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COURSERA: The Modern World, Part Two: Global History since 1910, W4.06 Postwar

W4.06 Postwar

Hi, welcome back. Make yourself comfortable, and let's talk about the way new nations were recreating themselves in the early postwar era, what the conflicts were about. Let's look at Europe first of all, to see what the situation was there. You can remember we talked about the way Germany was divided up into these different zones of military occupation. Again, no German Democratic Republic yet, no Federal Republic of Germany yet. These are just the different zones occupied by the different armies. If you looked over in Eastern Europe, the Soviet Union moved west, annexing these new republics into the Soviet Union, liquidating the Baltic Republics that had been created after World War I and that had been annexed in 1940, captured by the Germans, recaptured again. Poland used to occupy this area here. Now Poland's been moved west. All this area in brown used to be part of Germany. The Germans, mainly uprooted, have fled westward in the millions as refugees, from here and also from the German-speaking portions of the new Czechoslovak Republic. Soviet troops or allied communists parties are in power or playing a key role in all of these places. In Asia, look at the situation in China at the end of World War II. The Nationalist government holds these areas in white. The capital of Nationalist China had been Here, at Nanjing. But they had had to move their capital during the war all the way from here to here. Communist guerrilla fighters have some areas they're fighting in all through here. What happens then is, when the Japanese leave, see all this pink area, especially here in Manchuria, the Japanese troops move out as prisoners. Who fills the void? And the initial fighting, the initial struggle to fill that vacuum was especially acute in 45 and 46 here in Manchuria. Here's a standard map of the world any school child would've had in their book in 1948. Just to notice some areas of the world we haven't talked about recently, we can zoom in a little bit on Africa over here. And in 1948, you'd see still a lot of colonies here. France, Algeria, French West Africa, French Equatorial Africa, Belgian Congo, and so on. Portuguese Angola. Not much changed there -- yet. Over in South America, also not much changed from the countries that had established during the 1800s. These continents mainly staying out of World War II. But an incredibly dynamic area right here in Southeast Asia. Let's take a closer look at Southeast Asia. The Japanese had pushed the French out of Indochina, had pushed the British out of Burma and out of the Malay States and Singapore, their great base, here. They'd pushed the Dutch out of the Dutch East Indies and occupied the Philippines. As the Japanese, in turn, returned home as prisoners, a vacuum exists and there's a contest as to who will regain control. The French are trying to reclaim their position in French Indo-China. The Americans were ambivalent, the French find themselves soon locked into warfare against a Viet Minh resistance that's increasingly receiving some communist support. In Burma, more civil conflict, now between the British who wish to reclaim their position there and Burmese independence fighters. Similar problems are brewing in the Malay States. In the Dutch East Indies, an independence movement is contesting the Dutch efforts to regain control of their old colony. In the Philippines in 1946, the Americans grant independence to the new Republic of the Philippines, but they then face a guerrilla movement, trying to take away control, called the Huks, H-U-K, that eventually will also be intrigued by the communist example, too. So, Southeast Asia is all in turmoil, even as civil war is reigniting in China. Now let's take a look at what happened in India. You'll remember from past presentations that the British themselves have been deeply divided about what to do about India, especially since the beginning of the 1930s. The war had intensified all that and, finally, during the war, the British decided, especially to keep the Indians fighting on their side, that they would promise to give India self government when the war was over. The Indians then demanded the British make good on that promise. Complicated negotiations ensued. The same issues that had been there for 20 years: What should an Indian state look like? How do you reconcile the different divisions between princely rulers and democratic rulers? Muslims and Hindus? Finally, the British, in effect, threw up their hands and suddenly quit in 1947 and left the country pretty precipitously, resulting in the violent partition of the country that you see portrayed on this map, where heavily Muslim parts of India, in effect, created themselves as a new state called Pakistan with all kinds of exchanges of population, millions of lives lost, re-settlements of people on both sides of these lines. This great princely state retaining a degree of autonomy, Hyderabad, until it was finally annexed by the state of India in 1948, with continuing disagreements lingering on the borders of the new Indian state with China and over what should happen to the distant and lightly populated