Edexcel History GCSE Peace and War: International Relations
He rose to power at the height of the Great Depression and adopted Keynesian economics to start the path of recovery, via his New Deal and brought about a welfare state. He worked closely with his British and Soviet counterparts to achieve victory over the Axis powers in World War II.
Saw the end of World War II with his ordering of the use of nuclear weapons against Japan. Established the Truman Doctrine which called for the support of free people resisting subjugation by armed minorities or outside pressures
He was the Supreme Leader of the Allied Forces during World War II, and won a landslide victory based on a platform of fighting communism. His policy of focus on nuclear weapons instigated an arms race with the Soviets.
During his reign the United States began catch-up in the space race with the launch of the Apollo program. His term was abruptly ended when he was killed in an assassination.
He was the vice-president under JFK, and succeeded him following his assassination. He started a "War on Poverty" and signed several civil rights bills to ban discrimination and guaranteeing voting rights for all citizens.
He embraced policies transferring power from Washington to the states, launched initiatives to fight cancer and illicit drugs and imposed wage and price controls. He resigned after the Watergate scandal, which destroyed his reputation.
Succeeded Nixon after his resignation. He was the only person to have become both the vice-president and the president without being elected by the Electoral College. He bred a lot of controversy and dissatisfaction due to his official pardon of Nixon for the Watergate Scandal.
He took office during a period of stagflation, which persisted throughout his term. He implemented a new national energy policy that included conservation and price control.
He implemented sweeping new supply-side economic policies, which have been dubbed Reaganomics. He advocated reducing tax rates, control of money supply and deregulation of the economy. His presidency also saw a re-ignition of tensions with the Soviet Union.
Bush Sr's presidency was driven by foreign policy, with several major military operations including Panama, being conducted. His reign saw the end of the Cold War with the collapse of the Soviet Union.
He was the longest serving leader of the Soviet Union in part due to his Purging of political opponents. He was responsible for the rapid industrialization of the Soviet Union and the establishment of 5 year plans. He led the Soviet Union through World War II, and was crucial to the development of the Eastern Block.
Started the process of de-Stalinization, immediately after Stalin's death, and started a power struggle for leadership, which was successful. Oversaw numerous reforms and policy changes.
All of detente happened under Brezhnev
The last leader of the Soviet Union. He attempted massive reforms and attempted to make the Soviet Union more open and transparent. The Soviet Union collapsed the day after his resignation.
(failed coup d'état)
The last leader of the Soviet Union. He attempted massive reforms and attempted to make the Soviet Union more open and transparent. The Soviet Union collapsed the day after his resignation.
Stop spread of communism USA sent troops into South Vietnam. SU supplying arms to North Vietnam. US want to end war in 1968
USA providing Israel with weapons. SU providing Arabs with weapons
Nixon visits China. Brezhnev scared of Chinese and US alliance
Nixon visits Moscow. Agreed to take part in Helsinski Agreements
• It was an attempt to limit the arms race between the two superpowers
• Talks over 3 years produced SALT 1
• The agreements:
- Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty systems allowed at only 2 sites that contained only 100
- Interim Agreement on Offensive Arms: this was a 5 year freeze on the total of ICBM
and SLBM launchers
- Strategic bombs not limites
- No restriction on MIRVs (multiple independently targetable re-entry vehicles)
- Each side was allowed to use satellites to check that the other side was not breaking the arms limits
Yet Arms Race continued. Many agreements from SALT 1 not enforced. Neither side
trusted the other to reduce their nuclear arsenal
if the USA improved trade and technology relations and made an offer of arms reduction, Brezhnev would be able to persuade the North Vietnamese to negotiate an end to a War
Yom Kippur War. Still indirectly fighting. War ends with ceasefire
SALT 11 began in 1974 and the treaty was signed in June 1979
• The new agreements for SALT 11 where:
- A limit of 2400 strategic nuclear delivery vehicles per side
- 1320 limit on MIRV for each side
- A ban on construction of new land-based ICBM launcehrs
- Limits on deployment of new types of strategic offensive arms
• Consent of the SALT 11 treaty did not take place as the US Congress did not believe
that the limits put forward could be verified
• In 1979, NATO decided to place long-range missiles in Europe
Nixon visits Moscow. Agree to arms reductions
Détente came to an end when the USSR invaded Afghanistan
• Was the first conference of the big three as Roosevelt wanted to improve relations between the three allies
• Main agreements:
- Britain and USA agreed to open up a second front by invading France in May 1944
- The Soviet Union was to wage war against Japan once Germany was defeated
- A United Nations organisation was to be set up after the war
- An area of eastern Poland was added to the Soviet Union
Strains in the Grand Alliance:
• Stalin was annoyed that Britain and USA delayed opening second front (convinced that they were waiting for the Germans to destroy them)
• Churchill did not trust Stalin and had always been against communism
• Stalin wanted to take over Poland, Churchill was suspicious of his motives
World War II ends with the surrender of Japan to the Allies, Nazi Germany having previously surrendered. This means that the alliance is under threat as they no longer have a common enemy.
