Unit 1: International Relations - The Era of the Cold War 1943 - 91

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1. The Grand Alliance (1941)

1. The Grand Alliance (1941) - 

  • The Grand Allience was created in 1941 to defeat the Nazia. However, the Grand Allience was a marriage of convenience between communists & capitalists as they were only united in their opposition to Hitler. Once Hitler had been defeated, the Allience became very uneasy.
  • Between 1933 - 1945, the leaders of the Grand Allience met at three international conferences: Teheran, Yalta, & Potsdam.
  • Capitalism: Individual rights, individual freedom, free trade, & democratic elections. Communism: The right of the working class, equality, government planned, & the Communist Party controlled the gorvernment.
  • The leaders wanted the others to recognise that there were countries that fell within their 'sphere of influence' & countries that did not. By the end of the three conferences, it was clear there was broad agreement over who these countries were.
  • The USSR would 'influence' Poland, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, & Romania. There would build a line of 'buffer states' between the USSR & the West. Stalin agreed that this could be 'influence' only, with these states haing free elections & a level of democracy (documented at Yalta). The USSR also wanted influence in Yugoslavia (which had its own communst government). It was officially accepted as a communist party at Yalta.
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2. The Teheran Conference (1943)

2. The Teheran Conference (1943) -

  • When Churchill, Stalin, & Roosevelt met at Teheran (28 November - 1 December 1943), they reached some definate agreements & some agreements in principle (without lining the details).
  • Stalin was annoyed that Britain & the US had delayed opening a second front at war. He was convinced they were waiting for the communist USSR to damage itself fatally in the battle against Nazi Germany before they could intervene. It was decided at Teheran that the USA & Britian would open up a second front to split German forces & take some of the pressure of the USSR. Although Britian & the US had wanted to focus on the first front, Rossevelt supported the second front idea & it was agreed to start in June 1944.
  • The USSA was to declar war on Japan once Germany was defeated.
  • Poland should be given more land from Germany, but also lose some land to the USSR.
  • There were points of disagreements, over which Roosevelt often sided with Stalin rather then Churchill. For example, Churchill wanted to begin an invsion of the Balkans. While this would help the war effort, he mainly wanted it to stop the Soviet advance in Eastern Europe.
  • Unsuprisingly, Stalin opposed this & Roosevelt agreed. He favoured the second front as an invasion of the Balkins would have weakened the Allied forces by splitting them up
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3. The Yalta Conference (1945)

3. The Yalta Conference (1945) - 

  • When Churchill, Stalin, & Roosevelt met at Yalta (4-11 Feburary 1945), they had agreed on some of the same things they had at Teheran, but with some changes.
  • Germany, when defeated, would be reduced in szie, would be demilitarised, & would have to pay reperations (materials, goods, & labour).
  • Plans begun for how Germany would be divided after the war. All countries had the right to choose their own governments.
  • The Nazi party would be banned & war criminals tried in front of an international court.
  • A United Nations Organisation (UN) would be set up to replace the League of Nations. It would meet for the first time on April 25 1945. The members consisted of all the Allies & those who had agreed to join the UN on Feburary 8 1945.
  • The USSR would declare war on Japan three months after the defeat of Germany. There was an outline of how lands held by Japan would be divided after the war (the USSR would have land Japan captured in return).
  • Poland should be in the Soviet 'sphere of influence' but be run on 'a border democratic basis'. Britain & the US had been reluctant to agree to Poland becoming communist.
  • Overall, the conference was a success down to the communication skills between the three.
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4. The Potsdam Conference (1945) -

4. The Potsdam Conference (1945) - 

  • When Churchill, Stalin, & Truman met at Potsdam (July & August 1945), there was far more tension. President Truman had been briefed about the eariler conferences so had no relationship with Stalin. To make matters worse, the UK election had taken place before the conference & Churchill had been replaced by Labour Prime Minister - Attlee. All personal trust & understanding built up in previous meetings had been lost.
  • Truman delayed the first meeting until the new atomic bomb had been tested. Stalin had been told nothing of the bomb until this point to suspicions only grew.
  • Germany had been defeated, so the Big Three were no longer united by a common enemy.
  • They agreed to set up a Council of Foreign Ministers to organise the re-building of Europe.
  • To ban & prosecute surviving Nazis as war criminals in a court run by the Allies.
  • To reduce the size of Germany & to divide Germany up into for zones, to be administered by the US, USSR, Britain, & France; the aim was to re-unite it under one government.
  • To give the USSR a quarter of the industrial equipment from the other three zones, because its zone was the least developed industries but had to provide the other zones with raw materials (such as coal).
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5. The Potsdam Conference Disagreements (1945) -

5. The Potsdam Conference Disagreements (1945) - 

  • The USSR wanted to impose heavy reparations on Germany,whereas America wanted Germany to be rebuilt. The Conference agreed a compromise whereby each ally would take reparations from the zones tht they'd occupied. This was far less then Stalin had wanted.
  • Truman had attempted to assert his authority during the Potsdam Conference. He believed that the US posesssed the ultimate weapon in the atomic bomb & therefore 'bossed the whole meeting. The bomb gave America the power to destroy entire enemy cities without risking a single American life. Stalin refused to be pushed around. Stalins plan was to protect the USSR by creating a 'buffer zone' - a communist area in Eastern Europe between the USR & the Capitalist west.
  • Trumans arrogance & Stalins determination soured the relationship at the centre of the grand alliance. It had been strained even further by Stalin's actions over Russia. Stalin had promised to set up a governement in Poland consisting of both communists & capitalists. By the time of the Potsdam Conference, he had obviously broken his word. 
  • A battleground for tensions was found in Greece. The German retreat in 1944 left 2 groups fighting to rule the country: monarchists & communists. In 1945 British troops were sent in to support monarchists. The USSR complained to the United Nations & a civil war broke out.
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6. The war of Words

6. The war of Words -

  • During 1926 it became increasingly clear that Europe had been divided between capitalism in the west & communism in the easr. Stalin, representing the east & Churchill, representing the west, responded with a 'war of words', showing that the former allies now viewed each other with tremendous suspicion. 
  • Churchill gave a speech during his trip to America, & everyone understood that president Truman supported what he had said. It was obvious that both sides had began to see one another as opponents rather then allies.
  • Truman and Stalin were concerned about the breakdown of the grand alliance & the threat of a new war. Both men were asked for secret reports from their embassies to help them understand what their opponents were thinking. Both reports were sent as telegrams.
  • The Long telegram -1946: Truman received worrying news in the 'Long Telegram', a secret report from Kennan, America's ambassador in Moscow. The telegram reported that: Stain had given a speech calling for the destruction of capitalism, that there could be no peace with the USSR while it was opposed to capitalism, that the USSR was building up its millitary power, & that the USA sould seek to contain communism.
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7. The war of Words (continued)

7. The war of Words (continued) -

  • Novikov's Telegram (1946) - Novikov, the Soviet ambassodor to America, sent a telegram to Stalin which was equally concerning. According to Novikov, America desired to dominate the world, following Roosevelt's death, the American government was no longer interested in co-operation with the USSR, & the American public was being prepared for war with the USSR.
  • Following these secret telegrams, both governments believe that they were facing the probability of war.
  • Indeed, the government of the USSR believed that war with America was inevitable.
  • In America, some solidiers who had fought in the Second World War & entered politics when they had retured home calle Stalin the 'new Hitler'.
  • At the Beginning of 1947, Truman adressed the American government, setting out his belief that America must stand against communism.
  • This speech, setting out the 'Truman Doctrine', can be seen as an unofficial decleration of the Cold War.
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8. The Truman Doctrine (1947)

8. The Truman Doctrine (1947) -

  • Following the 'long telegram', Truman asked the American military to assess the strength of the USSR's army. He learned that the USSR was in no position to wage a war.
  • Nonetheless, Truman believed that the USSR had a second strategy that would allow it to conquer more and more territory without having to declare war: Stalin would would encourage communist revolutions across Europe. 
  • After the Second World War, many countries within Europe were devestated such as Turkey, France, Greece, & the United Kingdom. In these countries communism was highly appealing because communist beliefs were that the wealth of the richest people should be shared amongst the poor. 
  • To address the threat, in 1947 Truman set out a policy known as the Truman Doctrine.
  • It stated that countries had a choice between communist supression or democratic freedom.
  • It also stated that America had a responisibility to fight for liberty wherever it was threatened.
  • America would send troops & economic resources to help governments that were threatened by communists.
  • Communism should not be allowed to grow & gain territory.
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9. The Truman Doctrine & Marshall Plan (1947)

