How did the Cold War develop?

Cold War between 1943-1956

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  • Created by: Sophie
  • Created on: 13-05-12 15:46

The Past

World War I: Relationship was good, we all fought on the same side.

Civil War: UK and USA fought against USSR to fight against the communists.

Appeasement: Uk let Germany get on with doing what they wanted.

Red Scare: USA opposed USSR because they were communist.

World War II: USSR allied with Germany at the beginning, but then changed sides.

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USA - capitalism:

Positive: have your own business. there is more jobs and can be very successful.
Negative: two party Government with causes lots of argument, and less money in the state.

USSR - communism:

Positive: everyone has a job so the wealth is equally spread out and recieve Government support.
Negative: very controlled and dictated as what to do and won't have individual health.

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Teheran 1943

It consisted of the big 3, Stalin, Churchill and Roosevelt.


To create another front on the West to weaken Germany whilst they are fighting the East (a 2 front war). 

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Yalta February 1945

Consisted of the big 3 again. 


  • Stalin to fight Japan once Germany had surrended.
  • To divide Germany in to 4 zones, American, British, Soviet and French. Berlin would be split in to 4 also.
  • To do something with the people involved with the genecide.
  • When all the countries were liberated from Germanys control, they decided to hold free elections so that the countried could decide what Government they wanted.
  • Joined United Nations Organisations to keep peace at war.


  • Stalin wanted to make the USSR bigger by shifting its border to Poland in order to have it. 
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Potsdam July/Aug 1945

General information:
Allied troops reached Berlin, Hitler committed suicide and the war is won! New President Trumen who was very anti- communist and very suspicious of Stalin. Allies tested the atomic bomb a day before the conference (16th July) and inform Stalin about this at the conference. New Prime Minister is Atlee.


  • Stalin wanted to cripple Germany to protect the USSR, Trumen did not want to repeat this mistake like the Treaty Of Versailles.
  • Stalin wanted compensation from Germany for how many USSR citizens died, Trumen resisted against this again. 
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Iron Curtain 1946

Churchill's speech in Foulton, Missouri.

Churchill stated that effectively there were two camps in the world, the capitalism and communism. Stalin had cut off most contact with the West and had complete control of the Eastern countries. 

Stalin saw Churchill's speech as a declaration of war. 

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Communism take over 1945-1948

USSR took over...

  • Romania in 1945 by election and got rid of the monarchy.
  • Bulgaria in 1945 by election and communists executed the other party.
  • Albainia in 1945 and they gained power imeddiately.
  • Yugoslavia in 1945, however didnt take over as they were already communist in their own rights.
  • Hungary in 1947  by elections.
  • Poland in 1947 by a coalition.
  • Czechoslavakia in 1948 by elections.
  • East Germany (Berlin) was the last in 1949.
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Wests reaction- Greece 1947

After Germany retreated from Greece in 1944 there were two rival groups. The monarchists and the communists. The Monarchists wanted the return of the king and the communists wanted Greece to be part of the Soviet republic. 

Churchill sent British troops in 1945 to supposedly restore the order but ended up supporting the Monarchists and the king was returned. 

In 1947 the Communists tried control of Greece by force and a civil war developed. The UK had no money so withdrew. 

Trumen stepped in and provided Greece with arms, supplies and money. The Communists were defeated. 

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Wests reaction- Czechoslovakia 1948

They had a coalition government, there were a few communists but they had been trying to persue policies independent to Moscow.

Communists came down hard in March 1948, one pro-american Minister, Jan Masaryk, died by falling out of a window. Communists thought he jumped however Americans thought he was pushed. 

Congress (government representative) accepted the Marshall Plan and made $17 billion available over a period of four years.

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Truman Doctrine March 1947


American's intervention on Greece marked a new era in USA's attitudes to world policies called Truman Doctrine. 

They sent supplies to countries that had been effected by the communism take over. 

