GREAT POWER VETO
In 1945 a Conference in San Francisco set up the U.N. to maintain "peace and security" and "cooperation on social, economic and cultural problems." In the SECURITY COUNCIL of the U.N. there were to be 15 members, 5 of which were PERMANENT MEMBERS - each of which had GREAT POWER VETO. The other 10 members rotated through the Security Council from the GENERAL ASSEMBLY of all U.N. members. The 5 GREAT POWERS with VETOES were U.S., U.S.S.R., BRITAIN, FRANCE AND CHINA (Nationalist at first - i.e. Taiwan, but later went to Communist China). The U.N. started with 55 members and now has over 150.
Note: FDR had been a big proponent of the U.N. and after his death in April of 1945 his widow, Eleanor Roosevelt, continued to work for it and was present at the San Francisco Conference and actively worked on the framing of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
This was introduced to the U.N. in 1946. The U.S. proposed that atomic energy be controlled by an international authority and its use be limited to peaceful purposes with inspections and sanctions as necessary. Suggested this not be subject to veto. Stalin wouldn't accept this plan and some in the U.S. were also unwilling to accept it since it would lead to the eventual elimination of weapons. Plan foundered on mutual distrust and suspicion. By 1949 Soviets had the bomb and the nuclear arms race began.
1946-47, policy of Dean Acheson, George F. Kennan and others in the U.S. State Department. They believed that the Russian Soviets would expand wherever there was a vacuum and that the West should show patience BUT firmness in dealing with them, should maintain military strength and prevent the continued expansion. Containment became cornerstone of American Foreign Policy. In time became more militarily rigorous than intended and put blame for international problems on the Soviets.
Winston Churchill made a speech in the U.S. in 1946 (no longer P.M.) and referred to the "iron curtain" separating East from West and running from Stettin in the Baltic to Trieste in the Adriatic. At this same time the U.S. was ending loans and reparations deliveries to the USSR.
In March 1947 Harry Truman responding to Britain's need to pull out of anti-Communist activities in Greece and Turkey - filled the vacuum and activitated broad national policy to contain Communism everywhere (Acheson and Kennan's policy) - "to assist free peoples who are resisting subjugation by...outside pressures." Committed U.S. to unprecedented global responsibilities. Some in U.S. thought the committment too great. (National Security Council formed at this time as was the Central Intelligence Agency/C.I.A.)
THE MARSHALL PLAN
To hasten European economic recovery and help check Communist expansion this was instituted in 1947 and poured millions of dollars into the European economies. However, it was framed in humanitarian terms and offered to all - including the USSR. Soviets turned it down and labelled it simply a new venture in American imperialism.
Formed in 1949 - the Soviet council for Mutual Economic Aid between the Soviet Union and its East European satellites.
In 1948 the Western zones of Berlin revoked old currencies and issued the new Deutschmark. USSR objected to this since hadn't been consulted. Cut road and rail links to Berlin from Western sectors of Germany(Berlin inside the Eastern sector and city itself was divided into American, British, French and Soviet controlled zones).
Western response to the blockade of 1948. Airlifted in all the goods necessary to maintain western zone of Berlin. Planes landing every few minutes with all the city's supplies. Soviets harassed planes but no direct confrontation. In 1949 the blockade was lifted by the Soviets. Each side of the city formed its own government and West Germany became the FRG(Federal Republic of Germany) and East German became the GDR (German Democratic Republic) and Soviet satellite. Division remained firm until reunification in 1990 after the fall of Communism in Europe.
The West Germans framed a constitution - the Basic Law - in which civilian control over the military was guaranteed. A strong anti-militarist movement emerged spontaneously in Germany. It was a most democratic constitution with an emphasis on human rights and a very liberal immigration policy to encourage diversity within the population and in some small way to try and compensate for the crimes committed by the Nazis. (In 1955 the FRG became a full member of NATO.)
Communist Information Bureau - established in 1947. Was really a resurrection of the old Comintern which had been abandoned in 1943 in deference to the Allies in the midst of WW II when fighting with them against Nazi Germany.
In 1949 the U.S. took the lead in the development of this collective security system. Included the U.S., Canada, and 10 European nations. Signed the pact in Washington and established a military agreement for the joint defence of Europe. This military alliance was of unlimited duration and of broad scope. The U.S. had committed itself firmly for the first time in American history and thus NATO - the North Atlantic Treaty Organization - was formed.
A military alliance formed in 1955 by the Soviet Union and its East European satellite nations. Became the counter-alliance to NATO. Both alliance systems planned action in the event of hostilities. Both held joint exercises/war games in preparation for possible WW III.
JAPANESE CONSTITUTION OF 1946
US occupation of Japan under General MacArthur, 1946-52 - during this time the Constitution was written. It ended divine right rule, gave sovereignty to the people, a parliamentary govt, women's suffrage, local self-govt. It also renounced the war forever and the use of force. There were some war trials held but no great purge of military. Despite efforts at social and economic reform the power structure remained fairly conservative and Liberal Democratic party which held power after occupation was in reality a conservative grouping. With American help the Japanese economy had recovered by 1954.
