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Causes of the Cold War

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Katy Hodges

on 21 March 2014

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Transcript of Causes of the Cold War

Causes of the Cold War
American Attitudes
British Attitudes
Bankrupt & national debt - impossible to limit Soviet
Churchill feared USA would return to policy of isolation
Clement Atlee showed little sympathy to Communism
Beven attempted to make greater commitment to Europe by showing Soviet threat to Iran and Eastern Europe
Truman more confrontational than Roosevelt. Took the approach of the Iron Fist and Policy against Appeasement
Didn't want Communism to spread across Europe as needed to trade with them, American Free Market would collapse
Arms industry wanted to talk up tensions so there were more orders
Most americans wanted to return to the policy of isolation
George Kennan's Long Telegram had a big influence on Truman - he said Soviets wanted World Revolution, should be suspicious and Soviets were aggressive
Russian Attitudes
Europe 1945 left a power vacuum. Stalin could establish a buffer zone of Soviet influenced states in East against future invasion of USSR from West
Soviet Foreign Policy based on protection not World Revolution
Wanted to regain lost territory
'Naughty Document'
October 1944 Churchill + Stalin list their interests of Eastern European countries
Attempting to limit influence of USSR
E.g. Greece - Britain 90%, Russia 10%
In reality Red Army already big Soviet influence
Yalta Conference
United Nations established
Division of Germany, Berlin + Austria in zones of occupation
Principle of free elections in Eastern Europe
Setting of borders for post-war Poland so substantial areas given to USSR. Communist government but free elections
Potsdam Conference
Stalin wanted to move Poland's frontiers westwards
Agreed on German demilitarisation, denazification and punishment for war criminals
Allied Control Council set up
No agreement on how reparations to USSR should be made. Compromise that each take for their own zone
Truman delayed conference until after atomic bomb had been tested. Impress USSR
'Iron Curtain' 1946
Churchill declared in order to meet Soviet Expansion, an alliance is needed between USA and Britain
American public opinion not favourable
Churchill argued it fell in line with Truman's Iron Fist
Stalin called it deliberately provocative + accused Churchill of being a warmonger
Truman Doctrine 1947
British situation of famine, cold weather, transport industry and coal to a halt
Informed USA that their financial + military aid to Greece + Turkey would have to cease
Civil wars in these countries - Truman needed to strengthen non-communist forces
Needed to persuade congress to support this
Marshall Aid 1947
A plan to provide American financial support to war-torn Europe
All countries eligible but had to open economy to American Capital interests
'Dollar Imperialism' countries run by themselves but economy owned by USA
Soviets responded by setting up Cominform 1947 and Comecon 1949
Chances of future agreement now negligible

Czechoslovakian Crisis 1968
Czech only remaining democratic country in Eastern Europe
Communists expected to do badly in May elections
Staged coup d'etat - police force taken over, other political parties removed from government, President Benes forced to resign + replaced by Gottwald
Czech communists taken over country with little bloodshed or help from Soviets
Berlin Blockade
Western German zones benefited from Marshall Aid. Eastern zones had reparations taken from them.
West Berlin an island of prosperous Capitalism in a sea of Communism
Feb 1948 - Bolivia formed and new currency (Deutsche Mark) introduced
June 1948 Stalin severed all rail, road and canal links with West Berlin. West responded by flying food and fuel supplies to Berlin
May 1949 Stalin lifted blockade
Berlin Blockade Consequences
April 1949 USA, Canada + Western Europe talk of military alliance + set up NATO
Stalin viewed NATO as provocative action
Caused an end to any hope of an agreement between East + West
Potsdam + Yalta temporary divisions became permanent
FRG - Federal Republic of Germany (West)
GDR - German Democratic Republic (East)
1945 defeat of Japan left China with no control
Communists quickly gained hold + by 1949 Mao declared a Communist People's Republic of China.. Why?
Nationalists had been corrupt + not meeting Chinese needs
WW2 weakened nationalists hold
Communists gained reputation for addressing bulk of population
Viewed as a result of failure of USA to send support to Nationalists
Korea divided at end of WW2
Unification attempts failed due to deep political differences
North Communists invaded Capitalist South 1950
Korean War starts as USA help South and China helps North
Possibility of peaceful unification collapsed
Had been part of French Indochina until seized by Japan during WW2
After 1945 French attempted to regain control
USA strongly opposed to imperialism
After WW2 countries no longer had resources to run vast empires
Dilemma for USA - who would gain control over Indochina if not France?
The Missile Gap
The USA tried to rely on superiority in military weaponry for security
Only nuclear power between 1945-9, security shattered when Soviets announced own bomb
1952 USA Hydrogen bomb, Soviets produced one less than a year later
USA concerned that USSR would match + overtake the West in nuclear capability
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