Eastern Europe Igcse
Estern Europe and the Cold War 1948-1989 How secure was Soviet control of Europe 1948-1968? * How did Stalin control Eastern Europe? * After the war political vacuum in many countries of Eastern Europe. Stalin helped the communist parties in them to win power Cominform “communist information bureau” organization to co-ordinate the communist government in Eastern Europe. Made meetings and sent out instructions to communist government about what the USSR wanted them to do. * Need to restore law and order. This provided an excuse to station Soviet troops in each country. Economies in Eastern Europe where devastated USSR took over all industry and told farmers and workers what to produce. Comecon: “council for mutual economic assistance” Coordinates the industries and trade of the Eastern Europe countries.
Favoured the USSR as it provided a market and guaranteed a cheap supply of raw materials. It set up a bank for socialist countries. * What did people in east Europe think of the USSR control? * Brought hope. * USSR had achieve great industrial growth before the WW2 people thought they could do the same. Soviet- style communist also offered stable government and security because they were backed by one of the world? s superpowers. * However, reality was different of what people hoped for lost the right to criticize the government, newspapers where censored, one-party permitted, people where forbidden to travel to countries in western Europe… *
Eastern Europe Igcse Essay Example
Between 1945 and 1955 economy did recover, but factories did not produce what people wanted. They produced what soviet wanted. * Wages fell. * Were forbidden to apply for marshal aid (economic help from the USA) * Shortages of raw products (milk, clothes, coal, meat) Little chance to protest lived oppressed. * The rise of Khrushchev * Stalin was a hero to millions of people in the USSR: defeated Hitler, given the USSR and empire in Eastern Europe and made a nuclear superpower. * Died in 1953: Nikita Khrushchev He was very different from Stalin. He ended the USSR? s long feuds with China and with Yugoslavia. He talked of peaceful co-existence with the west. Made plans to reduce arm production. Attended the first post-war summit between the USSR, the USA, France and Britain. And said he wanted to improve the living standards of ordinary Soviet citizens and those of eastern Europe.
He closed down Cominform and released thousands of political prisoners. Basically he gave more freedom and independence to the Eastern Europe countries. * De-stalinisation Attack to Stalin. Dredged the evidence of Stalin’s purges and denounced him as a wicked tyrant who was an enemy of people and kept all power to himself. * Released political prisoners * Closed down cominform as policy to reconciliate with Yugoslavia. * Invited Marshal Tito to Moscow. * Dismissed Stalin’s former Foreign Minister. * People saw hopeful times ahead. * The Warsaw pact Easter Europe barrier against attack from West. * Military alliance similar to NATO. Members would defend each other if one is attacked. Included all communist countries in easter Europe but Yugoslavia. * How did the USSR deal with opposition in eastern Europe? *
Attack to Polish police 1956 government had increased food prices but not wages. Krushchev moved troops to the Polish border. agreement between krushchev and Wladyslaw Gomulka (Poland leader): communist would stop persecuting members of the catholic church. CASE 1: Hungary, 1956 Why was there opposition in Hungary? * Hard-line communist Rakosi many restriction and Hungarians hated them. * Peopled lived in fear. * Areas of Hungary had Russian street signs, schools and shops. AND had to pay for soviet forces to be in Hungary. * June 1956 group of rebels opposed Rakosi. He appealed to Moscow for help denied help. New leader huge student demonstration: giant statue of Stalin in Budapest was pulled down. New government formed: Imre Nagy. Several thousands of Hungarian soldiers deflected from the army to the rebel cause, taking their weapons with them. Nagys government began to plan free elections, create impartial courts, restore farmland to private ownership and total withdrawal of the soviet army from Hungary. Also p *
Planned to leave the warsaw and declare Hungary neutral. Einsenhower (US president) support the new independent Hungary. * How did the USSR respond? * At first accept some of the reforms. He couldn’t accept Hungary leaving the Warsaw pact. In November soviet troops moved to Budapest Hungarians did not give Nagy and fellow leaders were executed. * Resistance was crushed in 2 weeks. CASE 2: Czechoslovakia and the Prague Spring, 1968 Why was there opposition? * Alexander Dubcek become leader proposed a policy of “socialism with a human face”: less censorship, more freedom of speech and a reduction in the activities of secret police. He didn? t want to leave the Warsaw pact or Comecon. * Censorship had been eased, they were able to launch attacks on the communist leadership, pointing out how corrupt and useless they were. Period known as “Prague Spring”: all new ideas seemed to be appearing everywhere. * How did the USSR respond? * Czechoslovakia was very important in the Warsaw pact. It was centrally placed and had the strongest industry.
