What did Winston Churchill declare an "Iron Curtain" in 1946?
Churchill was referring to the Soviet Union's domination of the countries of Eastern Europe.
The term Iron Curtain came to represent the ideological and economic divide between the countries of Western Europe and those countries of Eastern Europe under Communist control.
In early 1947, U.S. President Harry Truman announced that the United States would provide aid to _____, where pro-Western forces were involved in a civil war with Communist troops.
Truman announced the aid with the statement that "[t]he policy of the United States is to support free people who are resisting subjugation by armed minorities or by outright pressure.”
Truman's support for non-Communist nations resisting Communist forces became known as the Truman Doctrine.
Beginning in 1948, U.S. foreign policy centered upon the doctrine of containment. What is containment?
Suggested by George Kennan in 1946, the U.S. foreign policy of containment centered on containing Communism to those countries where it existed, and halting its further spread.
Containment led to the creation of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and to U.S. involvement in the Korean and Vietnam Wars.
What was the Marshall Plan?
Beginning in 1948, the U.S. provided $13 billion in economic aid to rebuild Europe after the devastation of World War II. Aid was available to all European countries, but was rejected by the Soviet Union and the Communist states of Eastern Europe.
The Marshall Plan didn't only repair damage, but also aimed to modernize European industrial and business facilities.
As part of the policy of containment, the Marshall Plan allowed the pro-democracy governments of France and Italy to provide an alternative to Communism.
What was the economic result of the Marshall Plan?
The Marshall Plan was a resounding success. By 1951, those European countries involved in the Plan saw their economies grow at a rate 35% higher than in 1938. The Marshall Plan also proved advantageous to both the United States and Canada.
As the only Western economies not destroyed by war, most Marshall Plan purchases came from these two countries.
The introduction of what currency triggered the Berlin Crisis of 1948?
The Deutsche Mark
From the end of the Second World War, Germany had continued to use the Reichsmark, whose value declined to the extent that cigarettes became a more accepted currency. The introduction of a new currency to stabilize the German economy was created under the guidance of the Western powers and without Soviet approval. In response, Stalin introduced an alternative German currency (the Ost Mark), closed Eastern Germany, and sealed off Berlin from the Western powers.
How did U.S. President Truman and the Western powers respond to Stalin's 1948 closure of road and rail traffic to their enclaves in Berlin?
The U.S., Britain, and France each had enclaves under their control in Berlin, which had at most a month's worth of food and coal, and required 5,000 tons of food per day to supply.
With the assistance of the British and French air forces, Truman launched an airlift into Berlin to keep the city supplied. The Berlin Airlift was a success, and Stalin reopened access to the city in May 1949.
Raisin Bombers was the nickname given by German children to the American bomber pilots who carried food into Berlin in 1948-1949.
As they flew into Berlin, the pilots dropped candy (and raisins) via small homemade parachutes to the children waiting below.
How did the Berlin Airlift affect the creation of the two separate countries of East and West Germany?
" After the Berlin Airlift, the de facto division between the Soviet-controlled and Western-controlled areas of Germany became official.
The Soviet sector became the German Democratic Republic (East Germany), and the Western portion became the Federal Republic of Germany (West Germany). Armed checkpoints prevented people from leaving East Germany.
Berlin itself became divided between the two sectors; in 1961 the Berlin Wall was erected to divide East Berlin from West Berlin.
In 1949, in partial response to the Berlin Airlift, the United States, Canada, Great Britain, France, and several other European nations created a mutual defense organization, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). How did the Soviets respond?
The Soviets created their own alliance with the Eastern European Communist states; the Warsaw Pact. The formation of NATO and the Warsaw Pact formalized the Cold War, which would last until 1991.
Several former Warsaw Pact countries are now members of NATO.
The Cold War, often dated from 1945 to 1991, was a longstanding state of political and military tension between the Soviet Union and its allies and the West, primarily the United States and the NATO nations.
Neither side's allies were limited to the Western world, as both sides had defense arrangements with countries in Africa and Asia as well.
In 1949, the Soviet Union set off its own _____ _____, setting in motion an arms race that would continue until the 1980s.
Over the next few decades, nuclear weapons became more destructive with the creation of the hydrogen bomb and intercontinental ballistic missiles.
Mutual Assured Destruction
Mutual Assured Destruction, or MAD, marked the end point if the Cold War turned "hot." As a theory, MAD contended that both the U.S.S.R. and the U.S. would avoid nuclear confrontation because it would result in the destruction of both countries.
MAD required each nation to have enough nuclear weapons to survive a first strike in order to retaliate. In turn, this required a massive arms race.
A supranational organization is one to which individual nation states cede some measure of their sovereignty to a delegated authority. The European Union is an example of a supranational association.
What was the European Coal and Steel Community?
In 1951, the nations of France, West Germany, Luxembourg, Italy, Belgium, and the Netherlands signed the Treaty of Paris, which established the European Coal and Steel Community ("ESC").
The ESC established a common market for coal and steel, and represented Europe's first supranational organization.
In 1957, Belgium, France, West Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, and Luxembourg signed the Treaty of Rome, which established the _____ _____ _____.
