In early March, 1946, Winston Churchill was traveling in the United States with President Harry S. Truman.
Churchill had been British Prime Minister during the recent world war (1939-1945) during the closing years
of which conflict Britain had been involved in a broad alliance with the United States and Russia.
Iron Curtain Speech
After the end of the war some western statesmen had become concerned at the ways in which Soviet Russian influence was being imposed in many areas of eastern Europe. A speech delivered by Churchill at Westminster College in Fulton, Missouri, on March 5 1946 has been seen by many as being a defining event in the process by which the former alliance now adjusted away from memories of war time co-operation and towards a period of ideological and political - Cold War.
A key section of this speech as delivered by Winston Churchill reads:-
From Stettin in the Baltic to Trieste in the Adriatic, an iron curtain has descended across the Continent. Behind that line lie all the capitals of the ancient states of Central and Eastern Europe. Warsaw, Berlin, Prague, Vienna, Budapest, Belgrade, Bucharest and Sofia, all these famous cities and the populations around them lie in what I must call the Soviet sphere, and all are subject in one form or another, not only to Soviet influence but to a very high and, in many cases, increasing measure of control from Moscow.
Popular European History pages
- 1 The European Revolution of 1848 begins
- A broad outline of the background to the onset of the turmoils and a consideration of some of the early events.
- 2 The French Revolution of 1848
- A particular focus on France - as an Austrian foreign minister said "When France sneezes Europe catches a cold".
- 3 The Revolution of 1848 in the German Lands and central Europe
- "Germany" had a movement for a single parliament in 1848 and many central European would-be "nations" attempted
to assert a distinct existence separate from the dynastic sovereignties they had been living under.
- 4 The "Italian" Revolution of 1848
- A "liberal" Papacy after 1846 helps allow the embers of an "Italian" national aspiration to rekindle across the Italian Peninsula.
- 5 The Monarchs recover power 1848-1849
- Some instances of social and political extremism allow previously pro-reform conservative elements to support the return of traditional authority. Louis Napoleon, (who later became the Emperor Napoleon III), attains to power in France offering social stability at home but ultimately follows policies productive of dramatic change in the wider European structure of states and their sovereignty.