Causes: Stalin V Truman
AmericaRussia 1. The richest country in the world. 1. The biggest country in the world. 2. A democracy with free elections, led by an elected president. 2. A one-party state led by a dictator. There were elections, but you could only vote for the Communist Party. 3. Freedom of speech and belief. 3. State control: censorship, secret police, terror and purges. 4. Capitalism - private ownership and the right to make money. 4. Communism - state ownership of the means of production, and the belief that wealth should be shared. 5. Led by Truman, who believed that Communism was evil. 5. Led by Stalin, who believed that capitalism was evil. 6. Had the atomic bomb - but was scared of Russia's conventional army. 6. Had the biggest army in the world - but was angry that Truman had not warned that he was going to drop the atomic bomb. 7. Feared the spread of communism throughout the world. 7. Was angry because America and Britain had invaded Russia in 1918-19 to try to destroy communism. 8. Angry about the Nazi-Soviet Pact that was a major factor in starting the Second World War. 8. Believed that America and Britain had delayed opening the second front (attacking France) to let Germany and Russia destroy each other on the eastern front. 9. Wanted reconstruction - to make Germany a prosperous democracy and a trading partner. 9. Wanted to wreck Germany, take huge reparations for the damage done during the war, and set up a buffer of friendly states around Russia to prevent another invasion in the future.
CountryDateMethod Albania 1945 The Communists immediately took power. Bulgaria 1945 In the 1945 elections, a Communist-led coalition was elected, but the Communists executed the non-Communists. East Germany 1945 East Germany was the Soviet zone of Germany. In 1949, they set up a Communist-controlled state called the German Democratic Republic. Romania 1947 In the 1945 elections, a Communist-led coalition was elected to power. The Communists gradually took over and in 1947 they abolished the monarchy. Poland 1947 Stalin had promised to set up a joint Communist/non-Communist government at Yalta, but then he invited 16 non-Communist leaders to Moscow and arrested them. Thousands of non-Communists were arrested, and the Communists won the 1947 election. Hungary 1947 The non-communists won the 1945 elections with Zoltan Tildy as president. However, the Communists' leader, Rakosi, took control of the secret police (the AVO), and executed and arrested his opponents. Tildy was forced to resign and Cardinal Mindzenty, head of the Catholic Church, was imprisoned. By 1948, Rakosi had complete control of Hungary.
Causes:Yalta and Potsdam Conferences(Part 1)
Yalta - February 1945: Germany was not yet defeated, so, although there were tensions about Poland, the big three - Stalin, Roosevelt and Churchill - managed to agree to split Germany into four zones of occupation, and to allow free elections in Eastern European countries. Russia was invited to join the United Nations, and Russia promised to join the war against Japan when Germany was defeated.
Potsdam - July 1945: Germany had been defeated, Roosevelt had died and Churchill had lost the 1945 election - so there were open disagreements. Truman came away angry about the size of reparations and the fact that a communist government was being set up in Poland. Truman did not tell Stalin that he had the atomic bomb.
Causes:Yalta and Potsdam Conferences(Part 2)
Churchill, Roosevelt and Stalin
Attlee, Truman and Stalin
Germany to be split into four zones.
Arguments about the details of the boundaries between the zones.
Germany will pay reparations.
Disagreements about the amount of reparations Russia wanted to take. It was agreed that Russia could take whatever it wanted from the Soviet zone, and 10 per cent of the industrial equipment of the western zones, but Britain and the US thought this was too much.
A government of 'national unity' to be set up in Poland, comprising both communists and non-communists.
Truman was angry because Stalin had arrested the non-communist leaders of Poland.
Free elections in the countries of eastern Europe. This part of the agreement was called the Declaration of Liberated Europe.
America and Britain were alarmed because communists were coming to power in the countries of Eastern Europe.
Russia would help against Japan when Germany was defeated.
Truman dropped the atomic bomb so that Japan would surrender before Russian troops could go into Japan. America had the bomb in July 1945, but Truman did not tell Stalin about it. When he saw how he had been tricked, Stalin was furious.
Causes: Truman Doctrine and Marshall plan
By 1947, Greece was one of the few countries in Eastern Europe that hadn't turned communist. The Communist rebels in Greece were prevented from taking over by the British Army.
America was becoming increasingly alarmed by the growth of Soviet power. So, when the British told Truman they could no longer afford to keep their soldiers in Greece, Truman stepped in to take over. In March 1947, he told the American Congress it was America's job to stop communism growing any stronger. This was called the Truman Doctrine. It is often said that Truman advocated containment (stopping the Soviet getting any more powerful), but Truman did not use this word and many Americans spoke of "rolling back" communism.
