Cold War History - Thaw

  • Created by: Jess
  • Created on: 09-04-13 11:41
Why was there a 'thaw' in the post-Stalin world?
Death of Stalin; New leadership in the USA; Ideas of spheres of influence & Military situation.
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When did Stalin die?
5th March 1953
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How did the death of Stalin contribute to the thaw?
Stalin's death allowed the USSR to start 'fresh' in terms of foreign policy; his successor was unlikely to make the same mistakes again.
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How did the new leadership in USA contribute to the thaw?
Eisenhower's presidency and 'New Look' policy meant the USA would work with the USSR in America's interests.
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How did ideas of spheres of influence contribute to the thaw?
The east and west had both accepted their opponents sphere of influence, making them more stable.
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How did the military situation contribute to the thaw?
Both USSR & USA had developed a hydrogen bomb by 1955, both sides were equally scared (but prepared) of the threat of war.
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Who was Malenkov and what did he do?
Prime Minister of USSR & head of communist party. Created new foreign policy 'New Course' which improved relations with the West & improve living standards in USSR.
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What did Malenkov believe about the war between capitalism & communism? Who was he criticised by?
He believed that war between capitalism & communism was no longer inevitable. He was criticised by Krushchev who believed the collapse of capitalism was inevitable.
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Who was Beria? And what did he want?
Head of police; Stalin's chief-hench man 1938-53; sinister master of intrigue & a sexual predator of prostitutes. He wanted a unified neutral Germany.
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Who was Khrushchev & what did he want for Russia?
Leader of USSR by summer 1957; he wanted to detach himself from key aspects of Stalinism.
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What was Khruschev's foreign policy approach?
Peaceful coexistence; the two systems would have to accept the existence of each other in short term.
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Why did Khrushchev this peaceful coexistence would work?
He believed in the Marxist view that Capitalism would collapse due to its own weaknesses anyway & therefore there was no point going to war with nuclear weapons.
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What was the state of Austria after WW2?
It was divided into zones of occupation (like Germany). USSR used their zones as a source of economic resources to be used for their own benefit. The US pumped in Marshall aid & secretly renamed the Western Zone.
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What happened under the Austrian State Treat, 1955?
Both the US & USSR would withdraw its armed forces from Austria in return for agreeing its neutrality. The influence of both superpowers in Austria was reduced.
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What was Finland to do under the Finnish-Soviet Peace Treaty?
To pay $300 million in reparations to the USSR & lose land along its border to Soviet Union. The USSR was also given a 50-year lease to the Porkkala region.
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How did Khrushchev feel about Porkkala?
He was ready to withdraw soviet presence from Porkkala. He saw no reason to retain soviet influence in a non-communist country & considered Porkkala to be of little strategic use & more of a burden than an asset.
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What happened in 1956 regarding Porkkala?
It was returned to Finland. However, USSR still exercised its influence during the late 1950's & 1960's when they felt their interests were threatened.
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Who was Eisenhower?
Supreme commander of the Normandy Landings in WW2; first supreme commander of Nato in 1950; Republican presidential candidate in 1952; president from 1953-1961.
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Who was Dulles?
American lawyer who gained foreign policy experience at Versailles in 1919; Became Eisenhower's secretary of state in 1953; Staunchly anti-communist & known for his tough speaking.
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What was 'New Look'?
Hard-line approach to foreign policy that won much support in the USA; believed USSR & communist allies were pursuing expansionist policies.
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What did 'Massive Retaliation' imply?
A greater role for the use of nuclear weapons than envisaged by Truman.
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What did the use of CIA operations do?
The increased use of covert operations within countries that would destabilise the force of communism; Truman had always felt uneasy about using these methods.
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What is 'Brinksmanship'?
The policy of not shying away from threatening a nuclear response during a crisis. If your enemy did not back down you would be left with the choice of following through your threat or revealing that you were bluffing.
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What did date from U2-spy planes in 1958 mean to Eisenhower?
He was confident that the USA had nuclear superiority over the Soviet Union. He was therefore more willing to negotiate with the USSR now he knew it was from a position of strength.
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What was Kennedy's 'Flexible response'?
It moved away from the emphasis of nuclear weapons to an approach that relied on developing a wider range of strategies to meet the threat of communism: from conventional armed forces to covert actions & economic aid.
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What would economic aid be targeted at?
Removing poverty & the economic conditions that provided a breeding ground for communism.
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How did covert methods enlarge in scope & ambition under Kennedy?
The army grew from 2.5 million in 1960 to 2.7 million in 1964.
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What were these policies a reaction to?
The perception of many in the US government that the communist forces were using a more diverse set of approaches to spread their influence, especially in the developing countries of the so-called third world.
