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The New Europe. The Council of Europe. Council of Europe created in 1948 European federalists hoped Council would quickly evolve into a true European parliament with sovereign rights, but this did not happen.

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The Council of Europe

  • Council of Europe created in 1948

  • European federalists hoped Council would quickly evolve into a true European parliament with sovereign rights, but this did not happen.

  • Britain, with its empire and its “special relationship” with U.S., opposed giving any real political power—sovereignty—to the council.


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Cooperation on Coal and Steel

  • Schuman Plan, 1950 created the European Coal and Steel Community

  • Put forth by French statesman Jean Monnet and Foreign Minister Robert Schuman.

  • Special international organization to control & integrate European steel and coal production.

  • West Germany, Italy, Belgium, Netherlands, & Luxembourg accepted in 1952.

  • Britain refused to enter, fearing separation from the Commonwealth

  • Immediate economic goal: a single competitive market w/o national tariffs or quotas.


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"The Six"

  • By 1958 coal and steel moved freely among six nations of the European Coal and Steel Community

  • Far-reaching political goal: bind six member nations so closely together economically that war among them would become unthinkable and virtually impossible.


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European Economic Community (EEC)

  • Treaty of Rome, 1957

  • Created European Economic Community (EEC) or the Common Market

  • Signed by same six nations in the Schuman Plan – “the Six”

  • First goal of treaty: Gradual reduction of all tariffs among the Six in order to create a single market almost as large as the U.S.

  • Other goals:

    • Free movement of capital and labor.

    • Common economic policies and institutions.

    • Tariffs were rapidly reduced and regions specialized in what they did best.


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The EEC in the 1960s

  • EEC encouraged hopes of political and economic union.

  • Union frustrated in 1960s by resurgence of more traditional nationalism.

  • Euratom (European Atomic Energy Agency) also created by agency.

  • Communist states responded by forming their own economic association--COMECON


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De Gaulle and European Unity

  • France steps back from European unity

  • Bitter colonial war in Algeria resulted in the election in 1958 of Charles De Gaulle who established the Fifth French Republic and ruled as president until 1969.

  • Withdrew France from "US controlled" NATO and developed own nuclear weapons program.

  • De Gaulle twice vetoed application of pro-American British to European Union.

  • Britain did not enter until 1973.


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Community Expansion

  • With De Gaulle gone and more openness in Britain had the UK join in 1973 (along with Ireland and Denmark)

  • Spain, Portugal and Greece joined in the 1980s

  • Sweden, Finland, and Austria joined in the 1990s.


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The European Union

  • European Union (EU) went into effect in 1993

  • European Community (EC) renamed to European Union in 1996

  • Chancellor Kohl and President Mitterrand sought to extend the EU to include a single European currency and a common defense and foreign policy

  • British prime minister Margaret Thatcher led opposition until she resigned in November 1990, replaced by conservative successor John Major who urged a limited federalism.


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Maastricht Treaty, 1991

  • Promised most radical revision of the EC since its beginning.

  • Euro became the single currency of the EU in 1999 (went into circulation in 2002) integrating the currency of 11 western and central European nations.

  • Proposals to form common foreign and defense policies.

  • Increased use of majority voting.

  • Greater parliamentary consultation.

  • By 1995 EU had 15 members

  • By 2004 it had 25 members


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USSR under Nikita Khrushchev

  • Power struggle emerged after Stalin died in 1953; Khrushchev emerged a few years later

  • Stalin’s heirs realized reforms were needed.

  • Widespread fear and hatred of Stalin’s political terror resulted in reduction of power of secret police and gradual closure of forced labor camps.

  • Agriculture in bad shape.

  • Shortages of consumer goods.

  • Hard work and initiative in decline due to poor living conditions.


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De-Stalinization

  • XXth Party Congress, 1956: Khrushchev took startling initiative against hard-liners by denouncing Stalin’s crimes in a closed session.

  • Secret anti-Stalin speech probably most influential statement in Russia since Lenin addressed the crowd on arriving in April 1917.

  • Gosplan: Resources shifted from heavy industry and the military toward consumer goods and agriculture – Centralized Economic Planning


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De-Stalinization

  • Great ferment in the arts (anti-Stalinist views tolerated)

  • Boris Pasternak (1890-1960) wrote Dr. Zhivago in 1956.