KIM IL SUNG
The Communist-trained leader of North Korea which was in a Soviet satellite relationship. At end of WW II the Korean peninsular was split at the 38th parallel with the US maintaining a presence in the South. Both powers gave economic and military assistance. In 1947 a UN Commission sponsored nationwide elections but the Soviet Union would not permit them to take place in the North. In the South SYNGMAN RHEE was elected and went on to rule repressively - ANITCOMMUNISM IN ASIA WAS NOT EQUAL TO DEMOCRACY! The US and USSR then both withdrew their occupation forces.
North Koreans initiated the war and then later received aid from USSR. Truman saw Korea as a test - the Greece of the Far East. Security Council of the UN voted to undertake a "police action" to resist the N.Korean invasion. Since USSR was boycotting UN over the issue of Nationalist China rather than Communist China holding the Security Council seat, it could not veto the UNs participation in this conflict. The US forces under General MacArthur lead the UN force. There was no formal declaration of war from the US since this was supposedly just a "police action." Sung's leadership would survive the war and last to 1994 - his death - when his son, Kim Jong Il, assumed power.
At first the American/South Korean forces were driven back then MacArthur's amphibious landing on the peninsular proceeded to drive the Communist forces back over the 38th parallel and clear up through the North all the way to the Yalu River which was the boundary between North Korea and Manchuria (part of the People's Republic of China - Communist China). The Chinese then came involved and drove them back to below the 38th parallel. The West was worried that the conflict would become global. MacArthur recommended more agression and did so to the press. There was a "falling out" between MacA and Truman and president then replaced the general since his words could encourage an escalation. An armistice was reached in 1953 under the Eisenhower presidency and a demilitarized zone -DMZ was established between N and S on the 38th parallel. The North remains Communist to this day and the South has stayed Capitalist with slow progress towards democracy.
EUROPEAN RECOVERY PROGRAM
Proposed by George Marshall, US Secretary in 1947. He'd been Chief of Staff of Military in WWII. Proposed this plan in an address at Harvard. Basically recommending large infusion of American financial aid to the European nations to help them recovery economically from the devastation of war. This would satisfy American humanitarianism, serve American economic needs since American industry needed markets and would only benefit from improved international trade, and it would also reduce the risk of drift into Communism. By 1948 18 European states (excluding Spain, Russia and its allies) formed...
Organization for European Economic Cooperation for purpose of rebuilding, increasing productivity and reducing tariff barriers. OEEC was a naturally offshoot of the Marshall Plan. Offices were in Paris. Identified projects, planned and coordinated activities. This and the Marshall Plan would have a profound effect on morale and economic recovery. Exceeded all expectations. An accelerated recovery was well underway by the late 1940s and this indeed proved a boost to the US economy.
"MIXED ECONOMIES" or "SOCIAL MARKET ECONOMIES"
In Britain, France and Italy in the postwar period there was nationalization(govt ownership and management)of key industries as part of govt assistance to recovery. BUT, the private sector was still dominant. Economic growth became the central objective - a virtual obsession. However, the govts also continued to provide basic welfare benefits to citizens. Hence, they were not exactly "FREE MARKET ECONOMIES" in the traditional sense but neither was it pure socialism. Therefore known as Mixed Economies/Social Market Economies. Currently, they are still of this type.
John Maynard Keynes - an economist. His theories were first formulated in the 1930s in response to the Great Depression. He did not have too many followers at that time but made converts in the postwar period and influenced govt policies in the 1950s and 1960s - even at times when Conservative govts were in power. He advised govts keeping economies under close surveillance and using fiscal(budgetary) and monetarist powers(control of money supply through interest rates etc) to promote investment, production and employment and to control inflation. (When govts do these things today - and they often do - we refer to them as Keynesian or monetarist measures). Keynes recommended that govts should take...
At times of economic decline govts should spend to keep the demand for product and services high. Full employment should be the goal. Economist recognized that the business cycle was full of ups and downs but suggested that the responsible govt should moderate these and something like the Great Depression should not be allowed to happen again.
Improved statistical techniques and economic forecasting made this "fine tuning" much more feasible. Govt departments produce "economic indicators" on a quarterly and often monthly basis.
translates to "economic miracle." The German currency reform of 1948(the same one that triggered the Berlin Blockade) in fact ignited an amazing economic revival and expansion. It began to take place in Germany under occupation by former allies, but once the Federal Republic of Germany was established it joined the OEEC. The Korean War led to an increase in demand for American goods which stimulated an economic boom. By 1958 Germany had become one of the leading industrial nations of Europe. Note: there is also some benefit to be had when industry is totally destroyed in a war since the rebuilt industrial base is of the latest technology. Both German and Japan benefitted in this way. Other European countries had economic miracles at this time too. 1948-1974 were years of economic growth - the Silver Fifties.
