History GCSE


Paris Peace Conference

January 1919

-Victorious powers (the big 3) met to discuss peace terms with the defeated powers
-Britiain= Lloyd George, a mediator, harsh but fair, wanted to maintain trade links ---France= Clemenceau, very harsh-most affected by the war, wanted Germany crippled
-America= Woodrow Wilson, an idealist, least affected by the war, who resented all the terms, pushed for self-determination
-Wilson suggested the 14 points, league of nations, disarmament

Treaty of Versailles

May 1919

-Alsace- Lorraine to France, Saar to be looked after until a plebiscite
-Lost the Polish corridor and all overseas colonies, Rhineland demilitarised
-Army limited to 100,000 men, conscription banned, no airforce or submarines
-Germany to pay £6.6 billion in reparations to Britain and France
-They must sign the war guilt clause

The League of Nations

January 1920

-Held in the allied zone of Geneva, Switzerland
-All countries (excl. Germany) were to be members
-Intended to deal with disagreements peaceful by following the Covenant (rule book), encouraging international relations and using collective security
-Included; the Council (main powers), Assembly (all), Secretariat (paperwork)
-Sanctions; Step 1- Moral Condemnation, Step 2- Economic Sanctions, Step 3- Military Sanctions

Manchurian Crisis

1931 - 1933

-Japan suffering from depression, wanted to expand into a chinese province for it's resoruces
-Blew up part of the South Manchurian Railway, blamed local Chinese groups
-Used the event as an excuse for launching an attack on Manchuria
-China appealed to the league, Lord Lytton was sent to investigate
-The investigation took a year, only to find Japan should withdraw
-Japan refused, left the league and extended into China
-The league took no further action, Japan had got away with the crime

The Disarmament Conference

February 1932 - 1934
  • Germany had been involved in the League for 6 years and many people now accepted that Germany should be treated more fairly
  • The Germans walked out of the conference in July 1932 when the other counties refused to disarm to the level that Germany had had to
  • May 1933, Hitler returned to the conference and promised that he wouldn’t rearm if ‘in five years all other nations destroyed their arms’
  • They refused and Hitler withdrew from the conference in October and not much later, the League of Nations

In Secret then Public Rearmament of Germany


-Originally Hitler was sensible enough to keep this quiet
-After 1935, it become obvious neither Britain or France would do anything to stop Hitler so he no longer felt the need to keep it a secret

Hitler's Foreign Policy

1933 - 1939

-To destroy the Treaty of Versailles, by breaking all the terms
-To destroy communism
-To create Lebensraum or 'living space'
-(to reclaim lost territory)

Hitler's Non Aggression Pact with Poland


Hitler's Reasons:
- to weaken the alliance that already existed between Poland and France
- to reduce the Polish fears of German aggression
- to show that he didn’t have a quarrel with Poland, merely the USSR

Anglo-German Naval Treaty

  • Hitler believed Britain had some sympathy towards Germany regarding rearmament -Britain did think the terms of the treaty had been too harsh on Germany and that a strong Germany would be a buffer against Communism -The treaty allowed the Germans to have navy fleet up to 35% of the size of the British fleet and have the same number of submarines

Abyssinian Crisis

1935 - 1936

-Mussolini (Italy leader) wanted a new Roman Empire
-He invaded Abyssinia, both countries a member of the league but Italy was part of the the Council
-Abyssinia appealed to the league for help, it took months for a decision
-Some minor economic sanctions were imposed on Italy (Britain and France more concerned over the threat of Hitler, wanted Italy as an ally)
-They did not close the suez canal, so they could continue supplying their invasion
-Hoare- Lavel Plan, made in secret, by Britain and France with Italy
-Agreed to give two thirds of Abyssinia to Mussolini, in return for support
-Italy invaded the rest of Abyssinia and left the league, the league was powerless

Remilitarisation of the Rhineland

  • Hitler moved German troops back into the demilitarised area of the Rhineland
  • It was a risk for Hitler as it was clearly a breach of the terms of the TofV
  • The German army only consisted of only 22,000 men and if the French army had reacted then they would have been no opposition
  • Neither the French nor British did anything and the troops remained in the Rhineland

The Saar Plebiscite

  • An area with rich coalfields was an industrial area that had been taken
  • The results of the plebiscite showed that over 90% of the population of the Saar wanted to reunite with Germany -Hitler regarded this as a great triumph because it was the first of the injustices of the Treaty of Versailles to be reversed



-Hitler was Austrian born and he wished to see Germany and Austria united
-He bullied Schuschnigg, the Austrian Chancellor, into accepting Seyss-Inquart, who was a Nazi, as Austrian Minister of the Interior
-Schuschnigg ordered for a plebiscite to take place in order to find out if the Austrians really wanted to unite
-Hitler worried that the people would vote against the unification so he moved German troops to the Austrian border and threatened to invade if Schuschnigg didn’t resign
-Seyss-Inquart then became Chancellor of Austria and invited the German troops into the country
- 12th of March 1938, the Germany army entered Vienna, they were welcomed
-Nazis also held their own votes regarding the unification with Germany and 99% of those who voted were in favour of the union
- It was believed that people opposed the unification were taken away and locked up or killed, and that the vote was fixed

