Cold war: consequences of a shattered trust

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Cold War: Consequences of a Shattered Trust
The Cold War, which was almost half a century long, was waged with good reasons. Tension back from World War I and continued throughout post-World War II set the stage for the Cold War. The Bolshevik Revolution in 1917 converted the Soviet Union into a communist nation, which allowed Joseph Stalin to come to power in the 1930’s. At first the Westernpowers rejected Stalin’s forceful ways, but during World War II an alliance was formed between Joseph Stalin. However, conferences of the Big Three during World War II illuminated key differences between the countries’ motives despite their alliance. While the alliance helped to win World War II by uniting the three major powers against a single enemy, it inevitably waned after the defeat of theironly mutual enemy: the Nazis. Thus, Germany’s territories, especially Berlin, became a major point of contention during the Cold War. The Cold War was inevitable due to the differing motives between the three countries and the increasing tension between the Western Allies and Soviet Union due to various events before, during and after World War II.
The reluctance to make an early alliancebetween the Western Allies and the Soviet Union can be traced back to the Bolshevik Revolution of 1917. The Soviets signed a separate peace treaty with the Germans in World War I, enabling Kaiser Wilhelm II to transfer troops to the western front, thereby increasing pressure on the Allies (Discovering U.S. History). The Soviet Union further alienated the Allies when the new Russian leaders began to stirup revolutionary activity against Western governments. In fact, Britain, France, and the United States found the new Russia so intolerable that in 1920 a coalition of the Western powers and Japan landed troops throughout the Soviet Union in an effort to kill the Communist revolution in its infancy (Discovering U.S. History). The ultimate goal of the Soviet Union was the destruction of capitalism,and the steps taken towards that goal furthered hostilities.
In the 1930s Stalin rose to power through forceful means. He led a series of purges that destroyed any possibility of resistance against his view of an industrialized Russia. In addition to those deliberately eliminated by Stalin, he allowed millions of peasants, mainly Ukrainians, to starve to death while he exported grain to earnhard currency to fund his plans to industrialize the Soviet Union (Showalter).When Hitler rose to power, Stalin attempted to form an early alliance with Great Britain and France, who shared a common interest in resisting German expansionism. However, the two nations rejected Stalin’s appeals for alliance, distrusting the Soviet dictator as much as the Germans (Showalter). Thus, Stalin at first didnot find any hope of coalition with the Western powers, and was forced to sign the Ribbentrop-Molotov Pact in an effort to channel Hitler's aggression toward those who had foolishly rejected his friendship. This pact, which enabled Adolf Hitler to invade the West with relative impunity and without fear of retaliation from the East, became a major point of tension between the Western Allies andSoviet Union during WWII and the Cold War. However, had the Western Allies been willing to negotiate with the Communist Soviet Union before the Pact was formed, WWII would have progressed differently (Gale).
As Winston Churchill, one of the Big Three in World War II, said, “the only thing worse than having allies is not having them". It was an apt description of the tensions that existed betweenGreat Britain, the Soviet Union, and the United States during World War II (PBS). Although they had various motives behind becoming the Allied Forces in WWII, they eventually agreed to join forces to defeat Hitler's Nazi Army and the Japanese Forces. Alliances between nations are most often made based on two things: trust and common interest. However, without a mutual agreement on both of these...
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