USSR was worried ideas might spread to other countries. * Tried to slow Dubcek down USSR, polish and eastern German troops performed public training exercises in Czech border. Also thought about imposing economic sanction, but didn’t because though Czechs would ask help from West. * July the USSR had a summit conference with the Czechs. Dubcek insisted on keeping most of his reforms. * August, conference of all the other Warsaw Pact countries produced a vague declaration calling the Czechs to maintain political stability. * 20 August 1968 soviet tanks moved into Czechoslovakia. Little violent resistance, although Czechs refused to co-operate with the USSR troops. Dubcek was removed from power * Brezhnev Doctrine: * One-party system * Remain a member of the Warsaw pact. Before soviet invasion, Czechoslovakia’s mood had been optimist. After, it was despair. Become resentful of the soviet connection. 20 years later Gorbachev, questioned the invasion and was himself spreading ideas of the Prague Spring. Why was the Berlin wall? * Some people wished to leave eastern Europe (economic or political reasons). Standard living was way better in West Europe. Contrast was particularly great in the divided city of Berlin. East Germans could watch West television. * It was very tempting to leave East Germany highly skilled workers. Communist government could not lose these high-quality people. * Wall built to prevent people leaving. Families were divided, chaos and confusion followed. The west reaction to the Berlin wall… * For a while, the wall created a major crisis * Kennedy: “its not a very nice solution, but a wall is a hell of a lot better than war” * Wall was a symbol o division, of Germany, Europe and the world.
The communist presented the wall as a protective shell around Berlin. The West presented it as a prison wall. Why did soviet control of Eastern Europe collapse in 1989? Why did the Cold War thaw in the 1970s? 1) Worries about the arm race, nuclear testing damaged the environment, cost a fortune and was seen by many as immoral. Anti-nuclear movement in the west that support the detente. 2) End of Vietnam war: improved relations between the USA, USSR and China. 3) High hand shake: American astronauts and soviets cosmonauts met up and shook hands in space.
This was quite literally the high point of detente. 4) Helsinki conference, august 1975: All countries recognised the borders set out after the WW2, including division of Germany. Agreed to respect human rights- eg: freedom of speech, freedom of movement from countries. 5) Worries about arm race, leader held summit meetings: Brezhnev visit Washington and Nixon went to Moscow. Nuclear arms limitation treaty, SALT1 and SALT2. 6) Worries about arm race, space programmes of USA and the USSR: had helped to develop complex missiles.
Arms race was very costly, both superpowers saw this as money that could be spent more wisely on foreign aid to poor countries or improving the conditions. Why did the cold war freeze again in the 1980s? 1) Revolution in Iran: Shah of Iran was overthrown. USA had supported the Shah because it needed the oil. The new government was strongly anti-American but also strong anti-communist. Wanted society based on Islamic values. Increased tension between superpowers. 2) Civil wars in Nicaragua and El Salvador and in Angola: communist rebels tried to overthrow the government. The USA funded the governments against rebels. ) Human rights: Jimmy Carter (us president) openly criticised the USSR suppression of dissidents. 4) Collapse of SALT 2: 1979 signed, but as relations where so deteriorated that the US congress refused to approve SALT2. 5) Afghanistan: pro-soviet regime was under serious threat from its Muslim opponents, the Mujahideen. To protect the regime, soviet forces entered Afghanistan. Western Europe powers were worried that the USA could get to close to the West oil supplies In the middle East. USA secretly began to send money, arms and equipment to Pakistan and from there to Mujahideen.
