According to Encyclopedia Britannica, the Iron Curtain separated the Soviet Union and its eastern and central European allies from the West. The phrase "iron curtain" had been used since the 19th century as a metaphor, which gained widespread significance when used in a 1946 Winston Churchill speech.
The Iron Curtain was, unlike the Berlin Wall, not as much a physical barrier as an ideological, military and political barrier. The Soviet Union erected the barrier after World War II in order to prevent open contact with Western, non-communist influences. The communists abandoned one-party rule in Eastern Europe in 1989-90, dramatically reducing, if not entirely erasing, the significance of the Iron Curtain.Learn More
According to the Encyclopædia Britannica, the Iron Curtain ceased to exist between 1989 and 1990. The fall of the Iron Curtain is linked closely to the collapse of the Berlin Wall.Full Answer >
Although pioneers and mountain men had been steadily moving westward for at least two decades prior to 1849, the discovery of gold at the construction site of a mill in California triggered the first great boom in the West. Within a year of the discovery, the population of white settlers in California had risen from 20,000 to 100,000.Full Answer >
The Berlin blockade was related to the Cold War because it was a non-military struggle between the Soviet Union and the United States, Great Britain and France for control of West Berlin. The successful airlift of supplies into West Berlin was a significant propaganda victory for the Western Allies.Full Answer >
The purpose of the Warsaw Pact was to provide a counterbalance to NATO and increase the international negotiating power of the Soviet Union. The proximate cause of the Warsaw Pact was the May 9, 1955 decision of the governments of the United States and Western Europe to include West Germany in NATO. The Warsaw Pact lasted from May 14, 1955 to July 1, 1991.Full Answer >