Churchill’s Iron Curtain Speech: Did it create, accelerate or merely acknowledge the onset of the Cold War?
In March 1946, Churchill gave a famous speech before President Truman at Fulton, Missouri. By this time there were communist governments in Poland, Albania, Bulgaria, Hungary and Romania. He used the phrase “Iron Curtain” to describe the European border between the Democracies of the West and the Communist-controlled countries of the East. He accused the USSR of being an aggressive dictatorship and called for an alliance between Britain and the USA to keep it under control.
As an extension activity, students consider the role played by the Kennan Telegram in the onset of the Cold War, and analyse cartoons about the Iron Curtain speech from both a Soviet and a Western perspective.