Origins and Openings of the Cold War


Ideological Competition

  • USA's captialist system
    • Free elections, multiple parities
    • Government small involvement in the economy
    • Free trade and goods and services privately owned
  • USSR communsit system
    • Single communist party system and state socialism
    • Restricted political freedoms
    • Goods and service at fixed prices
    • Opposed to religion
  • Early conflict between East and West seen in:
    • Russian Revolution had intervention from USA
    • Comintern 1919 to spread communist ideology
  • United after Operation Barabossa in 1941, breach of Nazi-Soviet Pact 1939
  • After WW2
    • USA experienced economic boom, was half of the world's manufacturing capacity
    • USSR fasted growing economy in the world, but massive destruction of agriculture etc.
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Stalin's Liberation of Europe

  • Poland 1944- Red army enter Poland, destroyed non-communist resistance and in 1945 annouced they were governing it as communist
  • Romania 1944 set up Allied Control Commission in 1944-5, Stalin enforced a coup which lead to a communist dominated country
  • Bulgaria 1944 comunists set up government through red army enforcement, but late 1944 Stalin tries to make them persue a more moderate policy
  • Yugoslavia 1944 British assist Tito to power, USSR want miltary alliance
  • Hungary 1944 soviet troops cross border and try to take reperations
  • Czechoslovakia made alliance with USSR in 1943, the Soviets occupied in 1944-5 and set up a provincial government with soviet seats
  • Finland supported the 1941 Nazi attack on USSR, but granted generous terms and armistice from Russia
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Leaders Post-War

  • USSR aims and Stalin's personality:
    • Security for USSR against German aggression and damage
    • Wanted control over Poland, reintergration of Baltic states and communist regimes in Europe
    • Dissolved Comintern in 1943 to show they weren't planning domination
    • Stalin highly suspicious of West- heavy use of terror, censorship, propoganda
  • USA aims and Roosevelt's personality:
    • Chain of trade links, new industry for USA and trade from Britain and French empires
    • Development of UN
    • Roosevelt opptimistic for improved relations and a good negotiator
  • Britain aims and Churchill's personality:
    • Survival of British power and friendly relations with USA and USSR
    • Churchill very anti-communist but prepared to work with Stalin
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  • Foreign Ministers Meeting October 1943
    • Established European Advisory Communission to finalise plans for post-war Germany
    • Proposed creation of UN
  • Tehran Conference Decemeber 1943
    • Stalin to re-claim territory
    • Britain to station troops in Greece, USSR to retain troops in Romania, Bulgaria, Hungary
    • Organisation of UN and fate of Germany discussed
  • Churchill and Stalin meet October 1944
    • Create Percentages Agreement over Europe (UK got 90% Greece, USSR 90% Bulgaria)
  • Yalta Conference 1945
    • Stalin to enter the war in Japan and gain land as a result
    • Germany to be split into 4 power control and Poland to recieved compensation
    • Establishment of UN
    • Poland's border along Curzon line
  • Potsdam Conference 1945
    • German demilitarisation, denazification and punishments, reperations to be taken
    • Disagreement over UN and Soviet role in it- Truman more aggressive @ Stalin
    • USA test atomic bomb- didn't tell Stalin, no longer involvement in Japan
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Growing Tension in Europe

  • Kennan Telegram Feb 1946- US government feared Soviets planning world domination
  • Novikov Telegram Sept 1946- concern about US using wealth to spread influence
  • 1946 Churchill's Iron Curtain Speech- consolidated the rival blocs of East and West, Stalin responded saying Stalin was a war mongerer
  • Truman Doctrine 1947 to aid Greece, financial and military aid given- 'containment'
  • Marshall Plan 1938 gave money for European Economic recovery- £13 billion given, also created trade links with the USSR, 'dollar imperialism'
  • Soviets responded with:
    • Cominform 1947- communist solidarity
    • Comecon 1949- economic aid = emergence of 2 economic areas in Europe
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Stalin's Takeover of Eastern Europe 1945-8

  • Poland- 1945 government included a Polish exile from London, he resigned in 1946 and wouldn't let Polish Peasants Party join electoral bloc, USA didn't intervene, use of terror in election so communists won seats
  • Romania 1946 election, abuses and censorship of press, opposition murdered, communists won 80% vote
  • Bulgaria 1945 forced communist government, but included 2 members of opposition, but in elections communists liquidated opposition and introduced collectivisation
  • Yugoslavia 1945 independantly from Stalin communists won 90% under Tito
  • Czechoslovakia- communists won 38% winout violence in 1946 but party seized control in 1948
  • Hungary 1945, press still free, Stalin created Communist coalition government, Communists won 45% in August elections and in 1949 only communist party allowed to stand in elections
  • Finald recieved little help from USSR, Peace Treaty 1947 committed Finland to reperations, remained neutral
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  • German currency worthless, reformed by British and US zones (Bizonia 1948) with Deutschmark and France (Trizonia 1949)
  • Stalin created Eastmark in response- but weaker
  • Started Berlin Blockade- cut off travel/ power links
    • West lifted supplies along 3 air corridors, 2000 tons supplies/ day
    • August 1948 West deployed 60 B29 bombers in East Anglia
    • Blockade ended May 1949
  • Propoganda disaster for USSR- could starve 2 million people for political gain
  • GDR and FRG created in response, SED camoflauged a one party state in the GDR
  • NATO set up April 1949
  • USSR denotated atomic bomb 1949
  • Thousands of skilled workers moving from East > West - caused incresed work norms and lower living standards
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