"Iron Curtain" - what is it? The origins of the Cold War
Most of the people, one way or another, have heard of the concept of the “iron curtain”. For some, the “iron curtain” is an expression that does not cause any special emotions or reflections. But this concept is associated with many negative events. In this article, we consider its significance from a historical as well as a political point of view.
Winston Churchill: About the Iron Curtain
It is believed that the concept of the "iron curtain" was first mentioned in the early 1900s, but it was fixed a little later. On March 5, 1946, Winston Churchill delivered a speech that could be regarded as a blatant provocation. To be precise, a clear link was created: Churchill - the Iron Curtain - a call for the Cold War.
I must say, this speech was really very bold, with advice on the work of the UN, with the proclamation of the United States of America as the greatest state in the world.Naturally, the Iron Curtain described difficult times for many countries, numerous people and the situation in the world as a whole. And yet, was it worth Churchill so openly claiming the superiority of the United States, pushing the country to commit mistakes that could aggravate her position? So what is meant when it comes to the “iron curtain”? Why this expression caused a massive panic and why is it so dangerous, this curtain?
Impairment of relationships
The Iron Curtain is a term that means certain restrictions in the economic and political sense of different states. After World War II, all countries were divided into two halves. The “Iron Curtain” in itself meant a ban on leaving the country, the struggle between countries for the position of leadership, the struggle for armament. In those days, the position of the USSR, which dictated its conditions to different states, was very clearly indicated, and, of course, nobody could have liked that. Someone peacefully bowed his head, and someone just kindled a Protestant policy, which only aggravated the position of his state. Everything that came from the West was considered bad and was immediately rejected or forbidden.A so-called list of “friendly countries” was created that could freely enter the territory of the USSR.
The first mention of the concept of "iron curtain"
The year to which the creation of this value was attributed was 1920. Many believe that as soon as the Soviet Union was created, it was immediately protected from the rest of the world. The initial desire of the USSR was the development of both internal friendship and external. The West, on the other hand, believed that the USSR would soon collapse and therefore did not carry any force among other states, did not constitute any competition or danger.
However, the USSR gained ever greater growth rates, getting better and stronger “standing on its feet,” and this could not help but upset the West, which not only was not happy for such a Union, but also tried its best to harm it. The consequences of this excitement on the part of the West were very great, and therefore began to take a variety of measures for the collapse of the USSR. What exactly began to happen and what results followed?
The Origins of the Iron Curtain
The Iron Curtain did not exist as such in the USSR. On the contrary, the Soviet Union wanted to destroy the stereotypes.For this purpose, various figures of art, science, and medicine were invited and invited. These citizens were ready to offer high wages, good living conditions in the USSR.
None of the other states saw any real threat from the Soviet Union. However, the West was very frightened when he saw with what strength and power the given Union was growing, despite all the problems that were trying to destroy it. That is why the prerequisites began for the most ambitious and brutal war that is known to history to this day. Adolf Hitler spoke in the struggle for world supremacy and consolidation of the position of the “head”, underestimating the possibilities of the Union of Republics. It was the most brutal and bloody war in the history of mankind, which people have never seen before.
Many will think that the “iron curtain” in the USSR did not depend at all on the Second World War, but this statement is erroneous. Even in spite of the fact that a fierce battle was fought, intrigues that were woven by the states had no end.
So, in 1944, the United States issued a provocative statement thatthat the dollar is the only settlement currency, and in April 1945, Franklin Roosevelt, the US president, was killed just because he was friendly to the USSR and to Joseph Stalin himself. After just a couple of hours, the place of the US President is Harry Truman, who in a tough form declares his unwillingness to resolve conflicts with Russia. He says that the current problem with Japan does not see the point in the help of the Soviet Union. There were quite a few such provocations during the war years, but the final result turned out to be just the way it is.
The Iron Curtain of Stalin
What is the policy of the "iron curtain" in the USSR? After the end of the Second World War, Stalin wanted all the decisions about Germany to be made under his leadership, but the European Communists could not accept this. Often they tried to be independent in making politically important decisions. But such attempts Joseph Vissarionovich stopped and did not let this happen.
The leaders of Yugoslavia tried to create the Balkan Federation, but even here Stalin intervened, deciding to take the initiative. Instead of submitting to the will of Joseph Vissarionovich, the Yugoslavs showed disobedience, and in 1949 the friendly relations of the USSR and Yugoslavia were terminated.By the order of Stalin, all roads were cut off, West Berlin was disconnected from the electrical supply, and food supplies to the rebels were stopped.
Conflicts of the parties
The essence of the "iron curtain" of Stalin was for the most part to subjugate the conquered territories to its influence. Meanwhile, the situation in the world only aggravated. The occupation territories of France, England, and the United States produced a union, and a month later the eastern Republic was formed, over which Walter Ulbricht, appointed by Stalin, took over.
