Who was to blame for the Cold War?

  • Why did the USA and USSR alliance begin to breakdown in 1945?
  • How had the USSR gained control of Eastern Europe by 1948?
  • How did the USA react to Soviet Expansionism?
  • Who was more to blame for the start of the Cold War the USA of the USSR?
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The Orgins of the Cold War

  • DEFINE COLD WAR:
    • A struggle to harm the otherside between America and Russia woithout harming thier own country; compared to fighting a hot war between 2 countries. (Russia and America never fought directly)
    • They fought each others allies and helped their allies to fight each other. They supported opposing sides in a civil war.
    • PROPANGANDA WAR: trying to harm each other reputation e.g The 'Voice of America' radion station broadcasted American programmes to the Soviet Union. Progress Publishers printed pro-soviet books in foriegn languages for export to Western countries.
  • At the end of WWII (1939 - 1945)  the Allies (GB, france, Russia and USA) disagreed about how the should be won and what post war should look like.
  • 6 June 1944 USA and GB invaded Europe (D-day) and finally opened a second front. By May 1945 the USA and GB troops and the Russian troops reached Berling and Germany was defeated.

 

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Different Interpretations

  • DELAYED SECOND FRONT:
    •  Stalin wanted a second front opened early on in the war. America didn't want to as they needed time to plan the attack.
    • Stalin grew suspicious that America delayed the opening of the second front so the Nazis and Communists could destroy each other.
  • SOVIET TAKE OVER OF EASTERN EUROPE:
    • The imposition of communist on eastern Europe was the first step Stalin took to take over the whole continent.
    • Stalin pointed out that Russia had been invaded twice during the 2 WW and Russia needed security and a buffer zone.
  • ATOMIC BOMB:
    • The official reason is to save British marines lives as an invasion of Japan would cost many American lives.
    • At the end of WW2 America was the only country with Atomic weapons, Russia feared it would be them next and this created fear and distress.

AMERICAN INTERPRETATION                                                  RUSSIAN INTERPRETATION

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Yalta Confernece; Feb 1945

  • In February 1945 the Big Three (Churchill, Roosevelt and Stalin) met at Yalta in Ukraine. In public they seemed to have a good relationship but behing the scenes there was a lot of tension, especailly between Churhill and Stalin.
  • The discussed what would happen to Europe after Germany's defeat.
  • WHAT WAS AGREED TOWARDS:
    • JAPAN:  Stalin agreed to go to war against Japan - once Germany had surended.
    • GERMANY: It was agreed Germany would be split into 4 zones; GB, USA, French and Soviet. Germans who were responsible for the concentration cambs would for hunted down and punished.
    • EASTERN EUROPE: All countries who were liberated from German army would be free to hold elections. Many Soviets had died during the war and stalin was concerned about the future of the USSR. It was agreed that the Eastern Europe should be seen as a 'Soviet Sphere of influence'.
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Potsdam Confernece; July - August 1945

  • WHAT WAS AGREED AT POTSDAM?
    • The surrender of Japan.
    • The set up of the 4 'zones of occupation'.
    • The Nazi laws were to be destroyed  and all German Nazis education to be eliminated. To bring Nazis war criminals to trail.
    • To recognise the Polish Provisional Government of National Unity and hold free elections.
  • WHAT CHANGES THAT HAD OCCURED SINCE YALTA?
    • Stalin's armies were occupying most of Eastern Europe.
    • America had a new President - Truman
    • The Allies had tested an Atomic Bomb on July 16 1945
  • DISAGREEMENTS AT POTSDAM
    • Germany - Stalin wanted to cripple Germany (to protect USSR), but Truman did not want to repeat the mistakes of the T of V.
    • Reparations - Stalin wanted compensation (as 20million Russians had died). Truman did not want to repeat mistakes of WW1.
    • Soviet Policy in Eastern Europe - Truman became unhappy about Russian intentions to take over majority of Europe and soon adapted a 'get tough' attitude towards Stalin.
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The Truman Doctorine - 1947

  • After WW2 there were 2 groups trying to get hold of Greece: Monarchists and Communists.
  • British Troops in Greece supported the monarchists against the communists. But in 1947 the British announce they were going to leave because they were no longer afford to fight.
  • This worried America because it would weaken the monarchists and Greece might become communist. Therefore Truman paid for British troops to stay in Greece.
  • In explaining his decision to help Greece, Truman made a speech about American foreign policy that became known as the TRUMAN DOCTORINE.
  • THE TRUMAN DOCTORINE: A speech which changes American Foreign policy (from isolation to active involvement) for the long term. America offers weapons, money, advice and troops if they are needed.
  • CONTIANMENT: Truman accepted that Eastern Europe was communist, but drew a line saying communism must go no further into Western Europe.
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The Marshall Plan

After the war Europe was suffering from massive economic difficulties. It was thought that communism would be more attractive in such circumstances of despair and depression. People would be more likely to be attracted to the promises of communism, as it would seem better than their current situation.

To build the economy of Europe and reduce the appeal of communism America introduced the Marchall Plan.

WHO WAS MARSHALL? George Marshall was an American General sent by America to asses the economic state of Europe.

HOW MUCH MONEY? Marshall suggested $17 billion would be needed to rebuild Europe.

OFFICAL REASON FOR THE MP TO BE INTRODUCED? because America's policy was directed to help people in hunger, poverty, desperation and chaos.

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Why did the Soviet Union Blockade Berlin?

  • Stalin decided to force the Allies to leave Berlin. In June 1948 Soviet forces closed all railways, roads and canals leading from their zone into the western sector of the city. This immediately cut off all food and fuel supplies.
  • But the American, British and French refused to abandon Berlin. If West Berlin was taken by the Soviets, western Germany would surely be their next target. So they gathered together a huge fleet of aircraft to take food, coal and clothing to Berlin along the air corridors. The Berlin Airlift, as this rescue mission was called, lasted 9 months. It kept the people of Western Berlin alive until Stalin gave in and lifted the Blockade.
  • After the failure of the Russian blockade over Berlin, the USA and Britain organised the formation of Western Germany, officially called the Federal Republic of Germany (FRG). It was a strong capitalist country. 
  •  In response the Soviet Union formed East Germany, officially called the German Democratic Republic (GDR).  
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NATO and the WARSAW PACT

  • The blockade also encouraged the Western Powers to form a military alliance in 1949 called the NORTH ALANTIC TREATY ORGANISATION (NATO).
  • NATO was dominated by America and was an indication of just how determine the USA was to stop the spread of communism.
  • ARTICLE 5: The articles agreed that an armed attacked against one or more of them in Europe or North America shall be considered an attack against them all.
  • In response Russia and the countries under their control formed their own military alliance called the WARSAW PACT in 1955.
  • The world was know split into 2 opposing military alliances.
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