The Three Cold War Crises

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  • The Three Cold War Crises
    • Berlin Wall
      • Summits
        • The USA objected; if they left it would be humiliating. However, they did not want to start a war. Instead they suggested a conference to sort the problems out.
        • The USA and USSR met four times
          • May 1959- in Geneva.
            • These two summits went fairly well, though nothing was agreed.
              • September 1959- Eisenhower meets Khrushchev in USA
          • September 1959- Eisenhower meets Khrushchev in USA
          • May 1960- Eisenhower and Khrushchev meet again in Paris
            • This summit was a disaster; US spy plane had been shot down over the USSR and Eisenhower refused to apologise and the summit collapsed.
          • June 1961- Khrushchev meets Kennedy in Vienna
            • This summit was only agreed as there was a new president but neither side was willing to back down. Kennedy began to prepare the USA for nuclear war
      • After the disastrous summits, Khrushchev backed down as he knew he couldn't win a nuclear war and so western powers stayed in Berlin. As a result, in August 1961 the Berlin wall was built.
        • This stopped people from escaping and those who tried were shot- many people were killed.
          • This way Khrushchev avoided the war with the US but still looked strong.
          • Many people wanted to escape (even more) as Kennedy's speech in 1963 (in West Berlin) made West Berlin into a symbol of freedom and therefore made a huge impact on those in the East as it meant they wanted to come to the West..
    • Cuban Missile Crisis
      • How did it start?
        • Cuban revolution 1959 set it against its neighbour, the USA. Although the USA attempted to bring Cuba back into its sphere of influence, Cuba asked the USSR for help with defence.
        • Before the revolution in Cuba, the US had very good links with Cuba (e.g. lots of US-owned businesses). After the revolution, the US refused to deal with the new government. So instead Cuba started to build economic links with the USSR (e.g. trade of Soviet oil for Cuban sugar).
          • US relationship with Cuba deteriorated.
        • Bay of Pigs Invasion
          • The USA did not want a socialist country in their sphere of influence- especially not one with close links to the USSR. The CIA tried to assassinate Cuban leader, Fidel Castro, but failed. The CIA convinced Kennedy that a US-backed invasion would solve the problem.
          • The CIA told Kennedy that...
            • ...Most Cubans hated Castro
              • Most cubans did not want their old leader, Batista, back because he had been corrupt and hence were happy with Castro.
            • ...Castro's control of Cuba was very weak
              • Castro knew of the invasion in advance and 1400 US backed troops met 20,000 of Castro's troops. The US backed troops surrendered.
            • ...The invasion would look like a Cuban revolt (as Cuban exiles were trained and old US planes were disguised as Cuban).
              • The planes were recognised, photographed and then published. The world knew that the USA had backed the invasion.
          • As a result:  1. It ended all chance of a friendly US relationship with Cuba.  2. Castro announced that he was a communist. 3. Cuba and USSR started building closer ties- including military defence for Cuba.
      • The discovery
        • Cuban Missile Sites
          • The USA discovered these but was unsure on how to respond...
            • Different advisors-     1.Hawks wanted to attack straight away 2. Doves wanted to avoid nuclear war if at all possible.
            • Possible reactions...
              • Warn Castro that his actions put Cuba in danger and hope that Castro would decide to stop the missile site construction.
              • Ignore the missiles; the US had missile bases near to the USSR.
              • Invade Cuba: US troops would invade and get rid of the Castro government.
              • Nuclear attack; the US could attack the USSR quickly before the USSR could attack the US.
              • Blockade Cuba to stop any more missiles or equipment coming from the USSR.
              • Do a deal with the USSR: they would have to withdraw their missiles and in return the US would remove their missiles close to the USSR.
              • Destroy Cuban missile sites with airstrikes.
