The driving factors of a totaliltarian regime are motivated by misery and want.

Following the end of WWII, the US and the Soviet Union in Russia entered a power struggle to control and rebuild Germany. Although the two nations were allies in WWII (Winston Churchill, President Roosevelt and Joseph Stalin had made up an allied force) their ideologies clashed when the force of Hitler no longer needed to be defeated.

Neither the Soviet Union nor the US wanted to start a WWIII, so the nations fought in a way where it would be hard for the opposing nation to retaliate. The war itself was a geopolitical, ideological and economical struggle between the two world superpowers.




It started in 1947 at the end of the Second World War and lasted until the dissolution of the Soviet Union on December 26, 1991.


These pieces are focused on delivering information about a the specific time period of 1954-1956.



In the year 1954, the US nuclear submarine Nautilus became the world’s first nuclear powered submarine. It was comissioned as both a defense mechanism and a sign of technological power in a time where the US was competing against Russia to show technological dominance.

The submarine was the first of it’s kind as the ship used nuclear propulsion to keep the submarine submerged for longer periods of time. Furthermore, the submarine could go to depths that had never been reached before, making the submarine the first true submarine.


US submarine Nautilus

 The creation of the submarine opened up several new doors in the world of technology and submarine warfare. Many inventions that followed can be accredited to the invention.

In addition, the ship reinstated technological power back to the US. 1954 was a year where many countries were racing to produce new technology over other nations. This applied to many areas of technological development

There is an interesting link between the US Nautilus and the fictional ship Nautilus portrayed in Jules Verne’s “Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea”

Later on August 3, 1958 the vessel would become the first submarine to complete a submerged transit to the North Pole.



Class: Nautilus
Type: Nuclear Submarine
Launched: January 21, 1954
At: Electric Boat Company, Groton, Connecticut
Commissioned: September 30, 1954

Length: 319 feet
Beam: 27 feet
Draft: 22 feet (surface trim)
Displacement: 2,975 tons (surfaced)
Armament: Six 21-inch torpedo tubes


Domestic Life/Culture/Other Significant Events

Other events that happened in 1954

-In Japan, the film Godzilla was released and became an instant classic.

-Audrey Hepburn starred in the film “Sabrina”

-Martin Luther King Jr. delivered his infamous “I Have A Dream” speech that is argumentively the most important piece of American literature ever produced

Watch his speech here.





If the year 1954 could be scaled on a thermometer from 0 degrees to 100 degrees celsius, the year would rank at a 65 degrees celsius. The invention of the first nuclear submarine re-instated technological and political power in the US. In addition, the creation of the submarine opened up a lot of new doors in the future.




Sources Cited:


A National Divide

The continental struggle for power only increased with every year. In the year 1955, shifts in power led to several important events taking place.

One of the most important actions made in that year was the Warsaw pact founded in Europe. When Soviet leaders became apprehensive of Germany building their military powers again, they formed the Warsaw pact. The Warsaw pact was mutual defense organization that put the Soviet Russians in command of armed forces in 8 of their “member” states. Essentially, this pact was the counterpart to US diplomacy particularly  their peace alliance NATO. (See Key Terms page)

This pact had great significance on the relationship between many countries. Most importantly, the alignment of most nations into two opposing sides formalized the political division of Europe that had been taken place since WWI. Under the pact, the USSR had complete control over the eight other member nations. Moreover, the pact acted as a method to legitimize the Soviet presence in Eastern European countries where treaties with the Soviets had already been established. It conveyed the USSR’s defense and foreign policy directive to it’s Eastern European allies.

Warschau, Konferenz Europäischer Länder...

The Warsaw Pact meeting in Europe.

Additionally, the Soviet Union was now able to act under the pact versus acting under the union. As we later saw, the Soviet Union used their power in inexplicable ways such as crushing the Hungarian Revolution the following year.


Read what was on the Warsaw Pact by clicking on the link below.



This image shows the countries involved in the Warsaw Pact.

