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NCHS-9-2

How the Cold War and conflicts in Korea and Vietnam influenced domestic and international politics


A.  The student understands the international origins and domestic consequences of the Cold War

B.  The student understands United States foreign policy in Africa, Asia, the Middle East, and Latin America

C.  The student understands the foreign and domestic consequences of U.S. involvement in Vietnam


Resources:

The Vietnam War
Resource Type: E-Seminar

Relevant pages:
Introduction
A Bigger Story
A Bigger Story: The First Indochina War
Two Vietnams
Two Vietnams: The Churchill of Southeast Asia
Two Vietnams: Kennedy and Diem
No Choice
No Choice: Ironic Consequences
Why America Failed
Why America Failed: Strategies
Alternatives
Alternatives: A Two-Sided Stalemate
Alternatives: A War Unlike Others
Conclusion
Key Figures

Colonial City: Revolutionary Battleground
Resource Type: E-Seminar

Relevant interactive tools:
Washington and Ho Chi Minh
Washington and Ho Chi Minh

New Deal Order
Resource Type: E-Seminar

Relevant pages:
The American Century Idea
The Cold War: the Soviet Union
The Cold War: The Long Telegram
The Cold War: Containment
The Cold War: Defending Our Own Sphere
Containment Policy Tested
Containment Policy Tested: Aid as Stategy
Containment Policy Tested: The Marshall Plan
Key Figures
Timeline

Relevant texts:
Ask Alan Brinkley: Why did the role of government expand so rapidly and dramatically after World War II?
Ask Alan Brinkley: What role did the idea of an "American Century" play in the nation's response to World War II?
The full text of ”The American Century” by Henry R. Luce
Text of George F. Kennan's "Long Telegram," February 22, 1946.
Ask Alan Brinkley: When did the Cold War actually begin?
Interview with General George C. Marshall. 30 October 1952

Relevant transcripts:
Optimism: In 1945, some diplomats still believed that Stalin was reasonable.
Pessimism: Other policymakers compared Stalin to Hitler.
According to Kennan, the Soviets were out to destroy American society.
Kennan seemed to be ceding Eastern Europe to the Soviets.
Kennan on where to resist communism: Not everywhere.
The Cold War gave the Marshall Plan a new urgency.

The Politics of Anticommunism
Resource Type: E-Seminar

Relevant pages:
Impact of the Cold War
Impact of the Cold War: The Iron Triangle
The Red Scare
The Red Scare: A Totalitarian Nightmare
The Red Scare: Klaus Fuchs
The Red Scare: The Rosenbergs
The Red Scare: Joseph McCarthy
Interpretations of the Red Scare
Interpretations of the Red Scare: Domestic Subversion
Interpretations of the Red Scare: Alienated Travelers
Interpretations of the Red Scare: Party Competition
Interpretations of the Red Scare: Institutional Stakes
Interpretations of the Red Scare: Why So Widespread?
Final Analysis

Relevant transcripts:
Professor Brinkley introduces this e-seminar.
A focus on national security and intelligence.
The "domestic subversion" argument.
The "paranoid style" argument.
Why were people so afraid?
McCarthyism could have been challenged much earlier, but many elites were paralyzed by fear.

Relevant interactive tools:
Chronology
Chronology

The Stable Fifties
Resource Type: E-Seminar

Relevant pages:
National Politics

Relevant transcripts:
Outside the middle class.

The Civil-Rights Movement
Resource Type: E-Seminar

Relevant pages:
What Happened in White America?

Student Information Given to Federal Investigators
Resource Type: Primary Source
This article in the Columbia University student newspaper reports that the dean of students provided federal investigators with information about students who had attended the university.

Eisenhower and the Politics of the 1950s
Resource Type: Document-Based Question
This selection of primary sources gives students an opportunity to examine different layers of dissent during the Eisenhower presidency. Although President Eisenhower enjoyed great public support, his administration was challenged by problems at home and abroad.

Beyond Vietnam
Resource Type: Primary Source
This speech was delivered by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. on April 4, 1967, at a meeting of Clergy and Laity Concerned at Riverside Church in New York City.

The Counterculture
Resource Type: Document-Based Question
Although the decade of the 1950s deserves its reputation as an age of political, social, and cultural conformity, seeds of social discontent nevertheless permeated American society. This carefully crafted DBQ focuses on the intellectual and artisitic critics of the affluent society, as well as the origins of the women's and civil-rights movements.

Schlesinger on Freedom
Resource Type: Primary Source
Arthur M. Schlesinger Jr., a noted American historian, wrote this influential book to argue that a rejuvenated faith in democratic ideals and the continuation of New Deal liberalism would safeguard America from the twin threats of totalitarianism and fascism.

