Origins of the cold war

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  • Origins of the cold war
    • The Yalta conference- February 1945
      • Agreements
        • Germany and Berlins would be split into 4 zones under Britain, France, Russia and the USA.
        • The USSR would join the war against Japan once Germany had surrendered.
        • Eastern Europe would hold free, fair elections.
        • The United Nations would replace the League of Nations and the 3 leaders agreed to join.
        • Eastern Europe would become 'a soviet sphere of influence'
      • Disagreements
        • Stalin wanted to move russias border westwards into Poland, Poland could move further westwards aswell. Churchill and Roosevelt were not happy with this, however accepted it on the condition Stalin stayed out of Greece.
      • Churchill, Roosevelt and Stalin
    • The Potsdam conference- July 1945
      • Since the Yalta conference
        • Stalins armies had occupied most of eastern Europe.
        • A communist government had been set up in Poland regardless of the wishes of most Poles.
        • Truman had become president, he was very anti- communist. Churchill was replaced by Atlee as Prime minister.
      • Disagreements
        • Whether Germany should pay reperations, Stalin wanted to cripple Germany, Truman was weary of repeating the mistakes of the treaty of Versailles.
        • Policy in Eastern Europe- Truman adopted a 'get tough' attitude towards Stalin.
    • Soviet expansion in Eastern Europe.
      • By 1946 communist governments had been set up in, Poland, Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria, Yugoslavia and Albania.
      • October 1947- Stalin set up the communist information bureau (cominform) to coordinate communist parties in Eastern Europe.
        • President Tito of Yugoslavia resented Stalins tactics and was expelled from the cominform in 1948.
      • By 1948 both leaders were regularly talking in public about the risk of war between them and arms expenditure was increasing, rather than decreasing after the war.
    • 1946- Churchills 'Iron Curtain' speech.
    • The Truman Doctrine- 1947
      • America intervened with the civil war in Greece, preventing a communist take over.
      • Under this USA was prepared to send money, equipment and advice to any country threatened by a communist take over.
      • Truman accepted Eastern Europe was communist. His aim was to stop the spread of communism (containment).
    • Marshall aid
      • Truman ordered an assessment of the economic state of Europe by general Marshall. It was totally shattered, Europe owed $11.5 to the USA. Bread was still rationed in many places due to poverty. Marshall reckoned $17 billion would rebuild Europes prosperity.
      • Czechoslovakia crisis- 1948
        • Marshall aid was initially rejected by congress due to the huge cost and Americans weren't happy that they were involving themselves in international affairs.
          • After the communist takeover in Czechoslovakia, congress immediately accepted the Marshall plan, making $17 billion available over 4 years.
      • Stalin called Marshall aid ' dollar imperialism'.
    • Berlin Blockade 1948-9
      • Britain, France and the USA combined zones in 1946, becoming known as west Germany in 1949.
        • The currency was reformed in 1948, Germany started to recover.
          • Stalin was not happy, so he blockaded Berlin, blocking all supply lines, cutting off west Berlin from western help.
            • Allies air lifted supplies to Western Berlin, June 1948. Supplying them for 11 months.
    • NATO- 1949- an agreement of collective security signed by Western powers. 'North Atlantic treaty organisation.


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