Why the cold war began

Cold war long term causes + background

  • The cold war was 45 years of tense war of words and propaganda between the USSR+USA. 
  • USSR and USA never came into direct conflict 
  • WHY DID THE WAR BEGIN?
  • long-term causes
  • different ideologies: 
  • USSR wanted a one-party state, no free elections and all industry and agriculture owned by the state. lack of freedom and strict censorship
  • The USA wanted democratic and capitalism, free elections, industry and agriculture owned privately and run for profit. Free press and freedom of movement
  • both sides feared the other was out to destroy the other
  • Stalin's suspicion of the west
  •  USSR attacked by Germany in 1914-1918 and in 1941+ allies in the civil war
  • Stalin did not trust the west as they appeased Hitler allowing him to build up the strength to fight USSR
  • USA's change in policies
  • USA isolationist policies between the wars had to be changed e.g appeasement and that dictators had to be confronted to support democracy
  • The USA was the richest and most powerful country in the world and was expected to state the way in which the world is run
  • USA wanted to stop global communism as it would limit global trade for the USA
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Cold war short term causes

  • Yalta 1945 USSR(Stalin), Roosevelt(USA), Churchill(Britain)
  • Agreements made:
  • Stalin agreed to join war vs japan 
  • All 3 nations agreed to join UN
  • Germany divided into 4 zones +Berlin into 4 zones
  • Stalin to have a sphere of influence in eastern Europe
  • USSR to join the war against japan
  • Disagreements:
  • Stalin insisted on a friendly government in Poland but West. demanded free elections in Poland
  • Potsdam conference 1945 USA(Truman), USSR(Stalin), Britain(Atlee)
  • Agreements made:
  • USSR + Polish border moved westward to compensate USSR border settled Oder-Neissel line
  • Nazi party banned
  • Disagreements:
  • Stalin demanded $20 billion compensation from Germany
  • Stalin denied naval base in the Mediterranean
  • Stalin set up communist government in Poland without free elections and angered the West
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The atom bomb

  • Atom bomb:16th August 1945 USA test first successful Atom bomb Truman would not share with Stalin. This made Stalin more suspicious of the west and the arms race began
  • Arms race: Until 1949 USSR could not risk a war vs the USA. 
  • USSR explodes own nuclear weapon in 1949
  • The USA began development of a Hydrogen bomb
  • 1952 USSR explode own H-bomb
  •  USA begin building bomber aircraft to deliver H-bomb
  • USSR propaganda that they had more 
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Soviet expansion in the East

  • It was a way for the USSR to respond against the USA nuclear threat
  • Rigged elections-methods such as intimidation to gain control over Bulgaria, Hungary, Poland and Romania.
  • By 1947 all eastern European states except Czechoslovakia had communist governments but by 1948 Czechoslovakia was communist
  • No free elections in all states
  • The USSR justified that it had:
  • created a buffer zone against the West
  • was afraid of an attack b the West in the near future
  • was afraid of an attack from the west
  • created a sphere of influence as agreed at YALTA 1945
  • The USA claimed:
  • The USSR seized control of Eastern Europe and rejected free elections
  • The USA feared the USSR would extend influence into western Europe and the rest  of the world
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Truman doctrine 1945-1949

  • The Truman doctrine was designed to contain the spread of communism as USSR determined to expand 
  • Greece was first to benefit from this: 
  • Durin WW2 Greek was split over communism and the monarchy, British troops helped to restore the monarchy but were under attack from the communists. The USA financially backed British troops in Greece
  • 1947 the policy was to prevent the domino effect
  • The USA propped up democratic countries with weapons, money and aid 
  • The Marshall plan:
  • It aimed to prop up Europe's economy after the crippling effect of WW2 with large debts, loss of life, destruction of industry. 
  • Europe owed $11.5 billion as a result to the USA as they believed that if economies are weak they are more prone to turning to communism
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Marshall plan

  • Aims
  • Raise living standards in western Europe to reduce appeal of communism
  • To rebuild Germany
  • To weaken soviet control over eastern europe
  • To weaken soviet control over eastern Europe
  • to help the US economy with increased exports to Europe 
  • Czechoslovakia 1948
  • elections in spring 1948 and government did not accept marshall aid
  • Jan Masaryk who supported the west was murdered this angered west so aid not given any way
  • Stalin's reaction to the Marshall plan
  • Stalin called the Marshall plan 'dollar imperialism' and claimed the USA was trying to control industry and trade in Europe 
  • Stalin refused to accept the American aid
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Stalin's reaction to the actions of the west

