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Sunday, April 19, 2015




Cold War- 1945-1991
the non-violent conflict between America and the Soviet Union; more of a competition between capitalism and communism that came very close to (but fell short of) an actual “hot” war.
Although allies during WWII, relations with between the west and the USSR deteriorated as the threat from Germany receded
Iron Curtain-
Metaphor for the division of Europe (cold war). It was coined in a speech by Churchill in which he declared that “an iron curtain” had descended across the continent dividing Germany and Europe into two hostile camps.

Teheran, Yalta, and Potsdam conferences and post-war Europe-
The overall result of the conferences was the beginnings of the Cold War in which Western and Soviet leaders had different conflicting goals for post-WWII Europe that made compromise nearly impossible.
Harry S. Truman- 1945-1952)
- Took a hard-line approach to dealing with Stalin in the post war world. Represented America at the Potsdam Conference in which relations with the Soviets went sour.
- He was president when the Cold War started.
Joseph Stalin-
One of the Big Three who created the post-war world at Yalta. He was determined to guarantee the security of the Soviet Union after the War by creating “friendly” buffer-states between Russia and the West. He was the soviet leader when the Cold War started.
U.S.S.R. Union of Soviet Socialist Republics a.k.a. The Soviet Union
The general/common usage of USSR = “Russia” between 1922 and 1991.
Technically = Created by Lenin in 1922, it was intended to be an equal collection of socialist republics (formerly under control of the old Russian Empire). The soviet socialist republic of RUSSIA was in reality the largest and most important of the Soviet Socialist Republics.
Other “Soviet Socialist Republics” within the country of the USSR: Latvia, Lithuania, and Estonia (the Baltic Republics), Ukraine, Georgia, Belarus, Moldova, etc
“Friendly” Governments vs Free Elections
Eastern Europe
(a.k.a The Soviet Bloc, Eastern Bloc, Warsaw Pact, Buffer States )
Independent Nations / Countries that were under the informal control of the USSR. These countries were controlled by Communist Parties. i.e. Polish Communists ruled Poland.
Examples: Poland, East Germany, Soviet Bloc, Romania, Bulgaria, Albania, Hungary
Eastern Europe (Soviet Perspective)
The countries in Europe that had had spontaneous Soviet style revolutions after World War II.
These allies of the Soviet Union must be protected from the threat of “capitalist” counter-revolutions. The Warsaw Pact was created to defend against western aggression directed against eastern Europe (Napoleon, Hitler, etc)

Eastern Europe (US [western] Perspective)
. . consisted of the countries that were dominated by Puppet governments set up/controlled by the Soviet Union. Average citizens were virtual prisoners in their own countries. Stalin established these puppet governments as a “buffer zone” against perceived Western aggression. Communists in those countries were selling out their countrymen for power which they maintained with the help/threat of Soviet Tanks.
East & West Germany- (had been the 4 Occupied Zones)
After WWII, Germany was divided into 4 zones of occupation. The US, British, & French zones were combined to create the West German Federal Republic in 1949 and a month later, the Soviets turned their zone into the German Democratic Republic (East Germany). Germany’s split was a symbol of the Cold War.
Berlin (East & West)- Section 1
Not only was Germany split between US-friendly (west) and Soviet-friendly(east), the capital of Berlin was split as well. However, the city of Berlin was located within the boundary of East (soviet) Germany. This created the odd situation of West Berlin (U.S.) being an island surrounded by an unfriendly Eastern Block country. THE wall will eventually be erected in Section 3. In 1961 (Section 3), Khrushchev created a physical wall separating West Berlin from East Berlin/East Germany in order to keep East Germans from escaping into our side.
Marshall Plan-
U.S. Economic recovery plan for Europe. Pumped $13 Billion into Europe to rebuild prosperity and stability.
- U.S. View: Communist aggression fed off economic turmoil. Prosperous nations don’t go Communist.
- Soviet View: the Marshall Plan is just capitalist imperialism.
NATO- North Atlantic Treaty Organization (Our Team)
Defensive pact formed in 1949 (Belgium, Britain, Denmark, France, Iceland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, West Germany, Greece, Turkey, the United States, & Canada, agreeing to provide mutual assistance if any one of them was attacked.
Significance: 1) U.S. abandons its traditional “isolationist” approach to the world 2) The U.S. takes the dominant spot in the West.
Warsaw Pact- (Their Team)
in response to the formation of NATO, in 1955 Albania, Bulgaria, Czechoslovakia, East Germany, Hungary, Poland, Romania, and the Soviet Union organized a formal military alliance (the Warsaw Pact) which again divided Europe into hostile alliance systems

