AP Euro Unit 10 Post WWII & the COLD WAR (1945-1989) The end of World War II left the United States and the Soviet Union as the two dominant world powers, and they soon became locked in a Cold war confrontation. The Cold War spread to become a global ideological conflict between democracy and communism and finally erupted into hot wars in Korea and Vietnam.
After the end of the European war it became apparent that the U.S. and the Soviet Union had opposing goals for post-war Europe.
This was aggravated by the naturally antagonistic relationship between Communism and Capitalism.
U.S. Goals Soviet Goals
1) Encourage Democratic Capitalism 1) Encourage Communism in other countries to
in other countries to prevent the rise spread the world wide workers’ revolution
2) Gain access to raw materials & markets 2) Rebuild its war ravaged economy using Eastern
to maintain booming US economy Europe’s industrial equipment & raw materials
3) Rebuild European governments & 3) Control Eastern Europe to protect Soviet borders &
create new markets for US goods balance the US influence in Western Europe
4) A reunited, stable, democratic, 4) A weak, divided Germany unable to wage war in the
and economically strong Germany future. Controlled by a pro-Soviet Communist
allied with the West. government.
I. Roots of the “Cold War”
A. U.S. view
1. Stalin intent on creating “spheres” of influence.
a. Broke pledge made at Yalta Conference, February of 1945
b. The Big Three - Winston Churchill, FDR, Joseph Stalin
1) At Yalta the Big Three agreed to:
a) Divide Germany, temporarily, into zones of occupation administered by the allied countries.
b) Require Germany to pay limited reparations to the Soviets.
c) An occupation plan for the rest of Eastern Europe based primarily on which of the allied armies held that territory.
d) Free elections for post-Nazi Eastern Europe (Poland)
2) Eastern European countries become satellites:
a) Poland, Romania, Bulgaria, Hungary, Czechoslovakia, Albania, and Eastern Germany
2. U.S. wanted democracy throughout the world
a. Ideological battle: democracy vs. communism
b. Churchill’s “Iron Curtain” speech
B. Soviet view
1. U.S. did not open 2nd front early enough in WWII.
2. U.S. and Britain froze Soviets A-bomb project.
3. U.S. termination of lend-lease to Moscow in 1945
4. Wanted “buffer zone” on its western border.
C. Partitioning of war-torn areas leads to ideological conflicts
Hungary: New Economic Mechanism - broke up state monopolies, allowed private retail stores & agriculture = most successful
East Germany: New Economic System (1963) – limited privatization = moderate success (reversed in late 1960’s)
Communist planning commissions – recognized that the emphasis on heavy industry could lead to popular discontent – redirected resources to the consumer sector
Shortages of consumer goods led to growing discontent
Soviet Union: Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn & Boris Pasternak – allowed to publish critical works of fiction
Bitterfeld Movement: conference of writers, officials, and workers in East Germany
Regime encouraged intellectuals to take a more critical view of life in the East Bloc – so long as they did not directly oppose communism itself.
Ie. Christa Wolf: Divided Heaven (1963) lovers divided between west & east Berlin
Dissidents were harassed & forced to emigrate to the west
Samizdat “self published” underground literature critical of communism emerged in the Soviet Union and the East Bloc
A. Cold War reheated in late 1950s
2. U-2 incident B. Berlin
1. Khrushchev issued ultimatum on Berlin in 1958
2. Berlin Wall, 1962 C. Cuba
1. Fidel Castro
2. President John F. Kennedy
-- Bay of Pigs Invasion, 1961
3. Cuban Missile Crisis, Oct. 1962
a. U.S. issues “quarantine” on Cuba
a. Soviets would remove missiles from Cuba
b. U.S. promised to never invade Cuba
c. U.S. agreed to remove missiles from Turkey
5. Nuclear Test Ban Treaty, 1963
IX. Return to conservative hard-line power in Soviet Union
A. Khrushchev removed in Oct. 1964
1. Conservative resurgence
2. Unsuccessful Cold War policies
3. Slow shift to consumer goods
4. Failed agricultural policies: most important reason
B. Leonid Brezhnev (1906-1982)
1. Stagnation and limited re-Stalinization
2. Massive arms buildup
3. More committed to “peaceful coexistence” than Khrushchev
East Bloc countries sought political liberty
Czechoslovakia (1968 – Prague Spring): reform elements in the Czechoslovak Communist Party gained a majority and voted out the long-time Stalinist leader for Alexander Dubcek.
