Edexcel GCSE History, Unit 1, Section 5

The three cold war crisises. The berlin crisis. The cuban missile crisis. The Czecoslovakia Crisis.

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  • Created on: 04-01-12 17:53

The Berlin Crisis: a divided city

Refugee Problems
East German govt.- very unpopular.
People did not like communism - West Germany very appealling
Berlin - Divided- East Berlin=USSR- West Berlin- USA
Highly skilled people escaping to West Berlin - from there, easy to get to West Germany.
Freedom and wealth in West Germany - Capitalism - trizonia.
Between 1949-61, almost 3million East German refugees escaped.

Khrushchev's Challenge
Refugee problem = proraganda disasted for USSR - proved people preferred capitalism in West
Nov. 1958 - Khrush. declared whole of Berlin belonged to East Germ.
Gave a 6 month ultimatum for US troops to leave.
Khrush's plan = stop refugee problem + humiliate USA

Eisenhower's Response
American's - unsure how to react
Eisen. did not want to lost West Berlin, but did not want to start a war
Agreed to hold international meeting-discuss Berlin's future.
Khrush. - agreed - dropped ultimatum.

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The Berlin Crisis: negotiation, stalemate and the

Four Summits
1- Geneva 1959- no agreement on solution - agreed to meet again.
2- Camp David - Failed to agree future of Berlin - agreed to meet again
3- Paris Conference 1960- JFKennedy- new USA president - DISASTER
Just before conference - USSR shot down USA spy plane- Khrush. ENRAGED - america 'devious'- walked out of conference in protest.
4- Geneva conference 1961- Khrush. reinstated 6 month ultimatum - if USA did not co-operate - USSR to declare war.

Building the wall
Khrush. knew USSR could not win nuclear war
USA had 20x more nuclear weapons
Weapons - Usa could reach USSR - USSR couldn't reach USA
Kennedy's refused to retreat - Khrush. had to back down - empty bluff
Khrush.- couldn't force US troops out- but had to solve refugee problem.
Solution: build a wall seperating East and West Berlin - no escape for refugees
Night of 12th Aug. 1961 - E.Germ. trrops secretly erected barbed wire fence around W.Berlin.
Next months - fence reinforced and heavily guarded wall.
Kennedy: Not a very nice solution, but a wall is a hell of a lot better than war.'

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The Berlin Crisis: Impact of the Wall

The impact of the Berlin Wall
-Ended refugee problem- no escape for E.Germans
-Khrush. avoided war whilst still appearing strong to USA
-Became a symbol of division of Germany and Europe.

Kennedy's visit to Berlin
-Kenn. unable to stop construction of wall
-1963 - visited - expressed feelings of solidarity with people
-W.Berliners greeted with shouts of 'Kenne-dy!' 'Kenne-dy!'

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Practice Exam Questions

(A) Question

Describe one reason why Khrushchev demanded the withdrawal of American troops in 1958.

(2 marks)

(B) Question

Describe the three key features of the Four Summits from 1959-1961.

(6 marks)

Explain why Khrushchev instructed the building of the Berlin Wall in 1961.

(12 marks)

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The Cuban Missile Crisis: Origins

The Arms Race
-USA- clear winner- 1940/50s - 1st country to develop the Atomic-Bomb
-USA- 20x more nuclear missiles- Also had B52 bombers- capable of dropping nuc. weapons on USSR.
-USSR- relatively few missiles- no way of reaching USA.
-However- USSR winning 'space race'- sent 1st man-made satellite into space, 'sputnik 1'- USA extremely worried- thought USSR could drop nuclear weapons from space. - USSR also sent first robotic spacecraft in 1960 to the moon - boasted 'USA sleeping undera red moon'.
-BUT USSR - not wealthy to mass-produce missiles. Khrush: USSR producing missiles like we are producing sausages.' = EMPTY BOAST.

The Cuban Revolution
-Traditionally, Cuba = ally of USA
-USA: Cuba's friendship = important, only 90 miles away. In USA'a sphere.
-Cuban Revolution 1959- overthrew pro-American govt.- led by Fidel Castro - wanted greater independence from USA. - took over all of American Property in Cuba.
-USA's response - banned import of Cuban Sugar.
-Cuba relied on exports- threatened economy greatly.
-Cuba turned to USSR
-Khrush. DELIGHTED - Cuba so deep in USA's sphere
-agreed to give economic aid - to help Cuba indusltrialise.

