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Europe in the Latter 20 th Century: An Overview Chapters 30-31 EQs: What are the origins of the Cold War and what were its impacts on Europe? How did the.

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Presentation on theme: "Europe in the Latter 20 th Century: An Overview Chapters 30-31 EQs: What are the origins of the Cold War and what were its impacts on Europe? How did the."— Presentation transcript:

1 Europe in the Latter 20 th Century: An Overview Chapters 30-31 EQs: What are the origins of the Cold War and what were its impacts on Europe? How did the decolonization process occur and what were the results? Why did Communism fail in Russia and Eastern Europe?


3 Cold War World War II left a severe power vacuum in Europe…Britain, France and Germany had been the powers, but their weakened state after war opened the door for the increased influence of the United States and the Soviet Union Europe became the battleground for the unofficial political, social and economic war which becomes known as the Cold War (no actual hostilities) America’s first official policy against the Soviet Union was clear…CONTAINMENT…keep Communism from spreading out of the Soviet Union Two instant political actions were instituted by the US in the post War ▫Truman Doctrine – “support for free people who are resisting attempted subjugation by armed minorities or outside pressures” ▫Marshall Plan – Economic aid to all states choosing the path of democracy Post WWII

4 Cold War The Soviet Union had their own policies post WWII…they kept up Pan-Slavism in E. Europe and made most states puppets (they were technically free, but had governments that were Communist and took orders from the USSR)(Yugoslavia was an exception though) Stalin reversed his old anti-spread policies and formed the Cominform (Communist Information Bureau), a revived version of the Commintern, to spread revolutionary Communism around the globe Tensions came to a head quickly in Germany in 1948 and 1949…the Allies and Soviets could not agree completely over how the traditional borders were going to be re-drawn and influenced…post-war, Germany was occupied by Britain, France, the US and the USSR as was Berlin The USSR responded to this disagreement by blocking allied movements in and out of Berlin on the ground in an attempt to force the Allies to concede…the US responded by holding an airlift in and out of Berlin…the Soviets later gave up their blockade

5 Cold War Despite the formation of a United Nations, western and Communist states still formed their own political alliances ▫NATO – North Atlantic Treaty Organization, a mutual military agreement by which all members agreed to support each other if one or many were attacked (The US was the central power in this alliance and dictated policy) ▫Warsaw Pact – May 1955, The Red Army helped to “occupy” these states and “protect” them from invasion In other corners of the world, Europeans found themselves involved in specific Cold War conflicts ▫Israel – Zionism helped forge the creation of a state in Israel in 1947…Arab states objected to this and tried to invade/prevent Israeli sovereignty…the US was drawn into the conflict on the side of Israel…the USSR supported the Arab states ▫Korea – The first TRUE war of the Cold War took place when Communists in the north supported by the USSR tried to move south and take over…the South fought back the Communists with the help of the West…eventually, Korea was split in 2

6 Cold War Stalin died in 1953, and Nikita Khrushchev (Did someone say Khrushchev?) came to power…he single handedly increased tensions between the Soviet Union and the West On the domestic front, however, he eased Stalinism, ended Purges and even increased more privatization in agriculture (though, crop failures occurred)…he also gave what was known as the Secret Speech in which he denounced Stalin as a monster and a criminal…this set off a wave of what some in E. Europe thought was a sign to resist Soviet control In Poland in 1956, anti-Stalinist uprisings occurred, but the Communist regime continued to rule with little problem yet greater autonomy In Hungary in 1956, similar uprisings occurred, however leaders (such as Imre Nagy) were more bent on freedom from Communist influence (be similar to Yugoslavia)…the Soviets sent in troops and removed Nagy

7 Cold War Confrontation/tension was not limited to Eastern Europe in 1956… The USSR began to demand diplomatic recognition of East Germany and a full withdraw of western forced from West Berlin (didn’t happen)…a summit meeting in 1960 between the US and USSR also did not happen when the Soviets shot down a US spy plane…China also began to diverge away from the Soviet style of Communism In August 1961, the E. Germans threw up a wall to block further migration of people out of their state to the West in Berlin…JFK stood in front of the Berlin Wall and declared “Ich bin ein Berliner” to no avail Europe was also threatened when the Cuban Missile Crisis occurred in 1962 basically because the US had missiles in Europe that would have had to fire at the USSR (likewise, the USSR would have shot back) In 1968, the “Prague Spring” occurred where there was a revolution against the hard line Communist government in Czechoslovakia

8 Collapse of Communism The slow death of Communism began in 1979 under the Brezhnev regime…the Soviets made a disastrous decision to invade Afghanistan, a move they thought would be quick and painless, one that turned into a long drawn out conflict that literally drained the Soviet military industrial complex In the early 1980s the Soviet grip on Poland also began to slip as a movement known as Solidarity broke out under the leadership of Lech Walesa…using labor strikes (similar to Gandhi in India) the movement weakened the Polish Communist party and the USSR had no resources to invade (due to Afghanistan) In 1983, Leonid Brezhnev died, his successor Yuri Andropov lasted only a few months before he died, his successor Constantin Chernenko died even faster! This frequent change in power caused ripples.