    • Story of prerevolutionary intellectual who rejects brutality of revolution of 1917 & Stalinism; even as he is destroyed, he triumphs from his humanity and Christian spirit.

  • Aleksandr Solzenitsyn: One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich (1962)

    • Portrays in grim detail life in Stalinist concentration camp (he had been a prisoner)


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Effects of De-Stalinization

  • De-Stalinization resulted in communist reformers and the masses seeking greater liberty and national independence.

  • Poland: March 1956, riots resulted in release of more than 9000 political prisoners, including previously purged leader Wladyslaw Gomulka.

  • Gomulka skillfully managed to win greater autonomy for Poland while keeping anti-Soviet feeling at bay.


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Hungarian Uprising, 1956

  • Students and workers in Budapest installed a liberal Communist reformer, Imre Nagy as new chief in October 1956.

  • Hungarian nationalists staged huge demonstrations demanding non-communist parties be legalized; turned into armed rebellion and spread throughout the country.

  • Hoped U.S. would come in and help achieve Hungarian independence

  • Soviet tanks and troops responded by invading Hungary and crushing the national democratic revolution.

  • János Kádár installed firm communist rule

  • After Hungarian invasion, most eastern Europeans hoped for small domestic gains while obediently following USSR in foreign affairs.


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Cold War in the 1950s

  • Relations between USSR and U.S. improve with ascension to power of Nikita Khrushchev

  • Seeks “peaceful coexistence” with the West in order to focus on Soviet economy

  • Austrian Independence: USSR agreed in 1955 to real independence for a neutral Austria after 10 years of Allied occupation.

  • Resulted in significant reduction in cold war tensions between 1955 & 1957.

  • Krushchev sought to prove communism was superior to capitalism and the USSR would be the model communist state in the world; "we will bury you.”

  • Krushchev began wooing new nations of Asia and Africa with promises and aid, even if they were not communist.


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The Berlin Wall

  • Berlin Wall built in 1961

  • 2 million East Germans escaped to West Berlin between 1949-1961; Soviets frustrated

  • Khrushchev threatened President Kennedy: USSR would sign peace treaty with East Germany who would then control access to Berlin; Soviets would protect East Germany’s right to control flow into Berlin.

  • Berlin Wall built instead of enforcing ultimatum to U.S.; ended future crises over Berlin.


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Fall of Khrushchev, 1964

  • His cold war foreign policies erratic & ultimately unsuccessful (Berlin, Cuban Missile Crisis)

  • Expensive space and armaments programs postponed any significant shift to consumer goods.

  • Most important reason: agricultural projects backfired

  • Resurgence of conservative Stalinists led to quiet removal of Khrushchev in October, 1964


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Return of the Cold War

  • Leonid Brezhnev became new General Secretary (1964-1982)

  • Beginning in 1964, USSR began a period of stagnation and limited re-Stalinization

  • Massive arms buildup started in response to humiliation of Cuban Missile Crisis.

  • USSR avoided direct confrontation with the U.S. and seemed more committed to peaceful coexistence than Khrushchev had been.



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Science and Technology

  • For first time in history, “pure theoretical” science and “practical” technology (”applied science”) effectively joined together on massive scale during WWII.

  • British scientists developed radar to detect enemy aircraft.

  • Jet aircraft developed by Germany

  • Electronic computers further developed; had barely come into existence before 1939.

  • Manhattan Project: Atomic bomb most spectacular result of scientific research during the war; project overseen by J. Robert Oppenheimer


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Big Science

  • “Big Science” became new model for science after WWII

  • Combined theoretical work with sophisticated engineering in a large, often huge organization.

  • U.S. emerged as leader in Big Science after WWII

  • Science not demobilized after WWII either in U.S. or USSR

  • Large portion of all postwar scientific research went for “defense” (25%!)


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The Space Race

  • 1957, USSR launched Sputnik, an orbiting satellite using long-range rockets

  • US fearful Soviets could now launch a nuclear missile into space and then down to U.S.

  • U.S. countered with creation of NASA and vastly increased educational funding for science.

  • 1961, Soviets sent world’s first cosmonaut, Yuri Gagarin, into orbit.

  • U.S. President John F. Kennedy responded by increasing funds for space.

  • 1969, Apollo Program put first man on the moon; 5 more moon landings followed by 1972.


