The beginning of the Cold War

  • Yalta, Potsdam and collapse of the grande alliance
  • Soviet expansionism in eastern europe
  • The Warsaw Pact
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  • Created by: Tom
  • Created on: 17-04-14 11:51

Collapse of the Grand Alliance

  • principle allies had little in common before war
  • Ideological oppsites - war united them
  • August 1941 - Roosevelt + Churchill signed Atlantic Charter - committed western powers to post-war world based on self-determination, peace, prosperity, democracy
  • January 1942 - Declaration of United Nations. S.U signed also
  • first test to Grand Alliance - Feb 1945 Yalta Conference - founded on international cooperation
  • Stalin convinced U.S economic power would dominate IMF and World Bank - American strategy to gain world power
  • 12th April 1945 - Roosevelt died - weakened relations
  • replaced by Truman - clueless about int. relations
  • Truman ordered nukes on Japan, August 1945
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Yalta Conference, 4-11th February 1945

  • Roosevelt, Churchill, Stalin - red cheese sandwich
  • highpoint of inter-allied cooperation
  • Germany divided into four zones, each run by an allied power
  • Berlin divided similarly
  • United Nations organisation formally ratified
  • USSR gained land from Poland. Poland expanded to west and north
  • Declaration on Liberated Europe agreed. Committed Britain, U.S and S.U to assist the people in any European liberated state, and establishment of free democratic elections ASAP
  • Grand Alliance founded on internation cooperation 
  • Declaration on Liberated Europe placed little emphasis on significance or relevancy of spheres of influence in post-war Europe
  • Stalin simply signed as it was practical to do so. No intention of following it.
  • Stalin was convinced U.S economic power would dominate the proposed new financial system based on IMF and World Bank
  • 12th April 1945 - Roosevelt died - weakened Grand Alliance considerably.
  • Roosevelt replaced by Truman - no knowledge of international relations
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Potsdam conference, 17th July - 1st August 1945

  • first detonation of A-bomb took place 1 day before conference
  • Potsdam characterised by Truman's abrasive diplomacy and detmination of Stalin and his foreign Minister, Vyacheslav, not to be intimidated by the U.S monopoly of nuclear technology - nuclear diplomacy
  • Germany was to be completely disarmed and demilitarised
  • de-nazification to be carried out. War crimes judged. Nazi party members removed from office. Education system purged of all Nazi influence.
  • de-centralisation of political process. local responsibility developed.
  • freedom of speech/free press+religious tolerance restored
  • Germany to become single economic unit - common policies on industry & finance
  • S.U to get reparations from its own zone and 25% from western zones
  • failed to define consensus between East and West
  • Many regard Molotov's(Soviet representative at Yalta and potsdam) as making major contribution to collapse of east-west relations after WW2
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Collapse of the Grand Alliance - German problem 45

  • repparations necessitated day to day cooperation between east-west
  • Soviets only allowed to take resources 'unnecessary for German peace recovery'
  • U.S realised S.U desire for revenge but also their plan to weaken Germany in order to undermine its ability to recover economically and politically
  • April 1946 - Truman ordered 25m tonnes coal freom West zones be able for export to Western countries
  • May 1946 - General Clay stops reparations from West zones would stop uintil overall plan for German economy had been implemented
  • S.U saw U.S tactic to strengthen West economies + neutralise growing Comm. popularity. Saw U.S restoring German economy based on capitalism
  • lack of precision in reparations at Potsdam became breeding ground for international tension
  • Stalin determined that the S.U zone would act as springboard fto extend Comm. through Germany
  • Stalin tried to gain influence in germany by forming the Socialist Unionist Party(SED) - not popular
  • U>S saw economic recovery of Germany as fundamental for German political stability
  • East-West divisions increased July 1946 - U.S refused to increase S.U reparations as it would delay German economic recovery
  • economic cost of zone too much for Britain
  • U.S + U.K zones merged creating Bizonia. Didn't help Grand Alliance
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collapse of the grand alliance - U.S atomic monopo

  • U.S regarded A-bomb primarily as diplomatic tool in east-west relations
  • Atomic diplomacy
  • If the bomb was a diplomatic tool, then it was a failure.
  • Soviet response, gives its obsession with security, was to develop its own nuclear weapons by 1949
  • no evidence to suggest S.U actions were driven towards more cooperation with the U.S because of existence of nuclear technology
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collapse of grand alliance - the polish question

  • S.U agreed to free elections in Poland by signing the Declaration on Liberated Europe at Yalta, but failed to conduct free elections. Stalin simply signed as it was easier to do so.
  • Poland was route Russia's enemies had always taken in their attacks
  • A simple sphere of influence was not enough to guarantee Russia's long term security - a pro Moscow gov. needed to be in place
  • If democracy allowed to flourish in Poland, then other Soviet Eastern states may fall
  • dispute over poland simply raised an atmosphere of mistrust within Grand Alliance
  • U.S convinced what happened in Poland would happen in other Eastern states
  • S.U convinced U.S had no regard for S.U security interests - quickly transformed into S.U certainty that U.S wanted to create own sphere of diplomatic, strategic influence across Europe.
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S.U expansionism in East Europe, 1945-9