9. The Truman Doctrine & Marshall Plan (1947)  -

  • The Truman Doctrine was important because it suggested that America, rahter then the United Nations, had a responisibility to protect the world.
  • This was important as it divided the world up according to ideaology: it clearly stated that capitalism & communism were in opposition. It made it clear that there could be no co-operation between East & West & marked an unofficial end to the Grand Alliance & marked the beginning of the Cold War.
  • Truman described containment & the Marshall Plan as 'two halves of the same walnut'. By this he meant that America had a duel strategy for dealing with communism. 
  • First, containment aimed to beat communism through military force. Secondly, the Marshall Plan 1947 committed 13 billion American money to rebuild shattered economies in Europe.
  • By encouraging prosperity, the Marshall Plan would weaken the attraction of communism. To those suffering economic hardship following the Second World War, the promises of sharing resources equally under communism had great appeal. If people were wealthy. however, the idea of sharing resources had less appeal. 
  • In order to qualify for American money, Europian countries had to agree to trade freely with America so that their economy also benfited.
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10. Initial Reaction to the Marshall Plan (1947)

10. Initial Reaction to the Marshall Plan (1947) -

  • Europian leaders met at the Paris conference of 1948 to discuss the American offer. Many Europian countries were keen to receive Marshall Aid.
  • However, representatives from the USSR walked out of the conference claiming that the Americans were attempting to split Europe into 'two camps'. They argued that Marshall Aid was the first step in creating a military alliance that would wage war on the Soviet Union. 
  • Stalin also insisted that Eastern Europian countries in the 'Soviet sphere of influence' refuse the help offered by America.
  • By contrast, over 16 countries including Britain & France welcomed the offer, seeing it as a way to rebuild their economies & defeating communism in their own countries.
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11. Satellite States (1947-49)

11. Satellite States (1947-49) - 

  • Satellite states = countries officially independant, but in reality are controlled by another country.
  • Between 1947-49, the USSR extended its influence over eastern Europe, turning countries such as Czechoslovakia, Hungary, & Poland into satellite states.
  • Stalin believed that the Americans were trying to buy influence over Europe, as any country that accepted Marshall Aid would effectivley become an American ally.
  • To prevent this, he extended control over Europe, creating a series of satellite states.
  • This emerged from the 'spheres of influence' discussed at the Tehran, Yalta, & Potsdam conferences. At Yalta & Potsdam, the USSR agreed to free elections in these countries.
  • It hoped that people would naturally choose communism in the free elections. Most did not.
  • So the USSR pushed for new 'free elections' that they fixed as much as they could. Once in power, they got rid off opposition parties & made each country a single-party state.
  • An atmosphere of fear & mistrust was made so that it was difficult for people who wanted to oppose communsm to trust one another enough to work together. Police were used to stomp out any opposition.
  • Economies were arranged so that they were dependant on the Soviet for 'rationalising'. industries (e.g. Poland did all the ship-building & Hungary produced all the trucks).
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12. Cominform: The Communist Information Bureau (1

12. Cominform: The Communist Information Bureau (1974) -

  • In order to extend his control, Stalin established Cominfrom in 1947. Cominform was an international organisation that represented Communist Parties across Europe & brought them under the direction of the USSR.
  • The first cominform Conference rejected the Marshall Plan. Consequently, Eastern European governments refused to accept Marshal Aid.
  • All the Communist Parties in Western Europe were encouraged to organise strikes & protests against the American plan.
  • Cominform was also used to ensure the loyalty of Eastern European governments. It did this by investigating government ministers & removing those who were not loyal to Stalin.
  • This process was often violent. For example, 5% of the population was in prison by 1953.
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13. Comecon & the 'two camps' (1949)

13. Comecon & the 'two camps' (1949) -

  • Comecon was Stalin's answer to the Marshall Plan. He was aware of how attractive it was to some Eastern European governments. 
  • Having ordered his satellite states to boycott Marshall Aid, he needed to set up a communist alternative. Therefore, in 1949, he established Comecon.
  • In the first year, Comecon comprimised the USSR, Bulgaria, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Poland, & Romania.Eastern Germany joined in 1950.
  • Comecon aimed to encourage the economic development of Eastern Europe. 
  • It also attempted to prevent trade wth Western Europe & America.
  • Politically, it would minimise American influence in Eastern Europe & the USSR.
  • Economically, it ensured that the benefits of econimic recovery in Eastern Europe remained within the Soviet 'sphere of influence'. It also meant that Eastern Europe did not have access to the prosperity of Western Europe.
  • The USSR & America both recognised that, following the Potsdam Conference, Europe had divided into 'two camps'. This division had hardened the result of Marshall Aid, which brought Western Europe into America's camp, & Cominform and Comecon, which established a Soviet camp in the East. This turned these 'spheres of influence' into official economic alliances.
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14. Germany: Unfinished Business & Bizonia (1947)

14. Germany: Unfinished Business & Bizonia (1947) -

  • Following the Second World War, Russia & America were unable to agree about the future of Germany.
  • They could not agree on whether a reunited Germany should be part of the Soviet 'sphere of influence', or whether it should be netural.
  • They were also stuck on whether it should have a capitlist or communist government.
  • Another issue was whether Germany would be able to claim Marshall Aid or not.
  • Finally, they were unsure if troops from America & the USSR should be allowed to remain united within Germany.
  • As they were unable to agree on the long-term future of Germany they agreed on a short-term deal of dividing Germany, & its capital Berlin, into four zones for each of the allies (France, Britian, US, & USSR). They were responisble for the administration of one of the zones.
  • By 1947, the British & American zones of Germany were essentially operating as one, &
  • therefore became known as 'Bizonia' (meaning two zones).
  • The relationship between Bizonia & the French zone was also very good, & therfore the three western zones were referred to as 'Trizona'.
  • Although Germany's capital, Berlin, was deep within the Soviet zone, it too was divided up into four sections.
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15. East & West Germany (1948)

15. East & West Germany (1948) - 

  • The future of Germany was still in the Subject of intense negotiation between the East & the West.
  • However, in 1948 the Western Allies started to develop a policy for western Germany that was at odds with Russia's plans. 
  • First, Britain, France, & the US agreed to set up a German assembly to create a German constitution.
  • Secondly, they introduced a new currency which would become the official currency for Trizonia.
  • Stalin had not been consulted about these developments & believed that they were the first steps to creating a permanently divided Germany.
  • Stalin was reluctent to allow America to have further influence over Germany. He did not want American troops to remain stationed in Germany. He realised that Germany's most valuable economic resources were in the west & feared that they would be used to wage war on the USSR.
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16. The Berlin Blockade (1948-49)

16. The Berlin Blockade (1948-49) -

  • In order to prevent the establishment of a seperate state in Western Germany, Stalin set up a military blockade around West Berlin in June 1948.
  • His plan was to cut off Western Germany from its capital (Berlin) so that the new government, based in Berlin, could not control its territory in western Germany.
  • Stalin hoped that this would prove that a divided Germany would not work in practice.
  • President Truman responded with the 'Berlin Airlift'. Allied planes transported supplies to West Berlin around the clock.
  • Initially, America committed 70 large cargo planes & airlifted between 600 & 700 tonnes of food & supplies everyday. This had increased to 1000 tonnes within a couple of weeks.
  • The British authorites maintained a simliar system &, at its height, the airlist provided over 170,000 tonnes of supplies during Janurary 1949.
  • The airlift prevented the Blockade from being succeeding. Trumans peaceful reaction made Stalin's blockade seem even more violent, making it a propaganda success for the US 
  • In May 1949, Stalin stopped the blockade. In September 1949, West Germany, was officially made an independant state. One month later, East Germany did so too & became a Soviet satellite state.as it was in their 'sphere of influence'.
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17. NATO (1949) & The Warsaw Pact (1955)