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The Brain Drain

  • “Brain Drain”: U.S. attracted many of Europe’s best scientists during 1950s and 1960s—seen as the American Challenge

  • Some Europeans feared Europe was falling behind U.S. in science, technology, and most dynamic industrial sectors of the late 20th century.

  • Yet, revitalized Europe pooling resources on Big Science projects:

  • Concordesupersonic passenger airliner and peaceful uses of atomic energy.


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Growth of Scientific Community

  • Four times as many scientists in Europe and North America in 1975 as in 1945.

  • Highly specialized modern scientists and technologists worked as members of a team, which completely changed work and lifestyle of modern scientists.

  • James Watson and Francis Crick win Nobel Prize in 1962 for discovering structure of DNA


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Class Structure and Social Reform

  • Rise of the middle-class largely result of increased access to higher education

  • European society became more mobile and democratic.

  • New middle-class, based largely on specialized skills and high levels of education, more open, democratic, and insecure than old propertied middle class.

  • Changes in structure of middle class influential in trend toward less rigid class structure.


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Rise of Middle Class

  • Rapid industrial and technological expansion created in large corporations and gov’t agencies became powerful demand for technologists and managers.

  • Old propertied middle class lost control of many family-owned businesses.

  • Top managers and ranking civil servants represented model for new middle class of salaried specialists; well paid and highly trained

  • Passed on opportunity for advanced education to their children.


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Working Classes

  • Structure of lower classes also became more flexible and open.

  • Mass exodus from farms and countryside.

  • Resulted in drastic decline in one of Europe’s most traditional and least mobile groups.

  • Industrial working class ceased to expand while job opportunities for white-collar and service employees grew rapidly.

  • European governments reduced class tensions by further expanding social security reforms: health care, family allowances, maternity grants, public housing


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Consumerism

  • Sparked by rising standard of living giving more people disposable income.

  • European automobile industry expanded phenomenally.

  • “Gadget revolution”

  • Like US, Europeans bought washing machines, vacuum cleaners, refrigerators, dishwashers, radios, TVs, and stereos.

  • Purchasing greatly facilitated by installment purchasing.


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Leisure and recreation

  • Increased social welfare resulted in more disposable income and less need to save for old age.

  • Leisure and recreation became big business as workers worked fewer hours.

  • Soccer matches, horse races, movies, TV, commercialized hobbies

  • Increased attendance in cultural events: concerts and exhibitions.

  • Travel industry mushroomed most dramatically

  • Before WWII travel for pleasure or relaxation largely aristocratic.

  • Paid vacations required by law in most countries


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Philosophy

  • Existentialism is a philosophical movement which claims that individual human beings have full responsibility for creating the meanings of their own lives. It is a reaction against more traditional philosophies, such as rationalism and empiricism.

  • In the 1940s and 1950s, French philosophers such as Jean-Paul Sartre, Simone de Beauvoir, and Albert Camus wrote scholarly and fictional works that helped to popularize themes associated with existentialism: "dread, boredom, alienation, the absurd, freedom, commitment, and nothingness".

Jean-Paul Sartre


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The Youth Movement and Counterculture

  • Counter-Culture: rebellion against parents, authority figures and status quo

  • “Baby boom” after WWII developed distinctive and international youth culture.

  • Many raised in economic prosperity and more democratic class structure.

  • New generation influenced by revival of leftist thought created a “counter-culture”

  • Youth in America took the lead.

  • Some youth rebelled against conformity and boredom of middle-class suburbs.


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Causes of Youth Culure

  • Mass communication and youth travel linked countries and continents together.

  • Baby boom meant youth became unusually large part of population and exercised exceptional influence on society as a whole.

  • Postwar prosperity and greater equality gave youth more purchasing power than ever before.

  • Youth to set mass trends and fads in everything from music to chemical stimulants.


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Causes of Youth Culture

  • Common patterns of consumption and behavior fostered generational loyalty.

  • Good jobs were readily available.

  • High demand for workers meant youth had little need to fear punishment from straight-laced employers for unconventional behavior.

  • Rock music helped tie counter-culture together

  • Beatles, British rock band, became one of biggest pop groups in music history


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1968 – Student Revolts

  • Opposition to U.S. war in Vietnam triggered revolutionary ferment among youths

  • Influenced by Marxist current in French universities after 1945 & new left thinking in US

  • Believed older generation & US fighting immoral & imperialistic war against Vietnam.

