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  • Created on: 28-04-16 10:31


Unit 1: International Relations: Key Topic 1- How did the Cold War Develop?


Cold War: was between the USA (Capitalist) and the USSR/ Soviet Union (Communist). It was not a physical conflict that involved fighting but involved the development of weapons and armies, the formation of rival military alliances (agreements), spying and propaganda


How did it begin?


At first USA and the USSR worked together in the Grand Alliance (created in 1941) against Germany and Hitler. Once Hitler had been defeated tension rose between the two powers- mainly because they had different beliefs on how a country should be run (refer to the table in your books on Communism and Capitalism).


During the war the Allies had three conferences all of which increased tension. (TYP) They agreed that the USSR would have a ‘sphere of influence’ in Eastern Europe where Communism would be respected whilst Western Europe would be a ‘sphere of influence’ for the USA and GB where Capitalism would be dominant. 


Tehran Conference (1941):


Attended by Roosevelt (US), Stalin (USSR) and Churchill (GB) and was on how to reconstruct Europe after the war.




  • The USSR would declare war on Japan once Germany was defeated and that Poland should be given more land from Germany, but lose some land to the USSR.




  • Stalin wanted to punish Germany and make them pay reparations (fine) so that they would never be a threat again.
  • Churchill and Roosevelt wanted a peaceful Europe.
  • Stalin was annoyed that Britain and the USA had delayed opening a second war front in the war (the USSR wanted Germany to be fighting two battles at the same time fighting against the USSR and Britain and the USA)


Yalta (1945):


The three countries met again.



  • Stalin would help USA defeat Japan once Hitler had been defeated and lands held by Japan would be divided after the war
  • Roosevelt and Churchill agreed to the establishment of a communist government in Europe
  • ‘Declaration on Liberated Europe’ USA, USSR and GB would work for democracy in Europe
  • United Nations would be established to maintain peace replacing the League of Nations
  • Restated that USSR would have ‘sphere of influence’ in Eastern Europe. 
  • Germany, once defeated would be reduced in size and would have to pay reparations




  • Although they agreed on democracy they had different ideas on what this meant.
  • Stalin believed that the government had to be communist representing the working class
  • Roosevelt saw democracy as the opportunity for people to vote for whatever political party they wanted in free elections.
  • Overall the conference was a success due to Stalin and Roosevelt’s relationship. But within 2 months, Roosevelt died and new US President, Truman was less willing to compromise with Stalin. This led to tension at the final conference


Potsdam (1945):


            ·           The main focus for this conference was to decide what would happen to Germany and


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