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How To paper 1

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

6:53 PM
Answering each question:
Question 1 a): worth 3 marks, spend max 5 minutes on. Understanding historical sources reading comprehension.

For 3 marks, give at least 3 clear points from the source (you can write four in case,
to be on the safe side). Paraphrase from the source - i.e. put things in your own
words (you can quote but you don't have to do so, and you should avoid just
copying large parts of the source).
How to write the answer?
"The first reason given by the source is .......The second reason given by the source is ........ The third
reason given by the source is .........."
Question 1 b): worth 2 marks, spend max 5 minutes on. Understanding historical sources political cartoon/image analysis.

For 2 marks, give two clear (and separate) points about the 'message' conveyed in
the source, supporting each point with evidence from the source.
If it is a cartoon you are analysing, make sure you have fully understood the key
figures and symbols before you start to write about its messages!
How to write the answer?
"One message conveyed by the source is that ..........., because the source shows. A second message
conveyed by the source is that ....... because the source shows."
Question 2: worth 6 marks, spend max 13 - 14 minutes on. Compare and contrast sources - source

For 6 marks, you need to write two paragraphs that include a running
comparison/contrast of the two sources, carefully supported by quotes. Make sure that
you focus on answering the terms of the question - ie. it might be asking you to
compare/contrast in relation to a very specific topic, not just the sources in general.
Ideally you will be able to find two clear points of comparison and two clear points
of contrast, but don't worry if you end up having two of one and one of the other - it
depends a little on the sources you are given to compare! Write the first paragraph
on points of comparison, and the second on points of contrast.
Before writing your answer read through the sources carefully and underline key
quotes you plan to use. If needs be, you can use the scrap paper given to jot down
briefly what your key points will be - even it is just key words, this might help you
when it comes to writing the answer!
How to write the answer?

Two separate paragraphs: "Both sources agree that ..... Source C says that ......... and Source D says
that ....The sources also agree that ...... Source C says that ......... and Source D says that ....
"The sources contrast in .......... While Source C says .........., Source D says ............."
Question 3: worth 6 marks, spend max 13 - 14 minutes on. Source evaluation: OPVL.

Evaluate the sources separately, with one paragraph for each explaining
their origin (if a primary source has been reprinted in another book, look at the
original source not where it was re-printed!) and purpose (of the source as a whole,
not just the specific extract) and what values and limitations these provide for a
historian studying the given topic.
Before writing your answer read through the sources carefully, paying particular
attention to the italicized 'origin' text above the source. Though your answer should
focus on the provenance of the source (O,P) not its content, look carefully at what
the source is saying and see if there are any signs of emotional language, etc, that
might be useful in your response.
Ideally you will find two clear values and two clear limitations per source, but it
might turn out you find two values but only one limitation - don't worry if this
happens, it is determined by the sources you are given, Indeed, make sure that you
concentrate on giving values and limitations that are specific to the sources and not
general comments (i.e. it is useful as it is a primary source; it is limited as it is a
secondary source and the author wasn't there, etc etc.)
How to write the answer?
Two separate paragraphs, each following this structure:

"The origin of this source is ....... (what, who, when, where - take from the source details )
The purpose of this source is ...... (why it was made, for whom). The source is valuable
because ...........(refer to origin). The source is also valuable because ......... (refer to
purpose). The source is limited because ...........(refer to origin). The source is also limited
because ......... (refer to purpose)."
Question 4: worth 8 marks, spend all the time left on this, at least 22 minutes. Mini-essay, using a
synthesis of all sources and own knowledge!

This is the most challenging question, and the one worth the most marks, which is
why you need to allow enough time to produce a decent answer here. Crucial to
remember is that you must, must, must use both all the sources and your
own detailed and specific knowledge in your answer - if you use only the sources (and no
own knowledge), or only own knowledge (and no sources), the maximum you can
score is 5 marks. You must use a synthesis of sources and own knowledge to produce
a clear response to the question! In this sense, it is just like a full essay: you need to
focus on clearly addressing the question, developing a clear argument, and
challenging any assumptions in the question if you can.

How to approach this mini-essay?

Spend a couple of minutes re-reading the sources and planning your argument. As
this question often asks you how far you agree with a particular statement, I
recommend that you might want to draw a quick chart structuring how you are
going to use all the sources and include your own knowledge. Obviously, you do not
want to spend a lot of time doing this, and how you order it depends on the
question given, but it can be a useful planning tool to help you write your answer.
An example is as follows:


Agrees with statement

Disagrees with statement

Both agrees and disagrees

A, E

B, D



Own knowledge Nasser shuts canal

When it comes to writing your answer, you may include a brief introduction to define
the question, but you do not need to do so - it can be a waste of words and time. It is
therefore ok to go straight into your first paragraph, which should include a clear
point directed at answering the question, which is then supported by QUOTES from
the sources ("as Source A states......") and your own detailed knowledge("from
background knowledge I know that .......).
Have a second paragraph which uses sources and own knowledge to present the
other side of the argument, according to the same model as above, and don't forget
that when discussing different sources and interpretations you can show an
awareness of the source evaluation (OPVL) you carried out in Q3 - i.e. "Source B
argues that Israel was completely responsible for the 1967 conflict, but of course
this is written from an Egyptian perspective..... etc etc". On the other hand, do not
let this distract you from the main task of ANSWERING THE QUESTION! If you have
time, and the sources allow it, there might be scope for a third paragraph as well,
but it depends a little on the particulars of the exam.
When you have finished your main body, write a clear conclusion that offers
a balanced response to the essay question. Remember that challenging the question in
the conclusion can be about disagreeing with particularly loaded words in the
question statement - i.e. "brutal", "overwhelming", "mainly", "to a large extent" etc
etc. If you run out of time before you manage to complete your answer to this
question - :( - you can try and get your points down in bullet points in the last
minute or so to see if you might be capable of getting some credit for your ideas
from the examiner.

Communism in Crisis
Wednesday, May 13, 2015
6:58 PM

The struggle for power following the death of

Mao Zedong, Hua Guofeng, the reemergence
of Deng Xiaoping and the defeat of the Gang
of Four
Wednesday, May 13, 2015
6:58 PM

2.1.1 Events Before 1976

Mao was the leader of the People's Republic of China since it was created in 1949
He introduced the Great Leap Forward in 1958
The Great Leap Forward was a policy which was put in place to modernise the Chinese
economy by mobilising its population, most of the population was placed on communes where
they had to help with industrialisation and increase productivity, due to the lack of China's
resources the plan failed and caused wide spread famine
Due to the failure of the Great Leap Forward and the Great Proletarian Cultural
revolution that resulted from this failure Mao's reputation and position in the Party was damaged,
although the Chinese population still had a lot of respect for him especially the youth as they had
grown up with the communism propaganda at school as well at home
Liu Shaoqi succeeded Mao in 1959 and became the new Chairman of the People's
Republic of China, Deng Xiaoping became the General Secretary of the Party, even though Mao
was no longer the at the head of the government he was still Chairman of the Communist Party
The new leaders of the Party wanted to find solutions to fix China's economy however
these went against Mao's revolutionary policies which he had insisted upon to catch up with the
West and compete for leadership in the communist world with the Soviet Union
One of the solutions implemented by Liu to restore the economy was to allow peasants
to cultivate on small plots and make crafts which they could then sell at markets
Mao was against this return to capitalism and wanted to keep a revolutionary focus,
even though many leaders still respected him, a lot of them questioned his leadership which
angered him
Mao turned more and more to his wife for support and she became his confidant
In 1965 Mao created the Red Guards (revolutionary youth), initiating the Cultural
The Red Guards would go to Universities to look for students who where not loyal
enough to the Party, some Party members where removed from their positions, other were put
under house arrest, and the people who were not loyal enough outside the public eye where
treated with violence
The situation got out of control quite fast, the Red Guards confused the revolution with
violence when Mao had said "learn revolution by making revolution"
In 1966, Mao realised that his campaign had failed and he had to put an end to the
violence by breaking up the Red Guards
The Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution ended in 1969, a new constitution was
adopted and Lin Biao was named as Mao's successor
The People's Liberation Army and the Party congress where put in charge of the
country however they where told that this was only temporary and that once stability had
returned they where to go back to answering to the Party instead of controlling it, however two
thirds of them where military staff and so the question was how to remove them from the
leadership of the Party
Mao wanted to remove Lin from his power which was mot easy

According to official Chinese records, Lin was planning a coup against the government
however the plan was uncovered
Lin and his family fled the country but died in a plane crash that they had boarded in
Mongolia in September 1971
The power then went back to Mao and Premier Zhou Enlai
These two grew weaker with age and so new potential leaders started to emerge.
These included the Gang of Four (Jiang Qing and her supporters) Hua Guofeng (a new member of
the Party) and Deng Xiaoping.

2.1.2 The Gang of Four

Mao's wife, Jiang Qing started to get involved in government matters in the 1950s
when she started to work with the Ministry of Culture
She wanted to create opera and theatre which put the Communist Party in good view
Her involvement in politics increased more and more from then on
She controlled the media to great extents in the hopes to control national culture
In addition she had a lot of propaganda at her disposal which helped her political
Many members of the Party were worried about the influence Jiang Qing had on Mao,
especially during the Cultural Revolution
The Central Cultural Revolution Committee was formed in 1966, Jiang Qing was first
vice chair woman
The Committee also included Jiang Qing's closest friends from Shanghai, Yao Wenyuan,
Zhang Chunqiao and Wang Hongwen
Together these three with Jiang Qing would become known later on as the Gang of Four
Yao Wenyuan was Mao's chief propagandist
Zhang Chunqiao was deputy secretary of the Shanghai Municipal Committee
Wang Hongwen was the union leader
During the Cultural Revolution the Gang of Four wanted to eliminate bourgeois
influences and the revisionist ways
They also wanted to eliminate the Four Olds which were Culture, Customs, habits and
Jiang Qing managed to keep her position of power after the Cultural Revolution was
Jiang, Zhang and Wang became members of the politburo in 1969
When Lin died, the Gang of Four seized the opportunity to increase their power within
the government and wanted the Cultural Revolution to keep going
Mao who had previously relied on his wife as his confidant started to lose trust in her,
he felt like she was controlling his access to knowledge and people
The two then separated and would only meet on appointment
Mao was judgmental of the Gang of Four but still used them against some of the
members of the politburo to prevent any small group from gaining too much power

2.1.3 Deng Xiaoping, Zhou Enlai and Hua Guofeng

There was a more moderate and down to earth group in the politburo
Deng Xiaoping was the leader of this group and was against the Cultural Revolution
which the Gang of Four were so keen to reinstate, he also wanted to introduce some degree of
capitalism within the Chinese economy
Zhou Enlai was the Premier and supported and protected Deng Xiaoping, they both
wanted order to be restored within the country
In early 1973, during the course of the power struggle Zhou died

Mao was to choose who was to succeed Zhou

Zhou's own choice would have been Deng
The Gang of Four tried to have Zhang replace Zhou's position as premier
Mao eventually named Hua Guofeng as Premier
Hua Guofeng was not well known and had been top security official from Mao's home

The leaders of the Party were not exactly enthusiastic about Hua being named as
Premier but they did not object either

2.1.4 The Qingming Festival 1976

The festival was in Beijing

Started on March 29 th and ended on April 4th
The population took advantage of the festival to publicly mourn Zhou and support
Deng and indirectly criticize Mao and the Gang of Four
The government was not expecting this and was by which means to react
Hua and Mao agreed that the government was to discretely remove the flowers and
poems that had been written, the day after the end of the festival
By doing so the hope was to lower tension and prevent a conflict from taking place
between the government and the people
However instead of preventing a conflict it started one as when news about the
removal of the flowers and poems spread through Beijing, the population started to protest
The people marched to the square carrying anti-Mao message banners
The decision was taken to go ahead with the removal of the flowers and poems and
subdue the protestors using violence
Protestors were arrested, beaten up and it is said that some were beheaded in the
The population was once again repressed under Mao's leadership
Mao then accused Deng of leading the protests and so Deng was removed from his
position in government and was suppose to be investigated for political mistakes
However Deng fled from Beijing and found refuge in Canton under the protection of
General Ye Jianying
He stayed in Canton until the death of Mao

2.1.5 Mao's Death and the Defeat of the Gang of Four

Mao was suffering from Parkinson's disease and grew weaker and weaker in time
On the 9th of September 1976 Mao succumb to the disease
Mao had wanted Hua to succeed him but all the others were waiting for Mao's death
before trying to take over the power
When that day arrived the Gand of Four seized the opportunity to take over by using
the influence they had over the media, urban militia and universities
However they did not realise Hua's strength and the support he was to get from
politburo members and the military
After Mao died, Jiang altered some of Mao's writings to make it appear as if Mao had
wanted her to succeed him, this was exposed however she still remained in a strong position
In the politburo meeting Jiang argued that she should succeed Mao as Hua was
incompetent to do so
Hua argued on the other hand that succession should be dealt with as it had been in
the past, that is the vice chairman should succeed the chairman until the next session of the
Central Committee
Hua had support from many people including the defence minister Ye Jianuang

The Gang of Four quickly realised that they were losing power and so decided to carry
out a coup on October the 6th
The Gang of Four was to get military support from Mao's nephew and political
commissar of the Shenyang Military Region
The plan was to take the power by force from the government and assassinate some of
the politburo members including Hua and Ye
When Jiang realised that even with the support of Mao's nephew the Gang lacked
weapons, she tried to recruit some members of the politburo to help her with military support
however her plan back fired as these decided to tell Hua of her plans rather than joining her cause
When Hua found out about Jiang's plans, he held a meeting and together with Ye, Chen
and other allies they agreed to launch a pre-emptive strike by safeguarding Beijing and arresting
the Gang of Four
On the 5th of October Hua called an emergency meeting of the politburo for midnight,
when Zhang and Wang arrived they were arrested
Yao and Jiang were arrested later at their homes as they had not gone to the politburo
The Gand of Four was expelled from the Party and was awaiting trial, it lost all its
support as well as its power
After this Jiang was portrayed as a power hungry woman who had exploited the death
of her husband
The population had lost all respect for Jiang and her reputation was destroyed
There was still great respect for Mao and so if his wife appeared in a photo with him,
she was blacked out and this was done so that people knew that she had been removed from the
The Gang of Four finally went on trial, Jiang and Zhang initially received the death
sentence but this was then changed to life imprisonment, Wang received life imprisonment as well
and finally Yao received 20 years imprisonment

2.1.6 Events After the Defeat of the Gang of Four

The actions of the Gang of Four where condemned

In addition to being Premier, Hua was made chairman of the Party and Military
Deng was reinstated by Hua to the politburo and was made vice-chairman of the
Central Committee once again
Hua decided that China should focus on industrialisation again
Deng was in charge of the four modernizations which were agriculture, science and
technology and industry and national defence
Deng had important economic and political power again
Within the Politburo three power groups emerged
Nine members supported Deng
Nine members supported Hua
Three members supported Ye
Even though Ye had fewer supporters he held the balance and this made him the
decision maker
There was tension between the groups however the Congress called for unity, stability
and cooperation
Hua adopted a policy which was called the Two Whatevers: We will resolutely uphold
whatever policy decision Chairman Mao made, and unswervingly follow whatever instructions
Chairman Mao gave
This was not a popular policy for those who wanted to move away from the Maoist era
When Hua found himself implicated in the crimes of the Gang of Four as he had the
position of head security and premier when the worst atrocities of the Gang where committed he
gave up his position

He resigned as Premier in 1980 and in 1981 he resigned as Party Chairman and chair
of the Military Commission
He was succeeded by Zhao Ziyang, Hu Yaobang and Deng respectively
Hua admitted to his mistakes and so he was allowed to take the position of vicechairman until this position was abolished in 1982, he remained a member of the Central
Committee until 2002

China under Deng Xiaoping, economic policies

and the Four Modernizations
Wednesday, May 13, 2015
6:58 PM

2.2.1 China under Deng Xiaoping

Deng had full control of the Party and the government by 1982
He wanted to make important changes so that China could compete West
He also thought that it was important to start separating the government from the
Party as he wanted to put in place policies which would differ from communist ideologies
The goal was to modernise China so that it could compete with the West in consumer
goods and industrial production
Even though Deng wanted to put in place Western policies he was still a communist
and made sure that the political system remained communist

2.2.2 The Ten Year Plan

Hua Guofeng announced the new Ten Year Plan in 1978

The plan focused on economic sectors with a heavy industry
The goal was to reach a level at which China would be able to support itself and
compete with the West
Deng was put in charge of these political changes
The opening up of China to the West by Mao and Zhou was very beneficial to the plan
as it provided some of the capital needed for the plan
The plan focused on China's development, especially steel production
Goals where set for natural resource extractions (oil, petroleum, coal and non ferrousmetals)
In addition the plan included extensive infrastructure development which involved
electricity, rail roads and water transport
The plan proved to be too ambitious and the government could not afford the costs so
in 1979 the goals of the plan were modified
The plan would focus on the Four Modernizations: agriculture, industry, science and
technology and the military

2.2.3 Open Door Policy

The Party introduced the Open Door Policy in December 1978

This was a major factor for the success of the Plan and the Four Modernizations
A high level of capital was needed to make the changes and the Open Door Policy
provided this capital

Also China would benefit from learning and importing science and technology by
trading with the West
China focused on quality of its products, the diversification of its exports, the
devaluation of the Yuan and built up its currency reserves
China became very attractive to investors like Japan, West Germany and the United