  • Students in western Europe shared US youth's rejection of materialism and belief that postwar society was repressive and flawed.


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1968 – Student Revolts

  • Problems in higher education: classes overcrowded; little contact with professors; competition for grades intense; demanded even more practical areas of study to qualify for high-paying jobs after college

  • Some students warned of dangers of narrowly trained experts ("technocrats") who would serve the establishment to the detriment of working class.


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1968 - France

  • Students took over the university, leading to violent clashes with police.

  • Most students demanded changes in curriculum and real voice in running the university

  • Appealed to industrial workers for help; spontaneous general strike spread across France

  • To many it seemed the French Fifth Republic might collapse


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1968 - France

  • De Gaulle called in troops and called for new elections (which he won decisively)

  • The mini-Revolution collapsed.

  • For much of the older generation in western Europe, the student revolution of 1968 signaled the end of illusions and end of an era.


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1968 - Czechoslovakia

  • Due to Khrushchev’s reforms in USSR, 1960s brought modest liberalization and more consumer goods to eastern Europe

  • 1968, reform elements in Czechoslovak Communist party gained a majority and voted out long-time Stalinist leader.

  • Alexander Dubcek elected leader: ushered new period of thaw and rebirth in famous “Prague Spring” of 1968.


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1968 - Czechoslovakia

  • Czech reformers building “socialism with a human face” frightened hard-line communists.

  • Soviet troops brutally invaded Czechoslovakia in August 1968.

  • Czechoslovakia became one of most hard-line communist regimes well into 1980s.

  • Brezhnev Doctrine: Soviet Union and its allies had right to intervene in any socialist country whenever they saw the need


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Economic Crisis

  • Economic crises of the 1970s

  • Nixon takes U.S. off gold standard: effectively ended the “Bretton Woods” system of international currency stabilization.

  • Fixed rates of exchange abandoned.

  • Great uncertainty replaced postwar predictability in international trade and finance.


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Energy Crisis

  • Postwar economic boom fueled by cheap oil, especially in western Europe.

  • 1973, OPEC (Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries) dramatically increased oil prices in Europe and U.S. in retaliation for their support of Israel in the Yom Kippur War against Egypt and Syria.

  • Second price increase in 1979 during Iranian Revolution hurt modest progress since 1976.


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Economic Decline

  • Price revolution in energy, coupled with upheaval in international monetary system, plunged world into worst economic decline since 1930s.

  • "Stagflation" hit in the mid 1970s: increased prices and increased unemployment; rare

  • Debts and deficits piled up quickly in the 1970s and 1980s

  • Social consequences of the 1970s economic crisis

  • Created condition for collapse of communism in late 1980s.

  • Pessimism replaced optimism in society in general

  • Welfare system created in postwar era prevented mass suffering and degradation.

  • Total government spending in most countries rose during 1970s and 1980s


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Conservative Resurgence

  • Conservative resurgence in late 1970s and early 1980s: Thatcher, Reagan, Mitterand

  • By late 1970s, powerful reaction against increased governments’ role resulted in austerity measures to slow growth of public spending and the welfare state.

  • Margaret Thatcher in Great Britain

  • Ronald Reagan in U.S.


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Conservative Resurgence

  • France in early 1980s attempted to increase gov’t role but failed

  • Francois Mitterand led his Socialist party and Communist allies in launching a vast program of nationalization and public investment designed to spend France out of economic stagnation. (Keynesian)

  • By 1983, this policy failed and Mitterand was forced to impose wide variety of austerity measures for the remainder of the decade.

  • Reduction in spending for “Big Science” (except cold war related spending)

  • Europeans and North Americans developed a leaner, tougher lifestyle


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Women

  • Second wave of women’s movement first assumed real significance in the late 1960s, gathered strength in the 1970s, and won major victories in the 1970s and 1980s.

  • Marriage and Motherhood

    • In the postwar era, women continued to marry earlier.

    • Typical woman in Europe, U.S. and Canada had children quickly after marrying.

    • Average of only 2 children per family

    • Motherhood occupied a much smaller portion of a women’s life than at the turn of the century.

    • Birth control use increased with oral contraceptives and intrauterine devices.


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Women in the Workplace

  • In 20th century, especially after WWII, opportunities for women of modest means to earn cash income at home practically disappeared.