THIRTY GLORIOUS YEARS
France spoke of this in reference to the post war boom. Also experienced in Japan.
In trying to accelerate growth West European "inner zone" countries were faced with the problem of labor shortage. So invited guest workers from "outer zone" - Spain, Portugal, Southern Italy, Turkey, Greece, Yugoslavia, etc. Some 4 1/2 million went to the Federal Republic of Germany alone (1/2 of the these were Turks). Many also came from collapsed empires. Britain took in West Indians, Indian and Pakistanis. France took in Algerians and West Africans. These workers came because opportunities and standards of living were better than in their native lands. However, they generally took the lowest paid and least desirable/skilled work in their host countries. But, given the Social Market Economies - they also now had something of a safety net and chance for self-improvement.
In the postwar years the contemporary welfare state continued to grow. It went well beyond its pre1914 origins/or anything Bismarck might have tolerated, and even beyond the measures taken in the interwar years. Govts gave it high priority and seemed to be working toward "a more just social order." There were now govt jobs programs, unemployment and disability insurance, old age pensions, national healthcare, progressive taxation(redistributing income through income tax differentials) - and in all this - universal coverage. It all seemed achievable in the 50s and 60s as economies boomed and due to the interplay of govt, management and labor - there was consensus on investment and growth and optimism was high. (However the Oil Crisis of 1974 and the subsequent economic cycles of that decade brought in the 80s and 90s increased unemployment, welfare dependency and the arguments that the entitlements had become excessive. It might also be said that the changing technology and the Third Wave is bringing about structural unemployment and leaving a significant proportion of the population ill prepared for productive employment in the 21st century.)
Report filed in 1942 in England by William Beveridge after studying social and economic conditions in the United Kingdom. Suggested that full employment and social security should be universal and cover citizens "from cradle to grave." Recommendations put into effect by Labour govt after war(Atlee replaced Churchill-a Conservative). To finance it the Labour govt sharply increased income and inheritance tax. Even Conservatives maintained protections when they took office, arguing that universal coverage counteracted arguments against income redistribution.
Labor PM from 1945-51 - replaced Churchill at Potsdam. Led govt establishing social welfare and nationalization of major industries in postwar England. Used socialist doctrines to try to cope with Britain's relative economic decline in the postwar years due to the disintegration of the empire.
Popular Republic Movement - in France post war - a catholic progressive party akin to the Christian Democrats elsewhere on the continent. Along with the Communists and Socialists they formed the Provisional Government in postwar France. The "Left" pushed for a purge of Nazi collaborateurs.
THE FOURTH REPUBLIC
The Constituent Assembly in France prepared the Constitution. There was to be a ceremonial Presidency and the premier and cabinet were responsible to a strong legislature. De Gaulle resigned in 1946 in objection to the weakened leadership role under the new constitution. The coalition broke up in 1947 because of Communist sponsored strikes. Thus the Socialist/MRP coalition proved to be a weak one.
The only brief exception to ineffective postwar French coalitions/unstable ministries was the reform ministry of PMF from 1954-5. Rest of the time characterized by popular cynicism, hostility and indifference.
In postwar France, economic planning worked to enlarge France's economic base and pave way for industrial expansion and more flexible economic planning with govt, management and labor all participating. Became part of French way of life. BY 1952, production had reached 1 1/2 times the 1938 level. Over the period 1946 to 1966 it tripled. A French businessman called Jean Monnet and and MRP Premier by the name of Schuman took the lead in promoting this type of planning on a continent-wide level. They had the dream of European economic integration in the 1950s. It would obviously be of economic advantage to France but they saw it as a benefit also to other West European countries and a way to further ensure that peace might be preserved. Countries economically integrated, it was theorized, would be unlikely to resolve conflicts militarily. It was also obvious that the economic disasters of the 1930s had contributed to the rise of Fascism that led to war. Integration and increased trade should decrease the likelihood of economic slump.
PRESIDENT CHARLES DE GAULLE(1890-1970)
Former head of the Free French Movt in WW II - the very incarnation of "resistance" and a national hero. Had resigned from the Fourth Republic in 1946 in protest of the weakened l/ship role under the new constitution. The Fourth Republic lasted from 1946 to 1958. During this time it had a total of 25 different cabinets running the govt. MRP coalitions proved weak and ineffective. In 1958, in midst of a national emergency over France's colonial breakup and in face of a colonial coup in Algeria, De Gaulle was brought in and given emergency powers. He was allowed to frame a new constitution. Thus was formed...
THE FIFTH REPUBLIC
By popular referendum - and the presidency was given significantly more power than under the Fourth Republic - especially in the area of foreign policy and national defence. The President could name the Premier and could dissolve the National Assembly. De Gaulle used his power to restore stability. In 1968 student and worker strikes and growing voter interest in socialism had an adverse effect on the economy. In 1969 he lost a popular referendum on constitutional reform and confidence in his Presidency. Shortly afterwards he retired and died in 1970.
