Rebirth: A Political History of Europe since World War II

By Cyril E. Black; Robert D. English et al. | Go to book overview

Some observers believed that the United States, its resolve weakened by the resistance to its involvement in Vietnam that had arisen in previous years both at home and abroad, had abandoned the peoples of Eastern Europe. Yet the concessions granted by the Soviets in Basket III proved to have more significance than was thought at the time. They would become a rallying point for Eastern European reformers, who demanded that the USSR and other satellite governments adhere to these human rights provisions, which were so contrary to their practices.

In 1975 the work of the CSCE was not considered a major achievement. Rather, it was thought to symbolize the manner in which the two armed blocs had gradually eased into an acceptance of the status quo. Like the arms talks, it signified not an end to the Cold War but informal recognition of certain ground rules and limitations. These did not preclude the possibility of eventual victory for either side but did mean to ensure avoidance of nuclear battle. The Helsinki accords, then, epitomized and codified a static European order. Within that order, the European nations might make their own small adjustments, but none was expected to act so independently as to upset the European equilibrium.

As for the expression of views in Europe, the notion in the East was well quashed by the Brezhnev Doctrine, though carefully calibrated statements of autonomy did occasionally drift forth from Albania, Yugoslavia, and Romania. In the West, the Council of Europe, the European Council, EFTA, and the European Economic Community all became vehicles for the expression of European political and economic aspirations. But the two opposing military alliances continued their standoff. The division of Germany remained as a symbol both of the Cold War and of the acceptance as permanent of conditions that initially had been seen as uncomfortable and temporary.


Notes
1
Quoted in G. E Kennan, Memoirs: 1950-1963 ( 1972), p. 253.

Suggested Readings

Arbatov, G. A., and W. Oltmann, The Soviet Viewpoint ( 1981).

Deibel, T. L., and J. L. Gaddis (eds.), Containment: Concept and Policy ( 1986).

Doltrop, A., Politics and the European Community, 2d ed. ( 1986).

Gaddis, J. L., Strategies of Containment ( 1982).

-142-

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Rebirth: A Political History of Europe since World War II
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Maps xi
  • Preface xiii
  • Preface to the Second Edition xvii
  • PART ONE - Historical Background 1
  • Chapter One - Europe Triumphant: 1300-1900 3
  • Contents 3
  • Notes 25
  • Suggested Readings 25
  • Chapter Two - Europe in Crisis: 1900-1945 28
  • Contents 28
  • Notes 53
  • Suggested Readings 53
  • PART TWO - The International Scene 55
  • Chapter Three - Europe Divided: 1945-1955 57
  • Contents 57
  • Notes 103
  • Suggested Readings 103
  • Chapter Four - East-West Equilibrium: 1955-1975 105
  • Contents 105
  • Notes 142
  • Suggested Readings 142
  • Chapter Five - A New Europe Emerges 144
  • Contents 144
  • Suggested Readings 197
  • PART THREE - The Nation-States 199
  • Chapter Six - Germany: West and East 201
  • Contents 201
  • Notes 250
  • Suggested Readings 250
  • Chapter Seven - The Soviet Union 252
  • Contents 252
  • Notes 300
  • Suggested Readings 300
  • Chapter Eight - Eastern Europe 303
  • Contents 303
  • Suggested Readings 352
  • Chapter Nine - The United Kingdom 356
  • Contents 356
  • Notes 409
  • Suggested Readings 409
  • Chapter Ten - France 411
  • Contents 411
  • Notes 467
  • Suggested Readings 468
  • Chapter Eleven - Italy and the Vatican 470
  • Contents 470
  • Notes 512
  • Suggested Readings 513
  • Chapter Twelve - The Small States of Western and Northern Europe 514
  • Contents 514
  • Notes 565
  • Suggested Readings 565
  • Chapter Thirteen - The Iberian and Aegean States 569
  • Contents 569
  • Notes 610
  • Suggested Readings 610
  • PART FOUR - Conclusion 613
  • Chapter Fourteen - A New Europe 615
  • Contents 615
  • Suggested Readings 643
  • Chronotogy 647
  • Index 685
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