GCSE History Cold War Edexcel

By salah14
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    Franklin Roosevelt

    • Part of the ‘Big Three’, alongside Churchill and Stalin.
    • Believed strongly in democracy, but believed the Soviet Union was important for long-term world stability.
    • Was present at the Tehran and Yalta conferences.
    • Died in April 1945 and was replaced by Harry S. Truman.
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    Winston Churchill

    • Was a Conservative from an aristocratic family which made him very traditional.
    • Believed strongly in the British Empire when many others, such as Roosevelt, didn’t.
    • Deeply suspicious of the Soviet Union and Stalin
    • Saw his primary role in Europe after WW2 as stopping Soviet expansion.
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    Joseph Stalin

    • Ruthless leader of the Soviet Union,
    • Strengthened one-party rule after taking over from Vladimir Lenin.
    • Cut back on people’s individual rights.
    • He was convinced that the West wanted to destroy communism and so had to stand firm with Western countries.
    • Ruthlessly industrialized the Soviet Union.
    • Died in 1953 and was succeeded by Nikita Khrushchev.
  • Grand Alliance Formed

    It was an alliance between the USA, the UK, and USSR. It was formed mostly out of mutual convenience when fighting the common enemy of Nazi Germany in WW2.
  • Tehran Conference

    This was the first meeting between the Big Three (Stalin, Roosevelt, and Churchill) in November 1943. They needed to decide how to deal with the aftermath of WW2. The following was agreed upon:
    • A second front would be opened in France in 1944
    • The Soviet Union would declare war on Japan once Germany was defeated.
    • Poland's border would be moved westwards.
    • The UN would be established to resolve issues between countries.
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    Harry Truman

    • Established the Truman Doctrine in response to Kennan’s Long Telegram.
    • Gave $400 million to Greece and Turkey.
    • Outlined the differences between democracy and communism and his plan to ‘contain’ the spread of communism.
    • The Marshall Plan was the practical outcome of the Truman Doctrine.
    • This gave $12.7 billion in aid to Western Europe in addition to the $13 billion already given.
  • Yalta Conference

    The aims of the conference were to formulate a plan on how to rebuild Europe:
    • Germany, once defeated, would be divided and demilitarised.
    • Germany would pay $23 billion in reparations to the allies.
    • Europe would be rebuilt along the lines of the Atlantic Charter. Countries would have free elections.
    • The UN would be founded.
    • Once Germany was defeated, Russia would declare war on Japan.
    • Poland would be in the 'Soviet sphere of influence' but be governed on a democratic basis.
  • Grand Alliance Breaks Down

    When Roosevelt died, the Grand Alliance began to break down. Roosevelt's successor, Truman, was very distrustful of the Soviet Union and at the Potsdam conference, showed hostility towards Stalin. Britain, having ended the war on the winning side, was economically exhausted and could not afford to stand up to Stalin, and instead chose to ally with the US. Therefore, the cold war became increasingly about the relationship between America and Russia.
  • Potsdam Conference

    The third conference outlined that:
    - A Council of Foreign Ministers was set up to oversee the rebuilding of Europe.
    - The Nazi Party was banned and war criminals were to be prosecuted.
    - Germany was to be divided up into four zones of occupation governed by Britain, France, the Soviet Union and the USA.
    - Berlin would also be divided up into four zones of occupation.
    - The Soviet Union would receive 23% of the output from the other zones.
  • Czechslovakia Becomes Communist

    In 1946, the communist party was forcefully elected into power in Czechoslovakia and Klement Gottwald, the leader of the communist party, was forced to decline the Marshall plan. Because of this, many Czechoslovakians became envious of the economic aid neighboring countries were receiving, and grew resentful of their communist overlords.
  • Long Telegram