Held after 1945 to convict German military and civilian leaders of "crimes against humanity" for their roles in extermination of Jews and other peoples, for war of aggression and violations of accepted laws and conventions of warfare and mass murder and genocide. There was some question at the time of the appropriateness of trying leaders of a defeated sovereign nation; and letting Soviet Union participate(considering known activities of Stalin's regime). Was it a question of "victor's justice" or important because recognition of international/universal standards at issue. Results were that 12 were condemned. 11 of these were hanged and 1 (Goering) committed suicide. Seven were imprisoned and the last of these (Rudolph Hesse) died in 1987.
First Chancellor of FRG(West Germany). Able to establish a stable democratic govt. Led the CDU (Christian Democratic Union - a conservative party) which dominated German govt from 1949-69. Wanted to regain for Germany a position of dignity and respect. Had a patriarchal, strong-willed personality. Governed 14 years as the Chancellor from age 73 to 87. Known as DER ALTE - the old man - by critics. Was said to have created a "CHANCELLOR'S DEMOCRACY." Despite such criticism, it must be noted that he successfully strengthened ties with France, cooperated on the early stages of economic integration of Europe (Monnet and Schuman's plans) and won support of US and the West. SOCIAL DEMOCRATS (the left wing opposition in FRG) would also criticize him for the last of these. Adenauer was succeeded by his economics minister - ERHARD in 1963. Elections held every 4 years kept re-electing CDU govts.
CDUs/CHRISTIAN DEMOCRATIC UNION
Governed FRG 1949-69 - emphasis on moral idealism and ethical purpose. Support from and for Protestants and Catholics equally. Attracted middle class and business persons.
"SOCIAL MARKET ECONOMY"
Germany's economic miracle was considerably aided by adoption of this type of economy(defined earlier). This mixture of market capitalism along with broad social services kept the German population secure and willing participants in the economic growth.
Western powers had encouraged Land(state - there were 10 of them) govt. but also sponsored a constitutional convention in Bonn , 1948/9. Wrote Basic Law to officially establish Federal Republic of Germany. To be temporary until reunification of East and West. EXTENSIVE Bill of Rights (reaction of recent history) and power decentralized under a federal system - thus avoiding weakness of Weimar.
FRG pioneered in this. Bringing labor and capitalists together. Workers on boards of directors of larger firms/companies. Labor unions have an accepted role as social partners in expanding the economy. Moderated wage demands to avoid inflation. Did much to foster efficiency of industrial ventures.
Chancellor of West Germany/FRG in late 1960s. As foreign miniser he had sought to improve relations with the states of Eastern Europe - Ostpolitik. Led a "Grand Coalition" of Social Democrats, CDUs and Free Democrats. Had been the Social Democratic mayor of Berlin. Became Chancellor of the Grand Coalition in 1969 and thus ended CDU dominance of FRG politics. A spy scandal in 1974 involving one of his closest assistants ended his Chancellorship and another SD, SCHMIDT took over the Chancellorship. Brandt survived to witness the Reunification after the fall of Communism.
In the FRG this is the liberal centrist party - one of several small parties in legislature since Germany has a system of proportional representation. Under this it can often participate in coalitions by joining one of the two major parties (CDUs and SDs) to give them a majority and the ability to govern.
Brandt's Eastern policy - keeping ties with West but building bridges to East and Soviet Union. Negotiated treaties with Poland and Soviets in 1970. Frontier conceded at Oder-Neisse. Recognized GDR (German Democratic Republic/East Germany) and promoted closer economic ties with it and rest of Eastern Europe. Many in US govt concerned by this but in long-term analysis, increased communication with successful Western states went a long way towards helping those behind the "Iron Curtain" realize the disadvantages of the Communist system.
ALCIDE DE GASPERI
Italian who survived the Fascist years as a librarian in the Vatican and went on to become an effective leader. 1946-53 he presided over a series of coalition govts. Allowed for postwar reconstruction and expansion. Kept Italy in Western camp in Cold War. Lead the Christian Democratic Party (appealed to all classes and sectors - blended democracy, free enterprise, and labor tenets of Social Catholicism). When Communists fomented strikes in 1947 he dismissed them from the cabinet. In 1948 the US supported the Christian Democrats over the Communists in elections. CDs won an absolute majority and excluded the Communists from the cabinet. After Gasperi left if was very difficult for the CDs to maintain stable coalitions. Since 1945 Italy has averaged approximately 1 govt change per year!
Italian Communists in the 1960s were the architects of this - declared that each nation, without deferring to Moscow, must find its own way to new society through parliamentary democracy and national consensus. Weakened ties with Moscow and gave up the idea of dictatorship of the proletariat and tempered its assault on religion.
Were the strongest of the Communists in the West. In mid 1970s they numbered approsimately 1.8 million and controlled the govts of Rome and other Italian cities. Later though, this strength has eroded with the revival of Socialist party and, in particular, with the fall of Soviet Communism in 1989/90.