“containment” (George Kennan)
American Policy during the Cold War. Articulated by American diplomat George Kennan who in 1947 advocated a policy of containment against further aggressive Soviet moves. After the Soviet blockade of Berlin in 1948, containment of the Soviet Union became formal American policy.
Truman Doctrine-
The Doctrine that the US would provide money to countries that claimed they were threatened by Communist expansion. Truman argued that if the Soviets weren’t stopped in Greece, then Communism could spread throughout the free world.
Berlin Blockade
Perfect example of the brinksmanship of US-Soviet relations in the early Cold War.
In an attempt to gain control of West Berlin from the Allies, Stalin began the blockade of West Berlin. The US responded with the Berlin Airlift which supplied the 2.5 million Berliners with tons of supplies. The Soviets, who like western powers were unwilling to risk war, did not interfere and lifted the blockade in May 1949 . . . and thus, WE WON!!!! Eat it commies!

Nikita Khrushchev - (in Section 2)
Soviet leader after Stalin 1956-1964
De-Stalinized the Soviet Union after condemning Stalin for his “administrative violence, mass repression, and terror” at the 20th Congress of the Communist Party. Attempted to modernize / reform the Soviet Union.
Khrushchev’s plan for ending the system of forced-labor camps and terror of Soviet life under Stalin. More intellectual freedom was permitted, he reduced the secret police, freed a number of political prisoners, and closed some of the Siberian prison camps.
May have unintendedly encouraged some of the Eastern European powers to rebel against the Soviets. Also eventually led to Khrushchev’s downfall at the hands of the hardliners.
Secret Speech of 1956
Speech before the 20th Communist Party Congress, in which Khrushchev denounced Stalin and his crimes against the Soviet Union. Hardliners feared a purge of old –Stalinists (much like earlier ones under Stalin). Purges never occurred under Khrushchev. Whew.
2 unintended consequences:
1) Eastern Europeans got the impression that they could “leave the team”
2) Lefties began re-writing the history of communism: Now Stalin was a perversion of the early Leninist revolution.
Poland 1956
In 1956 a new Polish Prime Minister began a Polish Path to Socialism (backing away from old Stalinist style communism). They waited to see how the new Khrushchev would react. Khrushchev made a personal appearance in Poland, with Soviet Tanks amassed at the border, but eventually agreed to allow Poland to pursue its new course. Whew
Hungary ’56- after Khrushchev’s denunciation of Stalin and the developments in Poland, national Communists in Hungary were inspired to seek the same kinds of reforms and independence. Intense debates resulted in the ouster of the ruling Stalinist and the selection of
Imry Nagy as the new Hungarian leader. Nagy declared Hungary a free nation on November 1, 1956. He promised free elections, which meant for Hungary (who were against communism in general, which was viewed as a Soviet creation) the possible end of Communist rule. However, Khrushchev wasn’t about to let one of his crew flee from communism, and just three days after Nagy’s declaration, the Red Army attacked the capital city of Budapest, reestablishing control over the country. Nagy was “replaced”
Significance: Use in an essay discussing Soviet domination of Eastern Europe.
Imry Nagy- Hungarian leader in 1956
In 1956 Nagy declared Hungary a free nation. He promised free elections, which meant the possible end of Communist rule in Hungary. However, just three days after Nagy’s declaration, the Red Army attacked the capital city Budapest and reestablished Soviet control over the country. He was tried and executed for Treason as an example to other Eastern Bloc leaders. Significance: Example of Soviet treatment of the Eastern Bloc and of the dissent that existed within East European governments.