Truman accepted that Eastern Europe was communist so his aim now was to stop it from spreading, this was called CONTAINMENT.

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Comniform 1947


Stands for Communist information Bureau.

Stalin set it up in 1947 to co-ordinate the various Communist Governments in Eastern Europe.

He ran meetings and sent out instructions to these Governments about what the Soviet Union wanted them to do. Stalins office was based in Yugoslavia but moved when they expelled him. 

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The Marshall Plan 1948


Truman thought that Communism was a breeding ground when the countires were in poverty and hardship, so he wanted to make them prosperous again. 

He sent the security of state, George Marshall to access the economic state of these countries and to create a European recovery plan. His two aims were:

  • to stop the spread of Communism
  • help economies in European countries

The state was very bad, they owed $11.5 billion to USA, bread was rationned and electricity had to be turned off because of the shortage of coal.
Marshall granted $17billion to be given to them however Congress initially refused, but then agreed after the death of Jan in Czech.

Only 16 countires accepted this and Stalin hated it as he thought that the USA was buying allies and that it would weaken his control over Eastern Europe.

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Comecon 1949


Stands for Council for Mutual Economic Assistance. It was set up to co-ordinate the industries and trade of Eastern countries.

Members traded mostly with one another rather than with the West. 

These countries favoured the USSR far more than any of the other members because it provided the USSR with goods. For example, Poland was forced to sell its coal to the USSR at 1/10th of the price that they would recieve from the open market (USA)

It set up a bank for socialisation in countries in 1964. 

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Germany 1947

In Yalta in 1945, the big 3 agreed to split Germany in to four zones. British, America, Soviet and French. Berlin would be split too by a wall.

In Potsdam, between July-Aug 1945 this was put in to action. 

In 1947, British and US zones were merged to becom Bizonia and in 1948, French joined and this was called Trizonia. It was then referred to as West Germany. They reformed the currency and within months there were signs that Germany was recovering from the WW2. 

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Berlin Blockade and Airlift Causes 1947

  • Germany was in ruins after WW2 and the West wanted to end poverty and rebuild its industry.
  • The West of Germany was then given the Marshall Plan. Stalin refused to let the Soviet Zone in Eastern Germany to receive any money from America so the East didn't receive it.
  • In 1947 the USA and British intrdouced the currency of the Deutshmark in to their zones, Stalin was worried about this. He wanted the occupied zones of Germany to stay poor. He also did not want a rich Western Germany next to a poor Soviet controlled Eastern Germany.
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The Events of the Berlin Airlift and Blockade 1948

  • Stalin decided to try and force the Western powers out of Berlin. It was situated in the middle of Soviet controlled East Germany. 
  • On 24th June 1948, Stalin ordered Berlin to be blockaded. Roads and railways to West Berlin were cut off by the Soviets. 
  • To break the blockade the Western powers would have to smash through the blockades with tanks. Stalin did not think they would do this, he hoped that they would just abandon their zones, leaving all of Berlin in Soviet hands.
  • The USA and UK and French decided to airlift supplies across to West Berlin, a massive task. It took non-stop flights to deliver the large amounts of food and fuel to keep 2 million people supplied in West Berlin.
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Events continued...

  • The only way Stalin could of stopped the airlift was by shooting the planes down. If he had of done this is could of led to another war.
  • Over 11 months over 2 million tonnes of supplies were flown to to West Berlin. Stalin realised the Western powers were determined to hold on to West Berlin and he called off the blockade on May 12th 1949.
  • In May 1949 the USA, UK and French joined their zones together to form the German Federal Republic (West Germany) Part of this country was West Berlin too.
  • In October 1949 the Soviet zone was renamed the German Democratic Republic (East Germany)
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Berlin Airlift and Blockade Consequences

Stalin's blockade had meant to win West Berlin for the Soviets, but the Western powers stood up to Stalin and then took measures to strengthen their position in Germany.

This was victory for Western powers but it meant relations with the USSR were ruined. 

