Events Calendar
Apr 27
10:00 - 13:00
The Cold War: an historical perspective
Short courses at Medway

Study Morning: 27 April 2019 

Saturday: 10:00 –13:00

Location: Medway Campus

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This Study Morning will examine the origins, course and end of the Cold War from 1917 through to 1989 when the Berlin Wall came down: from the hostility between Soviet Russia and the West; the post-1945 emergence of communist and anti-communist blocs enmeshed in crises such as Korea, Berlin and Cuba; the persistence of an arms race (especially nuclear rivalry), and, intensive espionage activity.

We will examine how crisis followed crisis, underpinned by a nuclear arms race and the deployment of spies by both sides. Two military alliances faced each other: NATO and the Warsaw Pact. Hostility increased at times of crisis: the Korean War (1950-53), the construction of the Berlin Wall (1961) and the Cuba Missile Crisis of 1962. Soviet intervention in Hungary (1956), Czechoslovakia (1968) and Afghanistan (1979) raised tension, as did US action in Vietnam from 1964 to 1975. The nuclear stand-off intensified with the deployment of a new generation of missiles and increased espionage, occasionally culminating in spy swaps. The Middle East was an almost continuous source of international conflict.

We will review Gorbachev's accession to power in 1985 and Republican regimes in the USA under Reagan and George Bush (Senior) which provided opportunities for détente, dialogue and the mutual reduction of atomic weapons. At the Malta summit in 1989 both sides hailed the end of the Cold War.In conclusion, we will consider why the Cold War came to an end, and who bears most responsibility for this outcome.

Additional information

This study morning is suitable for those with no prior knowledge of the subject.

About the tutor

Edward Towne graduated in European Studies from the University of East Anglia, and later achieved a PGCE from Cambridge, an MA in Early Modern English History from the University of London, and MSt in Twentieth Century British History from the University of Oxford. His professional career was spent teaching History in state and independent Secondary Schools, finally as Head of the History Department. Currently, Edward lectures independently to adults in a variety of organisations, and acts as a reviewer and tour leader on historical topics.


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