The Sudeten Crisis


-An area of Czechoslovakia that bordered with south Germany
-A rich industrial area, that had NEVER been a part of Germany
-It did have many German speakers
-Hitler claimed the people were being mistreated after he ordered Konrad Henlein to cause trouble there
-Hitler threatened to go to war if a solution wasn’t reached

The Munich Conference

September 1938

-Chamberlain met Hitler and persuaded him to cut back on his demands
-He then persuaded the Czech leader to agree to Hitler's new terms
-Soon after, Hitler changed his mind
-Britain, France and Italy met with Hitler again and he persuaded them that if he got the Sudetenland, he wouldn't want any more of Europe
-The Czech representatives weren’t actually invited to this meeting
-The Munich agreement was signed and supposed to guarantee future peace

Hitler's Invasion of Czechoslovakia

March 1939

-In March Hitler broke his promise and invaded the rest of Czechoslovakia
-With Britain and France and with no Sudetenland, Czechoslovakia was left completely powerless
-Britain decided that appeasement must end immediately

The Pact of Steel

May 1939

-Signed between Hitler and Mussolini
-They promised to act together regarding future events that may take place
-It was clear that Europe was now divided into two sections
-Britain and Germany both began looking to the USSR as a possible source of support

Nazi-Soviet Pact

August 1939

-Britain and France considered communist USSR to be a big threat
-Germany provided a buffer zone between Britain and France and the USSR
-Stalin was horrified by the Sudetenland Crisis and considered an alliance with Britain and France BUT
-The USSR was suspicious of the Western motives, they were not invited to the Munich conference, Britain and France didn’t really show any urgency in relation to making an agreement so the USSR decided they weren't to be trusted
-Stalin felt he had no choice but to make an alliance with Hitler himself
-Hitler wanted East Prussia united with Germany which meant invading Poland
-This meant risking war with the USSR which Germany were not ready for
-A short-term pact was the solution
-It stated neither country would attack the other
-Secretly, they agreed to divide Poland between them
-The agreement shocked the rest of the world, the two were enemies
-Britain and France said they would protect Poland, but Hitler ignored them as he had every reason to believe appeasement would continue

Britain Declares War on Germany

3rd September 1939

The Arms Race

1945 - 1961

-1945 to 1945- US the only country with Atomic weapons
-1949 USSR successfully tested Atomic bomb
-1952 US detonated first hydrogen bomb
-1953- USSR detonated Hydrogen bomb
-1957 USA developed ICBM's
-1960 firing of Polaris missile from nuclear submarine

Yalta Conference

February 1945

-BEFORE the end of the war, agreements made in THEORY, a common enemy
-Roosevelt, Churchill and Stalin came together to decide what would happen about the defeated countries
-Germany would be split into 4 zones, British, French, Russian and German
-The capital, Berlin would be divided in the same was but was located in the Soviet zone
-The USSR would be allowed to have 'spheres of influence' in Eastern Europe
-The countries that were under Nazi role would be liberated and hold free elections
-All agreed to join the United Nations

Potsdam Conference

July 1945

-Post-war, the reality, no common enemy
-US- Truman, USSR- Stalin, Britain= Attlee
-Lots of disagreements, the day before the US had successfully tested the first Atomic bomb
-Truman was extremely anti-communist, caused tension
-The USSR determined to maintain spheres of influence, this concerned Truman
-Truman no longer wants any support from USSR in war against Japan

Hiroshima and Nagasaki

August, 1945

-6th August, US dropped an Atomic bomb on Hiroshima, Japan
-9th August, US dropped second atomic bomb on Nagasaki, Japan

The Iron Curtain

March 1946

-The Soviet sphere of influence grew to a great extent
-At first, the liberated countries were known as ‘Peoples Democracies’ but gradually other parties were frozen out and this just left the Communist Parties
-In Bulgaria, Albania, Poland, Romania and Hungary, the people that opposed Communism were either beaten, murdered or frightened into submission
-Churchill made a speech in the US which describe the control the USSR had over Eastern Europe as an Iron Curtain
-It seemed to divide the west and the east permanently



-Stands for Communist Information
-The USSR’s response to the Marshall Plan
-An alliance of Communist countries with the aim of spreading the communistic ideas
-It also helped to tighten the hold of Stalin on the Communist allies as it restricted contact with the West

