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Supporting the Revolution: America, Democracy, and the End of the Cold War in Poland, 1981-1989. ACES Working Paper (Report) No. 8, 2007

Domber, Gregory F. (2008) Supporting the Revolution: America, Democracy, and the End of the Cold War in Poland, 1981-1989. ACES Working Paper (Report) No. 8, 2007. [Working Paper]

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    Abstract

    Early on the morning of December 13, 1981, General Wojciech Jaruzelski, the leader of the communist Polish United Workers' Party (PZPR), declared martial law, ending the so-called "Polish Crisis," which began with the creation of the Independent Free Trade Union "Solidamosc" in August 1980. Over the next eight years, the Communist government and the opposition struggled over power, culminating in 1989 with the creation of a Solidamosc-led government which ended fifty years of Communist rule in Poland and led the way to further democratic revolutions throughout Eastern Europe. The purpose of this dissertation is to utilize newly available and underutilized archival sources as well as oral history interviews, from both international and American perspectives, to fully chronicle American policy toward Poland from the declaration of martial law until the creation of the Solidarnosc government. Rather than explaining Polish-American relations in bilateral terms, the dissertation illuminates the complex web of influences that determined American policy in Washington and affected its implementation within Poland. This includes descriptions of internal tensions within the Reagan administration, differences between American decisions in Washington and implementation in Warsaw, lobbying from Polish-American groups, clashes between Capitol Hill and the White House, coordination with American labor organizations to support Solidarnosc, disagreements with West European allies in NATO and international financial organizations, cooperation with the Vatican and the Polish Catholic Church, synchronization with American humanitarian organizations working in Poland, limitations caused by the realities of Soviet power in Eastern Europe, and complications caused by domestic Polish concerns. By taking a broad view of American policy and highlighting internal Polish decisions, with both the Communist government and the democratic opposition, the dissertation provides concrete examples of America's role in Poland's transformation, arguing, however, that this role was very limited. These conclusions are relevant to arguments about the end of the Cold War, the nature of American power, as well as current discussions about possibilities to promote democracy within hostile regimes.

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    Item Type: Working Paper
    Subjects for non-EU documents: EU policies and themes > External relations > foreign/security policy 1993--(includes CFSP/CESDP/ESS)
    EU policies and themes > External relations > foreign/security policy 1950s-1992 (includes EPC)
    Countries > Poland
    Subjects for EU documents: UNSPECIFIED
    EU Series and Periodicals: UNSPECIFIED
    EU Annual Reports: UNSPECIFIED
    Series: Series > American Consortium on European Union Studies > ACES Working Papers
    Depositing User: Phil Wilkin
    Official EU Document: No
    Language: English
    Date Deposited: 07 Jan 2015 17:20
    Number of Pages: 518
    Last Modified: 08 Jan 2015 09:05
    URI: http://aei.pitt.edu/id/eprint/59042

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