• The Three allied leaders met in Yalta to discuss how to split up Germany and Europe once the War ended
• They agreed to:
- The Soviet Union entering war against Japan
- Divide Germany into 4 zones (and also Berlin): US, British, French and Soviet
- To hunt down and try Nazi war criminals
- To allow countries that had been liberated to have free elections in order to choose the government that they want
- To Join the United Nations organisation in order to maintain peace
- That Eastern Europe would be a Soviet Sphere of Influence
They disagreed on:
- How much Germany was to pay in reparations (Stalin wanted a much higher figure then Roosevelt and Churchill)
- About poland: Stalin wanted to Polish border to be further West and wanted a friendly Polish government. The western powers agreed but persuaded Stalin to agree to allow free elections
Before the conference:
- Soviet troops had liberated countries in eastern Europe but had not removed their military presence
- Stalin had set up a communist government in Poland, ignoring the wishes of the majority of Poles and the agreements made at Yalta
• To divide Germany and Berlin as previously agreed
• To demilitarize Germany
• To re-establish democracy in Germany
• That Germany had to pay reparations to the Allies in equipment and materials
• To ban the Nazi party
• To participate fully in the UN
• Poland's borders to be moved further West
• Disagreed over how to treat Germany. The Soviet’s wanted to crush her whereas UK & USA wanted to avoid the mistakes of Versailles & ensure a stable strong capitalist democracy in Europe.
• They also disagreed over the lack of free elections in Eastern Europe.
Truman was leader of USA at this point and hated Communism, distrusted Stalin
It was a metaphor used by Winston Churchill in a speech after the Second World War, to describe the ideological and physical line in Europe dividing the countries that were Soviet-influence and American-influenced. This barrier was viewed differently by both sides.
The border is intended to provide containment against the spread, and of the influence exerted by the opposing ideology. It also represents the spheres of influence of the two major powers of the Cold War.
The Truman Doctrine was President Truman’s idea that it was the USA’s duty to prevent the spread of communism to eastern Europe and the rest of the world.
- The Truman Doctrine was started due to the events in Greece:
• Britain had had influence in Greece (as agreed in the Yalta conference), however, since 1944 there had been a civil war going on between the royalist government and the communist forces
• Britain gave money to the Greek Government so as to fight off the communist forces but by 1947 they no longer afford to support the Greek government.
• Because of this the USA stepped in with the necessary financial aide needed $400 million (this was unusual as the USA usually did not play part in the affairs of europe)
• As a response to the Truman Doctrine, Stalin set up Cominform (the Communist Information Bureau)
• It was set-up to enable the Soviet Union to co-ordinate communist parties throughout Europe
• It was introduced to ensure that the satellite states:
- Followed Soviet aims in foreign ideas
- Introduced Soviet style economic policies, such as collectivisation of agriculture and state control of the industry
• The Soviet Union also set it up so that they could purge any members who disagreed with them
• The Marshall Plan was an economic version of the Truman Doctrine
• Truman believed that communism generally won support in countries where there were economic problems
• Truman believed that if the countries who were suffering after the effects of the war were given financial aide then they would be less likely to turn to communism
• Aide ($17 billion) was given to all war-torn European countries (16 countries join):
- Technological assistance
• USSR stop countries in Comecon from receiving aid
In 1948, Stalin blockaded all routes by land and rail into West Berlin. This was why:
• In 1948, the British and American zones of Germany merged into one zone called Bizonia
• In 1948, the Allies created a West German country with its own money (western Deutschmark) and government.
