Berlin Wall 1961 the Construction of the Essay
- Length: 5 pages
- Sources: 5
- Subject: Drama - World
- Type: Essay
- Paper: #71725773
Excerpt from Essay :
Berlin Wall 1961
The construction of the wall and the global impacts
The city of Berlin lies on the eastern side of Germany approximately thirty five miles west of the post 1945 border of Poland. When Germany created its German stated, Berlin was declared as the capital city of New Germany. Berlin remained the capital up until the end of World War Two during which the super powers Russia, France, Britain and the United States captured four distinct zones of the city of Berlin. In the cooperation between the West and Soviet Union, Germany was divided into two separate countries (Rodriguez, Niland, 2011).
The events that led to the creation of Berlin Wall
In 1949, the Western powers decided to sponsor the formation of the West Germany whereas the Soviets sponsored the creation of East Germany. One problem that arose with this division was the fact that Berlin was physically a part of East Germany although the Western side along with the administration was under West Germany. In 1948, the Soviets created a blockade to the Western Germany in order to resolve the Berlin matter. The Western powers attacked with air lifts instead of having a confrontation with the Soviet Union. All efforts failed and Berlin was still divided and remained a heated issue for the two sides of the country (Halsall, 1998).
By November 1958, Nikita Khrushchev the Soviet leader gave a final deadline of six months for the West to back out of Berlin and declare it as a free city with a democratic rule or else the control of the city would be given to the East Germany. The British and French were infuriated and refused to accept the offer to which the Soviets called a conference which were a failure as well. In 1961, Khrushchev made an attempt to solve things out again but Kennedy turned down the offer which led to Khrushchev threatening to sign a contract with East Germany which would make the four powers agreement previously made null and void. This would result in the Western powers having no access to Berlin anymore. Kennedy was stubborn and remained adamant to the Western domination over Berlin.
By 1961, there was a rise in the Cold War tensions over the issue of Berlin. The citizens of East Germany were highly dissatisfied with the communist rule of the Soviets and hence found West Berlin as a worthy outlet.
The Berlin wall was constructed there in after the heated disputes between the communist and capitalist leadership. It was a physical barrier that separated the East side of Berlin from the Western side. The city was divided along a zone which was ruled by the Soviets and the other side which was jointly ruled by the British, French and the Americans. This division was brought about after the end of World War II and each of them was being ruled by the country responsible of governance. The main reason for building up the wall was to prevent the fleeing of the East Germans to the West side because they did not want to live under the communist rule. The Berlin wall was almost 103 miles along, height being 12-foot and it completely encircled the Western side of Berlin (Gearson, 1992).
During the 12-year duration between the time that East Germany was established and the building of the wall, almost 2.7 million East Germans started fleeing towards West Berlin. This shift had a major impact on East Germany and the fact that this depopulated the country, taking along the valuable workforce which led to economic crisis. This pressurized the Soviet Union to take serious measures to stop the decline of the country and the construction of the Berlin wall was a part of this. After the wall was constructed, about 80 people were murdered due to them trying to flee to West Berlin. Many of them were also imprisoned. There were just two breaks in the wall which were guarded so heavily that no one could possibly escape the security. The wall turned out to be a symbol for the Cold war as well as the oppressive rule of the communists in East Germany. Despite Hungary's routes being open, the people could not really pass through to the Western side of the country. As a last resort, the German leader of the East allowed for people to pass by the East and into the West because none of this blockage was making things any easier and stability was important to restore.
On November 9, 1989, permission was granted to the people and millions of people fled to West Berlin which was a clear indication of the failed rule of the communists. In the process of fleeing many of them destroyed the wall while West Germany whole heartedly welcomed the new comers. Thus the wall soon became worthless and there was no real purpose of it left which led to the East and the West taking the wall down as a result. In 1990, the East and the West Germany were reunited as the Federal Republic of Germany (Gearson, 1992).
The fall of the Berlin wall was quite significant as it indicated the death of communism in Germany and was also an indication of the capitalist victory in Europe. After Germany escaped the communist rule, the communist spread started shrinking further from other countries which included Romania, Czechoslovakia and Poland. These events had such a huge impact on the communist rule that soon the Soviet Union itself ended up breaking down and this marked the elimination of the oppression initiated by the communists which had begun back in 1917. The nations that were under the communist rule ended up having civil war. Some of the countries that were under the Soviet rule joint up to be known as the commonwealth of independent states (Barker, 1963).
The events that led to the formation of the Berlin wall have been outlined above. What we need to consider alongside is the impacts that the construction of the Berlin wall and this fight between communist and capitalist rule had on other parts of the world. There were great implications on many developing countries like Africa, India and Pakistan. Although the ties were resolved between the U.S. And the Soviets, there was a huge division created in the world. The two super powers never fought themselves; instead they had allies which were their supporters who were aided by these countries to be on their side.
Among these nations was Africa as well which was used as a fighting playground throughout the course of the Cold war. The African continent was out for a struggle to find an ideology that they wanted to follow. This initiated a lot of assassinations and coups within the continent and this made it hard to maintain a stable situation. The Cold War resulted in a prolonged struggle in the fight against the colonial rule. When the Second World War came to an end, America was totally against the colonial rule and was firm in ending that but with the igniting of the Cold War it set out to regain control of the lost colonies in parts of Africa. This thought of the Americans led to them providing arms and ammunition to the African colonies which resulted in the struggle to unite the countries again with the fall of the Berlin wall. By the end of the Cold War there was much public pressure in parts of Africa (Harrison, 2000).
There was also a sparked democratization campaign that went on in the African continent. Many dictators had chosen to be a part of the Soviets side and started promoting communism but this failed later on and the rule turned into an authoritarian one. The cause of the failure of democracy in many African countries can be associated with the cold war and the Berlin wall. New forms of capitalism emerged in the society and this created differences between the rich and the poor and formed divisions in the society where the poor were largely oppressed and it taught the powerful how to take advantage of the poor and suppressed classes (Barker, 1963).
Where the incident of the Berlin wall proved to bring hope to some people, especially its fall, it also brought distress to some. Although the people regained their freedom, had better economic conditions and regained their social welfare, it greatly divided the entire world and formed severe disputed ties among countries especially third world nations. The capitalism system brought about a huge divide in the society on the basis of economic control and factors of production. Those supporting the communist rule did not really like the change either (Harisson, 2000).
Some societies excelled in the technological field while others had problems coping up due to the destruction and instability in society that came about. The control of the super powers in these third world countries caused a lot of problems because this left them in a state of conflict…