  • Thus, sharp increase across Europe and North America in number of married women who became full-time and part-time wage earners outside the home.

  • Rising employment of married women became a powerful force in drive for women’s equality and emancipation.

  • Rising employment for married women became a factor in decline of the birthrate.


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Women’s Rights Movement

  • Goals of women's rights movements

  • New statutes in the workplace: laws against discrimination, “equal pay for equal work,” and maternal leave and affordable day care.

  • Gender and family questions: right to divorce (in some Catholic countries), legalized abortion, needs of single parents I (usually women) and protection from rape and physical violence.

  • In almost every country, effort to legalize abortion became catalyst for mobilizing an effective women’s movement.


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Cold War in the 1970’s

  • Ostpolitik:

  • Willy Brandt: "eastern initiative" -- West German chancellor, began to improve relations with Eastern Europe

  • Brandt sought a comprehensive peace settlement for central Europe and a new resolution of the “German Question.”

  • Negotiated treaties with USSR, Poland, and Czechoslovakia that formally accepted existing state boundaries and the loss of German territory to Poland and USSR in return for mutual renunciation of force or threat of force.


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Ostpolitik

  • Brandt’s gov’t broke with past and entered into direct relations with East Germany.

  • Aimed for modest practical improvements rather than reunification,

  • Brandt brought Germany’s Social Democrats to national power for first time since 1920s.

  • Demonstrated two-party political democracy had taken firm hold.

  • Result: West Germany’s eastern peace settlement contributed to great reduction in East-West tensions; Germany assumed a leadership role in Europe.       


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East-West Détente

  • U.S. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger and President Nixon tried to place Brandt’s eastern initiatives in broader, American-led framework of reducing East-West tensions in early 1970s.

  • Feared Germany might become neutral thus weakening NATO & US influence in Europe

  • Nixon hoped to gain Soviet aid in pressuring North Vietnam into peace


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Realpolitik

  • Nixon & Kissinger believed U.S. should pursue policies and make alliances based on its national interests rather than on any particular view of the world.

  • Sought to play USSR and China off each other

  • Nixon visited China in 1972: Soviets concerned China & U.S. might draw closer

  • Nixon visited Moscow, 1972: ushered in an era known as dètente.

  • Sought to establish rules to govern the rivalry between US and USSR and China.


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Cold War Thaw

  • SALT I: Brezhnev and Nixon signed treaty to stop making nuclear ballistic missiles and to reduce the number of antiballistic missiles to 200 for each power.

  • MIRVs made SALT I obsolete (multiple warheads on one missile)

  • Helsinki Conference, 1975

  • Final Act: Officially ended World War II by finally legitimizing the Soviet-dictated boundaries of Poland and other East European countries.

  • In return, Soviets guaranteed more liberal exchanges of people and information between East and West and the protection of certain basic “human rights.”

  • Yet, Moscow continued to squelch human rights in Eastern Europe.


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End of Détente

  • Soviet invasion of Afghanistan led to U.S. refusal to ratify SALT II treaty (reducing nuclear armaments) and led to President Carter boycotting 1980 Olympics in Moscow

  • US stopped shipments of grain and certain advanced technology to the Soviet Union.

  • Only Britain stood behind U.S. in its sanctions.

  • France, Italy and especially West Germany argued that Soviet’s deplorable action should not be turned into an East-West confrontation.


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Soviet Bloc since 1968

  • 1968 invasion of Czechoslovakia was the crucial event of the Brezhnev era.

  • Intense conservatism of Soviet ruling elite determined to maintain status quo in Soviet bloc.

  • Re-Stalinization of USSR resulted, to a degree

  • Dictatorship was collective rather than personal—through the Politburo.

  • Celebrated nonconformists as Alksandr Solzhenitsyn permanently expelled from country.


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“Solidarity” in Poland

  • Polish cardinal elected Pope John Paul II in 1979: traveled through Poland preaching love of Christ and country and “inalienable rights of man.”

  • Popular movement of working people organized a massive union called “Solidarity.”

  • Led by Lech Walesa

  • Demands included right to form free trade unions, right to strike, freedom of speech, release of political prisoners and economic reforms.


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“Solidarity” in Poland

  • 1981, Polish gov’t led by Communist party leader, General Jaruzelski imposed martial law after being warned by Soviets if the Polish gov’t could not keep order, Soviets would.

  • Solidarity was outlawed and driven underground but remained active.


