GCSE History Cold War Notes 1943-1991

My notes for edexcel GCSE history cold war 1943-1991. Paper 1

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Cold War Notes
How did the cold war develop? 1943-56
Origins of the Cold War...
Tehran Conference 1943:
Between Stalin, Churchill and Roosevelt.
Cemented their war time alliance.
The percentages deal followed this conference.
A sphere of influence was agreed in the west and the east.
A western attack (D-Day) was pressured by Stalin and agreed. Stalin needed this as he
got the full force of Germany on them.
Stalin thought Germany should be punished whereas Churchill and Roosevelt felt
Germany should be rebuilt. They did not want to repeat the mistakes of the treaty of
Roosevelt and Churchill also discussed the Atomic Bomb without Stalin. They feared
they would lose Russia as an ally.
Yalta Conference 1945:
Between Churchill, Roosevelt and Stalin
Stalin agreed to help the USA defeat Japan once Hilter was defeated.
Germany should be divided into 4 zones, one for each ally
That Berlin should also be divided into 4 zones.
A communist government would be allowed to be established in Poland.
There should be free elections in Europe.
Sphere of influences reinstated.
Establish the United Nations, to work for and maintain peace in Europe.
Disagreements over what to do with Poland
Disagreements over what democracy meant; Stalin believed it meant communism and to
Roosevelt democracy meant voting in free elections.

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Potsdam Conference 1945:
Harry Truman was the new US president and replaced Roosevelt. Truman was more
anti-communist so was more suspicious of Stalin
Churchill was replaced by Clement Atlee, but Churchill attended as he was the war time
They no longer had a common enemy so tensions were high, especially due to
Truman's and Stalin's disagreements.
Stalin had been taking over eastern European countries and making them communism.…read more

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Said that Americans were now preparing for war
The Long Telegram 1946:
A telegram sent to Truman
Reported that Stalin had given a speech which stated that Stalin wanted to completely
wipe out capitalism
There could be no peace with the USSR as long as it stayed capitalist
Stated that the USSR was building up its military power
The USA's responses
The USA needed to respond to the claims of the Long telegram quickly.…read more

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Stalin feared that Americas Marshall Aid would weaken communism. He knew he had to come
up with a communist response to stop the temptation of the Soviet's sphere of influence
countries. He came up with Cominform and Comecon.
Cominform 1947:
Communist Information Bureau
An organisation which coordinated all the communist parties together
Ensured that the communist parties were loyal to Stalin
Communist parties were told to organise strikes against the Marshall plan.…read more

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The formation of Trizonia (Britain's, USA's and France's zones), meant there was a clear
difference between East and West Germany and Berlin. Trizonia started to rebuild Germany
and begin to make changes without Stalin and his input. Stalin believed that this could lead to a
permanently divided Germany. Stalin opposed this division for a number of reasons:
He didn't want America to have more influence in Germany.…read more

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However, Khrushchev did want to maintain the `buffer zone' against the West
Now, the Cold War was well and truly established. The Iron Curtain was prominent and
the Arms Race had begun.
Hungarian Uprising 1956:
Why did the Hungarian Uprising happen?
Hungary under Stalin
Stalin claimed the Soviet troops had liberated Hungary from the Nazis
However, Stalin imposed an oppressive regime on Hungary
o Hungarian Land was redistributed to other Eastern European countries.…read more

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Although America had encouraged the Hungarian Uprising, they didn't offer any military
assistance. However, they did offer $20 million worth of food and medical aid to Nagy's
government. America's failure to support the Hungarian Uprising proved it was committed to
liberating Europe from communism, but did not go as far to offer military help.
The UN also officially condemned the invasion, but did not do anything about it. Many countries
were also put off the idea of following Hungary.…read more

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The Cold War Crises 1957-69
Battleground for the Cold War
In East Germany, but West Berlin is capitalist
People felt the only way to escape communism was to leave their country altogether
The difference in standards of living was most obvious in East and West Berlin.
East Germany suffered refugee problems. People fled to West Germany as the wealth
and prosperity was highly attractive. Many skilled workers also fled, leaving east
Germany in a poorer state.…read more

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Khrushchev withdrew his 6 month ultimatum
Paris Summit 1960:
Before the conference, the USSR shot down a US plane and captured the pilot
Eisenhower refused to apologise
Khrushchev stormed out
Vienna Summit 1961:
Kennedy, the new US president was there.
Neither side willing to back down over the US presence in Berlin
Khrushchev saw Kennedy's inexperience and gave the USA a 6 month ultimatum
Building the wall
Khrushchev knew that the USSR couldn't win a nuclear war over the USA.…read more

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An important Cold War symbol was created
Kennedy increased the USA's defence budget
Cuban Missile Crisis...
America was the clear winner of the arms race in the 1940s and 1950s
But America was worried as the USSR had launched the first man made satellite-
Sputnik 1.…read more


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