International Relations: The Thaw Revision Cards

These are the revision cards for the The Thaw section of the exam. Other sections are coming soon!

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  • Created by: Arvyn
  • Created on: 05-01-14 11:14

The Eastern Bloc after Stalin

Unrest in East Germany, 1953

  • Protests across Bulgaria, Czechoslavakia, East Germany and Eastern Europe
  • Ulbricht unpopular amongst Germans but the Soviets were forced to supporth im
    • They had to send in military force to tackle the uprisings - a propaganda disaster

The Warsaw Pact, 1955

  • Response to NATO's formation

Malenkov's 'New Course', 1955

  • Resources diverted from defence to consumer goods production
  • Peaceful coexistence with the West
  • End of Korean War in 1953
  • Soviet bases in Finland were relinquished in 1954
  • Relations with Yugoslavian leader, Marshal Tito, were worked upon
  • Austria was reunited and neutralised in 1955
  • The Soviet army was cut by 20% but there was no Western equivalent to this
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Eisenhower's 'New Look' Policy

Operation Solarium

  • National Security was to include the defence of territorial, democratic and capitalist values
  • Conventional forces were cut and the nuclear arsenal concentrated upon

Eisenhower and Nuclear Weapons

  • Covert actions by the CIA; increased from 7 stations to 47 stations
  • New network of alliances, such as SEATO and CENTO

Problems facing Eisenhower

  • Expected other countries to supply ground forces whilst the USA supplied the nuclear umbrella - former didn't always happen
  • Third World Nationalism was confused with Communism, allowing Soviets to 'move in'
  • Fears of a missile gap and Soviet nuclear supremacy due to Sputnik 1 and ICBMs
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Soviet Policy under Khrushchev


  • Unpredictable temperament, prone to erratic nature and angry explosions
  • Didn't consult others

Significance of the Crisis

  • Domestic Aims; revitalise economy, cut defence budget
  • Cold War Diplomacy; inconsistent - sometimes menacing, sometimes peaceful
  • Third World; create allies in Africa and Asia, recognised US reliance on Middle East and attempted to challenge it, built relationship with Castro

Secret Speech, 1956

  • Criticised Stalin and his 'cult of personality'
  • Unintentionally gave liberal Eastern European groups hope for change that would not occur
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Poland and Eastern European Reform

Polish Unrest, 1956

  • Focus upon food shortages, lack of consumer goods and poor housing
  • Gomulka, Polish leader, wanted reform but didn't want to abandon Communism or the Warsaw Pact

Hungarian Events, 1956

  • Nagy, Hungarian leader, wanted multi-party elections and press freedom
  • 4th November; Soviet forces crush the rebellion whilst Nagy appeals to the UN for help

Significance in the Cold War

  • 2700 people died
  • The West were proven to be unwilling to support Eastern European democratic reform
  • Soviet policy remained unchanged - they clearly had no interest in peaceful coexistence
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From Geneva to Vienna: Summits

Geneva Summit, 1955

  • Khrushchev proposed disbanding NATO and Warsaw Pact but Eisenhower refused, instead proposy for an 'open skies' policy which Khrushchev did not allow
  • Although no agreements were reached, there was a general acceptance of the status quo

Paris Summit, 1960

  • 15 days beforehand, the U2 spy plane incident occured
    • Khrushchev wanted Eisenhower to apologise but he refused

Vienna Summit, 1961

  • Soviet position; their top priority was Berlin
  • US position; their top priority was disarmament and a reduced 'open skies' policy
  • Significance:
    • There was a failure to agree on the situation
    • Both sides threatened military action if all-else failed
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Berlin Crisis: 1958-62

West Berlin

  • Economic miracle by the West, which provoked Russian alarm at a strengthening Germany and increasign numberof East Germans fleeing to the West

    Khrushchev's Policies

  • 10th November 1958; he delivers an ultimatum to the West, calling for the demilitarisation of West Berlin

    The US Response

  • Eisenhower made it clear that he would not give in to Khrushchev's demands

    The Resolution

  • Khrushchev couldn't force the West nor risk war, so supported Ulbricht's ideas for the Berlin Wall
  • Kennedy saw the Wall as the difference between East and West; USSR propaganda failure
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