9 Collapse of Communism In 1985 leadership of the USSR passed to Mikhail Gorbachev, who immediately undertook vast reforms to change the Soviet Union ▫Glasnost – “openess”, the Communist party becomes more friendly to ethnic minorities, censorship is eased and free speech was permitted, westernization occurred ▫Perestroika – “restructuring”, wages were improved in all sectors of the economy, consumer goods were now starting to be produced or imported from Western sources, the army was restructured (shrunk!) after it was seen on TV attacking minorities and pacts were made to reduce nuclear weapons 1989 brought a series of revolutions in Eastern European nations ▫Poland and Hungary each saw Communist parties collapse as democratic movements flourished ▫East Germans in Berlin protested and the E. German government quit…in November, thousands tore down the Berlin Wall and German reunification was a reality

10 Collapse of Communism The final collapse of the Soviet Union occurred in 1991…early in 1990, Gorbachev suggested multi-party political entities in the Soviet Union, a departure from the Lenin dictated one party rule Three “entities” formed ▫1: A conservative group of Communists who wished to maintain the status quo (hard line) ▫2: A group led by Boris Yeltsin (President of the Russian Republic) who desired rapid change and greater democratization ▫3: A republican movement from other Soviet states (namely, the Baltic states of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania) wish desired independence from the Soviet state…these states eventually declared independence, setting off a wave of independence demands from other Soviet republics August, 1991 – The hard line conservative group staged a coup and arrested Gorbachev…it lasted only 2 days because it had little popular support, support instead went to Boris Yeltsin’s faction On Christmas Day 1991, Mikhail Gorbachev resigned effectively dissolving the Soviet Union…power fell to Boris Yeltsin and Commonwealth of Independent States for a few years until independence for several of the former republics could be completely resolved

11 Decolonization Imperialism came to an abrupt end as World War II ended…several European states could no longer afford to maintain their overseas holdings…add to that the fact that since WWI, most of those holdings had been gaining Nationalist momentum The Cold War complicated the process as Nationalist movements were divided into democratic and communist factions The first BIG anti-colonial movement post WWII was in India led by Gandhi…civil disobedience…Muslim League complicated the process, causing civil war and further division Britain almost immediately decolonized its African and SE Asian territories thereafter to avoid further conflicts

12 Decolonization France, on the other hand, did not let go of its colonies that easy post WWII ▫Algeria  France originally invaded Algeria to save the monarchy in 1830 (wow did that really work) and they held onto to it as a source of resources  During WWII, Free French peoples escaped to Algeria as Germany/Vichy Government took over France proper…this further angered the indigenous Arabs in Algeria  Despite attempting to give Algerian Arabs some representation, a National Liberation Front emerged demanding independence…a war lasting literally from 1945 – 1962 ensued with Algeria eventually winning independence  One consequence of this was a vast migration of pied noirs or Arabs that supported France from Algeria over fear of reprisal ▫Vietnam  The French also met vehement resistance from the Vietnamese (ha ha)…a nationalist movement soon followed with the French being utterly defeated at Dien Bien Phu in 1954  From here on out, Vietnam became another victim of the Cold War as it was divided North (Communist) and South (Democratic) and a long drawn out war was fought to unite the country either way

13 Immigration and Population Many people were uprooted by World War II…Jews who fled the Holocaust or who were moved by it sought to return home, sometimes to hostility or loss of property…Stalin moved whole group of people in Eastern Europe around…Germans that lived in Eastern European states found themselves forced out The greatest post WWII impact on immigration was decolonization…many native people moved from their homes to European countries in search of better lives or to flee oppression ½ million Europeans left for the west or other settler colonies during this time period…their void was filled with “guest workers” from former colonies who filled up many ethnic neighborhood in European urban areas Another staggering change in Europe occurred with the rapid reduction in the natural birth rate…some European countries have negative demographic transition, meaning they are losing naturalized ethnic citizens…there are no plausible explanations for this though many speculate that people are waiting longer to have kids and it just does not happen or youths are just disillusioned about having children

