Decolonization Cold War Essay Outline

Chapter 30: Cold War Conflicts and Social Transformations, 1945-1985

  1. The Division of Europe
    1. The Origins of the Cold War
      1. The Soviet Union and the United States began to quarrel as soon as the threat of Germany disappeared and hostility between the Eastern and Western superpowers was a logical outgrowth of military developments, wartime agreements, and long-standing differences
      2. The Americans and British had made military victory their highest priority and avoided discussion of Stalin’s war aims and shape of the eventual peace settlement
        1. The United States and Britain did not try to take advantage of the Soviet Union’s position in 1942, because they feared that bargaining would encourage Stalin to consider making separate peace with Hitler (focused on unconditional surrender)
        2. The conference that Stalin, Roosevelt, and Churchill held in the Iranian capital of Teheran in November 1943 proved of crucial importance in determining events; the Big Three had reaffirmed determination to crush Germany and searched for military strategy
        3. Churchill fearing military dangers of a direct attack, argued that American and British forces should follow up their Italian campaign with an indirect attack on Germany through the Balkans but Roosevelt agreed with Stalin that an American-British frontal assault through France would be better (Roosevelt decides to appease Stalin)
        4. This meant that the Soviet and the American-British armies would come together in defeated Germany along a north-south line and that only Soviet troops would liberate eastern Europe (basic shape of postwar Europe was emerging already)
      3. When the Big Three met again in February 1945 at Yalta on the Black Sea in southern Russia, the Red Army had occupied Poland, Bulgaria, Romania, Hungary, part of Yugoslavia, and much of Czechoslovakia while the American-British forces had yet to cross the Rhine into Germany; on the other hand, United States was far from defeating Japan
        1. After Yalta Germany was to be divided into zones of occupation and pay big reparations to Soviet Union and at American insistence, Stalin agreed to declare war on Japan
        2. Eastern European governments were to be freely elected but pro-Russian
        3. The Yalta compromise over eastern Europe broke down almost immediately and before the Yalta Conference, Bulgaria and Poland were controlled by communists
        4. Elsewhere, pro-Soviet “coalition” governments of several parties were formed, but the key ministerial posts were reserved for Moscow-trained communists
        >
      4. At the postwar Potsdam Conference of July 1945, the differences over eastern Europe finally appeared; Roosevelt had died and been succeeded by the more determined President Truman, who demanded free elections throughout eastern Europe; but Stalin refused point-blank
      5. The key to the much-debated origins of the cold war was this conflict between countries
        1. American ideals, after uniting against Hitler, and American politics, influenced by millions of votes from eastern Europe, demanded free elections in the East
        2. Stalin wanted absolute military security from Germany & potential Eastern allies
        3. Stalin believed that only communists states could be truly dependable allies and realized elections would result in independent governments on his western border
    2. West Versus East
      1. The American response to Stalin’s conception of security was the “get tough”
        1. In May 1945, Truman cut off all aid to the U.S.S.R. and in October he declared that the United States would not recognize any government established by force
        2. In March 1946, former British prime minister Churchill ominously informed an American audience that an “iron curtain” had fallen across the continent
      2. Emotional, moralistic denunciations of Stalin and communist Russia emerged as part of American political life yet the United States also responded to the popular desire to “bring the boys home” and demobilized its troops with great speed
      3. Stalin’s agents reheated the “ideological struggle against capitalist imperialism”
      4. The large, well-organized Communist parties of France and Italy started to uncover “American plots” to take over Europe and challenged own governments
        1. The Soviet Union put pressure on Iran, Turkey, and Greece, while civil war raged in China; by 1947, Stalin appeared to be exporting communism by subversion
        2. The United States responded to this challenge with the Truman Doctrine, which was aimed at “containing” communism to areas already occupied by the Red Army; to begin, Truman asked Congress for military aid to Greece and Turkey, countries that Britain could not protect
        3. In June, Secretary of State George Marshall offered Europe economic aid—the Marshall Plan—to help much of Europe rebuild from the war to protect themselves from the U.S.S.R.
      5. Stalin refused Marshall Plan assistance for all of eastern Europe and purged the last remaining noncommunist elements from the coalition governments of eastern Europe
        1. The seizure of power in Czechoslovakia in February of 1948 was antidemocratic and it greatly strengthened Western fears of limitless communist expansion
        2. When Stalin blocked all traffic through the Soviet zone of Germany to Berlin, the former capital, divided into sectors at the end of the war, the Western allies acted firmly Hundreds of planes began flying over the Soviet roadblocks supplying provisions to the people of West Berlin and thwarting Soviet efforts to swallow up the people
        3. After 324 days, the Soviets backed down and in 1949, the United States formed an anti-Soviet military alliance of Western governments: the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) while Stalin united his hold on satellites in the Warsaw Pact
      6. In 1949, the communists triumphed in China and frightened and angered many Americans, who saw new evidence of a powerful worldwide communist conspiracy
        1. When the Russian-backed communist army of North Korea invaded South Korea in 1950, President Truman acted swiftly and American-led United Nations forces under General Douglas MacArthur intervened and saved the South Koreans
        2. China suddenly entered the war and bitter, bloody contest seesawed and President Truman rejected General MacArthur’s call to attack China and fired him
        3. In 1953 a fragile truce was negotiated, and the fighting stopped and thus the U.S. extended its policy of containment to Asia but drew back from attack on China
      7. The rapid descent from victorious Grand Alliance to bitter cold war was directly connected to the tragic fate of eastern Europe (Started in 1933 under the Nazis)
        1. When the eastern European power invited Nazi racist imperialism, the appeasing Western democracies did nothing but still asked themselves could they united with Stalin to stop Hitler without giving Stalin great gains on his western borders (global confrontation)
        2. After Hitler’s invasion of Soviet Union, the Western powers preferred ignorance
      8. But later when Stalin began to claim the spoils of victory, the US began to protest and professed outrage; opposition possibly encouraged more aggressive measures by Stalin
      9. The Soviet-American confrontation became institutionalized and formed bedrock of the long cold war era, which lasted until the mid-1980s despite periods of relaxation
  2. The Western Renaissance, 1945-1968
    1. The Postwar Challenge
      1. After the war, economic conditions in western Europe were terrible as runaway inflation and black markets testified to sever shortages and hardships
      2. Suffering was most intense in defeated Germany and a major territorial change occurred as Poland was compensated for this loss to the Soviets with land taken
        1. 13 million Germans were driven from their homes and forced to resettle in a greatly reduced Germany; Russians were also seizing factories and equipment as reparations in their zone, even tearing up railroad tracks and sending the rails back
        2. Conditions in 1945 and 1946 in the Western zones were not much better as the Western allies also treated the German population with severity at first
        3. By spring of 1947, refugee-clogged, hungry, prostrate Germany was on the verge of total collapse and threatening to drag down the rest of Europe; all over Europe many people were willing to change and experiment with the German issue
      3. Progressive Catholics and revitalized Catholic political parties—the Christian Democrats—were particularly influential (emerged as party after the war in 1946)
        1. In Italy the Christian Democrats emerged as the leading party in the first postwar elections in 1946, and in early 1948 won an absolute majority in the parliament; their first leader was Alcide De Gasperi, an antifascist firmly committed to political democracy, economic reconstruction, and moderate social reform
        2. In France, the Catholic part also provided some of the best postwar leaders after January 1946, when General Charles de Gaulle, (wartime leader of the Free French) resigned after having re-established free and democratic Fourth Republic
        3. The purified Federal Republic of Germany (West Germany) found new and able leadership among its Catholics and in 1949, Konrad Adenauer, the former mayor of Cologne and anti-Nazi, began his long, highly successful democratic rule
        4. The Christian Democrats were inspired and united by a common Christian and European heritage and rejected authoritarianism and narrow nationalism
      4. The socialists and the communists, active in resistance against Hitler, also emerged from the war with increased power and prestige, especially in France and Italy
        1. They provided fresh leadership and pushed for social change and economic reform; welfare measures such as family allowances, health insurance, and increased public housing were enacted throughout continental Europe
        2. Britain followed the same trend, as the newly elected socialist Labour party established a “welfare state” (industries were nationalized and government provided free medical service; social reform accompanied political transformation
      5. The United States supplied strong and creative leadership, proving western Europe with both massive economic aid and ongoing military protection; economic aid was channeled through Marshall Plan and military security was provided through NATO, which featured American troops stationed in Europe and American nuclear umbrella
      6. As Marshall Plan aid poured in, the battered economies of western Europe began to turn the corner in 1948 (period of rapid economic progress lasting until late 1960s)
        1. American aid helped the process of economic performance off to a fast start
        2. Economic growth became a basic objective of all western European governments, for leaders and voters were determined to avoid a return to the Great Depression
        3. In postwar West Germany, Minister of Economy Ludwig Erhard broke decisively with the straitjacketed Nazi economy and bet on the free-market economy while maintaining the extensive social welfare network inherited from the Hitler era
        4. Erhard’s first step was to reform the currency and abolish rationing and price controls in 1948; country’s success renewed respect for free-market capitalism
      7. The French innovation was a new kind of planning and under the guidance of Jean Monnet, an economic pragmatist and apostle of European unity, a planning commission set ambitious but flexible goals for the French economy and used the nationalized banks to funnel money into key industries (private economy)
