Cold War

What were the ideological differences between the two superpowers?
US was a capitalist democracy, with freedoms such as free speech and lack of censorship. However, the USSR was a communist dictatorship, without these freedoms.
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How did ideological differences cause tensions?
US fear a world revolution from the Soviets, leading to mutual fears of expansionism.
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How did Yalta and Potsdam cause tensions?
Polish border disagreements show Western fear of Soviet controlled area. German reparation disagreements also show how US want a barrier to communism. Free elections shows ideological differences and caused 'get tough' policy from Truman.
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How did Poland cause tensions?
US treated it as an 'acid test' of Soviet intentions, thus when they didn't hold free elections it confirmed their fears of expansionism and that Stalin couldn't' be trusted.
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When was the Iron Curtain Speech and what was it?
1946, accused the USSR of expansion policies which would lead to world revolution as well as calling for a military alliance between GB and USA to stop the Soviets expanding.
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What was the impact of the Iron Curtain speech?
Before the speech, 55% of Americans felt the Soviets could be trusted, with 35% believing so after. Allowed the government to introduce more hostile policies towards the USSR, as this would be hard to do without public support.
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When was the Truman Doctrine and what was it?
1947. The USA should follow a policy of containment. Asked Congress for $400 million and to authorise the detail of USA civilian and military personnel to Greece and Turkey to help reconstruct their countries.
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What were the consequences of the Truman Doctrine?
Greek government was able to defeat the communists, this was the first instance of the US taking direct action against communism. The US becoming more involved in European affairs, meant the USA were more likely to come into conflict with the Soviets
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When was containment introduced and what was it?
1947. The US would stop the spread of communism to areas in which it didn't already exist.
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What was Marshall Aid, and when did it begin?
1948. American initiative to aid Western Europe, in which the United States gave billions in economic support to help rebuild Western European economies after the war and reduce the risk of communism rising.
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How did Marshall Aid increase tensions?
Stalin accused the US of using the plan for it’s own interests to dominate Europe and boost their economy i.e. expansionism. Europe became more firmly divided between East and West - East not allowed to join and OEER creates barrier to communism.
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What are three ways the Soviets increased their control over the East?
Salami tactics, Cominform and Comecon.
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What were salami tactics?
Coalition governments set up in which the communists share with other political parties. The communists took over key government roles. Opposition leaders arrested or forced to flee. Elections held but fixed to ensure a communist win.
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How were salami tactics used in Poland?
Sixteen nationalist leaders arrested and a coalition government formed in 1945. In 1946, 1,200 members of the People’s Party arrested. By 1947, 100,000 members of the People’s Party arrested, including 142 candidates. Communists win 394/444 seats.
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When was Cominform established and what was it?
1947, in response to the Truman Doctrine. Linked Eastern European countries, making them easier to control. Had to follow Soviet foreign policy aims and economic policies e.g. collectivising farms.
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When was Comecon established and what was it?
1947, in response to Marshall Aid. Increased economic control and gained access to resources. Forced East to create goods the Soviets needed e.g. Czechoslovakia focused on industry. Made East dependent on the USSR.
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What were four reasons the powers were concerned over Berlin throughout the period?
The placement of Berlin, the Berlin Blockade, the Berlin Wall and the Vienna/Paris conferences.
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How did the placement of Berlin cause tensions?
Meant there was an 'island of capitalism' in the Eastern bloc, concerning the Soviets. Led to other events such as the blockade and the wall.
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What were the causes of the Berlin Blockade?
Cold war worsening, aims for Germany, Bizonia, Investment in Europe and New currency.
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How had the Cold War been worsening?
London Conference of Foreign Ministers had ended hope of four power co-operation - West wanted a divided Germany and Soviets accused the West of breaking the Potsdam agreements and denying the USSR a fair share of reparations. No agreements made.
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What were the powers different aims for Germany?
West wanted it recovered and Stalin didn't. Stalin refused to trade with the other zones. Stalin didn’t want the Allies inside Berlin. He realised the capitalist life would be on show to people in the East. West wanted to remain in Berlin to observe.
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What was Bizonia?