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The Cuban Missile Crisis: Origins

The Bay of Pigs Incident
-Pres. Eisenhower- best way to solve problem- get CIA to assassinate Castro.
-JFKennedy took over 1960 - new solution - CIA-backed revolution- overthrow comm govt.- replace w/ capitalism - sympathetic to USA.
-Kennedy - arrogant?- believed Castro's gvt. = very unpopular- thought it would be easy to overthrow govt. - sent small, well-trained force to attack govt.-Instructed CIA to train and equip a group of cuban refugees.
-Invaded bay of Pigs, april 1961 - Kennedy- miscalculated- Cuban's fought bravely in support of Castro's govt.- American-backed force defeated within 2 days.

Missile Bases
-Castro - felt vunerable to attack from USA
-Asked Khrush. to help defend Cuba
-Khrush. - plan to help both Cuba and USSR
-Decided to plant nuclear weapons on Cuban soil
-Stop USA from attacking cuba again - also meant USSR could reach USA (weapons)
-Meant Khrush. didn't have to spend money on inter-continental balisstic missiles.

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The Cuban Missile Crisis: the 'Thirteen Days'

The Thirteen Days
Period during Cuban Missile where greatest threat of nuc. war

Events of the 'Thirteen Days'
16th-28th Oct. 1961
16- Kennedy informed of Khrush.'s plan to plant missiles on Cuba.
20-Kennedy - naval blockade around Cuba- prevent more missiles
21-Kennedy-public address- declares Blockade- tells Khrush. to recall ships
23-Khrush. sends letter-USSR will break through blockade
24-Khrush. statement- prepared to launch nuc. weapons if USA goes to war
25-USA and USA forces- highest alert - prepare for war -Kenn. writes letter asking USSR to withdraw missiles from Cuba.
26-Khrush responds- only withdraw missiles if USA guarantee not to invade cuba.
Khrush. receives intelligence- USA to invade Cuba in 24hours.- Proposed deal - USSR withdraw missiled from Cuba if USA withdraws missiles from Turkey.
27-USA spy plane shot down over Cuba - American 'hawks' demand retaliation.
Rob Kenn. (Kenn.'s brother)- approaches Russ. ambassador- accepting deal- but demands Turkey's missiles withdrawal is kept secret.
28-Khrush. accepts secret deal.

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The Cuban Missile Crisis: the 'Thirteen Days'

Khrushchev's plan is revealed
-25th Sept. 1962 - khrush. sen 114 sov. ships to Cuba - carried secret cargo - nuc. warheads + long-range missiles - would be used to create nuc. bases on Cuba.
-Remained secret until american spy planes discovered
-22nd Oct. Kenn. addressed US public - told them about Sov. plans - building nuc. bases on US doorstep
-News- shocked world. Americans- panicked- started building nuclear shelters

'Hawks and Doves'
During Crisis - Kenn and Khrush's advisors split in two groups, 'Hawks and Doves'
-Hawks - aggressive- said war inevitable- just have it now - good chance USA win
-Doves- advised caution - diplomatic strategies - felt offered best chance of peace.

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The Cuban Missile Crisis: immediate and long-term

Immediate consequences
-Reduction in Khrush.'s authority - people thought Khrush. betrayed Cuba- did not know about Turkey withdrawal.
-Highlighted fragility and unpredictability of relations
-Result- Hotline between washington and moscow- set up by superpowers
-Limited Test Ban Treaty - agreed to ban all testing of nuc. weapons in space, underwater or above ground.
-Pres. Kennedy speech -june '63- commitment to working w. USSR- Superpowers needed to focus on 'common interests' - speech = beginning of Detente: a relaxing of tension between USA + USSR - key feature of superpowers in 1970s.

Long-term Consequences
-USSR determined not to be pushed by USSR - every effort to catch up in arms race- by 1965 equal footing
-Contributed to stability of relationship- realised how nuc. war bound to destroy both countries
-Excellent reason for avoiding war - known as Mutual Assured Desctruction Doctrine

-French decided to leave NATO
-Didn't want to be caught up in Nuc. war between USA and USSR - didn't want to fight alsongside USA
-Pes. Charles de Gaulles appalled Fr. to be destroyed in this way
-Left NATO 1966 - started developing own nuclear missiles.