realm of Tibet. If we switch our focus now to the Near East, the postwar period was pretty turbulent there, too. This map just gives a sense of the scope of the British role in the Middle East: direct mandatory rule in places like Palestine and Trans-Jordan; a British military alliance and a kind of protectorate with the local rulers in Iraq and in Egypt; British military occupation in places like former Italian colonies of Libya, Eritrea, and Somalia. But a real focal point of attention in 1945-46 was: What should happen in Iran? Let's take a closer look at that one. In Iran, the Russians had occupied the northern part of the country. The British and Americans had occupied the southern half of the country during World War II. They were fearful that a government allied with the Nazis would take control here and cut off their ability to get supplies through Iran to the Soviet Union during the war. Well, when the war was over, the military forces of all sides had promised to leave. The British and American military forces were pulling out, with the British maintaining extremely valuable concessions to get the oil out of this part of Iran. The Russians, however, were slow to leave, they didn't want to pull their troops out, creating spheres of influence and groups of allied supporters up in the northern part of Iran and seeking oil concessions here, too. Finally, a sharp crisis between Russia and the United States led to demands that the Russians keep their promise and pull their troops out of Northern Iran, which, finally in 1946, the Russians agreed to do. But it was one of the other things that contributed to a sense of rising tensions between East and West. And that little story about Iran is a good introduction to the big question of: What are the origins of what we now call the Cold War, the struggle between anti-communists and communists? Now, as you've seen in this class, my argument is that's actually a much older struggle that's been going on for generations before the end of World War II. But commonly, historians tend to talk about the Cold War, as we know it today, arising after World War II, which is one part of this longer struggle. So you can have big ideas about the origins of the Cold War, the structural clash of these two systems, but I think it's useful to boil this down just to the dilemmas of people like you and me, just trying to solve particular problems that they're seeing on the ground, like what are we going to do about the situation in Iran? What are the options there? You've got a situation you're looking at, in Germany where we're trying to run this place together, in China, where the different sides we support are already embroiled in a civil war. What are our options for what to do about that? What are the solutions that we come up with? No one tried harder at sorting these things out in good faith than the American general, now made special envoy, George Marshall. Few figures had greater political prestige at the end of World War II than General Marshall did. [LAUGH] And he was soon given some of the most difficult tasks out there. First to try to sort out the problem in China, and second to try to sort out the problems with Germany. He first tried in China, in 1946. Here's Marshall meeting with the leaders of the two sides, the Nationalist representative on the left of your screen and on the right of your screen the representative of the Chinese Communists, Zhou Enlai. The Marshall situation was pretty tough. The Americans had a long association and sympathy with the Nationalist government in China. They're trying to help the Nationalist troops relocate and fill the vacuum left by the departing Japanese occupiers. And actually the Soviet government also had decent relations with the Nationalist government that it thought would probably keep power. But the Soviets were also divided helping their Communist friends try to get a firm foothold in Manchuria as well, a lot of tension there. Civil war clearly returning. Marshall then tries to see if the two sides will agree to share power somehow, in some combined government, tries to work on the terms of how they can share power together. He brings them together, he tries pretty hard in a reasonably good faith. And finally concludes it won't work. He ends up kind of blaming both sides. Neither side really wants to share power. Both sides see this as a zero sum game that only one of them can win. But Marshall also comes away, and this is important, with a pretty negative image of the Nationalist government and its prospects, a government that he increasingly views as corrupt and riddled with some pretty fundamental problems. Though at that time, 1946, both the American and Soviet governments thought the Nationalist government was going to control the game. By the end of 1946, the Americans are looking at a situation: China, torn by turmoil. Germany, they can't agree on how to administer the country together. The Germans are moving to the edge of starvation. They've got to figure out some way of organizing this economy, to get something going, or else they'll either have to subsidize food for all the Germans in a situation where some of the Allied powers, like the British and French, are themselves broke and having trouble