  • stalin set up help for eastern European countries heavily influenced by USSR
  • Cominform
  • An alliance of communist parties to help them work together to spread Stalin's ideas. 
  • increased the control Stalin had over these countries
  • limited the eastern European countries independence 
  • Only Yugoslavia did not accept Cominform and split with Moscow
  • Comecon
  • a council for mutual economic aid set up to coordinate the production and trade of eastern European communist countries
  • favoured the USSR
  • allowed trade between countries invovled
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Berlin crisis 1948-1949

  • causes
  • Britain, France and the USA had merged their zones into one
  • GB, France and the USA introduced a new currency to west Germany to make it economically stronger
  • capitalism was drawing people away from the communist east
  • Effects
  • Stalin felt threatened by Germany's growing strength
  • Stalin was angry that the west had not consulted him before combining the 3 other zones
  • Stalin wanted capitalism removed from west berline so it would not rub off on east Germany
  • Key events
  • june 1948 Stalin cut off all road, rail and canal links to West berlin(Berlin blockade)
  • Stalin aimed to starve the 2 million inhabitants of West Berlin into submission
  • West responded with the airlift of food, fuel and supplies for 10 months
  • Outcomes
  • A propaganda victory for the west 
  • stalin was humiliated
  • The formation of Nato
  • Deepened hostility 
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Berlin crisis 1948-1949

  • causes
  • Britain, France and the USA had merged their zones into one
  • GB, France and the USA introduced a new currency to west Germany to make it economically stronger
  • capitalism was drawing people away from the communist east
  • Effects
  • Stalin felt threatened by Germany's growing strength
  • Stalin was angry that the west had not consulted him before combining the 3 other zones
  • Stalin wanted capitalism removed from west berline so it would not rub off on east Germany
  • Key events
  • june 1948 Stalin cut off all road, rail and canal links to West berlin(Berlin blockade)
  • Stalin aimed to starve the 2 million inhabitants of West Berlin into submission
  • West responded with the airlift of food, fuel and supplies for 10 months
  • Outcomes
  • A propaganda victory for the west 
  • stalin was humiliated
  • The formation of Nato
  • Deepened hostility 
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Berlin crisis 1948-1949

  • causes
  • Britain, France and the USA had merged their zones into one
  • GB, France and the USA introduced a new currency to west Germany to make it economically stronger
  • capitalism was drawing people away from the communist east
  • Effects
  • Stalin felt threatened by Germany's growing strength
  • Stalin was angry that the west had not consulted him before combining the 3 other zones
  • Stalin wanted capitalism removed from west berline so it would not rub off on east Germany
  • Key events
  • june 1948 Stalin cut off all road, rail and canal links to West berlin(Berlin blockade)
  • Stalin aimed to starve the 2 million inhabitants of West Berlin into submission
  • West responded with the airlift of food, fuel and supplies for 10 months
  • Outcomes
  • A propaganda victory for the west 
  • stalin was humiliated
  • The formation of Nato
  • Deepened hostility 
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Berlin crisis 1948-1949

  • causes
  • Britain, France and the USA had merged their zones into one
  • GB, France and the USA introduced a new currency to west Germany to make it economically stronger
  • capitalism was drawing people away from the communist east
  • Effects
  • Stalin felt threatened by Germany's growing strength
  • Stalin was angry that the west had not consulted him before combining the 3 other zones
  • Stalin wanted capitalism removed from west berline so it would not rub off on east Germany
  • Key events
  • june 1948 Stalin cut off all road, rail and canal links to West berlin(Berlin blockade)
  • Stalin aimed to starve the 2 million inhabitants of West Berlin into submission
  • West responded with the airlift of food, fuel and supplies for 10 months
  • Outcomes
  • A propaganda victory for the west 
  • stalin was humiliated
  • The formation of Nato
  • Deepened hostility 
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Berlin crisis 1948-1949

