Glossary -- Poland
- Members of the radical political faction that, under the
leadership of Vladimir I. Lenin, staged the Bolshevik Revolution
and in 1918 formed the Russian Communist Party (Bolshevik),
precursor of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union.
- Medieval Christian civilization that combined European and
Asian cultures on an ancient Greco-Roman foundation. Centered at
Byzantium (known as Constantinople 330-1930, and later called
Istanbul), the Byzantine Empire occupied western Turkey and the
Balkans and, as the center of Orthodox Christianity, exerted strong
influence on many of the Slavic peoples of Eastern Europe.
- CoCom (Coordinating Committee for
Multilateral Export Controls)
- Loose arrangement of Western governments formed in 1949 to
prevent the transfer of military-useful (dual-use) technology from
the West to the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe; the group (whose
membership was almost identical to that of the North Atlantic
Treaty Organization, q.v.) operated on the basis of
informal agreements covering items having military or nuclear
- Comecon (Council for Mutual Economic
- A multilateral economic alliance headquartered in Moscow; it
existed from 1949-91. Members in 1990 included Bulgaria, Cuba,
Czechoslovakia, the German Democratic Republic (East Germany),
Hungary, Mongolia, Poland, Romania, the Soviet Union, and Vietnam.
Also referred to as CMEA and CEMA.
- Commonwealth of Independent States
- official designation of the former republics that remained
loosely federated in economic and security matters of common
concern, after the Soviet Union disbanded as a unified nation in
1991. Members in 1993 were Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus,
Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Russia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan,
Ukraine, and Uzbekistan.
- Conference on Security and Cooperation
in Europe (CSCE)
- Originating at the meeting that produced the Helsinki Accords
(q.v.) in 1975, a grouping of all European nations (the
lone exception, Albania, joined in 1991) that subsequently
sponsored joint sessions and consultations on political issues
vital to European security.
- Conventional Forces in Europe (CFE)
- An agreement signed in 1990 by the members of the Warsaw Pact
(q.v.) and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization
(q.v.) to establish parity in conventional weapons between
the two organizations from the Atlantic to the Urals. Included a
strict system of inspections and information exchange.
- Czech and Slovak Federative Republic
- official name of the former Czechoslovakia, adopted in December
1990 to recognize the two ethnic components of that country.
(Czechoslovakia was still used as the short form designation after
that date.) In January 1993, divided into two independent states,
the Czech Republic and Slovakia, which retained some economic and
- Philosophical and spiritual movement in Europe in the
seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, concerned with the
relationship of God, nature, reason, and man, often challenging the
tenets of conventional Christianity.
- European Bank for Reconstruction and
- A bank founded under sponsorship of the European Community
(q.v.) in 1990, to provide loans to East European
countries (Bulgaria, the Czech and Slovak Federative Republic,
Hungary, Poland, Romania, the Soviet Union, and Yugoslavia) to
establish independent, market-driven economies and democratic
political institutions. Some fifty-eight countries were
shareholders in 1992.
- European Community (EC)
- A group of primarily economic communities of Western European
countries, including the European Atomic Energy Community (Euratom
or EAEC) and the European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC).
Executive power rested with the European Commission, which
implemented and defended the community treaties in the interests of
the EC as a whole. Members in 1993 were Belgium, Britain, Denmark,
France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, the
Netherlands, Portugal, and Spain. Name changed to European Union
(EU), December 1993.
- Gdansk Agreement
- The first of several major concessions made by the Polish
communist government in late 1980 to the rising Solidarity
movement. The agreement granted public expression to many groups in
Polish society hitherto restricted, promised new economic
concessions, removed discredited communist officials, and
recognized workers' right to establish free trade unions.
- Russian term, literally meaning "openness," applied in the
Soviet Union beginning in the mid-1980s to official permission for
public discussion of issues and public access to information.
Identified with the tenure of Mikhail S. Gorbachev as leader of the
- gross domestic product (GDP)
- The total value of goods and services produced exclusively
within a nation's domestic economy, in contrast to gross national
product (q.v.), usually computed over one year.
- gross national product (GNP)
- The total value of goods and services produced within a
country's borders and the income received from abroad by residents,
minus payments remitted abroad by nonresidents. Normally computed
over one year.
- Habsburg Empire
- Also known as the House of Austria, one of the principal
European dynasties between the fifteenth and twentieth centuries.
Controlled a variety of separate monarchies, reaching its most
powerful stage in the sixteenth century under Emperor Charles V of
the Holy Roman Empire (q.v.). After 1867 what remained of
the empire was commonly known as Austria-Hungary.
- Helsinki Accords
- Signed in 1975 by all countries of Europe except Albania (which
signed in 1991), plus Canada and the United States, at the initial
Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe (q.v.).
The pact outlined general principles of international behavior and
security and addressed some economic, environmental, and
- Holy Roman Empire
- Enduring from A.D. 800 to 1806, official successor under papal
authority to the Roman Empire. The title king of the
Romans, first given to Charlemagne, was borne by a long
succession of German kings. Centered in Germany, the empire at its
peak (thirteenth century to sixteenth century) extended from the
Low Countries to Czechoslovakia and southward into Italy. Weakened
by struggles with Roman Catholic Church and the Reformation, then
scattered by the results of the Thirty Years' War (q.v.),
- International Monetary Fund
- Established with the World Bank (q.v) in 1945, a
specialized agency affiliated with the United Nations and
responsible for stabilizing international exchange rates and
payments. Its main business was providing loans to its members when
they experienced balance of payments difficulties.