In July of 1944, US convened international conference of 44 nations in Bretton Woods, New Hampshire. Pledged to reduce trade barriers and work for stable currencies in the postwar world.
"MOST FAVORED NATION"
Right after war not possible to establish international organization immediately so US working on reciprocal agreements and each had an MFN clause. These piecemeal arrangements led in 1947 to...
General Agreement of Trade and Tariffs - between 23 nations. Became foundation for postwar global commerce. To prevent discrimination in trade, establish an administration for handling complaints and a framework for negotiations. Bargaining sessions/rounds to be held periodically to remove tariffs and lower non-tariff barriers to trade. By 1990 there were 97 members. GATT has most definitely contributed to expansion of world trade in 50s and 60s and fought against protectionism in the troubled economic times of the 70s.
INTERNATIONAL MONETARY FUND
(Stabilizing currencies was the other major goal at Bretton Woods.) The interwar years of abandoned Gold Standard and devaluations still haunted those involved in financial activities. Some suggested should go back to pre-1914 system of Gold Standard and have currencies readily converted to Gold or pounds sterling. But the British were financially weak. So for some time people chose either Gold or Dollars as stable store of value. The two agencies projected at Bretton Woods were the International Monetary Fund/IMF and the World Bank. The IMF was to make short-term loans and to prevent devaluations of currencies. World Bank was to finance long-term development. They were headquartered in Washington and backed by Dollar. Thus the economic center of gravity was becoming the US and wealth was as likely to be stored in dollars as gold.
The visionary but practical French economist and businessman who recognized that European unity had to start with economics. Leader like Schumann (France), Spaak (Belgium), Adenauer (Germany) and De Gasperi (Italy) were in favor of economic integration. Monnet's 1952 plan finally led to the ECSC(European Coal and Steel Community).
COUNCIL OF EUROPE
1948, delegates of 10 countries met in Strasbourg to establish the Council of Europe with the hope that it might become the legislative body for a Federated Europe. But Britain interested in cooperation NOT integration. Brit opposed any supranational authority. C of E has grown in membership and continued t support idea of a Federation. However it never became an important political force.
EUROPEAN COAL AND STEEL COMMUNITY, 1952
Monnet's Plan of 1952 applied to the Benelux countries, France, Germany and Italy. Coal and Steel production was to be under a supranational authority headquartered in Luxembourg. It had the effect of allaying anxiety about German industrial revival which might foster militarism and to share access to the Ruhr. It eliminated duties and even put production under the High Authority. Monnet was the first president of the ECSC. Provided institutional machinery and paved way for further economic integration.
TREATY OF ROME
Pact, created in 1957 that set up the EEC/European Economic Community/Common Market. Had same members as the ECSC but extended its provisions the other items of trade. It was to be HQd in Brussels. The goal was to have full economic (maybe even political) integration and to talk of social and economic policy and free movement of labor.
Begun in 1958 following the 1957 Treaty of Rome. Included Benelux, France, Italy and FRG. Plan was to eliminate all customs barriers between countries and have a common tariff policy on imports by the year 1966. Gradually to remove all restrictions on movt of capital and workers. EEC took over much of institutional machinery of ECSC. In 1958 175 million people became thriving aggregate(a regional tariff union) within the world economy. Trade within the Common Market/EEC doubled compared with trade with countries outside over 10 years. The EEC certainly helped to consolidate the postwar economic miracle of Western Europe.
In 1967 the 3 "communities" of the ECSC, the EEC and Euratom(European Atomic Energy Commission) came together at the European Community. Their High Commissions formed the European Commission and their Common Assemblies became...
Meets in Strasbourg. Walter Hallstein, the first president of the European Parliament (from W. Germany) described himself as the first European Prime Minister. Members of the European Parliament take seats by party affiliation NOT by country. AFter 1979, they were no longer chosen by their respective govts but by the European-wide electorate. Have limited legislative authority but the institution keeps alive the idea of European unity. Final decision making is still with the Council of Minister of the member nations - and their decisions have to be unanimous.
European Free Trade Association - Britain formed this IN 1960 instead of joining the EEC. It was a more limited customes union. Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Britain, Austria, Switzerland and Portugal were all members. For a while there was a sense of competition between EFTA & EEC. This then eased and there was increasing cooperation. In 1973, after De Gaulle was no longer in power, Britain joined the EEC along with Denmark and Ireland.
In post war period US was spending more abroad than at home and this led to a dollar glut overseas. Western Europe was accumulating dollars - Eurodollars and in the Middle East in the early 70s there was glut of petrodollars. This led to a drop in confidence in the dollar. In 1965, Gaullist France - ever-resentful of American economic and political influence - redeemed much of its dollar holdings for gold. This increased speculation against the dollar and its image as a "safe/strong currency" suffered. In 1971 President Nixon suspended gold convertibility and devalued the dollar. Thereafter, other major currencies began to take their place alongside the dollar as key currencies (German mark, Swiss franc, Japanese yen) and more accurately reflected distribution of world economic power. Exchange rates now float. In Western Europe the EUROPEAN MONETARY SYSTEM tries to keep currency variations within certain limits. Those most in favor of European integration would like to see a common European currency system based on the ECU(European Currency Unit) which is now in limited use. However, many Europeans - especially the ever-isolationist Brits - wish to maintain national sovereignty in the area of currency. As for the rest of the world - currencies fluctuate daily in relation to each other and according the the relative strength of economies and in relation to domestic political stability.