In June 1947, General George Marshall made a visit to Europe to see what was needed. He came away thinking Europe was so poor that the whole of Europe was about to turn Communist. Marshall and Truman asked Congress for $17 billion to fund the European Recovery Programme nicknamed the Marshall Plan - to get the economy of Europe going again. Congress at first hesitated, but agreed in March 1948 when Czechoslovakia turned Communist. The aid was given in the form of food, grants to buy equipment, improvements to transport systems, and everything "from medicine to mules". Most (70 per cent) of the money was used to buy commodities from US suppliers: $3.5 billion was spent on raw materials; $3.2 billion on food, feed and fertiliser; $1.9 billion on machinery and vehicles; and $1.6 billion on fuel.
Stalin forbade the Cominform countries to apply for Marshall Aid.
Causes: Who was to blame?
· In 1959 the historian William Appleman Williams was the first to suggest that America was to blame. Revisionists said that Truman's use of the atomic bomb without telling Stalin was the start of the Cold War.
· John Lewis Gaddis first published this idea in 1972. The post-revisionists argued that neither Russia or America was to blame, but that the Cold War was the result of misunderstandings on both sides, and the failure to appreciate each other's fears.
After the collapse of Communism
· These files show that Soviet leaders during the Cold War were genuinely trying to avoid conflict with the USA. This puts more of the blame back on America. Modern historians stress the Cold War as a clash between capitalism and communism.
Developments of the CW: Berlin Crisis (Part 1)
In 1945, the Allies decided to split Germany into four zones of occupation. The capital, Berlin, was also split into four zones. The USSR took huge reparations from its zone in eastern Germany, but Britain, France and America tried to improve conditions in their zones.
In June 1948, Britain, France and America united their zones into a new country, West Germany. On 23 June 1948, they introduced a new currency, which they said would help trade.
The next day, Stalin cut off all rail and road links to west Berlin - the Berlin Blockade. The west saw this as an attempt to starve Berlin into surrender, so they decided to supply west Berlin by air.
The Berlin Blockade lasted 318 days. During this time, 275,000 planes transported 1.5 million tons of supplies and a plane landed every three minutes at Berlin's Templehof airport.
On 12 May 1949, Stalin abandoned the blockade.
Developments of the CW: Berlin Crisis (part2) Caus
DateEvent January 1947 Britain and the USA join their two zones together into Bi-zonia (two zones). December 1947 London Conference: America, Britain and France meet to discuss Germany's future. Russia is not present. January 1948 Russia starts to stop western literature being sold in the Soviet zone. March 1948 The USA offers Marshall Aid. Stalin forbids Cominform countries to take part. April 1948 Russia imposes a partial blockade of west Berlin - Allied transport into the city has to apply for a permit and is inspected. 1 June 1948 America, Britain and France announce they wanted to create a new country of West Germany. 23 June 1948 America, Britain and France introduce a new currency - this causes economic chaos in the Russian zone as everyone tries to get rid of their old money and change to the new currency.
Developments of the CW: Koren war (Part1)
In 1945, Korea was split along the 38th parallel between a communist north led by Kim IL Sung, and a non-communist south led by Syngman Rhee.
But communism was growing in the Far East. In 1949, the Communists had taken power in China. The US developed the 'domino theory' - the idea that, if one country fell to communism, others would follow like a row of dominoes. Then, in 1950, a report by the American National Security Council ('NSC68') recommended that the US stop containment and start to roll back communism
Developments of the CW: Korean war (part2)
- In 1950, after getting the support of Russia and China, Kim IL Sung invaded South Korea.
- The North Korean People's Army (NKPA) easily defeated the Republic of Korea's army (the ROKs).
- By September, the NKPA had conquered almost the whole of South Korea.
- The USA went to the United Nations and got them to send troops to defend South Korea.
- The Russians couldn't veto the idea because they were boycotting the UN at the time.
- In September, UN troops, led by the US General MacArthur, landed in Korea and drove the NKPA back.
- By October, the UN forces had almost conquered all of North Korea.
- In November 1950, Chinese People's Volunteers attacked and drove the Americans back.
- They recaptured North Korea, and advanced into South Korea.
- The Americans landed more troops and drove the Chinese back to the 38th parallel, where Truman ordered General MacArthur to stop and sacked him when he disagreed.