feeding their own people. What to do? The Americans feel like they're on the defensive. The basic administration of these places is breaking down. And who's going to benefit from chaos? The communists. How is the United States going to regain its strategic initiative here? How do they drive the action? Well Marshall's next effort is to bring some ideas to a conference in Moscow in early 1947, where he's going to try to work out an agreed way to manage the future of Germany. This is an important foreign ministers meeting. Here's Marshall talking with this man, the French foreign minister, and this man, Ernest Bevin, the foreign minister of Great Britain. The French don't want to do much to let the Germans up, but they also don't want to antagonize the Americans. The British have already concluded that this whole effort to try to get some agreed way to run Germany is a hopeless venture, that what Marshall is trying to do is bound to fail, but Marshall's giving it a hard try. He's engaged in intense discussions with this man, the Soviet Foreign Minister, Vyacheslav Molotov. The negotiations in Moscow fail. When you get into the details of this, and I've written a little bit about this, the details are interesting: Marshall tried hard on how to disarm Germany for at least 25 years, with multinational forces that would police the place. He's got a proposal on the table for that. He actually has a fairly creative set of proposals that he puts on the table to handle the most difficult economic issues, which are extremely complex, having to do with balancing the payments Germany's going to make to the Soviet Union as reparations, with what you then do to restart the German economy. He doesn't have much help from his allies, who think this is unlikely to work, but the Soviets are really unresponsive to Marshall's initiatives, too. He has doubters of his ideas even inside his own government. He leaves Moscow in failure. It's not going to work. Marshall comes away from his final meeting with Stalin believing that the Soviets are content to just fold their arms, watch Germany collapse into starving chaos, and reap the benefits from that disorder. From Marshall's point of view, that's not good enough, he needs something else. He returns from Moscow, goes to the American people, gives a nationwide radio address in which he tells the American people, in April 1947, that the patient is dying while the doctors are deliberating. He has to think of some other way in which the United States can recapture the strategic initiative in a world that seems to be disintegrating. We'll find out what he came up with next time. [BLANK_AUDIO]



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W4.06 Postwar

Hi, welcome back. Make yourself comfortable, and let's talk about the way new nations were recreating themselves in the early postwar era, what the conflicts were about. Let's look at Europe first of all, to see what the situation was there. You can remember we talked about the way Germany was divided up into these different zones of military occupation. Again, no German Democratic Republic yet, no Federal Republic of Germany yet. These are just the different zones occupied by the different armies. If you looked over in Eastern Europe, the Soviet Union moved west, annexing these new republics into the Soviet Union, liquidating the Baltic Republics that had been created after World War I and that had been annexed in 1940, captured by the Germans, recaptured again. Poland used to occupy this area here. Now Poland's been moved west. All this area in brown used to be part of Germany. The Germans, mainly uprooted, have fled westward in the millions as refugees, from here and also from the German-speaking portions of the new Czechoslovak Republic. Soviet troops or allied communists parties are in power or playing a key role in all of these places. In Asia, look at the situation in China at the end of World War II. The Nationalist government holds these areas in white. The capital of Nationalist China had been Here, at Nanjing. But they had had to move their capital during the war all the way from here to here. Communist guerrilla fighters have some areas they're fighting in all through here. What happens then is, when the Japanese leave, see all this pink area, especially here in Manchuria, the Japanese troops move out as prisoners. Who fills the void? And the initial fighting, the initial struggle to fill that vacuum was especially acute in 45 and 46 here in Manchuria. Here's a standard map of the world any school child would've had in their book in 1948. Just to notice some areas of the world we haven't talked about recently, we can zoom in a little bit on Africa over here. And in 1948, you'd see still a lot of colonies here. France, Algeria, French West Africa, French Equatorial Africa, Belgian Congo, and so on. Portuguese Angola. Not much changed there -- yet. Over in South America, also not much changed from the countries that had established during the 1800s. These continents mainly staying out of World War II. But an incredibly dynamic area right here in Southeast Asia. Let's take a closer look at Southeast Asia. The Japanese had pushed the French out of Indochina, had pushed the British out of Burma and out of the Malay