Talk:Satellite state

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United States stuff[edit]

Would anyone (in the U.S.) ever describe a state as a U.S. "satellite state"? --user:Daniel C. Boyer, June 24, 2002

The expression was used in Western Europe in the same sense and with the same meaning as in the article. If I well remember it was derived from a sentence in a speech of someone in the 60s (J.F.Kennedy?). I believe the article is correctly neutral as it is. Gianfranco June 24, 2002
I'm an American, and I'd describe, say, South Vietnam or (for some purposes) even Israel as a "satellite" of the U.S.. 'Course, I'm not mainstream for this country by any means. All that said, if "satellite state" was historically applied primarily to Eastern Europe (and I don't know that it wasn't), then the article seems NPOV now. OTOH, it could certainly stand to be expanded with more examples too. Toby Bartels, Monday, June 24, 2002
In my opinion, half the world is American satellite states, as most of the world is either allied with the USA or is too ovverpowered by th US to put up any resistance to their foreign policy in the region. This article should talk about American satellite states, or Napoleonic-era states, rather than focusing so much on the Soviet client states. Mnmazur (talk) 00:16, 13 July 2008 (UTC)

Neutrality, United States needs to be included[edit]

The neutrality of this page is seriously undermined unless it is edited to include the plethora of examples of U.S. satellite states, in particular, since it is arguably one of the largest coordinators of satellite states in the 20th century. I don't have time to do it right now but I may come back and edit, but anyone who wants to add this feel free. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Exodus206 (talkcontribs) 16:10, 14 April 2008 (UTC)

-- I concur, albeit I likewise am short on time to do the research. (talk) 21:56, 23 May 2008 (UTC)

Warsaw Pact Stuff[edit]

In its usual sense (Warsaw Pact) the term seems inaccurate - the Warsaw Pact nations were nothing more than puppet states controlled from Moscow. To me the term 'satellite state' would suggests a country internally independent but part of an involuntary alliance - such as Prussia and Austria in 1810 (at the height of Napoleon's power), or Hungary, Romania and Bulgaria during World War II which supported the Nazis out of fear.

Immediately after the American Civil War, some of the former Confederate States were under the control of élites (however benign, and in my opinion the Reconstruction governments would have been better for most of the people of the Southern states than what followed) whose accession to power was facilitated with the aid of the Union Army.

The "Republic of Hawaii" that the United States eventually annexed in 1898 looks much like a classic example of a puppet state. --Paul from Michigan 03:23, 7 May 2007 (UTC)

This article should be merged with Satellite country. --Hcheney 03:46, 20 Feb 2004 (UTC)

Satellite country now redirects to this article. However see below about merge with Satellite nation FerralMoonrender 00:05, 29 March 2007 (UTC)

Dont revert legitimate edits in an edit war[edit]

It's bad to have a dangling clause before the definition and China is not the article we should link to when referring to the People's Republic of China. I don't think those changes were controversial. Don't revert them. --Jiang 13:11, 14 Nov 2004 (UTC)

I agree that Shorne's habit of automatic reversion is not charming. Boraczek 16:08, 14 Nov 2004 (UTC)


The expression was used in the US corporate media

The expression "satellite state" is now used by historians, journalists and common people all over the world. For example, it is also used in Poland. The suggestion that the usage of that expression was restricted to the US corporate media is misleading and, frankly, sounds somewhat paranoiac.

Central and Eastern European countries of the Warsaw pact during the Cold War, which they accused of being politically tightly controlled by the Soviet Union (from 1945 until 1989).

It's not a matter of accusation. The countries of the Warsaw Pact were tightly controlled by the Soviet Union. There is a lot of evidence proving that - Hungary 1956, Czechoslovakia 1968, consulatations with the Soviet rulers before making any major political decision in the satellite states, etc.