      8. In most countries, there were many people ready to work hard for low wages and the hope of a better future; many consumer products had been invented or perfected; finally, European nations abandoned protectionism and gradually created a large unified market known as the “Common Market” (stimulated economy)
    2. Toward European Unity
      1. Western Europe’s political recovery was spectacular in the generation after 1945
        1. Republics were re-established in France, West Germany, and Italy; constitutional monarchs were restored in Belgium, Holland, and Norway
        2. Democratic governments, often within the framework of multiparty politics and shifting parliamentary coalitions, took root again and thrived; national self-determination was accompanied by civil liberties and individual freedoms
      2. A similarly extraordinary achievement was the march toward a united Europe
        1. The Christian Democrats, with their shared Catholic heritage, were particularly committed to “building Europe,” and other groups shared their dedication
        2. Many Europeans believed that only unity in a new “European nation” could reassert western Europe’s influence in world affairs
      3. The close cooperation among European states required by the Americans for Marshall Plan aid led to the creation of both the Organization of European Economic Cooperation (OEEC) and the Council of Europe in 1948; Britain consistently opposed giving any real sovereignty to the council and as well as nationalists and communists
      4. European federalists turned toward economics as a way of working toward unity
        1. Two French statesmen, the planner Jean Monnet and Foreign Minister Robert Schuman, took the lead in 1950 and called for a special international organization to control and integrate all European steel and coal production
        2. West Germany, Italy, Belgium, the Netherlands, and Luxembourg accepted the French idea in 1952 but the British would have no part of the organization
        3. The immediate economic goal—a single steel and coal market without national tariffs or quotas—was rapidly realized and the political goal was to bind the six member nations so closely together economically that war among them would eventually become impossible
      5. In 1957 the six nations of the Coal and Steel Community signed the Treaty of Rome, which created the European Economic Community, known as the Common Market
        1. The first goal of the treaty was gradual reduction of all tariffs among the six in order to create a single market almost as large as that of the United States
        2. Other goals included the free movement of capital and labor and common economic policies and institutions (encouraged companies/regions to specialize)
      6. The development of the Common Market fired imaginations and encouraged hopes of rapid progress toward political as well as economic union but in the 1960s, these hopes were frustrated by a resurgence of more traditional nationalism
        1. Mired in a bitter colonial war in Algeria, the French turned in 1958 to General de Gaulle, who established the Fifth Republic and ruled as its president until 1969
        2. De Gaulle viewed the United States as the main threat to genuine French and European independence; he withdrew all French military forces from the “American-controlled” NATO, developed France’s own nuclear weapons, and vetoed the scheduled advent of majority rule within the Common Market
    3. Decolonization
      1. In the postwar era, Europe’s long-standing overseas expansion was radically reversed
        1. The most basic cause of imperial collapse, decolonization, was the rising demand of Asian and African peoples for national self-determination, racial equality, and personal dignity (demand spread from the intellectuals after the First World War)
        2. Colonial empires had already been shaken by 1939, and the way was prepared for the eventual triumph of independence movements
      2. European empires had been based on an enormous power differential between the rulers and the ruled, a difference that had greatly declined by 1945
        1. Imperial rulers had been driven from large parts of South Asia by the Japanese and in those areas Europeans now faced strong nationalist movements
        2. Empire had rested on self-confidence and self-righteousness; Europeans had believed their superiority to be not only technical and military but also morally
        3. The horrors of the Second World War gave opponents of imperialism much greater influence in Europe and many Europeans in 1945 had little taste for bloody colonial wars and wanted to concentrate on rebuilding at home
      3. India, Britain’s oldest, largest, and most lucrative nonwhite possession, played a key role in decolonization; Nationalists opposition to British rule united after WW I
        1. Under the leadership of British-educated lawyer Mohandas “Mahatma” Gandhi (1869-1948) one of the twentieth century’s most influential figures
        2. By the 1920s and 1930s Gandhi built a mass movement preaching nonviolent “noncooperation” with the British and in 1935, Gandhi wrested from the frustrated British a new constitution that was almost an independence
        3. When the Labour party came to power in Great Britain in 1945, it was ready to relinquish sovereignty as India had become a large financial burden to Britain
        4. The obstacle to India’s independence posed by conflict between India’s Hindu and Muslim populations were resolved in 1947 through the creation of two states, predominately Hindu India and Muslim Pakistan
      4. Chinese nationalism developed and triumphed in the framework of Marxist-Leninist ideology and in early 1920s, a broad alliance of nationalist forces within the Soviet-supported Kuomintang (National People’s party) was dedicated to unifying China
        1. In 1927 Chiang Kai-shek (1887-1975), successor to Sun Yat-sen and leader of the Kuomintang, broke with his more radically communist allies headed by Mao Zedong and tried to destroy them and in 1931, to escape Kuomintang armies, Mao led his followers on an incredible 5000-mile march to remote northern China
        2. War could not force Mao and Chiang to cooperate and by late 1945, it had erupted into civil war; Stalin gave Mao some aid, and the Americans gave Chiang much more aid
        3. Winning the support of the peasantry by promising to expropriate the big landowners, better-organized communists forced the Nationalists to withdraw to Taiwan in 1949
        4. Mao and the communists united China’s 550 million inhabitants in a strong centralized state, expelled foreigners, and began building a new society along Soviet lines, with mass arrests, forced-labor camps, and ceaseless propaganda
        5. The peasantry was collectivized, and the inevitable five-year plans concentrated successfully on the expansion of heavy industry
      5. Most Asian countries followed the pattern of either India or China; in 1946 the Philippines achieved independence peacefully from the United States, Britain quickly granted Sri Lanka and Burma independence in 1948, but Indonesian nationalists had to beat attempts by Dutch to reconquer Dutch East Indies (sovereign state in 1949)
        1. The French tried their best to re-establish colonial rule in Indochina, but despite American aid, they were defeated in 1954 by forces under the communist and nationalist guerrilla leader Ho Chi Minh, supported by Soviet Union and China
        2. But Indochina was not unified and two independent Vietnamese states came into being, which led to civil war and subsequent intervention by the United States
      6. In Middle East, the movement toward political independence continued after WW II
        1. In 1944 the French gave up League of Nations mandates in Syria and Lebanon
        2. In the British-mandated Palestine, where after 1918 the British government established a Jewish homeland alongside the Arab population, violence and terrorism mounted on both sides (British decided to leave Palestine in 1947)
        3. Then United Nations voted in a nonbonding resolution to divide Palestine into two states—one Arab and on Jewish, which became Israel; the Jews accepted but Arabs did not and in 1948, they attacked the Jewish state after it was proclaimed
        4. The Israelis drove off the invaders and conquered more territory, as roughly 900,00 Arabs fled or were expelled; Holocaust survivors from Europe streamed into Israel, as Theodor Herzl’s Zionist dream came true (four more wars)
      7. The Arab defeat in 1948 triggered a powerful nationalist revolution in Egypt in 1952, where an army officer named Gamal Abdel Nasser drove out the pro-Western king
        1. In 1956 Nasser abruptly nationalized the foreign-owned Suez Canal Company, the last symbol and substance of Western power in the Middle East and infuriated, the British and the French along with the Israelis, invaded Egypt
        2. Americans joined with the Soviets in Egypt’s triumph (anti-Western nationalism)
        3. The failure of Britain and France to unseat Nasser in 1956 encouraged Arab nationalists in Algeria; the country’s large French population considered Algeria an integral part of France and continued to stay dominating the Arab majority
        4. In the end, General de Gaulle accepted the principle of Algerian self deter-mination and in 1962, after more than a century of French rule, Algeria was freed
      8. In much of Africa sough of the Sahara, decolonization proceeded much more smoothly and beginning in 1957, Britain’s colonies achieved independence with little or no bloodshed and then entered the association (British Commonwealth of Nations)
      9. In 1958 the clever de Gaulle offered the leaders of French black Africa the choice of a total break with France or immediate independence with a kind of French commonwealth (identified with French culture and wanted aid from France); many leaders saw Africa untapped markets for their industrial goods, raw materials for their factories, outlets for profitable investment, and good temporary jobs for people
      10. Western European countries actually managed to increase their economic and cultural ties with their former African colonies in the 1960s and 1970s (situation led many to charge that western Europe had imposed a system of neocolonialism, a system designed to perpetuate Western economic domination and undermine promise of political independence, thereby extending to Africa the economic subordination)
    4. America’s Civil Rights Revolution
      1. The Second World War cured the depression in the United States and brought about an economic boom and postwar America did experience a genuine social revolution
        1. After a long struggle, African Americans (and their white supporters) threw off a deeply entrenched system of segregation, discrimination, and repression
        2. Lawyers challenged school segregation and in 1954 won a landmark decision in the Supreme Court, which ruled in Brown v. Board of Education that “separate educational facilities are inherently unequal”
        3. Blacks effectively challenged institutionalized inequality with bus boycotts, sit-ins, and demonstrations (civil rights leader Martin Luther King, Jr.)
      2. In key northern states, African Americans used their growing political power to gain the support of the liberal wing of the Democratic part and a liberal landslide victory in 1964 elected Lyndon Johnson president in 1964
      3. The Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibited discrimination in public services and on job
      4. The Voting Rights Act of 1965 guaranteed all blacks the right to vote
      5. By the 1970s, substantial numbers of blacks had been elected to public and private office throughout southern states, proof positive that dramatic changes had occurred