One of MANY examples of Stalin's paranoia and the power of the NKVD (an evolved version of the CHEKA and predecessor to the KGB). This was a fictitious plot - made up by the NKVD at Stalin's request in 1953. It claimed there was a plot by medical doctors to poison Stalin and a number of patients at leading medical institutions in Moscow. Subsequently, a significant number of doctors (many/most of them Jewish - further demonstrating Stalin's anti-Semitism) were arrested and they were accused of participating in this plot. They were imprisoned and considering previous purges probably thought themselves doomed. However, Stalin died later that year of natural causes and his successors had the charges dropped and the doctors released.
Headed NKVD since 1939. Had been one of Stalin's chief henchmen. Used his position of power within the secret police to indulge his personal perversions to the point of criminal acts. Stalin tolerated these since he carried out all of Stalin's orders - often personally - without question. In short - he was a nasty piece of work ( - to put it in conversational tone). After Stalin's death it became obvious that he hoped try to gain power but was arrested and executed by party leaders because no-one trusted him and they feared a coup in which one man gained power like Stalin had.
THE SECRET SPEECH/CRIMES OF THE STALIN ERA
At the 20th Party Congress in 1956 Khrushchev made a speech to a closed session of the delegates in which he revealed some of the crimes Stalin had been responsible for. He confirmed the worst speculation of Western critics.He acknowledged that Stalin had been responsible for purges and executions of millions of innocents.
This was a campaign of Khruschev's that followed the Secret Speech. Cities were renamed, ex. Stalingrad became Volgograd and Stalin's body was removed from the mausoleum and buried outside the Kremlin wall. Basically, truths about Stalin were now revealed and he was no longer officially deified. Stalin's agricultural scheme in Soviet Central Asia was shown to have been a disaster. There had been a series of crop failures and State Farms and Collectives were demonstrated to have worked poorly.
VIRGIN LANDS SCHEME
Khrushchev inherited a troubled agricultural sector from Stalin. Forced collectivization and resistance by peasants had resulted inlow productivity on both State and Collective Farms. Khrushchev sponsored the Virgin Lands Scheme in Soviet Central Asia where new land was put to agricultural use. This was suposed to increase agricultural production but the scheme was plagued by a series of crop failures due to lack of cooperation from local peoples, drought, pests, etc. The failure of this much-heralded reform would be another factor in Khrushchev's eventual downfall.
In 1955, the Soviet Union and the major Western allies, the U.S., G.B., and France, reached agreement on the Austrian State Treaty. This accord ended the four power occupation of Austria, which beame a fully independent state committed to neutrality.
EISENHOWER, ANTHONY EDEN(Brit PM) and French Premier Faure met with Khrushchev and his foreign minister Bulganin in Geneva. First meeting in a decade - cordial. "Spirit of Geneva" - "peaceful coexistence."
BERLIN CRISIS, 1958
Khrushchev began campaign to solve German/Berlin Question. Wanted neutralization and demilitarizsation of West Berlin - said Soviets would turn their right over to East German govt if West didn't do this then Americans, Brit and France would have to deal with a govt they did not recognize ( - holding out for reunification under democratic system). Khrushchev did this because Berlin provided an easy escape route for dissatisfied East Germans - leaving in droves thus creating skilled labor shortage. Khrushchev let deadline lapse without taking action - but clearly it would come up again. He and Eisenhower agreed to discuss it at future summit.
THE U-2 INCIDENT AND THE COLLAPSE OF THE PARIS SUMMIT
Since 1955, American high-altitude U-2 spy planes had been carrying out surveillance operations over Soviet territory. On May 1, 1960, the Soviets succeeded in downing a U-2 and capturing the pilot. Khrushchev used this U-2 incident to break up the Paris summit meeting that was about to convene in June. Summit had little chance of success since neither side likely to give in.
BERLIN WALL, 1961
Khrushchev renewed his pressure on theWestern powers in Berlin. Then, on August 13, the Soviets and East Germans closed the border between East and West Berlin and began the construction of the Berlin Wall, which prevented the flight of East Germans to the West. While the Western pwoers protested the building of the wall , they took no other action, and the Berlin crisis gradually eased.
Khrushchev encouraged a greater measure of cultural and intellectual freedom - partly to win allies against conservatives(of the old hard-line Communist flavor) who were opposed to the changes being brought about after Stalin. BUT this "thaw" was not systematic or thorough - indeed, Khrushchev himself could run "hot" then "cold" on such topics as modern art.