    George Kennan, who was the USA's Deputy Chief of Mission at the US embassy in Moscow, grew suspicious of the aggressive Soviet Union. He sent a telegram in which he recommended firm action against the increasing influence of the Soviets. This greatly influenced Truman's policies, particularly the policy of containment, which stated that the USA would use its global influence and military strength to prevent the spread of communism.
  • Churchill's 'Iron Curtain' Speech

    Winston Churchill's Iron Curtain speech highlighted the divide by claiming that 'an iron curtain has descended across Europe'. Churchill was strongly opposed to communism.
  • Novikov Telegram

    This was a retaliation to the Long telegram and was written by Nikolai Novikov, who was the Soviet ambassador to the USA. In the telegram, he accused the USA of trying to achieve world dominance.
  • Containment Introduced.

    This was because the USA, especially Truman, believed that the USSR was trying to spread communism and feared the Domino theory, which was the idea that, if one country in a region came under the influence of communism, then the surrounding countries would follow. This was emphasised by the 1947 Greek Civil War, between the Royalists and Communists. The UK withdrew and the USA entered and gave the countries financial aid to prevent them from turning to communism.
  • Bizonia Formed

    In 1947, the USA and British zones in Berlin formed a merged economic unit, known as Bizonia. Berlin was surrounded by Soviet-controlled East Germany, but was still accessible by road, rail, air and canal. Stalin did not want the Allies in Berlin and this led to the first major crisis of the Cold War: The Berlin Crisis.
  • Hungary Becomes Communist

    Following WW2, the USSR had integrated Hungary into the Eastern Bloc and installed an unpopular communist tyranny. Hungary could only trade with the Soviet Union. Rakosi used terror and brutality to keep control, killing an estimated 2000 people. There was a low standard of living, food shortages and frustrated workers because the goods they manufactured were sent to the USSR. There was much-dreaded secret police that was involved in people's lives.
  • Truman Doctrine

    Truman delivered a speech, announcing his support for Greece and accentuated that he believed that it was the USA's duty to prevent the spread of communism in Eastern Europe. To achieve this, he was prepared to use the USA's political influence and military strength.
  • Cominform

    Cominform stood for the Communist Information Bureau and was founded by Stalin with the objective to govern all communist parties in Europe. Cominform:
    - Got rid of any opposition to the Soviet Union's rule in satellite states.
    - Encouraged communist parties in Western countries to block Marshall Plan assistance.
  • Stalin Sets Up Satellite States

    They decided to expand their influence on Eastern Europe, as they desired security, heightened by the fact that they had suffered vast casualties in two invasions from Germany in the 20th century. Stalin was determined to prevent another invasion from the West and so, by 1948, he had set up Soviet-controlled satellite states all across Eastern Europe. He did this by rigging elections in Eastern European countries, ensuring that the communist party was able to seize power.
  • Marshall Plan

    George Marshall reported the dire economic situation in Europe, where there were economic shortages, unemployment and poverty, as a result of WW2. Truman feared that communism would win support in countries with such conditions. Therefore, he introduced an economic aid plan that aimed to prevent the spread of communism and increase support for the Capitalist west. By 1953, the USA had provided $17 billion worth of economic aid.
  • Berlin Blockade

    On 24 June 1948, Stalin accused the West of interfering in the Soviet zone and blockaded land access to Berlin, in an attempt to starve West Berlin. Truman, determined to stand up to Stalin, sanctioned the Berlin airlift, which involved resources being supplied into Berlin by air. By April 1949, nearly 13,000 tons of supplies were being airlifted daily.
  • USSR Develop Atomic Bomb

    By 1949, the Soviets had successfully developed and tested their own atomic bomb. This was earlier than the USA expected. Now that both powers had nuclear capabilities, there was increased spending devoted to the development of larger and more dangerous bombs.
  • Comecon

    Comecon stood for the Council of Mutual Economic Assistance. Stalin established it as an alternative to the Marshall Plan. The countries included...
    - Soviet Union
    - Bulgaria
    - Czechoslovakia
    - Hungary
    - Poland
    - Albania
    - East Germany
    ... and promised to:
    - Build up trade links between Comecon countries.
    - Prevent Comecon countries form signing up to the Marshall Plan.
  • NATO