States and Singapore, their great base, here. They'd pushed the Dutch out of the Dutch East Indies and occupied the Philippines. As the Japanese, in turn, returned home as prisoners, a vacuum exists and there's a contest as to who will regain control. The French are trying to reclaim their position in French Indo-China. The Americans were ambivalent, the French find themselves soon locked into warfare against a Viet Minh resistance that's increasingly receiving some communist support. In Burma, more civil conflict, now between the British who wish to reclaim their position there and Burmese independence fighters. Similar problems are brewing in the Malay States. In the Dutch East Indies, an independence movement is contesting the Dutch efforts to regain control of their old colony. In the Philippines in 1946, the Americans grant independence to the new Republic of the Philippines, but they then face a guerrilla movement, trying to take away control, called the Huks, H-U-K, that eventually will also be intrigued by the communist example, too. So, Southeast Asia is all in turmoil, even as civil war is reigniting in China. Now let's take a look at what happened in India. You'll remember from past presentations that the British themselves have been deeply divided about what to do about India, especially since the beginning of the 1930s. The war had intensified all that and, finally, during the war, the British decided, especially to keep the Indians fighting on their side, that they would promise to give India self government when the war was over. The Indians then demanded the British make good on that promise. Complicated negotiations ensued. The same issues that had been there for 20 years: What should an Indian state look like? How do you reconcile the different divisions between princely rulers and democratic rulers? Muslims and Hindus? Finally, the British, in effect, threw up their hands and suddenly quit in 1947 and left the country pretty precipitously, resulting in the violent partition of the country that you see portrayed on this map, where heavily Muslim parts of India, in effect, created themselves as a new state called Pakistan with all kinds of exchanges of population, millions of lives lost, re-settlements of people on both sides of these lines. This great princely state retaining a degree of autonomy, Hyderabad, until it was finally annexed by the state of India in 1948, with continuing disagreements lingering on the borders of the new Indian state with China and over what should happen to the distant and lightly populated realm of Tibet. If we switch our focus now to the Near East, the postwar period was pretty turbulent there, too. This map just gives a sense of the scope of the British role in the Middle East: direct mandatory rule in places like Palestine and Trans-Jordan; a British military alliance and a kind of protectorate with the local rulers in Iraq and in Egypt; British military occupation in places like former Italian colonies of Libya, Eritrea, and Somalia. But a real focal point of attention in 1945-46 was: What should happen in Iran? Let's take a closer look at that one. In Iran, the Russians had occupied the northern part of the country. The British and Americans had occupied the southern half of the country during World War II. They were fearful that a government allied with the Nazis would take control here and cut off their ability to get supplies through Iran to the Soviet Union during the war. Well, when the war was over, the military forces of all sides had promised to leave. The British and American military forces were pulling out, with the British maintaining extremely valuable concessions to get the oil out of this part of Iran. The Russians, however, were slow to leave, they didn't want to pull their troops out, creating spheres of influence and groups of allied supporters up in the northern part of Iran and seeking oil concessions here, too. Finally, a sharp crisis between Russia and the United States led to demands that the Russians keep their promise and pull their troops out of Northern Iran, which, finally in 1946, the Russians agreed to do. But it was one of the other things that contributed to a sense of rising tensions between East and West. And that little story about Iran is a good introduction to the big question of: What are the origins of what we now call the Cold War, the struggle between anti-communists and communists? Now, as you've seen in this class, my argument is that's actually a much older struggle that's been going on for generations before the end of World War II. But commonly, historians tend to talk about the Cold War, as we know it today, arising after World War II, which is one part of this longer struggle. So you can have big ideas about the origins of the Cold War, the structural clash of these two systems, but I think it's useful to boil this down just to the dilemmas of people like you and me, just trying to solve particular problems that they're seeing on the ground, like what are we going to do about the situation in Iran? What are the options there? You've got a situation you're looking at, in Germany where we're trying to run this place together, in China, where the different sides we support are already embroiled in