Culture and Other Significant Events:

– The movie “A rebel without a cause was released”

-Many other classic movies were released including “How to Catch a Thief”, “Guys and Dolls” and “The Lady and the Tramp.”

– People created shelters in case of a bomb.


-Bomb education videos created

Bert the Turtle


If the year 1955 could be marked in degrees up to 100 degrees celsius according to peace, 1955 would be at 80 degrees celsius. It would be marked as 80 degrees celsius because the creation of the  Warsaw pact brought many new changes. The shift in power that it caused brought the temperature up 10 degrees from the previous year as the Soviet union further established their power.



Larger than a Revolt

One of the “hottest” years in Cold War history was the year 1956. The Soviet defeat of a revolution changed the tide of power dramatically.

Since 1945, the people of Hungary were under the control of Moscow. Even though Stalin had died, the communist grip the Soviet Union placed on Hungarians did not loosen. The Soviet Union took most of their wealth, and re-instated their power by placing thousands of tanks surrounding the country. When factors like bad harvests, fuel shortages and a cold and wet winter came into play, the situation turned volatile.

The people most affected by communist rule were people from lower classes as well as students. With nothing left to lose, they took their frustrations to the capital of Hungary (Budapest), in October of that year. They hoped to remove Russian control through street protests and displays of rebellion. They also issued 16 points, which were rights that they demanded in their country. These points included personal freedom, more food, the removal of the secret police, the removal of Russian control, etc.

At the time, the Soviet Union did not take these protests seriously. They referred to protesters as “hooligans” and even removed the Red army as a gesture to the people. In response, newly appointed prime minister Imre Nagy took the opportunity to publicly broadcast that Hungary would withdraw itself from the Warsaw Pact.


A statue of Stalin’s head is chopped off and crushed in a public demonstration.

Foreign minister Janos Kadar left the government after the prime minister announced the removal. He was not in political agreement with the prime minister and established a rival government in Eastern Hungary in support of the Soviet Union. The new government was backed with soviet tanks and Kadar urged the union to crush the revolt before it got any further. On November 4th, Soviet tanks came to Budapest and killed over 30,000 people in immense acts of brutality. An estimated 200,000 Hungarians moved to the West to flee expected Soviet reprisals. Nagy was excited and Kadar was put in charge. Order was restored and Soviet rule was re-established by November 14th.

America barely responded to the events. J F Dulles, the American Secretary of State said:

To all those suffering under communist slavery, let us say you can count on us.

But America did nothing more.


Watch some history of the Hungarian Revolt by clicking on the link below.


Culture and Other Significant Eventsimages

-USSR performed a nuclear test

-The average price of gas was 22 cents

– The average cost of a new car was $2,050.

– The channel NBC started broadcasting

– A fire damaged the top half of the Eifel Tower

-Elvis Presley had his  first tv appearance

-Islamic Republic formed in Pakistan

-Dodgers traded Jackie Robinson to Giants for pitcher Dick Littlefield & $35,000 Robinson retired



temperature_monitoring In review, the year 1956 was one of the hottest years in the Cold War’s history. On a scale from 1-100 degrees celsius, 1956 would be at 90 degrees celsius. The Hungarian Revolution had great historical significance for several reasons.

The first is that the Soviet Union was able to re-instate political and military power over not just Hungary but a lot of Europe. When 200,000 fled it caused a disperse of the Hungarian bloodline and lessened the population immensely in the country

Additionally, many people became upset at America’s withdrawal from protecting the Hungarians. They claimed to protect nations against communist influences and rule and yet did nothing in response. Their inaction led many to believe that the Soviets would instill the Domino theory in every remaining country as well.



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Sources and External Links

If you would like to learn more about the Cold War, visit some of the links below.

Wikipedia Timeline of Events in the Cold War:


How the Cold War Started:


USS Nautilus


Warsaw Pact:


Beginning Quote:


Hungarian Revolution:


Cold War History


Image Credits:

1954 Page – / Tumblr Photo

1955 Page –

1956 Page –