Please provide a brief summary of Gen. Francisco Franco, Mohandas K. Gandhi, Iron curtain, United nations, and Patrice Lumumba.

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pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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The people and things that you mention here are very different and have little or nothing in common.  Let us look at each in turn.

Francisco Franco was the fascist dictator of Spain.  He ruled that country from 1939 until his death in 1975.  Franco came to power through the Spanish Civil War.  He was helped greatly by the German Nazis who approved of his fascist politics.  Although Spain was friendly with Germany, it never entered WWII, and instead remained officially neutral.  During his rule, Franco suppressed dissent in the country and did not allow democracy to grow.

Mohandas K. Gandhi is better known as Mahatma (a title) Gandhi.  He was a leader of the push for the rights of Indians to self-rule and for the end of the caste system in India.  Gandhi got his start in political life in South Africa where he worked against the racial laws that denied Indians their rights.  After moving back to India he became a leader in the independence movement.  He mixed that with efforts to promote better Hindu-Muslim relations and to end the practice of untouchability.  Gandhi was assassinated at age 78 in 1948.

The term “Iron Curtain” referred to the boundary between the democratic West and the communist East in the Cold War.  It was said that there was an “iron curtain” between East and West that prevented free movement of people from one to the other.  The term was also used to indicate that the people behind the Iron Curtain were, in essence, prisoners.

The United Nations was formed after WWII as a replacement of the failed League of Nations.  It was meant as a forum in which countries could solve their problems peacefully rather than going to war.  It was created in hopes of preventing future conflicts between countries from expanding into full-fledged wars.

Patrice Lumumba was an African freedom fighter and leader.  He was born in 1925 and killed in 1961.  He became famous as a leader in the effort to free the Congo from Belgian colonial rule. After the Congo won its independence, Lumumba became the country’s first democratically elected leader.  He was soon overthrown in a coup that was backed by the Belgian government.  He was executed by the coup leaders and there is speculation that his ouster was backed by Western powers because of his leftist leanings.

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