COMPLETE EDEXCEL COLD WAR REVISION NOTES A2

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COMPLETE COLD WAR REVISION NOTES.

 

UNIT 1: SEEDS OF CONFLICT.

 

Definition of the word ‘Cold War’: Between USA and USSR, involving economic measures, non-cooperation, propaganda, but NO DIRECT FIGHTING BETWEEN THE TWO COUNTRIES. There were, however, wars fought in other countries between capitalist and communist forces aided by the superpowers.

 

1917: Bolshevik Revolution. Government established that saw communism as its ‘guiding principle’.

Viewed by rest of the world as a ’highly destabilising force that threatened social and political order’

 

Key points of communism: State-owned economy, one-party state, a classless society, government control.

 

Key points of capitalism: LIBERAL DEMOCRACY. i.e. freedom of speech, vote, worship and press.

-       Wilson Liberalism (1918)

SELF DETERMINATION-decide own government

OPEN MARKETS- no trade barriers or spheres of influence.

COLLECTIVE SECURITY- a world peace-keeping organisation

 

Points of tension between USSR and USA during WWII.

-       Appeasement. Britain negotiated with Hitler and failed to prevent the outbreak of war, at the USSR’s expense.

-       Nazi-Soviet Pact of 1939.

-       Soviet purges 36-39

 

The Grand Alliance.

Britain, USA and USSR. Churchill, Roosevelt, Stalin. Met in Teheran, November 1943. Strains included:

-       The opening up of a second front against Germany, Stalin had called for aid since 1941 to relieve the pressure on the eastern front, but USA and Britain were reluctant until 1944.

-       Poland. Stalin wanted to establish his own communist-friendly government instead of the exiled one based in London. There were also disputes over borders.

 

Impact of WWII on world relations.

-       Left a ‘power vacuum’ in Eastern Europe.

-       By 1944, the seeds  were firmly in place of a conflict which had been possible since 1917.

-       WWII forced USA and USSR onto a world stage.

-       Both were willing and able to enforce their ideas on a European, if not global scale.

UNIT 2: HOW DID THE COLD WAR DEVELOP?

 

Attitudes of the main powers in 1945:

Stalin: Safeguard and rebuild Soviet Union- Had lost 20million in WWII. European policies reflect this i.e. ‘buffer zones’. Wanted reimbursement equal to losses.

Truman: April 1945. From compromise to containment.

‘Iron Fist’ ‘Long Telegram’ etc. Had to promote freedom and did not understand Soviet obsession with security.

Atlee: Not the slightest bit sympathetic towards communism.

 

Stages of Diplomatic breakdown.

1: Yalta conference 4-11 Feb1945

-       Poland government disputes.

-       Agreements reached e.g. division of Germany, UN, free elections in E Europe.

2: Potsdam conference July 1945

-       Cooling relations

-       Truman and Atlee instead of Roosevelt and Churchill

-       Annoyed with Soviet interference in Eastern Europe

 

3: Russian influence in Eastern Europe 1945-47

-       Power Vaccum after collapse of Nazis regime

-       2 million red soldiers were still in Europe by 1948.

-       Pro-communist governments set up in all states except Czechoslovakia by 1947

 

4: Churchill’s ‘Iron Curtain’ speech, March

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