This becomes the USSR equivalent of Vietnam War. It was a nightmare campaign. 6) Moscow and Los Angeles Olympics: in protest at soviet involvement in the Afghan War, USA boycotted the 1980 Olympic games in Moscow. In retaliation, The USSR boycotted the Los Angeles Olympics (4 years later) 7) Ronald Reagan: called the USSR an “evil empire” and supported anti-communist forces in Afghanistan and Nicaragua. How significant was Solidarity? * Regular protests in Poland. About wages or food prices. Wanted to improve the standard of living. * Seemed happy during the 1970s industries performed well. 1976 economic crisis. Government didn’t know how to solve the problems – just propaganda. * Late 1970s Polish workers become involved in setting small independent trade unions. * 1980 strikes broke all over the country. Over the next 6 months a new trade union: solidarity, went from strength to strength. * Workers (Lecha Walesa) put forward 21 demands to the government, including the free trade unions and right to strike. government agreed all demands solidarity grows. * Why did the polish government agreed to Solidarity’s demands in 1980? Union was strongest in those industries that were most important for the government- membership particularly high among skilled workers and foremen. A strike would have destroy the economy. * Was not seen as an alternative to communist party. * Union very popular. Lech Walesa was a kind of folk hero, and movement was very trustworthy. * Had support of catholic church. Almost all poles where catholic, so church wasn’t crush by communists. Catholicism was part of the glue that gets Poland together. The communist government and church had agreed that the church wouldn’t interfere in the government.
The government dared not confront the church. * Government was playing for time. Hoped solidarity would split into factions. – then its jobs would be easy. * USSR had half eye on the west. Solidarity had won support in the West, Lech was constantly interviewed and photographed. The scale of the movement ensured that the USST treated the Polish crisis cautiously. * Clampdown: civilian Prime Minister resigned and the leader of the army, general Jaruzelski, took over. * After negotiation with Jaruzelki, Walesa called off a strike at bydgoscz. * “rural solidarity” was set up as a farmers? rade union. * Lech Walesa was elected chairman of solidarity. sent a letter to workers of eastern Europe campaigning for all workers rights in communist bloc. * Negotiation broke between Walesa and Jarzelski poland was at the edge of chaos. Government was unestable. * Brezhnev ordered the Red Army to carry out “training manoeuvers” on the polish borders. * Jaruzelsky suspended Solidarity. little resistance. People from solidarity were taken for “preventive and cautionary talks” * Why did the polish government clamp down on solidarity in December 1981? Solidarity was acting as a political party government said it had secret tapes of solidarity setting a new provisional government. Was a challenge to communist authority. * Poland was sinking into chaos. Food shortages. National income had fallen as well as the industrial production. Unemployment was common and strikes continued long after it was order to stop. * Solidarity itself was also in chaos. Some felt they needed to push the communist harder to progress. * Attitude of soviet union. thought the situation had gone to far.
If Poland’s leaders couldn’t restore communist control, they would. This was something Poland leaders wanted to avoid. * Poles no longer trusted communists. Supporting solidarity was the best way to show that they didn’t support the leadership of the communists. They respected solidarity and the church and would rather trust them with their future. * Force was the only thing that kept communists in power. If military force was not used, then communist control seemed very unstable. * Aftermath * Tried to normalise the situation declared solidarity illegal.
Pushed people to join the patriotic movement for national regeneration (were under threat) * Leaders of solidarity and priests were murdered and pursued. * USA impose trade sanctions on Poland. Economic chaos followed inflation. * Time later solidarity was open again, but never become a mass organization again. It frighten with call a nationwide strike against price rises and cooperate with the church. 1988 organized a boycott in the elections. * In 1986 international attention turned to a new problem of the USSR Mikhail Gorbachev. * President Walesa * Solidarity demanded open elections solidarity won.
Lech Walesa became the first non-communist president of Poland since before the 2WW. How did Gorbachev try to change the USSR? * USSR economy was in crisis. spending to much money in arms. It was locked in the Afghanistan war. , * Gorbachev was concern on peoples attitude to work. government didn’t incentive people to work harder. In the days of stalin people worked hard for fear, bur those days were gone, replaced by pessimism. There was no loyalty to the government, no trust and people who didn’t even care. * Problem: alcoholism life expectancy had decreased. * Goods weren’t working properly. Policy: glasnost (openness: free say, stop censuring books and TV, no fear to say something inappropriate) and perestroika (restructuring: market forces, no longer illegal to buy and sell profit. ) * Cut spending on defense, red army decreased and cut armament expenditure. Also withdrew people from Afghanistan and talked about international trust and cooperation. Why did soviet control of eastern Europe collapse? * Not successful policies. economy couldn’t modernize as quickly as people wanted. * 1989 neither Gorbachev new what he was doing and he couldn’t go back.