Unit 11.1 The Cold War: 1946-1991 Theme #1 The United States and the Soviet Union emerged from the Second World War as the two dominant enemy super powers, who became
engaged in a dangerous Cold War. The Cold War soon became a global ideological conflict between democracy and communism. I. Roots of the Cold War A. War-time Conferences 1. Tehran Conference, 1943: USSR was guaranteed to be the only power to liberate eastern Europe.
2. Yalta Conference, 1945: a. Stalin pledged to allow democratic elections in eastern Europe (but later reneged). b. Germany would be divided into four zones controlled by U.S., France, Britain and USSR. c. After the war, the Soviets dominated their zone and did not allow the reunification of Germany. 3. Potsdam Conference, 1945:
a. U.S. president Harry Truman demanded free elections in eastern Europe but Stalin refused. b. Stalin wanted a "buffer zone" between Germany and USSR for protection against a future war. B. Different world views 1. Soviet point of view a. Democracies were traditionally
hostile towards communism and the USSR. e.g., Archangel expedition during WWI; non-recognition by U.S. until 1933 b. U.S. and Britain did not open a western front in Europe early enough in WWII; millions of Soviet soldiers died fighting the brunt of Nazi armies alone until mid-1944.
c. The U.S. and Britain froze Russia out of the atomic bomb project. d. U.S. terminated lend-lease to Moscow in May 1945 but gave Britain aid until 1946. e. Soviets sought a "buffer zone" for the Soviet western border, especially in Poland. 2. U.S. point of view
a. Stalin sought to create "spheres" of influence in eastern Europe. b. Stalin broke pledges at Yalta; refused to allow reunification of Germany. c. Winston Churchill's "Iron Curtain" speech in 1946 alerted Americans to a future conflict with the USSR. d. U.S. wanted democracy spread throughout the world with a
strong international organization to maintain global peace. From Stettin in the Baltic to Trieste in the Adriatic an iron curtain has descended across the Continent. Behind that line lie all the capitals of the ancient states of Central and Eastern Europe. Warsaw, Berlin, Prague, Vienna, Budapest, Belgrade,
Bucharest and Sofia; all these famous cities and the populations around them lie in what I must call the Soviet sphere, and all are subject, in one form or another, not only to Soviet influence but to a very high and in some cases increasing measure of control from Moscow. C. Partition of Germany
1. USSR, U.S., Britain and France each occupied a part of Germany and agreed to allow for German reunification once she was no longer a threat. 2. Germany was to pay heavy reparations to USSR in the form of agricultural and industrial goods. 3. Soviets dominated their eastern German zone. a. Did not want a revitalized Germany that could once again pose a threat.
b. Stripped East Germany of much of its resources as reparations payments for the war. The red area of Germany is Soviet controlled East Germany. German territory east of the Oder-Neisse line (light beige) was ceded to Poland, while a portion of the easternmost section of Germany East Prussia, Konigsberg, was annexed by the USSR, as the Kaliningrad Oblast. 4. U.S. and western Europeans believed the
German economy was vital to the recovery of Europe. 5. 1949, West Germany became an independent country when US, France and Britain gave back each of their zones. Federal Republic of Germany led by Konrad Adenauer (1949-1963) 6. 1949, East Germany formally established Democratic Republic of Germany led
by Walter Ulbricht (1950-1971) Ulbrichts communist regime was heavily influenced by Moscow. II. "Containment": By 1947, the U.S. pledged to prevent the further spread of communism. A. George Kennan (U.S. ambassador to USSR) wrote a memo to President Truman in 1946 claiming that the
USSR was out to expand its empire. George Kennan U.S. diplomat in Moscow: In summary, we have here a political force committed fanatically to the belief that with [the] U.S. there can be no permanent [practical compromise], that it is desirable and necessary that the internal harmony of our society be disrupted, our
