Domestic Policy Interpretations - Did Khrusty Effectively Deal with the Challenges of the Cold War? Flashcards Preview

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What are the 3 main historical interpretations of how effectively Khrusty dealt with the challenges posed by the Cold War?

He was 'inspirational + innovative' by trying to impliment peaceful coexistance

He was 'erratic and impulsive' due to his inconsistent approach

Or he was both!


What evidence is there that Khrushchev was 'innovative and inspirational'?

  • Secret Speech took USSR away from dangerous competiton of Stalin - either peaceful coexistance or war. Seen as trying to create peaceful + more secure world
  • Ended Soviet occupation of Austria in 1955 - allowed to integrate with West
  • Support from Comm. Party in Russia when quickly reacted to Hungarian Crisis 1956 with tanks to prevent breaking away due to 'Thaw'
  • Berlin Wall prevented further mass-migration from GDR + embarrassment. Support at home for peaceful solution
  • Cuban Missile Crisis success as tested Kennedy's resolve, got missiles removed from Turkey, 'hotline' established - strengthened peaceful coexistance
  • 1963 began process towards detente with Test Ban Treaty - paved way for SALT in 1972


What evidence is there that Khrushchev was 'erratic and impulsive'?

  • Peaceful coexistance seen as betrayal of Marxist-Leninist 'World Revolution' by some comms. Both within USSR + with Mao
    • Mao accused him of being 'soft on imperialists'. K. withdrew military support when Chinese needed it - Sino-Soviet split
  • Hungarin revolt seen as disaster as caused by de-stalinisation + ruthless supression made comm. look bad globally
  • Berlin Wall oppressive + inhumane - made relations with West worse
  • Cuban Missile Crisis nearly led to nuclear war! Fact he backed down + removed missiles from Cuba seen as weak.
    • Led to huge rift with Castro who took lead in speading comm. globally


What had the USSR done as a reponse to NATO by 1955?

Increased military spending

May 1955 signed Warsaw Pact
(AKA Eastern European Mutual Assistance Treaty)


How did Khrushchev try to repair the rift with Tito?

Did it work?

1955 him + Bulganin visited + appologied for Stalin's behaviour

Tito still refused to return to Soviet sphere/'fold'


Where else did Khrushchev aim to spread his diplomacy too?

(Aside from Europe/US/China/etc.)


3rd world powers to attempt to dislodge Western influence

e.g. Afghanistan, Burma, India, Iraq, North Yemen, Egypt (helped finance Aswan Dam)


How were Khrushchev's aims similar to Stalin's?

Both wanted Eastern Europe to remain under Soviet control

Wanted to force Western powers to leave Berlin


How was Khrushchev's approach to achieving his aims/foreign policy different to Stalin's?

Didn't support traditional view that comm. + cap. innately opposed and that war was inevitable

Instead desired detente + 'peaceful coexistance'


How did Khrushchev use the U2 incident to his advantage?

Used for propaganda

Brought issue before UN (made US look bad)

Spy exchange for Rudolf Abel (swapped for 'mere pilot' Gary Powers)


How did Khrushchev cause a sensation at the UN in 1960?

Rudely interrupted speeches by other delegates

Banged shoe on desk during speech


How did Khrushchev approach Kennedy when he assumed power?

Concilliatory + willing to cooperate

Didn't want nuclear war, wanted world peace, wanted to resolve 'German issue'


How did Khrushchev miscalculate Kennedy + end up having to build the Berlin wall?

Tried to intimidate young + inexpirienced Kennedy into immediate settlement on Berlin however meeting achieved nothing


How did Khrushchev's more liberal policies affect the East Germans?

Brought an end to the Stalinist regime (mostly)

Allowed post-war reconstruction to occur


How could Khrushchev's actions during the Berlin Crisis be seen as weak?

Refused peace treaty between GDR + USSR that would allow GDR to occupy West Berlin

Also refused to invade West Berlin + occupy using Soviet troops

Both would've resolved issue without 'inhumane' wall


How did de-stalinisation affect Poland?

Independantly-minded Gomulka released from prison + allowed to return to power after 1956 uprising

After uprising some autonomy also granted to Poland


How could Khrushchev's actions in Hungary be seen as heavy-handed and unnecessary?

20,000 Hungarians killed + 200,000 fled through open frontiers to West

Condemned as cruel + unnecessary as Hungary wouldn't have been threat to USSR if had left Pact as wanted to remain neutral


'By declaring neutrality [Hungary] had proved it had been no threat to the security of the USSR' - PM Eden


What was the reaction to Khrushchev's decision to crush the Hungarian Uprising?

Badly damaged reputation

Thousands resigned from internation communist parties in protest

Protests outside Soviet embassies


How could Khrushchev's actions in Cuba be seen as weak?

Criticised for backing down due to US threats that they would forcibly turn back ships carrying missiles + any launched would warrant counter-strike

Also initially failed to get US to remove missiles from Turkey - only included in 2nd telegram

Missiles only removed in secret - to public looked weak


Why do many historians see Khrushchev's actions during the Cuban Missile Crisis as more statesman-like than members of the CPSU (Soviet Comm. Party)?

His actions saved world from nuclear war as he agreed to remove missiles as long as US didn't invade Cuba (comprimise)


What were the consequences of the Cuban Missile Crisis?

'Hotline' - direct communication between White House + Kremlin at time of crisis

Test Ban Treaty 1963 - no nuke tests underwater, in atmosphere, or in space

Paved way for SALT in 1972

Threat of nuclear war allowed move towards detente + MAD


Why was there a progressibe deterioration of the relationship between the USSR and China despite a number of visits by Khrushchev?

Ideological difference

Mao believed in worldwide revolution to oust capitalists not peaceful coexistance + that conflict between coms + caps inevitable

Mao implimented Stalinist policies + greatly admired him



What aspects of Khrushchev's policies did Mao particularly deplore?

Renunciation of Stalin

Attempts to establish better relations with West whom he viewed as main enemy


What actions by Khrushchev finally led to a clear break in relations?

When he refused to discuss disputed Sino-Soviet border settlement

When he refused to back China in border dispute with India


Who sided with China during the Sino-Soviet split and why?


Enver Hoxha believed Khrushchev was willing to allow Tito to take over + incorportate Albania into Yugoslavia