• Stalin wanted to weaken Germany, not make it stronger
1. On the 24th June: Stalin cut off road, rail and canal traffic in an attempt to starve West Berlin. His aim was to try and cut off the West’s access to food and bring it to starvation point
2. However, Truman was determined to stand up to the Soviet Union so he decided to start airlifting supplies from their bases in West Germany into Berlin.
3. The airlift began on 28th June and lasted for 10 months
4. The West Berliners were supplied with:
- Building materials
5. On 12th May 1949, Stalin called off the blockade
• It was Stalins response to the Marshall plan
• It was supposed to be a means were the SU could financially support countries in Eastern Europe but was used instead to:
- Control the economies of the states
- Give the SU access to their resources
- Encourage economic specialisation within the Soviet Bloc (eg: Hungary focusing on the production of food and raw materials)
With the reveal of the Manhattan Project following the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki by the Americans, the Soviet Union accelerated their nuclear energy project, in order to remove their military disadvantage. With the end of the war, the Soviets were able to focus on research, and aided by their successful spy ring were able to develop nuclear weapons.
The development of nuclear weapons was for the purpose of deterrence against nuclear attacks by the US. It also goes hand-in-hand with the policy of Mutually Assured Destruction (MAD) which would ensure mutual devastation if a nuclear war were to start.
This is because the USA didn't want to back the corrupt and violent mafia that had ruled before. It taught the USA that morals couldn't affect their politics as it simply leads to them losing countries to communism (shown later when they back the Mujahideen)
It was a war between the Soviet supported Democratic People's Republic of Korea (North Korea) and the American backed Republic of Korea (South Korea). It was a result of the political division of Korea after World War II. After a failure to hold elections throughout the Korean peninsula a communist government was formed in the North, while a right-wing government was formed in the South. The fighting ended with the signing of an armistice.
This is an example of proxy war, where a the two Koreas are fighting on the behalf of the two superpowers for regional dominance.
Julius and Ethel Rosenberg were Jewish-Americans who were tried and convicted and executed for espionage against the American government. They were accused for delivering secret information to the Soviets about American military technology, possibly even the nuclear bomb. Their highly publicized trial served to increase the American public's distrust of communism and fueled paranoia.
The Rosenbergs served as spies for the Soviet Union who used espionage to gain valuable military research and technologies.
Part of McCarthyism
• It was a military alliance of eight nations headed by the SU and was created to counter the threat of NATO
The Vietnam War was another war in the vein of the Korean War, with North Vietnam being supported by the Soviets, while South Vietnam was supported by America. After a drawn out war, due to extremely low home support for the war the US withdrew support for South Vietnam leaving them suddenly handicapped, allowing for the victory of North Vietnam.
The Vietnam War was among the most drawn out proxy wars, with the two divisions of Vietnam representing the ideologies of the two superpowers. As the supporter of the victor, the Soviet Union expanded their sphere of influence in the region.
Invaded by Russia during the War
• In 1945 57% of the election votes were given to the smallholders party
• Communist party did not like this and so they create a coalition government 1947, the communists now become the biggest party
• Matyas Rakosi is the leader
How Rakosi ruled:
• Rakosi was a violent and brutal leader
• He killed an estimate of 2000 people in purges and imprisoned 200,000 political opponents
• Religious teaching is schools was banned
• Living standards were awful
• When Stalin died, the new leader (Malenkov) did not favor Rakosi and he was replaced by Imre Nagy
• He introduced many reforms and freed political prisoners
• But other communists criticised him and claimed that he was too right wing, they removed him in April 1955 and replaced him with Rakosi
• July 1956: Rakosi forced from power by Moscow, replaced by Erno Gero
• 23rd October 1956: 300,000 demonstrators in Budapest demanding free elections, free press and withdrawal of Soviet troops. Statue of Stalin pulled down
• Khrushchev sends in troops and tanks, 12 people die, hundreds wounded
• Janos Kadar takes over as PM, followed by Nagy the next day
• 30th October: Nagy releases political prisoners, approaches UN, publishes reforms:
intention to leave Warsaw Pact. 3rd November, coalition government set up
• 4th November: Khrushchev sent 200,000 troops and 6000 tanks into Hungary.