traditional way of life destroyed, the international authority of our state be broken , if Soviet power is to be secure. B. Truman Doctrine, 1947 1. Established the U.S. policy of containment that would last four decades. 2. U.S. gave aid to Greece and Turkey that helped those countries defeat
communist insurgencies. 3. U.S. pledged it would help any country financially that was struggling to defeat communism. C. Marshall Plan (1947) 1. U.S. sent a massive financial aid package of $13 billion to help wartorn Europe recover from the war. 2. Purpose: prevent communism from spreading into economically
devastated regions while fostering trade between the U.S. and Europe. 3. Result: western and central Europe recovered economicallythe "economic miracle. 4. Soviets refused to allow U.S. aid to countries in eastern Europe. Saw the Marshall Plan as an
economic and political power play by the U.S. "It's the same thing without mechanical problems" Herblock January 26, 1949, Washington Post
D. Berlin Crisis (1948-49): Soviets attempted to remove the Allies from Berlin by cutting off access to the city. 1. Berlin had been partitioned into four sections, just as the whole of Germany had been partitioned after the war. The city was located within the Soviets eastern zone. 2. Stalin ordered that all roads leading
into West Berlin be blocked by Soviet troops. The Post-War Division of Germany Berlin The Division of Berlin 3. The crisis became one of the high
tension points of the Cold War. Many thought the conflict could escalate into World War. 4. U.S. organized a massive airlift of 277,000 flights into the city, carrying food, medicine and other necessary supplies. 5. After 11 months, the Soviets agreed to lift the blockade in 1949.
The Berlin Airlift West Berliners watch a C-54 land at Berlin Tempelhof Airport, 1948 E. North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), 1949 1. Founded in response to the Berlin Crisis 2. Collective security organization
consisted of the democracies in Europe (France, Britain, Italy, Belgium, Netherlands, Luxembourg, Denmark, Norway, Portugal, and Iceland), the U.S. and Canada to prevent against Soviet expansion in Europe. a. Turkey and Greece joined in 1953. b. West Germany joined in 1954. 3. If any of the 12 member nations
were attacked by the Soviets, the other nations would come to its defense. 4. In response to West Germany joining NATO in 1954 the Soviet Union formed the Warsaw Pact in 1955. Competing Alliances in 1973
5. NATO remains intact today, having grown to 26 countries, although its mission is being redefined now that the Cold War is over. F. 1949, Communists in China led by Mao Zedong won the Chinese revolution 1. Established "Peoples Republic of China" ("Red China")
2. Terrible blow to the U.S. policy of containment; the worlds most populous country was now communist G. USSR successfully exploded an Abomb in 1949. 1. The U.S. no longer had a nuclear monopoly. 2. Much of the knowledge
necessary for the Soviets to build the bomb came from espionage on the U.S. atomic program. H. The Korean War (1950 -1953) 1. After WWII, Korea was divided at
the 38th parallel: north was communist, south was supported by the U.S. 2. 1950, North Korea (supported by the Soviets) invaded South Korea. 3. UN (led by U.S. military) sent forces to push back the communists. UN Security council sanctioned military action against North
Korea as the Soviets were boycotting the UN in protest of U.S. refusal to allow the Peoples Republic of China into the UN Security Council. 4. China sent hundreds of thousands of troops to push back UN forces in North Korea. Phases of the Korean War
5. Result: cease-fire reached in 1953 and the border was restored at the 38th parallel The cease-fire is still in existence today I. Hydrogen Bomb developed by the U.S. in 1952 and USSR in 1953 1. Far more destructive than the
atomic bombs dropped on Japan at the end of World War II. 2. The world now had two nuclear superpowers. The First Hydrogen Bomb Being Tested at Eniwetok Atoll in the Pacific, 1952 Nuclear Stockpiles: U.S. and USSR
J. U.S. policy of "massive retaliation" between 1953-55 1. Under President Dwight D. Eisenhower, the U.S. policy temporarily shifted to helping eastern European countries remove communism. 2. U.S. vowed to destroy USSR with nuclear weapons if it tried to expand.