USA and GB zones in Germany merge into one economic unit. West worried about a united Germany, it would make it easier for communism to spread. Stalin saw it as a threat.
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What was investment in Europe?
US putting money into West Germany to economically integrate it with the West and create a strong barrier to communism. Stalin saw this as too much capitalist influence, especially in West Berlin where East Berliners can see it.
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What was the new currency?
June: West introduce the Deutschmark into West Germany. Soviets retaliate by introducing the Ostmark into the East. Makes the two zones more separate. Stalin saw this as an economic attack on his zone, triggered the Berlin Blockade.
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What were three consequences of the Berlin Blockade?
Arms race developed, NATO and the Warsaw Pact were created and East and West Germany were also created.
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How did the arms race increase?
Both sides begin to increase the rate they built up armies and weapons. By the 50s USA had doubled its airforce and the army was at 3.5 million men. By the end of the 1950s, it was estimated if the USSR attacked, 20 million Americans would die.
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What was NATO and the W.P?
NATO was a western military alliance based on collective security; agree if one member was attacked, the others would help. USSR said NATO was an offensive alliance against them, claimed the West was preparing for war. 1955: USSR set up Warsaw Pact.
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How did NATO and the W.P. increase tensions?
Increased both the global nature and the dangerous nature of the Cold War. Clashes were now more likely - soldiers stationed in other countries.
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What happened to East and West Germany?
May 1949: West Germany formed; the Federal Republic of Germany (FRG). October 1949: East Germany formed; the German Democratic Republic (GDR).
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What year was the East German revolt and what were the causes?
1953. Ulbricht began a fast programme of socialisation, e.g. high production targets. This was extremely unpopular with farms and workers, creating instability in the GDR.
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What what the course of the East German revolt?
Strikes and riots broke out, workers demanded more pay, more political freedom and the re-establishment of previous political parties, called for the resignation of the government. 100,000 people on the streets of East Berlin.
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What were the consequences of the East German revolt?
Soviets sent in their tanks. Production targets were ended and order was achieved.
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What year was the Polish revolt and what were the causes?
1956. De-stalinisation prompted debate about USSRs role in Poland. Unhappy with the economy, rise in prices, housing, trade relations and shortages of goods.
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What was the course of the Polish revolt?
Workers protest about the economy, 78 killed. Red Army sent to the borders and tanks to Warsaw. Gomulka believed in more than one road to socialism and wanted to make reforms - allowed by the Soviets although they were suspicious. Red Army withdraw.
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What were the consequences of the Polish revolt?
Sparked demonstrations in Hungary. Religious freedom gained, better trade terms established, debts were cancelled, political criminals were freed, elections freer than in 1952. BUT freedoms only temporary - Gomulka became more oppressive.
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What year was the Hungarian revolt and what were the causes?
1956. Unhappy with the purges - 2,000 people dead and 200,000 imprisoned. The ‘5 year plan’ to reform the economy hadn’t worked and it was devoted to heavy industry and steel production but Hungary had no iron or coal to do this.
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What was the course of the Hungarian revolt?
Hungarians want things such as free elections, links with the West, end to the one party system. Khrushchev sent troops and tanks to Budapest, 12 are killed and over 100 wounded. Nagy spoke with Soviets and agreed tanks would be withdrew.
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What were Nagy's proposed reforms and what did it cause?
Become a multi-party state which was independent and LEAVE THE WARSAW PACT. Soviets sent in 200,000 troops and 6,000 tanks.
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What were the consequences of the Hungarian revolt?
USSR stayed in control behind the Iron Curtain, no other country rebelled until 1968. Polarisation of the Cold War - the West were horrified - many Communists left the Communist Party - and Western leaders became more determined to contain communism.
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What was a consequence that took place in 1957?
Conference for international communist leaders. This made it clear how the Soviets were the ‘first and mightiest’ of the socialist countries and any communist leader could appeal to the Soviets for military help if there were any major disturbances.
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What was America's role?
Misleading liberation propaganda that the West would provide armed assistance to the Hungarian people if they rose up against Soviets through Radio Free Europe. BUT failed to intervene.
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What year was the Prague Spring and what caused it?