BORIS PASTERNAK(1890 - 1960)
Russian author of Dr Zhivago, a novel about the human side of the Russian Revolution and its aftermath - exposed many of the brutalities of the Stalin era. Was awarded the Nobel Prize for literature. The Soviet govt under Khrushchev would not allow Pasternak to go to Stockholm to collect the prize. According to Communist ideologues, the book had put too much emphasis on individual freedom. Pasternak did, through this novel and its status as a Nobel winner, help focus more Western attention on Russia and its 20th century history.
SOLZHENITSYN(1918 to present)
Russian author of One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovitch - novel detailing life in a Stalinist concentration camp/Gulag. Was allowed to publish this during the Khrushchev regime(1962). During the Brezhnev regime he was exiled from Russia for publishing The Gulag Archipelago abroad(1974). Lived in U.S. until very recently, 1994, when he returned to Russia.
Citizens who argue with the establishment and seek reform of the existing system. In the Brezhnev regime the govt clamped down severely on dissidents who had grown more vocal under Khrushchev. Increasingly dissidents emerged amongst the scientific and cultural leadership of the country.
NUCLEAR TEST BAN TREATY
Following the Cuban Missile Crisis, long stalled American Soviet negotiations resumed and resulted in signing of the Nuclear Test Ban Treaty in July 1963. Treaty banned the testing of nuclear weapons in the atmosphere, Underground tests could continue. A number of other nations adhered to the treaty, although France and the PRC did not. These two countries were busy developing their own nuclear weapons.
THE NUCLEAR NON-PROLIFERATION TREATY, 1968
The US, USSR and 60 other nations signed this. The treaty was designed to prevent the spread of nuclear weapons to nonnuclear countries. France and the PRC and several other countries refused to sign it.
Communist PARTY bureaucrats - usually very concerned with maintaining the status quo in a communist system. Once an apparatchki has worked his/her way into a good position -not interested in changes. Apparatchki were mostly opposed to Khruschev's reforms. Especially objected to fixing terms of office in party. Cooperated with each other in opposing what they saw as K's "hare-brained" schemes.
The entrenched party AND GOVT bureaucracy. Rejected any calls for reforms that might reduce their authority. By the time of the Brezhnev era it was an aging party and govt bureaucracy that controlled the country. These also constituted the major opposition to Gorbachev's glasnost and perestroika.
Underground journals - or illegally published literature among the dissidents. Included the private manuscripts of intelligentsia.
A Russian Nobel prize-winning nuclear physicist who spoke up against the return to Stalinism that seemed to be happening under Brezhnev. He and his dissident wife, Elena Bonner, were removed from their work environments and banished from Moscow. Under Gorbachev's glasnost (openness) they returned to Moscow and became more vocal. In 1988, in the first open elections which were part of Gorbachev's perestroika (political reform), Andrei was elected to the Chamber of People's Deputies and gave speeches in favor of reform but still critical of the existing system as not moving fast enough. He died in 1989.
Brezhnev died in 1982 and was replaced by Andropov who had been head of KGB but was still a reformer who realized that the state of the economy serious and that corruption within the system was rampant. However, he became ill and eventually died.
Was chosen by Politburo to replace Andropov because he was conservative and unlikely to bring about rapid change. However, he too took ill and eventually died. Both he and Andropov were old Communists like Brezhnev, and so it really wasn't until Chernenko died that the Brezhnev era came to an end. Conditions were also deteriorating rapidly for the USSRs position in Afghanastan(USSR's Viet Nam equivalent). When Chernenko died in 1985 the way was clear for a much younger and more dynamic Party member, Mikhail GORBACHEV, to come to power.
Marshal (1892-1980). Was the Communist chief of Yugoslavia who proclaimed independence of his country from Soviet influence in the post WW II era. In 1948 he successfully defied Cominform and Stalin and went his own way. He abandoned Stalin's suggested policy of collectivization of agriculture. Was denounced by Stalin but no military measures were undertaken to discipline him. After Stalin's death, the Soviet leadership tried to woo him back - particularly since he had developed somewhat cordial relations with the West in the meantime. To enable Tito to resist Soviet pressure, Western nations extended aid: loans, food, trade, diplomatic support and even military equipment. Using Communism, Tito was at least able to keep all the different ethnic and religious groups in relative harmony with each other. He created different republics within the Slav state and gave each a certain amount of self-govt. He also made provisions so that after his death - and his persona was the major force that kept everything working appropriately - there would be a rotating presidency with each of the republics taking turns for 1 year and the other republics being represented in the executive branch and legislative branch. He hoped this would keep the country together. Indeed, it did quite well until Communism itself fell in 1989/90 and thereafter several of the republics sought nationhood and Serbia sought to prevent the break-up and instead create a Greater Serbia(just as it had before WW I and had tried to dominate the post-WW I Yugoslavia) - hence the recent Balkan Civil War appears to be continuation of this trend promoting Serbian nationalism.
