The Cold War + USSR after Stalin
- Stalin died on 5 March 1953.
- Arrested and executed Beria (1953)
- Followed a 'new course' in economic policy - greater emphasis on the production of consumer goods (1953) Outlined by Malenkov. Initally Khrushchev's disliked policy, but adopted it once Malenkov was removed.
Khrushchev's Secret Speech - 1956
- Attacked Stalin for purges, controlling Communist Party etc.
- Signalled to the USA that change was happening
- Created the expectation of reform
Soviet reasons for Peaceful Coexistence
- Committment to Warsaw Pact and Easten Europe security was costly
- Arms race: cost and sheer destructive power of weapons.
- Khrushchev - 'There are only two ways - either Peaceful Coexistence or the most destructive war in history'
Soviet Peaceful Coexistence - Key measures
End of the Korean War - July 1953
- Abandoned Stalin's hard line approach
- Represented a clear sign of USSR wanting to manage its affairs in a different way
- An Armistice was negotiated along the 38th parallel in July 1953.
Cuts in the Red Army - Mid 1950s
- In the second half ot 1950s, the Red Army decreased from 5.8 million to 3.7 million men.
- Used to convince West of willingness to negotiate as well as to save on military costs.
The Austrian State Treaty - 1955
- Removed all foreign troops and guaranteed Austria's independence as a netural state.
Soviet withdrawal from Finland
- The Finnish-Soviet Peace Treaty of 1947 - given the USSR a 50 year lease to Porkkala peninsula.
- In 1955, Soviet presence was removed and it was returned to Finland.
Other soviet initiatives
- In 1953, USSR settled border disputes with Turkey and Iran. 1955 - recognised West Germany.
Eisenhower, Dulles, and the 'New Look' Policy
Eisenhower and Dulles
- Eisenhower replaced Truman - January 1953.
- Attacked Truman for being 'soft' on communism.
- Dulles - 'rolling back' communism and securing the 'liberation' of E Europe from Soviet Control.
Hungarian Uprising 1956
- USA could not protect Hungary as it was in Soviet sphere of influence.
- Revealed that USA could not 'roll back' communism in E Europe.
USA reasons for better relations
- Military background made Eisenhower aware of nuclear consequences
- Concerned about military spending (12% of GNP in the mid 1950s) was too high.
- Initelligence gathered by U2 spy places - USSR were considerably behind in arms race. Gave USA upper hand.
Key features of Eisenhower's 'New Look' policy
Massive retaliation - 1954
- The USA would make greater use of nuclear threats and place less reliance on conventional weapons.
- Dulles' policy.
- Examples: 1953, USA warned China that if the Korean War was not brough tto an end it would use nuclear weapons. Armistice signed shortly afterwards.
Increased use of covert operations
- Examples: The development of U2 spy places to aid intelligence gathering.
Domino Theory - 1954
- Thought countries would follow Vietnam if it turned to communism.
- Prompted the formation of SEATO in 1954, a military alliance between the USA and countries of South East Asia.
Eisenhower Doctrine - 1957
- Designed to halt communist penetration of the Middle East. Committed US economic and military support to protect indepence of any state in region threated by armed communist aggression.
Geneva Summit, July 1955
- First East-West Summit, involved 'Big Four' - established a good working relationship
- Agreements could not be reached on Germany (Soviet props to neutralise were rejected in West, fear of expansion), 'Open skies' initiatve (aerial photographs, Khrushchev refused).
- Soviet newspaper Pravda spoke of the 'Geneva Spirit'
Camp David Summit, September 1959
- First summit involving USSR and US - built on relationship established at Geneva.
- Agreed to a full summit in 1960.
- Unable to reach agreement on matters such as Germany and disarmament.
Paris Summit, May 1960
- U2 spy plane shot down - Eisenhower admitted the truth but refused to apologise. Khrushchev stormed out, adopting a tougher stance.
Vienna Summit, June 1961
- Kennedy as new US president - Khrush attempted to capitalise on Ken's inexperience by adopting a tougher stance.
- Only constructive result was the agreement to ensure a netural and independent Laos.
Internal threats to the Soviet system
Berlin Rising, June 1953
- Walter Ulbricht raised worker's production quotas without increasing pay in E Germany, provoked demonstrations.
- 400,000 workers on streeets calling for free elections
- The government responded with force, arresting and executing the protest leaders.
- Demonstrated Soviet leadership based on force _ unwilling to allow greater independence.
- Protests calling for a multi-party democracy, free press + withdrawal from Warsaw Pact
- Leader Imre Nagy accepted these demands and declared Hungary a neutral country
- Soviet's reasserted control by force
- Kadar replaced Nagy and his government, centralised control.
- US did not intervene, despite sending encouraging messages over 'Radio Free Europe'.
End of the Thaw
The U2 incident, 1960
- US initally denied it was a spy place, and Khrushchev demanded an apology for spying and lying. Eisenhower refused to apologise.
- Khrushchev stormed out of the Paris Summit and cancelled Eisenhower's visit to Russia.
Berlin Crisis, 1958-9
- W Germany joined NATO in 1955
- 1958 - Khrushchev suggested West Berlin should become a demilitarised 'free city', East-West talks on a Germany peace treaty should commence. USA, Britain and France rejected Khrushchev's demands.
Berlin Wall - August 1961
- Vienna Summit - Khrushchev insisted West should recognise E Germany and withdraw US from Berlin. Kennedy refused and publically announced increase in armed forces. 1961 - Khrushchev built wall which would prevent free movement. Berlin wall became enduring image of Cold War.
- US diplomat Clay was not allowed into East Berlin. Clay responded with military control.
- US tanks stationed at Checkpoint Charlie, 33 Soviet tanks entered E Berlin. Kennedy contacted Khrushchev directly and proposed a joint staged removal of these forces.