European Economic Community ("EEC")
The EEC's primary aim was to increase supranational cooperation by creating a tariff-free zone between its members, and developing a common external tariff with other nations.
The EEC acted as a common agent for external commercial negotiations with other nations. By 1986, the Community included twelve members.
Who was Robert Schuman?
Briefly Prime Minster of France in 1947 and 1948, Schuman was France's strongest advocate for supranational European cooperation and integration.
A Christian Democrat, Schuman's efforts were instrumental in the creation of the European Coal and Steel Community and the European Economic Community.
What is Christian Democracy?
Christian Democracy is a political ideology that began in the late 19th century and became influential after the Second World War. Christian Democracy called for the extension of Christian principles into politics.
Usually socially conservative, Christian Democrats such as Germany's Konrad Adenauer, Italy's Alcide De Gasperi, and France's Robert Schuman called for greater international cooperation by appealing to the European nations as a family.
How did Britain, France, and Israel react to Egypt's seizure of the Suez Canal in 1956?
The combined British, French, and Israeli forces launched an attack and seized the Canal. U.S. President Eisenhower, who hadn't been advised of the attack, was livid, refused to support the operation militarily or morally, and led the United Nations in condemning the action. Eventually, under American pressure, the combined forces withdrew.
The Suez Crisis signaled the decline of the Western European nations' ability to act independently without either the participation or approval of the United States.
Who was Clement Attlee?
After the Second World War, Clement Attlee served as Britain's Prime Minister. A member of Britain's Labour Party, Attlee placed 20% of Britain's economy under government control by nationalizing industries such as coal, electricity, and the railroads.
Attlee established Britain's National Health Service and various Social Insurance programs, providing Britons with "cradle to grave" support from a welfare state.
Beginning in India in 1948, the British, French, and other European governments began the process of _____.
Between 1948 and the 1970s, France and Britain and the other European powers withdrew from most of the territories they held in Africa and Asia. The withdrawal was sometimes accompanied with violence on both sides, but resulted because the Western European nations could no longer afford the costs of having colonies abroad.
What event led to the collapse of France's Fourth Republic?
In 1958 the French colony of Algeria broke into open revolt. While the Algerians advocated separation from France, the colony's large French population wanted to stay part of France, making the conflict similar to a Civil War. When segments of the French military mutinied and assisted the French colonists in Algeria, the Fourth Republic was paralyzed.
Charles de Gaulle, who'd retired from politics ten years before, emerged and called for the suspension of the French constitution and the creation of a new French government. As one of its last acts, the Fourth Republic's parliament voted to dissolve, called for a constitutional convention, and placed de Gaulle in power for six months to rule while the constitution was being drafted.
In 1958, France's Fifth Republic was established, led by Charles de Gaulle. The Fifth Republic adopted a semi-presidential system. What is a semi-presidential system?
A semi-presidential system features a popularly elected president. The president is constitutionally provided with strong powers, including the power to appoint a prime minister to preside over cabinet meetings.
Typically the president's and prime minister's powers are divided; for example, in France the president is responsible for foreign policy and the prime minister for domestic policy.
What principle guided Charles de Gaulle's foreign policy decisions while he was President of France?
De Gaulle attempted to keep France's foreign policy independent from U.S. and British foreign policy. He withdrew the country from NATO's military commitments and independently developed France's own nuclear deterrent.
Why did Charles de Gaulle oppose Britain's involvement in the European Economic Community?
Ostensibly, de Gaulle viewed Britain as an unsteady member of the European community, due to Britain's large food imports from overseas.
Behind the scenes, however, he viewed Britain's membership as an attempt by the United States to dominate the EEC through Britain. In 1960, de Gaulle vetoed British membership. Britain would finally join the Community in the mid-1970s.
In 1956, Nikita Khrushchev gave his "Secret Speech" to the 20th Communist Party Congress. Who was the speech's target?
The target of the Secret Speech (officially titled "On the Cult of Personality") was recently deceased Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin.
Khrushchev accused Stalin of fostering a cult of personality around himself, in opposition to the principles of communism. The delivery of the speech indicated the beginnings of what became known as the "Khrushchev Thaw."
What was de-Stalinization?
After the death of Joseph Stalin in 1953, his successor Nikita Khrushchev began to unwind the cult of personality that had surrounded Stalin.
Besides increasing the production of consumer goods, he also lifted some restrictions on the state by curbing the KGB and allowing some limited freedom to writers and intellectuals such as Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn.
In what location did Soviet author Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn's One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich take place?
One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich took place in the gulag, the Russian labor camps most often found in Siberia.One Day in the Life describes the hard, relentless struggle to survive in the gulag's harsh conditions, and was a sharp critique of the U.S.S.R.
Published during the brief window of limited freedoms offered by the Khrushchev Thaw, One Day in the Life won strong praise from the West.
For what book did Soviet author Boris Pasternak win the Nobel Prize?
In 1957, Pasternak won the Nobel Prize for Literature for Dr. Zhivago, the story of a Russian doctor from 1905 to the Second World War. Pasternak's book had been smuggled out of the Soviet Union to Milan, where it had been published to much acclaim.