    The Berlin Crisis had confirmed the USA's commitment to Western Europe and the victory had showcased their superiority in strength compared to the Soviets. In April 1949, NATO, which was a formal military alliance with the aim of protecting the freedom and security of member states by preventing Soviet expansion, was formed.
  • End Of Berlin Crisis

    In May 1949, Stalin lifted the blockade, conceding that he couldn't prevent the creation of West Germany. There was increased East-West rivalry. Truman saw West Berlin's survival and triumph over the USSR as a great victory and Stalin was left humiliated. In May 1949, the Allies announced the creation of the Federal Republic of Germany. In retaliation, in October 1949, Stalin announced the German Democratic Republic, thus confirming the separation of Germany. The crisis also led to NATO.
  • Superpowers Develop Hydrogen Bomb

    In 1953, the USA successfully completed tests of a hydrogen bomb. A few months later::timing, the Soviets completed the same feat. Despite the hope that arms development would slow down, over the next years, both superpowers continued their development of even more powerful military weapons. It became clear that Mutually Assured Destruction would occur in the event of a war between the two sides.
  • Imre Nagy Put In Power

    When Georgy Malenkov replaced Stalin in 1953, he replaced Rakosi with Imre Nagy, showing the power the USSR had over Hungary. Nagy promised freedom of the press, freedom of speech on economic and political matters, free elections, and withdrawal from the Warsaw pact.
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    Dwight Eisenhower

    • His presidential campaign targeted communism and was strongly anti-communist in general.
    • Sympathetic to the Hungarian Uprising, but did not offer any military support.
    • Was part of the Geneva Summit in 1955 which did not solve the Germany or disarmament problem, but was friendly.
    • Another meeting in Geneva took place in 1959.
    • Met Khrushchev face to face in 1959.
  • Rakosi Returns To Power

    Nagy was removed and Rakosi's dictatorship returned. The Hungarians were historically imperial powers and so were very proud people. This made them very reluctant to accept Soviet rule.
  • Warsaw Pact

    In 1955, the Soviet Union set up the Warsaw Pact, which was a military alliance of eight nations and was designed to unite communist Eastern Bloc nations, countering the threat of NATO. The Warsaw Pact gave the Soviet Union direct control over the armed forces of its satellite states, thus strengthening its grip on Eastern Europe The existence of these two rival military alliances led to increased tension and rivalry, as well as the division of Europe and the intensification of the Arms race.
  • Destalinisation

    In 1956, he delivered a secret speech, in which he discussed Stalin's crimes for the first time, beginning a process of de-Stalinisation, which included various policies, such as:
    • The disbanding of the Cominform.
    • The releasing of political prisoners.
    • The re-inclusion of Tito.
    • The dismissal of foriegn minister Molotov.
    • Eastern Bloc countries were allowed greater independence.
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    Nikita Khrushchev

    • Massively critical of Stalin – gave hope that tension would subside.
    • Ruthlessly put down the Hungarian Uprising in 1956 to send a message to other satellite states.
    • Issued the Berlin Ultimatum in 1958.
    • Actually visited America in 1959, ate hotdogs, and had a great time.
    • Allowed the Berlin Wall to be built in 1961.
    • Was part of the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962.
  • Hungarian Uprising

    In October 1956, Khrushchev sent troops and tanks to Budapest to suppress the unrest and restore peace. On 26 October, Nagy was reinstated as prime minister. On 30 October, Nagy released some political prisoners. On 31 October, Nagy's controversial reforms were published, notably the intention to withdraw from the Warsaw Pact. On 4 November, Khrushchev decided that Nagy had gone too far and 200,000 Soviet troops and 6000 tanks returned to Hungary.
  • International Reaction To Hungarian Uprising

