of India and Pakistan

Mohandas Gandhi: launched a nonviolent campaign for the Indian independence movement

Six Day War: Tensions between Israel and Arab states built, and Arab states equipped by the Soviets were ready to attack > Israel attacked airfields in Egypt, Iran, Jordan, & Syria and then ground forces moved in> fighting was over in 6 days

Camp David Accords: the first signed agreement between Israel and an arab country , in which Egyptian president Anwar Sada recognized Israel as a legitimate state and Israeli prime minister Menachem Begin agreed to return the Sinai Peninsula to Egypt

Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO): an organization dedicated to the establishment of an independent state for Palestinians in the Middle East

Arab-Israeli Conflict: Oct. 1973, Egyptian President planned a joint attack on Yon Kippur and caught Israelis by surprise

Golda Meir: Israeli Prime Minister who launched a counter attack and regained lost territory

Globalization: New systems of trade, transportation, and communication have brought larger numbers of people into contact with each other

Nelson Mandela: anti-apartheid activist whose actions after his release from prison led to the establishment of a multi-ethnic South African government that he headed as president

Apartheid: a South African policy of complete legal separation of the races, including the banning of all social contacts between blacks and whites

Mikhail Gorbachev: leader of the Soviet Union who promoted democratic reforms which ultimately triggered the break up of the Soviet Union

Glasnost: a soviet policy of openness to the free flow of ideas and information, introduced in 1985 by Mikhail Gorbachev

Perestroika: a restructuring of the Soviet economy to permit more local decision making, begun by Mikhail Gorbachev in 1985

Lech Walesa: led strike in Gdansk in order to get Polish government to recognize the Solidarity union, the first independent free-trade union in the Soviet bloc, and was Elected president of Poland in 1990 after the fall of communism in that nation
Pope John Paul II: Polish archbishop who, after his election as pope, was instrumental in ending communism in Poland and other parts of Eastern Europe by giving spiritual inspiration to rise against communist leaders
Margaret Thatcher: Iron Lady - longest serving Prime Minister of Great Britain

Mother Teresa: dedicated her life to helping the poor, the elderly, disabled, and dying. Became known for her commitment to the downtrodden

Tiananmen Square: a huge public space in Beijing, China- in 1989, the site of a student uprising in support of democratic reforms

War on Terrorism

Al-Qaeda: Terrorist organization led by Osama bin Laden

Taliban: the strict Islamic regime that controlled most of Afghanistan

Osama Bin Laden: leader of Al-Qaeda

Saddam Hussein: government leader of Iraq

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