Memory Aid for the Cold War between Stalin and Truman
Trumans Muscles Brought Nasty Red China Across Korea
Truman Doctrine, 1947 Marshall Plan, 1947 Berlin Crisis, 1948-49 NATO, 1948 Red Scare China becomes communist, 1949 A-bomb exploded by Soviets, 1949 Korean War, 1950-53
III. The Soviet Union and the Eastern Bloc: 1945-1964 A. Russia under Stalin (1945-1953) 1. Stalin reinstituted oppressive rule. a. Great Patriotic War of the Fatherland had fostered Russian nationalism and a relaxation of dictatorial terror. b. Stalins struggles with a new foe, the U.S., provided an excuse for
re-establishing a harsh dictatorship. c. After the war, Stalin repressed millions of Soviet citizens living outside Soviet borders when the war ended. d. Between 1946-1953, the Soviet government was responsible for over 12 million deaths of its own
citizens, more than any other period during the 20th century (even the civil war and purges). Most of the deaths occurred in the gulags (forced labor camps). 2. Five-year plans in the USSR were reintroduced to tackle massive economic reconstruction.
a. Stalin revived many forced labor camps which had accounted for roughly 1/6 of all new construction in Soviet Union before the war. 3. Culture and art were also purged. B. Countries in Eastern Europe were dominated by the Soviet Union after WWII.
1. Included Poland, Hungary, Czechoslovakia, East Germany, Romania, Bulgaria and Albania 2. Communist parties of eastern Europe established one-party states by 1948 with help of the Red Army and the KGB (Soviet secret police). a. Only Yugoslavia, led by Marshal Josip Broz Tito (r. 1944-1980),
was not dominated by Soviets. It had freed itself from Nazi domination without the help of the USSR. It had a mixed economy with private ownership of certain businesses, state control of basic industries, and collectivization of farming.
b. Over half a million Czechs who were seen as a threat to the communist state were purged at the behest of Stalin. c. 200,000 arrested in Hungary; 180,000 in Romania; 80,000 in Albania. d. An uprising in East Germany in 1953 was crushed by Soviet troops.
3. Postwar economic recovery in eastern Europe proceeded along Soviet lines. a. Changes went forward at slow and uneven pace; came to almost a halt by the mid-1960s. b. Most had 5-year plans, like in the USSR. c. Emphasized heavy industry and
agriculture rather than consumer goods. 4. Czechoslovakia a. Czechoslovakia was the economic exception in eastern Europe: well-industrialized, strong middle class and industrial working class, and experience with political democracy between the wars.
b. During dualist period", President Benes and Foreign minister Jan Masaryk proposed to govern a social democracy while maintaining close voluntary relations with the USSR. c. In response to Marshall Plan in 1947, Stalin replaced the govt in 1948 with one-party communist
rule to prevent the nation from courting the West. C. USSR under Nikita Khrushchev (18941971) 1. Power struggle ensued after Stalin died in 1953; Khrushchev emerged as the leader a few years later. 2. Stalins successors realized reforms were needed.
a. Widespread fear and hatred of Stalins political terror resulted in reduction of power of secret police and gradual closure of the gulags. b. Agriculture was in bad shape. c. Shortages of consumer goods were significant. d. Hard work and initiative declined due to poor living conditions.