          • USSR placed the missiles here as the USA had missiles close to the USSR (e.g. the UK and Turkey) but the USSR had no missiles close to the USA
          • Cuba saw Soviet missiles as a great way to prevent the USA from invading Cuba again
          • In September 1962, Soviet ships carried nuclear weaponry to Cuba. Then, in October 1962, US spy planes photographed the Cuban missile sites and the secret was out. The US public learned that they were now in range of Soviet nuclear missiles... So there was PANIC.
      • The thirteen days
        • LOOK AT TIMELINE FOR THE THIRTEEN DAYS!!!!
        • Short Term Consequences
          • USSR looked weak as no one knew about US withdrawals
          • Cuba came out unharmed but was let down by Soviet allies
        • Long Term Consequences
          • USA initiated a move towards détente- a less stressful, more informed relationship.
            • Hotline Agreement: direct link between Washington and Moscow
            • Limited Test Ban Treaty (August 1963) :both sides agreed to ban all nuclear weapon testing except for underground tests.
            • USSR gave a speech, in 1963, about working with the USSR to focus on their 'common interests'
          • Khrushchev forced from power in 1964
          • USSR was determined to catch up with the US in the arms race and by 1965 it had achieved this. This meant MAD and so war must be avoided at all costs.
    • Czechoslovakia
      • Like Hungary, Czechoslovakia challenged Soviet authority.
        • This was because their economy and living standards declined, any opposition to communism was crushed and hence communism rule became very unpopular.
        • Consequences
          • The Brezhnev Doctrine: The USSR had the right to invade any Eastern Bloc country threatening the security of the whole Eastern Bloc
            • USA condemned this but did nothing as it feared war
            • Western European communist parties were horrified and declared themselves independent from the Soviet Communist Party
              • Yugoslovia and Romania also backed off form the USSR and weakened the USSR grip on  Eastern Europe
      • Alexander Dubcek- leader of Czechoslovakia form January 1968
        • Good friends with USSR leader, Leonid Brezhnev
        • Was a communist and supporter of Warsaw Pact but wanted to make communism better and easier to live under
        • His reforms resulted in the  Prague Spring (a period of increased political freedom)
          • His reforms: 1. Relaxation of censorship (even if it meant criticising communism) 2.More democracy allowing other parties alongside the Communist party 3. More money given to Czech parliament and Soviet control reduced.
          • Brezhnev could not allow these reforms as any weakness could results in the break up of the Warsaw Pact (even though it wasn't Dubcek's intention).
            • Tried to persuade Dubcek to stop these reforms but failed.
              • August 1968- USSR sent tanks to Prague and Dubcek was arrested. Czechoslovakia returned to being under strict Soviet control.
  • The USSR demanded withdrawal as they could not continue to allow Germans to leave East Germany through Berlin. So in November 1958 they announced Berlin was East German and demanded western powers leave the city within six months.
    • The USA objected; if they left it would be humiliating. However, they did not want to start a war. Instead they suggested a conference to sort the problems out.
    • Berlin Wall
      • Summits
        • The USA and USSR met four times
          • May 1959- in Geneva.
            • These two summits went fairly well, though nothing was agreed.
            • May 1960- Eisenhower and Khrushchev meet again in Paris
              • This summit was a disaster; US spy plane had been shot down over the USSR and Eisenhower refused to apologise and the summit collapsed.
            • June 1961- Khrushchev meets Kennedy in Vienna
              • This summit was only agreed as there was a new president but neither side was willing to back down. Kennedy began to prepare the USA for nuclear war
        • After the disastrous summits, Khrushchev backed down as he knew he couldn't win a nuclear war and so western powers stayed in Berlin. As a result, in August 1961 the Berlin wall was built.
          • This stopped people from escaping and those who tried were shot- many people were killed.
            • This way Khrushchev avoided the war with the US but still looked strong.
            • Many people wanted to escape (even more) as Kennedy's speech in 1963 (in West Berlin) made West Berlin into a symbol of freedom and therefore made a huge impact on those in the East as it meant they wanted to come to the West..
    • Short Term Consequences
      • USSR looked weak as no one knew about US withdrawals
      • Cuba came out unharmed but was let down by Soviet allies

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