Relationships on the Eastern side of the world have also deteriorated. China and Korea started a civil war. Joseph Stalin feared such a situation, since China had every chance of becoming an independent communist center. Only in 1949 diplomatic relations were established between the Soviet Union and communist China. For opponents of communist China, the “iron curtain” is not a reason to leave the UN. All negotiations by the USSR have not been successful, and as a sign of discontent, the Soviet Union is leaving all the organs of the protesting side of China.
It would seem that at this stage everything was completed. But this was only the beginning of a brutal war between North and South Korea. When the diplomats of the Soviet Union were engaged in the problems of China’s internal conflicts, and the Iron Curtain controlled it from the Soviet territories, America sent its troops to the lands of the warring parties to Korea. In turn, the Soviet leadership supported South Korea.
A fierce and bloody war broke out, was seized by Seoul - the capital of South Korea. The internal war between the warring parties led to the fact that Korea was divided into two separate states. The exact fact was that one side followed the European path of development, while the other gained the support of Soviet forces. However, this series of protests, conflicts and blockades did not stop, but continued to spread throughout the world.
The “Iron Curtain” in Europe caused discontent on all sides. Only if the Soviet Union tried in every way to lower it, then the West only aggravated the situation, creating ever more sophisticated conflicts. It is considered that it was the USSR that created the borders and did not let in representatives of outside states.However, in reality, this was not the case.
"Iron Curtain" means the isolation of the country in all senses, not only a political blockade, but also cultural, as well as informational. The western part wanted to protect their territories and citizens from the influence of socialist development. In turn, the Soviet Union also could not ignore such behavior and applied its own methods to solve this situation. After all, such political disputes have brought many problems to ordinary people. There were restrictions in products, goods of other use, as well as in traveling outside the country.
In the post-war period, an attempt was made to show the real life of the country (the "iron curtain", beyond whose borders ordinary people live). In 1947 a book was published with detailed descriptions, sketches and photographs of people living in the USSR. The book is called “Russian diary”, it was created under the authorship of the writer John Steinbeck and with photographs of Robert Capa. These two people came to the Soviet Union and tried to study the lives of ordinary people: what they eat, what clothes they wear, how they meet their guests, or how they live their lives.
From the official guiding persons attention was set aside, the authors wanted to reveal the life of ordinary citizens. The Russian Diary showed the true side of the Soviet people who hated war, dreamed of peace, wished a good future for their children and were not supporters of world conflicts. The Iron Curtain hid this from Western countries, and at times it gave a false impression of the Soviet Union and its inhabitants.
Destruction of the Iron Curtain
How long could this isolation process last? How long could the Iron Curtain exist? Sooner or later it had to stop. The Iron Curtain in the USSR, the years of which were marked by a difficult time for all people, began to weaken in the second half of the 1950s. At that time, marriages with foreigners began to be resolved.
Everyone was already pretty tired of the Cold War, and therefore the next step towards weakening the Iron Curtain was the signing of a treaty that demanded the destruction of some missiles in both states. The USSR withdrew its troops from Afghanistan, and at the end of the 1980s the Berlin Wall fell. In 1991, the collapse of the Soviet Union took place, and the Iron Curtain finally collapsed, revealing the country's borders.Of course, there were still many fears on both sides that there would be an influx of migrants on both sides of open borders.
After the fall of the Iron Curtain, not only positive changes began to occur, but also not very favorable ones. Of course, while the Soviet territories were closed from the rest of the world, it was impossible to go abroad. And it was forbidden not only to those who wanted to rest abroad, but also to those who considered the possibility of studying or working in the West. And even more so it was forbidden to leave the state in order to live on foreign territories.
Naturally, there were a number of small exceptions, but only for those individuals who enjoyed the confidence of the special services. The “Iron Curtain” is a process that lasted for a rather long period of time, and therefore, the Soviet borders were not opened immediately, but gradually. What was the negative harm of such openness to the world? Quite simply, the departure of Russian citizens and the arrival of foreigners were provoked primarily by the outflow and inflow of funds from the country. This, in turn, undermined the economic situation.
Do not deny the positive effects of openness to the world. The collapse of the Iron Curtain opened up new opportunities for Russian citizens. Many foreign firms began to come and create new jobs with decent wages and new experiences. In the Russian market began to appear various products and services that were previously in short supply. And now they were available even to people with low income.
Also, scientific and medical specialists came to the country, who contributed to the development of relevant industries, shared their skills and unique experience, which was very necessary for the post-Soviet state. People with high incomes, which then made up about 10–20% of the entire population, received huge benefits from open borders. Now they could buy foreign goods and services that possessed the highest quality, and the “iron curtain” did not even allow them to perform.
Those times have passed, but they are firmly entrenched in Russian history. Nevertheless, these events still do not give rest to modern society. It is believed that historical events tend to repeat.The policy of the "iron curtain" is monitored in our time, only now it is clearly visible that there is an information war. Those events that take place in Russia and abroad, cause fears of both heads of state and ordinary citizens, who are most aware of the conflicted states.