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Cold War in the 1980s

  • The Atlantic Alliance revitalized itself in the 1980s under the leadership of Ronald Reagan in the U.S., Margaret Thatcher in UK, and Helmut Kohl (b. 1930) of Germany.

  • In 1980s, all three nations believed USSR remained a dangerous threat (e.g. Afghanistan)

  • Margaret Thatcher became prime minister in 1979.

  • Came to power after a year of bitter strikes had eroded support for the ruling socialist Labour party.

  • Advocated hard-line military positions (as Reagan)


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Cold War in the 1980s

  • Falklands War (1982)

  • Argentine forces invaded and occupied Falkland (or Malvinas) Islands, 500 miles off coast of Argentina.

  • Thatcher sent fleet to retake the islands; gained enormous popularity--reelected

  • Helmut Kohl, distinctly pro-American, came to power with conservative Christian Democrats in 1982.

  • Atlantic Alliance gave indirect support to ongoing efforts to liberalize authoritarian communist states in eastern Europe.

  • Despite repeated defeats, the revolutions of 1989 ended Communist domination.


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The New Arms Race

  • Dealt with Soviets from position of strength by embarking on massive military buildup.

  • Reagan believed US could better bear burden of the expense while the Soviets couldn’t.

  • Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI) – “Star Wars”:

  • 1983, Reagan announced his intention to pursue a high-technology missile-defense system

  • Reagan’s dramatic increase in defense spending placed enormous pressures on the Soviet economy.

  • When Soviets shot down KAL007, Reagan called Soviets the “Evil Empire”


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End of the Cold War

  • Mikhail Gorbachev assumed control of Soviet Union in 1985 and sought reforms

  • Perestroika: (“restructuring”) Aimed to revive the sagging Soviet economy by adopting many of the free-market practices of the West.

  • By 1987, program had clearly failed

  • Glasnost: Aimed to open Soviet society by introducing free speech and some political liberty, while ending party censorship; more successful than perestroika

  • Demokratiztsiya: Began as an attack on corruption in Communist party and as an attempt to bring class of educated experts into decision making process.


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End of the Cold War

  • March 1989: first free elections since 1917.

  • Gorbachev sought to reduce East-West tensions.

  • Withdrew Soviet troops from Afghanistan.

  • Encouraged reform movements in Poland and Hungary

  • Repudiated Brezhnev Doctrine by pledging to respect political choices of peoples of eastern Europe.

  • INF Treaty signed by Gorbachev and Reagan in Washington, D.C. in December 1987.

  • All intermediate-range nuclear missiles from Europe banned.


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Revolutions of 1989

  • Costs of maintaining satellite countries for USSR both politically and economically, were too much of a burden for the Soviets too handle.

  • Poland: Solidarity legalized again and free elections promised in June 1989.

  • First noncommunist leader in eastern Europe since the Stalin era

  • Triggered a wave of freedom in eastern Europe

  • Lech Walesa became president in 1990 but Solidarity later broke up into factions

  • Hungary: October 23, Hungarian leaders proclaimed independent republic


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Revolutions of 1989

  • Berlin Wall comes down in November; East German gov't falls

  • Germany reunified in 1990

  • Conservative-liberal “alliance for Germany,” tied to West German chancellor Helmut Kohl’s Christian Democrats, defeated East German Social Democrats.

  • July 1990, East and West German economies merged.

  • Soviets opposed unified Germany in NATO but eventually acquiesced when West Germany provided massive economic aid to Soviet Union.


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Revolutions of 1989

  • Czechoslovakia – the “Velvet Revolution”

  • Vaclav Havel, the dissident playwright, becomes president

  • Romania – Nicolai Ceausescu overthrown and assassinated

  • Cutbacks in ICBMs

  • STARTI treaty signed in 1990 between Gorbachev and President George Bush

  • Would cut 10% of U.S. nuclear weapons and 25% of Soviet nukes and limit ICBM warheads


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Fall of the Soviet Union

  • Coup in Moscow, 1991: communist hard-liners, frustrated by loss of Soviet power and prestige, attempted to overthrow Gorbachev

  • Coup failed when military refused to crush popular resistance

  • Boris Yeltsin, leader of Russia, defied tanks and became a hero.

  • Coup fatally weakened Gorbachev and spelled doom for the Soviet Union.