Leaders in Western Europe consulted the US before making major decisions, does this mean they were tightly controlled? Soviet troops were in Hungary prior to the internal strife - they actually *withdrew* so as to avoid causing friction, eventually Janos Kadar and the government asked them to come back in. Czechoslovakia was a Warsaw Pact action, not a "Soviet" action.
Western European countries could change their government without obtaining permission from the US, Warsaw Pact countries had to have government accepted by the SU.
The SU Union attacked Hungary in November 1956. The Hungarian government didn't ask Soviets to come in, unless you mean the puppet government created by Soviets to justify their intervention.
Czechoslovakia was indeed a Warsaw Pact action, but it doesn't change the fact that the Soviet army attacked Czechoslovakia when it tried to have too much independence in internal affairs. Boraczek 08:44, 25 Nov 2004 (UTC)
Italy was not allowed to change its government. The two largest parties were the Christian Democrats but the Christian Democrats were the only party allowed to have power during the Cold War. American torpedoing of 1948 election results wasn't even hidden, with a continuous stream of involvement which hit another peak in 1976 (although sub rosa this time) and continued on.
Italy changed its government 41 times between 1948 and 1989 and None of these changes required acceptance of the US. Christian Democrats didn't always govern alone. In 1963 the government was formed by Christan Democrats, Republicans, Social Democrats and Socialists. But no permission of the US was required to introduce socialists into the government, nor does the US attack Italy in 1963.
And why are you *so* sure? It is evident that the US policy, unlike the more "sincere" Soviet one, consists of supposedly "democratic" ellections where most parties are basically the same, as they respond to them.
None of the elections in Italy was falsified, unlike elections in communists states. If Christian Democrats hold power for many years, it is because they won elections, not because a foreign empire installed their government and was ready to use force to protect it (as in the Eastern bloc). Boraczek 17:12, 25 Nov 2004 (UTC)

Italy, France and West Germany, countries under the tight political control of the US.

Italy, France and West Germany were not under the tight political control of the US (except for the after-war period). If someone looks for satellite states of the US, in my opinion they should look for them in Latin America. Soviet Union, however, exercised considerably tighter control over some Central European countries than did the US over Latin America countries. Boraczek 16:05, 14 Nov 2004 (UTC)

Shorne knows his edits are unacceptable. He makes them anyway and then demands that people negotiate with him. That is his modus operandi. VeryVerily 17:50, 14 Nov 2004 (UTC)
US troops remained in West Germany and Italy until the Cold War ended (and afterwards). In France US troops were there for decades. The US interfered massively and without even trying to disguise the fact in Italian elections in 1948, was involved behind the scenes in the 1976 elections and was involved throughout Italy's history (as well as France and West Germany). It's very difficult to hide how Italy was a satellite state of the US, at least by the yardstick of Eastern European countries being "satellite states" of the USSR.
Italy enjoyed much greater independence than the satellite states of the Soviet Union. Could you please say what your sources are, Ruy Lopez? I mean the sources you base your opinion on Italy and Eastern European countries on? Boraczek 08:44, 25 Nov 2004 (UTC)
My sources are declassified State Department memoes, NSC memorandums and directives and other declassified reports. As History_of_the_United_States_National_Security_Council_1947-1953 says, the very first NSC action in 1947 was to undermine Italy's elections. This continued through the Cold War. Post Cold War is still classified, but with Colin Powell openly telling the Ukraine who they should ignore elections and install a pro-US leader today, that the US government is secretly aiding Berlusconi today is not much of a strecth.
OK, these are sources related to Italy. What about Eastern Europe? Boraczek 17:12, 25 Nov 2004 (UTC)

The expression is used by anti-communists to describe the Central and Eastern European countries of the Warsaw pact

Not only anti-communists used and use this expression in this sense. In fact, it was also used by Yugoslavian communists.

Anti-communists claim these countries were controlled by the Soviet Union

This is not what anti-communists claim. These are simply well-known facts (admitted by some communists as well).

