Cold War Map 1959

Cold War Map 1959

Cold War Map 1959 – An Expert Cartographer’s Guide

Key Takeaways

  • The Cold War was a period of geopolitical tension between the United States and the Soviet Union.
  • The year 1959 marked a critical point in the Cold War, with significant events shaping the world map and international relations.
  • This map provides valuable insights into the political boundaries, alliances, and tensions during this period.
  • Understanding the Cold War map can help us comprehend the socio-political dynamics that shaped the second-half of the 20th century.


The Cold War, mainly characterized by political and military rivalry, divided the world into two major spheres of influence – the United States and its NATO allies (North Atlantic Treaty Organization) on one side, and the Soviet Union and its Warsaw Pact allies on the other. The global map during the Cold War period underwent numerous changes, reflecting the mounting tensions and strategic moves of both superpowers.


In 1959, the world map was significantly impacted by important events that further intensified the Cold War. It was a year filled with political maneuvering, ideological battles, and regional conflicts.

1. Cuban Revolution and Fidel Castro’s Rise

In January 1959, Fidel Castro and his revolutionary forces overthrew the Cuban dictator, Fulgencio Batista. This revolution led to the establishment of a socialist state in Cuba, which became an ally of the Soviet Union. This event heightened tensions between the United States and Cuba, leading to the eventual Cuban Missile Crisis.

2. Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev’s American Tour

In the same year, in September, Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev made a historic visit to the United States. This visit showcased the Soviet Union’s presence on the global stage and created hope for improved relations between the two superpowers. However, disagreements and fundamental differences persisted, accentuating the Cold War rivalries.

Related Maps:  Flag Map Of German Empire Ww1

3. The U-2 Incident

In May 1960, an American U-2 spy plane was shot down over Soviet territory, causing a significant escalation in tensions. The incident exposed a covert espionage program and further strained relations between the United States and the Soviet Union.

4. Decolonization and the Cold War

The year 1959 witnessed ongoing decolonization movements around the world. Countries like Sudan, Cameroon, Madagascar, and Tunisia gained independence from European colonial powers. These newly independent nations faced the challenge of navigating their place in the midst of Cold War alliances and struggles for influence.

Unique Insights

Examining the Cold War map of 1959 provides unique insights into the geopolitical landscape of the era. Some notable observations include:

  • The division of Europe into Eastern (Soviet-controlled) and Western (U.S.-influenced) blocs, symbolized by the “Iron Curtain.”
  • The existence of two major military alliances – NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organization) and the Warsaw Pact – representing the opposing factions.
  • Significant involvement and influence of the United States and the Soviet Union in various regions, especially in Latin America, Africa, and Asia.
  • The emergence of nuclear arms race as a central feature of the Cold War, leading to the doctrine of “Mutually Assured Destruction” (MAD).

Facts from 1959

Event Date
Cuban Revolution Jan 1, 1959
Khrushchev’s Visit to the US Sep 15-27, 1959
The U-2 Incident May 1, 1960
Independence of Sudan Jan 1, 1959
Independence of Cameroon Jan 1, 1959
Independence of Madagascar Jun 26, 1960
Independence of Tunisia Mar 20, 1956

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

1. What is the Cold War?

The Cold War was a period of geopolitical tension, ideological battles, and military rivalry between the United States-led Western bloc and the Soviet Union-led Eastern bloc, lasting roughly from 1947 to 1991.

Related Maps:  Map Of Poland August 1939

2. How did the events of 1959 impact the Cold War?

The events of 1959, such as the Cuban Revolution, Khrushchev’s visit to the US, and the U-2 incident, intensified the Cold War tensions and further deepened the divide between the United States and the Soviet Union.

3. What were the major alliances during the Cold War?

The major alliances during the Cold War were NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organization), led by the United States, and the Warsaw Pact, led by the Soviet Union.

4. What role did decolonization play in the Cold War?

Decolonization during the Cold War era added complexities to international relations as newly independent nations had to choose sides or pursue non-alignment amidst the rivalries between the United States and the Soviet Union.

5. How did the division of Europe occur during the Cold War?

The division of Europe into Eastern and Western blocs was marked by the “Iron Curtain,” a metaphorical and physical separation between the Soviet-controlled countries in the east and the U.S.-influenced countries in the west.

6. What impact did the nuclear arms race have during the Cold War?

The nuclear arms race was a defining feature of the Cold War and led to a policy known as “Mutually Assured Destruction” (MAD), where both superpowers stockpiled nuclear weapons to deter each other from launching an attack.

7. How did the Cold War end?

The Cold War ended with the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, leading to the disintegration of the Eastern bloc and the emergence of the United States as the sole superpower.

Related Maps:  California Map Of Kppen Climate Classification

External Links

List of LSI Keywords

  • Cold War map
  • 1959 world map
  • Geopolitical landscape
  • Superpowers in the Cold War
  • NATO and Warsaw Pact
  • Cuban Revolution
  • Khrushchev’s visit to the US
  • U-2 Incident
  • Decolonization during the Cold War
  • Iron Curtain

Maps. Maps. Maps.