    • The UN condemned Soviet actions. Some boycotted the 1956 Olympics in protest, but stronger actions did not happen.
    • The USA supported Hungary's uprising with money, medical aid, and words. The USA accepted 80,000 refugees from Hungary but did not offer military aid.
    • Satellite states saw that the USA would not defend them against the Soviet Union. Soviet control retightened across Eastern Europe.
  • Sputnik

    In 1957, The Soviets launched Sputnik, a satellite that could orbit the Earth in one and a half hours. The USA saw this as a military threat and increased its spending on missiles. They also placed missile bases in European countries. Sputnik accelerated the arms race as the USA feared that the USSR was overtaking them.
  • Novotny Becomes Leader Of Czechslovakia

    Antonin Novotny became the Czech leader. He was extremely unpopular because he was a hardline communist, who refused reform. During the 1960s, the Czech economy fell into serious decline. As a result, many Czechoslovakians had low standards of living and led very controlled lives; they lacked even the most basic freedoms. The secret police was also a source of mass resentment. There was mass discontent with de-Stalinisation and central control. Many Czechs began to demand greater democracy.
  • Nagy Executed

  • Berlin Ultimatum

    In 1958, Khrushchev issued the Berlin Ultimatum, in which he accused the Allies of violating the Potsdam agreement. He demanded that they leave Berlin within six months. US president, Dwight Eisenhower, did not want to risk a war, and so was prepared to negotiate. The USA didn't formally recognize the existence of East Germany and wanted to reunify Germany. As a result, East Berliners grew resentful of the USSR and relations with the West worsened.
  • Castro Seizes Power In Cuba

    In 1959, Fidel Castro led a successful revolution against the unpopular and repressive military dictatorship of General Batista, who was under the influence of the USA. Castro promised and delivered on bringing greater independence from the USA. He took all American property located in Cuba and removed all US political influence. Castro signed a trade agreement with the USSR, trading their sugar for machinery and oil.
  • Geneva Summit of Foreign Ministers

    The summit involved foreign representatives only. Whilst no solutions were agreed upon, a further meeting was arranged for Camp David in the USA.
  • Camp David Summit

    Involved Eisenhower and Khrushchev. Whilst disarmament was discussed, no solutions were agreed but a further meeting was arranged in Paris.
  • Paris Summit

    Khrushchev and Eisenhower were set to meet but 9 days before the scheduled date, the Soviet Union announced that it shot down an American U-2 spy plane flying over the USSR's territory. Khrushchev demanded that all such flights be canceled and demanded an apology. However, Eisenhower refused to take ownership of the incident, storming out of the first meeting. This undid all of the diplomatic progress made between the USA and USSR in 1959 as superpower tensions once again increased.
  • Vienna Summit

    Involved Khrushchev and Kennedy.
    Neither was willing to back down. Khrushchev saw Kennedy's inexperience as a weakness and reissued his ultimatum for the USA to remove its troops from Berlin but this was refused.
  • Berlin Wall

    In 1961, the tension over Berlin, which was seen as a symbol of the Cold War division, resulted in the building of the Berlin Wall. On 13 August 1961, Khrushchev closed the border between East and West Berlin by installing barbed wire fences. The USA did nothing to stop this. Over time, the wall was made larger and stronger.
  • Bay Of Pigs Invasion

    Having failed to assassinate Castro, the CIA convinced Kennedy that an invasion of Cuba was necessary. In 1961, a group of Cuban exiles living in the USA decided to invade Cuba, with the backing of President Kennedy, who ordered the CIA to give the exiles training and weapons. However, the Bay of Pigs invasion was a total failure as the exiles were outnumbered by 1,400 to 20,000; the CIA had underestimated Castro's popularity, expecting the Cubans to join the revolt against Castro.
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    John F. Kennedy