It is not a fact by any means. Even Gerald Ford said that Poland was not a satellite state of the USSR while president. I can't think of a better endorsement of the idea than from a sitting Republican president. At that point, it only becomes a fact in John Birch literature.
The Soviet hegemony is a fact that I know from my own life experience, as I lived in a satellite state of the USSR. And this fact is recognized in most historical books. So maybe you should read some historical books instead of listening to Gerald Ford, whatever he said. Boraczek 08:44, 25 Nov 2004 (UTC)
Many European countries were members of the Warsaw Pact. The USSR was the most powerful and it certainly had influence. Just as the US had influence in NATO. But it seems in every article on Wikipedia, the US is an angel who was "protecting" Italy and France from the evil Warsaw Pact, controlled by the USSR, which was controlled by the Kremlin. I am simply holding the US and the USSR to the same standards.
No, you are not. You are holding the US and the USSR to different standards to obtain the same result. Both the US and the USSR had their spheres of influence. I don't deny political influence of the US in Italy. But you overlook the difference between Italy and the satellite states of the USSR. You notice the American influence in Italy and you think it is enough to claim that Italy and Warsaw Pact countries were in the same situation. It is not enough. Italy enjoyed much greater independence than Hungary or Bulgaria despite American efforts to hamper communism in Italy. Influence can be bigger or smaller, but you overlook the difference and say that influence is always the same. Boraczek 17:12, 25 Nov 2004 (UTC)

The Eastern bloc noted the independence of the socialist republics, which like Yugoslavia were free to do as they will

Socialist republics of the Eastern bloc were not free to do as they will. Yugoslavia was not a satellite state. The Eastern bloc did not always note the independence of Yugoslavia. In early 19550s the Eastern bloc accused Yugoslavia of being a servant of capitalist countries. Boraczek 14:57, 24 Nov 2004 (UTC)

Was Italy free to go communist and join the Warsaw Pact? It was not and there's a ton of policy decisions and paperwork by the US showing this (and a lot more that is still classified). In fact, Italy was run by one party through the entire Cold War. Of course, Albania was allowed to leave the Warsaw Pact. So who was free and who wasn't? Ruy Lopez 18:54, 24 Nov 2004 (UTC)
The Soviet Union didn't permit Albania to leave the Warsaw Pact. When Albania tried to gain more independence, the SU stopped sending economic aid and food to Albania (even if Albania was on the edge of famine) and finally broke off diplomatic relationships with Albania. Albania was able to escape from the Soviet orbit thanks to some advantageous circumstances: 1) conflict between the SU and China; 2) there were no Russian troops in Albania; 3) None of neighbouring countries was a Warsaw Pact country.

You didn't substantiate the statement that people who describe the Eastern bloc countries as satellite states are anti-communists. I wonder if you could do it. Boraczek 08:44, 25 Nov 2004 (UTC)

Again, no substantiation. So I feel free to edit. Boraczek 17:12, 25 Nov 2004 (UTC)

I have rewritten the article. Is it acceptable to you now? Or do you have some objections? Boraczek 17:50, 25 Nov 2004 (UTC)

Current edits[edit]

I would just like to say that I have never heard any U.S. ally referred to as a "satellite state." I have heard of places like Panama referred to as banana republics, but that's about it. In contrast, the term is employed constantly in reference to the Soviet Union and its Eastern European satellites -- cuz that's what they were, satellites for a buffer zone and an extension of Communist influence. The term "satellite" doesn't make much sense for U.S.-supported governments, usually referred to by detractors as puppets or, as i said in the case of Central America, banana republics. J. Parker Stone 06:18, 20 July 2005 (UTC)

MT is making an analogy between puppet states and satellite states -- the two are not synonymous, as i mentioned above. J. Parker Stone 01:32, 10 August 2005 (UTC)

what is this? it's a factual term used to refer to Eastern Europe post-WWII, not "perjorative." just because anti-communists have made use of the term doesn't make it biased in nature -- i'm sure you could get some critics of U.S. Cold War policy to refer to them as Soviet satellites. J. Parker Stone 02:32, 10 August 2005 (UTC)