- The war went on as border clashes until 1953 when America's new president, Eisenhower, offered peace, but threatened to use the atomic bomb if China did not accept the offer.
Development of the CW: Peace/tension. Why would pe
- Khrushchev's statement that he wanted to "de-Stalinise" Eastern Europe led to anti-Soviet rebellions in 1956 in Poland and Hungary, and Khrushchev sent in Russian troops to re-establish Soviet control.
- Russia and America waged an arms race, developing H-bombs and ICBMs.
- Khrushchev set up the Warsaw Pact in 1955 - a military alliance of communist countries - to rival NATO. America responded by increasing the number of NATO troops in Germany.
- Russia and America competed in every way possible - eg in sport, and in the space race. Russia launched the first satellite - Sputnik - in 1957, and sent the first man into orbit - Yuri Gagarin - in 1961. Alan Shepard became the first American to fly in space in 1961, and President Kennedy promised to put a man on the moon by 1969. This was not just a propaganda war, it was a clash of ideologies as both sides tried to prove that their way was best.
- America responded aggressively. Senator McCarthy led a series of public trials of suspected Communists - the so-called witch-hunts.
- Both sides spied on each other. The Americans also used U2 spy planes to spy on Russia
Developments of CW: U2 and Paris conference
By the end of the 1950s, there was massive tension in the Cold War:
- The arms race - both sides accepted the need for some kind of Nuclear Test Ban treaty.
- Berlin - the Russians were furious that many East Germans were fleeing to the west through West Berlin.
- Cuba - the Americans were worried because Fidel Castro, a Communist, had seized power there in 1959.
- A summit meeting was arranged for Paris to try to sort things out.
On 1st May 1960 - thirteen days before the summit - an American U2 spy plane was shot down over Russia and the pilot, Gary Powers, was captured. At first, the Americans tried to say that it was a weather plane, but they were forced to admit that it was a spy plane when the Russians revealed that much of his plane had survived, and that they had captured Gary Powers alive.
When the summit met on 14 May, the first thing Khrushchev did was to demand that the US president, Eisenhower, apologise. When Eisenhower refused, Khrushchev went home.
The Cold War had just become substantially more dangerous.
Developments of the CW: Hungarian revolution (Part
1. The death of Stalin led many Hungarians to hope that Hungary also would be 'de-Stalinised'. In July 1956, the 'Stalinist' Secretary of the Hungarian Communist Party, Rakosi, fell from power.
2. During October 1956, students, workers and soldiers in Hungary attacked the AVH (the secret police) and Russian soldiers, and smashed a statue of Stalin.
3. On 24 October 1956 Imre Nagy - a moderate and a westerniser - took over as prime minister.
4. Nagy asked Khrushchev to move the Russian troops out. Khrushchev agreed and on 28 October 1956, the Russian army pulled out of Budapest.
5. For five days, there was freedom in Hungary. The new Hungarian government introduced democracy, freedom of speech, and freedom of religion. Cardinal Mindzenty, the leader of the Catholic Church, was freed from prison.
Developments of the CW: Hungarian revolution (Part
6. Then, on 3 November 1956, Nagy announced that Hungary was going to leave the Warsaw Pact. However, Khrushchev was not going to allow this. He claimed he had received a letter from Hungarian Communist leaders asking for his help.
7. At dawn on 4 November 1956, 1,000 Russian tanks rolled into Budapest. They destroyed the Hungarian army and captured Hungarian Radio the last words broadcast were "Help! Help! Help!".
8. Hungarian people - even children - fought the Russian troops with machine guns. Some 4,000 Hungarians were killed.
9. Khrushchev put in Russian supporter, Janos Kadar, as prime minister.
Developments of the CW: Berlin wall
By the 1960s Berlin was still divided - the USSR controlled the East and the USA guaranteed freedom in the West. Thousands of refugees escaped to West Berlin each day - much to the embarrassment of the USSR - so in 1961 Khrushchev closed the border and ordered the construction of a wall to stop people leaving.
Problems in West Berlin : West Berlin was a worry and an embarrassment for the Soviet Union in 1961:
· Nearly 2,000 refugees a day were fleeing to the West through west Berlin - hardly proof of the Soviet claim that the Communist way of life was better than capitalism!
· Many of those leaving were skilled and qualified workers.
· The Soviets believed (rightly) that West Berlin was a centre for US espionage.
At the Vienna Summit of June 1961, therefore, Khrushchev demanded that the US leave West Berlin within six months. Kennedy refused and instead guaranteed West Berlin's freedom. On 13 August, Khrushchev closed the border between East and West Berlin and started building the Berlin Wall. At first, the Russians regarded it as a propaganda success, but as time went on, it became a propaganda disaster - a symbol of all that was bad about Soviet rule.