    • Had a policy of building up the USA’s military forces, but at the same time trying to resolve difficulties with the Soviet Union.
    • He was young and inexperienced so Khrushchev tried to exploit this.
    • Gave his support to the ‘Bay of Pigs’ incident that was a humiliating and embarrassing failure for the US.
    • Resolved the Cuban Missile Crisis by blockading Cuba.
  • Cuban Missile Crisis

    A US spy plane reported sighting the construction of a Soviet nuclear missile base in Cuba. President Kennedy set up a naval blockade and demanded the removal of the missiles. War was averted when the Russians agreed on 28th October to remove the weapons. The United States agreed not to invade Cuba.
  • Kennedy Visits East Berlin

    Kennedy famously declared "ich bin ein Berliner", I am a Berliner. Kennedy's speech was an expression of solidarity with the West Berliners. It also implied that NATO and the UN would defend West Berlin from communist attacks. Kennedy's speech came after the Cuban Missile Crisis, showing that he was not 'soft' on communism.
  • Limited Test Ban Treaty

    The Limited Test Ban Treaty stated that both superpowers would stop testing weapons above ground and underwater.
  • Kennedy's Speech Starts Detente

    Kennedy's 1963 speech outlined his belief that both sides had to focus on their common interests. Between 1964 and 1979, there was an increased effort put into improving superpower relations; both superpowers were prepared to coexist and tolerate each other.
  • Outer Space Treaty

    The 1967 Outer Space Treaty, which was signed by several countries including the USA and USSR, stated that outer space would only be used for peaceful purposes and not for nuclear weapon testing.
  • Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty

    The 1968 Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty prevented the spread of nuclear weapons.
  • Dubcek Becomes Leader Of Czechoslovakia

    He was a Slovak politician, who, in 1968, was appointed as leader of Czechoslovakia, following the removal of Antonin Novotny. He attempted to liberalise the regime, creating "socialism with a human face" in the Prague Spring of 1968. He advocated for greater freedom and political tolerance. However, following the 1969 Warsaw Pact invasion of Czechoslovakia, Dubcek was removed as leader.
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    Leonid Brezhnev

    He succeeded Khrushchev as premier of the USSR and led from 1964 to 1982. Following the Czechoslovakia tensions, he defined the Brezhnev Doctrine, which stated the essentials of communism as:
    - Having a one-party political system.
    - Remaining a member of the Warsaw Pact. If anyone were to threaten Soviet rule, the combined forces of the Warsaw Pact would intervene.
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    Richard Nixon

    He was the American president from 1969 to 1974. Nixon wanted to be seen as a world statesman who feared MAD. He wanted to reduce military spending during a time of economic depression. Nixon conducted several visits to China and the USSR to improve relations. In 1972, he formally diplomatically recognized Communist China. In 1973, Brezhnev visited the USA at Nixon's invitation.
  • Prague Spring

    The Prague spring refers to a series of reforms introduced by Alexander Dubcek in the summer of 1968. In the subsequent Prague Summer, talks of allowing a second political party (the Social Democratic party) were held. All of these reforms opposition to communism and demands for even more radical reforms.
  • Soviet Invasion Of Czechoslovakia

    After failed negotiations, the USSR commenced its invasion of Czechoslovakia; 200,000 Warsaw Pact soldiers and 2,000 tanks entered Czechoslovakia. Czechs threw petrol bombs at Soviet tanks and buildings were set on fire. Students tore down street names in an attempt to confuse the Soviet invaders. Jan Palach set fire to himself in Wenceslas Square as an act of protest against the USSR. While there was no armed resistance, such demonstrations continued until April 1969.
  • Vietnam War

    The USA invaded Vietnam to stop the spread of communism. Despite their huge military presence, the American casualties were huge and the war was extremely unpopular. In this conflict, superpower relations worsened as capitalism and communism had once again been involved in a war. However, efforts were made to establish peace.
  • SALT I