3. De-Stalinization a. 20th Party Congress, 1956: Khrushchev took a startling initiative against hard-liners by denouncing Stalins crimes in a closed session. Secret anti-Stalin speech was probably most influential statement in Russia since
Lenins April Theses in 1917. b. Resources were shifted from heavy industry and the military toward consumer goods and agriculture Centralized Economic Planning. Khrushchev sought to prove that communism was superior to capitalism while the USSR would be the model
communist state in the world. o Khrushchev also began wooing new nations of Asia and Africa with promises and aid, even if they were not communist. To the West Khrushchev said, "we will bury you, thus promising to eclipse economically the U.S. and its Allies. c. Great ferment in the arts (as antiStalinist views tolerated)
Boris Pasternak (1890-1960), Dr. Zhivago (1956) o Story of an intellectual who rejects the brutality of the Bolshevik revolution of 1917 and Stalinism, and is ultimately destroyed. Aleksandr Solzenitsyn: One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich (1962) o Portrays in grim detail life in a Stalinist gulag (where he had been
a prisoner). d. De-Stalinization resulted in communist reformers and the masses seeking greater liberty and national independence. Khrushchev was willing to allow different forms of socialism to occur in the various eastern European countries so long as the Communist Party remained in control.
Poland: March 1956, riots resulted in release of more than 9,000 political prisoners, including previously purged leader Wladyslaw Gomulka. o Gomulka skillfully managed to win greater autonomy for Poland while keeping anti-Soviet feeling at bay. Hungarian Uprising, 1956 o Students and workers in
Budapest installed a liberal Communist reformer, Imre Nagy, as new chief in October 1956. o Hungarian nationalists staged huge demonstrations demanding non-communist parties be legalized; turned into armed rebellion and spread throughout the country.
o Hoped U.S. would come in and help achieve Hungarian independence. A statue destroyed by Hungarian demonstrators sits on a street in Budapest. o Soviet tanks and troops responded by invading Hungary
and crushing the national democratic revolution. Soviet tanks restore order in Budapest after the Hungarian Uprising. o Jnos Kdr installed firm communist rule. o After Hungarian invasion, most eastern Europeans hoped for
small domestic gains while obediently following USSR in foreign affairs. IV. The Cold War during Khrushchevs rule A. Relations between the USSR and U.S. improved in the 1950s with the rise to power of Nikita Khrushchev. 1. Khrushchev sought peaceful coexistence with the West so that he
could focus on improving the Soviet economy. 2. Austrian Independence: USSR agreed in 1955 to real independence for a neutral Austria after 10 years of Allied occupation. Resulted in significant reduction in cold war tensions between 1955 and 1957. 3. Geneva Summit -- 1955 (July)
a. USSR met with the U.S., Britain, and France to begin discussions on European security and disarmament. b. No agreements resulted. Soviet Premier Nikolai Bulganin, President Dwight D. Eisenhower, French Premier Edgar Faure,
and British Prime Minister Anthony Eden. 4. Sputnik, 1957 a. A Russian satellite was sent into orbit on a rocket and was brought back safely to the USSR. Scientifically, this was an unprecedented achievement.
b. Demonstrated that the USSR was ahead of the U.S. in space technology. c. Effectively began the space race with the U.S. as Americans were horrified that the Soviets had eclipsed U.S. technology in this area. 30 kopek USSR stamp
commemorating Sputniks orbit. 5. 1958, USSRs relations with the U.S. soured with Khrushchev's ultimatum for Allies to leave Berlin. Yet, his 6-month deadline passed without incident and was extended indefinitely.
B. Cold War worsened during the early 1960s 1. U-2 incident (1960): American U-2 spy plane shot down over USSR a. Khrushchev demanded an apology from President Eisenhower; Eisenhower refused b. The scheduled Paris Summit in 1960 between Khrushchev and Eisenhower was canceled as a
result B. Cold War worsened during the early 1960s 1. U-2 incident (1960): American U-2 spy plane shot down over USSR a. Khrushchev demanded an apology from President Eisenhower; Eisenhower refused. b. The scheduled Paris Summit in
1960 between Khrushchev and Eisenhower was canceled as a result. 2. The Berlin Wall a. 2 million East Germans escaped to West Berlin between 19491961. The Soviets and East German government grew increasingly frustrated.
An East German soldier (Conrad Schumann) escapes into West Berlin, 1961 b. 1961, Khrushchev threatened to enforce his 1958 ultimatum to remove the Allies from West Berlin.
