Mutual Suspicion


The 'Long' and 'Novikov' Telegrams

  • By 1946, tensions were high and each superpower issued secret telegrams about the other.  The telegrams were detailed reports describing the motivations and intentions of the other country
  • The Long Telegram: Issued to Truman about the USSR, and it said that Stalin had given a speech in favour of the destruction of capitalism.  It warned of the USSR trying to weaken and divide Western powers, while building the strength of its own military
  • The Novikov Telegram: Issued to Stalin about the USA, and it claimed that the USA was pursuing world supremacy.  It warned that the USA was trying to limit the influence of the USSR in Europe
  • The reports panicked the governements and accelerated the Cold War, as it seemed to confirm their worst fears
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Truman Doctrine and the Marshall Plan

  • Many countries in Eastern Europe were undergoing economic hardships, which Truman thought might make communism look more appealing.  The USA decided to intervene in Europe to try and contain the spread of communism
  • The Truman Doctrine: The USA pledged to support any nation threatened by a communist takeover.  This support could be diplomatic, military or financial.  For example, the USA gave $400 million of aid to Turkey and Greece to stop communism spreading
  • The Marshall Plan: This promised $17 billion of aid to European countries to help rebuild their economies.  Stalin, however, ordered all of his satellite states to reject the plan.  He believed that the USA was using economic incentives to lure Eastern European states away from the USSR
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Cominform and Comecon

  • Stalin felt threatened by the Truman Doctrine, and reacted by strengthening and uniting his allies
  • Cominform: set up in 1947.  The organisation brought together all European communist parties and placed them under the control of the USSR
  • Comecon: established in 1949.  It countered the Marshall Plan by nationalising industries, collectivising agriculture and offering economic aid
  • Stalin hoped this would encourage economic development in Eastern Europe and discourage trade with the West.  It also appeased the countries that had been ordered to refuse Marshall aid
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