March 5th

On this day in 1946, Winston Churchill delivered his famous ‘Iron Curtain’ speech at Westminster College, Fulton, Missouri.

Winston Churchill

Often regarded as the official opening of the Cold War, Churchill used his oratory skills to condemn Soviet expansion into Eastern Europe on a platform alongside US President Harry Truman. Somewhat puzzling was the fact that such a major speech was conducted by the leader of the opposition (Churchill was defeated by Labour’s Attlee at the 1945 election), however on the world stage Churchill remained the prestigious figurehead of Britain after World War Two. Churchill praised the US in his speech, declaring them “the pinnacle of world power”, and emphasised the strengthening of the “special relationship”, a term continually used by UK/US politicians alike. Although the US government was largely supportive of Churchill’s world view, this is not to say that the majority of US officials were sympathetic to Britain’s clear wishes for support in the protection of their crumbling empire. Furthermore, the western public were initially less than impressed, after regarding the Soviet Union as an ally after the defeat of Germany and Japan. This speech was symbolic of changing US policy towards the Soviets, and took a foothold as the Cold War progressed.

 

Soviet leader Stalin responded with extreme anger at Churchill’s speech, calling it “war mongering”. It seemed extremely hostile and antagonistic to outline battlelines with supposed allies just a year after the end of the War. Moreover, he denounced Churchill’s remarks about the “English-speaking world” as imperialist “racism.” It seems that all the so-called ‘Sinews of Peace’ speech did was accelerate tension, bringing the ideological divide between capitalism and communism to the forefront via an imaginary concept, with Churchill consciously ignorant of any justification for a Soviet buffer zone in Europe after two invasions from Germany in the last twenty years.

screen20shot202013-04-1120at202-45-0320am

Churchill’s ‘Iron Curtain’ in Europe March 1946 (Allied West v Soviet East) Source:farley-woodapush.wikispaces.com

 

Advertisements

2 thoughts on “March 5th

  1. Pingback: April 9th | The FeedBack

  2. Pingback: May 28th | The FeedBack

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s