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C O U R S E 
The Modern World: Global History since 1760
Prof. Philip Zelikow, University of Virginia
C O U R S E   L E C T U R E 
1950s: Loosening Empires and Building Confederations
Notes taken on July 9, 2014 by Edward Tanguay
the ways in which governments organized themselves began changing significantly in the 1950s
in the mid-1950s, apart from India and Indonesia, the main empires are mainly still there
British Commonwealth
independent states that still regard the Queen as their sovereign
dedicated to their common heritage
political cooperation
French colonial empire
still had Indochina
still controlled many parts of Africa
the empires, however, are changing
19th century Imperial partnerships
colonial rules and colonial elites
1950s, the elites are rising, e.g. the British influence recedes but is still present and even dominant, important groups are still deeply involved
oil companies
political advisers
as decolonization unfolds, you change from one kind of partnership to another one
a new association: the anti-Communist confederation, led by the USA
the reason why we don't use the term "American Empire" because "empire" has a very specific meaning
countries that are part of NATO are not part of an American empire since they remain independent countries
they are, however, part of an anti-communist confederation
confederation, n. a body of states united for certain common purposes, sovereign states united for common action in relation to externals
Americans are interested and active in the domestic politics of the countries in the confederacy and visa versa
German politicians lobbying members of congress
American politicians forming kinships with this or that German political party
in some cases the president has better relations with leaders of other countries than with leaders of specific States
blended identity
our interests and their interests are different yet blended
the Rio Pact
agreement signed on 1947
an attack against one is to be considered an attack against them all
North Atlantic Treaty Organization
much interaction between politicians, military commanders
Baghdad Pact or METO (Middle East Treaty Organization)
included Iran, Iraq, Pakistan, Turkey, and the United Kingdom
committed the nations to mutual cooperation and protection, as well as non-intervention in each other's affairs, its goal was to contain the Soviet Union by having a line of strong states along the USSR's southwestern frontier
began disintegrating by end of 1950s, dissolved in 1979, partly due to resentment toward the British
South-East Asia treaty organization
1952 Revolution
initially aimed at overthrowing King Farouk
then to establish a republic, end the British occupation of the country, and secure the independence of Sudan, hitherto governed as an Anglo-Egyptian condominium
British view on revolution
threat to empire, threat to canal
American view on revolution
support Arab nationalism because it could be anti-communist
so while the Americans are trying to be friends with Nasser, the British are trying to depose him
trying to regain full independence
1940s trying to push out Russians
British had left but retain a controlling interest in Iran's oil supply
Iran tries to take over oil
American's don't agree with British on oil and want to support Mosaddegh
understood these complications, he "oiled the wheels of chaos"
wanted to reduce foreign influence
not a brutal, military autocrat
a liberal politician of an earlier era
Americans worry that he will become a pawn of Communists
Americans and British overthrow Mosaddegh and put back in the old ruling family in the person of the Shah of Iran living in exile in Rome
Iran then became a member of the anti-Communist confederation for awhile
Egypt was trying to regain control of the Suez canal and Iran was trying to regain control of their oil
Europe and Japan
reborn in post-war years
1950s-60s looked back on with nostalgia
part of what is creating this boom is an alphabet soup of organizations
General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade
lowered trade barriers
Economic Cooperation Administration
organization that distributed the aid that required the European countries to work together
European Payments Union
coordinating financial system
a system for martial aid
western Europe is becoming an economic entity
European Coal and Steel Community
coal and steel were seen as a sign of national power
"SCAPanese" model
Supreme Command of the Allied Powers
the allied occupation authority in occupied Japan
Japanese foreign minister Yoshida Shigeru
Japan's increasing economic with offshore Asia
with United States as a critical market for exports
Japan passed over Russia's GDP and approached high income status
South Korea
takes longer to recover, was very war ravaged from Korean War
much foreign aid from the United States
1953 Stalin died
North Koreans and Chinese backers decided to sign an armistice agreement, not a peace treaty, but a suspension of hostilities
created a demilitarized zone
growth of consensus politics
big government
big unions
a sense that we can't and won't go back to the politics of the extremes
even unsatisfactory compromises seemed more appealing than the alternatives
1954 war between the French and the Viet Minh
conference in Geneva
French would leave and Vietnam would hold elections
French left but Vietnam never held elections
instead, two states are created
The New Communists
in Western Europe Communism was still a powerful movement
long-time followers
became a community of outsiders in their countries
Tito in Yugoslavia
authoritarian state capitalism
there was a danger that Stalin would invade Yugoslavia or try to get Tito out of the way
but Stalin dies and Tito survives
Yugoslavia was a mix between communism and democratic socialism
Soviet Union
great land development projects
sharing of technical expertise with China
warm period in 1950s in China
old Communists wondered if Khrushchev and the new communists were still committed to the global cause of communism and the overthrown of capitalist, reactionaries and imperialists
a blend of contradictions
impulsive, earthy, crude at times, from humble beginnings
no experience of world travel
much experience in upper levels of Communist party
survived the purges
high hopes for Soviet Union in economic progress
contrasted with Mao Zedong
Mao says Soviets need to share their nuclear bomb
Khrushchev uneasy about this
1956: crisis year
20th CPSU: Communist Party of the Soviet Union
The Secret Speech
long speech recounting the crimes of Stalin
Mao's reaction to this speech: gave speech of his own: Stalin was 70% good and 30% bad
Mao decides to embark on own path, China can move forward in real communism
in Hungary and Poland communists try to embark on their own paths, but are squelched
1957: Khrushchev moves against his own dissenters, but they are exiled, not shot
1956/1957 change in world communism
challenged from within
but Khrushchev and Mao became competitors in extremist communism and a turning point in world communism was lost