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European Visions and First Steps of Cooperation

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University of Toronto St. George
Political Science
Prof Hilz

European Visions and First Steps of CooperationCommunistSoviet Expansion 19451949In 1948 the tensions between the east and west and between the 4 Powers reached a new peak when the Soviets created Peoples Democracies in central EuropePoland Romania Bulgaria Hungary and Czechoslovakia all joined the Soviet campThe West had held out hope that Czechoslovakia would join their side but this caused them to realize that Stalin would not stopThe Communist coup in March 1948 in Czechoslovakia eliminated the liberal opposition in the parliamentThe new cabinet contained only streamlined Moscow favoured politiciansThe Yugoslav Communists refused to join the Moscow bloc under the leadership of Josip Broz TitoHe was the only Communist leader to successfully oppose the SovietsTito was deflamed as a capitalist by the unsuccessful SovietsStalin reintroduced the central Soviet steering bureau COMINFORMThis was sign for all communists that Moscow was the leading force and there would be no place for nationalists in these countriesStalin was eager to increase his control over East GermanyFormally he denounced the western states fortaking steps to create a separate West German state however he used a similar tactic in eastStalin was right that the western powers had taken steps to create a Western German stateA new 6Power Conference US UK France and Benelux met in March 1948 to decide the future of Europe and react to Stalins expansionThe 5 European states signed a common defence pact the Brussels Defence TreatyThis treaty was a major step towards a complete new direction for EuropeThe French needed to be tamed as they were occupying Germany much too harshlyAt the end of 1947 the French govt had to confess that their occupation policy was failing because their own economy relied so heavily on GermanyDu Galle was the President of France during this time and he styled himself as the saviour of France despite not playing any military roleHe was however successful in denying AngloAmerican occupation in FranceHe wanted a lasting military demobilization of Germany and used all resources at his disposal to do just thatIn 1944 he had signed a military treaty with Stalin but he was unsuccessful in completely demilitarizing Germany in the postwar areaDu Galle claimed Europe as his own and resisted AngloAmerican attempts to create policies regarding the future of EuropeEven his successors felt this wayThey tried to force their neighbours to sign a treaty against future military action by GermanyThe last treaty the French signed against German aggression was the Treaty of Dunkirk in March 1947 before they turned their attention to the SovietsThe Brussels Treaty was the successor of the Dunkirk Treaty and changed the course of France for the futureThe French realized that the real threat was Soviet communist expansion not German militarismThe treaty was against any threats of militarism from any directionThe treaty contained a clause for direct and immediate military action against any aggressorThis treaty was a much more binding guarantee of military support in the result of aggression than the upcoming NATO treatyA step to defence France from any military attack was much more closely bound to the Western powers
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