1968. Economy was in serious decline, leading to a fall in standard of living. Unhappy at the fact they were forced to produce raw materials for the USSR, when they needed them for themselves. Wanted greater democracy.
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What was the course of the Prague Spring?
Dubcek’s reforms included freedom to travel to the West, limits on the powers of the police and a new National Assembly would be elected in which communists wouldn’t have all the power. These reforms led to more radical demands.
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Why was Czechoslovakia important to the Soviets?
It had the strongest industry and if they left the Warsaw Pact to join NATO, the Eastern bloc would be split and NATOs frontier would border the USSR.
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What did Dubcek sign and what happened afterwards?
The Bratislowa Declaration, declaring his faith in communism. BUT Tito was given an enthusiastic reception in Czechoslovakia, seemed Dubcek was moving towards independence. Brezhnev told Dubcek his actions would bring down the W.P. W.P. troops invade
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What were the consequences of the Prague Spring?
Hard-line officials replaced the reformers. Czech Communist Party was purged and Dubcek forced to resign. Gave rise to the Brezhnev Doctrine. Redefined communism as a one party system and that all members must remain part of the Warsaw Pact.
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What did the Brezhnev Doctrine send out?
A message to the East that the USSR would suppress any attempts to relax communism.
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What was America's role?
USA was in the midst of an election and the Vietnam War. The Soviets could move into Czechoslovakia knowing the USA was unlikely to react.
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What was the Hallestein Doctrine and what year was it created?
FRG said if any state, apart from the USSR, recognised the GDR, it would lead to a break in diplomatic relations between the FRG and the ‘guilty’ state.
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What was the Berlin ultimatum?
West need to leave Berlin or the USSR would give all access points to the GDR. This meant every time the West wanted access to West Berlin they’d have to speak to the GDR, breaking the Hallestein Doctrine.
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What two summits did Berlin cause tensions, and what years were they?
The 1960 Paris Summit - Eisenhower refuses to stop spying on the USSR, Khrushchev walks out. The 1961 Vienna Summit - Khrushchev pushed the Berlin Ultimatum, JFK refused. Kennedy increases defence spending and the number of nuclear fall out centres.
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What was the main problem Berlin caused for the GDR?
‘Brain drain’ - huge numbers of workers were leaving for the West, weakening the economy.
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What was the Berlin Wall and when did it go up?
1961. The Wall completely cut off West Berlin from East Germany and from East Berlin.
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What were the results of the Berlin Wall?
Tension in Europe eased, USSR no longer felt threatened by the capitalism on show to the East, the problem of brain drain stopped and JFK resisted the ultimatum.
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When and what was SALT I?
1972, AMB systems allowed at only two sites with 100 missiles.  Each side allowed to use satellites to check the other wasn’t breaking the arms limits. 
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When and what was Nixon's visit to Moscow?
1974.  The leaders agreed:  They would continue to remove the danger of war, particularly nuclear war.  They would contribute to the elimination of sources of international tension and military conflict. 
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When and what were the Helsinki Accords?
1975. Security: recognition of Europe's borders, USSR accept existence of the FRG and West accept Soviet bloc. Co-operation: trade and technology exchanges to develop closer links between East and West.  Human rights: agree to respect human rights.
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What was Ostpolitik and when did it begin?
1969, abandonment of the Hallestein Doctrine and using more realistic policies. Set up by Brandt - Chancellor of the FRG. aimed at defusing tense situations between the FRG and the GDR and leaving unification as a possibility. 
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What were the four treaties it led to?
Moscow Treaty 1970, Warsaw 1970 and Prague 1971 Treaties, Four Power Negotiations over Berlin  and Basic Treaty 1972.
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What was the Moscow Treaty 1970?
USSR and the FRG claim neither had territorial claims. FRG commit itself to negotiating treaties with Poland, the GDR and Czechoslovakia.  Stressed the FRGs right to move towards a state of peace in which the Germans regain unity.
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What was agreed in the Four Power Negotiations?
Soviets allowed three principles:  Unimpeded traffic between West Berlin and the FRG.  Recognition of West Berlin's ties with the FRG.  Right for West Berliners to visit East Berlin.  
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What ended detente in 1979?
Soviet invasion of Afghanistan.
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How did this increase Cold War tensions?
Carter doctrine: US would use military force if necessary to defend its interests in the Persia Gulf region. Delayed SALT II and cancelled shipments of grain to the USSR and US companies couldn't sell high technology there (strays from Helsinki Acc).
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What was the impact of Afghanistan on the USSR?
