Winston Churchill, Architect of Peace: A Study of Statesmanship and the Cold War

By Steven James Lambakis | Go to book overview

Chapter 4
Churchill at Fulton: The Precarious Peace

Winston Churchill delivered perhaps his most famous speech at Westminster College in Fulton, Missouri on March 5, 1946 at the invitation of President Harry Truman. The speech, entitled "The Sinews of Peace,"1 shall be examined fully both because it is commonly misunderstood and because the speech presented the basic principles followed by Churchill during his postwar career.

It is commonly understood in the West that Churchill's speech at Fulton marked, some might say even encouraged, the onset of the Cold War. 2 To the countries in the East, Churchill's speech was just another sign of capitalist adventurism. The Soviet leaders historically have pointed to this "slanderous" speech as the point of no return in East-West relations. Loyal Communists thought of this speech as an "ideological manifesto" whose author was bent on menacing and exploiting the peoples of the world through British and American imperialism.

In that speech, which was punctuated with vitriolic slander against the Soviet Union and the People's Democracies, Churchill called for a crusade against socialism and charted a programme for US-British world supremacy "not only for our time but for a century to come." Churchill's Fulton speech was the summons for the creation of an Anglo-US military and political bloc directed against the Soviet Union and other socialist countries. 3

In fact, a chill in the relationship between East and West was noticed by some even before Churchill delivered his "iron curtain" speech. Soviet leader Stalin delivered a speech one month before that stressed the hopelessness of any constructive relationship between East and West. No peaceful international order was possible. 4 Churchill's oration reflected these recent political developments.

Nevertheless, several western luminaries denounced Churchill in rather harsh terms for riding roughshod over the delicate structure of peace and for danger-

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Winston Churchill, Architect of Peace: A Study of Statesmanship and the Cold War
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Foreword ix
  • Preface xi
  • Note xii
  • Chapter 1 Introduction 1
  • Chapter 2 Some Elements of Churchill's Political Understanding 7
  • Notes 26
  • Chapter 3 the Grand Alliance: Grand Forces, Great Men, and a Grave New World 33
  • Notes 75
  • Chapter 4 Churchill at Fulton: the Precarious Peace 85
  • Notes 104
  • Chapter 5 Churchill's Postwar Statesmanship Part I: Force and International Politics 109
  • Notes 125
  • Chapter 6 Churchill's Postwar Statesmanship Part Ii: Negotiation and Persuasion 131
  • Chapter 7 Conclusion 163
  • Notes 172
  • Bibliography 175
  • Index 181
  • About the Author 187
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