It's pejorative because it is exclusively used to criticize Soviet foreign policy, and because the USSR itself vehemently rejected it. You won't hear anyone saying "The Soviet Union had satellite states... and that was a good thing." -- Mihnea Tudoreanu 16:42, 10 August 2005 (UTC)
Now, I have an issue with your definition. You say "Satellite state is a political term that refers to a country which is formally independent but is primarily subject the domination of another, larger power. It was initially used to refer to...". But if it can refer to any country which is formally independent but is primarily subject the domination of another, and if it was only initially used to refer to Eastern Europe, that means it has also acquired other uses in more recent years. However, you deny that any such uses exist. So which is it? -- Mihnea Tudoreanu 16:42, 10 August 2005 (UTC)
For the record, I would very much prefer to keep the generic definition and have the article give examples of non-Soviet satellites as well as Soviet satellites. I'm leaving the decision up to you, though. -- Mihnea Tudoreanu 00:03, 11 August 2005 (UTC)
Soviet propaganda may not have classified them as "satellite states," but there is no serious historian who disputes that they were. yes it can be used as an anti-communist criticism, but that does not alter its factual accuracy. now maybe if we were talking about somewhere like Cuba, Angola, or Mozambique there might be a "perjorative" issue, but we aren't. J. Parker Stone 11:25, 11 August 2005 (UTC)
Soviet historians (as well as Eastern European historians during the Cold War) certainly did not consider them "satellite states". Now, you may argue that those historians were just reciting propaganda, and you may be right, but this still does not give you the right to present your own POV as unquestionable reality. -- Mihnea Tudoreanu 20:07, 11 August 2005 (UTC)
Mihnea, criticism or a critical perspective of this or other aspects of Soviet policy does not connotate "pejorative" (i.e. disparaging, belittling) language. The term in fact has respect informally as well as in scholarly discourse on the subject, as opposed to things such as "puppet state" (and a multitude of other epithets) which were in fact commonly directed towards the U.S. but are not very relevant to this particular article. --TJive 12:32, August 11, 2005 (UTC)
Note also that these other terms imply a much harsher and more readily apparent pejorative view than "satellite state" which is almost anti-septic in comparison, which in fact demonstrates less of a willingness to engage the regime with the same rhetorical flair as the US and other examples such as Nazi Germany, though in fact the USSR has also been accused simply of running "puppet states" on their own part. --TJive 12:36, August 11, 2005 (UTC)
The main point of my edit did not revolve around the word "pejorative". My assumption of good faith is running thin, because both you and Trey Stone seem to ignore my central point on purpose. And that point, once again, is the following: If "Satellite state is a political term that refers to a country which is formally independent but is primarily subject the domination of another, larger power", as your version claims, then clearly the Soviet Union could not have been the only great power with satellite states. Either (1) the term "satellite state" specifically refers to Soviet puppets - and NOT to any country which is formally independent but is primarily subject the domination of another, larger power - or (2) the term refers to a multitude of puppets, not just Soviet ones. Now, this is not a POV dispute, it's a dispute of common logic. I have expressed my willingness to let you define the term "satellite state" however you like, but please, for God's sake, be consistent with your definition. -- Mihnea Tudoreanu 20:07, 11 August 2005 (UTC)
The issue is not the worthiness of the criticism but its notability; I'm afraid you misunderstand the intention. Satellite state can very well be applied, with varying degrees of plausibility, to many nations and empires in history but it typically has not been. --TJive 03:00, August 12, 2005 (UTC)
Ah, that makes a lot more sense. Thank you. I will go edit the article accordingly. Also, I'm sorry for the misunderstanding regarding your previous rv and the dispute tag. -- Mihnea Tudoreanu 09:47, 12 August 2005 (UTC)

I don't have any major objections about content as is. The tag can be removed if agreed. --TJive 23:52, August 12, 2005 (UTC)

I agree. I will go remove the tag, then. It was nice working with you. :) -- Mihnea Tudoreanu 01:37, 13 August 2005 (UTC)

Hi, I'm new here so please be patient with me if I happen to break some code of ethic which I am not aware of, but I have a couple of questions concerning the article.