      6. President Johnson also declared “unconditional war on poverty,” and Congress and the administration created a host of antipoverty programs intended to aid all poor Americans and bring great economic equality to America (welfare state)
  3. Soviet Eastern Europe, 1945-1968
    1. Stalin’s Last Years, 1945-1953
      1. Americans were not the only ones who felt betrayed by Stalin’s postwar actions; The “Great Patriotic War of the Fatherland” had fostered Russian nationalism and a relaxation of dictatorial terror (rare unity between Soviet rulers and Russian people)
      2. Having made a heroic war effort, the vast majority of the Soviet people hoped in 1945 that the government would grant greater freedom and democracy; hopes were crushed
        1. Even before the war ended, Stalin was moving his country back toward rigid dictatorship and by early 1946, Stalin was publicly singing the old tune that war was inevitable as long as capitalism (enemy in West provided excuse for control)
        2. Many returning soldiers and ordinary citizens were purged in 1945 and 1946, as Stalin revived the terrible forced-labor camps of the 1930s
        3. Culture and art were also purged in violent campaigns that reimposed rigid anti-Western ideological conformity; many artists were denounced and in 1949, Stalin launched a verbal attack on Soviet Jews accusing them of being pro-Western
      3. In the political realm, Stalin reasserted the Communist party’s complete control of the government and his absolute mastery of the party; five-year plans were reintroduced to cope with enormous task of economic reconstruction (heavy industry and military were given top priority, and consumer goods, housing, and agriculture neglected)
      4. Stalin’s prime postwar innovation was to export Stalinist system to countries of East Europe as the Communist parties ruled because of help from Red Army/secret police
      5. Rigid ideological indoctrination, attacks on religion, and a lack of civil liberties were soon facts of life; industry was nationalized, the middle class stripped of possessions
      6. Industrialization lurched forward without regard for human costs (collectivization)
      7. Only Josip Broz Tito, the resistance leader and Communist chief of Yugoslavia, was able to resist Soviet domination successfully (Tito stood up to Stalin in 1948)
      8. Yugoslavia prospered as a multiethnic state until it began to break apart in the 1980s and Tito’s proclamation of independence infuriated Stalin; popular Communists leaders who had led the resistance against Germany were purged as Stalin sought to create absolutely obedient instruments of domination in eastern Europe
    2. Reform and De-Stalinization, 1953-1964
      1. In 1953 Stalin finally died, and the dictatorship that he had built began to change
        1. Even as Stalin’s heirs struggled for power, they realized that reforms were necessary because of the widespread fear and hatred of Stalin’s political terrorism
        2. The power of the secret police was curbed, and many of the forced-labor camps were gradually closed; change was also necessary for economic reasons
        3. Moreover, Stalin’s belligerent foreign policy had directly led to a strong Western alliance, which isolated the Soviet Union from the rest of Western Europe
      2. On the question of just how much change should be permitted in order to preserve the system, the Communists leadership was badly split by these views on this problem
        1. Conservatives wanted to make as few changes as possible to the government
        2. Reformers, led by Nikita Khrushchev, argued for major innovations; Khrushchev had joined the party as a coal miner in 1918 and emerged as the new ruled in 1955
      3. To strengthen his position, Khrushchev launched an all-out attack on Stalin and his crimes at a closed session of the Twentieth Party Congress in 1956; Khrushchev’s “secret speech” was read at Communist party meetings throughout the country
      4. The liberalization—or de-Stalinization, called in the West—of Soviet Union was true
        1. The Communist party maintained its monopoly on political power, but Khrushchev shook up the party and brought in new members
        2. Some resources were shifted from the heavy industries and the military toward consumer goods and agriculture, and Stalinist controls over workers was relaxed
        3. The Soviet Union’s very low standard of living finally began to improve and continued to rise substantially throughout the booming 1960s
      5. De-Stalinization created writers and intellectuals who hungered for cultural freedom
        1. The poet Boris Pasternak finished Doctor Zhivago in 1956 which was a master-piece and a powerful challenge to communism; a pre-Revolutionary intellectual who triumphs in Stalinist years because of his humanity and Christian spirit
        2. Other talented writers followed Pasternak’s lead and editors let sparks fly
        3. The writer Aleksnadr Solzhenitsyn created a sensation when his One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich was published in the Soviet Union in 1962; his novel portrays in detail life in a Stalinist concentration camp (indictment of the past)
      6. Khrushchev also de-Stalinized foreign policy (peaceful coexistence with capitalism)
        1. Khrushchev made concessions agreeing in 1955 to real independence for a neutral Austria after ten long years of Allied occupation of cold war tensions
        2. Khrushchev began wooing the new nations of Asia and Africa (communist or not)
        3. De-Stalinization stimulated rebelliousness in the eastern European satellites and communist reformers and the masses were quickly emboldened to seek much great liberty and national independence (Poland took the lead in 1956)
      7. Hungary experienced a real and tragic revolution, led by students and workers, the people of Budapest installed a liberal communist reformer as their new chief in 1956; Soviet troops were forced to leave the country but after the new governments promised free elections and renounced Hungary’s military alliance with Moscow, the Russian leaders ordered an invasion and crushed the national/democratic revolution
      8. The Hungarians hoped that the United States would come to their aid but when this did nor occur, most people in eastern Europe concluded that their only hope was to strive for small domestic gains while following Russia obediently in foreign affairs
    3. The End of Reform
      1. By late 1962, opposition in party circles to Khrushchev’s policies was strong and in 1964, Khrushchev fell in a bloodless palace revolution; Under Leonid Brezhnev, the Soviet Union began a period of stagnation and limited “re-Stalinization”
      2. The basic reason for this development was the Khrushchev’s Communist colleagues saw de-Stalinization as a dangerous, two-sided threat (dead dictator’s henchmen?)
        1. The widening campaign of de-Stalinization posed a clear threat to the dictatorial authority of the party (party had to tighten up considerable in time)
        2. Another reason for conservative opposition was that Khrushchev’s policy toward the West was erratic and ultimately unsuccessful; in 1958 he ordered the Western allies to evacuate West Berlin within six months, the allies reaffirmed their unity in West Berlin, and Khrushchev eventually backed down
        3. In 1961, as relations with communist China deteriorated dramatically, Khrushchev ordered the East Germans to build a wall between East and West Berlin, thereby sealing off West Berlin in violation of existing access agreements
        4. The U.S. president, John F. Kennedy, agreed to the construction of the Berlin wall
        5. Khrushchev ordered missiles with nuclear warheads installed in Fidel Castro’s communist Cuba in 1962; President Kennedy countered with a naval blockage against Cuba and Khrushchev removed the missiles to protect Castro’s regime
      3. Following the Cuban fiasco, Khrushchev’s influence declined rapidly
      4. After Brezhnev and his supporters took over in 1964, they started talking quietly of Stalin’s “good points” and ignoring his crimes (liberalization could not be expected)
        1. Soviet leaders also launched a massive arms buildup yet Brezhnev and company proceed cautiously in the mid-1960s and avoided direct confrontation with the US
        2. The 1960s brought modest liberalization and more consumer goods to eastern Europe, as well as somewhat greater national autonomy (Poland and Romania)
      5. In January 1968, the reform elements in the Czechoslovak Communist party gained a majority and voted out the long-time Stalinist leader in favor of Alexander Dubcek
        1. Dubcek and his allies believed that they could reconcile genuine socialism with personal freedom and internal party democracy and thus local decision making by trade unions, managers, and consumers replaced rigid bureaucratic planning, and censorship was relaxed; reform program proved enormously popular
        2. Although he proclaimed his loyalty to the Warsaw Pact, the determination of the Czechoslovak reforms to build what they called “socialism with a human face” frightened hard-line Communists (strong in Poland and East Germany)
        3. The Soviet Union feared that a liberalized Czechoslovakia would eventually be drawn
      6. The Eastern bloc countries launched a concerted campaign of intimidation against he Czechoslovak leaders, and in August 1968, 500,000 Russian and allied eastern European troops suddenly occupied Czechoslovakia; the Czechoslovaks made no attempt to resist militarily and the arrested leaders surrendered to Soviet demands
      7. The reform program was abandoned and shortly after the invasion, Brezhnev declared the Brezhnev Doctrine, which according to which the Soviet Union and its allies had the right to intervene in any socialist country whenever they saw the need
      8. The 1968 invasion of Czechoslovakia was the crucial even of the Brezhnev era which really lasted until the emergence in 1985 of Mikhail Gorbachev; the invasion demonstrated the determination of the ruling elite to maintain the status quo in the Soviet bloc; in the U.S.S.R that determination resulted in further repression
  4. Postwar Social Transformations
    1. Science and Technology
      1. Science and technology proved so productive and influential after about 1940 because “pure theoretical” science and “practical” technology were joined together on a massive scale
      2. With the Second World War, pure science lost its impractical innocence and most leading university scientists went to work on top-secret projects to help their governments with war
        1. The development by British scientists of radar to detect enemy aircraft was a particularly important outcome of this new kind of sharply focused research; a radically improved radar system played a key role in Britain’s victory in the battle for air supremacy in 1940
        2. The air war stimulated the development of jet aircraft and spurred research on electronic computers, which calculated complex mathematical relationships involving accuracy
        3. The most spectacular result of directed scientific research during the war was the atomic bomb and a letter from Einstein to President FDR and ongoing experiments by nuclear physicists led to the top-secret Manhattan Project, which ballooned into a crash program
        4. After three years of effort, the first atomic bomb was successfully tested in July 1945 and in August 1945, two bombs were dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, ending the war
      3. The spectacular results of directed research during World War II inspired a new model for science—Big Science; by combining theoretical work with sophisticated engineering in a large organization, Big Science could attack extremely difficult problems, from better products for consumers to new and improved weapons for the military