• The Hungarians were no match for the Soviets and a ceasefire was agreed
• Janos Kadar became Hungary’s new leader and Nagy was arrested and then shot in Romania
Why did Khrushchev send soldiers into Hungary?
• If Hungary left Warsaw Pact others might follow - sent a strong message to the rest of the USSR' s satellites.
• Khrushchev was advised by Chinese Communist leaders to do so.
• Khrushchev needed to show strength to avoid his own downfall in the USSR.
• He was confident that the West wouldn't intervene as they had own problems eg Egypt and presidential elections
• Hungary still part of Soviet empire
• Khrushchev’s message of peaceful co-existence and de-Stalinisation are fake. USSR haven’t changed.
• USA don’t get involved so not such a large change in relations
• USSR view USA’s not getting involved as a way for them to do what they want
In the late 1950s, the American government set up an intelligence base in Pakistan - a NATO member - from which surveillance missions over Soviet territory were flown. The Soviets managed to shoot down a U2 spy plane and capture the pilot. Initially the Americans claimed it was a lost weather research aircraft, but were caught in a lie a few days later when the Soviets revealed the American pilot. This further deteriorated American-Soviet relations.
The US were attempting to conduct espionage to gather intelligence on Soviet facilities using their spy planes.
• Between 1949 to 1961, about 4 million East Germans fled to the West through Berlin including professional people, this resulted in a drain of labour and economic output called the brain drain
• West Berlin is more successful
• Fear that West Berlin was a base for capitalist espionage
• SU wants allies out of Berlin: they refuse
• Paris summit May 1960 to negotiate about Berlin. Soviet Union shoot down American U-2 spy plane 9 days before. Eisenhower won’t apologise
• June 1961: Vienna summit- Khrushchev offered to make a treat with East Germany ending all four Allies occupation rights but Kennedy refuses to withdraw forces from West Berlin
• 13th Aug 1961 Khrushchev closed the border between East & West Berlin
• Barbed wire placed along 50km border between East & West Berlin
• Concrete wall built within a day encircling West Berlin
• Many were shot if they tried to escape from East Berlin
• USA and Allies did nothing to stop building of wall
• Berlin families were split apart as travel restrictions made it very difficult for relatives to see each other
• Although Khrushchev failed to remove western forces, the crisis had ended and tensions had eased.
• The wall became a symbol of division. Iron curtain in reality
• Khrushchev felt like he had beaten Kennedy
• Kennedy visits West Germany in 1963. Popular speeches to 1.5 million Berliners.
In 1959, Fidel Castro seized power from the corrupt US backed dictator Batista. He annoyed the USA by nationalising all the US owned estates & factories. Cuba's relationship with the US worsened BUT their relations with the USSR improved
• In retaliation to Castro, the US refused to buy Cuba’s biggest export: sugar
• However, the Soviets offered to buy Cuban sugar and also provided them with machinery, oil and technological assistance
The Bay of Pigs, April 1961:
• In Jan 1961, the USA broke off diplomatic relations with Cuba
• Convinced that Cuba was now a communist state, JFK made a plan with a group of Batista (the old dictator) to invade Cuba and remove Castro, 1500 men were trained by the CIA. $45 million budget
• However this invasion failed due to the fact that Castro was very popular and so
when the exiles had been hear discussing their plans, Castro was notified
Khrushchev's decision to set up nuclear missile launchers on Cuba:
• Because of the USA’s involvement in the Bay of Pigs, Castro was pushed to become much closer with the Soviet Union and he finally declared his conversion to communism
• The USA had missile bases in Italy and Turkey and Khrushchev wanted to restore
balance and so placed missile bases in Cuba
• Khrushchev decided to set up these launchers aimed at the USA (nearest point =
less than 100 miles from Cuba).
• These missiles would have range of 2000 miles & so that all major cities of central & eastern USA (including New York & Washington) were threatened.
• This was part of the Arms Race & was an attempt to balance the US missile bases in Turkey & was perhaps meant as a tool to bargain with the US to get them to remove missiles in Europe or perhaps to get them to move out of Berlin.
• He also wanted to test JFK the new young US President.
• On 14th October 1962: U-2 Spy plane took photos of Cuba showing the missiles
• His military advisors urged him to launch air strikes against the bases BUT JFK was more cautious.