    Nixon wanted to enhance his reputation and both superpowers feared MAD and so signed the SALT (Strategic Arms Limitation Talks) treaty. SALT imposed limits on the nuclear capabilities of the superpowers: no further strategic ballistic missiles were to be produced and submarine missiles were only to be introduced when existing stocks of ICBM became obsolete. The treaty also permitted the shooting down of nuclear missiles. SALT I was seen as a high point of detente.
  • Yom Kipper War

    It was a proxy war between Egypt (supported by USSR) and Israel (supported by the USA). The conflict improved superpower relations as the conflict was handled diplomatically and both sides put their ideological priorities aside, agreeing to let the UN take the lead on the matter.
  • Apollo-Soyuz Joint Space Mission

    In 1975, a joint space mission, Apollo-Soyuz, was launched with the American Apollo and the Russian Soyuz spacecraft. This was the first joint space mission and marked the beginning of a period of superpower cooperation.
  • Helsinki Agreement

    It was an international conference where various nations (including USA and USSR) met to sign an agreement over three 'baskets': security, cooperation, and human rights. All European borders were recognized and the Soviets formally recognized the existence of West Germany. There was a call for increased economic, scientific, and cultural links. Each signatory agreed to respect freedom of speech, movement, religion and information.
  • USSR Violate Helsinki Agreement

    In 1977, an Eastern European group, Charter 77, was formed to check on human rights in communist Europe. The USSR imprisoned the organisers, thus violating the Helsinki agreement and undoing the previous diplomatic efforts made causing tensions between the East and West once again to increase.
  • SALT II

    Because SALT I was only temporary, Carter wanted to impose longer-term nuclear reductions (planned to last until 1985). The following agreements were made:
    - A limit of 1320 MIRV systems for each side.
    - A limit of 2400 strategic nuclear delivery vehicles for each side.
    - A ban on new ICMB launchers.
    - The 1974 Vladivostok agreement stated that 2250 nuclear warheads would be reduced from nuclear stocks.
  • Soviet Invasion Of Afghanisatan

    In September 1979, Hafizullah Amin, who was part of the communist-leaning People's Democratic Party of Afghanistan (PDPA), seized power and introduced various anti-Muslim policies. This caused mass instability and thousands joined the Mujahideen, a guerilla movement of Muslim freedom fighters. This resulted in a civil war between the Mujahideen and the PDPA, who were supported with Soviet arms and advisors. Amin was shot in December. By January 1980, Soviet troops invaded Afghanistan.
  • Moscow Olympics Boycotted

    Carter ordered the boycotting of the 1980 Moscow Olympics - this was followed by 61 other countries.
  • Carter Doctrine

    if necessary, the USA would use military force to protect its national interests, especially oil, in the Persian Gulf region. It also promised immediate US military aid to all countries bordering Afghanistan, creating Rapid Deployment Force in order to do this.
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    Ronald Reagan

    He defeated Carter in the 1980 US presidential elections and initially believed in taking a tougher line against communism, referring to the USSR as an "evil empire". Reagan was opposed to detente and wanted to confront the USSR by whatever means necessary. However, after closer relations with Gorbachev, he softened his approach toward communism.
  • Strategic Defense Initiative

    In 1983, Reagan planned to launch an army of power laser-equipped satellites into space. These satellites would be able to intercept and destroy Soviet missiles before they could cause any harm to the USA. Reagan believed that this 'Star Wars' technology would force the USSR to disarm as their nuclear missiles would become useless.
  • Los Angeles Olympics Boycotted

    The USSR retaliated by boycotting the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics.
  • Geneva Accord

    The 1985 Geneva accord committed the superpowers to speed up arms reduction, the abolition of chemical weapons and increased activity in enforcing human rights. As well as this, Gorbachev and Reagan had established a friendly relationship and agreed to meet again in the future.
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    Mikhail Gorbachev

