Responsibility of the Leaders

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  • Responsibility of the Leaders
    • Roosevelt
      • First elected in 1932 but dominated US politics until early 1945
      • Role at Yalta
        • Shrewd
          • Flexible over Poland, because the USSR had already occupied the country
          • His death removed the Western leader who might have succeeded in extending cooperation into the post-war period
        • Naive
          • Made too many concessions over Poland and China
          • Duped over free elections in Poland
          • Ignored East Europe as a Soviet sphere of influence
    • Truman
      • Roosevelt's successor
      • Un compromising anti-communist stance increased Soviet fears
        • Iron Fist policy to contain communism
          • used US nuclear monopoly to put pressure on Stalin
          • Berlin Airlift
      • exaggerated communist threat
      • little knowledge of foreign affairs
    • Stalin
      • Goals: security through expansion and consolidation of a Soviet sphere of influence
        • The Berlin Blockade led to the creation of a Capitalist West Germany and the NATO alliance
      • preoccupation with Soviet security
        • Russia had been invaded 3 times, and he wanted to create buffer zones to prevent further attack
        • Stalin used caution and restraint: in Greece and in South Korea
          • Wary of the West and Western Leaders
      • Support for North Korea's attack on South Korea
        • Failed to see that the West would respond rapidly to protect South Korea
    • Churchill
      • Churchill's view of the USSR was suspicious
        • Iron Curtain speech
          • Sharpened east/west divisions
      • October 1944: Churchill drew up the 'percentages agreement' with Stalin
        • Gave Stalin the impression that a post-war Soviet sphere of influence had unspoken Western approval

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