        1. Big Science was very expensive, requiring financing from governments/corporations
        2. Populous, victorious, and wealthy, the United States took the lead in Big Science after World War II; between 1945 and 1965, spending on scientific research and development in the U.S. grew five times as fast as the national income, and by 1965 (3% of income)
        3. It was generally accepted that government should finance science in both the “capitalist” United States and the “socialist” Soviet Union (science was not demobilized after war)
        4. Scientists remained a critical part of every major military establishment and a large portion of all postwar scientific research went for “defense”
        5. After 1945 roughly one-quarter of all men and women trained in science and engineering in the West were employed full-time in the production of weapons to kill other humans
      4. Sophisticated science, lavish government spending, and military needs all came together in the space race of the 1960s (Started by the Soviet Union in the late 1950s)
        1. In 1957 the Soviets used long-range rockets developed in their nuclear weapons program to put a satellite in orbit; in 1961 they sent the world’s first cosmonaut circling the globe
        2. President Kennedy made an all-out U.S. commitment to catch up with the Soviets and land a crewed spacecraft on the moon “before the decade was out”: using pure science, applied technology, and up to $5 billion a year, the Apollo Program achieved its ambitious objective in 1969 and four more moon landings followed by 1972
        3. Thoughtful Europeans lamented this “brain drain” and feared that Europe was falling hopelessly behind the United States in science and technology but Europe was already responding with such Big Science projects as the Concorde supersonic passenger airliner
      5. The rise of Big Science and of close ties between science and technology greatly altered the lives of scientists; there were four times as many scientists in the West in 1975 as in 1945
      6. One consequence of the growth of science was its high degree of specialization, for no one could possibly master a broad field (specializations rates of knowledge and applications)
      7. Highly specialized modern scientists and technologists normally had to work as members of a team, which completely changed the work and lifestyle of modern scientists
        1. Much of work went on in large bureaucratic organizations and growth of large scientific bureaucracies in government/private enterprise suggested how they permeated society
        2. Modern science became highly, even brutally, competitive
        3. This competitiveness is well depicted in Nobel Prize winner James Watson’s book The Double Helix, which tells how in 1953 Watson and an Englishman Francis Crick, discovered the structure of DNA, the molecule of heredity
        4. With so many thousands of linked-minded researchers in the wealthy countries of the world, scientific and technical knowledge rushed forward in the postwar era
    2. The Changing Class Structure
      1. Rapid economic growth went a long way toward creating a new society in Europe after WW II and European society became more mobile and more democratic (class distinctions)
        1. Changes in the structure of the middle class were influential in the general drift toward a less rigid class structure (ownership of property and strong family ties had meant wealth)
        2. After 1945 a new breed of managers and experts replaced traditional property owners as the leaders of the middle class; ability to serve the needs of a big organization largely replaced inherited property and family connections in determining an individual’s social position in the middle and upper middle classes (middle class grew massively)
        3. Rapid industrial and technological expansion created in large corporations and government agencies a powerful demand for technologists and managers
        4. The old properties middle class lost control of many family-owned businesses and many small businesses simply passed out of existence as owners joined the salaried employees
      2. Top managers and ranking civil servants therefore represented the model for a new middle class or salaried specialists; they were well paid and highly trained (engineering, accounting)
      3. Managers and technocrats, of whom a small but growing number were women, could pass on the opportunity for all-important advanced education to their children (positions not passed); the new middle class was based largely on specialized skills and high levels of education
      4. The structure of the lower classes also became more flexible and open as the industrial working class ceased to expand and job opportunities for white-collar and service employees grew rapidly; such employees bore resemblance to new middle class of salaried specialists
      5. European governments were reducing class tensions with a series of social security reforms; other programs were new, like comprehensive national health system directed by the state and most countries introduced family allowances (grants to parents to help raise children)
      6. Reforms promoted greater equality because they were expensive and were paid for in part by higher taxes on the rich; rising standard of living and spread of standardized consumer goods also worked to level Western society, as the percent of income spent on food/drink declined
      7. Europeans took great pleasure in the products of the “gadget revolution” as well
        1. Like Americans, Europeans filled their homes with washing machines, vacuum cleaners, refrigerators, dishwashers, radios, TVs, and stereos; the purchase of consumer goods was greatly facilitated by installment purchasing, which allowed people to buy on credit
        2. The expansion of social security reduced the need to accumulate savings for hard times and ordinary people were increasingly willing to take on debt (growth of consumerism)
      8. Leisure and recreation occupied an important place in consumer societies and the most astonishing leisure-time development was the blossoming of mass travel and tourism
    3. New Roles for Women
      1. A growing emancipation of women in the West was one of the most significant trans-formations of the cold war era and development grew out of long-term changes in patterns of motherhood and paid work outside the home (altered women’s experiences and expectations)
      2. This historic development prepared the way for the success of a new generation of feminist thinkers and a militant women’s movement in the 1970s and 1980s
      3. With the growth of industry, people began to marry earlier, death rates fell, and population grew rapidly; by the late 19th century, improved diet, higher incomes, and the use of contraception within marriage were producing a transition to low birthrates and death rates
        1. In the 1950s and 1960s, the typical woman in the West married early and bore her children quickly; postwar baby boom did make for a fairly rapid population growth
        2. In the1960s the long-term decline in birthrates resumed, and from the mid-1970s on in many European countries, the total population stopped growing from natural increase
        3. The postwar culmination of the trends toward early marriage, early childbearing, and small family size in wealthy urban societies had revolutionary implications for women
        4. Pregnancy and child care occupied a much smaller portion of a woman’s life than in earlier times; by the early 1970s, many Western women were having their last baby by 27
      4. In the postwar years, motherhood no longer absorbed the energies of a lifetime, and more and more married women looked for new roles in the world of work outside the family
      5. With the growth of modern industry and much more rigid gender roles, few middle-class women worked outside the home for wages (young unmarried women were wage earners)
      6. In the time especially after WW II, the complexity of the modern economy meant that almost all women had to go outside the home to find cash income; three forces helped women
        1. The economy boom from about 1950 to 1973 and created a strong demand for labor
        2. The economy continued its gradual shift away from heavy industries to the “white-collar” service industries, such as government, education, trade, and health care
        3. Young Western women shared fully in the postwar education revolution and could take advantage of the growing need for office-workers and well-trained professionals
        4. The trend went the furthest in communist eastern Europe, where women were one half of all employed persons; in noncommunist countries, the married women workforce rose
      7. Rising employment for married women went hand in hand with the decline of the birthrate; women who worked outside the home had significantly fewer children than other women
        1. Married women entering the labor force faced widespread, long-established discrimination in pay, advancement, and occupational choice in comparison to men
        2. As the divorce rate rose in the 1960s, part-time work meant poverty for some families
        3. Married working women still carried most of the child-raising and housekeeping responsibilities – a reason for many to accept part-time employment
      8. The injustices that married women encountered as wage earners contributed greatly to the subsequent movement for women’s equality and emancipation (employment as condition)
    4. Youth and the Counterculture
      1. Economic prosperity and democratic class structure had an impact on the youth throughout the Western world as they became a “counter-culture” that rebelled against the status quo
        1. Young people in the United States took the lead; American college students in the 1950s were called the “Silent Generation” but by the late 1950s the “beat” movement was stoking fires of revolt in selected urban enclaves, such as the Near North side of Chicago
        2. The young fashioned a highly publicized subculture that blended radical politics, unbridled personal experimentation and new artistic styles (spread to western Europe)
        3. The young Bob Dylan summed up the radical political and cultural aspirations of the younger generation in lyrics that became a rallying cry, “the times are a’ changing”
      2. The sexual behavior of young people appeared to change dramatically in 1960s and 1970s
        1. More young people engaged in sexual intercourse, and they did so at an earlier age, in part because of safe and effective contraceptive pills could eliminate risk of pregnancy
        2. Even more significant was the growing tendency of young unmarried people to live together in a separate household on a semi-permanent basis, with little thought of getting married or having children (the young defied social customs of legitimate sexual unions)
      3. Several factors contributed to the emergence of the international youth culture in the 1960s
        1. Mass communications and youth travel linked countries and continents together
        2. The postwar baby boom mean that young people became an unusually large part of the population and could therefore exercise exception influence on society as a whole
        3. Postwar prosperity and greater equality gave young people more purchasing power which enabled them to set their own trends and patterns of consumption (generational loyalty)
        4. Prosperity meant that goods jobs were readily available (did not fear punishment)
      4. The youth culture fused with the counterculture in opposition to the order in the late 1960s
