Hope's Modern World History Blog

Sunday, May 14, 2006

Cold War Project - Historical Imagination

Imagine you are a Soviet citizen who just found out how much the Soviet Union is spending on weapons and space development. Write a letter to your relative living in Bangkok about your feelings toward the arms race (nuclear age) and space race.

Dear Cousin,

I am appalled by the information I have just recently been informed about the amount of money used on weapons and space development here in the Soviet. Like other citizens, I think that the government is being very selfish and unfair to the people of the USSR. It seems like they are doing what ever they want and not having a second thought of what is to become of us, citizens. We are living in one the two most powerful countries of the world, yet we are poor citizens who are living under awful circumstances. All the money that was supposed to help people who are in need is used up to compete in the stupid arms race and space race. If they really want to win as the most developed and civilized country, why not raise the standards of the people of their country to the highest quality? This will be a greater proof that the country is truly the most developed country of the world. There won't be any use if USSR has the highest technologies, but with the worse life standards in the world. This war is not working out at all. While it is still going on, citizens are getting poorer every minute. It makes me very angry to think that our government would do that for themselves, while people have to struggle hard to make money just to survive the day. I, too, am having a hard time everyday, and I hope this war would end peacefully someday soon.

Love Your Cousin,

Cold War Project - Maps

This map generally shows the main attacks of the communist Vietnamese, which are the red lines. On the bottom-right map, the victorious seige of Saigon is being illustrated. All of these maps are just to show how the communist forces advanced in Southern Vietnam during 1975.


When I look at, this map I was able to picture how the countries of the world were divided into two sides between the USA and the USSR. By studying the map, I learned how the non-communist countries grouped together to compete with the communist countries. I also see how Europe is being divided by the two power countries during Cold War and how other communist countries, such as China and Cuba, also sided with USSR during some parts of the war.


Monday, May 08, 2006

Cold War Project - Leaders

Joseph Stalin (USSR)
- dictator of USSR (1929-1953)
- conquered countries and made them communism
- in Korean war, supported the North Korean that invaded South Korea .


Nikita Khrushchev (USSR)
- Launched Sputnik I
- Sent Yuri Gagarin to space
- Installed missiles in Cuba


Mikhail Gorbachev (USSR)
- changed dictatorship to democracy in Soviet Union
- improved economy
- ended the Cold War


Harry Truman (USA)
- Founded NATO and UN
- Part of the reason way Korean War started
- Was againsts communism


Dwight Eisenhower (USA)
- Ended Korean War by threatening about nuclear usage
- Contributed to Cold War (sent troops to fight)
- Was a mojor commander during WWII


John F. Kennedy (USA)
- Supported Vietnam War
- Allowed the Bay of Pigs invasion
- Was assassinated in 1963


Lyndon Johnson (USA)
- Supported Vietnam War
- Developed economy by War on Poverty policy
- Began the negotiation in the Vietnam War


Richard Nixon (USA)
- Ended the Vietnam War
- First man on the moon, 1969
- Was the first US President to visit "Red" China


Ronald Reagan (USA)
- Improved USA's economy
- Used confrontation of the Soviet Union instead of containment
- Increased arms race


Fidel Castro (Cuba)
- Change Cuba into a communist country
- Failed the Bay of Pigs invasion of Cuba in 1961
- Was a huge part of the Cuban Missile Crisis


Ho Chi Minh (Vietnam)
- Established communist control in Vietnam
- Led the Vietnam and won fight with the French and Japanese
- Force the emperor to abdicate at that time


Mao Zedong (China)
- Change China into a communist state
- Improved economy and education
- Co-founded the Red Army


Among all these famous leaders, I admire Mikhail Gorbachev the most. It seems to me that he is a very good leader because he understood the problems that USSR was facing and solved it, instead of making further problems that drove them closer to war like the other leaders. He also understood the unhappy living conditions of his people and at last changed dictatorship into a democracy. His understandings also led to the closing of the long Cold War of the 20th Century.