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What was East Germany under Ulbricht like in 1953?
Living standards bad; electricity rationed; morality dropped; workers' quotas increased. Ulbricht was a puppet leader.
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What was East Germans reaction to Ulbricht's leadership?
They left East Germany & went to West Berlin - Free access to West Berlin, then can get anywhere in Germany & Europe.
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What did the Soviets demand of Ulbricht?
Demanded Ulbricht to be lighter on workers & renew loyalty. But Ulbricht increased strict work quotas.
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What was the workers response in June 1953?
Tore down symbol of soviet domination; Workers took to the streets of East Berlin, soon spread across East Germany. They were 'kicking off a revolution'
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What happened to the authority of East Germany's government?
It collapsed & Soviets were forced to take action.
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What was the Soviet response to the uprising in East Germany?
4 Russian tanks went straight into the crowds; shooting crowds.
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What was the significance of the Soviet action in East Germany, 1953?
40 people killed & thousands arrested; First time East Berlin had been cut off from rest of Germany; Ulbrict allowed to continue as leader of East Germany despite chaos.
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When was Khrushchev's secret speech?
1956.
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Who got hold of the speech & where was it played?
CIA, from Israel. It was played for 24 hours on Radio Free Europe.
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What was Khrushchev's overall aim?
Get rid of ghost of Stalin that has hung over Russia.
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What were the three points Khrushchev made during his secret speech?
Stalin's regime was flawed & inhumane; Stalin's idea of inevitable conflict irrelevant because capitalism will fall anyway; Russia doesn't need to control other communist countries any more, because not every country is the same as Russia.
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What happened to the communist world as a result of Khurshchev's secret speech?
Communist world became less united; people no longer felt they needed to be loyal; Khrushchev used force to keep the communist world from falling apart - tactics worse than Stalinist regimes??
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What was happening in Poland 1956?
Discontent: Workers' strike, followed by ropts, broke out later that month in Poznan.
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Why was Gomulka a significant communist leader?
He was an ex-prisoner during Stalin's rule & was therefore likely to be hostile towards Russia.
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How did Khrushchev react to the Poland crisis?
He accepted that there is no reason for a war/conflict, but its not worth it because it would be too hard to get out of. A Kremlin leader had for the first time compromised with another communist state on who its leader was to be.
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How was ceasefire in Korean War established? (1953)
The change in leadership in both the USA & the USSR gave these talks the impetus needed to reach a conclusion. The new soviet leadership put pressure on North Korea's Kim Il Sung to agree to a ceasefire.
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What happened at the Berlin Conference? (January 1954)
Molotov called for a creation of an all-German government. It was rejected by the West because they believed free elections should be held before the creation of a German government.
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What happened at the Geneva Conference? (April, 1954)
It was agreed that French troops would withdraw from Indochina and Vietnam would be divided at the 17th Parrallel. USA felt that the conference was a disaster & were convinced that national elections would result in victory of Ho Chi Minh.
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What was The Warsaw Pact, 14th May 1955?
A mutual defence treaty between 8 communist states of Eastern Europe. It was a soviet military response to the integration of West Germany into NATO.
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What happened between NATO & the Warsaw Treaty?
They never directly waged war against each other in Europe. The US & USSR & their respective allies implemented strategic policies aimed at the containment of each other in Europe.
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What happened at the Geneva Summit, July 1955?
Khrushchev suggested NATO & Warsaw pact be dismantled & replaced by a new system of collective security - rejected by west. Eisenhower called for open skies agreement - rejected by Khrushchev.
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What was agreed to at the Geneva Summit, July 1955?
Cultural exchanges of scientists, musicians & artists between the USA & USSR.
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What was 'Geneva Spirit'?
The fact that the two most powerful leaders in the world were talking to each other was a significant step forward.
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What was the Bellgrade declaration? (from 1956)
Both USSR & Yugoslavia agreed that each country could interpret marxism in their own way & Yugoslavia could maintain equal relationships with the USSR & satalite states.
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Why was Chinese leader Mao annoyed with Russia from 1956?
Mao had not been consulted by de-stalinisation & was annoyed because he had already begun to implement Stalin's policies in China.
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Why was the launch of Sputnik (1957) significant?
It was the world's first ever space satalite, launched by USSR. Dismayed the USA because it suggested that USSR were making more progress. Russians went on to put 1st man in space in 1961 & USA put first man on moon.
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What did Eisenhower & Khrushchev agree to when Khrushchev visited the USA in 1959?
For there to be no firm deadline over Berlin, but a four power summit to resolve it.
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How did Khrushchev feel about Eisenhower after his visit to the USA in 1959?