2.2.4 Agriculture

The goal was to increase the yields of farmers

The government wanted farmers to move away from traditional farming methods
Instead of manual work the government wanted to introduce mechanised farming
The government wanted to improve water supply to farmers
The government supported and promoted the use of chemical fertilisers
The government supported personal incentives and diversification
There where set quotas
12 commodity and food base areas would be created to allow for better regulation and
distribution of food
A big turning point was the implementation of the Household Responsibility System
Under this system even though there was still no private ownership of land, each
farming household received a plot of land
The farming households could use this plot of land as they wanted
They would have a contract with the local commune in which they had to hire a certain
amount of workers and plant a specific amount of crops
The farming households had control over the labour within their households and could
distribute this labour however they wished
Also all farming household surplus could be either sold or kept which was a great
benefit to farmers
In exchange for using the land for a period of 15 years a quota that had been
predetermined would go back to the local commune
The Household Responsibility System was very successful, by 1989 90% of households
where involved in the system
The System alone allowed to increase productivity by more than what had been set by
the Ten Year Plan
China became the largest agricultural producer
Agricultural improvements lead to increased productivity
Due to this increased productivity, factories where built and the communes saw the
revival of local crafts
This meant that farmers could leave their family plots and work locally in the factories

2.2.5 Industry

The main focus was on capital construction and improving heavy industries
Attention was drawn to steel, iron, coal and oil production, 55 billion Yen was invested
into these
There was a total of 120 projects to be completed however the plan proved to be too
ambitious and so in 1979 it was readjusted
The Industrial Responsibility System was introduced
Under this system, the supervisory body of a State Owned Enterprise (SOE) would have
a contract in which a percentage of the production and/or profit would go to the state and the SOE
could keep the surplus, quality of production became a factor in the later stages
This improved the attitude and motivation of industrial workers, increasing productivity

In October 1984 the Resolution on the Reform of the Economic System was introduced
Public ownership was not allowed however the government gave more freedom to
The management of these enterprises was a lot more free
In doing so the government hoped to increase production
Private groups could lease small enterprises but larger ones remained under the
control of the state

2.2.6 Science and Technology

The Cultural Revolution had devastating effects on education

China was lacking even the basic technology that was standard in all other developed
There was a need for more scientists, doctors, engineers and architects
A number of goals were put forward
The government wanted to be able to compete with the developing countries my
repairing the damages caused by the Cultural Revolution
By 1985 the government wanted to be only ten years behind the developing countries
The goals included to increase the number of scientists, develop the centres used for
experiments and to complete a nation wide system of science and technology research

2.2.7 Military

China had the largest army in the world however it seriously lacked in military

Nuclear research had come to an end

Science and military modernisation had a direct link
The centres of research that were being either built or improved made it possible to
develop new weapons
It was estimated that the government spend up to 10% on developing and buying new

2.2.8 Results of the Ten Year Plan

Mixed results, the plan succeeded in some ways but not in others
According to government statistics industrial production and agriculture had an
average annual growth of 11%
Growth rates where even higher in the production of coal, steel, electricity and oil
The GNP reached 778 billion in 1985
There was also success in the regions of infrastructure development and construction
There was also tremendous improvements in science and technology
However there were problems with the workforce
Young workers often trained abroad with modern equipment and then had to
reintegrate themselves on their return within an outdated system
Also, older workers who had suffered from a lack of education due to the cultural
revolution felt threatened by the younger workers as they were scared of unemployment and the
younger workers did not respect them as elders
The increased production brought about inflation
The plan focused on modernisation, economic growth and the availability of consumer
goods however other issues affecting the quality of life where not payed attention to
Beijing became very polluted and China suffered deforestation on a big scale

The one child policy was put into place which penalised families with more than one

Corruption occurred as the Party members were spared from the policy
Also, the children of Party members had many benefits, they were automatically
accepted into universities and did not have to serve in the military

Domestic and foreign problems of the

Brezhnev era, economic and political
stagnation, Afghanistan
Wednesday, May 13, 2015
6:59 PM

2.4.1 Leonid Brezhnev and the Domestic Problems

The Economy

Leonid Brezhnev came into power in the USSR in 1964

He combined the positions of General Secretary and chairman of the Presidium
He came into power at a time where the USSR had managed to industrialise, increase
its arms and develop new technology however it had failed in the production of consumer goods
and agriculture
Standards of living which had previously been increasing were starting to decrease
A lot of money was being spent on the military and the space programme
Brezhnev wanted to increase consumer goods and agriculture by putting in place
reforms that would use the market force to increase these however he was prevented from doing
so as some feared that these would lead to a tendency towards capitalism
However he allowed farmers to work on state owned plots
Previously Collectivization had been the policy
Collectivization was an agricultural policy in which individual landholders had to give
up their land ownership and combine this land with those of other landholders to create large
By allowing farmers to work on state owned plots this gave them the motivation to
produce more as they could keep or sell the surplus
However when living standards did not change production decreased
Brezhnev tried to increase production in the ninth and tenth five year plans but this
was not with much success
Consumer goods were only largely available on the black market
In 1975 the USSR suffered from another poor harvest and so Brezhnev had to increase
agricultural imports to keep the citizens fed
In the 1970s the rest of the world was suffering from a petroleum shortage but due to
the focus on consumer goods and agriculture the USSR did not manage to increase its production
of petroleum and so failed to benefit from the high demand
The people started to criticise the government
Citizens vs Government

Censorship and repression where still in place in the USSR

However citizens started to voice their opinions and put forward their own ideas as
they where worried that a Stalin style regime which had been savagely violent would return
Intellects where starting to publicly criticise the government
Solzhenitsyn published The Gulag Archipelago which was an autobiographical account
of how the citizens had been treated in the expanding networks of camps
However he was exiled for his work in 1974
Samizdat and Tamizdat were used to voice opinion and spread ideas
Samizdat where self published pamphlets or articles that where illegally copied and
Tamizdat was similar to Samizdat but the pamphlets and articles where first published
abroad and smuggled back into the USSR
Some of these became journals and gained many followers
There was also pressure from abroad to allow the Soviet Jews to leave the USSR and
move to Israel if the Soviet Jews wanted to do so
In addition the Baltic States which had been taken by force into USSR protested the
invasion of ethnic Russians into their areas, these states wanted independence (Latvia, Estonia
and Lithuania)
Brezhnev did not have much interest in reforming the government or the
It became more and more apparent that there was a need for a reform as the leaders
where ageing and starting to die
In 1974 Brezhnev spoke about "stability of cadres" and assured the older stagnant
party members that they would not lose their positions
Workers also realised that they would not lose their jobs due to poor productivity
Even though this bought about a sense of security it had devastating effects on the

2.4.2 Foreign Reforms and Problems

Brezhnev Doctrine

The Soviet Union wanted to come to an agreement on arms limitation with the USA as
it wanted to limit the possibility of war
However Brezhnev's main interest was to maintain a communist regime
When the Czechoslovak government introduced reforms that went against the
communist regime Soviet troops invaded the country and reversed the reforms
In November 1968 the Brezhnev Doctrine
In his speech Brezhnev made clear that all communist regimes were to remain
communist and he would not let them be overthrown internally nor externally
The Western powers criticised this however they did not offer any support for these
Agreement with the USA
Due to the economic situation in the USSR Brezhnev wanted to come to an agreement
with the USA on arm limitations
This also showed the USA that the USSR wanted to avoid nuclear war
In 1969 the Strategic Arms Limitation Talks began between the Brezhnev and the USA
president Nixon
In May 1972 the USA and the USSR came to an agreement on arm limitations
The Helsinki Final Act in 1975 finalised the post-war frontiers in Central and Eastern
Europe and the Soviets agreed to comply with international conventions on human rights
Involvement in Africa and the Solidarity Movement

The Portuguese withdrew from their African colonies after the Portuguese revolution in

This resulted in civil war in Mozambique and Angola

Marxists groups recruited the assistance of first the Cubans and then the Soviets
The Soviets supported the Popular Movement for the Liberation of Angola
They also supported the Frelimo in Mozambique since the 1960s
The Soviets also helped put an end to regime of Haile Selassie in Ethiopia and put in
place a communist revolutionary government
The Somali government was against this it was driven out by the Ethiopians who had
received arms from the Soviets
The Solidarity movement started in the late 1970s in Poland
The USSR wanted to invoke the Brezhnev Doctrine however due to its involvement in
Afghanistan it was reluctant to do so
The USSR's Involvement in Afghanistan

Since the late 19th century the USSR had intervened in Afghanistan
The USSR wanted to compete with Britain for power in Afghanistan
The Soviets had sent military support to the country to aid the removal of the British
The USSR military had trained Afghan officers which made them supportive of the
Marxist cause in their own country
The Afghan army took power in 1978 and killed the president and prime minister
Nur Muhammad Taraki became the president of the Democratic Republic of
Afghanistan (DRA) and put in power the Marxist People's Democratic Party of Afghanistan (PDPA)
The new government wanted to put in place economic and social reforms to try and
secularise and modernise Afghanistan
The USSR signed an agreement with Afghanistan in December 1978 which stated that
the USSR agreed to give military support to the Afghan government in Kabul if the government
asked for it
The Afghan government became more and more reliant on Soviet support which
weakened the moral authority of the government
Attacks against the government increased especially by religious groups
The reforms where imposed through violence and so the civilians were very hostile
towards the government, conflict started to erupt
Village and religious leaders were imprisoned or killed for protesting against the
policies of the government
Those who were able went into exile abroad, the lower class civilians escaped to
Pakistan in refugee camps
It is estimated that 27000 political prisoners were killed by the PDPA
The Mujahideen (rebel forces) started to object to the PDPA and the role of religious
bodies in Afghanistan was starting to become more important
Those opposition to the PDPA started to attack Soviet leaders as well
100 Soviet advisors were killed in March 1979 by members of the Afghan army that
had mutinied in the city of Herat
The PDPA reacted by attacking and executing 24000 people in the city
In 1979 Taraki was overthrown by Hafizullah Amin which made the situation even more
The USSR invaded Afghanistan in December 1979 and cited the Brezhnev Doctrine as a
The official reason was that the PDPA asked for support from the USSR to stop the
Mujahideen from taking power
The main problem was that the USSR did not have a clear aim
Within the Soviet government there where disputes on why to proceed and how to

The KGB seemed to want a limited operation which would stabilise the situation and
prevent it from spreading into surrounding countries
The defence ministry wanted to overthrow the PDPA to prevent Pakistan or Iran from
invading Afghanistan
There was worry that Amin and Taraki had been involved in pro-US activities and that
this would lead to the end of socialism in Afghanistan
There was 70000 Soviet Troops in Afghanistan by the 27th of December with still no
clear objectives on how to proceed
The Soviet position was weak as even though they controlled the cities, the rebels
which were being supported by the US controlled the countryside
The Soviet army executed Amin and all those who saw the assassination
Amin was replaced by Babrak Karmal who was another leader of the PDPA
This was the start of a ten year intervention in Afghanistan which cost the USSR many
lives and billions of dollars
The Soviet citizens where against this intervention and it also resulted in international
The US limited grain sales to the USSR and also boycotted the 1980 summer Olympics
which were due to be held in Moscow
The rebels received the support from the US and President Carter allowed the CIA to
conduct operations in Afghanistan
By 1982 the USSR realised that it could not win the war in Afghanistan but it refused to
admit defeat
Instead it continued a war that was costly and very unpopular as it had invoked the
Brezhnev Doctrine and could not withdraw

2.4.3 Chernenko and Andropov

As Brezhnev got older and weaker he relied more and more on his protg Konstantin
Chernenko to lead the country
It was thought that Chernenko would succeed Brezhnev however when Brezhnev died
in November 1982 he was succeeded by Yuri Andropov
Andropov was a former KGB leader and a Central Committee member
He managed to outmanoeuver Chernenko and became the leader of the USSR
Andropov wanted to change the USSR's economic stagnation
He tried to nullify the "stability of cadres" to improve productivity
He tried to answer the problem of economic stagnation by putting in places policies
which stated that those illegally absent from work would be arrested
He also closed down most of the Soviet space program in 1983 to try and cut down
He wanted to get rid of Brezhnev's and Chernenko's followers and replace them with
political elites who were loyal to him and were willing to encourage change within the economy
He wanted to replace the older Party members with younger ones with the help of
Mikhail Gorbachev
Foreign problems which had started during the Brezhnev era continued
The situation in Afghanistan worsened
The relation between the US and the USSR was already bad but it was made worse
when in September 1983 the Soviets shot down a Korean Airlines flight that had strayed into
Soviet airspace
In 1983 Andropov's health deteriorated and he stopped appearing in public
He wanted Gorbachev to succeed him however when Andropov died in 1984 he was
succeeded by Chernenko
There were not many changes under Chernenko's leadership, foreign and domestic
policies stayed the same

Chernenko's health deteriorated quite fast and he needed to rely more and more on his
deputy Gorbachev
When Chernenko died in March 1985 it marked the end of the Brezhnev era

The Arab-Israeli Conflict 194579

Wednesday, May 13, 2015
7:01 PM

Last years of the British Mandate; UNSCOP

partition plan and the outbreak of civil war
Wednesday, May 13, 2015
7:02 PM
Historic roots of the conflict:

Both Arabs and Israelis have deep-rooted historical and religious connections to the
territory of the 'Holy land' that in the second half of the twentieth century would become the state of
Israel and the 'occupied territories'. The Jewish tradition sees Palestine as the 'promised land' of
Israel that God gave to the Jewish people according to the biblical account of the Old Testament, and
look back to the 'Kingdom of Israel' that existed before the Romans destroyed Jerusalem in 70 CE as
proof that the Jews 'were there first'. On the other hand, Palestinian Arabs point to the fact that they
have been living in the area continuously over the past 2,000 years, and can also point towards
Biblical references in the Old Testament to justify their claim to the land. For both Jews and Arabs,
Jerusalem is a holy site for their respective religions.

However rather than seeing this as an ancient conflict, and as Kirsten Schulze argues,
"the Arab-Israeli conflict emerged with the advent of nationalism in the Middle East and the
conflict .... is one of competing nationalisms". This is reinforced by the fact that there has not been a
continuous dispute between the Arabs and the Israelis since ancient times over the land of Palestine
- these conflicting nationalist claims on the territory have their roots in the late nineteenth and early
twentieth century, with the emergence of modern Zionism and Arab nationalism.

Influenced by anti-semitism in Europe and Russia in the nineteenth century, and broader
European trends towards nationalist thinking, Zionism as a modern ideology was developed
by Theodor Herzl, an Austro-Hungarian Jew and journalist who argued that the creation of a Jewish
national state in Palestine was the only solution to discrimination against the Jews. Zionism started
as a small intellectual movement with the publication of Herzl's Der Judenstaat in 1896, but soon
became an international movement.

Arab nationalism - the belief that the Arab people should be a single political community
- developed simultaneously to Zionism in the later decades of the nineteenth century. Looking back
to the glorious cultural achievements of the Arab renaissance, this nationalism was also built upon
opposition to the Ottoman Empire, to European colonial interference in the Arab world, and to
Zionism, with whom its territorial claims over the 'holy land' clashed and competed with.

In the early twentieth century Palestine was still ruled by the Ottoman Empire, the 'sick
man of Europe' as it was known, but both Zionism and Arab nationalism were ideologies seeking to
challenge and overthrow Turkish rule and establish control over the territory for themselves. This is
therefore the basic issue at the heart of the Arab-Israeli conflict: two competing, and irreconcilable,
nationalisms staking claim to the same territory! As Jewish philosopher Martin Buber stated in 1947,
it is a conflict over "a land of two peoples" - something made clear by an early Zionist fact-finding
mission to Palestine in the late 1890s which had reported that "the bride is beautiful but she is
already taken" (i.e. already populated by Palestinian Arabs!)

