Course Hero Logo

Early Cold War: 1945–1962


Allied occupation

division of Germany into four zones, with the United States, Great Britain, France, and the Soviet Union each occupying a zone


agreement to end a war

arms race

rivalry between unfriendly or hostile nations in accumulating or developing weapons


isolation of an enemy area to prevent passage of people or supplies

cold war

restricted war with very limited combat fought on political and economic fronts, using propaganda

collective defense

strategy of building a regional coalition of nations in which each nation agrees to defend members of the coalition from outside attack


policy to prevent the spread of a hostile ideology to other countries

Cuban missile crisis

political confrontation between the United States and the Soviet Union over the presence of Soviet nuclear missiles in Cuba

demarcation line

boundary or border of a specific area

demilitarized zone (DMZ)

area free of weapons and military forces

domino theory

idea that the fall of a noncommunist country to communism would cause neighboring noncommunist countries to also fall to communism

Interstate Highway Act

massive project undertaken to build a superhighway system to connect cities and towns throughout the United States

Marshall Plan

U.S. program of massive financial aid to European countries devastated by World War II

North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO)

coalition made up of 10 European countries along with Canada and the United States; formed to defend nations in the coalition from outside attack

Operation Vittles

airlift of food, fuel, and other necessary supplies to Berliners beginning in 1948


strategy of pushing communism out of areas where it was already present

space race

rivalry between the United States and the Soviet Union for achievements in space exploration


situation in which neither side has the opportunity to advance

Truman Doctrine

U.S. foreign policy to oppose Soviet aggression by aiding countries resisting communist control

United Nations (U.N.)

international organization founded in 1945 to maintain peace and security throughout the world

Warsaw Pact

treaty between the Soviet Union and seven Eastern European countries signed in 1955 as a response to NATO