Describe the type of governments that Churchill believes are governing Eastern Europe.

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jameadows eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Churchill gave his famous "Iron Curtain Speech" at Westminster College in Fulton, Missouri, on March 5, 1946. In the speech, he stated that "from Stettin in the Baltic to Trieste in the Adriatic, an iron curtain has descended across the continent.” The phrase "iron curtain" immediately became a popular metaphor for the existence of the Soviet satellite states in Eastern and Central Europe. In using this metaphor, Churchill expressed the idea that the governments of these states had an invisible but very real barrier that sealed them off from the rest of the world. This situation would become a reality in 1961, when the Berlin Wall was constructed to seal off East Berlin (which was aligned with the Soviets) from West Berlin, which was part of West Germany (and therefore part of the open Western world). Churchill saw the governments in Eastern Europe as in direct opposition to the freedoms offered by the West and stated the following in his speech:

"And here I speak particularly of the myriad cottage or apartment homes where the wage-earner strives amid the accidents and difficulties of life to guard his wife and children from privation and bring the family up in the fear of the Lord, or upon ethical conceptions which often play their potent part."

He believed that the governments of Eastern Europe posed a danger to the people of the West, and his inclusion of "the fear of the Lord" implied that the governments of Eastern Europe were not only threatening the peace and security of the West after World War II but that they were also ungodly. That is, he implied that the governments of Eastern Europe threatened the religious faith of the West. Given the strong language that he used, many historians believe that Churchill's speech was the opening statement in the Cold War.

rrteacher eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The answer to this question can be found in Winston Churchill's famous "iron curtain" speech, delivered in Fulton, Missouri, in 1946. By asserting that an "iron curtain" had fallen over Eastern Europe "from Stettin in the Baltic to Trieste in the Adriatic," Churchill was saying that communism was threatening to spread throughout the continent. The Soviet Union, which occupied almost all of Eastern Europe in the aftermath of Germany's destruction in World War II, sought, under the leadership of Joseph Stalin, to establish friendly governments on its western border. This meant, to Stalin, setting up governments patterned after his own, which was a totalitarian communist state. First with Poland, and later in other nations including Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria, and East Germany, Stalin oversaw the creation of what have been described as "satellite" states in these countries. (Yugoslavia developed a communist state independently of Soviet influence, as did Albania.) Churchill's speech described this development as Soviet aggression, which in his mind posed a threat comparable to that of Nazi Germany ten years earlier.