Winston Churchill's Iron Curtain Speech
In the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is the king. This saying was proved right during the 20th century. Charismatic, patriotic, and courageous leaders rose to make people realize what in their opinion was right or wrong. The charismatic leaders used many ways to express their views including giving speeches to the public. Winston Churchill is one of the leaders who would not give in during the difficult times, and he used speech to outline his views. Among the greatest speeches by Churchill was the “Iron Curtain Speech.” The speech had a great message to the people of United States although it was received differently, as it did not fit the people of the U.S.
“Iron Curtain” was Churchill’s symbol to show how Europe was separated into rival camps. According to him, Europe was divided into Western Europe Democracies and the totalitarian states of the Eastern and Central Europe that the Soviet Union dominated. In the “Iron Curtain Speech”, Churchill said that he did not believe that Soviet Union wanted war. Instead, he believed that the country wanted peace.
In addition, he believed that the power and the doctrines of the Soviet Russia needed expansion. This expansionism desire would challenge the self-determination principle of the Western powers. The reason as to why it would challenge this principle is because the colonized people had to be excluded from such a project. These colonized individuals had not become politically mature. He argued that nobody was ready to molest these western principles. Only understanding was required.
In Winston Churchill’s speech, he said that securing the western border of the Russia was necessary. However, concerns had been raised about the actions of the Soviet Union in the Eastern Europe. This does not mean that Churchill was inconsistent. He argued that this was needed because all the populations around the famous cities like Berlin, Vienna, and Warsaw lied in the sphere of the Soviet Union. He also added that the populations around these famous cities and the cities themselves were subjects to the influence of the Soviet Union (Kim, 2014).
In the same speech (The Iron Curtain Speech), Churchill argued that the Russia had a great admiration for strength. Besides, he said that these Russians had less respect on the weakness of the military (Kim, 2014). When Churchill argued that way, he was not advocating for military confrontation as many people thought he tried to mean. Churchill meant that balancing of power, which was an old doctrine, could not be applied. He believed that people were not ready to work on what he thought was narrow margins.
The speech read in the United States should have been read in the Western Europe countries. However, Wilson decided to give the speech to the people of the United States. The reasons as to why he gave the speech in the United States are clear. First, Churchill made a choice to give his speech to the people of the United States because it is at this time that public opinion was in the wrong state. During this time, the public opinion of Americans was undergoing seismic shifts, which infrequently affected the system of the state.
The second reason as to why Churchill read his speech to the people of the United States was the depression that had affected him because of war. In the year of 1941, when the United States had entered into war, Churchill was suffering from a heart attack (Foley, 2013). For this reason, Churchill viewed that it was necessary for people to live in peace.
In conclusion, the ‘Iron Curtain Speech” by Church was great despite the fact that many received it differently arguing that he (Churchill) might have been drunk and therefore not sober when reading it. Churchill thought that it was very critical for the United States to maintain a good relationship with other states.
Kim, T. (2016). Seattle General Strike: Where Women Worked During World War I. Depts.washington.edu. Retrieved 28 March 2016, from http://depts.washington.edu/labhist/strike/kim.shtml
Foley, M. (2013). Political leadership: Themes, contexts, and critiques.