II.A. The world is divided between two blocks

II. The cold war

Cold War: A latent conflict (not fully manifested), marked by a bipolar rivalry and confrontation without leading to a general war.the Cold War is less a period of tension than an ideological and political confrontation between two superpowers: the American camp, led by the United States, on the one hand, and the USSR on the other.

Boundaries: generally, from 1945 (end of the 2nd World War) to 1989 (fall of the Berlin Wall) or 1991 (break-up of the USSR)

A. The world is divided between two blocs

→ Nuclear weapons as a dividing factor

—the USA has nuclear weapons, and soon the USSR
—the states of the world want to protect themselves from it, and consequently join one of the two camps.
—They also conclude many alliance treaties, designated by the term pactomania

→ The USSR forms a bloc in the East, in reaction to the Western countries form a bloc in the West

—Joseph Stalin rallies all the people’s democracies (communist dictatorial regimes around the USSR) to his cause (Prague Coup in 1948)
—The People’s Democracies and the USSR excludes all opposing political parties
—Joseph Stalin organized a blockade around West Berlin: all accesses were forbidden. The USA retaliated by setting up an air bridge.

→ The Korean War definitively confirmed the Cold War

-In June 1950, North Korea, supported by Joseph Stalin and Mao, attacked South Korea
—The United States sent an expeditionary force to South Korea, with the approval of the UN
—General MacArthur wanted to use atomic weapons in Manchuria, but was disavowed by Truman, who feared a generalization of the conflict
—The front stabilized at the 38th parallel. The armistice was signed in July 1953

→ Focus on the Berlin blockade.

1. The situation in Germany and Berlin in 1949

The victors divide Germany:
In East Germany: USSR
In West Germany: Americans in the South, Great Britain in the North, French (a little later) control the South-West

Berlin was divided into two sectors, East and West, by four powers:

  • East Berlin: USSR
  • West Berlin: the three other powers (the USA, the UK, France)

2. Launch of the Berlin blockade

The three West German powers wanted to have the same currency, the Deutsche Mark.
Joseph Stalin wanted to integrate Berlin completely into East Germany. To achieve this, the USSR, applying the Zhdanov Doctrine, prohibited all road, rail and canal transport between West Berlin and West Germany in 1948, on June 24.

→ 20 contemporary history worksheets (1945–2017)

18 thoughts on “II.A. The world is divided between two blocks

  1. @Unknown: Hello, to answer your question: the conflict stages of this one in general! Everything needs to be reviewed, Good luck, The Academics in Politics team.

  2. Hello, For the common competition, do we have to study concerning the Cold War only the example of Berlin or the stages of the conflict of this one in general? Thanks in advance !

  3. Your contact page does not seem to be working, how can I contact you? Clemency

  4. Tensions and conflicts in Palestine since 1917. INTRO Palestine cradle of two great monotheistic religions, Islam being born in Arabia. This state is mainly claimed by Muslims and Jews and this position has been the question of war and this since the dawn of time. For Théodore Herzl 19th century it would be necessary the creation of a State where all the Jews of the world could live together. This state exists today it is Israel State created in Palestine. Indeed since the end of the First World War the United Kingdom authorized Jewish immigration to Palestine and in 1917 with the declaration of Balfour the international community decided to create a national home for the Jews. However, Palestine today is a place of tension and conflict. We can then identify the following problem: how can we understand the evolution of Palestine through tensions and conflicts since 1917? For this we will see the evolution of this divided state from 1917 to 1993 and then we will see from 1993 to the present day.

  5. @Pierre439: Hello @Pierre439, it is not sure that we can comment on your work on Palestine since 1917. However, you can post it as a comment here, which will allow readers to say what they think, including the positives and negatives. An article dedicated to the state of countries in the Middle East, with a chronology, can help you and provide you with resources on the same subject. Good day, The Academics in Politics team

  6. Hello, I would like to send you a copy of my DS on tensions and conflicts in Palestine since 1917, how should I do?

  7. @bairlais: Hello @bairlais, “The German question in international relations from 1945 to 1990.” Is not this the question of history at Sciences Po Grenoble 2014? The definitions and limits are well delimited, it is a very good point. They should allow you to improve your problem which is a little general in the wording, even if the idea is very good. (To help you make your question that pinpoints the problem more relevant to the question.)Do not hesitate to use the terms of the question in your question that pinpoints the problem, to make your question that pinpoints the problem more adapted to the question, more precise. So taking your idea, and the limits you have delimited: How did Germany, divided after the fall of the Third Reich in 1945 and until its reunification in 1990, crystallize an issue of international relations representative of the Cold War conflict? The I. II., III. is excellent: the parts are well delimited, balanced, and respond well to the problem of Germany and international relations, in place of the Cold War. The knowledge is also present and provided, it is a great job! If anyone has any comments/other ideas for the plan, please help @bairlais good day, The Academics in Politics team.