  • causes
  • Britain, France and the USA had merged their zones into one
  • GB, France and the USA introduced a new currency to west Germany to make it economically stronger
  • capitalism was drawing people away from the communist east
  • Effects
  • Stalin felt threatened by Germany's growing strength
  • Stalin was angry that the west had not consulted him before combining the 3 other zones
  • Stalin wanted capitalism removed from west berline so it would not rub off on east Germany
  • Key events
  • june 1948 Stalin cut off all road, rail and canal links to West berlin(Berlin blockade)
  • Stalin aimed to starve the 2 million inhabitants of West Berlin into submission
  • West responded with the airlift of food, fuel and supplies for 10 months
  • Outcomes
  • A propaganda victory for the west 
  • stalin was humiliated
  • The formation of Nato
  • Deepened hostility 
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Nato

  • What was NATO
  • North Atlantic Treaty organisation was formed in April 1949 by the western powers 
  • A response to the Berlin blockade and Stalin's aggression
  • The original twelve were the USA, GB, Canada, France, Denmark, Iceland, Italy, Norway, Portugal, Belgium, Netherlands and Luxembourg
  • Nato was a military alliance that committed all members to the defence of all the others
  • The alliance was heavily supported by strong militaries (GB+USA)
  • Large amounts of troops were positioned in West Germany e.g. by 1953 USA had 5 division based there permanently
  • Stalin saw NATO as a massive threat
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Warsaw pact 1955 +China becoming communist

  • The Warsaw pact was a defensive military alliance of the USSR and other countries in Eastern Europe
  • It was intended as a counterforce to NATO (directly opposite)
  • The Warsaw pact made Eastern Europe an effective Buffer for the USSR
  • Both sides prepared for war
  • China becoming communist 1949
  • This gave a reason for the USA to fear the domino effect becoming true as it was another strong country falling to communism
  • This was a significant reason for the USA to get involved in Korea
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The Koran War 1950-1953

  • Truman viewed the Korean War as a test of his policy of containment
  • key events:
  • June 1950 Communist North Korea invaded the capitalist south
  • Truman sent advisors, supplies and warships
  • Truman put pressure on the UN to condemn North Korea's actions
  • Eighteen states provided troops or support for the UN force in Korea but were dominated by the US
  • UN army had early success and pushed the North Koreans back beyond the 38th parallel
  • Did not stop despite warnings from Mao that China would support North Korea 
  • october 1950 UN forces reached the border with China
  • 200,000 Chinese troops joined the North Korea attack force and backed with modern tanks from the USSR
  • january 1951 UN pushed back to the 38th parallel
  • fighting for another two years but with no progress for either side
  • After replacement with Eisenhower in 1952 and death of Stalin March 1953 
  • ARMISTICE SIGNED IN JULY 1953
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The Koran War 1950-1953

  • Truman viewed the Korean War as a test of his policy of containment
  • key events:
  • June 1950 Communist North Korea invaded the capitalist south
  • Truman sent advisors, supplies and warships
  • Truman put pressure on the UN to condemn North Korea's actions
  • Eighteen states provided troops or support for the UN force in Korea but were dominated by the US
  • UN army had early success and pushed the North Koreans back beyond the 38th parallel
  • Did not stop despite warnings from Mao that China would support North Korea 
  • october 1950 UN forces reached the border with China
  • 200,000 Chinese troops joined the North Korea attack force and backed with modern tanks from the USSR
  • january 1951 UN pushed back to the 38th parallel
  • fighting for another two years but with no progress for either side
  • After replacement with Eisenhower in 1952 and death of Stalin March 1953 
  • ARMISTICE SIGNED IN JULY 1953
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Krushchev and peaceful Co-existence

  • 1953 Stalin died
  • 1955 Krushchev became ruler
  • Key events
  • Kruschev met western leaders at 'summit' meetings and travelled to the USA
  • He didn't impose the way in which he wanted communist countries to be run and the West saw it as communist countries not taking orders from Moscow anymore
  • The 'secret speech' 1956 showed Krushchev attacking Stalin saying he was a murderer 
  • Krushchev began to de-stalinise Russia and let political prisoners go and reduced special forces opperations
  • Krushchev said that he wanted peaceful co-existence with the west. The west thought this could have been the end of the cold war
  • Opponents of communism in eastern Europe began to make demands as Stalin's era of fear was over
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Krushchev and peaceful Co-existence