Declared the USSR would sign a peace treaty with East Germany who would then control access to Berlin. Soviets would protect East Germanys right to control flow into Berlin. June 3, 1961: Khrushchev and U.S. President John F. Kennedy have a contentious meeting in Vienna, Austria, over the Berlin ultimatum.
c. The U.S., Britain and France refused to leave. d. East Germany built the Berlin Wall around West Berlin rather than enforce the ultimatum. Effectively ended future crises over Berlin. The Berlin Wall went up almost overnight
in 1961 when the U.S. refused to leave West Berlin. The Berlin Wall was built completely around West Berlin. The Berlin Wall in the 1980s The Berlin Wall in November, 1989, as demonstrators began to chipping away at it.
3. Cuban Missile Crisis, October 1962 a. Cuba became a communist country in 1959 under the leadership of Fidel Castro, and a staunch ally of the USSR. Khrushchev and Cuban leader Fidel Castro embrace at the United Nations
(September, 1960). b. Bay of Pigs Invasion, 1961: U.S.trained Cuban exiles tried unsuccessfully to invade Cuba. In response, Cuba agreed to place Soviet nuclear missiles in Cuba to protect against a future U.S. invasion.
U-2 reconnaissance photos taken by the CIA Range of Soviet SS-4 medium-range ballistic missiles and SS-5 intermediate-range ballistic missiles, if launched from Cuba. c. Cuban Missile Crisis: U.S.
demanded Soviets remove their newly installed nuclear missiles from Cuba. Crisis became the closest USSR and US came to nuclear war during the Cold War. Kennedy delivers a televised message to the American people concerning Soviet
missiles in Cuba. October, 1962 U.S. placed a blockade (naval quarantine) on any further missiles into Cuba. Khrushchev agreed to remove missiles in return for U.S. removing its missiles from
Turkey and vowing never to invade Cuba. The crisis weakened Khrushchev and contributed to his downfall in 1964. This Hurts Me More Than it Hurts You! Edmund
Valtman, The Hartford Times, Oct. 30, 1962 Lets Get A Lock For This Thing Herbock, Washington Post, November 1, 1962
d. Nuclear Test Ban Treaty, 1963 U.S., USSR and Britain signed a historic treaty banning atmospheric testing in an attempt to reduce Cold War tensions. France refused to sign (was in the process of developing its own nuclear weapons program). China became a nuclear power
in 1964 leading to its estrangement with the Soviet Union. C. Fall of Khrushchev, 1964 1. His cold war foreign policies were seen by the Politburo as erratic and ultimately unsuccessful (Berlin, Cuban Missile Crisis). 2. Expensive space and armaments programs postponed any significant shift
to consumer goods. 3. Most important reason: agricultural projects backfired 4. Resurgence of conservative Stalinists led to quiet removal of Khrushchev in October, 1964. 5. Leonid Brezhnev became new General Secretary (1964-1982). V. Soviet Union and Cold War under
Brezhnev A. Beginning in 1964, the USSR began a period of stagnation and limited reStalinization. 1. Massive arms buildup started in response to the humiliation of the Cuban Missile Crisis. 2. USSR avoided direct confrontation with the U.S. and ironically seemed more committed to peaceful coexistence than Khrushchev had been.
3. Re-Stalinization of USSR resulted, to a degree. 4. Dictatorship was collective rather than personalthrough the Politburo. 5. Intense conservatism of Soviet ruling elite was determined to maintain status quo in Soviet bloc. 6. Celebrated nonconformists as Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn were permanently expelled from country.