Joseph McCarthy's Speech
Resource Type: Primary Source
Senator Joseph R. McCarthy, an unremarkable member of Congress from Wisconsin, burst onto the national political scene in 1950, after announcing to a West Virginia audience that he held in his hand a list of 205 American Communists who worked in the U.S. State Department.

The Cold War: the Soviet Union
Resource Type: Primary Source
Dean Acheson in 1945.

Text of George F. Kennan's "Long Telegram," February 22, 1946.
Resource Type: Primary Source

Student Information Given to Federal Investigators
Resource Type: Primary Source
This article in the Columbia University student newspaper reports that the dean of students provided federal investigators with information about students who had attended the university.

The Organization Man
Resource Type: Primary Source
William Whyte discusses the institutionalized and bureaucratized aspects of life in America.

The Cold War: Domestic and Foreign Concerns
Resource Type: Document-Based Question
These primary sources allow students to carefully examine the foreign and domestic factors that contributed to the Cold War, including the Yalta Conference, communist containment and the domino principle, domestic politics and McCarthyism, American and Soviet expansionism, and American and Soviet paranoia.

Beyond Vietnam
Resource Type: Primary Source
This speech was delivered by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. on April 4, 1967, at a meeting of Clergy and Laity Concerned at Riverside Church in New York City.

The Counterculture
Resource Type: Document-Based Question
Although the decade of the 1950s deserves its reputation as an age of political, social, and cultural conformity, seeds of social discontent nevertheless permeated American society. This carefully crafted DBQ focuses on the intellectual and artisitic critics of the affluent society, as well as the origins of the women's and civil-rights movements.

Schlesinger on Freedom
Resource Type: Primary Source
Arthur M. Schlesinger Jr., a noted American historian, wrote this influential book to argue that a rejuvenated faith in democratic ideals and the continuation of New Deal liberalism would safeguard America from the twin threats of totalitarianism and fascism.

Joseph McCarthy's Speech
Resource Type: Primary Source
Senator Joseph R. McCarthy, an unremarkable member of Congress from Wisconsin, burst onto the national political scene in 1950, after announcing to a West Virginia audience that he held in his hand a list of 205 American Communists who worked in the U.S. State Department.

Historians Debate: Who Is Responsible for the Cold War?
Resource Type: Classroom Simulation
This simulation involves a fictitious conference held in the year 2002, in which three groups of Cold War historians—orthodox, revisionist, and post-revisionist—debate the origins of the Cold War. Who is to blame, the United States, the Soviet Union, or both?

The Avant-Garde Artists of the 1950s
Resource Type: Classroom Simulation
In this creative simulation, students role-play avant-garde artists of the 1950s to discuss important issues of the times (politics, the affluent society, race relations, women, etc.) from an artistic and intellectual perspective.

The Cold War: Containment
Resource Type: Primary Source

Containment Policy Tested
Resource Type: Primary Source

Containment Policy Tested: The Marshall Plan
Resource Type: Primary Source
Photo of Marshall (left) at Harvard commencement, June 5, 1947, with James Bryant Conant, president of Harvard, and General Omar Bradley.

Interview with General George C. Marshall. 30 October 1952
Resource Type: Primary Source

The Cold War: The Soviet Union
Resource Type: Primary Source
Charles Bohlen (1904–74), (with hand on chin, standing behind President Harry Truman) was a diplomat and Soviet expert in the State Department. Bohlen was outspoken in his warnings about the Soviet Union's intentions after World War II. He argued that the Soviet regime was paranoid and despotic, like Nazi Germany, and could not be trusted. His grim assessment of the Soviet Union was not widely accepted at first, but eventually it came to prevail. It led to the policy of containment, an underpinning of U.S. foreign policy during the Cold War.

The Cold War: The Soviet Union
Resource Type: Primary Source
William Bullitt (1891–1967), a U.S. ambassador to the Soviet Union in the 1930s, was a leading representative of the pessimistic view of the Soviet regime after World War II. He thought the Soviet Union, led by Stalin, was morally equivalent to Nazi Germany and must be resisted. Not widely shared at first, this opinion eventually found acceptance throughout the U.S. government and helped shape the policy of containment during the Cold War.

