18: Post-war central and eastern Europe (1945-2000)

This section explores developments in central and eastern Europe from 1945 to 2000. It covers the transition from wartime occupation to 'liberation' and then to Soviet dominance in all states other than Yugoslavia. It looks at the nature and extent of resistance to communist rule in these years, why Soviet influence finally ended in 1989 and political, economic and social developments in this region since 1989.

Please note that videos for this topic are included within the ATL pages. There is also no separate 'Extra Resources' page as extra resources over lap with those found under the Paper 2 Cold War section, Paper 3 Topic 16 on the Soviet Union and Paper 1, PS5 on Kosovo.

Specifically this topic covers:

  • Soviet actions in Europe 1945 to 1955; its establishment of political, military and economic domination in the region; why Yugoslavia was able to challenge Soviet control
  • Challenges to Soviet control in East Germany, Poland, Hungary and Czechoslovakia 1945 to 1968
  • Acceptance of and opposition to Soviet control, 1968 to 1989 in Bulgaria, Czechoslovakia, East Germany, Hungary, Poland and the reasons of the collapse of Soviet control in Eastern Europe in 1989
  • The war in Yugoslavia
  • A case study of one central or eastern European country, 1989 to 2000

1. Soviet motives for taking control in central and eastern Europe 1945 - 1955

Central and eastern European states faced political and economic challenges in the interwar years and were vulnerable to Soviet influence following the Second World War. This vulnerability was exploited...

2. The extent and nature of Soviet control

In the years 1945 to 1950, Stalin established political control over the eastern and central European states; he also tied them economically to the USSR and, via the Warsaw Pact, secured military control....

3. Support and cooperation, repression and protest (1945 - 1968)

The years 1945 to 1968 saw several states within Eastern Europe attempt to protest against and/or to reform the governments which ruled them. Although none of these protests were successful in fundamentally...

4. Repression and revolution in central and eastern Europe, 1968 to 1989

From 1968 until 1980, the states of eastern and central Europe accepted their communist governments and Soviet control; there were no more rebellions. However, resistance and resentment did not go away....

5. Balkan conflicts in the 1990s: Part 1

Between 1991 and 2001 there were a series of wars in Yugoslavia that led to the break-up of the former communist state. As the former constituent republics declared independence from the federal state,...

6. Balkan conflicts in the 1990s: Part 2

In 1992, Bosnia-Herzegovina also declared independence from Serbia thus beginning the bloodiest of the Balkan conflicts. This page examines the reasons, course and consequence of this war. It also examines...

Post war central and eastern Europe: essay planning

This page contains a variety of essay planning exercises and essay frames for this topic.Task One: Review In small groups review the material covered in this topic and copy out or print off and complete...

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