- Political philosophy of the leaders of the French revolutionary
government. After reaching power in the revolutionary dictatorship
of 1793, the Jacobins set about safeguarding the values of the
revolution and public virtue by a Reign of Terror against opposing
- London Club
- A group of 500 major international commercial banks lending
money under auspices of the International Monetary Fund
(q.v.) to Poland for economic development, under
conditions of continued economic reform.
- net material product (NMP)
- In countries having centrally planned economies, the official
measure of the value of goods and services produced within the
country. Roughly equivalent to the Western gross national product
(q.v.), NMP was based on constant prices and did not
account for depreciation.
- North Atlantic Treaty Organization
- An alliance founded in 1949 by the United States, Canada, and
their postwar European allies to oppose Soviet military presence in
Europe. Until the dissolution of the Warsaw Pact (q.v.) in
1991, NATO was the primary collective defense agreement of the
Western powers. Its military and administrative structure remained
intact after the threat of Soviet expansionism had subsided.
- Organisation for Economic Co-
operation and Development (OECD)
- Founded in 1961 to replace the all-European Organisation for
European Economic Cooperation, assists member governments to form
and coordinate economic and social aid policies in developing
countries. In 1992, twenty-four nations had full membership,
including Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and the United States.
- Ottoman Empire
- A Muslim empire that controlled southeastern Europe, the Middle
East, and most of North Africa between the sixteenth and eighteenth
centuries, and lesser territories from 1300 until 1913. Ottoman
occupation was a major influence on all civilizations of
southeastern Europe and caused ethnic animosities that remained
after the disintegration of the empire.
- Paris Club
- A group of seventeen Western countries lending money under
auspices of the International Monetary Fund (q.v.) to
Poland for economic development, under conditions of continued
- Russian word meaning "restructuring," applied in the late 1980s
to an official Soviet program of revitalization of the communist
party, economy, and society, by adjusting economic, social, and
political mechanisms. Identified with the tenure of Mikhail S.
Gorbachev as leader of the Soviet Union (1985-1991).
- Prague Spring
- Period of attempts to institute political and economic reforms
in Czechoslovakia, led by communist party First Secretary Alexander
Dubcek, in 1968. The Soviet Union and four Warsaw Pact
(q.v.) allies responded by invading Czechoslovakia and
forcing Dubcek out of power.
- Sixteenth-century movement against dogma of the Roman Catholic
Church, in favor of grace through faith, the authority of the
Scriptures, and the direct relationship of believers with God. Met
with resounding force by the established church, the Reformation
influenced Christian practice to varying degrees in all European
countries, resulting in a schism between the Roman Catholic church
and Protestant reformers.
- Teutonic Knights
- In full, Knights of the Teutonic Order, an organization of
German crusaders founded in Palestine in 1190. From their base in
Prussia, consolidated the Eastern Baltic into a powerful feudal
state in the fourteenth century, nominally as agents of the Roman
Catholic Church. Expansion aroused hostility and revolts, which
with Polish and Lithuanian support defeated the knights decisively
at Grunwald in 1410. After rapid decline of military power and
influence in the fifteenth century, disbanded in 1525.
- Thirty Years' War
- Conventional name for a fifty-year struggle (1610-60) of
various factions including Protestant nobles and French kings
against the Holy Roman Empire (q.v.) and its ruling
Habsburg Dynasty for control of parts of Europe, including the
Baltic coast. The fiercest period of the war was 1618-48, hence the
misnomer Thirty Years' War.
- Treaty of Versailles
- Signed at the Paris Peace Conference, June 1919, dictating
peace terms ending World War I. Harsh terms imposed by the Allies
on Germany were cited as a major factor in the rise of Adolf Hitler
and genesis of World War II.
- Warsaw Pact
- Informal name for Warsaw Treaty Organization, a mutual defense
organization founded in 1955, including the Soviet Union, Albania
(which withdrew in 1961), Bulgaria, Czechoslovakia, the German
Democratic Republic (East Germany), Hungary, Poland, and Romania.
The Warsaw Pact enabled the Soviet Union to station troops in the
countries to its west to oppose the forces of the North Atlantic
Treaty Organization (q.v.). The pact was the basis of the
invasions of Hungary (1956) and Czechoslovakia (1968). Disbanded in
- Western European Union (WEU)
- Signed in 1948 by Western European states as a regional
defense, cultural, and economic pact, became inactive in 1954 but
was revived in 1984 to improve European military preparedness and
activity in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (q.v.).
Subsequently issued statements on European security and other
international issues. Members in 1993 were Belgium, Britain,
France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands,
Portugal, and Spain.
- World Bank
- Informal name for a group of four affiliated international
institutions: the International Bank for Reconstruction and
Development (IBRD), the International Development Association
(IDA), the International Finance Corporation (IFC), and the
Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA). The IBRD,
established in 1945, had as its primary purpose making loans to
developing countries for specific projects. The IDA, legally
separate but administered by the IBRD, furnished credits to the
poorest developing countries on terms easier than those of the
IBRD. The IFC supplemented IBRD activity through loans to stimulate
private enterprise in the less developed countries. The MIGA was
founded in 1988 to insure private foreign investment in developing
countries against noncommercial risks. The four institutions were
owned by the governments of the countries that subscribed their
capital. For a state to participate in the World Bank group, prior
membership in the International Monetary Fund (IMF--q.v.)
- Polish national currency (Polish spelling zloty) nominally
divided into 100 groszy. Became convertible with Western currencies
January 1, 1990. In March 1990, US$1 equalled 9,824 zloty; in March
1991, the exchange rate was US$1=9,520 zloty; in March 1993, it was