    Gorbachev was part of the younger crop of Soviet politicians who were notorious for his drastic progressive policies that aimed to decrease superpower tensions; he knew that without change the USSR would collapse due to both political, economic, and social failure. He reformed the USSR with his 'new thinking' and maintained soviet control by raising standards of living and winning over the people.
  • Reykjavik Meeting

    The 1986 Reykjavik meeting broke down arms limitation talks because of the fundamental differences between the superpowers on the SDI and ABM treaties.
  • Washington Summit

    The 1987 Washington summit was more succesful and the Intermediate Nuclear Arms treaty was signed, which eliminated high-range nuclear and conventional missiles. By June 1991, 2692 such weapons had been destroyed. The treaty also allowed the superpowers to inspect each other's military installations. Significantly, it was the first treaty to reduce the number of nuclear missiles they possessed, going much further than SALT I.
  • Strikes In Poland

    Throughout 1988, there were mass strikes across the country.
  • Gorbachev Accepts Hungary Could Become A Multi-Party State

  • Sinatra Doctrine

    In 1988, Gorbachev rejected the Brezhnev Doctrine and, in 1989, he accepted the Sinatra Doctrine, which stated that members of the Warsaw pact could make changes to their own countries without expecting outside interference.
  • Impact Of New Thinking In East Germany

    In October 1989, Gorbachev visited East Germany and instructed Soviet troops to not put down anti-communist demonstrations, including one of 300,000 people in Leipzig. On 4th November 1989, 1 million East Berliners protested. On 9th November 1989, the Berlin Wall was finally pulled down.
  • Solidarity Take Power In Poland

    In 1989, the free trade union - Solidarity - won the elections, resulting in Mazowiecki becoming the first non-communist leader in Eastern Europe.
  • Impact Of New Thinking In Czechoslovakia

    Following huge anti-communist demonstrations, the 1989 Velvet revolution peacefully overthrew the communist government - causing them to resign on 24th November 1989. On 9th December 1989, Havel became the first non-communist Czech leader since 1948.
  • Impact Of New Thinking In Hungary

    The 1989 elections were won by the Democratic Forum - a coalition of non-communist political parties. On 21st October 1989, Hungary's borders were opened to the West.
  • Demonstrations In Romania

    On 16th December 1989, secret police fired on demonstrators. On 21st December, President Ceausescu was forced to flee (and eventually be captured), following huge booing at a public rally.
  • Malta Conference

    At the 1989 Malta Conference, President Bush declared that the Cold War was over. However, at this point communism still existed and the Russian coup of 1991 could very well have revived the superpower rivalry.
  • German Borders Opened

    After numerous demonstrations, on 9th November 1989, the East German government announced the opening of the border crossings into West Germany and people began to dismantle the Berlin Wall.
  • Washington Summit

    The 1990 Washington summit involved President Bush and Gorbachev agreeing on the Treaty for the Reduction and Limitation of Strategic Arms (START), in which it was agreed to reduce strategic forces over the next 7 years.
  • Civic Forum Take Power Of Czechoslovakia

    In 1990, the democratic elections were won by the Civic Forum - a coalition of non-communist political parties.
  • National Salvation Front Take Power In Romania

    In 1990, the National Salvation front - a political party of mostly non-communists - won the democratic elections; one of the most hardline communist regimes of Eastern Europe was finally toppled.
  • Impact Of New Thinking In Bulgaria

    In 1990, democratic elections were won by the renamed communist party.
  • Baltic Sates Declare Independence From USSR

    This sentiment was furthered in 1990 when the Baltic states - Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania - all declared independence from the USSR; this was accepted by Moscow in 1991.
  • Germany Reunified

  • Fall Of The Warsaw Pact

    As a result, military cooperation ceased in 1990 and the Warsaw Pact was finally ended in July 1991.
  • Fall Of The USSR

    The fall of the USSR in December 1991 finally ended the rivalry between communism in the East and capitalism in the West.