        1. Student protesters embraced romanticism and revolutionary idealism, dreaming of complete freedom and simpler, purer societies; many young radicals looked to newly independent countries of Asia and Africa and their better societies that were being built
        2. About the Vietnam War, many politically active students believed that the older generation was fighting an immoral and imperialistic war against small and heroic people
        3. Student protests in western Europe highlighted more general problems of youth, education, and a society of specialists (education limited to a small elite in Europe)
        4. By 1960, at least three times as many students were going to some kind of university as had attended before the war, and the number continued to rise until the 1970s
        5. Reflecting the development of a more democratic class structure and a growing awareness that higher education was the key to success, European universities gave more scholarships and opened doors to more students from the lower middle and lower classes
      5. The rapid expansion of higher education meant that classes were badly overcrowded and competition for grades became intense; many students felt the education was inadequate
      6. The many tensions within the exploding university population came to a head in the late 1960s and early 1970s and European university students rose to challenge their university administrations and even their governments just as they had in the United States
        1. The most far-reaching of these revolts occurred in France in 1968; students occupied buildings and took over the University of Paris, which led to violent clashes with police
        2. Most students demanded both changes in the curriculum and a real voice in running the university; rank-and-file workers ignored the advice of their cautious union officials, and a more or less spontaneous general strike spread across France in May 1968
      7. Declaring that he was in favor of university reforms and higher minimum wages, he moved troops toward Paris and called for new elections; the masses of France voted overwhelmingly for de Gaulle’s part and a return to law and order (shaken, within a year, de Gaulle resigned)
  5. Conflict and Challenge in the Late Cold War, 1968-1985
    1. The United States and Vietnam
      1. Although student radicals believed that imperialism was the main cause, American involve-ment in the Vietnam was more clearly a product of the cold war and policy of containment
        1. From the late 1940s on, most Americans and their leaders viewed the world in terms of a constant struggled to stop the spread of communism; as western European began to revive and China established a communist government in 1949, focus shifted to Asia
        2. The bloody Korean War ended in stalemate but the United States did succeed in preventing a communist victory in South Korea; after the defeat of the French in Vietnam in 1954, the Eisenhower administration refused to sign Geneva Accords that temporarily divided the country into two zones pending national unification by means of free election
        3. President Eisenhower then agreed in the refusal of the anticommunist South Vietnamese government to accept the verdict of elections and provided it with military aid
        4. President Kennedy increased the number of American “military advisers” to 16,000
      2. After winning the 1964 election on a peace platform, President Johnson greatly expanded the American role in the Vietnam conflict; American strategy was to “escalate” the war sufficiently to break the will of the North Vietnamese and their southern allies without resorting to “overkill,” which might risk war with the entire Communist bloc
      3. American forces in the South gradually grew to half a million men, and the United States bombed North Vietnam with ever-greater intensity but there was no invasion of the North or naval blockade (American people grew weary and the American leadership cracked)
      4. The undeclared war in Vietnam fought nightly on American television, divided the nation
        1. Initial support was strong as the politicians, the media, and the population saw the war as part of a legitimate defense against communist totalitarianism in all poor countries
        2. An antiwar movement quickly emerged on college campuses (prospect of being drafted) and in October 1965 student protesters joined forces with socialists, New Left intellectuals, and pacifists in antiwar demonstrations in fifty American cities
        3. By 1967 a growing number of critics denounced the war as a criminal intrusion into a complex and distant civil war (criticism heightened after Vietcong Tet Offensive in 1968)
      5. The Vietcong Tet Offensive was the communists’ first comprehensive attack with conventional weapons on major cities in South Vietnam but failed militarily
        1. The Vietcong suffered heavy losses and the attack did not spark a mass uprising but Washington had claimed that victory in South Vietnam was in sight but the critics interpreted the bloody combat as a decisive American defeat; American leaders lost heart
        2. In 1968, after a narrow victory in the N.H. primary, President Johnson called for negotiations with North Vietnam and announced that he would not stand for re-election
      6. Elected by a slim margin in 1968, President Richard Nixon sought to gradually disengage America from Vietnam and the accompanying national crisis in North and South Vietnam
        1. Intensifying the continuous bombardment of the enemy while simultaneously pursuing peace talks with the North Vietnamese, Nixon suspended the draft, so hated on college campuses, and cut American forces in Vietnam from 550,000 to 24,000 in four years
        2. President Nixon launched a flank attack in diplomacy as he journeyed to China in 1972 and reached a spectacular if limited reconciliation with the People’s Republic of China; Nixon took advantage of China’s fears of the Soviet Union and undermined North Korea
        3. President Nixon and Secretary of State Henry Kissinger finally reached a peace agree-ment with North Vietnam which allowed remaining American forces to complete with-drawal and the United States reserved right to resume bombing if accords were broken
      7. While the storm of crisis in the United States seemed to have passed, Watergate appeared
        1. Nixon authorized spying activities that went beyond the law; he allowed special unites to use carious illegal means to stop the leaking of government documents to the press
        2. One such group broke into the Democratic party headquarters in Washington’s Watergate complex in June 1972 and was promptly arrested (media and machinery of congressional investigation eventually exposed the administration’s web of lies and lawbreaking)
      8. The consequences of political crisis flowing from the Watergate affair were profound
        1. Watergate resulted in a major shift of power away from presidency toward Congress, especially in foreign affairs; American aid to South Vietnam diminished in 1973, North Vietnam launched an invasion in early 1974 but Congress refused to permit response
        2. A second consequence of the US crisis was after more than thirty-five years of battle, the Vietnamese communists unified their country in 1975 as a harsh dictatorial state
        3. The belated fall of South Vietnam in the wake of Watergate shook America’s postwar confidence and left the US divided and uncertain about its proper role in world affairs
    2. Détente or Cold War?
      1. On alternative to the badly damaged policy of containing communism was the policy of détente, or the progressive piecemeal relaxation of cold war tensions (West Germany)
      2. West German chancellor Willy Brandt took the lead when in December 1970 he flew to Poland for the singing of a historic treaty of reconciliation (dramatic moment)
        1. Brandt laid a wreath at the tomb of the Polish unknown soldier and another at the monument commemorating the armed uprising of Warsaw’s Jewish ghetto against occupying Nazi armies; somber Brandt fell to his knees and knelt as if in prayer
        2. Brandt aimed at nothing less than a comprehensive peace settlement for central Europe and the two German states established after 1945 (reconciliation with eastern Europe)
        3. The Federal Republic of Germany (West Germany) had claimed that the communist German Democratic Republic lacked free elections and hence any legal or moral basis
        4. West Germany refused to accept loss of German territory taken by Poland and the Soviet Union after 1945 but when the Berlin was built in 1961, Brandt believed that the wall showed the painful limitations of West Germany’s official hard line (new foreign policy)
      3. Winning the chancellorship in 1969, Brandt negotiated treaties with Soviet Union, Poland, and Czechoslovakia that formally accepted existing state boundaries in return for a mutual renunciation of force or the threat of force; Brandt’s government entered into direct relations with East Germany aiming for modest practical improvements rather than reunification
      4. The policy of détente reached its high point when all European nations (except Albania), the United States, and Canada signed the Final Act of the Helsinki Conference in 1975
        1. The 35 nations agreed that Europe’s political frontiers could not be changed by force
        2. They also accepted numerous provisions guaranteeing the human rights and political freedoms of their citizens (hopes of détente in international relations faded in later 1970s)
      5. Brezhnev’s Soviet Union ignored the human rights provisions of the Helsinki agreement and East-West political competition remained very much alive outside Europe
        1. Many Americans became convinced that the Soviet Union was taking advantage of détente, steadily building up its military might and pushing for political gains and revolutions in Africa, Asia, and Latin America (no détente in international relations)
        2. The soviet invasion of Afghanistan in December 1979, which was designed to save an increasingly unpopular Marxist regime, was especially alarming
        3. Many Americans feared that oil-rich states of the Persian Gulf would be next, and again they looked to the Atlantic alliance and military might to thwart communist expansion
      6. President Jimmy Carter elected in 1976, tried to lead the Atlantic alliance beyond verbal condemnation and urged economic sanctions against Soviet Union (only Britain supported)
        1. The alliance showed the same lack of concerted action when the Solidarity movement rose in Poland (some observers concluded the alliance had lost the will to think and act)
        2. The US military buildup launched by Carter in his years in office was greatly accelerated by President Ronald Reagan, who swept into office in 1980 by wave of patriotism
        3. The new American leadership acted as if the military balance had tipped in the favor of the Soviet Union and increasing defense spending enormously, the Regan administration concentrated on nuclear arms and an expanded navy as keys to American power
      7. A swing toward conservatism in the 1980s gave Reagan invaluable allies in western Europe
        1. In Great Britain Margaret Thatcher was an advocate for a revitalized Atlantic alliance
        2. After a pro-American Helmut Kohl came to power with the conservative Christian Democrats in 1982, West Germany and the US once again coordinated military and political policy toward the Soviet bloc (in maintaining the alliance, the Western nations gave indirect support to liberalize authoritarian communist eastern Europe and probably helped convince the Soviet Union’s Mikhail Gorbachev that cold war conflict was foolish
