Satellite States

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  • Satellite States
    • Communism and 'free' elections
      • Yalta and Potsdam conferences - Soviets agreed to free elections in sphere of influence
      • Soviets thought people would choose communism (most didn't)
      • So, Soviet Union fixed elections (making sure communist party won
      • Once in power, the communists shut down opposition parties, each country a single-party state
    • Growing Soviet influence in Eastern Europe
      • Bulgaria - communist government (1945), all elected non-communists executed
      • Romania - communist-led coalition took power, by 1947 -  communists taken over and became one-party state
      • Poland - Yalta = Stalin promised to set up joint government. He invited 16 non-communists to Moscow and arrested them, along with thousands of others. Communists 'won' the 1947 election
      • Hungary - communists lost 1945 election but communist leader Rakosi took control of the secret police, executed and imprisoned his opponents and turned Hungary into a communist state
      • Czechoslovakia - Edward Benes set up coalition government. Communists retained power of the army, the radio and the secret police. 1948 - they seized power completely, turning country into communist state
      • East Germany - original Soviet zone of occupation in Germany became a communist state in Oct 1949
    • Impact of the Soviet occupation of Eastern Europe on superpower relations
      • USA saw Soviet takeover of Eastern Europe as a betrayal of the Yalta agreement
      • Others saw it as evidence of Soviet expansion: Eastern Europe was a stepping-stone to a Soviet takeover of Western Europe
      • USA was determined to contain communism through military and economic assistance (Truman Doctrine and Marshall Plan
      • USSR argued it needed to control Eastern Europe as a buffer zone, protecting it from attack from West. US response was unnecessary and unreasonable


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