Khrushchev De-Stalinization and Peaceful Coexistence 1955: Khrushchev consolidated hold on Soviet leadership Khrushchev’s Beliefs

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Khrushchev De-Stalinization and Peaceful Coexistence
1955: Khrushchev consolidated hold on Soviet leadershipnikita krushchev.jpg
Khrushchev’s Beliefs:

  • longed for a more manageable & stable world, but in the name of revolution

  • believed USSR wronged by USA after WW II

  • Cold War resulted from continuation of policies of isolation, non-recognition & intervention by western powers dating back to Russian Civil War

  • opportunistic & sabre rattler, i.e. “we will bury you”

1956: The Year of Crisis
Feb. 1956: Krushchev’s Speech at 20th Party Congress

  • denounced Stalin for committing crimes and harming USSR—use of terror, many deaths, arrogance & harm to Russia

  • attacked cult of personality

  • more interested in social justice

  • recognized rights of satellite states to go own way—“national ways to socialism”

  • reconciliation w/Tito & Yugoslavia—break blamed on Stalin

  • rejected the idea of the “inevitability of global war”

What if Satellite States wanted more independence than Soviets willing to give?
Polish Crisis, June-October 1956

  • June: workers riots broke out

  • Communist Party turned to Wladyslaw Gomulka (Stalin had removed from power) to restore order

  • Soviets worried Gomulka become too independent

  • ordered Red Army troops to stop election Gomulka expected to win

  • Gomulka refused to stop elections, but did pledge to keep Poland in Warsaw Pact

  • problems in Hungary led to Khrushchev accepting Gomulka’s pledge & turn focus to Hungary

Hungarian Uprising, July-November 1956

  • July: Stalinist leader replaced by more liberal Erno Gero (supported by Krushchev & Tito)

  • October: demonstration to support Polish farmers led to great disturbances

  • Khrushchev sent in 30,000 Soviet troops w/tanks

  • Gero’s government falls

  • Imre Nagy new leader of Hungary: independent minded, reformer

  • Khrushchev stayed committed to his policy of greater freedom & pulled Soviet troops out of Hungary

  • 1 Nov: Nagy announced Hungary would withdraw from Warsaw Pact & planned to share power w/non-communists

The Suez Crisis, July-Nov 1956

  • Egyptian President Gamal Nasser forming closer ties w/USSR

  • US cancelled loan to help pay for Aswan Dam

  • Nasser turns to USSR for funding & nationalizes Suez Canal (owned by Anglo-French company)

  • 16 Oct: Brit, Fr & Israel work out plan for combined invasion of Egypt & retaking Suez Canal—Israel invades, heads to Suez Canal, Brit & Fr would intervene to “protect canal”

  • 29 Oct: Israel invaded—Brit & Fr demand withdrawal of Israeli & Egyptian troops fro canal

  • Nasser rejects Brit & Fr demands

  • Khrushchev convinced Nasser would fall from power &  Soviet influence in Middle East

  • Soviet setbacks in Hungary would further  Soviet prestige & maybe power

What did Khruschcev do?

  • what would US do?


  • 4 Nov: Soviet troops & tanks into Budapest, Hungary

  • several days of fierce fighting

  • eventually new govt loyal to USSR—led by Janos Kader

  • Nagy arrested & later executed


  • 5 Nov: threatened nuclear attacks on Brit, Fr & Israel if did not stop war—western intelligence knew USSR did not have rocket power to carry out threat

  • 6 Nov: cease fire announced

Eisenhower’s Actions

  • suspected Khrushchev willing to risk war over losing Hungary—no desire to intervene  accurate

  • saw Suez as desperate attempt to strengthen their weakening empires in Middle East & Africa  accurate

  • middle of re-election campaign

  • furious at Brit, Fr & Israel for their scheming & provocative actions

  • condemned their actions at the UN

  • pulled US financial assistance (major loan) from Brit

  • put economic & military pressure of Brit & Fr

  • persuaded Brit & Fr to stop fighting same time as Khrushchev nuclear threat

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