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Konrad Adenauer

Chancellor of Germany in 1949; the former mayor of Cologne and a long-time anti-Nazi, who began his long highly successful democratic rule; West Germany had a majority of Christian Democrats; helped regain respect for Germany

Algerian Liberation Movement

An eight-year struggle by Algeria to secure independence from French colonial control; the goal was finally achieved in 1962.

Atlantic Charter

1941-Pledge signed by US president FDR and British prime minister Winston Churchill not to acquire new territory as a result of WWII amd to work for peace after the war

Simone de Beauvoir

French author of The Second Sex. She argued for women's rights and was also a prominent figure in the existentialist movement. She died in 1986.

Berlin Wall

In 1961, the Soviet Union built a high barrier to seal off their sector of Berlin in order to stop the flow of refugees out of the Soviet zone of Germany. The wall was torn down in 1989.

Leonid Brezhnev

Seized power from Nikita Khrushchev and became leader of the Soviet Communist party in 1964. Ordered forces in to Afghanistan and Czechoslovakia.

Willy Brandt

West German chancellor; sought peace with East Germany; went to Poland in December 1970; laid a wreath at the tomb of the unknown soldier and another monument commemorating the armed uprising of Warsaw's Jewish ghetto against Nazi armies after which the ghetto was destroyed and survivors were sent to the gas chambers.

Albert Camus

French writer who portrayed the human condition as isolated in an absurd world (1913-1960)

Brezhnev Doctrine

Soviet Union and its allies had the right to intervene in any socialist country whenever they saw the need.

Common Market

Popular name for the European Economic Community established in 1951 to encourage greater economic cooperation between the countries of Western Europe and to lower tariffs on trade between its members.

Cold War

A conflict that was between the US and the Soviet Union. The nations never directly confronted eachother on the battlefield but deadly threats went on for years.

Council for Mutual Economic Aid

An economic alliance founded in 1949 to coordinate the economic affairs of the soviet union and its satellite countries.


The collapse of colonial empires. Between 1947 and 1962, practically all former colonies in Asia and Africa gained independence.


relaxation of tensions between the United States and its two major Communist rivals, the Soviet Union and China

European Coal and Steel Community

(1952) France, west germany, belgium, italy and netherlands, set prices and regulated the coal and steel industries

European Free Trade Associaion

austria, finland, norway, switzerland, and sweeden

European Economic Community

an international organization of European countries formed after World War II to reduce trade barriers and increase cooperation among its members


A philosophy that value human freedom and personal responsibility. Well known writers inclue: Sartre, Kierkegaard, Camus, Nietzsche, Kafka, and de Beauvoir.

Fifth Republic

Government established in France in October 1958. The First Republic lasted from 1793 to 1804; the Second, from 1848 to 1852; the Third from 1875 to 1945; and the Fourth, from 1946 to 1958.

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!

Free French

a French movement during World War II that was organized in London by Charles de Gaulle to fight for the liberation of France from German control and for the restoration of the republic

Charles de Gaulle

French general and statesman who became very popular during World War II as the leader of the Free French forces in exile (1890-1970)


Policy of openness initiated by Gorbachev in the 1980s that provided increased opportunities for freedom of speech, association and the press in the Soviet Union.

Hungarian Revolt

1956 - Hungary tried to overthrow the Communist government, partly encouraged by the U.S. The rebellion was quickly crushed.


a Russian prison camp for political prisoners

Karl Jaspers

(1883-1969) German existentialist seeing all people as equally co-responsible for the terrors and injustices of the world.

Nikita Kruschev

emerged as a leader in the Soviet Union after the death of dictator Josef Stalin. In 1956, he advocated reform and indirectly criticized Stalin and his methods. He became the Premier of the Soviet Union from 1958 to 1974.

Marshall Plan

a United States program of economic aid for the reconstruction of Europe (1948-1952)

Aldo Moro

Former premier of Italy and leader of the Christian Democratic Party who was assassinated by a terrorist group in 1978.

Imre Nagy

Hungarian Communist Party leader who attempted to end association with the USSR which lead to the 1956 Hungarian revolt.


North Atlantic Treaty Organization; an alliance made to defend one another if they were attacked by any other country; US, England, France, Canada, Western European countries

Boris Pasternak

Russian writer whose best known novel was banned by Soviet authorities but translated and published abroad (1890-1960)

Peaceful Coexistence

Term used by Khrushchev in 1963 to describe a situation in which the United States and Soviet Union would continue to compete economically and politically without launching a thermonuclear war.


a policy initiated by Mikhail Gorbachev that involved restructuring of the social and economic status quo in communist Russia towards a market based economy and society

Potsdam Conference

The final wartime meeting of the leaders of the United States, Britain, and the Soviet Union was held at Potsdamn, outside Berlin, in July, 1945. Truman, Churchill, and Stalin discussed the future of Europe but their failure to reach meaningful agreements soon led to the onset of the Cold War.

Prague Spring

In 1968, Czechoslovakia, under Alexander Dubcek, began a program of reform. Dubcek promised civil liberties, democratic political reforms, and a more independent political system. The Soviet Union invaded the country and put down the short-lived period of freedom.

Red Brigade

Terrorist group committed to radical political and social change that claimed responsibility for the assassination of former Italian premier Aldo Moro in 1978.


the first treaty between the United States and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics resulting from the Strategic Arms Limitation Talks


Second Strategic Arms Limitations Talks. A second treaty was signed on June 18, 1977 to cut back the weaponry of the U.S. and the U.S.S.R. because it was getting too competitive. Set limits on the numbers of weapons produced. Not passed by the Senate as retaliation for U.S.S.R.'s invasion of Afghanistan, and later superseded by the START treaty.

Jean Paul Sarte

existentialism- philosophical movemnt that takes as its starting point reflection on hthe concrete existence of humans and what is means to be a human being living in the sort of world in which we actually love

Schuman Plan

An international organization set up in 1952 to control and integrate all European coal and steel production; also known as the European Coal and Steel Community.


Polish trade union created in 1980 to protest working conditions and political repression. It began the nationalist opposition to communist rule that led in 1989 to the fall of communism in eastern Europe.

Alexander Solzhenitsyn

Russian writer expelled from Russia for describing the horrors of labor camps

Margaret Thatcher

prime minister of Britain; strong relationship with Reagan; supported NATO, allowed US to store missiles in England; one of the first Western leaders to act warmly toward reformer Gorbachev

Marshal Tito

Yugoslav statesman who led the resistance to German occupation during World War II and established a communist state after the war (1892-1980)

Treaty of Rome

Pact, created in 1957, that set up the European Economic Community (also known as the Common Market).

Truman Doctrine

President Truman's policy of providing economic and military aid to any country threatened by communism or totalitarian ideology

Vatican II

Pope John XXIII called the conference which met in four sessions between 1962-65. The purpose was to bring the church up to date (aggiornamento).

Warsaw Pact

treaty signed in 1945 that formed an alliance of the Eastern European countries behind the Iron Curtain; USSR, Albania, Bulgaria, Czechoslovakia, East Germany, Hungary, Poland, and Romania


a policy for establishing and developing a national homeland for Jews in Palestine

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