17. NATO (1949) & The Warsaw Pact (1955) -

  • The Berlin Blockade was the first military confrontation of the Cold War. It raised a posibility of a war in Europe. As a result, Western European nations tried to establish an alliance in order to 'keep the USA in, & the USSR out'.
  • In April 1949, NATO (the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation) was established as an alliance between the USA & many othrt countries in Western Europe.
  • NATO members agreed that if any NATO country ever came under attack, all members of NATO would come to their defence.
  • The Marshall Plan had created a trading alliance but NATO went further. It was a military alliance with the specific aim of defending the West against communism.
  • In 1955, the USSR responded to the creation of NATO by forming the Warsaw Pact, a military alliance of Eastern European countries that mirrored NATO.
  • This included East Germany, Poland, Czechoslovkia, & Hungary.
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18. The Arms Race (1945-55)

18. The Arms Race (1945-55) -

  • The arms race was an important feature of the Cold war. It included the committment to maintaing a large army, navey, & airforce, & the development of deadly nuclear weapons.
  • In 1945, the USA became the first country to develop the use of a nulcear bomb. By 1949, the USSR had caught up - it had tested & developed its own nuclear war.
  • It prompted the Americans to develop hydrogen bombs - a second generation of even more powerful weapons.
  • By 1953, both countries had hydrogen bombs. However, the USA's warheads were still more powerful than those developed by the Soviet Union. Nonethless, in 1955 the USSR tested a bomb known as 'Sakharov's Third Idea'. This new bomb was as powerful as America's hydrogen bombs.
  • These new bombs required either missiles or modified aircraft in order to attack enemy terretory. By 1955, America had developed the B52 Stratofortress, with the flight capacity to bomb the Soviet Union. At the same time the Soivet Union was developing a similar bomb.
  • The arms race was significant because it prevented a war in Europe. The USSR had 3m troops & could easily capture West Germany. However, the Soviet leaders would never order an invasion in fear of Americas nuclear retaliation. One atomic bomb could turn an entire city into ash & kill thusands. Soviet leaders paid close attention to Hiroshima in WW2.
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19. Hungary under Stalin, Matyas Rakosi, & De-Sta

19. Hungary under Stalin,  Matyas Rakosi, & De-Stalinisation-

  • Stalin claimed that Soviet troops had liberated Hungary from the Nazis. However, in 1949, Cominform imposed an oppressive regime on Hungary.
  • Hungarian land was redistributed to other Eastern European countires. Hungarian coal, oil, & wheat were shipped to Russia while Hungarian citizens were deprivd of food. 
  • Non-communist parties were abolished & Russian officials controlled the government & army.
  • Cominform begin a reign of terror, executing popular political leaders & their supporters.
  • Matyas Rokosi was appointed as Hungary's dictator from 1949 to 1956. He described himself as 'Stalin's best pupil' but the people of Hungary nicknamed him 'the bald butcher'. He developed what was known as 'salami tactics' for dealing with his opponents 'slice by slice', meaning to get rid of opposition by dividing it bit by bit. His oppressive regime imprisioned 387,000 * was responible for more then 2,000 deaths.
  • Stalin's death in 1953 was a turning point of the Cold War. Stalin's style of government, which was known as 'Stalinism', was highly oppressive. It was believed that Stalin was resposible for the deaths of around 20 million people during his time in powe.
  • Russia's new leader, Nikita Khrushchev, gave a speech in 1956 called the 'secret speech'. This speech, which didn't remain secret for very long, promised an end to Stalinism throughout the entire Soviet sphere of influence.
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20. Imre Nagy

20.Imre Nagy -

  • Nagy had fought in the First World War & was captured & imprisoned by the Russians. He escaped from prison & fought for the Bolsheviks in the Russian revolution. This was when he bacame a communist.
  • In 1919, Nagy joined the communist uprising in Hungary led by Bela Kun & funded by the USSR.Their takeover was quickly defeated & the new government was anti-communist.
  • Nagy returned to Hungary in 1944 & became involved in politics as a supporter of the USSR.
  • In 1945, he became Minister of Agriculture & set up land reforms to move the country into the direction of collectivisation. However, his concern for the welfare of peasants (more so then the state) led him being excluded from the Communist Party in 1949.
  • After he made a public announcement of his support for the USSR, Nagy was allowed back into the government. 
  • He replaced Rakosi as Prime Minister between 1953 & 1955 (although Rakosi kept much of his real power, as secretary of the Communist Party).
  • In 1955, Nagy was again thrown out of the Communist Party for his opposition to Rakosi's tactics. Rakosi became Prime Minister as well as Secretary once again.
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21. Nagy's Programme of Reform

21. Nagy's Programme of Reform -

  • Khrushchev's 'secret speech' created hopes of reform in Hungary, but nothing happened. Rakosi was forced out of power in July 1956, but still nothing happened. 
  • Bad harvests, & fuel & bread shortages, led riots in Budapst on 23 October 1956. Students demonstrated in Parliament square against the government & called for a 16-point list of reforms. Fighting broke out between students & police. This rapidly developed into a conflict that pulled in workers & members of the army, spreading from Budapest across the country.
  • To calm the situation, Khrushchev agreed to make Nagy Prime Minister & to withdraw the Ref Army from Hungary.
  • On 31 October 1956, Nagy announced his proposed reforms, whcih included Hungary's leaving the Warsaw pact & holding free elections. Reformers made thse bold moves as they hoped that it would gain them more support from the west.
  • They asked the UN to recognise them as a neutral country. This would mean that any Soivet army entering Hungary would be breaking the rules of the UN, & so that the UN could send in troops to remove them. The UN tried to intervene, but the USSR took no notice.
  • The USA spent a lot of time encouraging Eastern European countries to get rid of their communist governments. The US-sponsered Radio urged people to take a stand against communism.The promise of aid from the USA never came due to the fear of a nuclear war.
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22. Khrushchev Responds to Nagy (1956)

22. Khrushchev Responds to Nagy (1956) -

  • Nagy's reforms ended Hungary's alliance with the USSR. Khrushchev believed that the reforms were unacceptable & that if Hungary was allowed to leave the Warsaw Pact, then other Eastern European countries would soon follow.
  • Khrushchev had access to secret intelligence reports which indicated that discontent with communism was widespread across Eastern Europe. These reports reinforced his view that allowing greater freedom to these discontent countries would mean the end of dominance in Eastern Europe.
  • Khrushchev responded with a decisive show of force. On 4 November 1956, 200,000 Soviet troops & 1,000 tanks entered Hungary in support of Kadar's government (a supporter of the USSR who set up a rival government in eastern Hungary). They marched on Budapest, where they fought with supporters of Nagy's government, through two weeks of bitter fighting.
  • About 2,5000 people were likked by the soviet troops & 20,000 more were wounded & over 200,000 fled to the West.
  • The trouble rumbled on into 1957, iwth various strikes throughout the country & outbursts of fighting, but the revolution was really over in November.
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23. Nagy's Execution & Soviet Control

23. Nagy's Execution & Soviet Control -

  • Nagy sought protection in the Yugoslavian embassy. The Yugoslavian ambassador agreed with Khrushchev that Nagy was free to leave Hungary. However, as soon as Nagy left the embassy he was arrested by Soviet troops.
  • Nagy was accused of treason &, in a trial overseen by Khrushchev, was found guilty. He was hanged in June 1958. Khrushchev stated that Nagy's fate was 'a lesson to the leaders of all socialist countries'.
  • Following Nagy's arrest, America offered food & medical aid worth $20 million to Hungary & allowed 80,000 million Hungarian refugees to move to the USA. Eisenhower (1953-61) praised the bravery of Hungarian people & encouraged them to fight on.
  • Following the Soviet invasion, Khrushchev appointed Janos Kadar as the new Hungarian leader. Initially, Kadar had no real power. Hungary was under the control of the Soviet army. 
  • Kadar published his new programme setting out the new government's direction.
  • This included re-establishing communist control of Hungary, using Hungarian troops to stop attacks on Soviet forces, remaining in the Warsaw pact, & negotiating the withdrawal of Soviet troops once the crisis was over.
  • The Hungarian people soon accepted Kadar's new government. The US's faliure to support Nagy's new government left them with no choice.
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24. The Berlin Crisis: a Divided City