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Fall of the Soviet Union

  • Yeltsin and his liberal allies declared Russia independent and withdrew from the Soviet union—all other republics followed.

  • December 25, 1991, Soviet Union dissolved into 15 separate republics

  • Republics remained economically connected for a time via Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS)

  • Russia assumed the Soviet Union's seat in the United Nations Security Council.


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Russian struggle

  • Yeltsin failed to significantly improve the Russian economy

  • 1993, Yeltsin became embroiled in a power struggle with a conservative parliament

  • Parliament’s leaders, holed up in the White House (the parliament tower in Moscow), unleashed a crowd to assault the Kremlin and the television center.

  • Yeltsin sent tanks against the White House; 120 killed and top floors of tower shelled and burned.

  • Moscow had not seen such violence since 1905.

  • On New Year's Day, 2000, Yeltsin resigned due to poor health and lack of popularity

  • Succeeded by former KGB colonel Vladimir Putin


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Eastern Europe

  • Shift to market economy was difficult

  • No precedents existed to guide transition and legal, institutional, and cultural underpinnings were missing.

  • In short run, economic activity declined by 1/3.

  • Poland most successful: by 1993, GDP grew over 4%, & 5% in 1995; the fastest in Europe.

  • Czechoslovakia adopted world’s first mass privatization scheme

  • Hungary’s economy was the freest in Eastern Europe but changed more slowly.

  • Well-established private sector attractive to foreign lenders; attracted nearly half of Eastern Europe’s foreign investment.


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Eastern Europe

  • By 1995, Poland, Czechoslovakia, and Hungary were doing well enough to be taken seriously as potential European Union (EU) members by the year 2000.

  • Continuing problems

    • Unemployment figures about 15% throughout most of region

    • Inflation remained dangerously high in some countries

    • Governments ran large deficits


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Political challenges

  • Old ethnic hatreds of pre-1914 Central Europe resurfaced

  • Slovaks seceded from Czechoslovakia on January 1, 1993; Slovakia much slower in drive toward democracy and the market

  • Yugoslavia broke into civil war in early 1990s (see below)

  • Former Communist parties returned to majorities in freely elected parliaments in Lithuania (1992), Poland (September 1993), and Hungary (spring 1994).

  • Walesa defeated in Polish presidential elections in 1995 by former Communist official.

  • But ex-Communists were now converted to democracy and the market.


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Reunification of Germany

  • German unity changed face of European politics: Germany now an economic powerhouse

  • “Ossies” (East Germans) came to feel like 2nd-class citizens in the face of economic difficulties

  • Meanwhile, “Wessies” (West Germans) resented years of heavy taxation to rebuild the east.


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Breakup of Yugoslavia

  • Cause: 1990 President Slobodan Milosevic began giving concrete form to his greater Serbian nationalism; established tighter central control over previously autonomous regions

  • In response Croatia & Slovenia declared independence and each fought Serbia in the process

  • Bosnia declared its independence in March 1992 and the civil war spread there.

  • Bosnian Serbs (about 30% of pop.) refused to live in a Muslim-dominated state and began military operations assisted by Serbia and the Yugoslav federal army; Sarajevo under attack


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Breakup of Yugoslavia

  • Ethnic cleansing: Bosnian Serbs tried to liquidate or remove Muslims byshelling cities, confiscating or destroying of houses, gang rape, expulsion, and murder.

  • Several hundred thousand Bosnians killed

  • Dayton Agreements, 1995: Agreed to divide Bosnia between Muslims and Serbs

  • Bosnian Serb aspirations to join a Greater Serbia frustrated by U.S. President Bill Clinton and other NATO troops sent to enforce the Dayton agreements.

  • Indictment for war crimes of 7 Croats and 45 Bosnian Serbs; not enforced. Millosovic later brought to trial.


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Breakup of Yugoslavia

  • Kosovo crisis, 1999:

  • Milosevic attempted to ethnically cleanse Kosovo (province of Serbia) of ethnic-Albanians

  • NATO, led by U.S.,bombed Serbia in order to stop the ethnic cleansing


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Europe in the 21st Century

  • The integration of Europe continues through the expansion of the European Union.

  • Questions exist as to the future of European unity.

  • 9/11 had significant impact on outlook.

    • NATO support in Afghanistan

    • Terror attacks in Europe (Madrid, London)

    • Debate and disunity over Iraq invasion.