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iron curtain speech - Modern History Sourcebook Winston S...

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Modern History Sourcebook: Winston S. Churchill: "Iron Curtain Speech", March 5, 1946 Winston Churchill gave this speech at Westminster College, in Fulton, Missouri, after receiving an honorary degree. With typical oratorical skills, Church introduced the phrase "Iron Curtain" to describe the division between Western powers and the area controlled by the Soviet Union . As such the speech marks the onset (beginning) of the Cold War. The speech was very long, and here excerpts are presented. The United States stands at this time at the pinnacle (highest) of world power. It is a solemn moment for the American democracy. For with this primacy in power is also joined an awe-inspiring accountability to the future. As you look around you, you must feel not only the sense of duty done, but also you must feel anxiety lest you fall below the level of achievement. Opportunity is here now, clear and shining, for both our countries. To reject it or ignore it or fritter it away will bring upon us all the long reproaches of the aftertime. It is necessary that constancy of mind, persistency of purpose, and the grand simplicity of decision shall rule and guide the conduct of the English-speaking peoples in peace as they did in war. We must, and I believe we shall, prove ourselves equal to this severe requirement. I have a strong admiration and regard for the valiant (adventurous) Russian people and for my wartime comrade, Marshal Stalin . There is deep sympathy and goodwill in Britain -- and I doubt not here also -- toward the peoples of all the Russias and a resolve to persevere through many differences and rebuffs (ignore) in establishing lasting friendships. It is my duty, however, to place before you certain facts about the present position in Europe. From Stettin in the Baltic to Trieste in the Adriatic an iron curtain has descended across the Continent. Behind that line lie all the capitals of the ancient states of Central and Eastern Europe. Warsaw, Berlin, Prague, Vienna, Budapest, Belgrade, Bucharest and Sofia; all these famous cities and the populations around them lie in what I must call the Soviet sphere, and all are subject, in one form or another, not only to Soviet influence but to a very high and in some cases increasing measure of control from Moscow. The safety of the world , ladies and gentlemen, requires a unity in Europe , from which no nation should be permanently outcast. It is from the quarrels of the strong parent
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races in Europe that the world wars we have witnessed, or which occurred in former times, have sprung. Twice the United States has had to send several millions of its young men across the Atlantic to fight the wars. But now we all can find any nation, wherever it may dwell, between dusk and dawn. Surely we should work with conscious purpose for a grand pacification of Europe within the structure of the United Nations and in accordance with our Charter.
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