• 22nd Oct: He alerted US troops. 156 ICBM’s made ready for combat & began a
blockade of Cuba to keep out the 25 USSR ships which were bringing missiles.
• 24th October: Kennedy demanded the dismantling of the missile sites & the removal of those missiles already in Cuba otherwise USA would invade Cuba
• 26th October: Khrushchev sends Kennedy a letter offering to remove missiles if
blockade is removed and they wont invade Cuba
• 27th October: Khrushchev sends another letter. Promises to remove missiles if USA remove missiles from Turkey
• 28th October: Kennedy ignores 2nd letter. Agrees to 1st one. USSR remove missiles
Effects of the Crisis
• Kennedy looked strong. Khrushchev looked weak. Lost support. Sacked 1964
• Cuba was now a secure communist state
• Cuba brought about Detente which lasted into the 1970s. Cuba had improved
relations & led to a decrease in tension:
- 1963 USA sold grain to USSR
- It led to a direct telephone link to be set up between Moscow & Washington
- August 1968: Partial Test Ban Treaty- Both USA and SU agreed to stop testing
nuclear weapons in the atmosphere
- July 1968: Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty to stop spread of nuclear weapons
- Missiles removed from Cuba and Turkey, less threat
With the events of the Cuban Missile Crisis nearly leading to nuclear war, it was made obvious that a quick and secure means of communication needed to be established between the two nuclear powers. Hence a private hotline was established between the White House and the Kremlin to allow the respective leaders quick communication in case of an emergency.
This is among the first agreements of the detente, as this reduced the escalating tensions between the two nations.
• Since 1948, Czechoslovakia had always been a model satellite state. The standard of living there was generally very good and the government was obedient to the SU.
• However, in the 1960’s opposition grew towards the Soviets for several different
- The leader of Czechoslovakia, Antonin Novotny, supported the communists but was a very unpopular leader
- By the 1960’s, the economy was in decline partly due to the fact that they were made to produce raw materials for the SU
- Novotny failed to improve the economy with his new economic model
- In October 1967, Novotny was challenged by reformers including Alesander Dubcek & Ota Silk
- In December, Dubcek invited Leonid Brezhnev (the Soviet leader) to prague, he was surprised at the extent of opposition to Novotny and he withheld support for the leader
- On the 5th January 1968, Novotny was replaced as First Secretary of the Communist party by Alexander Dubcek
• March 1968 Novotny resigned as President of Czechoslovakia & replaced by General Ludvik Svoboda (he supported Dubcek’s reforms)
The Prague Spring Reforms;
• The ‘Prague Spring’ refers to a series of reforms introduced by Dubcek in the spring of 1968.
• It was known as ‘socialism with a human face’ as its aim was to remove the worst
features of the communist regime.
• What it involved:
- Greater political freedom – fee speech, end of press censorship
- Reduction of powers of the secret police
- Removal of travel restrictions
- 10 year programme for political change which would bring out democratic socialism – (working towards democratic elections)
- Creation of a works councils to represent the workforce
• Lead to opponents of communists demanding more radical reforms
• In June 1968, the Social Democrats began to form separate party’s to rival the
• Journalist Ludvik Vaculik published a manifesto where he asked the Czechoslovakian people to try and force extreme reforms
• This worried the USSR as Czechoslovakia was a key member of the Warsaw Pact
(centrally placed & key industry)
• USSR feared NATO would gain influence there
• USSR worried new ideas in Czechoslovakia may spread else where
• USSR worried that Czechoslovakia had become closer to West Germany (trade)
The Soviet Union’s response:
• Brezhnev was put under pressure from the East German leader: Walter Ulbricht and the Polish leader: Gomulka to stop the reforms in Czechoslovakia
• Dubcek and Brezhnev meet and Dubcek agrees to not allow a new Social
Democratic Party and to remain in the Warsaw Pact (although he still wanted to
continue his reform programme)
• Dubcek signs the Bratislava Declaration declaring their faith in communism
• The leader of Yugoslavia (who wasn’t trusted by the Soviet Union) was given a warm welcome in Czechoslovakia
• The Soviet Union decide to invade following the build up of tension between the
Warsaw Pact countries:
1. On the 20th August 1968, thousands of Soviet troops (backed by units from
Bulgaria, East Germany, Hungary and Poland) enter Czechoslovakia
2. Buildings were set on fire and the Soviet tanks were petrol bombed
3. Students fought back against the Soviet army, however, the Czechoslovakian army did not back them up
4. Dubcek and other leaders are arrested and taken to Moscow
• Gustav Husak replaced Dubcek and reverted to strict communist rule
• Sent out a message to the rest of the Warsaw Pact that the Soviet Union were not to be messed with
• Romania and Albania (along with other countries) start to move against the Warsaw Pact
• Temporarily worsened relations with the West as they did not agree with the Soviets actions, however détente still continued as the USA was busy with the new
presidential election as well as the Vietnam War
If a capitalist threatened any communist country then other communist states had to intervene by using force
The Strategic Arms Limitation Talks (SALT) took place between the United States and the Soviet Union discussing an agreement to limit the number of missiles acquired, armed, and aimed by the two countries. Negotiations started in late 1969 but was deadlocked for a long period of time, and only with further discussions did the negotiations come to an end, with the leaders of each nation signing the treaty.