Yugoslavia - the Communist resistance movement of Yugoslavia was led by Tito, who seemed to be a loyal Stalinist. However, after the war, he moved toward the establishment of an independent Communist state in Yugoslavia. Stalin hoped to take control of Yugoslavia, just like he had done in other Eastern European countries, but Tito resisted and gave the people the view that the struggle was one of Yugoslav national freedom. Yugoslav Communists did not see themselves as deviating from communism, only Stalinism. They kept with a more decentralized economic and political system in which workers could manage themselves and local communes could exercise some political power.
Hardliners in the Soviet Union want the USSR to take a ‘hard line’ against its enemies, to build up the military, and to make Russia strong internationally. They tend to oppose deStalinization as a denigration of the Soviet experience.
Hardliners in the USA want the US to take a ‘hard line’ against its enemies, build up the military, and to make America strong internationally.

Nikita Khrushchev - Soviet leader after Stalin 1956-1964 (SECTION 3)
- Berlin Wall: Erected the Berlin Wall in 1961 isolating West Berlin from East Germany
- Cuban Missile Crisis: In 1962 Khrushchev decided to send nuclear missiles to Cuba, but later agreed to take them back as long as Cuba wasn’t invaded. His failure to stand firm during the Cuban missile crisis led to his downfall;
- Because of his failures and reforms, Khrushchev was ousted by hard-liners in 1964
When he was on vacation in 1964, a special meeting of the Soviet Politburo voted him out of office, supposedly because of “deteriorating health” and forced him into retirement, eventually replacing him with (old school - Hardliner) Leonid Brezhnev

Berlin (East & West)-
Not only was Germany split between US-friendly (west) and Soviet-friendly(east), the capital of Berlin was split as well. However, the city of Berlin was located within the boundary of East (soviet) Germany. This created the odd situation of West Berlin (U.S.) being an island surrounded by an unfriendly Eastern Block country. In 1961, Krushchev created a physical wall separating it from East Berlin/East Germany in order to keep East Germans from escaping to our side. The Berlin Wall was built by EAST Germans, around WEST Berlin, to keep EAST Germans from fleeing to the west.
Leonid Brezhnev- leader of the Soviet Union 1964-1982
- Politically, after years of Khruschev, he reflected a more conservative approach.
his policy = “no experimentation”.
- Internationally, in the Brezhnev Doctrine he asserted the right of the Soviet Union to intervene if socialism was threatened in another socialist state, which led to the use of Soviet troops in Czechoslovakia in ‘68.
- Economically, he kept with heavy industry; iron, steel, and coal production surpassed that of the US, but overall industrial growth declined. Centralized agriculture became inefficient (plus collective farmers lacked incentive), and the Soviet Union became dependent on capitalist countries.

Czechoslovakia ’68- the developments in Poland and Hungary in 1956 did not generate similar revolts in Czechoslovakia. In January 1968, Alexander Dubcek was elected first secretary of the Communist Party and brought reforms including freedom of speech and press, freedom to travel abroad, and a relaxation of the secret police. He hoped to create “communism with a human face”. The resulting period of euphoria was known as the “Prague Spring”. However, the euphoria led many to call for farther-reaching reforms, including neutrality and withdrawal from the Soviet bloc. To prevent this sentiment from materializing, the Red Army invaded Czechoslovakia in 1968 and crushed the reform movement, and the old order remained until 1987.
a phase of American-Soviet relations in the early/mid 1970s marked by a reduction of tensions between the two superpowers. In the late 1970s, the apparent collapse of détente brought on by the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan initiated a new period of East-West confrontation.

Jack Burke

What is important from chapter 30

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