    3. The Women’s Movement
      1. The 1970s marked the birth of a board-based feminist movement devoted to securing genuine gender equality and promoting the general interests of women -- three basic reasons
        1. Changes in patterns of motherhood and paid work created new conditions/new demands
        2. A precursor of feminist intellectuals articulated a powerful critique of gender relations, which stimulated many women to rethink their assumptions and challenge the status quo
        3. Taking a lesion from the civil rights movement in the US and worldwide student protest against the Vietnam War, dissatisfied individuals recognized that they had to band together if they were to influence politics and secure fundamental reforms
      2. One of the most influential works produced by this new feminist wave was The Second Sex (1949) by French philosopher Simone de Beauvoir; she came to see her pious and submissive mother as renouncing any self-expression outside of home and marriage and showing Beauvoir the dangers of a life she did not want (Beauvoir relationship with Jean Paul Sartre)
        1. Beauvoir analyzed the position of women within the framework of existential thought
        2. She argued that women—like all human beings—were in essence free but that they had almost always been trapped by particularly inflexible and limiting conditions
        3. Only by the means of courageous action and self-assertive creativity could a woman become a completely free person and escape the role that men had constructed for women
      3. One such woman in a generation of women intellectuals was Betty Friedan, who played a key role in reopening a serious discussion of women’s issues in the United States
        1. Friedan reflected the American faith in group action and political solutions; Friedan became acutely away of the conflicting pressures of career and family and concluded after research that many well-educated women shared her growing dissatisfaction
        2. According to Friedan in The Feminine Mystique, the cause was a crisis of identity; women were not permitted to become mature adults and genuine human beings but were instead expected to conform to a false pattern of femininity and live for family (sexism)
      4. When long-standing proposals to treat sex discrimination as seriously as race discrimination fell again on deaf ears, Friedan took the lead in 1966 in founding the National Organization of Women (NOW) to press for women’s rights (forty thousand members in 1974)
        1. Throughout the 1970s, a proliferation of publications, conferences, and institutions devoted to women’s issues reinforced the emerging international movement
        2. This movement generally shared the common strategy of entering the political arena and changing laws regarding women; advocates of women’s rights pushed for new statutes in the workplace (equal pay for equal work) and measures such as maternal leave + day care
        3. The movement concentrated on gender and family questions including right of divorce, legalized abortion, the needs of single mothers, and protection from rape and violence
        4. The effort to decriminalize abortion served as a catalyst in mobilizing an effective, self-conscious women’s movement (and in creating an opposition to it, as in the US)
      5. In the countries that had long placed women in subordinate positions, the legal changes were revolutionary; for example, in Italy, new laws abolished restrictions on divorce and abortion, which had been supported by Mussolini and defended energetically by the Catholic church; by 1988 divorce and abortion were common in Italy which had the lowest birthrate in Europe
      6. More generally, the sharply focused women’s movement of the 1970s won new rights for women and the movement became more diffuse, a victim of both its successes and the resurgence of antifeminist opposition (movement encouraged mobilization of other groups)
      7. Many subordinate groups challenged the dominant majorities, and the expansion and redefinition of human liberty—a great theme of modern Western history—continued
    4. The Troubled Economy
      1. For twenty years after 1945, most Europeans were preoccupied with the possibilities of economic progress and consumerism (more democratic class structure helped reduce social tension, and ideological conflict went out of style; passing of postwar stability)
      2. The reappearance of economic crisis in the early 1970s that brought the most serious conflict
        1. The postwar international monetary system was based on the American dollar, valued in gold at $35 an ounce; giving foreign aid and fighting foreign wars, the US sent billions
        2. By early 1971 it had only $11 billion in gold left and Europe had accumulated $50 billion and so foreigners than panicked and raced to exchange their dollars for gold
        3. President Richard Nixon responded by stopping the sale of American gold, value of the dollar fell sharply, and inflation sped worldwide (fixed rates of exchange were abandoned and great uncertainty replaced postwar predictability in international trade and finance)
      3. Even more damaging was the dramatic reversal in the price and availability of energy
        1. The great postwar boom was fueled by cheap oil from the Middle East, which permitted energy-intensive industries to expand rapidly and lead other sectors of the economy
        2. By 1971 the Arab-led Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) had watched the price of crude oil decline consistently compared with the rising price of manufactured goods and decided to reverse the trend by presenting a united front
        3. In the fourth Arab-Israeli war in October 1973, when Egypt and Syria launched a surprise attack on Israel. OPEC declared an embargo on oil shipments to the United States, Israel’s ally, and within a year crude oil prices quadrupled (oil shock to countries)
      4. Following the upheaval in the international monetary system, the revolution in energy prices plunged the world into its worst economic decline since the 1930s (unemployment rose)
        1. By 1976 a modest recovery was in progress when a fundamentalist Islamic revolution struck Iran and oil production collapsed in that country, the price of crude oil doubled in 1979 and the world economy succumbed to its second oil shock
        2. Unemployment and inflation rose before another recovery began in 1982 and in 1985 the unemployment rate in western Europe rose to its highest level since the Great Depression
      5. One telling measure of the troubled economy was the misery index, which combined rates of inflation and unemployment in a single, powerfully emotional number; “misery” increased in the West but the increase was substantially greater in western Europe (called “the crisis”); Japan did better than both Europe and the United States during this time of crisis
      6. Throughout the 1970s and 1980s, anxious observers worried that the common Market would disintegrate in the face of severe economic dislocation and that economic nationalism would halt steps toward European (now known as the European Economic Community)
      7. In 1973, Denmark, Iceland and Britain joined, Greece joined in 1981, and Portugal and Spain entered in 1986; nations cooperated more closely in international undertakings and unity
    5. Society in a Time of Economic Uncertainty
      1. Optimism gave way to pessimism and romantic utopianism yielded to sober realism; this drastic change in mood affected states, institutions, and individuals in countless ways
      2. The welfare system fashioned in the postwar era prevented mass suffering and degradation through extended benefits from the unemployed, pensions for the aged, free medical care and special allowances for the needy, and a host of lesser supports (responsive, socially concerned national state contributed to the preservation of political stability and democracy)
      3. The energetic response of governments to social needs helps explain the sharp increase in total government spending in most countries during the 1970s and early 1980s
        1. The imbalance with governments increase spending than raised taxes contributed to the rapid growth of budget deficits, national debts, and inflation
        2. By the late 1970s a powerful reaction against government’s every-increasing role had set in, however, and Western governments were gradually forced to introduce severe measures to slow the growth of public spending and the welfare state
        3. Part of a broad cultural shift toward greater conservatism, growing voter dissatisfaction with government and government spending helped bring Margaret Thatcher to power in Britain in 1979 (slowed government spending and “privatized” industry)
        4. Thatcher’s Conservative government also encouraged low- and moderate-income renters to state-owned housing projects to buy their apartments at rock-bottom prices; this privatization initiative created a whole new class of property owners (private investors)
      4. President Ronald Reagan’s success in the United State was more limited and in 1981 he pushed through major cuts in income taxes but Reagan and Congress failed to cut government spending, which increased as a percentage of national income during presidency
        1. The massive military buildup was responsible but spending on social programs grew rapidly; harsh recession required spending on welfare benefits and medical treatment
        2. Reagan’s anti-welfare rhetoric mobilized the liberal opposition and eventually turned many moderates against him (budget deficit soared and US debt tripled in a decade)
      5. The striking but temporary exception to the trend toward greater frugality was François Mitterrand of France; after his election as president in 1981, Mitterrand led his Socialist party to the left, launching a vast program of nationalization and public investment
      6. Mitterrand’s Socialist government, after this attempt had failed, was then compelled to impose a wide variety of austerity measures and to maintain those policies for the decade
      7. When governments were forced to restrain spending, large scientific projects were often signaled out for cuts (these reductions reinforced the ongoing computer revolution)
        1. This new scientific revolution thrived on the diffusion of ever-cheaper computational and informational capacity to small research groups and private businesses, which were both cause and effect of the revolution itself (big organizations lost advantage to smaller)
        2. Individuals felt the impact of austerity at an early date, for unlike governments, they could not pay their bills by printing money and going ever further into debt
        3. A growing number of experts and citizens concluded that the world was running out of resources and decried wasteful industrial practices and environmental pollution
        4. The German Green movement elected national/local representatives and similar parties developed throughout Europe as environmentalism became a leading societal concern
      8. Another consequence of austerity in Europe and North America was leaner, tougher lifestyle in the 1970s and early 1980s, featuring more attention to nutrition and a passion for exercise; there was less blind reliance on medical science for good health and a growing awareness that individuals had to accept a large portion of the responsibility for illness and disease
      9. Economic troubles also strengthened the new trends within the family; men and women were encouraged to postpone marriage until they had put their careers on a firm foundations, so the age of marriage rose sharply for both sexes; the real threat of unemployment or under-employment seemed to shape the outlook of a whole generation (more women worked)

