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Why were there two armed camps in Europe in 1914?

Why did war break out in 1914?

How did the Treaty of Versailles establish peace?

Why did the League of Nations fail in its aim to keep peace?

How did Hitler challenge and exploit the Treaty of Versailles?

Why did Chamberlain's policy of Appeasement fail to prevent war from breaking out?

Why did the USA and USSR become rivals between 1945 and 1949?

How did the Cold War develop between 1949 and 1955?

How peaceful was Peaceful Co-existence?

How close to war was the world in the 1960's?

Why did Detente collapse in the 1970's and 1980's?

Why did Communism collapse in Central and Eastern Europe?

How did the Cold War develop?

The Cold War got worse, 1949 to 1962

1949 : The ending of the Berlin blockade ; USSR developed atom bomb; China becomes a communist country ; the creation of NATO
1953 : The death of Stalin. USSR appointed a new leader in 1955 Nikita Khrushchev
1956 : The Hungary Uprising. This was eventually crushed by the Soviet Union.
1959 : Castro took over Cuba. USA interests in the island are threatened.
1961 : The failure of the Bay of Pigs as the USA tried to help Cuban rebels against Castro; the building of the Berlin Wall
1962 : The Cuban Missile crisis. The USSR tried to supply Cuba with nuclear missiles. The plan failed as Kennedy ordered the blockading of the island.

Why was NATO created ? (North Atlantic Treaty Organisation, created by capitalist west)

• There was a great fear of the spread of communism. Eastern Europe had been taken over by the USSR between 1946 and 1948. Countries like Hungary, Czechoslovakia, Poland, etc were all occupied by the USSR.
• The blockade of Berlin in 1948 and 1949 further convinced the Allies that communism was spreading and was another example of Russia gaining land.
• In 1949, China became a communist country. This was the world’s biggest country and it led to US fears.
• The USSR developed their own atom bomb which now meant that they had equality with the USA.

Why was the Warsaw Pact created ? (created by the Communists)

• West Germany had been allowed to join NATO. This brought back to the Russians the memory of World War Two and how Germany had caused so much damage.
• There was the growing threat of conflict which had shown itself over the Berlin airlift. The USSR wanted to make sure that those countries in the eastern block - Hungary, Czechoslovakia, Poland etc were not allowed to leave the Iron Curtain.
• These countries offered protection to the USSR. They were frightened by the rise of NATO which was now a major threat. They feared the expansion of the west.
• Russia had been fearful of Germany expanding her territory. The Warsaw Pact offered protection against the threat of capitalism spreading. Russia wanted to make sure that she was protected by this “buffer zone.”
• Russia was determined that no country would be allowed to leave the Warsaw Pact. These countries were tied to each other through COMECON and COMINFORM and offered help and protection to each other through the use of the army.

So Europe is divided into two : NATO vs. the WARSAW PACT. Stalin died in 1953 but things did not get better. In fact, they got a lot worse.

The new leader of the USSR, Khrushchev promised PEACEFUL CO-EXISTENCE. Basically it meant that he believed that the west had the right to exist and rather than trying to destroy it, the USSR should try to compete with the West.

So was Khrushchev any different to Stalin in his dealings with the eastern European countries ? /Why did trouble start in Hungary ?
In Poland in 1956, there was an attack upon Polish policed due to the increase in food prices. 53 rioters were shot. The Poles were unable to deal with the problems and asked the Russians for help.
Khrushchev agreed to reforms. He agreed that there should be a new leader - GOMULKA who had been a popular leader amongst the Polish people. He also agreed to stop persecuting Catholics and Russian soldiers left Poland.
It can be argued that these events led to other countries hoping for change. The country which saw the biggest threat to Khrushchev was Hungary. There had been opposition to the communist government led by RAKOSI. He had executed 2,000 people and more than 200,000 had been imprisoned.
There was also the problems with the economy. (see earlier notes)
There was widespread revolts in the country. Again, like in Poland, Khrushchev sent the tanks in. Once the trouble had been put down, he agreed to allow a new government to be set up by Imre Nagy. He immediately set about planning for free elections , leave the Warsaw Pact and asked for the total withdrawal of the Soviets.
Khrushchev refused to any of these demands and sent the troops and tanks again into the country.

What were the results of the Hungarian uprising ?

There were two weeks of bitter fighting between the Soviets and the Hungarians. The Hungarians were determined not to give in. By the end of October, there were heavy casualties amongst the Hungarians. Around 30,000 were killed and 200,000 fled the country.
Nagy and several of his colleagues were promised their freedom but later kidnapped and secretly hung. Another 20,000 people were also imprisoned for their part.
It meant that the Soviets were now in control of the country again and would not let another incident happen. They replaced the leader Nagy with their own man - Kadar.
The Western Allies did not help. They did not want to get involved in a conflict with a country which was a member of the Warsaw Pact. They feared that if they did then it could lead to a direct conflict with the USSR and they were not prepared to do this. They also had other problems with the Suez Canal as Britain and France tried to capture control over it.