Britain's desire to defeat Germany and her allies in the First World War led to policies that
would have far-reaching consequences for the future of the Middle East. As the Ottoman Empire was
an ally of Germany and the Central Powers, Britain was keen to try and de-stabilise the Middle East

as a way of weakening the Turks' military capability. They also hoped to prevent the Ottomans taking
control of the Suez canal, and secure control of newly-discovered oil supplies in the region.
To secure the support of the Arab tribes against the Ottomans, the British made an
agreement that promised future Arab independence. In 1915 the Hussein-McMahon
Correspondence were completed between Sir Henry McMahon and Sharif Hussein, Amir of Mecca,
and promised that "Great Britain is prepared to recognise and support the independence of the
Arabs in all the regions within the limits demanded by the Sharif of Mecca". This saw the Arabs enter
the war against the Ottomans in 1916. The agreement did specify areas to be excluded from Arab
control, and these were to be issues of contention after the war: while the Arabs took Palestine to be
included, the British argued that it was part of the excluded territory.
This promise to the Arabs was severely undermined by the Sykes-Picot Agreement of
1916, a secret agreement between Britain and France in which they carved up the Middle East into
areas of interest in the event of Ottoman rule collapsing.
Furthermore, in addition to having promised the Arabs their independence, the British
also made significant promises to the Zionist movement, hoping to secure their support for the Allied
war efforts. The 1917 Balfour declaration, a letter from the British Foreign Secretary to a leading
Zionist, stated that Britain "viewed with favour the establishment in Palestine of a national home for
the Jewish people". Though it should be noted that this did not say that a 'Jewish state' should be
created, and that no specific territorial borders were mentioned, this clearly offered a strong pledge of
support to the Zionist cause.
The First World War therefore played a crucial role in sowing the seeds of the
forthcoming Arab-Israeli conflict: both the Arabs and the Zionists believed that they had been
promised control of Palestine, while Britain itself had cynically decided to move into the vacuum
created by Ottoman collapse and rule the region themselves. Britain thus intensified the competing
claims of both the Arab and the Zionist nationalist ideologies, and satisfied neither in their search for
modern statehood.
British troops entered Palestine in 1918 and took provisional control over the territory,
which was then formalised by the League of Nations in 1922 as part of the post-war settlements. The
British mandate showed clearly that Britain had gone back on promises made to the Arabs and the
Zionists in favour of the Sykes-Picot agreement.
The mandate given to the British placed them in a complex situation, and
the contradictory aims of the mandate help to explain the long-term failure of British rule in the
area. On the one hand, the British were supposed to put the country under "such political,
administrative and economic conditions as will secure the establishment of the Jewish national
home", but on the other hand, they were also supposed to safeguard the "civil and religious rights of
all inhabitants of Palestine, irrespective of race and religion."
In other words, the British were supposed to keep both the Jews and the Arabs
happy, an impossible aim which explains why the British often succeeded in pleasing neither of the
two groups, with both claiming that the British were favouring the other group! The Arabs tended to
think Britain was holding onto Palestine until a Jewish majority had been gained, while many Jews
though that Britain was secretly arming the Arabs and restricting Jewish immigration and land
purchase in order to prevent a Jewish state being created. In practice, Britain's attempt to deal with
this mess often led to contradictory policies that only worsened the situation by increasing suspicions
and tension all-round.
The 1920s saw relative peace in the mandate as the British encouraged both Jews and
Arabs to engage in institution-building. The Jews were much more energetic in responding to this,
establishing key institutions (ie. Haganah, Hebrew University) which would ease the transition to full
statehood in 1948. Despite the forming of the Arab executive in 1920, Arab/Palestinian institutionbuilding failed to proceed at the same pace, as religious, regional and local divisions got in the way.
1929, Wailing Wall incident in Jerusalem put an end to this peace, and sparked
significant inter-communal tensions. This led to disturbances which caused 133 Jewish deaths and
116 Arab deaths, and the massacre of most Jewish residents of Hebron. The British response - a
White Paper blaming events on Jewish land purchases, and then restrictions on Jewish immigration upset first the Jews and then the Arabs, when the Brits took a step back from the position in the
White Paper.

Hitler's rise to power in Germany in 1933 led to an increase in Jewish immigration to

Palestine, which increased problems in the region. Between 1930 and 1936 the Jewish population
had more than doubled from from 160,000 to 370,000 out of a total population of 1.3 million in
Palestine - which prompted Arab fears that they would end up losing their land. Arab opposition to
this immigration took the form of the Arab revolt, which began as a strike in 1936 and went on to
become a full-scale uprising which paralysed Palestine for months and took the British three years to
The British response to the Arab revolt came first in the shape of the Peel Commision,
1937, which argued that co-existence was impossible and that partition was the only solution. The
Arabs rejected this idea, seeing it as the theft of their land, but the British needed to try and secure
Arab support in the face of an upcoming war with Hitler in Europe and therefore issued the 1939
White Paper. This limited Jewish immigration to 15,000 per year for the next five years, and then
made it dependent on Arab consent thereafter. The Arabs rejected this as they demanded national
independence, while the Jews saw this as against the terms of the mandate and an act of betrayal
when they most needed protection (in the context of the Nazi Holocaust). This saw Zionists turn their
focus away from Britain and towards the USA instead in search of support for their proposed Jewish
Summary - main issues: broken promises after WW1; tension caused by
increasing Jewish immigration and land purchases; Britain's inconsistent policies.
The impact of WWII and reasons for British departure:
Winning the war against Hitler had virtually bankrupted Britain, who from 1945 was
clearly an imperial power in decline. Faced with pressing reconstruction issues at home, and
serious economic and financial problems. the British could no longer afford the expensive business
of maintaining the mandate in Palestine.
The Biltmore program, calling for a Jewish state in Palestine, 1942, was endorsed by
both Democratic and Republican candidates in the 1944 US election campaign, which clearly
showed both the force of Zionist lobbyists in the US and also the direction in which postwar US policy
was likely to take. Domestic political pressure in the US would play an important role in guaranteeing
that the world's foremost superpower become involved in the Middle East .
Mass murder of c. 6 million Jews in the Holocaust led survivors and Zionists to
pursue their goal of a Jewish state with existential urgency, as the only way to secure Jewish security
from such atrocities. It also helped secure international sympathy for the Zionist cause.
War created a massive refugee problem in Europe, leading to increased pressure for
ending restrictions on Jewish immigration to Palestine and on land purchase in Palestine.
The end of the war saw the situation in Palestine worsen considerably, as the Jewish
waged an uprising against the British and Arab-Jewish tensions bordered on civil war. By
1947 127 British soldiers had been killed by Jewish attacks - particularly notorious was the Irgun's
bombing of the King David Hotel in Jerusalem in July 1946 which killed 91 people - and the British
departure was looking almost inevitable. Having failed to solve the conflict between Arabs and
Zionists, and faced with more important issues at home to deal with, the British decided to hand
Palestine to the UN and let them deal with the situation instead.
UNSCOP Partition Plan and outbreak of civil war:
During summer of 1947 the UN special committee on Palestine (UNSCOP) went to the
region to investigate the situation and recommend future policy based on interviews with both Arabs
and Jews. However, while the Jews worked carefully with the commission to communicate their
position, the Arabs refused to co-operate with them, believing them to be already biased in favour of
the Jews and that they had already decided to sacrifice Arab lands in order to placate the Jews after
the Holocaust. This boycotting of the commission can not have helped the Arab cause.
UNSCOP concluded that both sides' claims were valid, that their aims were
irreconcilable, and that the only solution was the partition of Palestine into two separate states to
separate the communities into a Jewish and an Arab state.
The partition plan granted almost 57% of Palestine to the Jewish settlers, even though
the 1.2 million Arabs constituted 70% of the population. Though there were to be separate Arab and
Jewish states, Jerusalem was to come under international control. Beyond this, the three main

problems with the plan were as follows: i) territorial fragmentation of both states, ii) though politically
separate, the two states should be economically united, and iii) given the amount of land given to the
Jewish state, what was to happen to the Arab population 'trapped' within the Jewish borders?
The Zionists accepted the plan as a first step to statehood, even though they disliked the
status of Jerusalem and the fact that they did not have a clear defensible state. However, the Arabs
could not see any redeeming parts in a plan which gave away large parts of their land to the Jewish
settlers and guaranteed that a large number of Arabs would be part of the new Jewish state, and
they therefore rejected the plan completely. The Arab League (Egypt, Iraq, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia,
Syria, Transjordan and Yemen) pledged to go to war to prevent a Jewish state - though such a united
front was complicated by divisions within the league.
After the UN voted in favour of the plan, both the Arabs and the Jews began to arm
themselves. Effectively from November 1947 until the declaration of the Israeli state in May 1948
(when the first Arab-Israeli war broke out), Palestine was embroiled in a civil war between the
Arabs and Jews. The British could neither implement partition, nor intervene to stop the violence really, they were just riding out the remaining time of the mandate and looking forward to handing the
problem to someone else! This civil war started with the General Strike called by the Arabs from 2nd
to 4th December, and continued until the State of Israel was declared, on 14th May 1948.
Bitter fighting between the two sides included the Deir Yessin massacre, 9th April 1948,
in which Irgun and Lehi troops killed more than 250 Arab men, women and children as part of the
controversialPlan D aimed at securing the areas of the Jewish state promised by the partition plan.
This massacre had a huge impact on the Arab community, leading ultimately to a mass exodus of
Palestinian Arabs (cf. historiographical debates about the causes of the Palestinian diaspora): it is
estimated that 300, 000 Palestinian Arabs had fled before the State of Israel was declared.

British withdrawal; establishment of Israel;

Arab response and the 1948-49 war
Wednesday, May 13, 2015
7:05 PM

Establishment of Israel and the causes of the 1948 - 49, first Arab-Israeli war:
Nov 29th 1947 UNSCOP partition plan passed by the UN assembly. The Jews
celebrate, but the Arabs were appalled and pledged to prevent the founding of a Jewish state in
Palestine. This reflects the long-standing tensions, conflicts and rivalries between the two groups
over these fundamental questions of right to land etc etc.
Nov 30th 1947 - May 14th 1948 Civil war in Palestine between Jews and Palestinian
Arabs, following violence that started with the Arab General Strike.
May 14th 1948 Israeli declaration of independence: state of Israel declared by its first
prime minister, David Ben-Gurion. This was according to the UNSCOP borders in the partition plan,
and the declaration was made the day before the British mandate was due to end in Palestine.
May 15th Arab League (Egypt, Iraq, Lebanon, Syria, Transjordan) invades Israel to
liberate Palestine, starting the first Arab-Israeli war.
Jewish-Arab civil war had become a regional war, between the newly-formed state of
Israel and the surrounding Arab states. War of independence for Israel vs War to liberate
Palestine for Arab states. An Nakbah for the Palestinians - the catastrophe.
Course of the war:
30th Nov to June 1947 - Israeli weakness, fighting for survival. Problems with getting
arms, creating an army and supplies to isolated settlements.
March 10th 1948 Plan D (Dalet), Israeli defence strategy vs Palestinian belief in plan for
a strategy of ethnic cleansing.
April 9th Massacre in Deir Yassin of 250 Palestinians.

June 11th Folke Bernadotte proposed ceasefire. This proved to be a turning point in the
War. IDF troops increased from 65 000 in May to 96 000 in December. (Folke was killed in Sep. 17th
1948 by the Jewish underground)
Jan 1949 Armistice negotiations began, when Arab states realized they would not win
the War.
Why Israel won the War?
Israeli strengths: Motivated army (clear unified goal of survival), resources, western
sympathy, British army training and experience.
Arab weaknesses: Lack of morale, ill-equipped, logistical problems, divided leadership,
divided aims (Egypt and Syria had expansionist aims rather than creating a Palestinian state)
Outcomes of the War
Palestinians: An-Nakba ('the disaster/catastrophe'), lost the chance of their own state.
550 000-800 000 refugees, 150 000 to Israel, 450 000 to Transjordan, 200 000 to Egypt.
Israelis: Israeli state increased by 21%, has now defensible borders.
Arab nations:Defeat in the war leads to instability as the result of domestic challenges to
the leadership who lost the war. 1952, Egyptian monarchy overthrown. Arab states increased
territory:Transjordan takes West Bank and Egypt takes the Gaza Strip, showing that Arab war aims
was not as simple as supporting the Palestinians.
Arab-Israeli armistice failed to achieve lasting peaceDespite negotiations between
1949-1950 the two sides could not reach agreement. Israel wanted recognition and peace but would
not give up any territory. Arab states wanted territory and repatriating Palestinian refugees
A question of perspective! For the Israelis, this war is called, and celebrated today as,
the 'war of independence', a conflict in which Israel bravely fought against the odds and battled for
survival against the invasion of hostile Arab armies from its neighbouring countries. For the
Palestinians, however, this war is known as 'an-Nakba', the disaster, the conflict in which they were
forced out of their homes by deliberately planned ethnic cleansing from Israel in order to become a
stateless people living in the permanent exile of refugee camps. It is from the fundamental
incompatibility of these two separate narratives that the continued failure to find a resolution to the
Middle East situation today stems.

Suez Crisis of 1956: role of Britain, France and

the United States, the USSR, Israel and the
Wednesday, May 13, 2015
7:05 PM

Timeline of key dates:

1952, July 23rd: Egypt's monarchy was overthrown by the Free Officers.
1954, October: Nasser replaces Mohammed Naguib as President and leader of
1955: Nasser refuses to join the Baghdad Pact and negotiates the Czech arms deal.
1955, February 28: Israel launches the Gaza Raid as a result of an Egyptian
intelligence-gathering squad entering Israel and killing an Israeli cyclist. The raid killed 38 Egyptian
1955: Closing of the Straits of Tiran.
1956, 26th July: Nationalization of the Suez Canal.
1956, October 30: Israeli troops reach the canal and Britain and France
issues ultimatum for both to withdraw their forces.

Key causes of the war:

Long Term:
Failure to conclude a peace agreement after the 1948 war: the defeat in the war left
the Arab states instable and domestic challenges to the leadership which made peace initiatives
difficult to realise. Arab states might have lost the war but had not been defeated to such an extent
that they were "forced" to make peace at all costs. Similarly Israel were not ready to make territorial
concessions for peace. Though Israel was initially hopeful about Nasser's rise to power ("Much of
their optimism centered around one man, Gamal Abdel Nasser.. he had participated in the cease-fire
talks with Israel in 1949 and had expressed a desire to resolve the conflict"- Oren), these hopes for a
peaceful solution collapsed amid the growing suspicion and tension caused by the events outline
"Second Round Thinking"- Arab wishes for redeeming the Palestinians and seeking
revenge on Israel. As Benny Morris has stated, "Even before the ink on the armistice agreements
was dry, there arose in the Arab capitals a clamour for an avenging second round".Israel too saw a
second round as a way to establish a more defensible border as well as achieve territorial expansion.
Tensions towards a second conflict between Israel and Egypt were increased
by continuous border skirmishes between Palestinian fedayeen raids based in the Gaza strip
and retaliation attacks from the Israeli army - key example: Gaza raid (1955) launched by Israel and
killing 38 Egyptian soldiers in response to the death of an Israeli, described by Egypt as "an action of
unprovoked aggression carried out with deliberate brutality."
Short Term:
Czech Arms deal 1955 - Israeli hopes for peace as a result of the change of government
gave away to distrust, decreasingly bad relations and finally war. Set in motion Israeli deliberations
on a pre-emptive war as it saw Egypt mobilizing and receiving modern weapons from the USSR.
Egypt turned to the USSR only after the US had refused to supply Nasser with arms. Changed the
regional balance in the eyes of Israel to a much less favourable one- the deal provided Egypt with
300 tanks, 200 MiG 15 jets etc. Israel pleaded to France for help and in return recieved 40 tanks, 84
airplanes and 120 light tanks. This sparked Israeli considerations of a pre-emptive strike: as Ben
Gurion stated, "If they really get MiGs- I will be for bombing them!" Moshe Dayan, a key figure in the
Israeli military and also in favour of a pre-emptive strike, defended Israeli policy afterwards as
follows: "if the Arab states .... had not pursued a policy of increasing enmity towards her, Israel would
not have resorted to arms."
Nationalisation of the Suez Canal, 26th of July, 1956 - Nasser needed the
nationalisation to fund the Aswan Dam project (crucial to his personal pride and legitimacy), after the
US World Bank had withdrawn a huge loan made to Nasser as punishment for the Czech Arms deal.
This made French-Egyptian collision almost inevitable as there had been previous clashes over the
Algerian war (France considered Egypt to be the main support for Algerian nationalists fighting for
independence from France). France however was no longer alone but joined by Britain and France
and resulted in a tripartite alliance. The Suez Canal was Britain's main trade route for oil etc. and the
Czech arms deal was seen as a sign that Egypt was coming increasingly under Soviet influence.
Britain and France refused to recognize Egypt's sovereignity over the canal.
Sevres protocol, 24th October 1956 - secret meeting held in France between British,
French and Israeli figures, which came up with the plan to get rid of Nasser: Israel would seize the
canal, Britain and France would ask both sides to withdraw, and then when Egypt fails to do so
Britain and France would intervene to protect the canal. The plan has been described as "illconceived both in organisation and purpose" (Fraser).
Outline of course of the war - what happened?
29th October, 1956 - Israeli troops launch this attack; the next day they reached the
30th October - Britain and France issued their ultimatum as planned, Nasser refused this
(as hoped).
31st October - for two days Britain and France bombs Egyptian airfields and destroys
economic targets in Egypt as well as the Egyptian airforce.
Britain and France forced to halt their military operation as a result of US pressure based
on John Foster Dulles' beliefs that a full-scale war would result in Soviet intervention in the Middle

East, their oil interests demanding an 'even-handed' policy towards both Arabs and Israelis, and
Eisenhower's election campaign on a peace platform (he could not afford to be dragged into a war
while claiming to stand for peace! "Tell them goddam it, we are going to apply sanctions, we are
going to the United Nations, we are going to do everything we can to stop this thing"- President
2nd November - the UN General Assembly approved a US-sponsored resolution for an
immediate ceasefire and withdrawal of all forces from Egyptian territory. Israel, under severe
pressure from US was forced to accept and Britain and France agreed shortly after, with Britain
having been forced by severe financial pressure from the US to end the campaign.
Major consequences of Suez:
Nasser was praised as the only Arab leader able to challenge the West and expel British,
French as well as Israeli troops from Egyptian territory, establishing Egypt's claim to lead the Arab
Nasser was able to hold on the the canal and also nationalize the remaining British and
French holdings, providing funds for the Aswan Dam project and the modernization of Egypt.
He also acquired an international army, UNEF, to protect Egypt from Israeli invasions and
Israel was granted freedom of shipping in the Gulf of Aqaba, providing Israel with a Red
Sea port.
Israel's military reputation was further enhanced, after the ease and speed with which
they had conquered the Sinai peninsula. As regional superpower, it is possible to argue that this
military performance was so awesome that it contributed to the lack of a further conflict before 1967,
granting Israel time to focus on nation - and state-building.
British and French were considered to be the losers- they failed to depose Nasser, who
kept hold of the Suez canal, and Eden was forced to resign. Furthermore, this defeat symbolised the
loss of their colonial power in Egypt, and US and Soviet Union were able to step into this vacuum
and emerged as the two 'new' dominant foreign powers in the Middle East. Suez thus brought the
Cold War into the Middle Eastern conflict, though there have been debates about how far the Cold
War was imposed from the outside or imported by leaders in the Middle East for their own ends.
Historiography - different interpretations of this topic?

