U.S. History/Berlin Wall NHD

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Question
Hi there Mr.Troy, I am doing an NHD project on the event of the fall of the Berlin Wall. I have some questions if you could please answer.
Thank you.

1. How is the Berlin Wall a turning point in history?

2. Why was the Berlin Wall taken down in 1989?

3. Why did J.F.K care about the Berlin Wall?

Answer
Hello,

1. I'm not sure I'd consider the Berlin wall to be a turning point.  It was a symbol of the Cold War divisions which had been growing ever since the end of WWII, or arguably since the Russian Revolution of 1918.

2. The wall was maintained by the Soviet Union as a way of controlling the populations under its sphere of interest.  In the late 1980's Soviet Premier Gorbachev made clear that he wanted to reform the Soviet Union so that it did not have to rule by violence and oppression.  Once it became clear that he would not use the military to force the wall to remain in place, people tore down the hated wall.

3. The Berlin Wall stood as a symbol of how the Soviet Union was using brute military force to keep half of Europe under its thumb.  President Kennedy used that symbol to contrast Western freedom with Soviet oppression.

I hope this helps!
- Mike  

U.S. History

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Michael Troy

Expertise

I can answer just about any question on early American History. My specialties are the American Revolution through the Civil War/Reconstruction. I also have greater expertise in matters relating to military, political or legal history.

Experience

I have lectured at George Washington University regarding the Civil War, as well as several elementary school Civil War demonstrations. I was also a member of a Civil War reenactment group for about 10 years.

Publications
http://unlearnedhistory.blogspot.com

Education/Credentials
J.D. University of Michigan B.A. George Washington University

Awards and Honors
Truman Scholar

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