Crisis develops in Berlin / Why was the Berlin Wall built ?

Berlin was losing between 20,000 and 25,000 people monthly following the blockade. Many of these people who moved were either doctors, lawyers or engineers. It was difficult to replace these people.
Life in the west appeared much better. There was a direct contrast in the living conditions with people having freedom and greater choices.
Consumer goods were limited and the quality of goods was poor in contrast. The newspapers and television were censored.
Kennedy believed that the new US president, Kennedy appeared weak and this was shown in the failure of the US president to get rid of Fidel Castro at the Bay of Pigs incident. Meeting him at the Vienna peace summit, Khrushchev believed that he could take advantage of the young president.

(c) The Russian president, Khrushchev stepped the pressure up. The stated that the Russians were going to explode a bomb 3,000 times more powerful than the one dropped on Hiroshima. The Americans responded by testing more nuclear weapons. Both sides wanted to show how powerful they were.

(c) In 1959, Cuba had been taken over by a communist leader, Fidel Castro. Cuba was less than one hundred miles away from the American coast. If nuclear weapons were put onto the island it would mean that America could easily be bombed. America was also frightened that the influence of communist Cuba would mean other countries near to America would become communist.

(d) to try to stop this, the American President, John F. Kennedy had tried to get rid of the Castro. In 1961, the American CIA had tried to help Cubans get rid of Castro. Americans helped with the invasion of the Bay of Pigs but the attack failed. Cuba (and Russia) and America became even more suspicious of each other.

(e) In 1962, Castro turned to Russia and asked them secretly for military help. In August 1962, the Russians secretly shipped equipment and technicians to Cuba in preparation for nuclear weapons. In October 1962, the Russians send ships to Cuba carrying nuclear weapons. As the ships were entering the area closed to Cuba, President Kennedy acted. He stated that any ships which entered an exclusion zone around Cuba would be boarded and taken over by Americans. Eventually, the Russian leader, Khrushchev ordered the ships to turn around and sail back. Russia.

Summary

How did relations between the superpoWers change between 1949 and 1962?

In 1949, relations between the superpowers was getting worse, Following on from the Berlin jlirlift, trust between b'Oththe USA and the USSR had broken down. Stalin had tried to force the capitalist west Berlin into becoming communist. The determination of the USA, GB and France to make sure that this did not happen forced Stalin to back down and allow all land routes to west Berlin to be restored.
The Berlin airlift, China becoming communist and the USSR developing an atom bomb in 1949 made the USA believe that the Red Scare was real. It was decided that NATO should be formed in order to stop the growth of communism. Twelve capitalist countries in western Europe and north America would protect each other if the threat of communism was going to take them over. This led to a further breakdown in relations as the USSR now believed that the west was trying to further spread and threaten its interests. As a result of this, in 1955, the Russians created the Warsaw Pact. All the countries in eastern Europe was expected to join. The Warsaw Pact came under the direct control of the USSR. It was now clear that relations between the superpowers was getting worse as Europe was clearly divided into two, sides.

In 1956, Khrushchev became the new leader of the USSR. His peaceful co -existnece speech seemed to offer some new hope that he would accept that the USSR and USA could get on with each other. This proved to be short lived as he ordered the crushing of the uprising in Hungary in 1956 when they threatened to leave the Warsaw Pact. He also tried to compete with the west over sporting competitions and the developments in space .

Things got worse in 1961 with the building of the Berlin wall. Khrushchev was worried that many of the most important people in east Berlin were being attracted to west Berlin because of the better lifestyle and greater income. Seeing Kennedy as a weak and inexperienced president over the Bay of Pigs event in Cuba, Khrushchev ordered the building of a wall. Tension was increasing further and this was seen over the arms race.

The Soviet's built their first atom bomb in 1949 which meant that the USA was no longer ahead of the Soviets. This encouraged both sides to build more powerful weapons -the H -bomb in 1952 and later the development of ABM's and ICBM's. Relations were breaking down as both sides tried to have more weapons than the other. Events in Cuba now showed how bad superpower relations were when the pro -communist government of Cuba had nuclear weapons sent there. Kennedy's decision to blockade the island nearly brought the superpowers to conflict. In the end, the Soviets backed down.

Between 1949 and 1962, relations between the superpowers obviously got worse. The USA and USSR came into direct competition over arms and nearly into direct conflict over Cuba.

 

 


 

 

   

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