a civil war. What are our options for what to do about that? What are the solutions that we come up with? No one tried harder at sorting these things out in good faith than the American general, now made special envoy, George Marshall. Few figures had greater political prestige at the end of World War II than General Marshall did. [LAUGH] And he was soon given some of the most difficult tasks out there. First to try to sort out the problem in China, and second to try to sort out the problems with Germany. He first tried in China, in 1946. Here's Marshall meeting with the leaders of the two sides, the Nationalist representative on the left of your screen and on the right of your screen the representative of the Chinese Communists, Zhou Enlai. The Marshall situation was pretty tough. The Americans had a long association and sympathy with the Nationalist government in China. They're trying to help the Nationalist troops relocate and fill the vacuum left by the departing Japanese occupiers. And actually the Soviet government also had decent relations with the Nationalist government that it thought would probably keep power. But the Soviets were also divided helping their Communist friends try to get a firm foothold in Manchuria as well, a lot of tension there. Civil war clearly returning. Marshall then tries to see if the two sides will agree to share power somehow, in some combined government, tries to work on the terms of how they can share power together. He brings them together, he tries pretty hard in a reasonably good faith. And finally concludes it won't work. He ends up kind of blaming both sides. Neither side really wants to share power. Both sides see this as a zero sum game that only one of them can win. But Marshall also comes away, and this is important, with a pretty negative image of the Nationalist government and its prospects, a government that he increasingly views as corrupt and riddled with some pretty fundamental problems. Though at that time, 1946, both the American and Soviet governments thought the Nationalist government was going to control the game. By the end of 1946, the Americans are looking at a situation: China, torn by turmoil. Germany, they can't agree on how to administer the country together. The Germans are moving to the edge of starvation. They've got to figure out some way of organizing this economy, to get something going, or else they'll either have to subsidize food for all the Germans in a situation where some of the Allied powers, like the British and French, are themselves broke and having trouble feeding their own people. What to do? The Americans feel like they're on the defensive. The basic administration of these places is breaking down. And who's going to benefit from chaos? The communists. How is the United States going to regain its strategic initiative here? How do they drive the action? Well Marshall's next effort is to bring some ideas to a conference in Moscow in early 1947, where he's going to try to work out an agreed way to manage the future of Germany. This is an important foreign ministers meeting. Here's Marshall talking with this man, the French foreign minister, and this man, Ernest Bevin, the foreign minister of Great Britain. The French don't want to do much to let the Germans up, but they also don't want to antagonize the Americans. The British have already concluded that this whole effort to try to get some agreed way to run Germany is a hopeless venture, that what Marshall is trying to do is bound to fail, but Marshall's giving it a hard try. He's engaged in intense discussions with this man, the Soviet Foreign Minister, Vyacheslav Molotov. The negotiations in Moscow fail. When you get into the details of this, and I've written a little bit about this, the details are interesting: Marshall tried hard on how to disarm Germany for at least 25 years, with multinational forces that would police the place. He's got a proposal on the table for that. He actually has a fairly creative set of proposals that he puts on the table to handle the most difficult economic issues, which are extremely complex, having to do with balancing the payments Germany's going to make to the Soviet Union as reparations, with what you then do to restart the German economy. He doesn't have much help from his allies, who think this is unlikely to work, but the Soviets are really unresponsive to Marshall's initiatives, too. He has doubters of his ideas even inside his own government. He leaves Moscow in failure. It's not going to work. Marshall comes away from his final meeting with Stalin believing that the Soviets are content to just fold their arms, watch Germany collapse into starving chaos, and reap the benefits from that disorder. From Marshall's point of view, that's not good enough, he needs something else. He returns from Moscow, goes to the American people, gives a nationwide radio address in which he tells the American people, in April 1947, that the patient is dying while the doctors are deliberating. He has to think of some other way in which the United States can recapture the strategic initiative in a world that seems to be disintegrating. We'll find out what he came up with next time. [BLANK_AUDIO]

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