Soviet Domination of EuropeSoviet Domination of Europeflat | | Introduction | Allies Become Enemies: Differing U.S. and Soviet Goals | Eastern Europe's Iron Curtain ; Soviets Builds a Buffer | An Iron Curtain Divides | | Interesting Facts | Multiple Choice Question

This song is the Soviet National anthem (1944-1977) obtained from In this wikispace, you will be learning about the realtions between the Soviet Union and the US, the Eastern Europe's Iron Curtain, and what the Curtain did for the Soviet Union [USSR].

Soviet Union Coat of Arms


The Soviet Union, also known as the USSR, was a socialist state that existed in Eurasia from years 1922 to December 31, 1991. In 1991 a number of republics declared independence. The USSR then, dissolved on December 31st, 1991 ("World War II"1).

Allies Become Enemies: Differing U.S. and Soviet Goals

Due to different U.S. and Soviet Goals after World War II, the relations between the Soviet Union and the U.S went hostile. After World War II, the United States was the world's dominant superpower and the most prosperous nation. The Soviets, on the other hand, had to recover from World War II. (D.Nate 1). The main goals of the U.S in Europe were to help rebuild and send aid to the needy in war-torn Europe and to stop the spread of communism. This goal manifests itself in the Marshall Plan and Truman Doctrine which sent aid to various European countries such as Greece and Turkey (Maus 66). The goals of the U.S.S.R were the opposite of this. They wanted to spread communism among the satelite nations and to control every aspect of society in order to take total control of everything (Gerdes 93). Controlling the industry of these nations were also in the mind of the Soviets in order to get more economic power for the Soviet Union and to keep the satelite nations dependent on the U.S.S.R .

Eastern Europe's Iron Curtain ; Soviets Builds a Buffer

After World War II, the Soviets controlled most of the countries in Eastern Europe. Stalin then, installed communist governments in several of these countries (Beck 533). Some of the countries in Soviet control were Czechoslovakia, Romania, Bulgaria, East Germany, Albania, Poland, and Hungary ('Cold War Map"). Later in 1946 President Truman urged democratic elections in the nations Eastern Europe. However, Stalin refuses because of his desire to control all aspects of life in these nations. In 1946, Stalin said that "the beliefs of communism and capitalism cannot co-exist in society.
Iron Curtain Cartoon
This is another way of saying that both the U.S and the Soviet Union would not be able to co-exist. This led into a competition to see who survives, which led into the problem of the correlation of forces and allies (Gaddis 21). The Eastern European countries provided a buffer between the West and East to protect themselves from more invasions.

An Iron Curtain Divides

The concept of the "Iron Curtain" was a western term referring to the boundary which divided Europe into two separate areas of political influence and ideology (Maus 56). The main border line of the "Iron Curtain" was the division line between West Germany and East Germany. In the eastern zone, the dominant influence was the Soviets who installed communist governments, based off the Soviet model, in these countries (also an alliance called the Warsaw Pact). In the western zone, the U.S and U.K established democratic governments allied together in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) ("WWII:Rise of the Superpowers" 1). This is what the the term "Iron Curtain" refers to.

"From Stettin in the Baltic to Triest in the Adriatic, iron curtain has descended across the continent. Behind the line lie all the capitals of ancient states of central and eastern Europe... [A]ll these famous cities and the populations around them... are subject in one form or another, not only to Soviet influence, but to a very high and increased measure of control from Moscow." -Winston Churchill

Division of the World: NATO v.s Warsaw Pact 1980             Red: alligned with Soviet Union Blue: Alligned with U.S.A
Division of the World: NATO v.s Warsaw Pact 1980 Red: alligned with Soviet Union Blue: Alligned with U.S.A

Soviet Leader Nikita Khrushchev

Interesting Facts

  • During the Korean War, the U.S.A had only 369 operational atomic bombs compared to the Soviet Union's five.
  • World War II caused the deaths of about 27 million Soviet deaths; about 90 times the number of American deaths.
  • On February 25th, 1956, Soviet premier Khrushchev made a speech denouncing Stalin's crimes. Khrushchev was a more humane and sincere leader compared with Stalin. However, he was still a strong leader.
  • The Warsaw Pact officially broke up in July 1991 with the Soviet Union breaking up five months later in December 1991.
  • NATO is still in effect today with many former Warsaw Pact nations as members.

Multiple Choice Question

The Satillite countries that were around the USSR were used for what kind of purpose?
A. To protect the USSR
B. To help spread communism
C. Take over the world
D. Both answers A and B
E. Both answers A and C

Works Cited

Beck, Roger, Linda Black, Larry Krieger, Phillip Naylor, and Dahia Shabaka. Modern World History. Evanston, Illinois: McDougal Littell, 2007. Print.

Bjornlund, Britta. The Cold War Ends: 1980 to the Present. 1st. 1st. Farmington Hills, MI: Lucent Books, 2003. 112. Print.

"Coat of Arms Logo." ibiblio. Web. 7 May 2010.

“Cold War Map.” Wikimedia. Web. 7 May 2010.

D, Nate. "Post WWII Strategies of U.S. And U.S.S.R." Associated Content. Associated Content Inc. , 06/3/2007. Web. 7 May 2010.

" Dividing Germany after the second world war." 10/9/2009. Web. 7 May 2010.

Gaddis, John. The Cold War. New York: The Penguin Press,2005. Print.

Gerdes, Louise. The Cold War. 1st. 1st. Michigan: Greenhaven Press, Inc, 2003. Print.

“Iron Curtain Cartoon.” Theora. Web. 7 May 2010.

Kane, Tim. "Global U.S. Troop Deployment, 1950-2003." The Heritage Foundation. The Heritage Foundation, 10/27/2004. Web. 7 May 2010.

Maus, Derek. The Cold War. 1st. 1st. Michigan: Greenhaven Press, Inc, 2003. 272. Print.

"Timeline-Soviet Leaders 1917-1991." RFF. RFF Electronics, 1996. Web. 7 May 2010.

"WWII:Rise of the Superpowers." Studyworld//. Oakwood Publishing, n.d. Web. 8 May 2010.

"World War II." U-S History., 2001. Web. 6 May 2010.