You just finished Chapter 30: Cold War Conflicts and Social Transformations, 1945-1985. Nice work!

Previous ChapterNext Chapter

Tip: Use ← → keys to navigate!

How to cite this note (MLA)

Aboukhadijeh, Feross. "Chapter 30: Cold War Conflicts and Social Transformations, 1945-1985" StudyNotes.org. Study Notes, LLC., 04 Jan. 2014. Web. 10 Mar. 2018. <https://www.apstudynotes.org/european-history/outlines/chapter-30-cold-war-conflicts-and-social/>.

The Challenge of Decolonization in Africa

Benjamin Talton – Temple University

Through the process of decolonization that began, in most African territories, at the close of World War II, African leaders gained greater political power under European rule. In the decades that followed independence, they worked to shape the cultural, political, and economic character of the postcolonial state. Some worked against the challenges of continued European cultural and political hegemony, while others worked with European powers in order to protect their interests and maintain control over economic and political resources. Decolonization, then, was a process as well as a historical period.

Yet the nations and regions of Africa experienced it with varying degrees of success. By 1990, formal European political control had given way to African self-rule—except in South Africa. Culturally and politically, however, the legacy of European dominance remained evident in the national borders, political infrastructures, education systems, national languages, economies, and trade networks of each nation. Ultimately, decolonization produced moments of inspiration and promise, yet failed to transform African economies and political structures to bring about true autonomy and development.

 

The Year of Africa

"Most of our weaknesses," declared Kenneth Kaunda, first president of Zambia, in a March 1966 speech, "derive from lack of finance, trained personnel, etc., etc., etc. We are left with no choice but to fall on either the east or west, or indeed, on both of them." What Kaunda does not state is that the weaknesses that he speaks of were, first and foremost, products of European colonial strategies and, second, the failure of all but a few of his colleagues in other independent African nations to fully serve the interests of their people through brave and innovative development programs.

When decolonization began, there were reasons for optimism. The year 1960 was heralded throughout Africa and the West as "the Year of Africa" for the inspiring change that swept the continent. During that year, the Sharpeville massacre in South Africa shook the world to awaken to the horrors of white minority rule as South African police fired into a crowd of peaceful black protesters, killing sixty-nine in full view of photographers and reporters. Also in 1960, seventeen African territories gained independence from the strong arm of European colonial rule. These seventeen nations joined the United Nation's General Assembly and gave greater voice to the non-Western world.

Fully recognizing the potential for the remarkable change that African independence could bring to global politics, on February 3, 1960, Harold Macmillan, prime minister of Great Britain from 1957 to 1963, delivered his famous speech, "Wind of Change," to the South African parliament. "The growth of national consciousness in Africa is a political fact," Macmillan said, "and we must accept it as such. … I believe that if we cannot do so we may imperil the precarious balance between the East and West on which the peace of the world depends." He cautioned Western nations to change their behavior toward Africa to prevent the continent from falling under the sway of the East.

Back to top

 

The Cold War

It was this fear of Soviet influence in Africa, particularly on the part of the United States, that created such a major problem for African nations. Western powers viewed African independence through the lens of the Cold War, which rendered African leaders as either pro-West or pro-East; there was little acceptable middle ground. Naïvely, most African leaders believed that they could navigate the political land mines of the Cold War through political neutrality. Along these lines, in his speech on the occasion of Kenya's independence from Britain in 1963, Prime Minister Jomo Kenyatta (in power from 1964 to 1978) declared:

The aim of my government which starts today is not to be pro-left or pro-right. We shall pursue the task of national building in friendship with the rest of the world. Nobody will ever be allowed to tell us, to tell me: you must be friendly to so-and-so. We shall remain free and whoever wants friendship with us must be a real friend.

Nonetheless, as Africans declared themselves nonaligned, pro-West, or Marxist sympathizers, Cold War politics deprived them of the freedom to truly shape their political paths. Combined with the strong residue of the colonial political structure, African leaders designed their internal and external politics mindful of the Western powers' vigilance against socialist or communist influences.

Although Western European powers granted aid to African nations, they also coerced governments to support their agendas and instigated and aided coups against democratically elected governments. They also fomented civil unrest to ensure that governments friendly to their Cold War agenda remained in power and those that were not were removed by political machinations or assassination. In the Congo, for example, Joseph Mobutu took a strong anti-communist position and was subsequently rewarded by Western powers. It mattered little that in 1960 he helped orchestrate the coup that removed and ultimately brought about the murder of Patrice Lumumba, was among the most anti-democratic leaders on the continent, and siphoned Western aid and revenue from the nation's natural resources into personal accounts. Mobutu's rise to power and economic and political damage to Congo in the process—with the help of his Western allies—demonstrates that the politics of the Cold War, more than anything else, defined the successes and failures of African decolonization.

Back to top

 

Neo Colonialism

In the 1960s, Frantz Fanon, the anti-colonial intellectual and psychoanalyst, among others, described neo-colonialism as the continued exploitation of the continent from outside and within, together with European political intervention during the post-independence years. One of the many questions that African leaders faced was whether continued economic and political interaction with former colonial powers threatened their autonomy and political viability. The ex- colonizers wanted to retain their former colonial territories within their sphere of influence. This continued relationship, Fanon argued, benefited African politicians and the small middle class but did not benefit the national majorities. The result was tension between the ruling classes and the majority population.

In 1964 he wrote in Toward the African Revolution: "Every former colony has a particular way of achieving independence. Every new sovereign state finds itself practically under the obligation of maintaining definite and deferential relations with the former oppressor." With regard to the Cold War he continued:

This competitive strategy of Western nations, moreover, enters into the vaster framework of the policy of the two blocs, which for ten years has held a definite menace of atomic disintegration suspended over the world. And it is surely not purely by chance that the hand or the eye of Moscow is discovered, in an almost stereotypical way, behind each demand for national independence, put forth by a colonial people.

Early in the decolonization process, there were fleeting moments in which the emerging African and Asian nations did seek to shift the political paradigm away from the Cold War's East-West dichotomy. Foremost among these initiatives was the 1955 Bandung Conference, held in Bandung, Indonesia, from April 18 to 24, 1955. Representatives from twenty-nine Asian and African countries gathered to chart a course for neutrality in the Cold War conflict. The attendees agreed that to avoid being trapped within a Western or Soviet political orbit, developing nations must not rely on the industrialized powers for economic and political aid. Therefore, they vowed to work together by pooling their developmental and technological resources to establish an economic and political sphere, a third way, to counterbalance the West and the Soviet Union.