Czech Arms Deal as instigator or Israel's longer-term security concerns?

Debate amongst historians as to what extent Israeli's policy leading up to Suez was
only reactive? Conventional view sees Israeli policy and the Sinai Campaign as a result of the influx
of Soviet arms and the blockade of the Straits of Tiran - i.e. that Israel was forced into the war by
Nasser. This view has been challanged by historians such as Motti Golani who claims that "on the
contrary, the arms deal temporarily blocked Israel's efforts to launch a war" - i.e. that hawks in the
Israeli administration had long been planning war as part of a broader interventionist policy based on
pre-emptive action as a way of increasing security. Moshe Dayan, a key figure in the Israeli military
and also in favour of a pre-emptive strike, defended Israeli policy afterwards as follows: "if the Arab
states .... had not pursued a policy of increasing enmity towards her, Israel would not have resorted
to arms."
Most historians agree that Suez represented the end of the British Empire ( 'Suez
became the symbol of the end of imperial destiny" - P. Vial). However, there are different

views as to how far British prime minister Eden's policies regarding Suez were
foolishly dangerous or justified given the circumstances. Those critical of Eden
argue that Suez was a reckless policy that could have led to World War Three if
the USA had not intervened. However, a revisionist view has emerged that
judges Eden's policies to have been justified: Nasser was a threat to British
interests and Eden was therefore brave to attempt to remove Nasser with a
policy that would have worked had it not been for the US refusal to support it.

Six Day War of 1967: causes, course and

Wednesday, May 13, 2015
7:08 PM
Timeline of key dates:
1964 - Nasser establishes the PLO, Palestine Liberation Organization in an attempt to control
the fedayeen, the Palestinian guerrilla. However, the PLO soon became the object of an interArab struggle for influence between Egypt, Syria and Iraq,
as well as an Arab-Palestinian struggle for control.
May - The Palestine National Council meet with the PLO for the very first time to draft its Covenant
in which the PLO demonstrated their aims. Article 3 of the PLO Covenant:
"The Palestinian Arab people have the legitimate right to its homeland and are an inseparable
part of the Arab Nation. It shares the sufferings and aspirations of the Arab Nation and its
struggle for freedom, sovereignty and unity."
1966 November, the Syrian-Egyptian Defence Pact
- The As-Samu Raid
1967 April, the Israeli-Syrian Air Clash
- May, the False Soviet Intelligence Report
- May, Nasser mobilises troops
- May, UNEF asked to withdraw
- May, Blockade of Straits of Tiran
- May, Egyptian-Jordanian Defence Pact
- June, Six Day War
- September, Khartoum Summit
- November, UN Resolution 242

Key causes of the war:

The change of government in Syria in February 1966

The rise to power of militant Ba'thists resulted in increasingly hostile rhetoric at a
time when already bad Syrian-Israeli border relations were deteriorating. Conflict embarked
in August 1966 when Israel and Syria clashed in a fierce battle in the area of the Sea of
The Syrian and Egyptian Pact of November 1966
The defence pact boosted Syria's confidence and both Syria and Egypt continued
fedayeen operations against Israel from Jordan. This increased Israel's threat perception
which made Israel adopt a more hard-line security response. Consequently, Israel launched
its most extensive operation since the Sinai Campaign when the IDF, the Israel Defence
Force raided the West Bank villages of As-Samu, Jimba and Khirbet Karkay.
The Israeli-Syrian air clash in 1967
Israel and Syria engaged in an air battle over Syria, in which Syria lost six MiGs.
This conflict added to the tensions and an all-out military confrontation seemed almost

The False Soviet Intelligence Report of 1967

The Soviet President Nikolai Podgorny told Nasser's aide Anwar Sadat that Israeli
troops had mobilized and intended to invade Syria, yet this was inaccurate information.
However, given the defence pact of Syria and Egypt, Nasser decided to act immediately. On
May 14, Egyptian troops moved in to the Sinai.
The UNEF, the United Nations Emergency Force was asked to withdraw. Yet U
Thants insistence on either no withdrawal or complete withdrawal left the EgyptianIsraeli border without buffer.
The Blockade of the Straits
Nasser proceeded to close the Straits, later claiming that he had no choice if he
wanted to return things the way they were in 1956. Nasser did not believe that his action
would lead to war. Rather, he would gain a political victory and deflect Arab criticism.
The Egyptian-Jordanian Defence Pact
Egypts aggressive intent was confirmed when Jordan joined the general
mobilization, followed by the signing of a mutual defence agreement with Egypt in May 30
By that point, Israel too had started to mobilize with the overall result of 80,000
Egyptian troops and 900 tanks, 300 Syrian tanks, 300 Jordanian tanks, and some 250,000
Israeli troops, 1,093 tanks and 2003 planes ready for action. War seemed inevitable.
Bad diplomacy
Israeli public anxiety and frustration increased while diplomats tried to diffuse the
crisis. Israeli attempts to negotiate the opening of the Straits with Egyptian Vice-President
Zakariya Muhieddin in Washington in June 3 failed due to increasingly hostile rhetoric from
all belligerents. Prime Minister Levi Eshkol was forced to hand over the defence portfolio to
the Minister of Defence, Moshe Dayan who then took the decision to go to war. It was clear
that if Israel did not strike first, the Arabs would.
Outline of course of the war - what happened?

On June 5 1967 Israel launched a pre-emptive attack and the Israeli air force
destroyed 304 Egyptian, 53 Syrian and 28 Jordanian aircraft, mostly on the ground.
The IDF crossed into the Sinai and into the West Bank.
Syria, Jordan and Egypt counter-attacked the same day and the three Arab states
became embroiled in a land battle with the Jewish state, which continued until June 10.
The battle on the West Bank ended when Israel captured East Jerusalem on June 7
1967 and troops moved to the Jordan River before King Hussein of Jordan agreed to ceasefire later in the day.
Syrian-Israeli fighting did not even start until June 9, yet "shortly after the ninth,
Syria, which had contributed so much to the crisis and nothing to the conflict" also agreed to
a cease fire.
The war with Egypt ended when Israeli forces occupied Sharm al-Sheikh and
reached the Suez Canal.
Having lost 2,000 soldiers in the fighting with Israel and another 10,000 in the
retreat, Egypt had no choice but to agree to a cease-fire on June 8 1967.
The war left Israel in control of Jordan's West Bank, Egypt's Sinai peninsula and the Gaza Strip,
and Syria's Golan Heights. Israel's air superiority was the most important factor in Israel's victory, followed

closely by the lack of Arab coordination which enabled Israel to deal separately with Egypt, Jordan and Syria
rather than having to fight a genuine three-frontal war.
Major consequences of 1967:

Israel emerged from the war victorious and had increased its territory threefold
and became the dominant power in the region.
Nasser had been resoundingly defeated and was no longer considered as the main
threat and Nasser saw his claim to leadership of the Arab world greatly reduced.
The more radical Bathi regime in Syria started to emerge as Israels main
regional rival, ultimately resulting in a Syrian-Israeli arms race, which in turn, provided
opportunity for greater superpower involvement.
The prestige of the Soviet Union, as Egypts and Syrias ally, had also been
damaged, while the United States started to see Israel as a valuable asset in the region
through which to counter Soviet influence.
Pan-Arabism started to decline and the Israeli victory contributed to the to the refocusing on particularistic Palestinian nationalism as well as placing the Palestinians back on
the international agenda.
The Six Day War also provided the international community once again with the opportunity to
attempt the conclusion of a regional settlement. The result of numerous sessions was UN Security Council
Resolution 242 which emphasized "the inadmissibility of the acquisition of the territory by war" and
acknowledged "the sovereignty, territorial integrity and political independence of every state in the area and
their right to live in peace within secure and recognized boundaries free from acts of force."
Resolution 242 embodied all those key elements which had to be addressed for conflict resolution:
recognition, inadmissibility of acquiring territory by war, freedom from acts of force, peace and the Palestinian
refugee problem. The Arabs insisted that 242 called for Israel to withdrawal from all territories, while Israel
insisted it had to hold onto some of the territories in order to live within secure boundaries. This created further
division between Israel and the Arab states on how to proceed.
Opposition to territorial compromise was only expressed by the Israel party Herut and the
National Religious Party. "The Israelis seemed increasingly reluctant to accept a formula which would require
their complete withdrawal from territories occupied in war, even if their objectives of secure frontiers, nonbelligerency and freedom of navigation were conceded."
The Arab Summit in Khartoum in September 1967 decided the debate in favor of the hard-liners
that advocated a continuation of the conflict in order to liberate all of Palestine: No peace with, no recognition
of, and no negotiation with, Israel.
Historiography - different interpretations of this topic?
Evegny Pyrlin, the Head of the Egypt Department of the Soviet Foreign Ministry at that time claims that Soviet
decision-makers believed "that even if the war was not won by our side - the Egyptians - a war would be to our
political advantage because the Egyptians would have demonstrated their ability to fight our weapons and
with our military and political support."

October War of 1973: causes, course and

Wednesday, May 13, 2015
7:09 PM
Timeline of key dates:

1967-Six day war

1968-1970 War of attrition
1973-Galili documents

1973-Alliance between Syria and Egypt

6th october 1973-Egyptian troops broke through the Bar Lev line fortifications and
war begins
23th of october-Ceasefire talks begin
Key causes of the war:
1967 war-Increased tension in the region as long-term disputes between Israel and

arab states were not solved.

Israeli stance after 1967:

Determined to keep hold of territories won in 1967 war + wanted peace

negotiations not to go through third parties such as US or UN
Arab states' stance after 1967:

Wanted to take back occupied territories in 1967 war + favoured peace negotiations
through third parties
PLO stance after 1967:

Did not acknowledge any peace settlements that did not take into account the
palestinian question
1969-1970 War of attrition-launched by Nasser to break the military and political

deadlock in the region after 1967 war. War attrition = Sporadic clashes between
Egyptian and Israeli armies, which increased tension in region
Failure of peace settlements-After the 1967 war, the US peace plans Johnson's five
principles (named after the current US president Johnson) and Roger's plan fail to bring
stability to the region.
Short-term causes:
The building of Jewish settlements in occupied territories in 1973 further increased tension

and let Sadat to attack Israel.

The Galili documents that were issued in 1973 further increased tension (a political
policy aimed at building ever more settlements in occupied territories. It was
pursued by the Israeli labour party to satisfy the pressure inside and outside the
government to adopt a more radical settlement policy)
The alliance between Syria and Egypt- by 1973 Syria and Egypt had concluded that they
would force Israel into a peace settlement by the means of war. They made an
alliance as Sadat and al-Assad (leader of Syria) recognized that they could not take
on the military might of Israel on themselves.
Outline of course of the war - what happened?

6th october 1973-Egyptian troops broke through the Bar Lev line fortifications and
war begins. 6th of october is the Jewish festival of Yom Kippur. Consequently, the
Israelis were caught off guard and the Egyptian and Syrian forces enjoyed initial
success. By 9th of October, Israeli army has mobilized and they start to counter
Arab advances. 11th of october Israeli forces began to advance beyond the 1967
ceasefire borders into Syria. 23th of october-Ceasefire talks begin because of
international pressure on all belligerents.
Major consequences of 1973:
For Israel:

War cost 7 billion dollars and killed 2700 Israeli troops

Early stages of war (Arab succeeds to invade Israel) undermined Israel's selfcofidence as the dominant power in the middle east.
Israeli becomes more financially and militarily dependent on the US after the war.
Right-wing parties (e.g. Likud party led by Begin Menachem) in Israeli government
become more popular because they advocate for a though and more agressive +
militant foreign policy as a reaction to the war.
For Arab states:

15 000 Egyptian soldiers killed

7 000 Syrian soldiers killed
Sadat prestige was enhanced in Arab world
Sadat expelled Soviet advisers and open up for cooperation with the US, which he
thought could bring durable peace to the middle east.

Camp David and the Egyptian-Israeli Peace

Wednesday, May 13, 2015
7:09 PM
Reasons for the Camp David Accords:

The potential for a stalemate had become clear after Sadat's visit to Jerusalem: While
Israel blocked any proposed clauses in favour of an independent Palestinian entity in an attempt to
retain the West Bank, Egypt demanded Israel's recognition of the Palestinian's right to self-rule.

Carter called a summit at Camp David which neither Israel nor Egypt could reject as the
invitation had been from the US president personally.
The Peace Agreement:

The negotiations lasted from 5th to 17th of September 1978 and two days before the end
of the negotiations Sadat threatened to withdraw.

Two agreements were condluded:

Israel would give up the Sinai, including settlements and airfields.

"Framework for Peace in the Middle East" based upon resolutions 242 and 338, the
resolution to the Palestinian problem, good neighbourly relations as well as Palestinian autonomy in
the West bank (excluding Jerusalem) and Gaza Strip.

The Palestinian autonomy was interpreted by Carter and Sudat, a Palestinian selfgoverning authority, freely elected by the inhabitants of the West Bank and Gaza Strip was to
replace the Israeli military administration. However Begin interpreted this as no more than "personal
autonomy"- the problems with the peace agreement had already started to take place.

During a five-year transition period the final status of the terretories was to be negotiated.

1979, 26th of March- the Egyptian-Israeli peace treaty was signed.


Sadat had cut Egypt off from the rest of the Arab world by signing the treaty and Israel
was faced with the emergy of a new radical right, determined to fight against Camp David.

It soon after became clear that Begin had no intentions of decreasing Israeli control over
the West Bank and Gaza Strip and as a result, the negotiations on the autonomy scheme only
continued for a short period and was cancelled by the end of 1979.

US became involved in the emerging Iranian Revolution, US hostage crisis in November

1979 and Soviet invasion of Afghanistan in December and were unable to put pressure on Israel.
Implications of Peace:

Arab leaders had to decide whether to participate in the negotiations or be left out. In the
end only Egypt proceeded and the general Arab reaction to the peace settlement turned into open

the PLO became increasingly determined in its quest for Palestinian self-determination
and for the West Bank Palestinians it became clear that the Egyptian-Israeli agreement confirmed
continued Israeli rule.
Sadat's successor, Murabak, upheld the peace agreement with Israel and Egypt became
the first Arab state to make peace with israel.
The Egyptian boycott on Israel was lifted and started selling oil.
1974, US President Nixon offered both Egypt and Israel help with civil nuclear power.
The treaty provided Israel with security and stability along its southern border and thereby
freed-up the country's limited resources.
The treaty removed the Arab country with the largest military forces from the Arab-Israeli
The Arab League imposed economic and political boycott on Egypt and membership
became suspended.
The lack of rapid economic growth as had been promised to the Egyptian population left
Sadat open to criticism and eventually assassinated in October 1981.
Failure of the treaty to esablish Palestinian autonomy led to Israel's continued settlement
policies and annexation fo the Golan Heights in 1981 as well as Israel's invasion of Lebanon 1982.
The negotiations:
"an emotional ceremony in the East Room of the White House late on 17 September
1978"- Bailey.
The Palestinians:
"You cannot expect millions of Arab Palestinians to go away, or to be content with
occupation, or to acquiesce to an Israeli, Egyptian, or an American, idea of their destiny, their
"atonomy", or their physical location"- Edward Said.
Egyptian response:
Sadat "had abandoned the Palestinian cause in order to recover the Sinai"- Tessler.

Fall of USSR (Part 1) - Gorbachev and the end

of communist rule
Monday, May 11, 2015
7:05 PM

Gorbachev, who came to power in March 1985, was the most gifted and dynamic
leader Russia had seen in many years: he was determined to revitalize the country following
the years of stagnation after Khrushchev's fall. He intended to achieve this by modernizing
and making more efficient the communist party with the policies
of glasnost and perestroika (economic and social reform).
Gorbachev claimed that the system was centralized, leaving no room for local individual
initiative and that it was based almost completely on state ownership and control, and
weighted strongly towards defense and heavy industry, leaving consumer goods for ordinary
people in short supply.
Gorbachev did not want to end communism; he wanted to replace the existing system, which
was still basically Stalinist, with a socialist system which was humane and
democratic. However, he did not have the same success at home as abroad, as his policies

failed to provide results quickly enough, and led to the collapse of communism and the
breakup of the USSR.
Gorbachevs new policies
1 Glasnost
It was seen in areas such as human rights and cultural affairs. Dissidents were released,
leaders like Bukharin were claimed innocent, and Pravda was allowed to publish an article
critical of Brezhnev. Political events such as the 19th Party Conference and the first sessions
of the Congress of Deputies were televised.
In cultural matters and the media generally there were some developments. For example,
long banned anti-Stalin films and novels were now shown and published. Also there was a
new freedom for the press. The Chernobylincident, for example, was discussed with
unprecedented frankness.
The aims of this new approach were to:

use the media to publicize the inefficiency and corruption which the government
was so anxious to stamp out
educate public opinion
mobilize support for the new policies
2 Economic affairs
In November 1986 Gorbachev announced that announced that new methods of economic
management would be applied. Small scale private enterprise in the manufacture of goods
and services was to be allowed, as well as workers cooperatives of no more than 50
members. The objective behind this was to provide competition for the slow and inefficient
services provided by the state, in the hope of stimulating a rapid improvement. Another
reason was the need to provide alternative employment as patterns of employment changed
over the decade, and automation and computers left many people with no job.
Also, the responsibility for quality control throughout industry as a whole was to be taken
over by independent state bodies rather than factory management.
The most important of the reforms was the Law on State Enterprises of 1987, which
removed the central planners total control over raw materials, production quotas and trade
and made factories work to orders from customers.
3 Political changes
These changes began in 1987 when Gorbachev made a move towards democracy within the
communist party by announcing that members of the soviet would now be elected by the
people rather than appointed. Also top party positions and factory managers would be
During 1988, the old Supreme Soviet would be replaced by a much smaller one, elected
through a Congress of Peoples Deputies. This Supreme Soviet would be a proper
parliament, active throughout the year. Reserved seats for the communist party were
cancelled. Gorbachev was elected President of theSoviet Union in 1990. These new
institutions completely sidelined the old system, and meant that the communist party was on
the verge of losing its privileged position.
What went wrong with Gorbachevs policies?