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NATO 1949

The Western powers also confirmed their opposition to the Soviet Union by setting up the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation in 1949.

This was an alliance of Western European countries together with the USA and Canada. 

Members of the alliance agreed to help each other if any of them was attacked. By joining NATO the USA had shown it was determined to stop the spread of Communism.

The USSR developed its own atomic bomb in 1949 and so NATO was evern more important to the defense of Western Europe, non of which had the atomic bomb yet.

  • The USA was now formally committed to the defence of Western Europe
  • Stalin did not see it as a defensive alliance but as a direct threat to the USSR
  • The USA was able to build air bases in western Europe where planes armed with nuclear weapons could be stationed.
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Warsaw Pact 1955

In 1949 the Soviet Union developed its own atomic bomb so set up its own military alliance called The Warsaw Pact. 

Created by Khrushchev

The USA responded by increasing he number of NATO troops in Germany

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Arms Race 1945

It showed the competitiveness between the USA and USSR and was to show off their new technologies for their arms.

July 1945 - USA test atomic bomb (one day before Potsdam                                   conference, in a desert in new Mexico)
Auguast 1945 - USA test A bomb (on Nagasaki and Hiroshima)
August 1949 - USSR test A bomb (Kazakhstan)
1952 - USA develops hydrogen come (over 450 times the power of the             A bomb)
1953 - USSR develops hydrogen bomb.
1954 - USA drops H bomb (on Bikini Atoll, Marshall Islands)
1955 - USSR test H bomb 

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De-stalinisation 1956

The state owned up to some of the things they did. Khrushchev wanted to distribute the 'secret speech' to the whole country so that they knew just what Stalin did.


  • it closed down cominform (loss of political power in Eastern Europe which led to the start of those countries going their own way)
  • dismissed some of his ministers who did support Stalin to try and erase his influence.
  • released political prisoners.
  • increased the number of collective farms (this increased production and profits which was obviously better for the people.

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Hungary 1956

Hungary was led by a hard-line communist: Matayas Rakosi. Hungarians hated the restrictions Rakosi imposed on them, they felt bitter about losing their freedom of speech. 

The citizens feared the AVO's and hated the presence of the Soviet troops and officials. There were Russian street signs and schools everywhere. The rich Hungarians were failing. 


Imre Nagy came in to help the Hungarians have their own say and oppose Rakosi. He requested Soviet troops and tanks stationed in Hungary to withdraw from the war. Local councils replaced the Government. Soviet flags and books were burnt in the street and AVO's were hung. Things got way out of hand.

Nagy then began to make plans to hold free elections with more than one party (very anti-communist) He also wanted to abolish the AVO's. The total withdrawal of the Soviet army from Hungary and planned to leave the Warsaw Pact in order to be neutral in the Cold War.

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Tanks moved in 1956

Khrushchev did not except Hungary leaving the Warsaw Pact so in November 1956 1,000's of Soviet troops and tanks moved to Budapest and two weeks of fighting followed.

Hungarians attacked the Soviet tanks with 'Molotov Cocktails'. 3,000 Hungarians died, 7,000 Russians died and 200,000 Hungarians fled to austria to escape communist forces. 

What happened to Nagy?

he was imprisoned and then executed in 1958.

West's reaction?

the west protested but did not send any help. They were too busy with the Suez Crisis in the Middle East and were not prepared to risk War.

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Outcomes for Hungary

Khrushchev put Janos Kadar in place as leader for Hungary. He arrested 30,000 anti-communists and killed 300 of them. 

Introduced some economic reforms demanded during the uprising but did not waver on the central issue- joining the Warsaw Pact again? The lesson learnt was the the East were never free to leave Soviet control and the West would never help them.

How did it develop the Cold War?

It made Khrushchev realize he needed to be firmer with the countries like Hungary who thought they could leave the USSR. It challenged the USA in goods and wanted co-existence with the world

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