War cost around $8.2 billion per year - couldn't create a stable economy. Soviet people begin to realise the government is lying to them, civilians want to know why their men are dead in a seemingly useless war.
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How did Reagan increase Cold War tensions?
Stopped Western technology reaching the USSR, weakening them economically as Soviets will want better goods. Used US radio stations e.g. Radio Free Europe to highlight US support for anti-communist ideas and supported movements like Solidarity.
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How did Reagan speed up the arms race and how did this impact the USSR?
SDI/Star Wars Plan - for a ground and space based, laser armed anti-ballistic missile system that would shield US land based missiles. Meant the USSR would have to spend more money on arms to compete with the USA.
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What social problems did Gorbachev face?
Poor quality consumer goods, Between 1982-1987, 18,000 Russian-made televisions exploded, killing 1,000 people. Expectations about living standards rose in the 1980s in Eastern Europe. Alcoholism and industrial pollution.
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What economic problems did Gorbachev face?
Technology in the East was becoming out of date as increases in oil prices made it hard for countries to get credit for investment and foreign exchange. Clear that an economic crisis was on its way, industrial growth rates were small.
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What political problems did Gorbachev face?
East was led by men who were out of touch with the needs of their people. They were unwilling to change the system as it worked for them and kept them in power. People saw this and lost faith in their government.
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What were Gorbachev's two main reforms?
Perestroika: reform of the political and economic system. E.g. in 1987 he made it legal to buy and sell for profit. Glasnost: openness; he encouraged the Soviet people to speak more openly and encouraged Soviet leaders to listen to them.
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How did Gorbachev impact the arms race?
Ended the arms race with the USA and signed a number of arms reduction agreements.
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How did Gorbachev change the USSR's policy towards the East?
Stopped Soviet interference in the satellite states, abandoning the Brezhnev Doctrine.
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How did Gorbachev's ideology differ from previous leaders?
Didn't conduct Soviet foreign policy according to the Marxist-Leninist revolutionary ideology. Didn't believe communism would triumph over the West. He worked towards international co-operation and real coexistence between the two rival systems.
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What was Solidarity?
Set up in 1980, first independent trade union to be set up in Eastern European. Campaigned for radical change to the way Poland was run.
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When and why was Solidarity legalised again?
1988 - poll showed that a quarter of Poles wanted to emigrate to the West. More strikes protesting Poland’s economy and called for Solidarity to be legalised.
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When and what was the initial agreement between Solidarity and the government?
1989 - Solidarity would be legal and workers would have the right to strike. There would be new elections. Two thirds of the seats in Parliament would be guaranteed for communists; one third for other parties.
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How did Solidarity gain more political influence?
Solidarity won all seats open to opposition, formed a coalition with two other parties and they won a majority in Parliament. A new government was formed, including Solidarity MPs, the new Prime Minister was a non-communist.
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What did Solidarity show to the East?
Highlighted to the rest of the East that if they came together against oppression it was difficult for the government/Soviets to stop them.
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How did the Soviets lose power in Hungary?
1988: Grosz new leader, a reformer, as a result of perestroika and glasnost. February 1989: Grosz accepted Hungary must become a democracy to prevent revolution. 1989: following Poland’s example, talks were held between the government and (cont)
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How did the Soviets lose power in Hungary?
pposition groups. Led to agreement for free elections to be held in March/April 1990. Communists won just 11% of the vote.
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How did the Soviets lose power in Czechoslovakia?
Prime Minister announced reforms similar to those in the Prague Spring. 12 opposition groups formed the Civic Forum. Large demonstrations forced the government to talk to the Civic Forum. Prime Minister resigned, non-communist formed a government.
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Why did the Berlin Wall fall?
Gorbachev advised Honecker to follow Poland and Hungary. In Leipzig, peaceful demonstrations took place, Gorbachev didn't interfere. BW opened, symbolic of the Cold War ending. New leader, Modorow agreed to free elections. ‘Alliance for Germany' won.
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How did ideological differences cause tensions?


US fear a world revolution from the Soviets, leading to mutual fears of expansionism.

Card 3


How did Yalta and Potsdam cause tensions?


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Card 4


How did Poland cause tensions?


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Card 5


When was the Iron Curtain Speech and what was it?


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