How did the Cold War begin? The build up to the events of 1947

  • Created by: jessica7
  • Created on: 27-04-20 16:02

Feb 1945 - Yalta Conference

  • Agreed that Germany would be divided into 4 zones of occupation, one American, one British, one French and one Soviet
  • Berlin (Soviet zone) would similarly be divided into 4 zones
  • Stalin promised at Yalta to hold free elections in post war Poland signing the Declaration of Liberated Europe. However, elections were not free & communism was imposed. The Soviet Union's new western border also remained in place

Impact or significance

  • Roosevelt started to doubt the possibility of geniuine post war cooperation 
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12 Apr 1945 - Death of Roosevelt

  • Succeeded by Harry Truman, his VP
  • Before Roosevelt died, Truman said "We can't do business with Stalin, he has broken every one of the promises he made at Yalta."

Impact or significance

  • Truman becomes even more frustrated with Stalin
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May 1945 - US protests to Tito

  • Protesting about the movement of his troops into Trieste from Yugoslavia. Tito withdraws troops

Impact or significance 

  • US are fearful of the communist controlled Yugoslavia and fear the spread of communsim into Greece 
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June 1945 - The US recognises the new Polish state

  • The US cannot do anything about Stalin's broken promises

Impact or significance 

  • An atmosphere of mistrust is established. In Washington, policy makers start to fear Soviet intentions
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16 July 1945

  • The atomic bomb was successfully exploded in the desert in New Mexico
  • Truman announced to Stalin at the Potsdam meeting an atomic bomb had been successfully detonated
  • The bomb cost $2billion to develop

Impact or significance 

  • Stalin pretended to be unconcerned but was deeply worried about the shift in the balance of world power and authorised an accelerated weapons development programme in the USSR
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17 July 1945 - Potsdam Conference

  • At Potsdam it was agreed that each occupying power would take reparations from its own zone.
  • It was also agreed that the USSR would be given additional reparations from the other zones.
  • It was also agreed that goods would move freely between all the zones, treating them as a single economic area. 
  • Truman didn't tell Stalin about the plans to drop atomic bombs on Japan - the first bomb therefore denies the USSR a place at any negotiations over Japan's future.

Impact or significance

  • However, the Soviets treated their zone as a spearate economic entity and even removed German factories from it and rebuilt them in the USSR.
  • The Soviets also complained they were receiving insufficient reparations from the other zones & so in turn refused to allow movement of goods from their zone. 
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6 & 9 August 1945 - Atomic bombs dropped

  • Bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in Japan by the USA

Impact or significance

  • Japan surrenders
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4 Aug 1945

  • Stalin intervenes in the Chinese civil war.
  • Shows support for Chinese communists in Manchuria recognising them as the legitimate government of China.

Impact or significance 

  • US responds in September 1945 by sending 50,000 US marines to support the Chinese nationalists 
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Dec 1945

  • Soviet troops remain in Iran post WW2
  • They were reminded of the agreed date for withdrawal which was 1st March 1946
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22 Feb 1946 - Kennan's Long Telegram

  • George Kennan was an official in the US embassy in Moscow
  • He sent a telegram to the US state department offering a historical explanation for USSR foreign policy
  • He suggested the Soviets were inspired by Marxian theory of capitalist states being taken over by communist states
  • He suggested the USSR was irrevocably expansionist and hostile to the West
  • The US must resist

Impact or significance

  • His ideas that the USSR was aggressive & inspired by communist ideology appealed enormously to Truman
  • It prompted him to create a tougher policy towards the USSR. A get tough policy. This later becomes containment
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5 March 1946 - Churchill gave a speech

  • In Fulton, Missouri 
  • He said an Iron Curtain had descended across Europe
  • In 1946, opinion polls showed only 35% of the American public thought the Soviets could be trusted. In 1945, the figure had been 55%

Impact or significance

  • Churchill's speech helped to harden public opinion in the US
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March 1946

  • The US get the UN to tell Stalin he has missed the deadline for troop removal from Iran
  • In March 1946, USSR troops were only 40 miles from Tehran & had not observed the 1st March deadline

Impact or significance

  • Stalin is cross that the US went to the UN but does withdraw his troops
  • The US helps Iranian troops to establish a grip in its northern provinces
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June 1946 - The Baruch Plan is presented to the UN

  • The plan laid down proposals for the control of atomic weapons throigh inspections in UN member states

Impact or significance 

  • US refuses to destroy its existing atomic weapon stock pile until the USSR submit to inspections of its atomic weapons facilities
  • The USSR argues the opposite. 
  • Increase in tension
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June 1946

  • The US attaches more stringent conditions to their loans to the USSR
  • E.g. the Soviets must drop trade barriers in Eastern Europe
  • Known as dollar diplomacy

Impact or significance

  • In June 1946, all loan negotiations cease as the USSR was not interested in US loans on such terms 
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Feb 1947

  • Britain announces it is withdrawing its troops from Greece
  • Truman paid for British troops to remain in Greece propping up a royalist government against the communists

Impact or significance

  • Greece did not become communist
  • Truman is effectively practising containment 
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