I was just wondering why are the only Satellite states given as examples happen to be under Soviet control. I think that this might give the wrong impression to people because if the definition used is: "Satellite state is a political term that refers to a country which is formally independent but is primarily subject the domination of another, larger power". The problem is that even though there are probably hundreds of examples out there from throughout all of human history the only ones given were under Soviet control or at least implied Soviet control. The change I am hoping for would be that another example be given like in South America during the Cold War, Carthage after the 2nd Punic War or the Italian states that were under Austria following the Congress of Vienna. James 1789 04:20, 4 May 2006 (UTC)

Satellite states have the formality of independence (thus they are distinct from protectorates or colonies) but practical dependency.

Frequent interventions in countries in Central and South America by the United States demonstrate the lack of complete independence of those countries. Thus a freely-elected government (Arbenz in Guatemala, Allende in Chile) that suddenly chooses to act contrary to the interests of American corporate investors is in deep trouble. Inclusion of communists in the government in such countries is not good for the survival of a government. Some countries are obliged to act as "banana republics" in a manner analogous to central planning from elsewhere.

So if some other country dictates the permissible range of government activity or regulates the composition of the government -- then the coerced country is likely a satellite state. If some other country dictates the economic activity in a country, then the coerced country is a satellite. If some country forces another country to co-ordinate its military or diplomatic policies with some other State, then the country whose basic policies are dictated is a satellite state. If one country is capable of enforcing repression of another then the repressor has control of a satellite state. (Note that repression of such blatant criminality as slave trafficking, drug-trafficking, or piracy doesn't count). That all says nothing of the political ideology of the country enforcing the satellite status of another country.

Do degrees of satellization exist? Of course. Vassal states have existed since there were empires. Some alliances are more equal than others. Some situations (Germany, Italy, Austria, or Japan immediately after World War II) necessitate control by the victors, however benign. Most creditors expect the payment of debts. --Paul from Michigan 03:14, 7 May 2007 (UTC)

Artificial State redirect isn't correct[edit]

I just noticed that the "artificial state" wikipedia entry redirected to this article. That technically isn't correct. I just wrote a quick starter article for "Artificial state". Help improving it to something worthy of wikipedia is appreciated.

rvv from Revision as of 06:59, 21 March 2007

Proposal for Merge[edit]

How exactly does a satellite state differ from a Satellite nation? FerralMoonrender 00:03, 29 March 2007 (UTC)

Satellite state is the standard term, and is preferable to satellite nation because 'nation' implies characteristics such as national identity. Being a satellite is a charcateristic of states, rather than nations. 12:47, 9 April 2007 (UTC)
I see what you are saying, however there is also an article about satellite nations, which seems to be about the same thing. I was proposing that that article be merged into this one. FerralMoonrender 01:14, 14 April 2007 (UTC)
A distinction between a satellite state and a satellite nation depends upon some distinction between a State and a Nation. A State has some legal status; a nation has its basis in, for example, cultural identity. A nation might exist outside a State that claims to represent a nation. A nation could in practice adopt the ways of another country in esthetic matters, which is very different from subordinating political life, foreign policy, and economic policies to those of some other entity. Is a country a satellite of the United States if its people heavily adopt American fashions, popular music, or culinary practice? Or if it gets a huge part of its television or film from America? That's not so sinister as having to make sweetheart deals with some other political power or have a government deferential in practices to some greater power that can strip the semblance of national independence without warning. So if the old German Democratic Republic remained German in its culture, it was ordinarily recognized as a satellite state of the Soviet Union except by its own leadership.
No nation can force its cultural choices upon another; a State can. No nation can dictate a political structure, determine what political configurations are permissible elsewhere, or enforce economic subjugation; a State can. The control is either by a State over another (if not an outright colony).
Merge with all appropriate speed.--Paul from Michigan 02:26, 7 May 2007 (UTC)
I'm now a bit confused, and I think I could use you help with this merge/fix. I understand what you are saying that only a state can subjugate another geopolitical entity. The only definition I have heard of a "satellite" is a state with a puppet government that is really controlled by another state. In this case, both the subjugator and the subjugatee, would be "states" (i.e. geopolitical bodies with governments), because one govenrnment is subjugating another. I guess that one could consider a nation a satellite of another nation if the first had adopted many/most of the second's culture (presumably without being forced, since forcing culture on someone is exceedingly hard). If this is what you would call a satellite state, then what is on the Satellite nation page must be merged into here, because it clearly refers to a "satellite state," and a new satellite nation page must be written, explaining what I have said here (in article form). I can do this, but I wanted to check with you first. FerralMoonrender (MyTalkMyContribsEmailMe) 09:37, 27 May 2007 (UTC)
There doesn't seem to be any real objections or reasoning why not to merge them, thus it's time to do so. If there is any distinction to be made between state & nation, then it can be done within the article itself. That-Vela-Fella 00:38, 10 August 2007 (UTC)

