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EUH4282 Review for Final From Détente to Dissolution of European communism.

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Presentation on theme: "EUH4282 Review for Final From Détente to Dissolution of European communism."— Presentation transcript:

1 EUH4282 Review for Final From Détente to Dissolution of European communism.

2 Post Cuban missile crisis Demise of Khrushchev and the rise of Brezhnev. Cooling off period in space race and nuclear arms race (Partial test ban treaty, 1963, Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty, 1968, etc.) SALT I-II, “Trilaterialism”:- Nixon trip to China and Soviet Union

3 Détente era, cont. Détente in Western Europe – Willy Brandt and Ostpolitik, etc. Helsinki Accords 1975 – common ideological assumptions about human rights in post-war Europe. Increased trade between East and West

4 Reasons why Détente ends Third world national liberation movements in Africa and elsewhere (Angola, Mozambique, etc.) Crises in central Asia and Central America (Soviet invasion of Afghanistan and the Sandinista revolution of 1979)

5 Détente, cont. Regime changes: Reagan, Thatcher and Cold War warriors in the west. Brezhnev and successors until Reagan/Thatcher (“Iron Lady”) on the offensive: Argentina, Grenada, Contras, SDI… Neutron Bomb and basing of Intermediate range missiles in Europe (SS 20s)

6 Détente, cont. European protest movements (CND revival) during 1980s. Cold War conflicts without end? Revival of tensions between East and West seem to be heading towards a global confrontation…

7 Second Cold War ends, Gorbachev’s rise to power and international prominence (glasnost and perestroika become the watchwords of Soviet communism) Protest movements gain momentum in communist Europe (Solidarity in Poland, Charter 77 in Czechoslovakia)

8 End of Cold War Gorbachev’s concept of “Common house of Europe” embraced by USSR and the rest of Europe. Decline of communist economies continues uninterrupted. Gorbachev’s “My way” foreign policy replaces Brezhnev Doctrine

9 Revolutions of 1989 Communist regimes challenged peacefully by trade unions, samizdat, and reformers in Poland (Solidarity), East Germany (Neues Forum), Czechoslovakia (Charter 77/Civic Forum), and Hungary (Pozsgay) Opening of borders (Hungary) and winning of free elections (Poland) pave way to Berlin drama in November, 1989.

10 What brought people out on the streets in 1989? Role of economics: standard of living, shortages of food/fuel/consumer products, communist system’s failure to sustain economic prosperity (structural impediments of a command economy to reform and modification.) Revolution of the intellectuals? Street demonstrations and economically-motivated strikes brought pressures against the existing rulers. But it was the intellectuals who formulated the political ideology for revolution.

11 Forces of revolutionary change What were the ideological messages being promoted by these leaders? Liberalism – freedom of speech, national self- determination, choice in the public (politics) and private (religion) arenas, autonomy in the marketplace. To what extent were these wants/desires compatible with socialist ideals? (“Socialism with a human face…”)

12 Internal Contradictions of Soviet-style communism  Failure of the communist vision of present, past, and future.  Teleological understanding of historical processes: one stage leads to another until the end of history is reached: classless society/communism.  Challenging this utopian vision was the materialist world of capitalism/consumerism.

13 External forces Did communism fail in Europe because the Soviet Union was unable to keep up with the Western (US) powers? ( E.g., space race, missile technology/production, etc.) Was peaceful coexistence, along the lines suggested by Gorbachev in the final stages of the Cold War, an impossibility?

14 The meaning of the Cold War "What we may be witnessing is not just the end of the Cold War, or the passing of a particular period of post- war history, but the end of history as such... That is, the end point of mankind's ideological evolution and the universalization of Western liberal democracy as the final form of human government.“ Francis Fukuyama, Johns Hopkins University

15 Who won the Cold War and Why?

16 Who won the Cold War and why? Role of economics Role of ideology (intellectuals, writings) Role of politicians (Reagan, Gorbachev, Brandt, De Gaulle) Communism vs. Capitalism: a winner take all contest?


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