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Winston Churchill Iron Curtain Speech

On March 5, 1946, British Prime Minister Winston Churchill delivered an address, the “Sinews of Peace” speech at Westminster College in Fulton, Missouri. In the speech, Churchill used the phrase “iron curtain” to describe the situation in Europe, as numerous Eastern European nations had fallen under communist regimes, controlled from Moscow. Paper Masters can compose a custom written research paper on Churchill and the Iron Curtain that follows your guidelines.

Winston Churchill Iron Curtain Speech

Iron Curtain and Stalin

During World War II, the Soviet Union was a key ally in the fight against the Axis Powers, especially Nazi Germany. Some western leaders believed Stalin when he assured them at Yalta and Potsdam that the nations under Soviet control would be allowed self-determination. However, Stalin desiring a buffer zone between the USSR and Germany subverted the political process to install communist regimes in the following:

  • Poland
  • East Germany
  • Czechoslovakia
  • Hungary
  • Romania
  • Bulgaria

Iron Curtain and Democracy

Numerous western leaders feared that the Soviet Union was building a global empire, one that would threaten democracy and western interests across the globe and for democratic countries. In early 1946, many in the West still assumed that Russia was a western ally, and Churchill’s phrase was soon picked up as a shorthand way of referencing the Cold War. Communist regimes were “behind the iron curtain” and much of the period between 1946 and 1989, travel, trade and information were severely restricted in and out of the Eastern bloc. The Berlin Wall, separating East and West Berlin was a very visible symbol of the Iron Curtain.

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