Possible Combination[edit]

Originally located at Talk:Sattelite nation and moved here Should this page be combined with/absorbed into the "Satellite State" page? I'm not an expert, but I don't see the difference between the two. FerralMoonrender 21:15, 24 February 2007 (UTC)

I agree I'm learning about this right now in US Studies and I'm positive they are the same thing. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 13:38, April 5, 2007

I agree Stevecudmore 02:48, 28 April 2007 (UTC)

Ditto. I'll go about doing it then since it's been long enough time. That-Vela-Fella 00:15, 10 August 2007 (UTC)

Does Lebanon count as a satellite state?[edit]

Does Lebanon count as a satellite state? Even though Syrian troops withdrew from Lebanon after former prime minister Hariri's assassination in 2004 after international pressure, it still wields enormous power over the country politically, especially through its local Lebanese supporters Hizbollah and other Lebanese groups and parties. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:23, 18 February 2009 (UTC)

You may be right, but adding this statement requires references to establish the case. --DThomsen8 (talk) 22:27, 30 August 2009 (UTC)

Inclusion of Non-Soviet Examples[edit]

Hi, Mosedschurte! Not sure why you reverted my edit to satellite state. "term not in article" isn't very self-explanatory - I was trying to expand the article to cover more of what it is trying to describe. The edits I made were in keeping with NPOV and were relevant to the article. I am therefore restoring the edits I made. If you object to them, let's discuss. Thanks! -- Zen Swashbuckler -- (talk) 19:45, 23 July 2009 (UTC)

Neutrality tag removed[edit]

The {{NPOV}} tag was placed on this article in 2008 by an editor who wanted it to cover usage of U.S. examples. I have added a section that does so, based on what (limited) sources I could find. I have removed the tag. Chick Bowen 03:01, 9 November 2009 (UTC)

what with east germany under soviet influence? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 10:20, 4 February 2010 (UTC)

Mongolia Afganistan Cambodia Laos[edit]

theis countries should be listed as satilite states the firt two of the soviet union the latter two of vietnam--J intela (talk) 18:32, 10 January 2011 (UTC)

Do you have citations for any of those? I removed the Vietnamese ones outright since there don't seem to be any refs whatsoever to Vietnam as a central or imperial state, or any Vietnamese satellites (at a guess I'd say commentators/historians treat the Cambodia invasion as analogous to the U.S. invasion of Panama - remove a monster and then for the most part leave...). I left the alleged Asian Soviet satellites in, because from what I know of them that's basically the case, but it could still do with a citation or two. ☯.ZenSwashbuckler.☠ 17:29, 13 January 2011 (UTC)
Yes check.svg Done added two citations for Mongolia, one for Tuva and FER. --Kubanczyk (talk) 21:51, 17 April 2013 (UTC)

Historical satellite states[edit]

There are circles of states around major powers in ancient and medieval times, notably in Asia. For these 'client state' won't work. The description takes it too far, and the term satellite is probably better, in view of the archaeological and epigraphic evidence. — Preceding unsigned comment added by RoverDingbat (talkcontribs) 15:56, 10 September 2011 (UTC)

Well no, the term "satellite" probably isn't really better, considering that the word was almost unknown in any non-technical usage until the late 1950's.Eregli bob (talk) 08:42, 18 September 2012 (UTC)

Changing dependence[edit]

The article ignores changes in Warsaw Pact states. Poland was a puppet state but had some independence 1956-1970. Rumania was quite independent under Causescu.Xx236 (talk) 06:22, 13 July 2015 (UTC)