International Relations

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  • Created on: 24-05-16 21:03

Yalta Conference 1945

  • Germany reduced in size, demilitarised and pay reparations when defeated
  • Plans started for division of Germany between allies and rebuilding of europe
  • UN set up to replace League of Nations
  • USSR would declare war on Japan 3 months after defeat of Germany
  • Poland would be in soviet sphere of influence but run more democratically

conference a success due to good relationship establised between Roosevelt and Stalin at Teheran in 1943 

BUT splits were growing and america began showing it wish to avoid communism in decisions oveer Poland. 

Tension signs 

  • Disagreements over what democracay meant in practice
  • Stalin beleived communists gov was the only democratic gov but western countries belived variety of political parties needed.
  • 2 months later - Roosevelt died- Harry Truman became president- less willing to compromise with Stalin 
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Potsdam Conference 1945 (after Yalta)

  • Truman present
  • Atlee replaced Churchill = all trust built up and understanding was lost
  • Suspicion from Stalin anbout atomic bombAtomic 
  • No longer united by common enemy of German

Reached agreements of reconstruction of Europe:

- Ban the Nazi paarty and prosecute surviving criminals at nuremburg

- Reduce size of Germany

- Divide it into 4 zones run seperately by USSR, USA, Britian, France (berlin split the same way despite it being deep in Soviet zone)

- Give USSR 1/4 of industrial equipment from other 3 zones as they were least developed, they gave raw materials in return

Disagreements over:

  • Reparations- USSR wanted large fines but USA wanted rebuild of Germany
  • Atomic Bomb- gave Truman power and got Stalin thinking
  • Poland- Stalin broke agreemnt made at Yalta
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Build up to War

  • War of words- Churchill's 'Iron Curtain' speech
  • Secret telegrams- 1946

Long telegram

- To Truman, Stalins speech regarding destruction of capitalism, USSR building up military, USA should seek to contain communism

Novikov telegram

- To Stalin, USA wanted to dominate world, government no longer interested in cooperation, American public preparing for war

  • End of Grand Alliance
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Truman Doctrine/Marshall Plan 1947

  • World had a choice between communist tyranny or capitalist freedom and democracy
  • Americas responsibility to fight for freedom where threatened- moral duty
  • Troops and economic aid to help countries threatened
  • Communism not allowed to grow and gain territory


  • - suggested america should protect not UN
  • - reversal of policy of 'isolationism'
  • - divided the world according to ideology, no cooperation between East and West
  • - marked beginning of cold war
  • - changed american foreign policy-containment- wouldnt invade USSR but would stop spread of it

Marshall Plan- practical example of Doctrine

- $13 billion aid sent to rebuld economies of Europe- encourage prosperity to weaken communism. To qualify had to agree to free trade with USA.

REACTION-USSR walked out on conference in 1948- said trying to split world in 2 and creating military alliance. 'Dollar Imperialism'. No countries within soviet influence allowed to accept.

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Satellite states

Countries officially independant but in reality controlled by another 

- Czechoslovakia

- Hungary

- Poland

Kept control by ensuring that:

  • Communist party leaders were people that would obey Moscow
  • atmosphere of fear and mistrust so difficult for people to revolt
  • ruthless police and army to stamp out opposition
  • making econmies dependant on USSR and rationalising industroes to stop them being self-sufficient
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Cominform and Comecon

Communist Information Bureau- 1947

  • rejected Marshall Plan, Western Europe communist parties encouraged strikes etc.
  • ensured loyalty of Eastern european governments- investigated gov ministers and removing those not loyal to Stalin- often a violent process
  • consolidated power of USSR through E. Europe

The Council for Mutual Economic Assistance- 1949

  • answer to Marshall Plan
  • prevented trade with with the West
  • minimised american influence
  • ensured economic benefits stayed within soviet sphere of influence
  • E. Europe didnt have access to prosperity

Comecon and Marshall plan now split europe into 2 camps and spheres of influence became official economic alliances

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Berlin Blockade 1948-49


  • Unable to agree on future of Germany- capitalist or communist?, neutral or soviet or USA, receive Marshall aid?
  • trizonia (USA, Britain,France) work well together but their instructions came form West Berlin, deep in soviet zone
  • new currency introduced in Trizonia, Stalin not informed and thought they were taking steps to permanently divide germany
  • opposed permanent division because- reluctant to allow more USA influence/ didnt want USA troops to remain stationed/ realised economic resources in West- could be used in war against USSR.