This treaty epitomizes the period of detente, with both superpowers reducing hostilities and attempting to come to peaceful agreement.
• 27th April 1978: Peoples Democratic Party of Afghanistan (com) overthrow gov
• PDPA impose a strict communist style reform programme. Many muslims imprisioned
• 1979: PDPA lost support. Amin (deputy PM) seizes power. But still unstable as....
• Thousands of Muslims joined the Mujahideen who wanted to overthrow government
• Mujahideen declare a holy war on the supporters of Amin
• PDPA get more soviet support even though Amin did not want to be reliant on USSR
• Unrest continued so on 25th December 1978 more than 50,000 troops sent to
Afghanistan to restore power and protect the PDPA
• 27th December: Amin was shot and replaced by Babrack Kamal. Relied solely on SU
• Many Afghanistan soldiers fled to join the mujahideen
The USA’s response:
• Carter was under pressure so decided to take a tougher line with SU:
• The USA’s response was through the Carter Doctrine. This was a policy that statedthat the USA would use military force if necessary to defend its national interests in the Persian Gulf region
• It also promised US military aid to all of the countries bordering Afghanistan
• Carter also:
- Suspended ratification (endorsement) of SALT II by US senate.
- Ordered US athletes to boycott 1980 Olympics in Moscow.
- Stopped USSR buying US grain.
- Backed up mujahideen (who was fighting against the Soviet Union)
• First known as the Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI) but was known as the ‘Star
Wars’ programme after the movies
• It was a sort of machine where the USA would be able to intercept any missiles that
the Soviet Union sent over, it was made so that the US didn’t need to feel safe only
when it was on friendly terms with the Soviet Union
• Andropov (the new leader of the Soviet Union) saw the SDI as the USA making plans to create a nuclear war in the best way for them
• The Soviet Union was not able to compete with what the USA had made as their
economy was already failing
• USA no longer had to be afraid of the USSR
• Started during period of START. USA don’t care about keeping peace
The Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty was an agreement signed between the Soviet Union and The United States of America. It was a bilateral agreement to remove INF systems (of range 500-5500 km)and shorter range weapons from Europe. Since this agreement was bilateral, other nuclear powers were exempt.
This agreement follows the principles used during the detente, with a bilateral agreement between the two superpowers being signed with the intent of reducing hostility.
• When Gorbachev came to power he ended the Cold War unilaterally because it was draining all of the Soviet Union’s economy
• He ended the arms race with the USA and signed several arms reduction
• He stopped Soviet interference in eastern European satellite states
• He started glasnost (openness). Expression, freedoms, greater political freedoms:
- Elections for local governments
- Soviet people learnt of what happened during Stalins reign
- Dissidents were released from jail, banned books were published
- 1968: rejected Brezhnev doctrine
- 1989: Sinatra Doctrine: allowed Satellite States to go their own way
• Perestroika (restructuring) changing the way the USSR is run. Industrial efficiency:
- Private buisnesses and people allowed to make own profits
- Cut spending on military: 6 month freeze on deployment of weapons in Europe
Gorbachev needed the Soviet people to like him and so he started the walkabouts,
where he would walk around Russia and start conversations with ordinary people