Iron Curtain Speech

Winston Churchill’s Iron Curtain Speech
Sara Sargente
Chamberlain College of Nursing
Hist-410N-15298: Contemporary History
February 6, 2016

Winston Churchill’s Iron Curtain Speech
On March 5th, 1946, Winston Churchill was invited to Westminster College in Fulton Missouri to point out the challenges the West would have to overcome status post the Second World War. The President of the United States, Harry Truman, who was also present, listened intently on Churchill’s thoughts of the U.S. as a superpower and the rising tensions of Russia’s policies in a post war world.   Below we will take a closer look into his speech and his thoughts on how to avoid a new war.
After World War 2, The United States and Russia came out on top. They were considered the two superpowers. They had the most advanced military and were regarded as threats to the rest of the world that was dealing with post war deficits. Across much of the world, recovery from war meant rebuilding lives, rethinking human relations, and reconstructing economic and political institutions on new foundations (Brower & Sanders, 2014, pg. 191).
It was up to the U.S. and Russia to reorder the chaos of Europe but they differed in their thoughts on how to accomplish this. Each professed an ideology that promised a better life for the populations of the world—the United States through free market capitalism, political liberalism, secular individualism and cultural freedom; the Soviet Union through the triumph of the proletariat, the end of exploitation, economic equality, and social equity (Brower & Sanders, 2014, pg. 192). Russia wanted to continue to expand to “secure” it’s borders from the broken down Germany. Churchill warns of “Russia and its communist international organizations intents to their expansive and proselytizing tendencies” (Churchill, 1946). Stalin wanted more world domination and increased communist thinking in its neighbors. Desires of expansionism into bordering lands,...