24. The Berlin Crisis: a Divided City -

  • Following the Second World War, the USSR & America had been unable to agree on how Germany should be governed. Consequently, Germany had been divided but the USSR refused to recognise West Germany & America refused to acknowlage East West Germany.
  • The city of Berlin caused problems as it was partly controlled vy the Americans though it was located within the Eastern bloc - those countries belonged to the Warsaw pact.
  • The East German government was extremely unpopular & therefore the East Germans fled to the West. West German was highly attractive as its citizens enjoyed greater freedom & wealth then those of East Germany.
  • Between 1949 & 1961, 2.7 million East German refugees, many of whom were highly skilled, escaped to West Germany.
  • Berlin was the centre of East Germany's refugee issue, as East Germans could easily get from their own section to West Berlin, and from there, West Germany.
  • The refugee problem was apropaganda disaster for Khrushchev because it proved that many people preferred the capitalist West to the communist East. For this reason, in November 1958, Khrushchev declared that the whole city of Berlin officially belonged to East Germany. He also issued an ultimatum, giving US troops 6 months to withdraw. Khrushchev wanted to prevent East Germans from fleeing & to humiliate the USA.
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25. The Geneva Summit, Camp David, & Paris Summit

25. The Geneva Summit, Camp David, & Paris Summit (1959-60)

  • In November 1958, Khrushchev demanded that the Western powers remove their troops from West Berlin within 6 months. The Americans were uncertain about how to respond to this. Eisenhower did not want to lose West Berlin, but neither did he want to start a war. He agreed to hold an international meeting in order to discuss Berlin's future.
  • The meeting took place May 1959. Talks were held in a 'summit' meeting in Geneva between foregin representatives from the USA & the USSR. No solution to this problem was agreed to at this meeting. However, it did lay down the groundwork for Khrushchev to visit the USA and to hold face-to-face talks with Eisenhower.
  • In September 1959, Khrushchev & Eisenhower met at a second summit meeting at Camp David, the US country retreat.
  • During the Camp David Summit, the two leaders spoke frankly. Despite not agreeing on a solution to the problem, it was decided that a further summit meeting would be held between the two leaders. Additionally, Khrushchev agreed to withdraw his 6 month ultimation.
  • The meeting took place in Paris in May 1960; it was a disaster. Just before the conference the USSR had shot down an American spy plane over Russia & had captured its pilot. Khrushchev walked out of the meeting in protest when Eisenhower refused to apologise.
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26. The Vienna Conference & Preparation for War (1

26. The Vienna Conference & Preparation for War (1961) -

  • When Kennedy became president in Janurary 1961, a further summit was arranged to discuss Berlin.
  • At the Vienna conference of June 1961, neither side seemed willing to back down over the US presence within Berlin. However, Khrushchev saw Kennedy's inexperience as a weakness to be exploited.
  • Confident that Kennedy would back down if pushed, Khrushchev once again gave the USA a 6 month ultimatum to remove troops from Berlin. 
  • Despite Khrushchevs ultimatium, Kennedy refused to back down. He declared that he would not remove American troops from Berlin. 
  • He started to prepare America for war, committing the US government to an additional $3.2 billion of defence spending.
  • More worrying still was Kennedy's desicion to spend an extra $207 million on building nuclear fallout shelters.
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27. Building the Berlin Wall (1961)

27. Building the Berlin Wall (1961) -

  • Khrushchev knew that the USSR could not win a nuclear war. In 1961, America had almost 20 times more nuclear weapons then the USSR. Additionally, Americal nuclear weapons were able to reach the USSR, whereas Soviet weapons could not reach the US. 
  • Kennedy's refusal to retreat called Khrushchev's bluff, forcing the Russian leader to back down.
  • Khrushchev could not force the Americans to leave West Berlin, but he still had to solve the refugee issue. His solution was to build a wall seperating East & West Berlin, making it impossible for East Germans to flee to the West.
  • On the night of August 12 1961, East German troops secretly erected a barbed wire fence around the whole of West Berlin. In the coming months the fence was reinforced & eventually became a heavily guarded wall. Soviet tanks were deployed to block further western access to the East, causing a day-long stand-off with US tanks on October 27. Finally, after 18 hours, the tanks began to pull back - one by one. The crisis had passed. Kennedy commented 'it's not a very nice soultion, but a wall is a hell of a lot better then a war'.
  • Not only didit stop the refugee crisis, but it also allowed Khrushchev to avoid war with America whilst still looking strong & became a powerful symbol in the division of Germany & Europe.
  • In 1963, Kennedy toured West Berlin expressing his sympathy with the people. 
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28. The Cuban Missile Crisis: Arms Race

28. The Cuban Missile Crisis: Arms Race -

  • America was a clear winner of the arms race in the 1940s & 1950s. America had an early lead & dropped the first nuclear bomb on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima & Nagasaki in August 1945.
  • By 1949, the USSR was developing atomic bombs too. The arms race to develop & stockpilenuclear weapons was a big part of the Cold War. If the Cold War became an actual war, then both governments expected that nuclear weapons would be used. 
  • In the USA, schools had regualr 'duck and cover' rehersals to prepare for what to do in the actual event of a nuclear attack. 
  • By 1960, France & Britain had nuclear weapons too & China was running a nuclear weapon development programme. In theory, it would soon be far too destructive for either side to use their nuclear weapons, but neither side trusted one another enough to stop the race.
  • Both side produced 'statistics' about their nuclear capacity, mich of whch was designed to frighten the other side, rather then to reflect the real situation. Also, statistics would also be confused - the number of weapons was not th only consideration; there was also the size of their warheads & the accuracy which they were aimed.
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29. The Cuban Missile Crisis: Arms Race (continued

29. The Cuban Missile Crisis: Arms Race (continued) -

  • The USA's biggest concern was the rate at which the USSR was building nuclear weapons - and the size of those weapons. The 'Tsar Bomba', detonated in 1961, was the most powerful, and therefore most destructive, bomb ever.
  • The USSR's main concern was that US missiles were much closer to the USSR then its missiles were to the US. In 1958, the US arranged to have nuclear missiles at their UK bases. In 1961, their bases in Italy & Turkey received nuclear weapons too. These could easily be fixed on specific targets, such as Moscow. The USSR could fire missiles at the US, but the missiles had to travel further, which meant they could not be targeted anywhere near as accurately.
  • America had specially equipped B52 Bombers that were capable of dropping nuclear weapons on the Soviet Union. The USSR had relativley few missiles & no way of dropping them accuratley on American soil. Nonetheless, the US government was extremely worried about the Soviet Union's Nuclear capabilities. In 1957, Russian scientists launched 'Sputnik 1' - the worlds first man-made satellite. By 1960, the Russians had even landed a robotic spacecraft on the moon, demonstrating the sophistication of Soviet technology. Many Americans believed that the rockets used to put satellites in space could be used to launch missiles at America. However, the USSR was not wealthy enough to mass-produce missiles.
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30. The Cuban Revolution (1956-59)

30. The Cuban Revolution (1956-59) -

  • Cuba had traditionally been an Ally of the USA. American presidents believed that Cuba's friendship was important because because it was very close to the US and was. therefore, in its 'sphere of influence'. 
  • Much of the land in Cuba was owned by American businesses. According to a report by the US Department of Trade in 1956, US compaines ran 90% of phones & electric supply, 50% of railways, 40% of sugar production, & owed all oil refineries. 
  • The Cuban revolution of 1959 overthrew Cuba's pro-American government. The new revolutionary regime, led by Fidel Castro, wanted greater independence from the US. As partof this policy, Castro's new government took over American property located in Cuba.
  • In response, America banned the import of Cuban sugar. This threatened to bankrupt the Cuban economy.
  • Cuba turned to the USSR for help. Khrushchev was delighted to have an ally deep within the Us 'sphere of influence'. Consequently, he agreed to offer economic aid to Cuba in order to help his new ally industrilise.
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31. The Bay of Pigs (1961)