  • military blockade around berlin
  • all transport links cut off
  • without capital, Stalin belived West couldnt operate
  • planes bought supplies 24/7- provided 170,000 tonnes at its height in Jan '49
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Berlin Blockade 1948-49 continued


  • propaganda disaster for USSR- airlift made blockade look aggressive
  • blockade ended May '49- beaten by airlift
  • West Germany became FDR- Federal Republic of Germany  in Sep '49
  • officially an independant state
  • USSR establised GDR- German Democratic Republic in October- added to satellite states

Formation of NATO- North Atlantic Treaty Organisation- April 1949

  • Blockade was first military confrontation and raised possibilty of war
  • NATO formed aas a result to protect west against communism
  • 1st military alliance
  • NATO members( USA, Britain, France, Italy, Canada etc.) agreed to all come to each others defence in face of attack

Warsaw Pact created in response- 1955

  • similar to Cominform but when West germany joined NATO, East formed military alliance between Poland, Hungary, Soviet Union, Czechoslovakia
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The Arms race 1945-55

  • Commitment to maintining large army, navy, air force
  • Development of more deadly nuclear weapons


  • USA dropped nuclear bombs on hiroshima, nagisaki- showed the world the power of nuclear weapons = fear


  • USSR caught up- developed and tested own bomb led to USA making new hydrogen bombs- more powerful


  • both have hydrogen bombs but USA warheads still more powerful


  • USSR tested new bomb as powerful as USA hydrogen bomb- 'Sakharov's third idea'
  • USA develop B52 - long range flight capacity to carry bombs to Soviet Union- USSR similar aircraft- TU20 Bear

SIGNIFIGANCE- stopped war as even though 3 million soviet troops- fear of nuclear retaliation stopped invasion

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Hungary 1949-55

- Cominform and Rakosi- harsh dictator- caused oppressive regime in hungary 

  • land redistributed
  • coal, oil, wheat shipped- deprived of food
  • political parties abolished
  • russian officials controlled gov/police/army
  • opposition got rid of usinng ' salami tactics'- slice by slice

Stalin dies 1953- Krushchev to power and made secret speech promising end to 'stalinism'


  • had been part of communist uprising in 1919
  • moved back to USSR 1929- studied agriculture in Moscow- became minister of agriculture in hungary 1945- concern for welfare of people not state excluded him from party in 1949
  • public announcment of support for USSR- back in gov and became PM in 1953- 55
  • Rakosi kept lot of power as Secretary of party
  • '55 Nagy thrown out for opposition to Rakosi
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Hungary 1956-58

Hungarians dissatisfied with Soviet rule

  • Krushchev removed Rakosi from power in July
  • riots in Budapest casued by shortages- Oct '56- STudents demonstrated calling for reforms
  • Nagy made Prime Minister and red army removed to calm situation

Reforms by Nagy

  • leave the Warsaw pact
  • hold free elections
  • ask for recognition as neutral by UN so if Soviet army re-enteredthey could use UN to intervene
  • hoped for suport from USA- got encouragement but no military support as USA didnt want to start war

Government split and USSR supported Kadar set up rival gov in Eastern hungary

Krushchev saw it as threat- rest of Eastern Europe may follow and intelligence reports did say that they were discontented with communism.Responded with invasion in Nov '56 tanks/troops caused 200,000 to flee and thousands killed or wounded. Nagy escaped to Yugoslavia but captured and arrested. Hanged June '58

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Hungarian Invasion effects

  • USA offered $20 million worth food/medical aid
  • allowed 80,000 Hungarian refugees into America
  • Eisenhower praised bravery and gave encouragement
  • UN officially condemmed invasion and conducted enquiry
  • spain/netherlands/sweden boycotted 1956 olympics in protest
  • E. Europe reformers discouraged as evidence in Hungary lacked USA support

Janos Kadar

  • appointed as new leader
  • 15 point plan including
    • - re-establishing communsit control
    • - using Hungarys troops to stop people ressisting against Soviet troops
    • - remaining in warsaw pact
    • - negotiating withdrawal of Soviet troops

Hungarian people accepted this as they had no choice now

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