Key Figures
Resource Type: Primary Source

Key Figures
Resource Type: Primary Source

Key Figures
Resource Type: Primary Source

Key Figures
Resource Type: Primary Source

The Cold War: The Soviet Union
Resource Type: Primary Source
Josef Stalin (1879–1953), leader of the Soviet Union for more than thirty years, molded the characteristic features of the Soviet regime and to a large degree shaped East-West relations after World War II. An important ally of the United States during World War II, he was nevertheless a despotic ruler. After the war, the West, increasingly alarmed by his tyranny and brutality, which prompted comparisons to Hitler's rule in Nazi Germany, was alienated on the diplomatic front by conflicts with Stalin's over the extent of Soviet influence. Specifically, Stalin clashed with President Truman over the division of Germany into the democratic western sector and the communist eastern sector. Struggles also emerged in Turkey and Greece. The increasing hostility between Stalin and the West developed into the Cold War.

Key Figures
Resource Type: Primary Source

Impact of the Cold War: The Iron Triangle
Resource Type: Primary Source
Liberals were concerned that domestic social problems would damage America's influence abroad.

The Red Scare
Resource Type: Primary Source
U.S. Army poster from the mid-1950s.

The Red Scare: A Totalitarian Nightmare
Resource Type: Primary Source
Two other members of the legendary "Hollywood Ten" John Howard Lawson (left) and Dalton Trumbo enter van to be taken to DC jail after they were sentenced to one year in jail and fined $1,000 each for contempt of court.

The Red Scare: A Totalitarian Nightmare
Resource Type: Primary Source
Seven members of the "Hollywood Ten" arrive at U.S. Federal Court in Washington, D.C., on June 22, 1950, to face charges of contempt. From left to right: Samuel Ornitz, Ring Lardner Jr., Albert Maltz, Alvah Bessie, Lester Cole, Herbert Biberman, and Edward Dmytryk.

The Red Scare: Klaus Fuchs
Resource Type: Primary Source
Photograph of British atomic scientist Klaus Fuchs that was used as an exhibit during the Rosenberg trial.

The Red Scare: Klaus Fuchs
Resource Type: Primary Source

The Red Scare: The Rosenbergs
Resource Type: Primary Source
Police photos of Julius and Ethel Rosenberg.

The Red Scare: The Rosenbergs
Resource Type: Primary Source
Sketch used as evidence in the Rosenberg trial.

The Red Scare: The Rosenbergs
Resource Type: Primary Source
Ethel and Julius Rosenberg leaving the U.S. Courthouse in New York City after being found guilty (1951).

The Red Scare: The Rosenbergs
Resource Type: Primary Source
Ethel Rosenberg arriving at Sing Sing Prison on April 11, 1951, following her death sentence.

Interpretations of the Red Scare
Resource Type: Primary Source
U.S. Army poster from the mid-1950s.

Interpretations of the Red Scare: Domestic Subversion
Resource Type: Primary Source
Poster for I Was a Communist for the FBI, a fictional film about an FBI agent who infiltrates the Communist Party (1951).

Interpretations of the Red Scare: Alienated Travelers
Resource Type: Primary Source
U.S. Army poster from the mid-1950s.

Interpretations of the Red Scare: Alienated Travelers
Resource Type: Primary Source
McCarthy supporters at a rally in Washington, D.C., in December 1954.

Interpretations of the Red Scare: Party Competition
Resource Type: Primary Source
Telegram exchange between Joseph McCarthy and Harry Truman, part 1.

Interpretations of the Red Scare: Party Competition
Resource Type: Primary Source
Telegram exchange between Joseph McCarthy and Harry Truman, part 3.

Interpretations of the Red Scare: Party Competition
Resource Type: Primary Source
Telegram exchange between Joseph McCarthy and Harry Truman, part 4.

Interpretations of the Red Scare: Party Competition
Resource Type: Primary Source
Telegram exchange between Joseph McCarthy and Harry Truman, part 5.

Interpretations of the Red Scare: Party Competition
Resource Type: Primary Source
Telegram exchange between Joseph McCarthy and Harry Truman, part 6.

Interpretations of the Red Scare: Party Competition
Resource Type: Primary Source
Telegram exchange between Joseph McCarthy and Harry Truman, part 7. Truman's reply was probably never sent.

Interpretations of the Red Scare: Institutional Stakes
Resource Type: Primary Source
The House Un-American Activities Committee.

Interpretations of the Red Scare: Institutional Stakes
Resource Type: Primary Source
Edgar Hoover, longtime director of the FBI and a passionate anticommunist (c. 1953).

Interpretations of the Red Scare: Why So Widespread?
Resource Type: Primary Source
McCarthy depicted as a threat to the press. Cartoon by Daniel Robert Fitzpatrick (1953).

Final Analysis
Resource Type: Primary Source
Senator Joseph McCarthy during the McCarthy-Army hearings (1954), which led to his political downfall.