31. The Bay of Pigs (1961) -

  • Kennedy became president in Janurary 1961. By this point the CIA had tried, and failed, to assassinate Castro many times & were increasingly concerned over Cuba's ties with the USSR.
  • Americans did not want a communist country on their doorstep; especially not one that had the USSR as an ally. The CIA pursuaded Kennedy to launch an invasion on Cuba to dislodge Castro's government & put Batista (the old, corrupt ruler of Cuba who had been a US ally) back in charge.
  • The CIA thought that they could make their invasion look like a Cuban revolt, not a US invasion, as they had been training Cuban exiles & they could disguise old US planes to look like Cuban ones for bombing. They assumed that Castro's hold on the country was weak, & that most Cubans would join against Castro once the invasion began.
  • Kennedy agrred to the plan, but the result of the invasion was a disaster. The plan, supposedly secret, was known to Castro's government. The first strike by the disguised planes, on 15 April, missed most of its targets, including Castro's airbase. The planes were photographed & US involvement was made public. Kennedy cancelled the second airstrike.
  • The cuban-exile army of 1,400 invaded the Bay of Pigs on 17 April. It was soon facing heavy air attacks of 20,000 of Castro's troops. Kennedy sent in planes, but it was too late, they had to surrender. 
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32. Missile Bases (1961)

32. Missile Bases (1961)

  • The Bay of Pigs ended any chance of the USA & Cuba negotiating a friendly relationship. Castro declared himself a communist.
  • The Americans begain making fresh plans to overthrow Castro, & the USSR began to negotiate with Castro to provide military 'protection' that would, for the first time, place Soviet nuclear missiles very close to the USA.
  • In spite of his victory, Castro felt very vulnerable & feared another American attack. He therefore asked Khrushchev to help him defend Cuba. In August 1961, he decided to station Russian nuclear weapons on Cuban soil. He claimed that this would deter America from attempting another invasion. It would also place Russian nuclear missiles within striking range of America, balancing the US presence in Turkey. 
  • This meant that Khrushchev could attack America without spending large amounts of money developing inter-continential ballistic missiles.
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33. The Thirteen Days (1932)

33. The Thirteen Days (1932) -

  • 16 October - Kennedy is informed of Khrushchev's plans to place nuclear missiles on Cuba.
  • 20 October - Kennedy decided to impose a naval blockade around Cuba to prevent further missiles reaching Cuba.
  • 22 October - Kennedy gives a public address officially declaring the blockade & calling on Krushchev to recall his ships.
  • 23 October - Khrushchev sends a letter to Kennedy stating that Soviet ships will break through the blockade.
  • 24 October - Soviet ships approach the line of blockade. The closest ships suddenly stop or turn around. Khrushchev issues a statement that the USSR is prepared to launch nuclear weapons if America goes to war.
  • 25 October - American & Soviet armed forces are on the highest level of alert & are told to prepare for war. Kennedy writes to Khrushchev asking him to withdraw missiles from Cuba.
  • 26 October - Khrushchev responds to Kennedy's letter, saying that he will withdraw Soviet missiles in return for a guarantee that the USA will not invade Cuba.
  • 27 October - Khrushchev also wants the USA to withdraw its missiles from Turkey. Robert Kennedy (Kennedy's brother) approaches the Russian ambassador accepting Khrushchev's deal but wanting the withdrawal of American missiles from Turkey to be kept secret.
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34. Khrushchev's Plan & the 'Hawks' and 'Doves' (1

34. Khrushchev's Plan & the 'Hawks' and 'Doves' (1962) -

  • On 25 September 1962, Khrushchev sent 114 Soviet ships to Cuba. The ships carried a secret cargo, including nuclear warheads & long-range missiles, that would be used to construct nuclear bases on Cuba.
  • For a long time, Khrushchev's plan remained secret. But by mid-October American spy planes had discovered what was going on.
  • On October 22 Kennedy addressed the American people & told them of the Soviet plans to build nuclear missile bases on their doorstep.
  • Kennedy's news shocked the world. Many Americans panicked & started building nuclear shelters in preperation for a nuclear war. A fleet of nuclear submarines was prepared by the US navy.
  • During the crisis, Kennedy & Khrushchev's advisors were split into two groups: hawks & doves.
  • The 'hawks' on both sides wanted an aggressive policy. For example, some American generals believed that a nuclear war between the USA & USSR was inevitable & therefore Kennedy should go to war because America had a good chance of winning.
  • The 'doves', on the other hand, adised caution, recommending diplomatic strategies, which they felt offered the best chance of peace.
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35. Immediate Consequences of the Cuban Missile Cr

35. Immediate Consequences of the Cuban Missile Crisis (1963)

  • The first consequence of the Cuban Missile Crisis was the reduction in Khrushchev's authority. Because of the removal of American missiles from Turkey remained secret, it seemed to many that he backed down & betrayed allies in Cuba.
  • The Cuban Missile Crisis had highlighted the fragility of international peace & the difficulties of negtiation between Russia & America in a crisis situation. 
  • The 'hotline' - In June 1963, a direct communications link was set up between the American president in Washington & the Russian Premier in Moscow.
  • The Limited Test Ban Treaty - In August 1963, the USSR & USA agreed to ban the testing of all nuclear weapons in space, in the sea, & above ground. Underground nuclear tests were still permitted. The Test Ban Treaty was the first step taken to control the use of nuclear weapons. Once there was agreement on this, the way was open to discuss limiting weapon production & cutting down stockpiles.
  • President Kennedy signalled his commitment to working with the USSR in a speech of June 1963, in which he argued that both superpowers needed to find 'common interests'. This speech was the beginning of a policy called 'detente': a relaxing of tension. Moves to detente were slow, but detente became a key feature of superpower relations during the 1970's.
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36. Long-term Consequences of the Cuban Missile Cr

36. Long-term Consequences of the Cuban Missile Crisis

  • The leaders of the Soviet Union were determined never again to be pushed around by America. Therefore the Soviet government made every effort to catch up with America in the arms race. By 1956, the USA & USSR were on equal footing in terms of their nuclear capability. This created further stability in the relationship between the two superpowers.
  • American & Russian leaders realised that any nuclear war was bound to destroy both countries. This idea, known as as the doctrine of Muturally Assured Destruction (MAD), gave both superpowers an exellent reason for avoiding war.
  • Another log-term consequence was the French deciding to leave NATO. In the event of a nuclear war between America & Russia, the members of NATO would be obliged to fight alongside America.
  • The leader of france was appalled at the thought that France could be destroyed this way. Therefore, in 1966, France ended its military alliance with America & began to develop its own nuclear missiles.
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37. Czechoslovakia Opposition to Soviet Control

37. Czechoslovakia Opposition to Soviet Control -

  • There are strong similarities between what happened in Hungary in 1956 & events in Czechoslovkia 12 years later.
  • Czechoslovakia was a Soviet satellite state. Communism had had a few benefits for the Czech people. In the mid-1960s, Czechoslovakia was still run by the secret police, which brutally crushed all political opposition. At the same time, the Czechoslovakian was struggling. Therefore the majority of Czech people suffered a declining standard of living during the 1960s.
  • Political repression & economic problems made Communist Party leader Novotny highly unpopular, and as a result his leadership was challenged On January 1968, Alexander Dubcek became the Comunist Party leader: the most powerful man in Czechoslovakia.
  • Dubcek was a committed communist who was on friendly terms with Brezhnev (the Russian leader following Khrushchev's fall from power in 1964).
  • Dubcek's aim was to create a genuinley popular form of communism. He described it as 'socialism with a human face'. Essentially, Dubcek wanted to get rid of to most repressive aspects of communist rule, to reform the economy, and to allow more cultural freedom.
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38. The Prague Spring (1968) -

38. The Prague Spring (1968) -

  • 'Prague Spring' is a phrse used to describe the liberal changes brought about by Dubcek from April 1968. It was named after the city of 'Prague', the Czechoslovakian capital.
  • The Prague Spring reforms included a relaxation of press censorship, the legalisation of political opposition groups, government toleration of political criticism, more power given to the Czech parliament, & 'market socialism' - the reintroduction of capitalist elements into the Czech economy.
  • Dubcek said that his aim was to allow 'the widest possible democracy in the social & political life of Czechoslovakia'. Dubceks reforms were welcomed enthusiastically by students, intellectuals, workers, & younger members of the Czech communist Party.
  • Artists took advantage of the reforms by writing books, plays, & essays critical of Soviet-style communism.
  • Older Czechoslovakian communists were shocked by the 'Prague Spring' & their horror was shared with Brezhnev & his allies across Eastern Europe.
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39. Brezhnev's Dilemma & Doctrine (1968)