B. Prague Spring and the invasion of Czechoslovakia 1. The 1968 invasion of Czechoslovakia was the crucial event of the Brezhnev era. 2. Due to Khrushchevs reforms in USSR, the 1960s brought modest liberalization and more consumer goods to eastern Europe. 3. 1968, reform elements in the
Czechoslovak Communist party gained a majority and voted out the long-time Stalinist leader. 4. Alexander Dubcek elected leader: ushered new period of thaw and rebirth in famous Prague Spring of 1968. a. Socialism with a human face sought greater democracy and
freedom of speech. b. Oversaw de-centralization including the division of the country into the Czech Republic and Slovakia. c. Influence of Czech reformers frightened hard-line communists. 5. Soviet troops invaded Czechoslovakia in August 1968, with
the help of other Eastern Bloc countries. 6. Czechoslovakia became one of most hard-line communist regimes well into 1980s. 7. Brezhnev Doctrine issued in response to Prague Spring: Henceforth, the Soviet Union and its allies had the right to intervene in any socialist country whenever
they saw the need. The Warsaw Pact invasion of Czechoslovakia in August 1968 encountered widespread resistance. C. Ostpolitik 1. Willy Brandt, West German chancellor (1969-1974), began to improve relations with eastern Europe through his eastern
initiative. 2. Brandt sought a comprehensive peace settlement for central Europe and a new resolution of the German Question. 3. Negotiated treaties with USSR, Poland, and Czechoslovakia that formally accepted existing state boundaries and the loss of German
territory to Poland and USSR in return for mutual renunciation of force or threat of force. In a poignant gesture of reconciliation in 1970, German Chancellor Willy Brandt knelt in silence before the memorial to the victims of the Warsaw Ghetto of 1943. 4. Two German states within one German nation
a. Brandts govt broke with the past and entered into direct relations with East Germany. b. Aimed for modest practical improvements rather than reunification. c. Brandt brought Germanys Social Democrats (S.P.D.) to national power for first time since the 1920s. Demonstrated two-party political
democracy had taken firm hold. 5. Result of Brandts policies a. West Germanys eastern peace settlement contributed to great reduction in East-West tensions. b. Germany assumed a leadership role in Europe. D. Dtente
1. U.S. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger and President Richard Nixon tried to place Brandts eastern initiatives in broader, American-led framework of reducing East-West tensions in early 1970s. Feared Germany might become neutral thus weakening NATO and U.S. influence in Europe.
2. Nixon hoped to gain Soviet aid in pressuring North Vietnam into agreeing to end the Vietnam War. a. Realpolitik: Nixon and Kissinger believed U.S. should pursue policies and make alliances based on its national interests rather than on an ideological world view. Sought to play USSR and China
off each other b. Nixon visited China in 1972: Soviets were concerned China and U.S. might draw closer. c. Nixon visited Moscow, 1972: ushered in an era known as dtente. Sought to establish rules to govern the rivalry between US
and USSR and China. Brezhnev and Nixon talk during the Soviet leaders visit to the U.S. in 1973. 3. SALT I, 1972 a. Brezhnev and Nixon signed treaty to stop making nuclear ballistic
missiles and to reduce the number of antiballistic missiles to 200 for each power. b. Yet, development of MIRVs soon thereafter made SALT I obsolete (multiple warheads on one missile). 4. Helsinki Conference, 1975 a. Final Act: Officially ended World War
II by finally legitimizing the Sovietdictated boundaries of Poland and other east European countries. b. In return, Soviets guaranteed more liberal exchanges of people and information between East and West and the protection of certain basic human rights. Yet, Moscow continued to squelch human rights in eastern Europe.
5. End of dtente a. Soviet invasion of Afghanistan led to U.S. refusal to ratify SALT II treaty (reducing nuclear armaments) and led to President Carters boycott of the1980 Olympics in Moscow. In response the Soviets boycotted the 1984 Olympics
in Los Angeles. b. U.S. stopped shipments of grain and advanced technology to the USSR. Only Britain stood behind the U.S. France, Italy and especially, West Germany, argued that Soviets deplorable action
should not be turned into an East-West confrontation. E. Solidarity in Poland 1. Pope John Paul II (a Polish cardinal) was elected in 1979: traveled through Poland preaching love of Christ and country and inalienable rights of man.
