The Eastern bloc (also called Eastern European country or simply Is , but also communist world , Communist bloc or Soviet Bloc ) is the name which was given, after the Second world war, with the whole of country whose modes claimed Socialisme and having been under the more or less direct control of the Soviet Union, members of the Warsaw Pact and the Comecon.
During the Cold war, and after the seizure of power by the Communists in various countries of the world and especially in China, the practice was usually taken in “Occident” (“capitalist countries”, etc) to thus designate the enemies of the “Free world”, in spite of the fact that this unit did not constitute really a block (because of the internal divergences: Yugoslavia of Tito, Popular republic of China, etc).
It is of a denomination of primarily diplomatic and military use, or about communication even Propagande intern in the Occident. Consequently, this denomination embarrasses little subtleties of interior policy to these countries, beyond the “communist” label.
List Member States of the Eastern blocThe Member States of the Eastern bloc were:
- Union of the Soviet socialist republics;
- German Democratic republic;
- Popular republic of Poland;
- Albania (until the beginning of the Years 1960, because starting from this date it joined the China Maoist);
HistoryAfter the war, the modes known as communist know a strong projection in the world, with the Soviet support.
In EuropeThe shortly after the Second world war, the Soviet Union benefits from its military successes to export its mode, in accordance with the ideas initially developed by Lénine (progression of Communism, not by a world revolution, but country by country, starting from the USSR regarded as a fortified town). As of this time, Tito remains Master at his place and with the variation, since it overcame Germany without the assistance of the Russian troops.
During the agreements of Yalta and Potsdam, no zone of influence is officially recognized with any involved part. On the contrary, the behavior of free elections is envisaged in the released Europe. But Stalin wants to constitute a Glacis in Eastern Europe. He supports the Communists of salami and Eastern Europe who apply the strategy of the Trojan horse (coring of the administration, elimination of the adversaries one by one by conducting campaigns of provocation or slandering, electoral fraud).
Gradually, Stalin increases his hegemony. The Crise of Berlin (1948-1949) causes the closing of the borders and force the countries of ballast to be looked at exclusively towards the USSR. By reaction to the Marshall plan and the creation of NATO (1949), it sets up the Comecon then the Warsaw Pact. The Russian is systematically taught, and becomes second language of the block. The convertible Rouble becomes currency of exchange. The forces of the Warsaw Pact crush the Insurrection of Budapest (Hungary, 1956) and the Printemps of Prague (Czechoslovakia, 1968), of the leader more flexible replace those which made watch of too much independence.
In AsiaOctober 1st 1949, Mao proclaims the Popular republic of China. The Nationalist Tchang Kaï-chek, supported by the Westerners, takes refuge on the island of Taiwan (recognized like only the China with UNO until in 1971, regarded today still as a renegade province by the RPC).
China of Mao then regards the USSR as a model to be followed. It starts reforms with the assistance of Soviet advisers (planning…). Thereafter, it occurs a rupture between China and the USSR. For Mao " China is too heavy to be a simple satellite of URSS". Mao reproaches Nikita Khrouchtchev the destalinization (it fears repercussions in its country) and the doctrines of the " Peaceful coexistence ". The judgment by Soviet of the " Large Step ahead " (1958 - 1960) mark the rupture enters the two countries. In 1960, Moscow stops any assistance to Beijing. Zhou Enlai makes the crisis public in 1961 at the time of XXIIe congress of PCUS. From now on there does not exist any more one “communist” block but various zones of influence. The international communist Mouvement has from now on several poles: Belgrade with Tito, Moscow, and Beijing.
The North Korea joined the Eastern bloc as of 1948, under the command of Kim Il Sung. Consequently two independent republics are proclaimed: Stalinist North Korea, and the South Korea: a dictatorship under American influence, which becomes in the Années 1980 a democracy. Lastly, the USSR supports Ho Chi Minh in her fight for the independence of the French Indo-China.
See also: Council for Mutual Economic Aid
See also: Warsaw Pact
In addition to the Soviet block and the countries under Chinese influence, the Eastern bloc included/understood the signatories of the Warsaw Pact created in 1955 (Albania, Bulgaria, Romania, GDR, Hungary, Poland, Czechoslovakia), as well as the Afghanistan, the Kampuchea, the North Korea, Cuba, the Vietnam.
This military alliance was concurrent NATO.
CollapseAs a first secretary of the Party, Mikhaïl Gorbatchev organizes reforms (Glasnost and Perestroïka), these last involve the acceleration of the collapse of the Eastern bloc and finish with the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989 causing the end of the Cold war. The old countries of Eastern Europe turn quickly to the market economy and the parliamentary Démocratie.
In 1991, the creation of the Communauté of the independent States (CEI) dissociates officially Russia of its satellite countries. The USSR does not exist any more.
At the beginning of the 21e century, the only countries in the world still claiming Communism are the Popular republic of China, Cuba, the North Korea, the Vietnam and the Laos. Still should it be noted that China and Vietnam made a broad place with the market economy.
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