1 Opposition from radicals and conservatives

Gorbachev found opposition from two sides. Some party members such asBoris
Yeltsin, the Moscow part leader, were more radical than Gorbachev and felt that the reforms
were not drastic enough. They wanted to change to a market system as soon as possible. On
the other hand, the conservative communists such as Ligachev felt that changes were too
drastic and the party was losing control. This caused a dangerous split within the party and
brought trouble to Gorbachev.
When elections were held and the conservatives won a majority in the Congress, massive
protests broke out in Moscow ere Yeltsin was popular. Now, due to Glasnost, the new
freedoms of the people were beginning to turn against the communist party.
2 The economic reforms did not produce results quickly enough
The rate of economic growth stayed put through 1988 and 1989 and fell after 1990, almost
by 15%
A major reason for this crisis was the failure of the Law on State Enterprises.The problem
was that wages were dependant on output, but since it was measured by its value in roubles,
factories did not increase overall output, but instead concentrated on expensive goods. This
led to higher wages, forcing the government to print more money, which caused soaring
inflation. Also, basic goods were in short supply, and some common good were totally
Disillusion with Gorbachev rapidly set in, and people became outraged at theshortages. Half
a million miners went on strike in 1989, the first one since 1917. The disciplined and well
organized miners put forward detailed demands. The government soon granted many of the
demands, promising complete reorganization of the industry and full local control.
By the end of July the strike was over, but the general economic situation did not
improve. Gorbachev was fast losing control of the reform movement which he had started.
3 Nationalist pressures
The nationalist pressures also led to the breakup of the USSR. The Soviet republics, each
with its won parliament, had been kept under tight control throughout Stalins time, but
glasnost and perestroika encouraged them to hope for more independence. Gorbachev
seemed sympathetic to this provided the Communist party remained in overall control.
Nagorno-Karabakh conflict
Baltic States declare their independence but Moscow refuses to recognize it.
Boris Yeltsin, excluded from the Supreme Soviet was elected president of
the Russian federation in 1990.
4 Gorbachev and Yeltsin were rivals
They disagreed over fundamental issues:
Yeltsin believed that union should be voluntary, with independent republics with
joint responsibilities but with the power to opt out of the Union. Gorbachev believed this
would lead to disintegration
Yeltsin was completely disillusioned with the communist party and thought it no
longer deserved it privileged position. Gorbachev was still a convinced communist and
hoped for a humane and democratic communism.

Yeltsin believed that the answer for the economic problem was a rapid
changeover to a market system, despite the initial hardships it would cause. Gorbachev was
more cautious, and knew that those plans would cause higher unemployment and inflation,
which would result in his overthrowing.
The coup of August 1991
As the crisis deepened Gorbachev and Yeltsin worked together, Due to attack of the
conservatives, Yeltsin left the communist party. Gorbachev was loosing control, as many of
the republics demanded independence. In May 1991 Gorbachev held a conference with the
leaders of the republics and persuaded them to forma a new voluntary union largely
independent fromMoscow.
At this point, hardline communists launched a coup to overthrow Gorbachev and reverse his
reforms. He was arrested and told to hand power to his vicepresident. When he refused, he
was kept under house arrest while the coup went ahead in Moscow. The public was told
Gorbachev was ill and a committee took power, declaring state of emergency, banning
demonstrations. They brought in tanks and troops to surrounded public buildings
in Moscow that they intended to seize.
However, the coup was poorly organized and the leaders failed to have Yeltsin arrested. He
called on the people to rally in support. The troops did not know whom to support, but they
did not take action against the popular Yeltsin. Some sections of the army were sympathetic
with the reformers. People went to the streets, and the army hesitated to cause heavy
casualties. On August 1991, leaders admitted defeat and were eventually arrested. Yeltsin
had triumphed and Gorbachev returned to Moscow. However, the coup had important
The communist party was discredited due to the actions of the hardliners.
Gorbachev resigned as party general secretary and the party was soon banned in Russia.
Yeltsin was seen as the hero and Gorbachev was increasingly side lined. Yeltsin
ruled Russia as a separate republic, introducing a drastic programme to move o a free-market
economy. The Ukraine voted to become independent in 1991 December and the USSR was
clearly finished.
Yeltsin was already negotiating for a new union of republics
Gorbachevs role as president of the USSR had ceased to exist, and he resigned on
Christmas Day 1991.
Verdict on Gorbachev
Despite his failures, Gorbachev as one of the outstanding leaders of the 20thcentury. His
achievement especially in foreign affairs was enormous. His policies
of perestroika and glasnost restored freedom to the people of the USSR. His policies of
reducing military expenditure, dtente, and withdrawal from Afghanistan and Eastern
Europe, made a vital contribution to the ending of the Cold War

Fall of USSR (Part 2) - The collapse of the

USSR and the end of communist rule

Monday, May 11, 2015

7:07 PM

When Gorbachev resigned as president of the USSR on December 1991, the Soviet
Union had ceased to exist and the Cold War was over. This turning point in history occurred
with little bloodshed. No one had predicted this rapid collapse of the superpower.
The USA and British intelligence services were surprised, as the East Germans, with the fall
of the Wall. However, even before the Berlin Wall fell in 1989, relations between the Soviet
Union and the USA had changed dramatically.
What was the impact of Mikhail Gorbachev?
Stalins legacy meant that the USSR remained an authoritarian, one party state and that
economically it was focused on producing military hardware rather than consumer goods.
On his succession as General Secretary, Gorbachev is reported to have said that
the USSR could not go on like that. Not only was he the youngest leader since Stalin, but
also the first university educated leader since him.
Gorbachev introduced two key reforming ideas- perestroika (aimed at the restructuring of
the economy) and glasnost (openness- was the principle that every are of the regime
should be open to public scrutiny). This represented a radical change in politics , with a
greater democratization and more people involved in the Communist party and political
Through these strategies, Gorbachev intended to make the USSR more productive and
responsive, and he realized that part of this process also had to involve a reduction in
military spending. If his reforms were going to work, the USSR could not challenge Regans
SDI system; he thus abandoned the arms race and attempted a negotiated reduction in arms
with the USA. Besides the economic reasons, Gorbachev hoped for a reduction in arms
expenditure as he knew there could be no winners in a nuclear war and vowed to maintain
peace. The Chernobyl disaster only heightened Gorbachevs awareness of the dangers of
nuclear power.
Reagan was also interested in disarmament and had previously put forward an arms control
proposal known as Zero Option, which would eliminate all intermediate-rang missiles form
Europe. Gorbachev was the first Soviet leader ready to discuss this option . Thus, the leaders
met in four summits.

Geneva summit, November 1985. No substantial progress was made but the two
leaders did agree that nuclear war should be avoided.

Reykjavik summit, October 1986. Talks ended without agreement, mainly

because Reagans refusal to make any concessions over the SDI. However, the talks also
covered a sweeping arms control proposal, which was considered as an breakthrough in
relations between the two superpowers.

Washington summit, December 1987. The INF treaty was signed which agreed to
abolish land-based missiles of intermediate and shorter range. This was an important first
step in reducing the nuclear warheads and the inspection of their destruction.

Moscow summit, May 1988. Again there was disagreement over the SDI, but
arms reduction negotiation continued. Reagan claimed no longer to believe in the evil

Also, foreign policy initiatives by Gorbachev like the 1988 withdrawal fromAfghanistan and
the aid withdrawal from its allies in the Third Worldreassured the West. The thawing of
the Cold War continued under the new U.S president, George H.W. Bush.
What was the role of Ronald Reagan?
While Gorbachev role is key to explaining the breakdown of the Cold War, many historians
also give Reagan credit for this and argue that it was his approach to the Soviet Union in the
early 1980s that was crucial for pushing the USSR into arms negotiations. Ideological and
military pressures, -especially the Star Wars initiative- gave the soviets little choice but to
abandon expansionism abroad and repression at home. The Reagan victory school is
therefore critical of the dtente approach to relations with the Soviet Union which was
followed under the Carter administration, arguing that if it had been continued, then the life
of the Soviet Union would have been prolonged.
Other historians also claim that Reagan played an important role, nut mainly due to his
views on anti-nuclearism, which helped to convince Gorbachev at the different summits the
possibilities of halting the nuclear arms race.
What was the role of the Soviet economy?
Although the actions of Gorbachev and Reagan were important in explaining the turnout of
events, it is also important to look at the long-term forces that were at work in pushing
the Soviet Union into ending the Cold War. By 1982, Brezhnevs death, the political and
economic policies of the USSRwere in crisis.
During Brezhnevs period the Soviets spent even more resourcese on forign policy. During
this period, the USSR reached parity with the USA in the nuclear field, but with a high price.
This era is remembered as a period of stagnation and decline for the Union, due to a lack of
spending not only on consumer goods, but on the domestic economy as a whole. Brezhnev
left his successors an economy that was based on Stalins command economy, which fell
behind in modern technology and had a declining industrial output. Agricultural production
was terrible, grain was imported from North America, workers had little incentive to work
harder or produce better goods, labor morale was low, with high absenteeism and chronic
When Gorbachev took over, he inherited an economy in serious trouble. It could thus be
argued that Gorbachev was forced to take the actions that he did in both internal reform and
negotiations with the West. Therefore, many historians claim that keeping the Cold War
through containment and dtente played a role in bringing about the end of the Cold War
rather than prolonging it.
In the late 1980s, a resurgence in nationalist movements began to develop in most of the
satellite states due to the combination of the deterioration of the living standards, the fact
that the USSR was becoming less involved in the internal affairs of these countries and the
implications of Gorbachevs reforms. The new leader had made it clear that he was
unwilling to use force to maintain control over the satellite states.

In December 1988, Gorbachev announced that the USSR would be cutting by half a million
men its commitment of troops to the Warsaw pact, and claimed that he refused to use force
as an instrument of foreign policy. This was a clear signal for the peoples and governments
of Easter Europe the Brezhnev Doctrine would not be applied. 1989 saw an amazing series
of revolutions in the satellite states, resulting in the fall of the Soviet system.
The process of the collapse of the Soviet Union began in May 1989 when the Hungarian
government dismantled the wire fence in the border with Austria. Thousands of Hungarians
and East Germans then crossed over to Austria in order to cross into West Germany.
Events in Poland
Although the union movement Solidarity had been suppressed in 1981, there continued to
be popular support for it due to the combination of economic stagnation that the government
failed to resolve, and also the support of the Pope and Church. Due to Gorbachevs reforms,
Solidarity was legalized in 1988 and it won the first free elections in 1989. The Communist
Party had been defeated by a huge popular vote, and the government was the first in the
Eastern bloc since the 1940s not to be controlled by Communists. After Gorbachevs refusal
to support the old Communist regime, and in the absence of support, the Polish Communist
party collapsed.
Events in East Germany
Honecker, a hard-line Communist, had been the leader of East Germanysince 1971.
Although considered the most successful country in the Eastern bloc, living standards there
were well below the West; there was no sense of Eastern German nationalism and people
look forward for reunification. Honeckers repressive regime was unpopular and its leader
was particularly hated.
By mid-1980, there was pressure to remove him as leader; people criticized the repressive
sysyem and openly demanded reforms. Thousandes of East German holidaymakers
in Hungary crossed to Austria across the new open border. Moreover, groups like the New
Forum decided to stay and resist. Although Honecker proposed the used of force to regain
control, Gorbachev made it clear that he would not intervene if there was a revolt. Honecker
was replaced by the politburo and the new government announced on November 9, 1989 an
easing of travel and emigration restrictions. The lack of clarity of the official statement
meant that thousand of citizens descended to the border: the East German guards were taken
by surprise and, lacking direction from above, opened the barriers that night. Within 24
hours the wall had ceased to be the symbol of the Cold War and its destruction became the
symbol of its ending. Elections were held in 1990, when parties in favour of unification won;
East and West Germany were unified on 3 October 1990.
Events in Hungary
Reform in Hungary came from the Communist Party itself. Reformers sacked the hard-line
leader Kadar and dominated the government. On October 1989
a new Hungarian Republic was declared and elections took place the following year.
Events in Czechoslovakia
The changes in Czechoslovakia were known as the Velvet Revolution as there was very
little violence and people power was the clear driving force here. The government was force

to respond to the mass demonstrations calling for reform. In 1989 a dissident playwright
Havel, was elected president and the Warsaw Pact nations, including the USSR, issued an
official statement condemning the 1968 invasion as illegal and promising never to interfere
in each other affairs again.
Events in Romania
Events in Romania were far more violent. Its leader President Ceausescu and his regime was
one of the most repressive in the East. In 1989 inspired by events in Hungary and the killing
of demonstrators by the army there was an uprising against the leader. When he appeared in
public they met a hostile reception. The army refused to act against the demonstrators and
Ceausescu was arrested and executed.
Gorbachevs policies brought admiration and in 1990 he was awarded the Nobel Peace prize.
However, at home, his failure to bring about an improvement in the countrys economic
situation meant that he became increasingly unpopular. Events in Eastern Europe brought
about calls for independence from the republics of the Soviet Union. Thus during 1991, the
empire disintegrated. The republics that had been part of the USSR claimed their
independence. This break-up intensified hostility towards Gorbachev and in 1991 there was
an attempted coup by hard-line Communits. This was defeated by Boris Yeltsin, and
although Gorbachev was restored, he had lost local authority. On 25 December 1991,
Gorbachev resigned and the Soviet Union formally ceased to exist.
The collapse of the USSR had a huge impact on international politics as well as the
economic situation of the countries that had been dependant on theSoviet Union for aid.
For many in the USA, it seemed that they had won and that they were the only country in
international politics capable of having a military alliance around the world. Capitalism
seemed to have triumphed. Even in China andVietnam, changes in economic controls
allowed free market forces to have an impact.
For Cuba, the drying up of Soviet aid, along with the USA trade embargo, brought about an
economic crisis. Also, other regimes in Africa formerly supported by the USSR suffered
economically. In other parts of the world, which had been focus of superpower conflict and
fighting, such asAfghanistan, conflict continued, with little attention from the rest of the
World. These were dubbed failed states.

The Arab-Israeli Conflict

Monday, May 11, 2015
7:07 PM
The area known as the Middle East has been one of the worlds most troubled regions, especially since
1945. It consists of Egypt, the Sudan, Jordan, Syria, Lebanon, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Iran, Turkey,
Yemen, the United Arab Emirates and Oman. Most of these states are peopled by Arabs, except for
Turkey and Iran. The Middle East also contains a small Jewish state of Israel which was set up by the UN
in 1948 in Palestine. The creation of Israel in Palestine, an area belonging to Palestinian Arabs,

outraged Arab opinion around the world and especially blamed Britain who, they felt, had been more
sympathetic to the Jews than to the Arabs. Most of all they blamed the USA which had supported the
idea of a Jewish state very strongly. The Arab states refused to recognize Israel as a legal state and
they vowed to destroy it. There were four short wars between Israel and the various Arab states (19489, 1959, 1967, and 1973) but all of them failed and Israel survived. The Arabs however had two other
The desire to achieve political and economic unity among the Arab states
The desire of many Arabs to put an end to foreign intervention in their countries.
Arab unity and interference from the outside world
Arabs have several things in common
Almost all of them speak Arab, almost all are Muslim, and most of them wanted to see the destruction
of Israel so that the Palestinian Arabs could have back the land which they felt is rightfully theirs.
Also, several attempts were made to increase unity among the Arab states.
The Arab League founded in 1945, included Egypt, Syria, Jordan, Iraq, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia and
Yemen, membership later expanded to include twenty states in 1980; however, it achieved very little
In the mid-1950 the leadership of Egypts Nasser served as a great boost for pan-Arabism who gained
enormous prestige after the 1956 Suez Crisis. In 1958, Syria joined Egypt in the United Arab Republic,
but only lasted till 1961.
After Nassers death in 1970, his successor, Sadat, organized a loose union betwixt Egypt, Libya and
Syria known as the Federation of Arab Republics.
However the Arab states still had disagreements over certain points.
Jordan and Saudi Arabia were ruled by fairly conservative royal families who were often criticized for
being too pro-British by the governments of Egypt and Syria, which were Arab nationalist and socialist.
The other Arab states fell out with Egypt in 1979 because Egypt signed a separate peace treaty with
Israel. This caused Egypt to be expelled form the Arab League.
Interference in the Middle East by other counties
This took place for several reasons:
Britain and France had been involved in the Middle East for many years, specifically Britain with
Egypt, and after WW1, Iraq and Jordan and France Syria and Lebanon.
The Middle East held a very important position in the world- as it acted as a sort of crossroads
between the Western nations, the communist bloc and the Third World of Africa and Asia
At one time, the M East produced over a third of the worlds oil supplies, being the main producers
Iraq, Iran, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait. European nation were heavily dependant on oil supplies from the
middle East and remained friendly to their governments in order to get oil cheaply
The lack of unity among the Arab sates encouraged other countries to intervene in the Middle East.
Most Arab countries had nationalist governments which bitterly resented Western influence. One by
one, governments which were thought to be pro-Western were swept away and replaced by regimes
which wanted to be non-aligned.
The creation of Israel and the Arab-Israeli war 1948-9
Why did the creation of the state of Israel lead to war?
Palestine had been the home of the Jews since Roman times, when in the year 71 they were forced out
of it: slowly they started to return, but they never were enough to threaten the Arabs who now felt
Palestine as their homeland.
In 1897, Jews in Europe founded the World Zionist Organization, which believed that the Jews ought to
be able to go back to Palestine and have a national homeland, where to be safe from persecution.
The problem was that Palestine was inhabited by Arabs, who were alarmed at the prospect of losing
their land.

