The Iron Curtain was the symbolic divide between communist Eastern Europe and democratic Western Europe that characterized the Cold War in the second half of the 20th century. British Prime Minister Winston Churchill coined the term during a 1946 speech. Paper Masters can write a custom research paper on the Iron Curtain that fits your needs.
In the waning days of World War II, the “Big Three” leaders (Churchill, Stalin and Franklin Roosevelt) met at Yalta in order to discuss the post war makeup of Europe. Despite assurances of free and fair elections, Stalin desired a buffer zone between the USSR and Western Europe. At the Potsdam Conference in August 1945, the Allies gave much of Eastern Europe to Soviet control, despite Stalin’s insistence that these nations would be allowed self-determination.
Eastern Bloc Nations
Rigged elections in Poland paved the way for communist regimes in that nation, along with:
- East Germany
- Additionally, the USSR annexed the Balkan countries (Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia).
In a famous 1946 speech, Winston Churchill remarked that “an iron curtain” had descended across Europe, cutting off the nations and their people from democracy, subject to the brutal policy of Moscow. Physical borders sprang up, severely restricting travel between east and west. It was not until 1989 that these Eastern Bloc nations were able to shed their communist governments and join the European Union.