2. Inspired a popular movement of working people who organized a massive union called Solidarity. a. Led by Lech Walesa b. Demands included right to form free trade unions, right to strike, freedom of speech, release of political prisoners and economic reforms.
3. 1981, Polish govt led by the Communist party leader, General Jaruzelski, imposed martial law after being warned by Soviets if the Polish govt could not keep order, the Soviets would. Solidarity was outlawed and driven underground but remained active.
VI. Cold War and Revolution in the 1980s A. The Atlantic Alliance revitalized itself in the 1980s under the leadership of Ronald Reagan in the U.S., Margaret Thatcher in the UK, and Helmut Kohl in Germany. 1. In the 1980s, all three nations believed the USSR remained a dangerous threat (e.g. its 1979
invasion of Afghanistan) 2. Atlantic Alliance gave indirect support to ongoing efforts to liberalize authoritarian communist states in eastern Europe. 3. Margaret Thatcher became prime minister in 1979. a. Came to power after a year of bitter strikes had eroded support for the ruling
socialist Labour party. b. As a conservative, she advocated hardline military positions (like Reagan). Falklands War (1982) o Argentine forces invaded and occupied the Falkland Islands, 500 miles off coast of Argentina. o Thatcher sent fleet to retake the islands; gained enormous popularity and was reelected as a result.
4. Helmut Kohl, pro-U.S., came to power with conservative Christian Democrats in 1982. 5. Ronald Reagan took a hard-line stance against the Soviets during his first term. a. Dealt with Soviets from position of strength by embarking on massive military buildup. Reagan believed U.S. could better bear burden of the expense while the Soviets couldnt.
Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI) Star Wars: 1983, Reagan announced he would pursue a high-technology missiledefense system. Reagans dramatic increase in defense spending placed enormous pressures on the Soviet economy. An artists concept of a ground-spaced based hybrid laser weapon inspired by SDI, 1984
b. When the Soviets shot down a Korean passenger airliner that had accidentally flown over Soviet airspace, Reagan called the USSR the Evil Empire. B. Mikhail Gorbachev (1985-1991) and the reduction of Cold War tensions 1. Gorbachev assumed control of Soviet Union in 1985 and sought
reforms. a. Gorbachev, in his 50s, was considerably younger than the communist hardliners that preceded him. b. Perestroika (restructuring): Aimed to revive the sagging Soviet economy by adopting many of the free-market practices of the West.
By 1987, the program had clearly failed. c. Glasnost: Aimed to open Soviet society by introducing free speech and some political liberty, while ending party censorship. More successful than perestroika d. Demokratiztsiya: Began as an
attack on corruption in Communist party and as an attempt to bring class of educated experts into decision making process. March 1989: first free elections since 1917. 2. Gorbachev sought to reduce EastWest tensions. a. Withdrew Soviet troops from Afghanistan in 1987
b. Encouraged reform movements in Poland and Hungary c. Repudiated Brezhnev Doctrine by pledging to respect political choices of peoples of eastern Europe. President Reagan and Premier Gorbachev at the Geneva Summit in 1985
3. INF Treaty signed by Gorbachev and Reagan in Washington, D.C., December 1987. a. All intermediate-range nuclear missiles from Europe banned. b. Represented a major milestone in reduction of Cold War tensions December 8, 1987, U.S. President Ronald Reagan and Soviet
Premier Mikhail Gorbachev sign the Washington INF Treaty, which eliminated intermediate-range missiles in Europe. 4. Cutbacks in START I treaty signed in 1990 between Gorbachev and
President George Bush. Would cut 10% of U.S. nuclear weapons and 25% of Soviet nukes and limit ICBM warheads Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall! June 27, 1987: Reagan continued to pressure the Soviets to allow more freedoms in Eastern Europe.