14 European Union The post World War II era saw a greater emphasis on unity in Europe than ever before…though politics and culture were not the elements involved, it was the economy that became the focus of a truly unified, common Europe In 1951, the Benelux countries along with West Germany, France and Italy formed a coal and steel community with emphasis on regulating prices with little national government control This union blossomed into the European Economic Community (EEC) in 1957…the Common Market as it became known sought to: ▫1 – eliminate tariff barriers ▫Allow for the free flow of goods and labor across borders without any limitations ▫3- institute similar social welfare benefits and wages for labor The EEC eventually became the European Union by 1993 and one final all important change was ushered in systemically to most nations, common currency!

15 The Welfare State Social Welfare was created in Europe as a reaction to the Great Depression…in the post WWII era, it outpaced military spending as a part of the national budgets of almost all European nations Britain was the first state to instituted widespread social welfare under the Labour Party ministry of Clement Atlee (1945-1951)…the infamous universal healthcare system was established where all Brits get free medical coverage (and a LONG wait to see a doctor) Later systems espoused complete government control and provision for financial support in times of personal crisis…in France and Germany, unemployment benefits are almost indefinite, with few limitations…one could live somewhat comfortably off of government subsidies without ever having to hold a serious high paying job Recently, resistance has increased to welfare systems in Europe mainly because they largely were meant to operate with growing populations and low unemployment…the OPPOSITE has mainly been true in most European nations, low birth rates and high unemployment…most middle class taxpayers are becoming reluctant to pay for continued mandated programs

16 Women’s Issues Post WWII feminism in Europe was less organized than US movements however, it had great impacts The most prolific feminist was Simone de Beauvoir who’s work The Second Sex criticized male political and social dominance…remember that men had greater rights and freedoms in domestic issues such as divorce and wages Later publications addressed mainly social issues (as political ones became resolved)…magazines like Spare Rib empowered women to control their own lives Another big change was the rise of married women in the workforce…whereas in the 19 th Victorian era it was taboo and only single women worked, married women, thanks to social welfare providing health and child care, found greater opportunities in the workplace The greatest women’s issue now is the sex trade and sex trafficking, particularly out of Eastern European nations where women find less job opportunities

17 Politics and Thought Various intellectuals questioned the political state of Europe in the mid 20 th century, satirizing Communism and social welfare (Orwell, Solzhenitsyn) The most prolific intellectual movement of the day was the existentialist movement…existentialists professed that humans are completely responsible for their actions and that said responsibility causes them dread and anguish Similar in thought and drawing from Kierkegaard and Nietzsche, they believed that human beings must form their own ethical values and not rely on religion, rational thought, custom or intuition Authors like Martin Heideggar, Jean Paul Sartre and Albert Camus wrote haunting tales of xenophobia, death, fear and anxiety as a reflection of the human experience

18 Social Developments Student movements ▫Likewise to the HIPPIE movement in the US, students rebelled in Europe in the 1960s against things like Vietnam, Americanization, and Soviet Oppression Americanization ▫Our popular culture is a fad in Europe…they love our soaps, blue jeans, our TV dramas and our Coca-Cola and McDonalds Consumerism ▫Though more frugal in their shopping habits, Europeans have the same mass consumer desires as us…this is also more evident in Eastern Europe where once repressed populations enjoy the latest fads Environmentalism ▫Europeans tend to be more environmentally conscious…they have vast wind power plants, invest more in green energy and in particular keep their fuel prices high on purpose to encourage the use of mass transit

19 Christianity and Europe In the terms of church attendance, religious organizations have seen a massive decline in parishioners since WWII In the political realm, however, religious participation has increased steadily with the formation of Christian Democratic parties in several countries…even during the Cold War, the Catholic church took a strong anti-Communist stance Churches have tried several programs to improve their situations ▫Neo-Orthodoxy  The horrors of WWI actually hit the church hard, so churches tried to bring the emphasis of the divine back into the daily lives of Europeans (Barth’s portrayal of God)…this served as a challenge to the anti-religious philosophies of the late 19 th and early 20 th C ▫Liberation Theology  A movement that saw Jesus and the belief in the divine as key to the liberation and freedom of man (C.S Lewis) ▫Catholic Reform  Vatican II reformed that day-to-day operations for the church in the 20 th century…it changed the notion that liturgy had to be Latin only, permitted freer relations with other denominations, eliminated anti-Semitism in the church, and reached out to former colonial corners of the globe

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