Developments of the CW: The nature of the war
Historians have looked at the Cold War in many different ways over the years. Here are some statements about the Cold War in the 1950s and 1960s from modern school textbooks:
A."Between 1949 and 1963, the Cold War developed with a series of major crises."
B."When Stalin died in 1953, there was a slight improvement in relations between East and West, although problems still existed."
C." Khrushchev's blustering vigour, his love of travel and of argument and his willingness to take risks left their mark on these years."
D."The wall not only divided Berlin. Over the following years, it became a symbol of division - the division of Germany, the division of Europe, the division of communist East and democratic West. The Communists presented the wall as being a protective shell. The West presented it as a prison wall."
E. "The Americans believed that it was their duty, and necessary to US security, to resist the expansion of communism wherever it occurred. During the 1960s, this led them to the brink of nuclear war."
Cuban Missile Crisis: Causes (part1)
In 1962, the Cold War was at its coldest. The Russians had built the Berlin Wall the previous year. Kennedy who had been elected because he promised to get tough with the Communists felt that Khrushchev had got one over on him at the Vienna Summit in 1961. In April 1962, the Americans put nuclear missiles in Turkey.
Also, in 1959, a rebel named Fidel Castro took power in Cuba, an island just 90 miles away from Florida. Before Castro took over, the government - led by Colonel Batista - had been a corrupt and right-wing military dictatorship, but the Americans had many business interests in Cuba.
When Castro came to power, however, he nationalised American companies in Cuba. In retaliation, the Americans stopped all aid to Cuba, and all imports of Cuban sugar. This was a blow to Castro as sugar was the mainstay of the Cuban economy. Castro was forced to look to the USSR for help, and, in 1960, the USSR signed an agreement to buy 1 million tonnes of Cuban sugar every year. Castro, who had not been a Communist when he took power, became a Communist.
Cuban Missile Crisis: Causes (part2)
America was alarmed. In April 1961, with Kennedy's knowledge, the CIA funded, trained, armed and transported 1,300 Cuban exiles to invade Cuba. They landed at the Bay of Pigs and made an attempt to overthrow Castro. The invasion was a disaster, and President Kennedy was humiliated.
In September 1961, Castro asked for - and Russia publicly promised - weapons to defend Cuba against America. Which is why on 14 October 1962, the Americans discovered the missile sites in Cuba. These sites brought every town in the US within range of Soviet nuclear missiles. President Kennedy called a meeting of the National Security Council and on 22 October went on TV to tell the American people that they were under threat.
The crisis had begun.
Cuban Missile Crisis: Events (part1)
DayEvents Monday 22 October Kennedy announces a naval blockade of Cuba. B52 nuclear bombers are deployed, so that one-eighth of them are airborne all the time. Kennedy warns of a full retaliatory response, if any missile is launched from Cuba. Tuesday 23 October Khrushchev explains that the missile sites are "solely to defend Cuba against the attack of an aggressor". Wednesday 24 October Twenty Russian ships head for Cuba. Khrushchev tells the captains to ignore the blockade. Khrushchev warns that Russia will have "a fitting reply to the aggressor". Thursday 25 October The first Russian ship reaches the naval blockade. It is an oil ship and is allowed through. The other Russian ships turn back. Secretly, the US government floats the idea of removing the missiles in Turkey in exchange for those in Cuba.
Cuban Missile Crisis: Events (part2)
Friday 26 October Russia is still building the missile bases. In the morning, Kennedy considers an invasion of Cuba. It seems that war is about to break out. But at 6pm, Kennedy gets a telegram from Khrushchev offering to dismantle the sites if Kennedy lifts the blockade and promises not to invade Cuba. Saturday 27 October However, at 11am Khrushchev sends a second letter, demanding that Kennedy also dismantles American missile bases in Turkey. At noon on the same day, a U2 plane is shot down over Cuba. It looks as if a war is about to start after all. At 8.05pm, Kennedy sends a letter to Khrushchev, offering that if Khrushchev dismantles the missile bases in Cuba, America will lift the blockade and promise not to invade Cuba - and also dismantle the Turkish missile bases (as long as this is kept a secret). Sunday 28 October Khrushchev agrees to Kennedy's proposals. The crisis is over. Tuesday 20 November Russian bombers leave Cuba, and Kennedy lifts the naval blockade.