Successfully resisted Soviet dominance in Poland after Khruschev's deStalinization speech. Spoke of there being "DIFFERENT ROADS TO SOCIALISM" and was a Polish nationalist and big supporter of the Roman Catholic CHurch - always been strong in Poland. Halted collectivization of agriculture. Khrushchev threatened military action but backed down. This created a freer atmosphere and helped to curb police terror. It stimulated a "would-be" similar development in Hungary.
A reform-minded Communist leader in Hungary who wanted to emulate Gomulka's reforms in Poland. He had been attempting to liberalize earlier then was ousted. But now, 1956, back and Soviets forcibly suppressed the Hungarian uprising which favored Nagy's reforms (wanted removal of Soviet troops and withdrawal from Warsaw Pact as well as neutrality like that of Austria) and then forced the party to replace him with the more subservient...
Accepted the Soviet military intervention in 1956 and took over the post-uprising Hungarian govt as a satellite of Moscow. Nagy was hanged and some 200,000 Hungarians fled to the West. The Soviet supression of this uprising shocked the world - the Communist faithful as well as Western observers. (In time, though, Hungary did move slowly towards a more liberal position. When Communism fell in 1989/90 it was already practising a more market oriented economy(GOULASH COMMUNISM -after Hungarian stew-like dish) than most other Communist systems - though NOT during Kadar's time.)
In Czechoslovakia in the 1960s the reforms went furthest in the Eastern bloc. They posed the most direct challenge to the Soviets. Dubcek, the Czech leader, spoke openly of "Communism with a human face." He curbed the activities of the police and permitted a significant freedom of the press. This greater degree gave rise to what was referred to as the "Prague Spring." But Brezhnev, who had replaced Khrushchev in 1964, sent in 400,000 troops in 1968 and crushed what was labelled as a counterrevolution. This was justified as the Brezhnev Doctrine. The effect was to further alienate the Communist faithful outside of USSR even more than the Hungarian Revolt of 1956.
The liberal reforms of Alexander Dubcek, the Czech Communist Party Secretary. For many in Prague(capital of Czechoslovakia) this was a very uplifting and postitive time since it appeared that reforms would enhance the quality of life. However, the summer, August 20th,1968 brought 400,000 troops from Soviet Union and its satellite countries to occupy Prague and undo the reforms of the Spring.
Established by the intervention in 1968 in Czechoslovakia. Brezhnev was asserting that the USSR had the right to intervene in the internal affairs of any Communist country within its orbit where it seemed that the Communist govt was as risk. Brezhnev was careful to use satellite troops as well as Russian to make them aware of the possiblities and part of the policy.
PEOPLE'S REPUBLIC OF CHINA
Formed in October 1949 at end of long civil war between the Nationalists (or Kuomintang under Chiang Kai-shek) and the Communists under Mao Zedong. The Kuomintang armies had been routed and withdrew to Taiwan but were still considered by West to be the legal representatives of the Chinese people and held the U.N. seat on the Security Council until 1971.
Referred to as the GREAT HELMSMAN was head of Communist Party of PRC from 1949 to 1876. Ardent Marxist-Leninist revolutionary who, at first, followed the Soviet model and suppressed harshly all hint of counterrevolution. Then eased off for a while with "let all flowers bloom, let a hundred schools of thought contend." But returned to repression and committed industrial & agricultural growth with THE GREAT LEAP FORWARD in 1957. This had disastrous effect on peasantry in China with resulting famine and death. However, industrial sector did grow and by 1964 had atomic bomb. In 1966 Mao initiated the CULTURAL REVOLUTION in which he hoped to make Chinese more dedicated Marxist/Maoist revolutionaries. Used millions of young students as RED GUARDS clutching Mao's LITTLE RED BOOK (The Living Thoughts of Chairman Mao )to purify the Chinese population ideologically. This too became an extreme purge and extended from village all the way to 2/3 of the party's central committee. ___ died in 1976. There ensued a power struggle between radicals/'gang of four' including Mao's widow(Jiang Qing) and more moderate elements. By 1977 the moderates had won and by 1981 the Chinese officially 'downgraded' Mao and recognized that his "Cultural Revolution" had been highly flawed. Through these years DENG XIAOPING emerged as the preeminent leader(he had been severely purged in Cultural Revolution) and he soon introduced the economic reforms which have made China the rapidly growing economy it is today.
The pragmatic and moderate premier and foreign minister of Mao Zedong who served faithfully throughout Mao's tenure and would have been his successor but died a few months before him. In foreign affairs China fought with N. Korea v. S. Korean and the UN forces in the early 1950s. It occupied Tibet and forced out the Dalai Lama. In 1962 it clashed with India over border disputes. In the 1960s its relationship with USSR was strained over borders which resulted in some clashes along the USSURI RIVER in 1972. Both supported the North in the Vietnamese War. PRC took permanent seat(thus displacing Nationalist China/Taiwan) on Security Council of UN in 1971 and Nixon visited Peking as part of his attempt to "normalize' relations.