Friday, May 05, 2006

Cold War Project - Political Cartoons

This cartoonist is an anti-war person. This cartoon shows the development of human from monkeys that gradually mutate into humans. Then the nuclear war comes along during our modern period and destroys everything. The nuclear explosion causes us to start all over from the beginning of evolution, which we start off as monkeys again. The cartoonist is just trying to explain that the nuclear war will destroy every living thing on earth, therefore it is the worse thing that could ever happen.


This cartoon obviously shows how bad war could be. The cartoonist is trying to show that war doesn't only make effects on people during war time, but it certainly does affects on many people after the war is over. The cartoon shows some of the continuing prisoners of the Vietnam War. These pictures imply how war could ruin the rest of people's lives both mentally and physically.


This cartoon is another cartoon anti-war cartoon that shows how bad war could be. The labels on the cartoon are not clear but the left side is USA and the USSR is on the right. A citizen holding on to a dead child in the middle is the innocent Vietnamese that were forced to be involved in the Cold War of Europeans. They had nothing to do with the 2 power countries, but had to suffer through the harsh consequences of this Proxy War.


Funny Cartoon

This cartoon is just made up to let people know how President Kennedy embarrassed himself by saying "I am a jelly donut." during his speech in West Berlin. He was actually trying to make a declaration of the Cold War in Germany. Because of the improper use of the word "ein" in the sentence "Ich bin ein Berliner", the sentence came out as a declaration of Kennedy being a jelly donut.


Thursday, May 04, 2006

Cold War Project - Images

This is the image of the world's first satellite that is successfully sent into space by the USSR in 1957. This basketball-size satellite was the beginning of the Space Age during the 20th century. The launching of Sputnik was very significant during the Cold War because it shows how USSR was in the lead in the space race with USA. This is important to me because it leads to the upcoming space technologies that have become part of the new generation's life, including mine as well.


This is a nuclear bomb test during the Cold War by the US. The testing had been going on for a long time back and forth between USA and USSR in the 20th century. It was a technology and power race between the two countries. This image shows the tension that was going on and how close the nuclear war was. In my opinion, the Cold War started off because of a very stupid reason. Only because of a conflict of ideas and the hunger for power, a war that could destroy the world in one blow almost happened. This just shows me how smart leaders of different superpower countries don’t know how to think sometimes. It somehow makes me sad how people have such wonderful brains but lousy heart.


In this picture, an American soldier is holding up a rifle at an old Vietnamese lady. There are many cruel things Vietnamese had to face, and this was only one of the evidence of those actions. The US soldiers suspected every Vietnamese there is to be seen, and they often kill any running civilians no matter how young, old, or what gender the civilian is. This is a significant picture because it was one of the things that got people all over the US to see how bad Vietnam War was and to do something about it. The picture is important to me, for it shows how pointless the war was. The US government thinks that the main reason for this war is to liberate Vietnam, so that they won't have to be a communist country. What I am seeing in this picture is only threats and murders. Instead of saving and liberating civilians, US soldiers were hunting down and killing them all. This image just implies how mush US soldiers didn't understand this war.


This is one of the photos of the protest of Americans against the Vietnam War in Washington D.C. This protest was in, approximately, 1973 when the majority of Americans were opposed to Vietnam War. It was significant because the protests from America were a big part of the US losing the war. For me, it is very touching to know that people could actually do something to stop the cruelty of war.

This picture of a two headed baby is a significant image that shows how "Agent Orange" has affected an innocent little infant that was born in a small amount of time afterwards. This baby is one of the thousand results of the chemical sprayed across the forested area of Vietnam during Vietnam War. Agent Orange was only to get rid of forests so that US forces could find hiding Vietnamese soldiers to kill. Only because of the silly reason to murder, civilians in Vietnam had to endure the transformations for the rest of their lives. This is important to me because I hate it when innocent people are hurt by other people's mistakes.