Key Figures
Resource Type: Primary Source

Key Figures
Resource Type: Primary Source

Key Figures
Resource Type: Primary Source

Key Figures
Resource Type: Primary Source

Key Figures
Resource Type: Primary Source

Key Figures
Resource Type: Primary Source

The Red Scare: Alger Hiss
Resource Type: Primary Source
Richard M. Nixon (1913–94), 37th president of the United States, gained national prominence during the Red Scare of the early 1950s. Elected to the House of Representatives in 1946 after a campaign in which he accused his Democratic opponent of being soft on communism, Nixon went on to become a leader of Congressional investigations into communist activities in the United States. In particular, Nixon won national attention for his role in the investigation that the House Un-American Activities Committee conducted of Alger Hiss, an American who was alleged to have spied for the Soviets.

Key Figures
Resource Type: Primary Source

Television: Two-Edged Sword
Resource Type: Primary Source
Edward R. Murrow and Senator Joseph McCarthy on the news show See It Now during the McCarthy-Army hearings (July 8, 1954).

The Cold War: Domestic and Foreign Concerns
Resource Type: Document-Based Question
These primary sources allow students to carefully examine the foreign and domestic factors that contributed to the Cold War, including the Yalta Conference, communist containment and the domino principle, domestic politics and McCarthyism, American and Soviet expansionism, and American and Soviet paranoia.

Beyond Vietnam
Resource Type: Primary Source
This speech was delivered by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. on April 4, 1967, at a meeting of Clergy and Laity Concerned at Riverside Church in New York City.

The Avant-Garde Artists of the 1950s
Resource Type: Classroom Simulation
In this creative simulation, students role-play avant-garde artists of the 1950s to discuss important issues of the times (politics, the affluent society, race relations, women, etc.) from an artistic and intellectual perspective.

The United States in Vietnam
Resource Type: Classroom Simulation
In this simulation, a special congressional committee—the U.S. Senate Subcommittee on Vietnam—will examine changes in U.S. foreign policy toward Vietnam from 1954 through 1975. The committee will investigate why the United States entered the war but failed to prevent the communist takeover of the Republic of South Vietnam. Students will impersonate historical characters who are called to testify before this fictitious Senate subcommittee. The historical characters will explain, from their perspective, why the United States entered the war, why it escalated its military involvement there, and then, despite the escalation, why it suffered defeat. Do the senators and journalists reporting on the investigation blame any one U.S. president? Or do they blame rather a wide range of circumstances both domestic and international? This simulation will expose students to a variety of conflicting interpretations of the U.S. role in Vietnam.

Primary Source Analysis: Nixon and Vietnam
Resource Type: Teaching Activity

Primary Source Analysis: Nixon and Vietnam
Resource Type: Teaching Activity

Democracy: Limitations and Possibilities
Resource Type: Document-Based Question
During the 1960s, a series of widely disparate protest movements emerged in the United States. While the antiwar movement directed against U.S. intervention in the Vietnam War appeared to be the most salient, many others as well expressed discontent with American government and society. In this question, students are asked to look at a variety of groups—including women, African Americans, and ethnic minorities—many of whose members felt marginalized or underrepresented, became politically active, and helped to establish social movements dedicated to the advancement of their communities. Students can use these documents to determine the degree to which different groups sought to redefine American democracy and make it more inclusive.

Sixties Radicalism and Conservatism
Resource Type: Document-Based Question
Dissent and social protest characterize the 1960s. Enduring images of the decade recall its civil-rights marches, antiwar protests, and rallies of members of various social grouips—women, farmworkers, American Indians—calling for greater justice. The documents within the DBQ represent a variety of voices, illustrating the tensions between countercultural movements of the 1960s and conservative reactions against them. This DBQ contextualizes the debates of the 1960s within a longer-term analysis of the divisions between left and right in the United States since the beginning of the Cold War.

The Vietnam War: The Home Front
Resource Type: Document-Based Question
In his e-seminar Kennedy, Johnson and the Great Society, Alan Brinkley offers a measured assessment of the Great Society and, in particular, of the War on Poverty. He rejects the radical contention that the War on Poverty was a political response to social turmoil and mass pressure. He observes that, on the contrary, the Great Society was an elite initiative crafted by liberal policymakers who were confident about the future. But Professor Brinkley disputes the conservative contention that the War on Poverty was an unmitigated failure. He notes that poverty declined significantly between 1960 and 1970, particularly among the elderly, and asserts that, while the expansion of the American economy during that period contributed to that trend, Head Start, food stamps, Medicare, and other government programs also contributed much.

Beyond Vietnam
Resource Type: Primary Source
This speech was delivered by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. on April 4, 1967, at a meeting of Clergy and Laity Concerned at Riverside Church in New York City.

What Happened in White America?
Resource Type: Primary Source
Students at Columbia University protest the war in Vietnam (1967).


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