  • 1953 Stalin died
  • 1955 Krushchev became ruler
  • Key events
  • Kruschev met western leaders at 'summit' meetings and travelled to the USA
  • He didn't impose the way in which he wanted communist countries to be run and the West saw it as communist countries not taking orders from Moscow anymore
  • The 'secret speech' 1956 showed Krushchev attacking Stalin saying he was a murderer 
  • Krushchev began to de-stalinise Russia and let political prisoners go and reduced special forces opperations
  • Krushchev said that he wanted peaceful co-existence with the west. The west thought this could have been the end of the cold war
  • Opponents of communism in eastern Europe began to make demands as Stalin's era of fear was over
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Poland 1956

  • Riots in Poznan killed 53 workers over rising food prices so USSR sent troops to the polish border
  • Gomulka was a popular communist resistance leader during Nazi occupation of Poland so he was appointed leader and Khrushchev had no problem with this
  • Hungarian uprising 
  • Causes
  • poverty: Hungarians were poor, a lot of their food and resources produced was sent to USSR
  • Russian control: The Hungarians were patriotic and hated Russian control 
  • Catholic church: The Hungarians were religious but the communist party banned religion and put the Catholic church leader in prison
  • Help from the west: Hungarians thought that the new president Eisenhower or the UN would help them
  • De-Stalinisation: when the communist party tried to de-stalinise Hungary it got out of control. And the Hungarian leader asked for permission to arrest 400 troublemakers but was disallowed by Khrushchev
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Hungarian uprising 1956 causes+ key events

  • Hungarian uprising 
  • Causes:
  • poverty: Hungarians were poor, a lot of their food and resources produced was sent to USSR
  • Russian control: The Hungarians were patriotic and hated Russian control 
  • Catholic church: The Hungarians were religious but the communist party banned religion and put the Catholic church leader in prison
  • Help from the west: Hungarians thought that the new president Eisenhower or the UN would help them
  • De-Stalinisation: when the communist party tried to de-stalinise Hungary it got out of control. And the Hungarian leader asked for permission to arrest 400 troublemakers but was disallowed by Khrushchev
  • events:
  • 23 October: riots of students, workers and soldiers smashed up the statue of Stalin
  • 24 October: new prime minister asked Khrushchev to take Russian troops out of Hungary
  • 28th October Krushev agrees
  • 29th October: New democratic Hungarian government allows freedom of speech, democracy
  • 4th November: 1000Russian tans rolled into Budapest. Destroyed Hungarian army and captured scared people who rebelled.
  • Nagy executed
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outcomes and consequences of the Hungarian Uprisin

  • 200,000 hungarian refugees fled into Austria
  • Russia stayed in control behind the iron curtain
  • People in the West were horrified and many british communists left the communist party
  • It was clear to eastern Europe that the west would not come to their aid to help overturn communism
  • Western leaders became more determined to contain communism
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U2 spy plane incident 1960 key events

  • The USSR shot down an American U-2 spy plane over the USSR and captured the pilot Gary Powers
  • He was paraded on Soviet television and confessed to being on a spying mission
  • The USA denied spying flights over USSR and said Powers had gone off course
  • USSR had film from the plane of Powers spying and was an embarrassment to the US government as they lied
  • Khrushchev demanded that the US  apologise and punish those responsible
  • The US agreed to stop the flights but would not apologise and powers was imprisoned
  • The Soviets had scored a great propaganda victory
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The cuban missile crisis key events

  • causes:
  • Both the U-2 incident and no resistance to the Berlin wall showed USSR in a strong position
  • Fidel Castro's Cuba:
  • socialist overthrown American backed leader Batista 1959
  • Cuba only 90 miles off American coast(didn't want communism in their backyard
  • The USA tried to ruin Cuba by refusing to buy main export sugar so Castro struck a deal with the USSR that the USSR would buy Cuba's sugar
  • Cuba nationalised American companies and sold off US-owned property
  • Bay of pigs: 1961
  • America sent 1400 Cuban rebels to overthrow Castro but was easily defeated showing a massive humiliation to the USA and encouraged the USSR to support and defend Cuba
  • missile bases: 1962
  • American U-2 spy plane photographed Soviet missiles on Cuba
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Cuban missile crisis Outcomes

  • Outcomes
  • Khrushchev seemed to have failed: he backed down under American pressure.
  • The public did not know Kennedy removed US missiles from Turkey
  • Kennedy became a hero of the West
  • Telephone hotline set up between Moscow and Washington to try and avoid crises in the future
  • The two powers realised how close to nuclear war they had became and Arms talks began and the Nuclear test ban treaty was signed in 1963
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