Iron Curtain Speech

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Iron Curtain
Context:
• 2nd WW left only 2 Great Powers standing in any strength (US & Soviet Union) • US emerged physically unscathed from war, economy stronger than ever, quickly demobilized, possessed atomic bomb • Soviet Union devasted by war, 20 mil of population persisted, but still formidable military power (4 mill soldiers under arms & still formidable military power & in control of population & territories in central/eastern Europe) • Became common speaking of 2 as superpowers – contential land giants, possessing enormous resources, overshadowing all other states • Characteristics of 2-state system = each power knows in advance who its only dangerous enemy can be • In such situation diplomatic equilibrium more difficult • Measures taken by either power for its security seen as aggression/provocations to other & each exaggerates other’s strength • After war US & USSR fell into unhappy dual relationship • Compounded by deep-seated ideological tensions b/w capital democracy & Marxist-Leninist communism dating back to Bolshevik Rev. of 1917 • Diplomatic & ideological clash of interests came to known as Cold War Profile of Churchill

• The Right Honourable Sir Winston Leonard Spencer Churchill (1874 – 1965) • Had a brief but eventful year in army, afterwards became Conservative Member of Parliament 1900 • Held many high posts in Liberal & Conservative gov’ts during 1st 3 decades of century • @ outbreak of WW2 appointed as 1st Lord of the Admiralty (post which he earlier held from 1911-15 • May 1940, became PM & Minister of Defence, remained in office until 1945 • Took over premiership again in Conservative victory of 1951 & resigned in 1955 • Remained Member of Parliament until general election of 1964, didn’t seek reelection • Queen Elizabeth conferred Churchill dignity of Knighthood & invested him w/ insignia of Order of the Garter (1953) • Among other countless honours &...
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