The Breakdown of the Grand Alliance
1941 - Grand alliance created. Britain and America (capitalists) and USSR (communists) worked together only because of their opposition Hitler. But once he had been defeated things became increasingly uneasy.
Other tensions included:
- Disagreements with reparations. Stalin wanted to impose heavy reparations but Britain and America wanted to rebuild Germany
- In 1945 Harry S. Truman came to power, and was a lot less willing to co-operate with Stalin than Roosevelt
- America and the USSR had both created atomic bombs.
The Tehran Conference 1943
28 November- 1 December - The Tehran Conference took place. The big three; Churchill, Roosevelt & Stalin agreed that USSR could have a "sphere of influence" on eastern Europe where communism would we respected to prevent neighbouring threats, where as, western Europe would have a capitalist "sphere of influence".
The Yalta Conference 1945
4-11 February - The Big Three made the following decisions:
- Stalin agreed to help America defeat Japan once Hitler was defeated
- Roosevelt and Churchill agreed to a communist government in Poland.
- The allies established the United Nations, to maintain peace
- "the sphere of influence" agreement was restated.
The Potsdam Conference
1945 - Answered "the big question" (according to Churchill) on Germany. The Allies agreed:
- To ban the Nazi Party and to prosecute all remaining Nazi's as war criminals.
- To reduce the size of Germany by a quarter
- To divide Germany into four zones allocated to Britain, France, America and the USSR.
The War of Words
It was realised in 1946 that Europe had been divided into capitalism in the west and communism in the east. Churchill (west) responded with a "war of words". This lead to the knowledge of suspicion between the Allies.
Churchill's speech stated:
- There was an "iron curtain" that descended across the continent
- The soviet were influencing and controlling western countries too much
Stalin's response stated:
- Churchill and Truman wanted a war.
- Churchill and his associated were like Hitler and his friends.
Due to concerns of a new war, both Stalin and Truman asked for secret reports (sent as telegrams) from their embassies on their opponents.
Truman received worrying news in "The Long Telegram":
- Stalin gave a speech calling for the destruction of capitalism
- The USSR were building military power
- There couldn't be peace while the USSR was against capitalism
Stalin received equally concerning news in "Novikov's Telegram":
- America wanted world domination
- America no longer wanted co-operation with the USSR since Roosevelt's death
- The American public was being prepared for war
The telegrams created a huge fear of war and tension between east and west
On the verge of the Cold War & the Truman Doctrine
By the end of 1946 both America and the USSR believed the other wanted world domination. In early 1947 Truman addressed the American government with the Truman Doctrine, which in many cases is seen as the declaration of the Cold War. It stated that:
- The world must make a choice between communist tyranny and democratic freedom
- America has a responsibility to fight for liberty if threatened
- America would send troops and economic resources to countries threatened by communists
- Communism should not be allowed to grow or gain territory