C. Revolutions of 1989: ended communist control of eastern Europe 1. Costs of maintaining satellite countries for USSR, both politically and economically, were too much of a burden for the Soviets to handle. 2. Poland: Solidarity legalized again and free elections were held in June 1989. a. Poland elected the first non-communist leader in eastern Europe since the Stalin
era. b. Triggered a wave of freedom movements in eastern Europe c. Lech Walesa became president in 1990 but Solidarity later broke up into factions. 3. Hungary: October 23, Hungarian leaders proclaimed an independent republic. A coalition government emerged.
4. Germany: Berlin Wall came down in November and the East German gov't fell as a result. November 9, the beginning of the fall of the Berlin Wall. November 9, the beginning of the fall of the Berlin Wall.
a. Germany reunified in 1990 b. Conservative-liberal alliance for Germany, tied to West German chancellor Helmut Kohls Christian Democrats, defeated the East German Social Democrats. c. July 1990, East and West German economies merged. d. Soviets opposed a unified Germany in NATO but eventually
acquiesced when West Germany provided massive economic aid to the Soviet Union. 5. Czechoslovakia Velvet Revolution (Nov-Dec., 1989) a. The fall of the Berlin Wall inspired reformers to break away from Soviet influence. b. A general strike resulted in the
fall of the communist government. c. Vaclav Havel, the dissident playwright, became president. d. In 1993, the Czech Republic and Slovakia split into two different countries. Ethnic differences between
the Czechs and Slovaks precluded a stable unified state. 6. Bulgaria, Nov. 1989 a. Did not have an organized reform movement (like Poland and Czechoslovakia). b. A day after the fall of the Berlin Wall, the Bulgarian politburo
demanded that its leader resign, purged Stalinists, and encouraged its estranged ethnic Turks to return to the country. 7. Romania Oppressive dictator Nicolai Ceauescu was overthrown and assassinated in Dec. 1989. About 1,000 people died as a result of
the revolution. 8. Albania, 1990 a. Europes poorest country b. Inspired by the overthrow of Ceauescu in 1989, demonstrations plagued the government for over a year. c. The Communist government fell in June 1991.
VII. Fall of the Soviet Union A. Long-term Causes 1. Costs of protecting and maintaining its empire in eastern Europe were too high. 2. Call for reforms from the burgeoning middle class became increasingly influential in the 1970s and 1980s. 3. General economic crisis in Europe during the 1970s (largely spurred by
the oil crisis) laid the foundation for the collapse of communism in Eastern Europe in the late 1980s. 4. Nationalist resentment of the Soviet government grew among many of the Soviet republics, especially the Baltic republics of Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia, eventually leading to the empires downfall.
5. The economy continued to lag since the 1960s. Although Gorbachevs perestroika policies sought to reform the economy, increased shortages of goods further frustrated the Russian people. 6. The nine-year war in Afghanistan was a financial, military,
psychological, and resource drain on an already-weakened USSR. The Soviets retreated in 1988 in the face of strong resistance by the mujahedeen. B. Coup in Moscow, 1991: Short-term cause of fall of the Soviet Union 1. Communist hard-liners, frustrated by loss of Soviet power and prestige
after the Revolutions of 1989, attempted to overthrow Gorbachev. 2. The coup failed when the military refused to crush popular resistance. 3. Boris Yeltsin, the president of Russia (1991-2000), defied Soviet tanks and became a national hero. 4. The coup fatally weakened Gorbachev and spelled doom for
the Soviet Union. C. Yeltsin and his liberal allies declared Russia independent and withdrew from the Soviet Unionall other republics followed. 1. December 25, 1991, the USSR dissolved into 15 separate republics. 2. Republics remained economically connected for a few years via the
Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS). 3. Russia assumed the Soviet Union's seat in the United Nations Security Council. Lithuania Estonia Latvia
Moldova Belarus Russia Ukraine Georgia
Armenia Kazakhstan Azerbaijan Turkmenistan Uzbekistan Kyrgzystan Tajikistan
Fall of Soviet Union