“socialism with a human face “ believed that they could reconcile genuine socialism with personal freedom and internal party democracy , relaxed state censorship, replaced rigid bureaucratic planning with local decision making by trade unions, managers, and consumers.
Hard line communist feared liberal reforms / democratic socialism
Poland, East Germany strong support for intervention along with Soviet Union = occupation by 500 thousand troops in August – no resistance (arrested leaders surrendered to Soviet demands
Brezhnev Doctrine: Soviet Union and its allies had the right to intervene in any socialist country whenever they saw the need.
Showed that only the threat of the Soviet military was holding the East Bloc together
X. Western European recovery after World War II
A. Economic hardship after WWII
B. Political restructuring
1. Experiments with new types of governments
a. Christian Democrats
b. Catholic parties
c. Communists and Socialists
d. Social reform and political transformation created foundations for a great European renaissance
a. Christian Democrats led by Alcide De Gasperi
b. Socialist influence
a. Fourth Republic: Gen.Charles de Gaulle
b. Catholic Party: Robert Schuman
c. Socialist influence
4. West Germany: Konrad Adenauer--Christian Democrats
5. Great Britain
a. Clement Atlee: Labour Party
b. Britain moved toward “welfare state”
6. Massive U.S. economic and military aid: Marshall Plan and NATO
C. The “Economic Miracle”
1. Period of rapid economic growth lasting to late ‘60s
a. Marshall Plan & Korean War
b. Economic growth became gov’t objective
c. Many people willing to work for low wages
d. Increased demand for consumer goods
e. Emergence of large Common Market
3. Germany: Ludwig Erhard
4. France: Jean Monnet
D. European unity
1. Success of democratic governments
2. Cold War inspired some to seek “ European nation”
Manufacturing jobs shifted from US and northern Europe to Asia (Japan, Singapore, S. Korea)
Hi-tech information industries: biotech, medicine, banking = “the information age” or postindustrial society
Heavy industry rapidly decline in US & western Europe
Misery index: combined rates of inflation and unemployment in a single, powerfully emotional number
Western governments maintained welfare programs through massive budget deficits
Neoliberalism: distant roots in laissez –faire policies
Milton Friedman – government should cut support for social services such as housing, education, and health insurance, retreat from regulation of all kinds, privatize public industries (transportation, communication)
England: Margaret Thatcher (prime minister 1979-1990) Conservative Party – neoliberal
Cut spending on health care, education, and public housing, reduced taxes, privatized or sold off government-run enterprises
Encouraged low- and moderate income renters in state-owned housing projects to buy their apartments at rock-bottom prices = created a whole new class of property owners
Falkland War (1982)- British victory over Argentina = “iron lady”
Replaced by John Major (Conservative Party Leader)
United States: Ronal Reagan (President 1980-1988) “government is not the solution to our problem, government is the problem”
Cut income taxes, failed to limit spending – primarily defense, and social programs (unemployment, health care, welfare) = budget deficit soared / debt tripled
Germany: Helmut Kohl (Chancellor) cut taxes & government spending = increased unemployment in heavy industry also led to solid economic growth
agreed with US (Reagan) – put US Pershing II and cruise missiles in West Germany which renewed cold war tensions
dismantled the Berlin Wall in 1989
reunification of East & West Germany in 1990
France: Francois Mitterrand – with the Socialist Party marked a significant change in French politics
1st coalition (included Communist Party); launched vast program to nationalization and public investment designed to spend the country out of economic stagnation
By 1983 – program was a massive failure, socialist were compelled to reprivatize industries nationalized during the 1st term.
1970’s: feminist movement devoted to securing genuine gender equality & promoting the general interest of women