The Berlin Crisis

Topics: Cold War, Soviet Union, Berlin Wall Pages: 5 (2075 words) Published: November 4, 2010
The Berlin Crisis Introduction
The Berlin Crisis was a controversy so big that leaders from around the world feared that one slip up may trigger a massive nuclear war. The crisis started through summits held by the world powers, and through other various negotiations between communist and other nations. But for the U.S. a loss in Berlin could deteriorate American authority in Germany, which played a big part in keeping Europe together. I believe that the policies used in Berlin were necessary to keep order and to deter the Soviet Union from consuming another country. So, by analyzing the political, economical and social effects of the Berlin Crisis as well as the effects of the Berlin Wall on the U.S. and the World, we can see how knowing about the Berlin Crisis can help us to better understand foreign policy and how to prevent occurrences like these in the future. The Allied Powers of the United States, Britain, Russia and France divided the city of Berlin, after Germany’s fall in 1945, and each country ruled their part of Germany. However, in 1946, tensions between the Western powers and the Soviet Union were on the rise. To stay strong the Western powers combined their sections in 1947. The plan of the Western powers was to try and rebuild Germany politically, socially and economically; the Soviet Union then started to fear the alliance, because the combined sections had greater power than the Soviet Union’s section. But it wasn’t until later, when the Western Alliance established a currency in their merged section, that the Soviet Union had become fed up. So on June 24, 1948, the Soviet Union created the Blockade of Berlin. The next crisis occurred when Soviet Premier Khrushchev gave the Western powers six months to agree to get out of Berlin. He said if they did so he would give East Berlin back all of its communication with West Berlin. Also, he said that the Western powers would gain access to West Berlin only if the East government allowed it. The U.S., France and Great Britain said that they were going to stay in West Berlin and continue to use their legal right of access to the city. Later, Kennedy requested additional money from Congress, to fuel the military over in Europe. Khrushchev was angered at this and stated that the build up of military power was increasingly threatening war. Later, Premier Khrushchev created more conflict when he threatened to sign a separate peace treaty with East Germany. Which would, apparently, end an existing four-power, and that the signing of the peace treaty would end access rights for America, Britain and France to West Berlin. In response to the Soviets demands, President Kennedy asked Congress for an additional $3.25 billion to fund military build-up in Berlin. This eventually led to the Soviets response of building the Berlin Wall to separate the communist and non-communist sides of Berlin, and to avoid confrontation. “That is why this latest Soviet threat--or any other threat which is made independently or in response to our actions this week-- must and will be met with determination. Any hostile move anywhere in the world against the safety and freedom of peoples to whom we are committed-- including in particular the brave people of West Berlin--will be met by whatever action is needed.” [President Kennedy address’ the Nation; Oct. 22, 1962] The Presidents speech reflected his policy in that he will help countries who’s freedom and safety is being threatened by the Soviets. The Cuban Missile Crisis was directly influenced by the Berlin Crisis and it proved to be a very stressful time for the world. The first major cause of the Cuban Missile Crisis was while Kennedy was campaigning he repeatedly spoke of a gap between the number of nuclear missiles the Soviet Union had had and the number that the U.S. had. After the Berlin Wall was built Kennedy felt it was necessary to tell Khrushchev that there was no gap in missile numbers. Khrushchev had always known that the U.S. had...
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