  • 6th March, 1946 - Churchill Iron Curtain speech
  • S.U accuses U>S of becoming a strategic threat by developing military bases in countries far away from U.S - Alaksa, Japan, Italy, S.Korea, Egypt, Turkey, Greece, W.Germany, Afghanistan
  • U.s was looking for opportunities to expand its economic control by investing in Europe and creating markets for its exports - Comm. bloc in Europe would stop this
  • S.U saw itself as the defender of Europe against imperialistic ambitions of U.S
  • Stalin's actions in East Europe motivated by determination to do whatever necessary to safeguard S.U international interests and Soviet territory
  • Czechoslovakia - Comm. party emerged as largest single party - 35% of vote - 'relatively' free elections May 1946. War left many states in ruin, Comm. promised better world
  • Stalin was committed to power rather than ideology - purity of Comm. ideology operating in East Europe states was not an issue for Stalin
  • Leaders of Eastern states had to function as Stalinist puppets
  • this level of commitment and loyalty gave stalin, and the S.U, power and power gave security
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The Warsaw Pact - Poland

  • case of Poland reveals significant forward planning by Stalin
  • 'London Proles' - gov. of republic of Poland in exile - established in Britain by polish political figures who fled Nazi's
  • Comm. imposed on Poland via Soviet-controlled gov.
  • Polish Committee for National Liberation(Lublin Gov.) - Stalin's instrument of political control
  • by agreeing to free elections at Yalta, Stalin was able to preserve the role of the pro-Moscow Lublin gov.
  • Provisional gov. of National Unity was formed in June 1945. Parties from both ends of political spectrum
  • Poland became testing ground for Stalin's methodology
  • January 1947 - Stalin's provisional gov. merged with Polish socialist party
  • Deputy PM Wladslaw Eomulka didn't agree and resigned. He was accused of 'nationalist deviation' and replaced. Poland safely under Soviet influence
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Warsaw Pact - Romania, Bulgaria, Hungary

  • Soviet army of Liberation still in Romania, king was forced to appoint a Comm. gov.
  • Comm. popular as they offered an alternative to the pre-war regime
  • opposition was minimal and easy to deal with
  • Gradualism, manipulated elections and forced removal of opponents characterised the process in Bulgaria
  • strongest opponent was Aggrarian party - led by Nikola Petkov - won 20% vote - Petkov faced false charges and was executed
  • party forecefully absorbed into Communist movement
  • by April 1947 all other political parties had been banned
  • Hungary - Comms. used tactic of allying with other political parties in order to challoenge Smallholders Party(biggest threat)
  • political opponents arrested and allections rigged
  • Hungarian Comms. were more loyal to independent Communist Yugoslavia(Tito) than Moscow
  • 1949 - Hungarian Communist leader, Laszlo Rajk, executed for 'anti socialist' activities
  • by end 1949 all opposition to Moscow backed Hungarian Comms. had dissapeared
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Warsaw Pact - Czechoslovakia

  • unlike rest of East Europe, Czechoslovakia was industrialised and had large unionised urban working class
  • Czech Comms. were popular with the rural peasants because they gave them land at the end of the war
  • Klement Gotwald became PM(March 1946). Fatal error when he accepted Western economic aid, 1947. Also growing opposition to Comm. leadership from non-comm groups.
  • All non-Comm. members of gov. resigned in 1948 - played in to the hands of Comms. who saw it as an opportunity to create an alternate right using Conservative coup. Benes refused to resign and simply filled the 12 places with Communist peers of his.
  • President Benes agreed to support a Comm. dominated gov.
  • June 1948 Benes resigned, leaving por-Moscow Comms. in control
  • Final step in Moscow-driven take over of east europe came with creation of Comm. led east germany in 1949
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formation of the Warsaw Pact

  • 1955 - S.u and most Comm. states of East Europe signed the "Treaty of Friendship, Cooperation and Mutual Assistance" - bought in what was known as the Warsaw Pact.
  • Territories united in a pledge to defend one another should they be threatened by an external aggressor - specifically NATO forces
  • West Germany entered NATO in 1955, spurred the S.U to create its equivalent
  • "render the state of states attacked immediate assistance"
  • "by all means it may consider necessary, including the use of armed force"
  • "provide safeguards against possible aggression"
  • The might of the Warsaw Pact's combined military muscle, opposed to that of the NATO countries, was the essence of the Cold War stand off that would dominate European affairs for the next 35 years.
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