ZORIN A.V. The February 1948 Crisis in Czechoslovakia: Reaction, Assessments And Consequenses for the USA Foreign Policy

DOI: https://doi.org/10.15688/jvolsu4.2022.2.6

Artem V. Zorin

Doctor of Sciences (History), Professor, Department of History and Political Sciences,

Vyatka State University,

Moskovskaya St, 36, 610000 Kirov, Russian Federation

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Abstract. Introduction. The article examines the reaction of American diplomatic, political and media circles, who were involved in the development of the US political course and the formation of mass sentiments, to the crisis in Czechoslovakia in February 1948. It reveals connections between the perceptions of political processes in Eastern Europe by various segments of the American political elite and the nature of political decisions made by the US government.

Methods. The research is based on archival documents and articles of leading American papers. Their analysis allows us to consider the transformation of the image of Czechoslovakia, perceptions of its domestic and foreign policy, the evolution of assessments of Czechoslovak realities in the US, depending on the domestic and international situation and changing world situation.

Analysis. In February 1948, during the tense political crisis, a communist regime was established in Czechoslovakia. This event completed the creation of the Soviet bloc in Europe, and influenced the development of the US containment policy towards the USSR and the escalation of the Cold War. The February crisis caused a tangible reaction in the United States. It was considered in American media, diplomatic and political circles in general context of growing international tension and Soviet-American controversies.

Results. The author concludes that the US government was convinced that the communists’ coup d’état was inspired by the Kremlin. The Americans were shocked by its suddenness and speed, the lack of resistance from democratic forces. This effect was used by the US government to whip up anti-Soviet sentiments and to adopt the Marshall Plan.

Key words: Czechoslovakia, USA, the Cold War, the February crisis of 1948 in Czechoslovakia, American-Czechoslovak relations, public opinion.

Citation. Zorin A.V. The February 1948 Crisis in Czechoslovakia: Reaction, Assessments and Consequenses for the USA Foreign Policy. Vestnik Volgogradskogo gosudarstvennogo universiteta. Seriya 4. Istoriya. Regionovedenie. Mezhdunarodnye otnosheniya [Science Journal of Volgograd State University. History. Area Studies. International Relations], 2022, vol. 27, no. 2, pp. 67-80. (in Russian). DOI: https://doi.org/10.15688/jvolsu4.2022.2.6.

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