Britain became involved in 1917, when the foreign minister Balfour announced that Britain supported
the idea of a Jewish national home in Palestine. After Palestine became a British mandate in 1919 large
number of Jews began to immigrate in and the Arabs protested bitterly that they wanted a) and
independent Palestine for Arabs b) the end of Jewish immigration. Britain seeked to reach compromise
between the two peoples and looked for them to live peacefully in the same country.
Due to Nazi persecution after 193, a flood of refugees began, and by 1940 half of the Palestinian
population was Jewish. A British plan to divide Palestine in two states was rejected by the Arabs, and a
further one, by the Jews.
The Second World War worsened the situation as hundreds of thousands of Jewish refugees looking for
somewhere to go. In 1945, the USA pressed Britain to allow 100,000 Jews into Palestine; this demand
was echoed by Gurion, a Jewish leader, but the British, not wanting to offend the Arabs, refused.
After Nazi persecution, the Jews were determined to get a national home and thus started a
terrorist campaign against both Arab and British, which resulted in arrests and more immigrants
returned to Europe.
The British, unable to cope with the problem after WW2, asked the UN to deal with the problem and in
November 1947, it voted to divide Palestine, setting aside about half of it to create a Jewish state.
Britain withdrew all of its troops. In May 1948, Gurion declared the independence of Israel. It was
immediately attacked by Egypt, Syria, Jordan, Iraq and Lebanon.
Who was to blame for the tragedy?
Most of the rest of the world seemed to blame Britain for the chaos in Palestine: It was said that British
troops should have stayed on to ensure the partition of Palestine was carried out smoothly. The Arabs
accused the British for being pro Jewish for letting fat too many Jews into Palestine and making them
lose half of their homeland.
Bevin blamed the USA for the chaos, and there is some evidence to support his case. It was President
Truman who pressurized Britain to allow 100,000 extra Jews to go to Palestine and had refused to
provide troops to keep order in Palestine and to allow more Jews in the USA. The Americans had
pushed the plan for partition through the UN, even though all Arab countries voted against it.
The war and its outcome
Against seemingly overwhelming odds, the Israelis defeated the Arabs and even captured more of
Palestine than the UN had given them. The Israeli victory was due to the fact that they fought
desperately and because the Arab countries were divided among themselves and poorly equipped. Many
Palestinian Arabs found themselves with no homeland as they were either now living in Israel or the
territories captured by Jordan. When Jewish troops began murdering Arabs in Israel a flood of Arab
immigration began which ended up living in poor refugee camps in other Arab states. Jerusalem was
divided between Israel and Jordan.
The Suez War of 1956
Who was to blame for the war?
1. The Arabs blamed the Israelis, who actually began hostilities by invading Egypt. 2. The communist
bloc and many Arab states blamed Britain and France, accusing them of imperialist tactics by attacking
Egypt. They accused the Americans of encouraging Britain to attack 3. The British, French and Israelis
blamed Nasser for being anti-Western. However, even he USA thought that Britain and France had
overreacted by using force.
In September 1955, Nasser signed an arms deal with Czechoslovakia for Russian weapons, and Russian
military experts went to train the Egyptian army.
The Americans were outraged by this, since it meant that the West no longer controlled weapons
supplies to the Egypt. Egypt was seen now as a member of the communist bloc and as a sinister plot by
the Russians to move into Middle East.
The Americans therefore cancelled a promised grant of 46 million for the building of the Aswan Dam
with the intention of forcing Nasser to abandon his new links to the communists.

Crisis point reached when Nasser immediately retaliated by nationalizing the Suez Canal, intending to
use the income from it to finance the dam; British and French shareholders of the dam were promised
Reaction in Britain was terribly strong even comparing Nasser to Hitler and his actions before WW2.
Secret talks took place between the British, French and the Israelis and a plan was hatched: Israel
would invade Egypt across the Sinai peninsula and the Europeans would step in to protect the structure
from the damage. Then a defeat would topple Nasser
The war
The war began with the planned invasion of Egypt in October and the Israelis had captured the entire
peninsula in less than a week. Meanwhile, Britain and France bombed Egyptian airfields and marched
troops in. This caused an international outcry from the rest of the world, and the Americans who were
afraid of upsetting all the Arabs and forcing them into closer ties with the USSR, refused to support
Britain, although they had earlier hinted support. At the UN, Americans and Russians for once agreed:
they demanded an immediate ceasefire, and prepared to send a UN force. Thus Britain, France and
Israel withdrew.
The outcome of the war
It was a complete humiliation for Britain and France, and a victory for Nasser
The war failed to overthrow Nasser and his prestige as leader of Arab nationalism greatly grew. To
ordinary Arabs, he was seen as a hero.
The Egyptians blocked the canal, the Arabs reduced oil supplies to Western Europe where rationing
was introduced and Russian aid replaced that from USA
The Israeli attacked had greatly damaged Egypt forces however, and gave the country a breathing
space as terrorist raids stopped and could consolidate.
The six day war
The Arab states had not signed a peace treaty at the end of the 1948-9 war and still refused to
recognize Israel. In 1967, they joined together again to destroy Israel, led by Iraq, Syria and Egypt.
Iraq was ready to cooperate with Egypt to attack Israel; Syria had already begun bombing Jewish
settlements from the Golan Heights which overlooked the frontier.
In Egypt, the popular Nasser was doing very well both in popularity and with the running of the country
and decided it was time for another attempt to destroy Israel. Egypt started mobilizing its troops to
the Sinai border.
The USSR encouraged Egypt and Syria and kept up a flow of anti-Israeli propaganda because Israel was
being supported by the USA. Their aim was to increase their influence in the Middle East at the
expense of the Americans and Israelis. They hinted they would send help if war came.
As Syria, Jordan and Lebanon also massed troops along their frontiers with Israel and more Arab
countries joined in, the Israelis decided that they had to attack first than to wait and be destroyed.
They launched a series of devastating air attacks which cleared out the enemys air forces on the
ground and captured the Gaza strip, the entire Sinai peninsula, the West Bank and the Golan Heights.
The Arabs had to accept the ceasefire.
Great victory for Israelis that now kept the gained territories as buffer zones; however brining the
problem of the Arabs living in new Israeli land
It was a humiliation for Arab states, especially for Nasser, who realized it needed outside help to
liberate Palestine. The Russians had been a disappointment for him. To try to improve their relations
with Syria and Egypt, the Russians started supplying modern weapons.
The Yom Kippur War
Several causes:
Pressure was brought to bear on the Arab states by the PLO under Arafat for further action. It
embarked on a series of terrorist attacks to draw world attention to the grave injustice being done to
the Arabs of Palestine. Attacks took place in Jordan and Munich for example

Sadat, president of Egypt since Nassers death in 1970, was becoming increasingly convinced of the
need for a negotiated peace settlement with Israel. He was prepared to work with either the USA or
the USSR, but he hoped to win American support for the Arabs so that the Americans would persuade
the Israelis to agree to a peace settlement. However, the Americans refused to get involved.
Sadat, together with Syria, decided to attack Israel again, hoping that this would force the Americans
to act as mediators. The Egyptians were feeling more confident now with Russian weapons and tactics
War began on October 1973 on the Jewish feast of Yom Kippur. After some early Arab success, the
Israelis, using mainly American weapons were able to turn the tables. They succeeded in hanging on to
all territory they had captured in 1967 and even crossed the Suez Canal to Egypt. However, Sadats plan
had been successful both the USA and the USSR decided it was time to intervene to try to bring out a
peace settlement. Acting with UN co-operation, they organized a ceasefire which both sides accepted.
The outcome of the war gave some hope to the idea of permanent peace. Egyptians and Israelis met
and the latter agreed to move their troops back from the Suez Canal enabling Egyptians to clear and
open the canal in 1975.
Importantly, during this war, the Arab states made use of the oil-weapon: they reduced oil supplies to
put pressure on the USA and on Western European states which were friendly to Israel.
Camp David and the Egyptian-Israeli peace, 1978-9
Why did the two sides began to talk to each other?
President Sadat had become convinced that Israel could not be destroyed by force, and that it was
foolish to keep on wasting Egypts resources on wars. However, it took great courage to meet the
Israelis, as it would mean the recognition of the existence of the country and would cause huge
resentment among more aggressive states such as Iraq and Syria and also from the PLO. In spite of all,
Sadat offered to go to talk to Israel and went to the Parliament
The USA was pressing them to settle their differences with at least some of the Arabs. They accepted
Sadats offer. He visited Israel in November 1977 and Menahem Begin visited Egypt the following month
President Jimmy Carter played a vital role in setting up formal negotiation between the two sides at
Camp David which began in September 1978.
The Peace treaty and its aftermath
The main points agreed were:
The state of war which had existed betwixt the two countries since 1948 was now over
Israel promised to withdrew it troops from Sinai
Egypt promised not to attack Israel again and guaranteed to supply her with oil
Israeli ships could use the Suez Canal
The treaty was condemned by the PLO and most Arab states. World opinion began to move against
Israel and to accept the PLO had a good case; but when the USA tried to bring the PLO and Israel
together in a conference the Israelis refused.
In November 1980, Begin announced that:
Israel would never return the Golan Heights to Syria, not even in exchange for a peace treaty
They would never allow the West Bank to become part of an independent Palestinian state, that
would be a mortal threat to Israels existence.
Peace between Israel and the PLO
The election of the less aggressive Labour government in Israel in June 1992 raised hopes for better
relations with the Palestinians. The PM Rabin and the Foreign Minister Peres both believed in
negotiation and were prepared to make concessions in order to achieve a lasting peace. Arafat, leader
of the PLO, responded and talks began, but there was much mutual suspicion and distrust. However, by
early 1996, remarkable changes had taken place.
The peace accord of September 1993 (Oslo accords)
Israel formally recognized the PLO
the PLO recognized Israels right to exist and promised to give up terrorism

the Palestinians were given self rule in the West Bank and in part of the Gaza Strip, areas occupied by
Israel since 1967
Extremists on both sides opposed the agreement, but two years later there was an even greater step
Self rule for the Palestinians (September 1995)
Israel agreed to withdrew its troops from the West Bank, handing civil and security powers to the PLO
The areas would be ruled by a Palestinian Council to be elected early in 1996 by all West Bankers and
Arab residents of Jerusalem
All Palestinian prisoners held by Israel would be released (about 6000)
While most of the world welcomed this brave attempt to bring peace to the Middle East, again
extremists on both side claimed that their leaders were guilty of surrender. The PM Rabin was
assassinated by an Israeli right winger, and this caused revolution against extremists.
In January 1996 King Hussein of Jordan paid an official public visit to Israel for the first time and peace
talks opened between Israel and Syria. The promised elections were held and as expected Arafat
became the new Palestinian president, with a large majority in the Parliament.
However, later in 1996 the situation changed rapidly, as terrorist attacks by Hamas and Hezbollah
enabled the hard-line Netanyahu, who denounced labour policy as too-soft, to win a narrow victory.
This disappointed much of the outside world, putting the whole peace process into doubt.
The Iran-Iraq War
The Middle East and the Arab World were thrown into fresh confusion in September 1980 hen Iraqi
troops invaded Iran.
Iraqs motives
He was afraid of militant Islam spreading across the border into Iraq from Iran, which dad become
and Islamic republic ran by the Ayatollah and his Shiite supporters. The population of Iraq was mainly
Sunni, but there was a large Shiite minority. Sadam, whose government was non-religious was afraid
that some of Shiite officers might rise against him and executed them, causing Iranian retaliations
across the border.
There was a long standing dispute over the Shatt-el-Arab waterway. This was an important outlet for
the oil exports of both countries and formed part of the frontier between them. The waterway had
belonged to Iraq but Iran had forced the country to share control over it.
Saddam thought that the Iranian forces would be weak and demoralized after the fundamentalist
takeover, so he expected a quick victory.
The war drags on
The Iranians quickly organized themselves to deal with the invasion, replying with mass infantry, and
although Iraqs forces seemed much stronger, supplied with British and American equipment, the
Iranian guards fought with fanatical devotion. Eventually, they too began to get modern equipment
from Chine and North Korea and USA.
As the war dragged on, Iraq tried to cut off Irans oil exports which financed its supplies, and
meanwhile, Iran forces got alarmingly close to Basra.
The war had important international repercussions:
The stability of the Arab world was threatened: The conservative Arab states gave cautious support to
Iraq, but Syria, Libya and the PLO were critical of Iraq for starting the war
The attacks on Irans oil exports threatened the energy supplies of the West: and at times brought
American, British, Russian and French warships to the region.
The success of Irans Shia fundamentalist troops alarmed the non-religious Arab governments, and
many Arabs were afraid of what might happen if Iraq was defeated.
The end of the war, 1988

Although neither side had achieved its aims, the cost of the war was huge. Both sides began to look for
a way to end the fighting. The UN became involved, did some straight talking and succeeded in
arranging a ceasefire, which, monitored by UN troops, lasted, against all expectations. Peace
negotiations opened in October 1988
The Gulf War, 1990-1991
Saddams force invaded and quickly occupied the small neighbouring country of Kuwait, even before de
had accepted the peace terms of the Iran-Iraq war.
Saddam Husseins motives
His real motive was probably to get his hands on the wealth of Kuwait, which he desperately needed
after the last war. Kuwait had valuable oil-wells that he would now be able to control.
He did not expect any action from the outside world now that his troops were firmly entrenched in
Kuwait and he had the strongest army in the region. He thought that the USA and Europe were
reasonabley amenable to him as they had supplied him with arms during the war with Iran. Also, they
had not interfered whrn he brutally crushed the Turks in the north of Iraq.
The world unites against Saddam Hussein
Again, Saddam had miscalculated. Bush of Usa took the lead in pressing to remove the Iraqis from
Kuwait, and the UN placed trade sanctions on it by cutting off her oil exports. Saddam was ordered to
remove his troops by January 1915, or the UN would use all necessary means to clear them out.
Saddam believed was not true. Britain and the USA decided that the Husseins power should be curb, as
he controlled too much of the oil that the West needed. Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Syria also, fearful of
Iraq, supported UN action.
Although Saddam knew that a force of 600 000 had gathered in Saudi Arabia in a multinational force of
over 30 countries (operation Desert Storm), he felt that he could not lose face by withdrawing from
The Desert Storm campaign, divided into two parts, was quickly successful. First, with a bombing of
the Iraqi capital and military gets and secondly, the attack on the army itself. Within four days, the
army had been driven out and routed. However, Saddam had withdrawn much of his army intact.
The aftermath of the war Saddam Hussein survives
The war had unfortunate consequences for many Iraqi people. It was widely expected outside Iraq that
after his humiliating defeat, Saddam Hussein would soon be overthrown, but although there were some
uprisings throughout the country, Iraq had enough remaining army so as to crush them easily. No
country intervened in these, except for USA declaring of no-fly zones to stop bombardments on civil
The war and its aftermath was very revealing about the motives of the West and the great powers.
Their primary concern was their self interest: they only took action against Saddam because they felt
he was threatening their oil supplies. After the Gulf War, Saddam a most brutal dicator, was allowed to
remain in power because the West thought that his survival was the best way of keeping Iraq united
and the region stable.

