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date: 19 June 2021

Eastern Europe–US Relations 

The Oxford Encyclopedia of the History of American Foreign Relations
Gregory F. DomberGregory F. Domber

The very definition of which countries constitute Central, East-Central, or Eastern Europe has fluctuated based on broader external forces and is a perennial source of disagreement among historians. Various definitions can be utilized, based on cultural, religious, or geopolitical criteria. For this article (and based primarily on geopolitical definitions crafted during the Cold War), the present-day states of Poland, the Czech Republic, the Slovak Republic, Ukraine, and Hungary constitute Eastern Europe, with East Germany, the Baltic countries, and Balkan states discussed tangentially. From the beginning of the modern era to the conclusion of World War II borders shifted constantly, reflecting the ebb and flow of various multi-ethnic empires and then nation-states, making precise definitions of who was Eastern European difficult. Nonetheless, individuals from these areas were part of the American experience from well before the United States was founded: a Hungarian was part of Sir Humphrey Gilbert’s ill-fated trip to Newfoundland in ... ...

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