Britain's Withdrawal From Greece


-Greece was divided into two movements – the royalists, who wanted the return of the King and the Communists
- After the German war had ended the King had been restored with the help of British forces
-In 1947, Greece came under attack from the Communists forces
-British forces had to withdraw, they couldn't afford it, so Greece asked the USA to help
-The US had to stop communism spreading so they provided Greece with arms, supplies and money
-In 1949 the Communists were defeated

The Truman Doctrine

March 12, 1947

-The USA wanted to contain the spread of Communism in Europe – this was known as the policy of containment
-Truman confirmed that the US would offer whatever support was necessary to any country who wanted to remain free from communism
-It was seen in action in Greece, Turkey and Austria

The Berlin Blockade

1948 - 1949

-Stalin knew he couldn't change the way the west was run
-He thought he could kick them out of Berlin in the Soviet zone
-Stalin cut all rail and road links from the west crossing the eastern zone to Berlin, and dispirited water and power supplies, in an attempt to get the west to withdraw
-The west decided they weren't going to surrender and started Operation Santa Clause
-They air lifted supplies to West Berlin for the next year
-By Spring 1949, 8,000 tonnes of supplies were being air lifted in every day
-Stalin would not attack planes in the air, this would be taking it too far as he feared the Atomic Monopoly of the USA
-Stalin called off the blockade in May

The Marshall Plan


-George Marshall discovered post-war Europe was in ruins (debt, rationing, power cuts) Europe owed $11.5 billion
-He confirmed that 'poverty + hardship = communism'
-Aid from the US would stop the spread of communism and help US markets
-He suggested a further $17 billion to be invested
-The aid was offered to all European countries but Hitler forbade the eastern countries d=form applying for it
-Stalin saw Marshall aid as a deliberate attempt to spread capitalism



-This was set up by Stalin to help co-ordinate the production and trade of Eastern European countries
-Comecon favoured the USSR.

Formation of NATO

April 4, 1949

-The North Atlantic Treaty Association
-All western powers were members, as well as the US and Canada, but it was optional to join
-If one member was attacked, all members would respond
-It was important as no European country had atomic weapons yet

Formation of the Federal Republic of Germany

August 1949

-The three western zones became united
-They worried the blockade was leading to Stalin's plan to invade Germany

Formation of the German Democratic Republic

October 1949

-The USSR declared the German zone to be renamed
-Relations between the USSR and the West very bad and Germany permanently divided

The Korean War

1950 - 1953

-USSR successfully tested Atomic Bomb
-1949 Chinese Communist Revolution, not the USSR but US had a monolithic view
-US spied confirmed Cominform was at work and US now afraid other countries across south east Asia would fall
-To conform their their, communist North Korea invaded anti-communist South
-NK and SK Nationalist leaders wanted to re-untie since end of WWII
-Korea divided at the 38th parallel, North Korea invades the South
-By September, the North about to defeat the South, the US takes action
-US persuaded UN to sen dan army to protect the South
-UN forces joined South forces and pushed the North back to 38th parallel
-US General MacArthur went further, invading NK almost to Chinese border
-China joined NK forces, USSR supplied weapons
-UN troops were pushed back, MacArthur wanted to use nuclear but Truman refused and fired him
-Stalemate, July 1953 a ceasefire was signed

Death of Stalin

March 1953

-Stalin died, leaving a chance for change
-His death led to new direction in Soviet foreign policy, the US willing to negotiate
-They regarded Stalin as the main cause of the war

The Warsaw Pact


-Set up by Khrushchev despite the 'Thaw'
-A response to NATO, six years after
-To secure the safety of communist states
-Member were the USSR and all the East European block (not optional)

Austrian State Treaty


-USSR supported the ending of Korean War
-Soviets signed a treaty that ended Soviet occupation of Austria
-Khrushchev emerged as new USSR leader
-He wanted Peaceful Existence withe the West
-Showed willingness to be friendly, attended Geneva summit
-Criticised Stalin, began 'Desalinisation'
-Said he wanted to improve living standard of the ordinary citizens

The Hungarian Uprising


-The USSR had loosened their grip slightly on the East
-Hungary had had a communist government established under Rakosi, who closely followed Stalin's rule
-Hungarian people hated Rakosi and his secret police
-There were many protests about the falling standard of living
-After Stalin's death tanks moved in and Rakosi forced to resign
-Imre Nagy became Prime Minister and Soviet troops withdrew
-Nagy determined on reform, wanted free elections, end of secret police and removal of the soviet army
-Khrushchev became alarmed when Nagy asked to withdraw from the Warsaw pact, meaning a gap in the Iron curtain
-Soviet troops and tanks moved in to crush the uprising, Nagy appealed to the West but not help came, Nagy was shot
-Left the UN discredited

The Space Race

1957 - 1961

-1957- USSR successfully landed first satellite
-1958- USA launches satellite
-1959- Soviet satellite reaches the moon
-1959- Soviet picture other side of the moon
-1961 Soviets send first man into space