Additional analysis
Pags 69-72 USSR attitudes
The Soviet attitude towards the Arab countries in the Middle East shows a change of course in its
politics. At first, Stalin competed with the Americans to be the most pro-Israeli, even to the point of
supporting the country with weapons during the 48-49 war. However relations soon cooled, due to

Israels following of a West-oriented course, despite its socialist domestic policies. Kremlins suspicions
towards Soviet Jews also made good relations difficult, as well as Stalins anti-Semitism.
Even so, Moscow hesitated to improve relations with Arab countries; maybe due to their reactionary
regimes. However, when Nasser came into power, was skeptical even of them, and the coup leader
were described as a group of reactionary officers. Soviet relations with Syria and Iraq were even poorer
than with Egypt.
Nonetheless, the domestic radicalization of several of the Arab countries, the polarization in the wake
of the Western attempts to build up a system of alliances, and most of all the Arab-Israeli conflict
opened up unique opportunities for Moscow.
In 1955 came the first full Soviet support for Nasser when the USSR acceded to sell arms to Egypt under
the disguise of a Czech-Soviet Pact, after the Americans refused, unwilling to do so and dissatisfied
with Nassers policies.
After the Suez Crisis, Moscows position was strengthened as its military threats two the European
countries awarded it much popularity and propaganda in the Middle East Arab countries. In response to
this, Eisenhower claimed his so-called Eisenhower Doctrine.
When disagreements broke out between Iraqs Kassem and Nasser, the USSR had to decide on one of
them; finally, it sided more with Iraq due to its more radical domestic policies and cooperation with
communists. However, there was never a question of a break with Nasser: economic assistance
continued (the building of the Aswan Dam). After an unsuccessful Communist takeover in Iraq failed,
Moscows influence here dwindled rapidly and then it turned again towards Egypt, now the United Arab
Republic, until 1961.
Pags 99-102 Six-Day War and Yom Kippur
The threat to dtente was greater in Middle East due to the breaking out of two wars and the powers
involvement in them. Soviet influence was on the increase, in part as a result of US ties with Israel.
The USSR continued with its economic and military assistance to Arab countries, and had built a fleet in
the Mediterranean
Although Moscow did not wish for war in 1967, it did not want to weaken its position with radical Arab
countries. After 6 days of the breaking out of war, Egypt, Jordan and Syria had been defeated.
In the short term, the war represented a defeat for the Soviet Union. It did not send military aid to
assist the Arabs and the fleet did not intercede. The USSR was forced to accept cease fire with no
Israeli retreat to prewar boundaries.
In a longer perspective, the USSR was able to reinforce its position. Moscow provided diplomatic
support and the Arab countries were again built up military. In 1971, the Soviet Union and Egypt signed
a friendship and cooperation agreement. However, the next year, the soldiers that had been
established there were sent home as Sadat had not been promised the necessary support in the event
of a new war with Israel. However, when Sadat failed to receive support in the West it returned to the
USSR, which was eager to recover what it had lost and started supplying weapons.
Soviet policy was even more active in 1973 than in 1967. Although due to the dtente the USSR should
have passed vital information to the USA on the Middle East, it failed to do so. After war had broken
out, the USSR immediately asked for a cease fire, which at the moment would had favoured the Arab
countries. When fortunes were reversed, the Soviet Union gave substantial military assistance. Finally,
when Israel did not respect the cease fire ordered by the USSR and the USA, the Soviet Union
threatened to intervene, and the possibility of a conflict between the superpowers became high.
The Yom-Kippur War was a strain on dtente, and western powers reacted against increasing Soviet
involvement. Even so, many Arab countries were disappointed with the insufficient Soviet support.
After the 1973 war, Egypt returned to a pro-Western course as it had now power to pressure Israel
diplomatically through the United States. By 1976 Soviet presence in Egypt did not longer exist.
Page 122 Camp David agreements
The US first based its efforts for achieving a comprehensive peace treaty on cooperation with the
Soviet Union. However, as soon as the powers had reached agreement in 1977, the Carter
administration under Israeli, Congress and Sadats pressure- was forced to drop the scheme. Egypt and

Israel reached a peace treaty in September 1978 and therefore the Soviet Union became even more
determined to win influence in the radical Arab countries and to cooperate with the PLO.
Page 143
In the Middle East, superpower rivalry had represented only one dimension of the conflicts, which had
deep local roots.
In August 1990 Iraq invaded Kuwait, in an uncomplicated military operation. The USA held the key
military role in the liberating forces, but its new position was demonstrated by the considerable
military and not least economic support that the USA received from a number of other countries.
The USA could now cooperate with the USSR, dramatically showing the transformed international
climate after the end of the Cold War. This also meant that the UN could play an important role, which
it did.
After Saddams defeat, Iraq had to accept limits to its sovereignty in the north and south and to agree
to dismantle nuclear and chemical installations.
The end of the Cold War and of the Gulf War would each, in different ways, contribute to better
relations between Israel and the PLO. The collapse of the Soviet Union meant that the PLO had lost an
important source of support.
The Gulf War made the PLO lose most of its economic support and emphazised the key role of the USA
in the Middle East. With the Labour party in power, however, the PLO now found a negotiating partner.
(Oslo accords.)
The Oslo accords not only resulted in mutual recognition between the PLO and Israel; to a considerable
degree, it also normalized relations between Israel and moderate Arab countries. However, the
agreements faced strong opposition from fundamentalists groups and the Likud party.
With the return of the Likud to power in 1996, the peace process soon came to a halt. Even Clintons
efforts to revive it made little difference, until in 1998 the administration finally persuaded Netanyahu
to cede additional lands of the West Bank to the PLO and convinces Arafat to clamp down further on
security threats to Israel.

History / The origins of the Cold War

Monday, May 11, 2015
7:08 PM

The Cold War: Problems of international relations after the

Second World War
Towards the end of the war, the harmony which had existed between theUSSR, the USA and
the British empire began to wear down and soon relations became so difficult that, although
no actual fighting took place between the two opposing sides, the decade after 1945 saw the
first phase ofthe Cold War. Instead of allowing their mutual hostility to be expressed in open
fighting, the rival powers attacked each other with propaganda and economic measures,
with a general policy of
non-cooperation, a massive conventional and nuclear arms race and by numerous proxy
Both superpowers gathered allies around them: between 1945 and 1948, theUSSR drew
under its zone of influence a most of the states in Western Europe, with the rise of
communism in those countries. Furthermore a communist government was established
in North Korea (1948) and the communist bloc seemed further strengthened in 1949 when
the communists in China under Mao won the long-drawn civil war. On the other hand,
theUSA hastened the recovery of Japan and fostered her as an ally, and worked closely
with Britain and fourteen other European countries., providing them with cast economic aid
in order to buil-up an anti-communist bloc.

Whatever one bloc suggested or did was viewed by the other as having ulterior and
aggressive motives.
What caused the Cold War?
(a) Differences in principle

The basic cause of the conflict lay on the differences of principle between the communist
states and the capitalist states:
the communist system of organizing the state and society was based on Marxist
ideas; he believed that the wealth of a country should be collectively owned and shared by
everybody. The economy should be centrally planned and everyone would get what they
need and everyone should work for the collective good.
the capitalist system operates on the basis of private ownership of a countrys
wealth. The driving forces behind this system are private enterprise in the pursuit of making
profits. Thus individuals are encouraged to work hard by the promise of individual reward.
Ever since the worlds first communist government was set up in Russia in 1917, the
governments of most capitalist states views it with mistrust and fear of communism
spreading to other countries grew. In the civil war that had broken out in Russia, many
capitalist states among them the USA- had sent troop to help the anti-communist forces.
Although the Communists won the war, Stalin was sure that there would be another attempt
to destroy communism in Russia, as indeed happened with the German invasion of 1941.
Furthermore, appeasement to Hitlers hostile actions before WW2 had increased hostility
between the countries. Despite the USA, Britain and theUSSR worked together during
WWII, it was soon after the defeat ofGermany that mistrust grew again.
(b) Stalins foreign policies contributed to tensions
Stalins aim wa to take advantage of the military situation after WWII to strengthen Russian
influence in Europe. As the Nazi armies collapsed, he tried to occupy as much German and
Eastern countries territories as he could. He was highly successful in this, but the west was
alarmed at what they took to be Soviet aggression; they believed he was trying to spread
communism over as much of the globe as possible
(c) US and British politicians were hostile to the Soviet government
During the war, relations between the USA and USSR had been good, andRoosevelt was
inclined to trust Stalin. But after Roosevelts death in 1945, his successor, Truman was more
suspicious and toughened his attitude towards the communists. Many believe that the
dropping of the atomic bombs in Japan was intended to show Stalin what would happen
to Russia if he dared to go too far.
Meanwhile, Stalin suspected that the USA and Britain were still keen to destroy
communism: their delay to launch D-Day was deliberately calculated to bring the USSR to
the exhaustion point.
So which side was to blame?
Why did antagonism develop between East and West after WWII? The answers to this
question can be grouped into three rather loose schools of thought: traditionalists, revisionist
and post-revisionists.

Three questions are particualry important to define each school: Who was responsible for the
Cold War? Who was most active in the years immediately following WWII? What are the
primary motivating forces for each of the superpowers?
The traditionalists hold the Soviet Union primarly accountable for the Cold War. The
question of blame is closely linked to who was most active during the post-war years:
according to traditionalists was characterized by passivity. Washington emphasized
international cooperation within bodies such as the UN and attempted to negotiate between
the USSR and Britain. Demobilization took place rapidly. Not until 1947
did Washington change its course, but only as a response to Soviet expansion in Western
Europe. The Truman Doctrine and the Marshall plan were the turning points.
The revisionists present an entirely different picture. Even before the war had ended,
the USA had tried to limi the influence of the Soviet Union and the left throughout the
world. In order to attain its goals, the Americans emploed a number of different instruments,
from atomic bombs to loans and other forms of economic support. Meanwhile, the USSR is
considered to have a defensive orientation: its policies in eastern Europe were to a great
extent a response to American ambitions in the area.
The post-revisionists agree with the revisionists that important elemnts of US-policy were
present before the Truman Doctrine and that the USAimplemented different measures to
promote its own intrests. However, they maintain that the revisionists are too eager to
perceive these measures as motivated by anti-Soviet considerations. They also reject the idea
that Stalins policy in eastern Europe was a result of American ambitions.
With regard to the motivating forces behind US policies, the traditionalists emphasize on the
need of the USA to defend it own and western Europes security interests in the face of
Soviet expansion. The revisionists, however, perceive US policy as determined by the needs
of capitalism and anti-Communsim. The post-revisionists argue that all these forces played
Post-revisionists consider economic conditions less significant in explainingUS policy than
the revisionists do. However, they disagree with the traditionalists total dismissal of such
As regards the perception of the motivating forces behind Soviet policies, the traditionalists
tend to perceive them as motivated by considerations of ideology and expansionism,
whereas the revisionists place greater emphasis on the security needs of the Soviet Union.
MORE: LUNDESTAD Motivating Forces behind US and Soviet policies pg 35 42.
How did the Cold War develop between 1945 and 1953?
(a) The Yalta Conference (February 1945)

It was held in Rusia and was attended by the three allied leaders Stalin, Roosevelt and
Churchill, so as to plan what was to happen once the war was finally over. At the time it
seemed a success, as agreement was reached on several points:

the establishment of the United Nations, which the USSR agreed to join. It would
have five permanent members in the Security Council, with a power of veto each.

Germany was to be demilitarized and divided into four zones of occupation

between USA, USSR, UK and France, while Berlin, located in the middle of the Russian
zone, would also be split in the corresponding zones. War reparations from Germany were
also agreed.

Eastern Europe: There seemed to be agreement over the future of the

governments of Eastern Europe. Stalin agreed that the countries of Eastern Europe would be
able to decide who governed them in free elections. This was perceived as a major victory
forUSA and Britain.

Japan: Stalin promised to enter war with Japan, as soon as the war in Europe was
won, but demanded territories in return.
However, there was problems on deciding what was to be done with Poland. When the
Soviet forces swept Poland, driving the Germans back, they set up a communist government
in Lublin, even though there was already an exile government in London. It was agreed that
some members of the Londongovernment would join the Lublin government and in
return Poland would be given a strip of territory annexed in 1939. However, there was
disagreement on Stalins demands that Poland should be given all German territory east of
the rivers Oder and Neisse.
(b) The Potsdam Conference (July 1945)
This revealed a cooling-off in relations. Roosevelt had died and been replaced by Truman,
who adopted a more hardline policy towards the soviets. Furthermore, Churchill had been
replaced by the Labourist Atlee after elections in the UK.

In this conference, the leaders could not agree how the division ofGermany would
take place. It was finally agredd that they would demilitarize and de-Nazify in their own way
in each zone.Germany would pay reparations bill for the war, and 25% of it would go to
the Soviet Union; in change the Eastern zone would send the West zone food supplies.

Poland: Truman was not happy over the agreements over Polandand felt that the
pro-communist government there had been forced into power due to the Russian troops that
overrun the country and there had not been a free and democratic vote. Stalins offer to
include more London poles in the Lublin government did not appease Truman.

Eastern Europe: Truman now challenged the agreements that had been done
bilaterally between Stalin and Churchill and had given the Soviet Union influence
over Romania and Bulgaria. Nevertheless, Soviet control over Eastern Europe was a fact, as
the Red Army had literally occupied it. Thus it was difficult for the West to force any
changes as there was little it could do without threatening to push the Red army back with
ground forces.

Truman did not inform Stalin about the exact nature of the atomic bomb,
although Churchill was told about it. Days after the conference closed the two atomic bombs
were dropped in Japanand the war ended quickly without the need for Russian help.
(c) Communism established in Eastern Europe
The establishment of communist governments in eastern Europe caused alarm in the west. In
the months following Potsdam, the Russians interfered in the countries of Eastern Europe to
set up pro-communist governments. This happened
in Poland, Hungary, Bulgaria, Albania and Romania. In some cases their opponents were
imprisoned or murdered. Stalin furthered frightened the West through a speech in which he
said that communism and capitalism could never coexist and that wars were inevitable until
the final victory of communism was achieved.
In response, Churchill gave a speech in the USA, which is now seen as one of the defining
moments in the origins of the Cold War. In it, Churchill referred to the establishment of
Communist governments in the eastern European countries, in spite of the promise
in Yalta of democratic elections; and thus the cloak of secrecy that descended over eastern
Europe within a few months after the end of the war.
The Soviet response was quick and one of outrage, comparing Churchill to Hitler and
acussing him of warmonger. The speech had helped to widen the rift between east and
west and led to a further hardening of opinions in both sides, defining publicly the new font
line in what was now seen as a new war.
(d) The Russians continued to tighten their grip over eastern Europe
By the end of 1947, every state in that area, except for Czechoslovakia had a fully
communist government, set up under the watchful eye of the Soviets. In addition, Stalin
treated the Russian zone of Germany as Russian territory, allowing only the Communist
party and draining its resources.
The west was profoundly irritated by the USSRs attitude, which disregarded Stalins
promise foe free elections. However, even Churchill had agreed in 1944 that much of eastern
Europe should be a Russian sphere of influence, with friendly governments in neighboring
states, necessary for self-defense. It was Stalins methods of gaining control which upset the
west, and gave rise to the next major developments.
(e) The Truman Doctrine and the Marshall Plan
The Truman Doctrine
Truman made a key speech in March 1947, in which he put forward the belief that
the USA had the obligation to support free peoples who are esisting attempted subjugation
by armed minorities or by outside pressures. This became known as the Truman Doctrine. It
was a radical change in USforeign policy, which had been traditionally isolationist.

It sprang from events in Greece, where communists were trying to overthrow the monarchy,
which had been restored by the British, after liberating the country from the Nazis. However,
they were now beginning to feel the strain of fighting the communists and appealed to
the USA. Truman thus announced his doctrine and Greece immediately received massive
amounts of aid and military advisers.
The Doctrine marked a departure from the USAs traditional policy of isolation, and it was
the beginning of the American policy of containment of Communism. The philosophy of
containment would, in the years to come take the USA into the affairs of nations well
beyond Europe.
The Marshall Plan
The Marshall Plan was the economic extension of the Truman Doctrine. Announced by
Secretary of State, General Marshall, it offered economic and financial help wherever it was
needed, under the European Recovery Programme (ERP).
Its first aim was economical: it hoped for the economic recovery of Europe, thus ensuring
markets for American export and safeguarding the future of theU.S. economy. However its
main aim was to revive European economies so that political and social stability could thrive
and communism became less likely to gain control in a prosperous Europe. The aid was
offered with the requirement of allowing the USA to investigate the financial records of the
applicant countries, and thus the USSR was deliberately left out.
The Russians were aware that there was more to the Marshal Plan than pure
benevolence. FMinister Molotov denounced the whole idea as dollar imperialism, a
blatant American device for gaining control of Western Europe and worse still, for
interfering in eastern Europe which Stalin considered in its zone of influence.
The USSR rejected the offer and neither the satellite states nor Czechoslovakia were allowed
to accept it.
(f) The Soviet Response
In response to the Marshall plan, the Soviets came up with the Molotov plan, which was a
series of bilateral trade agreements aimed to tie the economies of eastern Europe to
the USSR and offering aid to the satellites. The outcome was the creation of the
COMECON, Council for Mutual Economic Assistance, a centralized agency that linked
Eastern bloc countries toMoscow, and was desgined to stimulate and control their economic
Also, the Cominform (Communist Information Bureau) was set up in 1947, created a an
instrument to increase Stalins control over the Communist parties in other countries and to
tighten its grip over his satellites, maintaining them in the Russian-style communism. It
defined how eastern Europe should industrialize and develop its agriculture.
(g) The Communist takeover of Czechoslovakia

The Soviets continued into 1948 to attempt to consolidate their control over eastern
Europe. Czechoslovakia, however, was seen as moving towards the west, and it had
expressed its interest in receiving aid form the Marshallplan.
In February 1948, when it seemed clear that communists would lose ground after the
election (they were blamed for rejecting the much needed Marshall Plan), Stalin organized
pressure on the coalition government there and twelve non-communists members were
forced to resign. Two weeks later, Masaryk, foreign minister was found dead in suspicious
circumstances. The elections took place, with a single list of all communists candidates.
The west and the UN protested but felt unable to take any action because they could not
prove Russian involvement, although it was clear Stalin had taken part in it. The Czech coup
finally pushed the Marshall plan through, which had been stalled by the US Congress.
(h) The Berlin Blockade and airlift (June 1948 May 1949)
This brought he Cold War to its first climax. The crisis arose out of disagreements over the
treatment of Germany.
At the end of the war, Germany and Berlin were each divided into four zones. While the
western powers tried to organize the economic and political recovery of their zone, Stalin,
treated his zone as a satellite, draining its resources away to Russia.
Early in 1948, the three Western zones were merged to form a single economic unit, whose
prosperity was in marked contrast to the poverty of the Soviet zone. The west wanted all
four zones to be re-united and given self-government as soon as possible; but Stalin had
decided that it would be safer for the USSR to keep a separate Soviet zone.
In June 1948 the West introduced a new currency and ended price controls in their zone and
in West Berlin. The Russians decided that the situation inBerlin had become impossible:
already irritated by having an island of capitalism in the middle of a communist area, they
felt it impossible to have two different currencies in the same city; they were also
embarrassed by the contrast between the prosperity of West Berlin and the poverty of the
surrounding area.
The Soviet response was therefore, to close all road, rail and canal links between West Berlin
and West Germany. This had the aim to force the west to withdraw from West Berlin by
reducing it to starvation point. The Western powers, however, were convinced that a retreat
would mean a Soviet advance of West Germany in the future and decided to hold on.
Supplies were flown in, rightly judging that the Russians would not risk shooting down the
transport planes. Over the next ten months, West Berliners were kept fed and war through air
supplies. In May 1949, theSoviet Union admitted failure and lifted the blockade.
The affair had important results:

1. The continuation of the division of Germany and Berlin: the failure of the blockade meant
that the division of Germany was bound to go ahead the West quickly set up
the German Federal Republic in 1949 in which Konrad Adenauer was elected Chancellor.
The Soviets established the German Democratic Republic in their own zone. Neither of the
powers could contemplate the idea of a united Germany which could become an ally off the
other power. Furthermore, the division of Germany meant that Berlinalso remained a divided
2. The formation of NATO
The Soviet threat to Berlin reinforced the suspicions that the West had about Stalin and,
combined with the resource demands of the Berlin airlift, emphasized the need for
a US defence commitment to Europe. This resulted in the formation in April 1949 of NATO
(North Atlantic Treaty Organization) between the USA and most of the Western European
countries, in which all agreed to regard an attack on one of them as an attack on them all,
and placing their defence forces under NATO command.
This was a highly significant development: the Americans had abandoned their traditional
policy of military isolationism and for the first time had pledged themselves in advance to
military acton. U.S. military presence inEurope would remain high.


breakdown of wartime co-operation between the Allies (Obvious at Yalta and
Potsdam conferences)
possible to trace as far back as 1917 when the Bolshevik Revolution in Russia led to
the creation of the worlds first communist state (in conflict with the west)
Didnt emerge until after WWII b/c the USSR and USA were both isolated after WWI
and USSR could not put into practive the ideal of exporting revolution.
Factors which contributed to the outbreak of the Cold War
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6:07 PM

28 November-1 December Tehran
Meeting to coordinate strategy against Nazi Germany at which it was determined that Stalin would retain the
Baltic states as well as gain Polish and Romanian territory. Roosevelt acceded to many of Stalin's demands, to the
somewhat detriment of Churchill, in an attempt to gain Soviet favour for the war in the Pacific.
4-11 February


Summit meeting of the Big Three, which is often said to mark the highest point in international cooperation
between the three nations. Postwar issues were discussed, primarily the division of Germany, though specifications of

war reparations were left to be decided at the next meeting. Free, democratic elections for countries liberated from
the Nazis were agreed upon as were the borders of Poland. The decision at Yalta also sanctioned the creation of the
UN and it was set that Russia would join the war in the Pacific following the defeat of Germany.
17 July-2 August


First summit meeting after Roosevelt's death in which decisions were made regarding the actual
implementation of agreements at Yalta. Further decision on occupation of Germany and war reparations had been
stalled by Roosevelt in hopes of reaching compromise after the heat of the issues had cooled off, but Truman's hard
line against the Soviets was in direct opposition to Roosevelt's more conciliatory policies. Thus this conference marks
one of the early ideological conflicts of the Cold War. A Council of Foreign ministers was established to deal with
peace treaties.
"Iron Curtain" speech
Truman Doctrine
The standard for American Cold War policy was set by the Truman Doctrine in 1947. It stressed the dangerous
expansionism of the USSR and pledged support for "free peoples" around the world and those who were struggling
against communism. It was prompted by the British withdrawal of forces in Greece and Turkey and was aimed at the
containment of Communism even through, to some extent, military means.
Marshall Plan
The Marshall Plan was a way to restore capitalism in Europe by providing dollar loans to non-communist states.
This helped prevent a post-war depression as well as ensuring American dominance in the European economic sector.
Restoring economic stability was seen as a key way of containing Communism; part of the thinking was that states
prosperous under a free market system were unlikely to view Communism as an attractive alternative.

Mutual suspicion
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Mutual suspicion
Nature of the official ideology of the USSR: stated the inevitability of conflict with
western capitalist states contributed to suspicions from the west / not certain that
Stalin was motivated by this Marxist-Leninist ideology
Liberal-democratic system of the West was not well understood by Stalin: the allies
were unable to commit themselves on the spot but had to refer to their parliament
or congress, this was evidence for Stalin of lack of faith.
Conflict btw fundamental aims of Stalin and Roosevelt:
Roosevelt had idealistic aims (four freedoms: f. from want, f. of speech, f. of
religious belief and f. from fear)

Stalin had more concrete aims (regaining of Russian territory lost in WWI, control
over E.E. )
Tendency to interpret the actions of the other in the light of their own priorities.
Nature of Stalins regime: dictatorship of USSR was only justified if external forces
threatened the security of USSR, therefore to prevent the danger of being
overthrown from within, Stalin had to have external enemies.
Death of Roosevelt: Stalin had a great deal of respect for him / Truman was far less
of an internationalist + far less willing to extent goodwill to the USSR / Churchill
replaced by Attlee.
The bipolar nature of international relations: USSR and USA were the only real
powers in the immediate post-WWII period and as representatives of rival social
systems they were forced into confrontation.

The Cold War develops

events 1944-1949
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The Yalta Conference, February 1945:

Most of the discussions involved the arrangements for Europe following ending of
the war since defeat of Nazi Germany was only a matter of time.
The Allies had been united by a negative goal and had not agreed on a positive goal
which could continue to unite them once Hitler was not a threat anymore.
The Issues:

Major Events
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Berlin Blockade/Airlift
Czechoslovakia separates from USSR
Tito starts idea of non-alignment by having a Communist government that is separate from the Soviets.

NATO formed
military and political alliance formed to protect and defend Western Europe from Soviet attack
End of Berlin Blockade
12 May 1949, after the West had agreed to a reconvening of the Council of Foreign Ministers to discuss the "German
question" post-establishment of the FRG Basic Law (8 May 1949).
FRG formed
Soviets Test A-bomb
GDR granted nominal independence
1 October

PRC proclaimed

US launches H-bomb development

Rosenbergs arrested
US tests first H-bomb
Soviets test first H-bomb
The CIA helps bring into power a right-wing military junta
Relations normalized in Western Europe
Postwar occupation by Britain, France and the US ends
7 May
Dien Bien Phu
French defeat; France agree to pull out on 20 July
14 May

Warsaw Pact formed

Nasser buys eastern bloc arms

USA and Britain withdraw financial aid for Aswan Dam
-Nasser nationalizes the Suez Canal
(Distracts West from Hungary)
-Suez Crisis (29 October)
France, Britain, and Israel attack Egypt.
-Cease-fire in Suez conflict after UN pressure
Hungarian Revolution
(Distracts USSR from Egypt)
-Reformist Communist Imre Nagy is brought back as Prime Minister in a popular uprising.
-Warsaw Pact troops invade Hungary
-The USSR appoints Kdr as head of government
4 October

Sputnik launched

FNLA established
US supports this guerilla group to fight for a non-communist, independent Angola

Kdr's hardline Soviet government hangs Nagy

Castro rules Cuba
Kitchen Debates


1 May
U-2 Incident
Just before a summit meeting to take place in Paris, the Soviets shot down one of the American U-2 spy planes.
Khruschev denounced American aggression and threatened to retaliate in Norway, Pakistan, and Turkey where other
U-2's were based. Following the hostile summit, US-USSR relations were frozen for the remainder of Eisenhower's

Vietcong (NLF) formed

Guerrilla force to liberate South Vietnam from US-backed government

Bay of Pigs
US attempt to remove Castro fails because it does not gain the support of locals as had been anticipated
13 August
Berlin Wall
Built by the GDR to stop the mass exodus of its citizens

Cuban Missile Crisis
October 16-28: Khruschev placed nuclear missiles in Cuba in an attempt to counter US numerical superiority. Of
course, he claimed that it was to prevent an American invasion and was thus defensive action. President Kennedy
decided on 22 October that the best course of action would be to place a blockade around the island, relying on the
belief that the missiles were not yet operational and equipment was still in the process of being sent to Cuba. Six days
later the Soviets agreed to remove the weapons and it is now known that Kennedy had entered into a secret
agreement to not invade Cuba. Often called the beginning of the end of the Cold War.
"Ich bin ein Berliner"
Pol Pot builds up the Khmer Rouge and Cambodian Communist Party
Limited Test Ban Treaty
Banned atmospheric testing

Gulf of Tonkin Incident

Alleged attack by the North Vietnamese on the destroyers USS Maddox and USS Turner Joy on 2 and 4 August
of 1964. Leads to increased American involvement in the Vietnam War.

Prague Spring
Dubcek started a programme of political reform in the Spring of 1968 and installed more personal
freedoms in Czechoslovakia, but this only lasted for a very brief period of time as he was arrested in August and
650,000 Soviet troops occupied the country to bring it back to Soviet Communism.
26 September
Brezhnev Doctrine
Soviet foreign policy justifying the invasion of Czechoslovakia under the Warsaw Pact. It stated that the
Communist parties were to have dominance in their respective states under leaders approved in Moscow. If these
conditions were put in jeopardy, neighboring socialist states were obligated to intervene. The PRC labeled this as
imperialism. The Brezhnev Doctrine was loosened under Gorbachev to allow for his reforms. It was eventually
dropped all together on 25 October 1989.

The direction of foreign policy adopted by the Federal Republic of East Germany in 1969 aimed at improving
relations with Eastern Europe. It reversed the Hallstein Doctrine under which the FRG refused to have diplomatic
relations with any state that recognized the GDR. "Ostpolitik" became official FRG policy in 1969 and in addition to
increasing trade opportunities it was to reduce the reliance on US military aid.
25 July
Vietnamization begins
30 November
Nixon agrees to pull out of Vietnam


PRC admitted into UN


Signed by Nixon and Brezhnev, set limits for each country's ballistic missile defense and froze deployment of
ICBM launchers.
ABM Treaty
The ABM Treaty constrains strategic defenses to a total of 200 launchers and interceptors, 100 at each of two
widely separated deployment areas. These restrictions are intended to prevent the establishment of a nationwide
defense or the creation of a base for deploying such a defense. The treaty also codifies the principle of "noninterference" by one party with the national technical means of verification of the other, thereby protecting the right
of overflight by reconnaissance satellites.
This becomes obsolete quickly as technological advancements made Anti-Balistic Missiles themselves obsolete.
MIRVs increased the chances of being able to destroy the other side's strategic force and thus that side's ability to
retaliate following an attack.


Helsinki Accords
1.) free determination
-human rights
-inviolable frontiers
-advance notification of large-scale military manuvres.
2.)East-West cooperation in economics, science, technology, the environment, and trade
3.)Humanitarian cooperation -free flow of people, information, and ideas

16 July
Iranian Revolution outs the Shah, a US ally.

Signed by Carter and Brezhnev. Limited the number of strategic missile launchers and other such systems that
each country could deploy. Even though SALT II was never actually ratified by the US Senate, it was generally
adhered to by both countries.
17 July
Sandinistas overthrow the pro-US Somoza government
Soviet invasion of Afghanistan
Marks the end of the Brezhnev Thaw
Rapid Deployment Force
Created in response to events in Afghanistan, Carter moves toward a policy of "mobile response."
"any attempt by any outside force to gain control of the Persian Gulf region will be regarded as an assault on
the vital interests of the USA and such an assault will be repelled by any means necessary."
Presidential Directive 59
Carter increases military spending
Anti-communist trade union started in Poland.

INF Talks
Deadlocked talks for cutting intermediate-range missiles in Euroe. Terminated by Soviet Union in '83

Strategic Arms Reduction Talks calling for deep cuts in total nuclear weapons. Rejected in '83 as it would have
cut deep into Soviet land-based missiles (the heart of their weapons), while allowing the US to keep modernizing their
strategic triad (ICBMs, SLBMS, and manned strategic bombers)

SDI aka Star Wars

Development of IBM Defense systems that will be deployed from Outer Space to destroy Soviet missiles in

-potential to give US the confidence to launch a pre-emptive first strike

-Reagan says it was to boost up the arms race into making Soviets ruin their economy by stockpiling. (Only
thing is, it was cheaper for the Soviets to do that than the cost of SDI)
"Zero Option"
US offers to cancel planned deployment of Pershing II IRBMs and Tomahawk cruise missiles if the Soviets
dismantle all intermediate range missiles in Europe and elsewhere.
Soviets reject this because they *just* deployed SS-20s and it would also still leave US forward-based systems
and the nuclear forces of France and Great Britain.
Reagan declares support for Contras
25 October
US invades Grenada after the New JEWEL Movement's (somewhat Marxist-Leninist) leader is assassinated.
JEWEL had planned on building an airport to help with tourism, but US viewed this as a threat because it would be
used by Cuba and the USSR as well, in exchange for financial aid. The US holds elections, but the action was
condemned by the UN.
Glastnost and Perestroika
Gorbachev comes to power (March) and launches Glasnost (open debate on government policies) and
Perestroika (economic restructuring). Realizes that military spending is crippling the Soviet economy, so he works
hard at getting arms control so that he can go on with plans to restore the economy.

Iran-Contra Scandal
May 1 1984: Congress decides to cut aid to the Contras in Nicaragua (Contra- CIA sponsored forces in
Nicaragua fighting the Communist Sandinistas)
Reagan administration uses profits from illegal sale of arms in Iran to secretly fund Contras. Exposed in 1986.
Reagan not incriminated but many of his top aides resign and are later convicted.

Gorbachev accepts the 1981 "zero option" (intermediate range) and proposes "double zero" (short range).
INF Treaty
First arms reduction agreement.


Soviets pull out of Afghanistan
20 May

Tiananmen Square protest crushed by government

Poland =non-communist
Elections bring the Solidarity movement to the head of the coalition government

Berlin Wall Falls

Czechoslovakia =non-communist
Romania =non-communist
Only country in Eastern Europe to have bloodshed in the fall of their Communist government as dictator
Ceausescu and wife are executed in an uprising

3 October

Germany Reuinited

2 December Free all-German elections held (first time since 1932)

1 July

Warsaw Pact dissolved

Soviets cut arms shipments to Afghanistan (former Soviet Afghan government falls in April 1992)

The home front

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6:07 PM

Eisenhower's Foreign Policy

-pushing a given situation to the edge of war will allow for the greatest possible negotiation advantage
Massive retaliation
NATO doctrine of "strategic nuclear deterrence." The goal was to intimidate the Soviets into not using their
conventional forces in Europe, which greatly outnumbered those of the West and thus the United States would no
longer need to maintain, at great monetary cost, their conventional forces to such an extent. This was essentially
identical to Eisenhower's "New Look" defense strategy.

Kennedy's Domestic Policy

The New Frontier

Wanted strong energy from the White House and his cabinet and demanded a strong presidency
However, JFK was dealing with a bipartisan congress - few reforms of the New Frontier came to pass
Educational reform, housing reform aid to cities, immigration reform are all defeated. Keynesian economic strategy
of tax cuts with deficit spending - never cleared congress.
Kennedy's Foreign Policy
Secretary of State: Dean Rusk
Attorney General: Bobby Kennedy (pushed for Civil Rights)
National Security Advisor: McGeorge Bundy
Secretary of Defense: Robert S. McNamara
Flexible Response (nuclear technology and conventional weapon response)
-capability to fight across all spectrums of warfare
-respond to conflict anywhere in the world within 24 hours
1. Second Strike Capability essential (had to be able to endure a first strike and still be able to save all capabilities
of striking back)
2. No cities doctrine (McNamara): Make it clear to Krushchev that there is no Russian city that is a target (target
military not civilians hopes this will influence Khrushchev's policy as well)
3. Mutual Assured Destruction
"Assured Destruction" developed as numbers of Soviet nuclear weapons increased greatly. The idea was that
numerical superiority was not as important as convincing the Soviets of American intent to use nuclear weapons as
direct retaliation. It was given the name "Mutual Assured Destruction" (MAD) by skeptics who found it unlikely that
this would scare the Soviets so much that they would not proclaim the same. MAD, did, nevertheless, become the
basis for limiting strategic weapons. After all, only a few nuclear weapons are necessary to cause unthinkable damage.
US must hold on to all of its 300 global bases
Increase in the Defense Budget by 13% or $6 billion!
Alliance for Progress

March 1961: Kennedy planned this ten-year program to promote social reform, economic progress and
democracy through unity among the Americas. More than $22 billion was given in aid to Latin America. Per capita
economic growth was about 2.1% a year and increased to 3.7% through the 1960's. The social and (especially) political
reforms were not successful and the 1960's saw many military coups, which the US supported as long as they were
anti-communist, even if they were not at all democratic.
The Peace Corps
1 March, 1961: Established through Executive Order 10924 and authorized by Congress on 22 September. The
goal as stated in the Peace Corps Act was to "promote world peace and friendship" and in so doing "help the peoples
of [foreign] countries and areas in meeting their needs for trained manpower."
1958 Krushchev issues first Ultimatum that says US, France, and Britain have 6 months to leave Berlin and
give it to Soviets (ignored by the other countries)
June 1961: Krushchev issues 2nd Ultimatum
Kennedy meets with Krushchev for first time, but refuses to follow ultimatum
Kennedy asks for an increase of $3.25 billion dollars to aid West Berlin
Kennedy said, We cannot and we will not permit the Communists to drive us out of Berlin...
June 1963: Kennedy reassures West Berlin, Ich bin ein Berliner.

5. Imperial Russia, revolutions, emergence of

Soviet State 1853 - 1924
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Thursday, May 14, 2015
6:18 PM

Background of the Peasantry

2 types
state peasants - inhabitants of crown estates
landlords peasants serfs
Serfs were bound to land, state peasants had much more freedom
Allocation of land was inefficient for produce
Serfs were not allowed to earn money so they paid in labor (berschina)
State peasants paid rent
Emancipation of the Serfs