39. Brezhnev's Dilemma & Doctrine (1968) -

  • The 'Prague Spring' made life very hard for Soviet leader Brezhnev. On one hand, he regarded Dubcek as a friend, & Dubcek had made no attempt to leave the Warsaw Pact or to cause the USSR any damage.
  • On the other hand, secret Soviet intelligence reports suggested that Dubcek's reforms would leave to the weakening of Soviet support over Czechoslovakia, and in the long run, the break-up of the Eastern Bloc. 
  • From April through July, Brezhnev was in constant contact with Dubcek & attempted to persuade him that the reforms had gone too far. However, Dubcek failed to take the hint & took little actionto control political opposition in Czechoslovakia. 
  • By late August, Brezhnev had had enough & ordered a full-scale invasion of Czechoslovakia in order to overthrow Dubcek.
  • Throughout August 1968, the Soviet media potrayed Czechoslovakia as a massive threat to the USSR. Brezhnev would go on to justify the invasion in the months afterwards in what became known as the 'Brezhnev Doctrine'. The doctrine meant the USSR has the right to invade any country in Eastern Europe whose actions threaten the security of the whole Eastern Bloc. Breznev argued that that Dubcek's actions had threatened to undermine the Warsaw pact.
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40. The Soviet Invasion of Czechoslovakia (1968)

40. The Soviet Invasion of Czechoslovakia (1968) -

  • Soviet tanks rolled into Czechoslovakia on the evening of 20 August 1968.
  • Dubcek ordered the Czech people not to respond with violence. Nonetheless, there was a great deal of non-violent civil disobedience. For example, many students stood in the way of tanks holding anti-invasion banners.
  • Dubcek was arrested & taken to Moscow where Brezhnev tearfully told him that he had betrayed socialism. Dubcek was forced to sign the Moscow protocol, which comitted the Czech government to 'protect socialism', by reintroducing censorship & removing political opposition.
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41. National Response to the Czech Invasion

41. National Response to the Czech Invasion -

  • Brezhnev believed that America would do nothing to help the Czechoslovakian people. America was already fighting a bloody war against communism in Vietnam.
  • Brezhnev was confident that America wanted to avoid a further military entanglement. Therefore, whilst America publically condemned the invasion, it offered no military support against it.
  • Western European governments followed America's lead - they condemned the invasion but provided no military help. The reaction of Western European Communist Parties was more surprising. Communist parties in Italy & France, for example, were outraged by the Soviet invasion. Therefore, they formally declared themselves independant of the Soviet Communist Party. This was very important as it showed the extent to which Soviet communism had lost authority & support in result of the invasion.
  • The Soviet invasion also led to the discomfort in Eastern Europe. The Yugoslavian & Romanian government both condemned the invasion & distanced themselves from the Soviet Union. 
  • However, the East German & Polish governments welcomed the Soviet response - as they were concerned of Czechoslovakia becoming too liberal.
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42. Detente - the Search for Peace

42. Detente - the Search for Peace -

  • The Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962 brought the world to the brink of a nuclear holocaust. During the late 1960s & 1970s, Soviet & American leaders tried to ease the tensions in their relationship.
  • Russia & America signed two important treaties at the end of the 1960s that are good examples of a detente relationship. The treaties were important as they limited the possibility of further conflict between superpowers.
  • The 1967 Outer Space Treaty stopped the arms race spreading to outer speace as it pledged that no nuclear weapons would be placed in space by either superpower.
  • The 1968 Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty agreed that neither superpower would supply nuclear weapons to other states or help other states to develop nuclear weapons. This stopped superpower conflict engulfing other areas in the world.
  • The highest points of detente were reached in the mid-1970s, with three important statements of the new understanding between the two superpowers.
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43. The SALT 1 Treaty (1972)

43. The SALT 1 Treaty (1972) -

  • The Strategic Arms Limitation Treaty (SALT 1), 1972 imposed limits on the nuclear capability of Russia & te USA.
  • The USA & USSR agreed that there would be no further production of strategic ballistic missiles (short-range, lightweight missiles).
  • Both powers agreed that submarines carrying nuclear weapons would only be introduced when existing intercontinential ballistic missiles became obsolete (no longer produced).
  • The ABM (Anti-Ballistic Missile) Treaty was agreed. If developed, the ABMs could shoot down incoming nuclear missiles. If one side achieved this first, it would effectivley give them a dangerous edge in the arms race. Each side was limited was limited to two ABM systems each.
  • SALT 1 was signed by the American president & Soviet premier in 1972. It was significant because it was the first agreement between the superpowers that successfully limited the number of nuclear weapons they had. 
  • It showed that detente had created an environment in which the two sides could co-operate on important issues.
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44. SALT 2 (1972) & the Apollo-Soyuz Mission (1975

44. SALT 2 (1972) & the Apollo-Soyuz Mission (1975) - 

  • SALT 1 was intended to be a temporary agreement leading to a more comprehensive treaty. Consequently, negotiations for SALT 2 began in 1972.
  • Negotiations were more difficult as the West german government were worried that further arms reductions would leave their territory undefended.
  • Right-wing Congressmen thought that detente had gone too far & were reluctent to agree with further compromises with the Sovet Union.
  • Nonetheless, in 1974, the Valdivostok Agreement, part of the SALT 2 negotiations, set out an important principle: both sides agreed to reduce their stocks of nuclear warheads in 2250.
  • SALT 2 was eventually signed by President Carter & Soviet Premier Brezhnev in June 1979.
  • In 1975 a joint space mission was launched in which an American Pollo spacecraft & a Russian Soyuz spacecraft docked high above the Earth.
  • The 1960s had been dominated by an extremely competitive race to the moon, but this marked the beginning of superpower co-operation in space.
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45. The Helsinki Agreements (1975)

45. The Helsinki Agreements (1975) -

  • The Helsinki conference had representitives from 35 countries. They came from all of Europe as well as representitives from the USSR, USA, & China.The terms of agreements applied to everyone. There were three main issues: security, co-operation, & human rights.
  • For security, all country boundaries were accepted (so East & West Germnay accepted each other's existence for the first time). All disputes were to be settled equally (if necessary through the UN), not by the use of threat nor force. No country would interfere with the internal affairs of another country. Countries would inform each other about any big military manoeuvres & would accept representatives from other countries to observe them.
  • For co-operation, they wanted to have more economic co-operation through trade (so the USA would buy oil from the USSR, whilst the USSR would by wheat from the USA). They wanted industrial co-operation through setting same standards & running joint industrial projects. They wanted scientific co-operation through sharing infomation & research (e.g. medical or space-orientated). Finally, they wanted educational co-operation (e.g. learning languages)
  • For human rights, it included freedom of: speech, movement, religion, & infomation.
  • The agreements stabilised the situation in Europe by agreeing greater co-operation between the superpowers & their European allies in term of trade & fighting international terrorism.
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46. The Kabul Revolution (April 1978)

46. The Kabul Revolution (April 1978) -

  • Even the detente could not stop the superpower competition over the developing world. Soviet leader Brezhnev saw the communit revolution in Afghanistan as an oppotunity to extend his power in the oil-rich Middle-East. 
  • The Kabul Revolution of April 1978 witnessed the dramatic overthrow of the government. The new government, based in the Afghan captial, was determined to 'build socialism' within Afghanistan. The new communist president, Taraki, quickly became an ally of the USSR.
  • However, the revolutionary government of Afghanistan was for from stable. It suffered from personal rivalries & disagreements. Moreover, many Muslim leaders across the country were angered by the socialist reforms the government introduced. 
  • By 1979, this anger had caused a civil war to break out across the country between the government & Islamic fighters. President Taraki was forced to accept Amin, the head of the army, as Prime Minister. 
  • In October 1979, Amin supporters assassinated Taraki & Amin claimed presidency of the country.
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47. The Soviet Invasion (December 1979)