Incensed at the book's unfavorable depiction of the Russian Revolution of 1917, Soviet authorities refused to allow Pasternak to leave the country to accept the prize. De-Stalinization and the Khrushchev Thaw only went so far.
The Khrushchev Thaw refers to the brief period between 1956 and the early 1960s when Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev followed a policy of peaceful coexistence with other nations and allowed greater freedoms to the Soviet people.
Millions were released from the gulags and Soviet literature and the arts began to flower. In the early 1960s, because of rising tensions with the United States and pressure from hard-line Communists within the Soviet Union, the Thaw ended.
Which country was the first to place an artificial satellite in space?
In 1957, the Soviet Union launched the artificial satellite Sputnik. The launch of Sputnik triggered the Space Race between the United States and the Soviet Union, as each nation worked to send increasingly sophisticated systems into outer space.
In 1961, President Kennedy met with Premier Khrushchev of the U.S.S.R. in Vienna. What was the primary point of discussion at the Vienna Summit?
Once again, the Soviets demanded that the United States abandon West Berlin, which Kennedy refused to do. Kennedy, who had injected a drug cocktail for back pain before the summit, admitted that Khrushchev had "beat the hell out of me."
Khrushchev would continue to challenge Kennedy, who he perceived as weak, by erecting the Berlin Wall and placing missiles in Cuba.
Why did the East German government, at the direction of the Soviet Union, erect the Berlin Wall in November 1961?
The Berlin Wall was erected to prevent East Germans from escaping into West Germany, where economic opportunities and political liberties abounded. Kennedy responded by calling up military reserves and positioning tanks in crucial locations. Neither side called each other's bluff and tensions relaxed.
Kennedy would continue to show U.S. solidarity with the people of West Berlin in a speech in that city in 1963, when he said "Today, in the world of freedom, the proudest boast is 'Ich Bin Ein Berliner'" (I am a Berliner).
What was the Cuban Missile Crisis?
In 1962, an American Air Force U-2 discovered the Soviets preparing to place nuclear weapons in Cuba, 90 miles from the U.S. Kennedy responded by placing a blockade around Cuba, and threatening war if any Soviet ship crossed the blockade line.
It was the closest the two superpowers came to nuclear war; Khrushchev backed down when Kennedy vowed not to invade Cuba.
What prompted the Soviet invasion of Hungary in 1956?
Believing that de-Stalinization meant greater freedom for the Soviet satellite states of Eastern Europe, Hungarians revolted against the Communist leadership, chanting "[t]his we swear, this we swear, that we will no longer be slaves."
In late October, liberal communist and Hungarian Prime Minister Imre Nagy announced that Hungary was leaving the Warsaw Pact.
Seventeen divisions of the Soviet Army attacked and conquered the country easily. Nagy and several hundred Hungarians were executed and a staunch pro-Soviet government put in place.
Who replaced Nikita Khrushchev as leader of the Soviet Union in 1964?
Leonid Brezhnev replaced Khrushchev as the Soviet de facto leader in 1964. A hard-line Communist, Brezhnev's ascension signaled the demise of de-Stalinization and the end of the brief period of social reforms.
The Prague Spring was the name given to the political liberalization of communist Czechoslovakia between January and August, 1968.
Calling for "socialism with a human face," Prime Minister Alexander Dubček called for greater democratization and the lifting of restrictions on the press and free speech.
Efforts to conciliate the Soviets proved unavailing, and in August the Soviet Union and almost all the Warsaw Pact countries invaded Czechoslovakia. Dubček was deposed and replaced with a pro-Soviet Prime Minister.
What was the Brezhnev Doctrine?
The Brezhnev Doctrine held that the Soviet Union had the right to intervene in any European country that signaled a shift from communism to capitalism. The Doctrine was announced retroactively to justify the Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia in 1968.
Détente is a French term referring to the easing of a strained relationship. Détente with the Soviet Union occurred during the Nixon Administration, as the President and Henry Kissinger successfully negotiated several agreements with the U.S.S.R. to relieve tensions and forestall nuclear war.
At least in part, Nixon's détente resulted from renewed relations between the U.S. and China (a traditional Russian rival, though both were Communist).
During the early 1970s, U.S. President Richard Nixon negotiated two arms control treaties with the Soviet Union. What were they?
The two treaties were:
1. Strategic Arms Limitation Treaty (SALT): froze the number of Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles (ICBMs)
2. Anti-Ballistic Missile (ABM) Treaty: ABMs were capable of destroying inbound missiles, and their use would have started a new arms race; both sides agreed not to further develop them
In 1975, 35 nations, including the United States and the Soviet Union, signed the Helsinki Accords. What did the Accords provide?
The Helsinki Accords formerly ratified the European territorial boundaries put in place after World War Two, and set up "watch committees" to conduct surveillance on human rights violations in the countries which had signed the agreement.
What author penned The Second Sex in 1949?
Simone de Beauvoir wrote The Second Sex, which addressed human history from a feminist perspective.
She argued that women could only become liberated if they became courageous and self-assertive. Simone de Beauvoir's work cemented her reputation as Europe's chief feminist of the post-war period.