The Cold War, 1944-1980

Overview of part A and B from 'A World Divided: Superpower Relations'

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Cold war ­ Introduction
1944 1991
Superpower Rivalry
1. No direct armed conflict/conflicts within `proxy wars' [Korea/Vietnam/Cuba (ideological)]
2. Propaganda
3. Noncooperation
4. Economic weapons
5. Atomic/nuclear feature
Overview Notes
Cold war ­ 19441991
Superpower coexistence & rivalry between: USA and allies on one side, and USSR and satellite states on
the other
o Divided a large part of the world and it's population
o Spread out to involve the `third world'
When African countries gained independence from Br and Fr, there was a power vacuum
which both the USA and USSR wanted to fill
The two sides did not come into direct, armed conflict. Instead used propaganda, noncooperation and
economic measures
Capability of both superpowers at levels never seen before economically and military (nuclear)
Cold war emerged out of the power vacuum left by the defeat of Nazi Germany
o USSR saw control over Eastern Europe as necessary to safeguard their country from further attack
o USA saw communism as a threat to freedom and capitalism
Europe became a battleground
1953, Stalin died
o Led to the `Thaw'
Developed into Détente by late 1960
Superficial? Relations deteriorated after USSR invasion of Afghanistan in 79
Second cold war
1985, Gorbachev became Soviet leader
o Foreign policy promoted a more friendly relationship with the West, gave governments of Eastern
Europe more flexibility, and gave greater freedom within the USSR
Commy regime across Eastern EU collapsed, as well as the USSR
Fall of USSR in 1981 marked an end to the Cold War

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Chapter 1: The Seeds of Conflict
Seeds of conflict are far more evident in the developments promoted by WWI than WWII
o WWI a crucial cause of the February revolution in Russia, 1917, which led to:
The provisional government
The success of Lenin
The world's first socialist state
Ideological differences
o Capitalism vs. Communism
Communism: aimed at improving industrial working class conditions.…read more

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Comintern set up to support Commy groups throughout the world and support their
attempts to undermine capitalism
o January 1918, Woodrow Wilson issued his `Fourteen Points'
a) Self determination: the right of all national groups to choose their own government
b) Open markets: dismantle trade barriers limiting the freedom of capitalism world wide
c) Collective security: the aim to create a world peacekeeping organisation to guarantee safety of
any country under attack
a.…read more

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August 1939 ­ NaziSoviet Pact
a. Limited threat of Germany invasion to USSR
b. Gave Stalin time to prepare for what he believed to be an `inevitable war'
c. Condemned by BR. and FR. but they had pushed Stalin towards it through policy of
d. `Marriage of convenience'
i. Gained USSR parts of Poland
ii. Nonaggression pact signed
Hostility and strain between superpowers remained largely on the level of propaganda
o Consequences crucial to the future of Europe
o Main victor between USSR, BR.…read more

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Chapter 2: How did the Cold War Develop? 194453
October '44, Churchill and Stalin met in Moscow and drew up the `naughty document'
o Greece, Britain 90%, USSR 10%
o Romania, Britain 10%, USSR 90%
o Hungary and Bulgaria, USSR 80%
Agreement between East and West still possible
Yalta and Potsdam conferences: substantial progress in creating a plan for postwar Europe
By end of '47, American and Soviet policies widened and brought to the front the ideology gap
o Relations began to deteriorate
Soviet actions…read more

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Legacy of the atomic bomb
o Heightened distrust and suspicion
o Impact of Hiroshima and Nagasaki sent a clear message to Stalin of America's military superiority
Truman's failure to inform Stalin of the decision to drop the bombs sent a clear warning
Added to Soviet suspicion
Stalin determined to develop Soviet nuclear capabilities
Soviet Attitudes: 1945
Stalin a communist who professed world revolution however his main aim after WWII was to safeguard and
rebuild the Soviet Union
Foreign policy based on the aim to take…read more

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USA had not suffered land losses the way the USSR had
Led to the belief that the USSR had expansionist aims to spread world communism
There were also many American's who still believed in the ways of Imperialism
7…read more

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British Attitudes: 1945
Bankrupt economy, tripled national debt
o Needed USA to help control Soviet influence
Feared US return to isolationism
Churchill replaced by Attlee
o No change in attitude towards Stalin
Many attempts made by Bevin to gain greater US commitment towards Europe
o By 1946 British foreign policy very similar to US
Stage 1: Yalta & Potsdam Conferences, 1945
August '41, Britain and USA agreed to the Atlantic charter
o Economic collaboration
o General security system
o Regard to local population in concern…read more

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Truman decided not to tell Stalin about the drop of the atomic bomb on Japan (happened 4
days after the conference)
Sort of like a warning to the USSR
Stage 2: Russian Influence in Eastern Europe, 194547
End of WWII Red army stationed throughout large parts of Eastern Europe (power vacuum left by Nazis to
be filled)
o Provided Stalin with a powerful weapon to spread communism
o Greatly worried the West
o 60 units remained to police the countries
ProCommy governments set up in…read more

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After WWII, economy for many countries in very bad condition. Britain in state of crisis, especially after the
winter of 4647
o Britain could no longer support its overseas commitments
o Warned USA February 1947 that they could not maintain troops in Greece
Greece strategically important area for Britain
Truman Doctrine issued
Truman Doctrine (pg.…read more


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