47. The Soviet Invasion (December 1979) -

  • Following Amin's seizure of power, Brezhnev ordered the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan.
  • Although Amin was a communist, the USSR did not trust him. The Soviet secret police reported that he was an American spy. He was also unpopular with a large number of Muslims in the country & Brezhnev feared that Musilm groups were planning to take control of the country.
  • The USSR was concerned that, as a result of the civil war, Afghanistan would become an Islamic state & influence nearby Soviet republics to do the same. The Islamic states were not communist & therefore any countries that became Islamic would have no reasons to make alliances with Russia. 
  • Karmal, an Afghan communist, argued that he had enough popular support to form a new government but needed Soviet help to help defeat Amin's army.
  • Brezhnev believed that America would tolerate the invasion, as it had done in Czechoslovakia following the 'Prague Spring' to avoid war.
  • Soviet troops killed Amin along with many of his supporters, and Karmal was declared president. Yet the invasion proved to be a disaster for both the Soviet Union & Afghanistan It lasted 10 years & around 1.5 million died, including almost 15,000 Russian soldiers.
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48. The Carter Doctrine & the End of Detente & SAL

48. The Carter Doctrine & the End of Detente & SALT 2 -

  • Brezhnev's invasion of Afghanistan was a huge miscalculation. The American president, Jimmy Carter, was appauled at the Soviet agression. Consequently, he made a statement that became known as the Carter Doctrine.
  • Essentially, he argued that the USA would not allow the USSR to gain control of territory in the oil-rich Middle East. He also immdiatley took a number of steps to try to remove Soviet troops from Afghanistan.
  • He formed an alliance with China & Israel to support Afghan rebels, who opposed the Soviet invasion & the Afghan communist government. The CIA provided weapons and funds for the Islamic organisation which were fighting to free Afghanistan from Soviet control.
  • Carter imposed economic sanctions (restrictions) stopping virtually all trade with the Soviet Union. He ended diplomatic relations with the Soviet Union.
  • Carters action's did not force the Soviet troops to withdraw from Afghanistan. However, they did effectively end detente.
  • Carter had signed the SALT 2 treaty in June 1979. However, in response to the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan the US refused to ratify the treaty & therefore it never became a law.
  • Carter increased the US defence spending by 5%. He ordered the US military to come up with plans for surviving a nuclear war with the Soviet Union.
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49. The Olympic Boycott (1980)

49. The Olympic Boycott (1980) -

  • Carter led a boycott of the 1980 Moscow Olympic Games. Around 60 countries followed the American lead & refused to attend the games in protest at the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan.
  • The American government set up an alternative Olympics, called the Olympic boycott games, which was held in America.
  • The American press ridiculed the official Olympic games & nicknamed Misha Bear, Russia's Olympic mascot, Glulag Bear - a reference to Soviet prison camps.
  • In 1984, the Los Angeles Olympic Games was also highly political. In retaliation for the 1980 boycott, the USSR & 14 communist countries refused to attend the Olympic Games. The USSR organised the Friendship Games as a communist alternative. 
  • by 1980 detente was dead. The invasion of Afghanistan & the American response meant that superpower relations were at their lowest point since the Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962.
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50. The Second Cold War & President Regan

50. The Second Cold War & President Regan -

  • The 'Second World War' is a phrase used to describe the period between 1979 & 1985, which marked a new low for superpower relations. As in the late 1950s & early 1960s, the public was extrememly concerned about the possibility of a nuclear war.
  • Detente had fallen apart under President Carter. Ronald Regan, who became the new President in 1981, had no intention of putting it back together. He believed that it was time for America to start fighting again: Regan wanted to win the Cold War.
  • The American media were not convinced that Regan was suitable to be President. Regan was potrayed as a modern-day cowboy, who knew nothing of the world affairs & was totally unqualified to be the American President. 
  • Nonetheless, Regan had strong ideas on the future of the Cold War. For example, he believed that detente had been a disaster for the USA. He thought that the policy had made the USA look weak whilst allowing the USSR to grow strong.
  • Regan rejected the idea of a peaceful co-existence with the USSR, believing that it was America's destiny to fight for individual freedom in the Cold War.
  • Regan made his view on the Soviet Union clear in his famous 'Evil Empire' speech in March 1983. Regan was a committed Christian & argued that the Cold War was a fight between good & evil, & that America fought with Gods blessing.
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51. SDI - 'Star Wars'

51. SDI - 'Star Wars' -

  • Regan's plan for winning the Cold War meant taking the arms race to a new level. He proposed a 'nuclear umbrella', which would stop the Soviet bombs from reaching USA soil.
  • Regan's plan was to launch an army of satellites equiped with powerful lasers, which would intercept Soviet missiles in space & destroy them before they could do America any harm. Regan believed that his new technology was make Soviet nuclear missiles useless & therefore force the USSR to disarm.
  • SDI was a complete break from the detente policy, & broke the terms from the Outer Space Treaty of 1967 which was signed during detente & had committed the superpowers to use space technology for peace alone.
  • SDI presented enormous problems for the Russians. Sviet leaders knew that they could not compete with Regans 'Star Wars' plan.
  • Firstly, America had won the race to the moon in 1969, & by the eary 1980's it had developed a space shuttle. Secondly, the Soviet economy was not producing enough weath to develop their space technology.
  • Finally, the USSR was behind America in terms of computer technology. During the 1980's, America's computer market boomed. However, Soviet leaders were highly suspicious that they would be used to undermine communism. 
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52. Gorbachev's relationships & his 'New Thinking'

52. Gorbachev's relationships & his 'New Thinking' -

  • Gorbachev was the last leader of the Soviet union from 1985 until it collapsed in 1991. He saw the end of the Cold War, & the fall of the Berlin Wall, & ending Communism in Russia.
  • Gorbachev had very little forgein policy experience prior to becoming the leader of Russia. At first, he viewed the relationship with Russia in quite simplistic terms. For example, following his first meeting with Regan in 1985, he commented that 'Regan is not just a class enemy, he is extremely primitive. He looks like a caveman & is mentally retarded'.
  • Gorbachev's relationship with the West was tested over the Chernobyl crisis. In April 1986, the nuclear reactor in the Chernobyl nuclear power plant in the Ukraine exploded. Initally, Gorbachev authorised a cover story that denied there ever being a release of dangerous radiation. The Western media were unconvinced by the Soviet cover story & Western governments put pressure in Gorbachev to tell the truth about the scale of the disaster.
  • The Soviet economy as not doing as well as the American economy. Whist Americans in the 1980s enjoyed an great standard of living, everyday life in Russia was dominated by shortages. Many of the Soviet people had lost faith in the Communist Party. 
  • Gobachev's plan for reviving communism involved a radical programme of reform. This involved Perestrokia (reconstructing) making the economy more efficient & Glasnost (openess) relaxed censorship.
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53. Geneva & Reykjavik (1986) -

53. Geneva & Reykjavik (1986) -

  • The first meeting between President Reagan & Premier occured at the Geneva summit in November 1989. Reagan's aim for the conference was to pursuade Gorbachev that he sincerely desired peace between the two superpowers. Gobachev, although in a weaker position, was hoping to persuade Reagan to drop his plans for SDI.
  • Gorbachev was also keen to establish a working relationship with the American President. Prior to the meeting, he saked his long-serving forgein minister & appointed a new one. This signalled an end to the agressive foreign policy that had been persued by the previous minister. 
  • The Geneva meeting was significant because the two leaders were able to talk face-to-face & develop a personal relationship.However, no formal agreement on arms control was reached.
  • The Reykjavik meeting of October 1986 was much more ambitious. Reagan proposed scrapping all ballistic nuclear missiles. Gorbachev, however, was unwilling to agree to these proposals because Reagan refused to drop the SDI project. 
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54. Regan & Conciliation