  8. Good evening, I worked on the question proposed by my history teacher The German question in international relations from 1945 to 1990. I would like if possible to have opinions/criticisms on it. [def° bounds/keywords] 1945: Germany of the Third Reich defeated, occupied and divided into 4 1990: Reunification of Germany (which had been divided into 2 since 49) Coincides with Cold War bounds opposing bloc us to bloc sov(47 to 91), the highlight of the period in particular in international relations [pbmatique] 1) => To what extent is Germany revealing the international context of the Cold War? OR 2) => To what extent does the German question fit into the context of the Cold War? I) Germany, a post-war issue causing the division of the world in 2 and the rise of tensions between the 2 Great (45 to 53) *) Important issue in 1945 Liberation Germany by Allies and Red Army: issue prestige, eco (war reparations by factory transfers for the USSR), territorial (loss of 1/4 German territory to compensate for the expansion of the USSR in Poland). Yalta Conference: decision divided into 4 (final agreement in Potsdam) *) Role in formation of blocks and rising tensions Western desire to unite their zone in 48 (Deutsche Mark creation)> Sov response with blockade but airlift (= 1st Berlin crisis)> failure Joseph Stalin 49, defining GF principle: accepting the balance of power without provoking armed conflict. Definitive integration into blocks (creation in 49 FRG and RDA; RDA led by PC and d’s CAEM 49, FRG in NATO 55 Marshall plan 48) dividing into 2 Berlin/Germany/Europe/the world II) Germany as a symbol of the thaw and the stabilization of relations between the 2 blocks (53 to mid 70s) *) Illustration of peaceful coexistence Crack of the blocs: in the East with workers’ revolt East Berlin (53 after Joseph Stalin’s death) and in the West with the contestation of the remilitarization of Germany by France (resulting in the failure of CED 54 and therefore divided because the USA and Western Europe were in favor); Maintain Eco’s competition with different systems (ex: opposition between SPD after Godesberg and said in power); Principle of non-intervention in the opposing bloc: 2nd Berlin crisis (Construction Wall 61), response Us only by speech (JFK 63) as in 53. *) Ostpolitik symbolizes relaxation (from 69) FRG recognizes border FRG with Poland, more flexible travel authorization, mutual recognition 72 and entry to the UN 73. But as in the rest of the world relaxation not absent from tensions (ex: material support RDA to Red Army Fraction and to Mozambique/Angola guerrillas) III) Germany as a place of new tensions and as a symbol of the defeat of the Eastern bloc (mid 70s to 90) *) The euromissile crisis sums up rising tensions (Fresh War) euromissile crisis sums up rising tensions: to Sov offensive (installation in the GDR SS-20 missiles in 77) responds to the US counter-offensive (installation in the FRG of Pershing missiles) *) Illustration of the collapse of the socialist bloc Sgt in the USSR on: ext pol> drop in tensions (withdrawal of missiles in the GDR and RFA); and on pols towards pop democracies leading to emigration, GDR demonstrations and fall of the Berlin Wall (89), elections in the GDR (90)> said loses power in Parliament, which decides on integration into the FRG (= unification) on 3 October 90.

  9. Hello, I just wanted to thank you and congratulate you for all the work you do, I think that without your site I would have been very annoyed to study such a vast program. THANK YOU!

  10. @Maxime: Hello Maxime, we are doing the best we can to offer you these story sheets as soon as possible while guaranteeing their quality. The sheets for themes VI and VII will be published between the end of the 2013 joint competition and the start of the new Sciences Po 2014 season. New sheets will be available tomorrow, which can be found through regular consultation of the Integrate Sciences Po, Contemporary History section in particular. Thanks for the follow-up and support,

  11. Good evening to the whole team, I would like to know if any history sheets on the VII are coming? Thank you Best regards

  12. @Loïc: Thank you, Loïc; indeed you are right, thank you for the contribution!

  13. Good evening, In the summary of the Blockade of Berlin, you speak of the 3 powers of East Germany? Is it not rather West Germany which has 3 powers (USA, France and England)? I believe there is a typo here Regards

  14. @kira: Hello Kira, we answered you by email with advice on your two subjects, according to the requirements of Sciences Po, it is a good step that we encourage Good day,

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