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The Cold War: Important People
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Joseph Stalin (1879-1953)
Real Name (Joseph Vissarionovich Djugashvili)
After a military career he lead the October revolution by Lenins side. The name Stalin means Man of Steel and was taken to give him a more frightening appearance. He began to work high up in the Communist party and after some dirty tricks he became leader after Lenins death in 1924. He collectivised farming and heavy industries (1936-1938). He formed a non-attack pact with Hitler under WWII wich Hitler broke. At this point East-West relations were not very strained but after the USSR gained control of most of Eastern Europe the war issues increased between the U.S. and U.S.S.R. He is remembered as a tyrant, especially after the massive suffering that followed the forced collectivising in the 1930’s. Krutzhev made mild statements renouncing Stalins regime in 1956.
Nikita Sergejevitsj Krutzhev (1894-1971)
Educated metalworker. Had a long political career before he became leader after Stalin. He was first secretary in Moscow 1935-38 and member of the police council. Prime Minister of both Ukraine and Russia in different periods. He became first secretary of the communist party in 1958. He had a very harsh foreign policy that culminated in the Cuba crisis in 1962. In 1964 the party removed him from his position. He was especially criticized for his poor agricultural policy and bad relations to China.
Mikhail Sergejevitsj Gorbachov (1931- )
Member of the Communist party from 1952. Became first secretary of the Stavropol area in 1970. Member of the police bureau from 1980. Became general secretary in 1985 and president of the Soviet Union in 1988. He differenced a lot from his predecessors and had a more open policy. In 1988 he imposed Glasnost, a reform that made formerly forbidden and taboo subjects open for debate. Under the name perestroika a great number of reforms were introduced in the Soviet Union. It made the union freer and in the end dissolved the Soviet Union as it was made somewhat democratic (Todays prime minister of Russia is still hostile towards democracy). He signed treaties with George Bush and began a disarmament of both Soviet and The US. He received the Nobel Peace Price in 1990 for his role in ending the Cold War.
Franklin Delano Roosevelt (1882-1945)
Democrat and president of the United States during WWII. Not too important for the Cold War as he died in 1945, the year you can say the Cold War begun. Although he had some social reforms and gave the State more control than ever he was a proclaimed anti-communist.
Harry Shippe Truman (1884-1972)
Although he was vice president for Roosevelt for
John Fitzgerald Kennedy (1917-1963)
Richard Milhous Nixon (1913-1994)
George Herbert Walker Bush Sr. (1924- )
Other Important Leaders:
Fidel Castro (1927- )
After several years of guerrilla he and his accomplices overthrew the Batista regime and has since that been the leader of Cuba. He was Prime minister from 1959-1976; first secretary of the Communist Party from 1956; from 1976 he was also the head of state. Attempted assassinated several times by the U.S. In connection with the cold war he is most well known for his role in the Cuba crisis involving the USSR and the U.S.
A.k.A. Josip Broz
Mao Zedong (1893-1976)
He was one of the founders of the Chinese Communist Party in 1926. He became leader of the Party in 1935. In opposition to other communist leaders he meant that the farmers should be the driving force of the Chinese Recolution. In 1937 he made the initiative to begin a liberation war against Japan. Both before and after this he led the Communists in a civil war. The Communist seized power in 1949. He collectivised farming and what there were of industry. China was in a conflict with the USSR from 1950 up to the brake in 1963. Tried to force industrialization in 1958 but failed bitterly leaving the country in dire straits. After this Mao resigned as state leader but continued as party foreman. In 1966 he began the Cultural Revolution. Unquestioned leader of the party to his death in 1976.
Related documents:The Cold War: Conflicts
The Cold War: Communism vs. Capitalism
The Cold War: Timeline
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