54. Regan & Conciliation - 

  • Reagan later changed his mind about the USSR to the extent of wanting to resume detente with the 'Evil Empire' for multiple reasons:
  • He could see that public opinion was against another arms race. He wanted to save the money that an arms race would cost the USA. He also did not want to be seen as a brutal bully. There had been large-scale demonstrations across Western Europe against the sitting of US milliles there. In 1984, before Gorbachev came into power, Reagan had stopped using phrases such as 'Evil Empire' & started using terms such as 'mutural compromise' & calling 1984 'a year of oppotunity for peace'
  • He could see that there was widespread approval of Gorbachev & his changes to the USSR. This spread from the USSR through the Eastern European sates to many other countries, including the USA.Gorbachev was the first ruler of the USSR to gain significant public approval of the USA.
  • He got on with Gorbache & seems to have believed that Gorbachev wanted reforms in the USSR & an end to the Cold War. Once Reagan had decided to try for detente, he mada sure he got the publicity right. For example, when he & Gorbachev met, he made sure that they, and their wives, looked as if they genuinley got on.
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55. INF Treaty (1987)

55. INF Treaty (1987) -

  • Following the Reykjavik meeting, American & Soviet diplomats continued to try to draft an arms-reduction treaty.The result was the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty, signed in Washington in December 1987. The treaty eliminated all nuclear missiles.
  • The INF Treaty was significant because it was the first treaty to reduce the number of nuclear missiles that the superpowers posessed. It therefore went much further then SALT 1, which simply limited the growth of Russian & American nuclear stockpiles. During the next 4 years, the two sides destroyed hundreds of missiles & strict procedures were put in place to task inspectors & to ensure that the treaty was followed. It was a great breakthrough.
  • Gorbachev had refused to agree to an arms treaty in Reykjavik because Reagan refused to drop his plans for SDI. Nonetheless, a year later he signed the INF Treaty in spite of the fact that Reagan was still committed to SDI.
  • Gobachev did so because he came to see that nuclear weapons were highly expensive but added nothing to Soviet security. Reagan had also pesuaded Gorbachev that the USA had no intension of invading the USSR. Gobachev also realised that the Soviet economy would never recover as long as it was spending so much money on the nuclear weapons. Gobachev knew that disarmament would win him popularity in the West & would be able to make more trade.
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56. Summit Conferences After Reagan (1989-91)

56. Summit Conferences After Reagan (1988-91) -

  • In 1988, Reagan went to Moscow for the first time for a summit conference. They agreed to work towards disrmament of nuclear arms. The summit fixed no targets, but it eased the tensions created by Afghanistan.
  • The Malta Summit, 1989 - The summit was a meeting between US President Bush & Gorbachev. The meeting began to work on the agreements that were to CFE & START 1, below.
  • The CFE Agreement, 1990 - This agreement, signed by Bush & Gorbachev, set limits to the non-nuclear forces that the Warsaw Pact & NATO could have in Europe. Negotiations for this began in 1989 but the process was made difficult because the USSR was beginning to break up. This meant that, for example, Hungary was part of the Warsaw pact when the negotiation began, but had left by the time the Treaty was ready to be signed.
  • START 1, 1991 - Signed by Bush & Gorbachev, with pens made from scrapped nuclear missiles, this set limits on the numbers of nuclear weapons. Both sides agreed to reduce their holdings of nuclear warheads by 1/3 by destroying them. It also agreed that both sides would continued to reduce. It did not agree on all types of nuclear weapons, but covered most of them.
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57. Eastern Europe & the Break-up of the Eastern B

57. Eastern Europe & the Break-up of the Eastern Bloc (1988) -

  • In December 1988, Gorbachev announced that ideaology should play a smaller part in Soviet foregin affairs. In practise, this meant that the USSR would no longer favour trade with communist states over trade with capitalist countries. 
  • Gobachev was keen for Eastern states to enjoy Perestrokia (rebuilding the economy) & Glastnost (less censorship). 
  • Gobachev withdrew Soviet troops from Eastern European bases in order to save money.
  • Gorbachev had never intended to weaken communist control of Eastern Europe. Once again, his desire was to strengthen communism by reform.
  • However, once reform had started in the Eastern Bloc, he was unable to contain it. The Eastern Bloc previously relied on the Soviet army to prop up their pro-Moscow regimes.
  • There would not be another invasion of Hungary or Czechoslovakia, so the Eastern European governments were weakened.
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58. The Fall of the Berlin Wall

58. The Fall of the Berlin Wall -

  • The fall of the Berlin Wall has come to symbolise the end of the Cold War. However, it would be wrong to confuse the fall of the wall with the end of the war.
  • The fall of the Berlin Wall is an exellent case study of the effects of reform in Eastern Europe. East Germany was slow to embrace Perestrokia & Glastnost. However, the communist government was unable to contain citizen's desire for freedom once the neighbouring states had abandoned communism.
  • As soon as the democratic elections were announced in Hungary there was a mass movement of East German citizens through Hungary to West Germany. As a result, the East German government was forced to announce much greater freedom of travel for the East Germans citizens. 
  • As part of this decision, on November 9 the East German government announced the East Germans would be allowed to cross the border with West Berlin. On hearing this news, thousands to East Berliners flooded the checkpoints in the wall, demanding access to West Berlin. The border guards let them pass - the Berlin Wall had fallen. People began to chip away & dismantle parts of the wall,. Many people had been reunited with friends & relatives they had been seperated from since the Berlin Wall had been built 30 years ago.
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59. Reaction to Berlin Wall & End of Warsaw Pact

59. Reaction to Berlin Wall & End of Warsaw Pact -

  • As the Eastern Bloc disintergrated, it became obvious that the Warsaw Pact could not survive. The Pact was an aliance that united the communist states of Eastern Europe against the capitalist states in the West. However, as first Poland, then Hungary, & finally East Germany all rejected communism, the Pact no longer served any purpose.
  • Gorbachev was undoubtedly the 'darling of the West'. Magaret Thatcher described him as 'a man I can do business with'. He was widely respected for his willingness to reform & the fact that his policies had led to the break-up of the Eastern Bloc.
  • In Russia, however, Gorbachev was treated with suspicion & cynicism. Leading members of the Communist Party believed that Perestrokia & Glastnost had weakened communism rather then reviving it. Consequently, on 19 August 1991 a group of senior communist government officials - known as the 'gang of eight' - organised a coup which removed Gorbachev from power.
  • Initially, the coup was successful as Gobachev was prevented from returning from Moscow. The new government declared a state of emergancy, which overtuned the freedoms gained during Perestrokia & Glastnost. The government's goal was to restire the power of the Soviet Union & secure the future of the communist government. The new government lasted three days. 
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60. The Fall of Soviet Union & Ending of Cold War

60. The Fall of Soviet Union & Ending of Cold War -

  • On 21 August, Gobachev returned to Moscow & resumed his position as leader of Russia. Immediatley following his return, Gobachev announced that it was still his intension to save Soviet communism. However, the coup had damadged Gobachev's authority, while it had made Yeltsin a popular hero.
  • Gobachev's final attempt to save the Soviet Union was the introduction of the new constitution, which was designed to give the Soviet republic much greater independance.The leaders of these countries, however, wanted full independance, and for this reason the constituation was never accepted.
  • As a result, Gobachev officially announced the dissolution of the Soviet Union & his resignation as president on 25 December 1991. The Cold War had ended.
  • President Bush had delcared that the Cold War had ended at the Malta Summit of 1989. However, communism was still undefeated & the coup of August 1991 raised the prospect of another standoff between the East & West. The Baltic states declared themselves independant in 1990 & was accepted by the USSR a year later. This led to many other countries doing so.
  • It was the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991 that finally ended the ideological battle between the Capitalist West & the Communist East.
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everything you need to know for Edexcel GCSE Unit 1, succinctly put and all in one place!



There are several historical mistakes (ie it was Clement Atlee who attended the Potsdam conference, not Churchill) within this resource but overall it was helpful.



some of the dates are very wrong



Yo thanks for this guide but come on now, learn to spell and actually structure sentences - this is just not a good read and is structured awfully.




Really helpful



Thank you so much! This really helped with paper 1 of my GCSEs!!

I actually got 3 grades higher for the actual gcse cold war paper than my mock with these flash cards.

Much appreciated :-)



cheers geoff



that's absolutely fantastic 



which dates are wrong?



Extremely useful stuff!



thank you soo much! I hope this will boost my exam grades!!

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