However, it was a challenge for African nations to forge international links beyond words on paper: few national networks of administration, communication, or transportation within their borders operated consistently and effectively. In addition, the senior administrators who ran the colonies were removed with European rule, to be replaced by Africans with far less experience. Moreover, the political system that African leaders inherited was structured to benefit the evolving ruling classes with little regard for the needs of the people. There were few real efforts beyond the political speeches of Kwame Nkrumah—Ghana's first president, in power from 1957 to 1966—and the words of the founding charter of the Organization of African Unity to look beyond these accepted borders toward pan-Africanist or even regional confederations.

Moreover, the failure to dismantle the internal political structures imposed by European colonial regimes allowed ethnic and regional-based political competition (which acted as such a strong obstacle to national unity and progressive rule) to remain at the core of local and national political structures. Generally, the absence of national identities and political movements facilitated the continued intervention of the former colonial powers in Africa's internal affairs.

In addition, with few exceptions, European powers continued to dominate the economic affairs of the former colonies. Under European rule, people were forced to grow cash crops. This practice continued after independence, and the farmers remained vulnerable to the vagaries of the world market. A fall in world prices created political instability. This was the case in Ghana in the 1960s when the price of cocoa collapsed, and in Rwanda in the 1980s, when the price of coffee fell. The former contributed to Nkrumah's fall from power in 1966, and the latter to civil war and ultimately genocide in the early 1990s.

Back to top

 

Pan-Africanism and Socialism

The most outstanding post-independence leaders were cognizant of the challenges of the Cold War and ongoing European economic and political influence and sought remedies to ensure the autonomy and development of their nations. Few pursued initiatives that transformed their nations into bastions of economic and political stability. Nonetheless, they worked steadfastly to dismantle the colonial political structures and replaced them with systems that reflected the history, culture, and needs of the people.

In addition to launching a bold and expansive, if economically unviable, industrializing program, Kwame Nkrumah believed in the political and economic unification of the African continent. A federally unified state, he argued, would allow Africa to pool resources to rebuild the continent for the benefit of its people as opposed to multinational corporations. In I Speak of Freedom, Kwame Nkrumah wrote: "It is clear we must find an African solution to our problems, and that this can only be found in African unity. Divided we are weak; united, Africa could become one of the greatest forces for good in the world."

From a Western standpoint, Nkrumah forged alliances that increasingly placed him in the camp of the Eastern Bloc. Western governments understood Nkrumah's agenda to be socialist and worried about his influence on other African leaders. There are debates about the forces behind the coup that overthrew him in February 1966, but there is strong evidence from the State Department Archives that the United States was interested in removing him from power and that they worked to manipulate the international cocoa price to fuel dissatisfaction with his regime.

Julius Nyerere, first president of Tanzania from 1964 to 1985, argued for shifting the political paradigm away from the European models inherited from the colonial era and toward indigenous Africans forms. In particular, he advocated for African socialism, which more closely aligned with the communal practices of "traditional" African societies. In his Arusha Declaration, published in February 1967, Nyerere declared African socialism as the model for African development. Contrary to the Western model of economic development, Ujamaa socialism, and African socialism generally, emphasized collective responsibility and advancement in place of the individual:

It is stupid to rely on money as the major instrument of development when we know only too well that our country is poor. It is equally stupid, indeed it is even more stupid, for us to imagine that we shall rid ourselves of our poverty through foreign financial assistance rather than our own financial resources...

From now on we shall stand upright and walk forward on our feet rather than look at this problem upside down. Industries will come and money will come, but their foundation is the people and their hard work, especially in agriculture. This is the meaning of self-reliance.

Self-reliance and the freedom to aggressively pursue an autonomous global political position proved elusive in an era in which the West defined its friends by their perceived position within the Cold War divide. Unique among the overtly socialist leaders in Africa, Nyerere enjoyed political longevity and friendly relations with Western and Eastern Bloc nations. Yet throughout the 1970s the Tanzanian economy, and Nyerere's Ujamaa socialism for that matter, failed to produce the economic and political benefits that it espoused.

Back to top

 

Tragedy in Congo

In Congo, Patrice Lumumba, its first prime minister, also battled the forces of the Cold War but with more tragic consequences. On Independence Day, June 30, 1960, Lumumba delivered a speech in the presence of the king of Belgium, denouncing the atrocities of colonial rule and declaring that Congo would establish an autonomous government and an economy for the people:

We are going to show the world what the black man can do when he works in freedom, and we are going to make of the Congo the center of the sun's radiance for all of Africa.

We are going to keep watch over the lands of our country so that they truly profit her children. We are going to restore ancient laws and make new ones which will be just and noble...

And for all that, dear fellow countrymen, be sure that we will count not only on our enormous strength and immense riches but on the assistance of numerous foreign countries whose collaboration we will accept if it is offered freely and with no attempt to impose on us an alien culture of no matter what nature...

The Congo's independence marks a decisive step towards the liberation of the entire African continent.

Western powers viewed Lumumba as dangerous and vulnerable to falling under Soviet sway, and they quickly collaborated on a plan with the United Nations' assistance to undermine him. He served as prime minister for fewer than seven months before he was deposed and assassinated as part of a plot drawn up by the United States, Belgium, and their allies within the Congo. Because Western powers feared that the country's resources would be nationalized or, even worse, be made available to the Soviet Union, they thought it necessary to have a pro-Western government installed, regardless of its legitimacy within the Congo or its commitment to democracy and development.

Back to top

 

Proxy War in Angola

The United States' deep investment in destabilizing the democratically elected, post-independence government of Angola is arguably the most profound example of Western influence and its destructive consequences for Africa. In 1975 Angola gained its independence from Portugal, and three nationalist groups subsequently fought for control of the government: the MPLA (Popular Movement for the Liberation of Angola), led by President José Eduardo dos Santos and backed by Cuba and the Soviet Union; UNITA (National Union for the Total Independence of Angola), led by Jonas Savimbi and backed by South Africa and the United States; and the FNLA (National Liberation Front of Angola), backed by Zaire's president, Mobutu Sese Seko (he had changed the name Congo to Zaire in 1971.)

Cuban and Soviet support for MPLA, including Cuban troops led by Che Guevara, forced Zaire and South Africa to withdraw their forces, which allowed the democratically elected MPLA to organize a government. Savimbi and UNITA became the rebel opposition but enjoyed little support beyond Savimbi's Ovimbundu ethnic group and financing from the United States. The basis for American support for UNITA was that Savimbi declared himself an avowed anti-Marxist, in contrast to the nominally Marxist MPLA. Between 1986 and 1991 the United States spent $250 million on a covert operation in Angola and aid to Savimbi. In a 1986 meeting at the White House, U.S. President Ronald Reagan declared Savimbi a "freedom fighter" for his struggle against dos Santos and the MPLA. Yet in 2002, when news of Savimbi's death reached Luanda, the Angolan capital, people poured into the streets shouting, "The terrorist is gone!"

It was only with Savimbi's death that fighting ended between the MPLA government and UNITA. The twenty-seven-year civil war caused so much destruction to the nation that UNICEF declared Angola the worst place in the world to be a child. Angola stands as a harsh illustration of the direct consequence of civil war, Cold War politics, and failures in African leadership.

Between the early 1950s and the mid-1970s, as African leaders south of the Sahara took direct control of their economies, political institutions, and resources, they entered the brutal trap of Cold War–era global politics. European economic and political influence remained deeply entrenched in Africa throughout the period because of their strategic interests in maintaining unobstructed access to Africa's natural resources and in supporting governments friendly to Western political interests. More important, there was an acute failure of African leadership in many of the newly independent African nations as Western aid and a focus on anti-communism paved the way for political corruption and self-interest among African leaders. Decolonization, therefore, released Africans from their status as colonial subjects but failed to rid African nations of the sway of their former colonial rulers, other Western powers, and a culture of political and economic exploitation and corruption.

Back to top

Bibliography

De Witte, Ludo. The Assassination of Lumumba. New York: Verso, 2002.

Fanon, Frantz. Toward the African Revolution, trans. Haakon Chevalier. New York: Grove Press, 1964.

Gleijeses, Piero. Conflicting Missions: Havana, Washington, and Africa, 1959–1976. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2002.

Le Seuer, James D., ed. The Decolonization Reader. New York: Routledge, 2003.

Nkrumah, Kwame. Africa Must Unite. London: Panaf, 2006.

———. I Speak of Freedom. London: Zed Books, 1973.

Nzongola-Ntalaja, Georges. The Congo: From Leopold to Kabila. New York: Zed Books, 2002.

Springhall, John. Decolonization Since 1945: The Collapse of European Overseas Empires. New York: Palgrave MacMillan, 2001.

Worger, William, Nancy Clark, and Edward Alpers, eds. Africa and the West: A Documentary History from the Slave Trade to Independence. Phoenix, Ariz: Oryx Press, 2001.

Image Gallery

Scroll to the bottom of the page to see all images

0 thoughts on “Decolonization Cold War Essay Outline

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *