1946: the iron curtain & the Cold War: after World War II, the United States and its Allies began a 40-year struggle to contain the spread of Soviet Communism.
The 40-year Cold War put the world on a dangerous course. In the U.S., the fear of nuclear war had adults and children alike scrambling for cover during air-raid drills. It also led to witch hunts for suspected Communists and the spending of billions of dollars in the arms and space race with the Soviets.
CRITICAL THINKING 1
* From the Western perspective, the Soviet Union's denial of democratic rights in Eastern Europe Eastern Europe
The countries of eastern Europe, especially those that were allied with the USSR in the Warsaw Pact, which was established in 1955 and dissolved in 1991. was a betrayal of the goals of the World War II allies.
* After they read the article, ask students whether they believe the decades-Long cost [in terms of money, Lives, etc.] to contain Communism was the correct course for the U.S.
* Have students write their own "Iron Curtain Iron Curtain
Political, military, and ideological barrier erected by the Soviet Union after World War II to seal off itself and its dependent eastern European allies from open contact with the West and other noncommunist areas. " speech. But have them pretend their audience is not Americans and others in the West, but people behind the Iron Curtain For the Iron Maiden video by the same name, see .
Behind the Iron Curtain is a concert recorded by Nico for "Pandora's Music Box '85" at De Doelen Concertgebouw, Grote Zaal (Great Hall), in Rotterdam, the Netherlands on October 9, 1985. .
* In a 100-word "speech" to be broadcast to the countries of Eastern Europe, they explain why democracy is better than Communism.
* Suggest one or more reasons why the Soviet-American confrontation after World War II did not evolve into a real war.
* [One reason: Everyone knew the horror of nuclear weapons; both sides feared to use them.]
* Why do you think the Allies protected Berlin from the Soviets?
* Why do you think President Nixon's trading strategy In finance, a trading strategy (see also trading system) is a predefined set of rules to apply.
Usually, this refers to a means used to replicate an option in order to give it an arbitrage free value in the sense that the cost of buying some financial assets to give the same and cultural exchanges helped warm relations with the Soviets?
CRITICAL THINKING 2
* Churchill said because the U.S. was the most powerful country, it had an "awe-inspiring accountability to the future."
* What accountability do you think the U.S. has to the future?
* The Soviet Union voluntarily ended its occupation of eastern Austria 10 years after the end of the war, in 1955.
www.fordham.edu/ hatsatt/mod/19/1946stalin. html This Fordham University Fordham University (fôr`dəm), in New York City; Jesuit; coeducational; founded as St. John's College 1841, chartered as a university 1846; renamed 1907. Fordham College for men and Thomas More College for women merged in 1974. site provides Joseph Stalin's brief reply to the Iron Curtain speech. Stalin said Soviet security required Eastern European loyalty to Moscow.
The words "iron curtain" were buried deep within a speech that Winston Churchill, the British wartime Prime Minister, gave in Missouri in 1946. They weren't quoted until the fourth paragraph of the front-page story in the next day's New York New York, state, United States
New York, Middle Atlantic state of the United States. It is bordered by Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut, and the Atlantic Ocean (E), New Jersey and Pennsylvania (S), Lakes Erie and Ontario and the Canadian province of Times.
But those two words signaled the start of a new and dangerous era for the United States United States, officially United States of America, republic (2005 est. pop. 295,734,000), 3,539,227 sq mi (9,166,598 sq km), North America. The United States is the world's third largest country in population and the fourth largest country in area. and the world--the Cold War--which would define international relations international relations, study of the relations among states and other political and economic units in the international system. Particular areas of study within the field of international relations include diplomacy and diplomatic history, international law, and American politics for the second half of the 20th century.
World War II had torn apart the map of Europe. Even before their victory over Germany, the Allies--led by the United States, Britain, France, and the Soviet Union--had met to chart out what postwar Europe would look like. The boundaries were later adjusted by the position of each country's troops on the ground when the war in Europe ended in May 1945.
By then, the Soviets had overrun Poland, and advanced into Austria, Hungary, Czechoslovakia, Yugoslavia, and eastern Germany Eastern Germany refers to:
Churchill, the son of an American-born mother and a British father, gave his now-famous speech at Westminster College Westminster College may refer to:
In the United Kingdom:
Harry S. Truman (May 8 1884 – December 26 1972) was the thirty-third President of the United States (1945–1953); as vice president, he succeeded to the office upon the death of Franklin D. . (Missouri was Truman's home state.)
'THE SOVIET SPHERE'
Churchill called for a "special relationship" between the American and British people See :
British Overseas Territories to help preserve the peace that the Allies had just won, and which the fledgling United Nations had been formed to preserve. Then, he turned to the threat now posed to that peace by the Soviets, a former ally in the fight against Germany.
"An iron curtain has descended across the Continent," Churchill declared. "Behind that line lie all the capitals of the ancient states of Central and Eastern Europe The term "Central and Eastern Europe" came into wide spread use, replacing "Eastern bloc", to describe former Communist countries in Europe, after the collapse of the Iron Curtain in 1989/90. . Warsaw, Berlin, Prague, Vienna, Budapest, Belgrade, Bucharest, and Sofia, all these famous cities and the populations around them lie in what I must call the Soviet sphere, and all are subject in one form or another, not only to Soviet influence but to a very high and, in many cases, increasing measure of control from Moscow."
Churchill's speech amounted to an acknowledgment that the shaky and short-lived alliance with the Soviets to defeat Germany and Japan was over, and that the Soviets were intent on pursuing their historical dreams of empire by installing autocratic Communist regimes answerable to Moscow wherever they could. "This is certainly not the liberated Europe we fought to build up," Churchill warned. "Nor is it one which contains the essentials of permanent peace."
A NEW KIND OF WAR
Churchill's solution was straightforward: Only from a position of strength and unanimity and through the United Nations could the U.S., Britain, and the rest of the free world act as a counterbalance to Soviet ambitions.
With the embers of World War II still warm, the West became engaged in what Bernard Baruch, a financier and adviser to Presidents Truman and Franklin Delano Roosevelt, would in 1947 call a "cold war." (George Orwell Noun 1. George Orwell - imaginative British writer concerned with social justice (1903-1950)
Eric Arthur Blair, Eric Blair, Orwell had also used the phrase in a 1945 essay.) It would chili the world for more than 40 years.
The Cold War was not a full-scale clash of American and Soviet armies along a single front, but a war waged through surrogates around the globe. Periodically, it would erupt into conflicts--in Korea and Vietnam, for example--that to soldiers doing the fighting was as horrific as any hot war.
A TEST OF WILLS
The Cold War was a decades-long test of wills, a war of propaganda and diplomacy, as well as of military might. Some key events:
* 1948-49: After the Soviets blockade West Berlin, a yearlong Allied airlift of food and supplies rescues the besieged be·siege
tr.v. be·sieged, be·sieg·ing, be·sieg·es
1. To surround with hostile forces.
2. To crowd around; hem in.
* 1956: An anti-Communist revolution in Hungary is brutally suppressed by the Soviets as the U.S. stands on the sidelines On the sidelines
An investor who decides not to invest due to market uncertainty.
on the sidelines
Of or relating to investors who, having assessed the market, have decided to avoid committing their funds. , deciding not to intervene.
* 1956: Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev Noun 1. Nikita Khrushchev - Soviet statesman and premier who denounced Stalin (1894-1971)
Khrushchev, Nikita Sergeyevich Khrushchev thunders to Western diplomats just weeks after the crackdown on Hungary: "We will bury you Soviet premier Nikita Khrushchev famously used an expression generally translated into English as "We will bury you!" ("Мы вас похороним!", transliterated as My vas pokhoronim! ." (He later said he meant the Soviets would bury the West economically, not militarily.)
* 1961: The Soviets build the Berlin Wall, which transforms the Iron Curtain from a metaphor into an impenetrable concrete barrier that divides Berlin and prevents Germans in the Communist East from fleeing to the West.
* 1962: The Cuban Missile Crisis Cuban Missile Crisis, 1962, major cold war confrontation between the United States and the Soviet Union. After the Bay of Pigs Invasion, the USSR increased its support of Fidel Castro's Cuban regime, and in the summer of 1962, Nikita Khrushchev secretly decided to brings the world to the brink of war over the Soviets' installation of nuclear missiles in Cuba, just 90 miles off the coast of Florida. (The Soviets back down and remove the missiles after President John E Kennedy sets up a naval blockade of Cuba.)
Behind the scenes, the U.S. and the Soviets constantly pressed their advantage anywhere they could in what amounted to a global game of chess. Truman's Marshall Plan Marshall Plan or European Recovery Program, project instituted at the Paris Economic Conference (July, 1947) to foster economic recovery in certain European countries after World War II. The Marshall Plan took form when U.S. rebuilt the economies of war-ravaged Western Europe to make them less susceptible to Communist appeals against capitalism. In 1947, the "Truman Doctrine" promised economic and military aid to countries threatened by Communism. That year, the U.S. gave aid to Greece and Turkey, both of which, Truman feared, were vulnerable.
The U.S. practiced "brinksmanship brink·man·ship also brinks·man·ship
The practice, especially in international politics, of seeking advantage by creating the impression that one is willing and able to push a highly dangerous situation to the limit rather than concede. "--flexing its military muscles, as Churchill counseled--in response to each Soviet threat, and "containment" to keep the curtain from enveloping en·vel·op
tr.v. en·vel·oped, en·vel·op·ing, en·vel·ops
1. To enclose or encase completely with or as if with a covering: "Accompanying the darkness, a stillness envelops the city" even more countries in Europe, Asia, Africa, and the Americas.
THE ARMS RACE
The two superpowers competed in a costly arms race to develop offensive nuclear weapons that gave them the capability for "mutually assured destruction," and then tried to protect themselves against those weapons with warning systems and defenses that made the world no less jittery,
Technology, too, became a weapon for military advantage and national pride, from the Soviet launching of a satellite called Sputnik Sputnik: see satellite, artificial; space exploration.
Any of a series of Earth-orbiting spacecraft whose launching by the Soviet Union inaugurated the space age. in 1957 to the American moon landing in 1969--a direct response to the Soviets' early lead in space exploration.
But Presidents Kennedy and Lyndon B. Johnson met periodically with Soviet leaders and by the 1970s President Richard M. Nixon worked to achieve detente--a lessening of tensions through negotiations and agreements to increase trade and cultural exchanges and to reduce both nations' stockpiles of nuclear arms.
The economic toll exacted by the arms race--coupled with the rigidity of the Soviet brand of Communism, which crushed the Soviet economy--contributed to the eventual downfall of the Soviet Union. Beginning in 1985, Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev began practicing glasnost glasnost (gläs`nōst), Soviet cultural and social policy of the late 1980s. Following his ascension to the leadership of the USSR in 1985, Mikhail Gorbachev began to promote a policy of openness in public discussions about current and (openness) and perestroika (reform) to make the system more democratic and efficient.
After thaws in Czechoslovakia and Poland in the late 1980s, the Berlin Wall fell in 1989. (Two years earlier, in Berlin, President Ronald Reagan had challenged Gorbachev to "tear down this wall "Tear down this wall" was the famous challenge from United States President Ronald Reagan to Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev to destroy the Berlin Wall.
In a speech at the Brandenburg Gate, by the Berlin Wall, on June 12, 1987, Reagan challenged Gorbachev, then the General .") In 1990, the two Germanys were reunited and in 1991, the Soviet Union formally dissolved. Several former Communist bloc countries were later admitted to the European Union European Union (EU), name given since the ratification (Nov., 1993) of the Treaty of European Union, or Maastricht Treaty, to the
European Community .
The Cold War was over. The Iron Curtain was lifted. Gorbachev even proposed that the former border between East and West be transformed into a nature preserve.
Sixty years later, with America once again the sole superpower, as it was right after World War II, Churchill's Iron Curtain speech still resonates.
"The United States stands at this time at the pinnacle of world power," he said in 1946. "It is a solemn moment for the American democracy. For with primacy in power is also joined an awe-inspiring accountability to the future."
QUIZ 3 HISTORY
1. The map of post-World War II Europe reveals that all of the following countries were behind the Iron Curtain except
2. Winston Churchill's speech claimed that the Soviet domination of Eastern Europe resulted from the Soviets'
a fear of the return of Nazism.
b concern that Eastern European nations might form an aLLiance against them.
c need to have good trading relations with Eastern Europe.
d historic dreams of building an empire.
3. Briefly explain why the confrontation between the Soviet Union and the West was known as the "Cold" War."
4. One of the most dangerous episodes during the Cold War was the threat of a nuctear confrontation between the U.S. and Soviet Union after the Soviets installed missites in
b South Africa.
5. The U.S. policy of preventing the spread of Communism in Europe, Africa, Asia, and the Americas was known as
c rearmament re·arm
v. re·armed, re·arm·ing, re·arms
1. To arm again.
2. To equip with better weapons.
To arm oneself again. .
6. Briefly explain the economic factors that contributed to the col.[apse of the Soviet Union in 1771.
1. After Sputnik, the U.S. encouraged science study by awarding student Loans and stepping up space research, Leading to the 1069 Moon Landing. Why do you think American Leaders believed it was so important to get to the Moon before the Soviets?
2. A Cold War holdover hold·o·ver
One that is held over from an earlier time: a political advisor who was a holdover from the Reagan era; a family tradition that is a holdover from my grandparents' childhood.
Noun 1. is the ban on trade with Cuba. Yet the U.S. does trade with China. Why might the U.S. trade with Communist China but ban trade with Communist Cuba?
1. [b] Denmark.
2. [d] historic dreams of building an empire.
3. The Soviet Union and the West never engaged in direct military confrontation. [Similar wording is acceptable.]
4. [c] Cuba.
5. [a] containment.
6. The cost of the arms race with the West was too much for the Soviet economy to bear. [Similar wording is acceptable.]
Sam Roberts is urban affairs correspondent for The New York Times.