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Practice Exam Questions

(A) Question

Describe one reason why there was an arms race between the USA and USSR.

(2 marks)

(B) Question

Describe the three key features of the Cuban Missile Crisis.(1959-1961)

(6 marks)

Explain why the Cuban Missile Crisis was a flashpoint.

(12 marks)

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Czechoslovakia: 'Prague Spring'

Czechoslovakian opposition to Soviet Control
-Very similar to Hungary uprisings in 1956.
-Czech. = Sov Satellite state - comm - few benefits for Czech people
-Still run by the secret police- brutal - crushed all pol. opposition
-Czech economy - greatly struggling
-Pol repression + economic Problems = Comm Pol leader Novotny hughly unpopular.
-Leadership chellenged - 5th Jan. 1968 Alexander Dubcek became comm party leader; Most powerful man in Czech.

-Natural Choice- commited comm. + friends with Russ. leader Brezhnev
-Dubcek's aim to make a popular form of communism
-'Socialism with a human face'
-Better, nicer, popular.
-Wanted to rid comm. of repressive aspects
-Reform economy and allow more cultral freedom
-Revitalise Czech politics, economy and social life.

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The events of the 'Prague Spring'

'Prague Spring'- used to describe liberal changes Dubcek brought about after april 1968.

- relaxation of press censorship
-legalisation of political opposition groups
-official govt. toleration of pol. criticism
-more power given to regional govt.'s
-more power to Czech Parliament
-'Market Socialism' (disguised name for capitalism) - reintroduction of capitalist elements into Czech economy

Reforms welcomed by: students, intellects, workers and younger members of Czech comm party.
Artists and writers took full advantage of reforms- wrote books, plays and essays critical to Sov.-style communism.
Older Czech comm.'s shocked- horror shared by Brezhnev and allies across eastern Europe.

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Czechoslovakia: the Brezhnev Doctrine

Brezhnev's dilemma
- Very difficult situation - Dubcek = friend - no attempt to leave Warsaw Pact
- Brezhnev received secret intelligence - reforms would lead to weakening of control in Czech and long run, break up of eastern bloc.

- April-July Brezhnev tried to persuade Dubcek reforms gone too far.
- Dubcek - didn't take hint - no attempt to control pol. oppositions
- August- Brezhnev fed up - ordered full-scale invasion of Czech to overthrow Dubcek.

The Brezhnev Doctrine
- Throughout Aug. 1968- Sov. Media - portrayed Czechoslovakia as massive threat to USSR
- Brezhnev - justification of invasion of Czech - became known as 'Brezhnev Doctrine'
- USSR had right to invade any country which threated the security of whole eastern bloc and to undermine the Warsaw Pact and that threatened comm control on Eastern Europe. Therefore USSR had to invade Russia.

The Soviet Invasion of Czechoslovakia
- Sov tanks rolled into Czech on 20 Aug. 1968
- Dubcek told Czech not to retaliate w/ violence
- Many non-violent protests - students stood infront of tanks w/ banners - one set himself on fire
- Decek arrested- taken to Moscow - Brezhnev told him tearfully he had betrayed socialism
- forced to sign the Moscow Protocol - commited Czech govt. to reintroduce censorship and remove political opposition.

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Czechoslovakia: International Reaction

America's Response
- Brezhnev knew USA would do nothing- unspoken agreement to leave eachother alone whilst USA was fighting bloody war with Vietnam against communism.
- America publicy condemned invasion- offered no military support

Western European Response
- Condemned invasion - provided no military help
- Western Comm. parties -italy/france outraged.
- France: independent of Soviet Communism
- Created rival forms of communism - Soviet Comm vs. Eurocommunism
- Showed extent to which Soviets had lost authority and support - result of invasion

Eastern Europe Response
- Discontent w/ invasion
- Yugoslavian and Romanian govt. condemned invasion + distanced from USSR
- Following 1968 - Yugo. + Roma. allied w/ China - other major comm power
- Further divided Comm World.

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Practice Exam Questions

(A) Question

Describe one reason why Dubcek introduced reforms in Czechoslovakia.

(2 marks)

(B) Question

Describe the three key features of the Brezhnev Doctrine. (1968)

(6 marks)

Explain why relations between the Soviet Union and USA cahnged in the years 1957-1969.

(12 marks)

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