He was convinced that he had achieved a strong relationship with Eisenhower & that could achieve an agreement with the USA.
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How did Eisenhower feel about Khrushchev?
He was unimpressed by Khrushchev & the French President postponed the Summit until 1960, which frustrated Khrushchev.
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What was the U2 spy plane incident, May 1960?
US resumed spy planes over USSR despite protests from Soviets. On 1st May a U2 plane was shot down & pilot - Francis Gary Powers - was captured alive. US convinced he was killed & announced weather plane was lost by the Turkish-Soviet border.
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What happened at the Paris Conference regarding Berlin, May 1960?
Talked about the unity of Germany & the position of Berlin. USSR wanted Berlin to be a free city. But West was determined not to let West Berlin to be under Soviet Influence.
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What else was announced at the Paris Conference, May 1960?
Khrushchev announced the shoot down & capture of U2 plane & its pilot. Eisenhower admitted he had ordered the flights, which stunned Khrushchev. Khrushchev initially demanded an apology from Eisenhower & a promise for no more flights.
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How was the Vienna Summit, June 1961 different to the Paris Conference?
1st time Kennedy met Soviet premier & Khrushchev was determined to show his superiority over Kennedy; talks were more friendly than at Paris.
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What happened at the Vienna Summit, June 1961?
Kennedy was set against losing Berlin, whilst Khrushchev threatened to sign a peace agreement with East Germany which would stop access routes to Berlin for the West; threatened war with each other; seen as failure because of lack of progress.
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What happened in Hungary in 1956?
Hungarian reformers influenced by events in Poland & start demonstrations in order to put pressure on the government. 200,000 protestors march from the Parliament building to Radio Budapest. Demand independence, withdraw of soviet troops & free speec
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What did Nagy attempt to do in Hungary, 1956?
To introduce moderate reforms but failed to satisfy the increasing demands of popular opinion.
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What did Nagy introduce in Hungary, 1956?
Multi-party democracy, leave the Warsaw Pact, Soviet Troops withdrawal, the secret police to be disbanded & a return to the traditional Hungarian Flag.
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What did journalists from the West do?
They flocked to report Hungary's victory. But attentions were diverted by events in Egypts Suez Canal. Hungarian's were furious!
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Why didn't the USA want to intervene in the Hungarian Uprising, 1956?
Because of the threat of war; Eisenhower said he wasn't bothered about Hungary because it was in the Soviet Sphere.
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Evidence that the Soviets won the Hungarian Uprising of 1956:
11th Nov: 5,000 civilian's reported to have died or wounded. Thousands of refugees begin fleeing across bored to Austria. Tens of thousands are jailed or deported to Soviet Union. 700 Soviet Soldiers died.
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What did the Hungarian Uprising suggest of the nature of USSR's foreign policy?
Limits to the independence of Eastern Bloc countries; had to stay communist & In Warsaw Pact; Willing to maintain a tight hold over its sphere of influence in Eastern Europe.
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What was the response from the West regarding the Hungarian Crisis?
Statements of condemnation were issued by the West, but they made little attempt to intervene in a crisis that was seen as within the Soviet Sphere of influence; suggests countries within Eastern Bloc wont get help from USA & West.
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What was the difference between East Germany & West Germany?
East Germany was poor - USSR taking reparations; West getting Marshall Aid - New currency in West.
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What happened in 1958 regarding Germany?
The East/West Germany frontier was closed (Could get through by using West Berlin Airports)
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Why was West Berlin a problem for the East?
It was considered the hole in the iron curtain that needed to be filled in.
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What was Khrushchev's ultimatum?
Berlin to become a free city (but he'd still have access to West Berlin) - feels that he has the upper hand if war begins (wrong). Ultimatum is dropped.
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Where was the ultimatum renewed?
Vienna Summit. Strategy will force abandonment of negotiation. Khrushchev approves of building wall.
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What were the consequences of building the Berlin Wall?
It was a physical symbol of a divided continent. West called it 'wall of shame'. East German government called it the 'anti-fascist protective barrier'; East Germany was stabilised;
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What happened to the flood of refuges as a result of the Berlin Wall?
They were halted, although about 5,000 people risked their lives escaping over, through or under the wall. 191 people died trying.
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What did East Germany become notorious for?
The country whose population had to be penned in to stop them escaping - not a good advert for communism.
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Since 1949, how many East Germans had left for West Germany?
2.7 million. They were skilled young people that the East couldn't afford to lose.
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Card 2

Front

When did Stalin die?

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5th March 1953

Card 3

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How did the death of Stalin contribute to the thaw?

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Card 4

Front

How did the new leadership in USA contribute to the thaw?

Back

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Card 5

Front

How did ideas of spheres of influence contribute to the thaw?

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