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East — West Relations after 1945
Definition: ‘cold war´ describes the conflict between the USSR and the ‘Western Powers´ in the period following WWII / Period of tension characterized by conflict at diplomatic, economic and all levels short of actual armed conflict between the principals on either side.
breakdown of wartime co-operation between the Allies (Obvious at Yalta andPotsdam conferences)
possible to trace as far back as 1917 when the Bolshevik Revolution in Russia led to the creation of the world´s first communist state (in conflict with the west)
Didn´t emerge until after WWII b/c the USSR and USA were both isolated after WWI and USSR could not put into practive the ideal of exporting revolution.
Factors which contributed to the outbreak of the Cold WarMutual suspicion
Nature of the official ideology of the USSR: stated the inevitability of conflict with western capitalist states à contributed to suspicions from the west / not certain that Stalin was motivated by this Marxist-Leninist ideology
Liberal-democratic system of the West was not well understood by Stalin: the allies were unable to commit themselves ‘on the spot´ but had to refer totheir parliament or congress, this was evidence for Stalin of lack of faith.
Conflict btw fundamental aims of Stalin and Roosevelt:
Roosevelt had idealistic aims (‘four freedoms´: f. from want, f. of speech, f. of religious belief and f. from fear)
Stalin had more concrete aims (regaining of Russian territory lost in WWI, control over E.E. …)
Tendency to interpret the actions of the other inthe light of their own priorities.
Nature of Stalin´s regime: dictatorship of USSR was only justified if external forces threatened the security of USSR, therefore to prevent the danger of being overthrown from within, Stalin had to have external enemies.
Death of Roosevelt: Stalin had a great deal of respect for him / Truman was far less of an internationalist + far less willing to extentgoodwill to the USSR / Churchill replaced by Attlee.
The bipolar nature of international relations: USSR and USA were the only real powers in the immediate post-WWII period and as representatives of rival social systems they were forced into confrontation.
The Cold War develops — events 1944-1949
The Yalta Conference, February 1945:
Most of the discussions involved the arrangements for Europefollowing ending of the war since defeat of Nazi Germany was only a matter of time.
The Allies had been united by a negative goal and had not agreed on a positive goal which could continue to unite them once Hitler was not a threat anymore.
The Issues:
Germany to be divided into zones of occupation as previously agreed.
Moved away from the ‘Morgenthau Plan´ (reducing Germany to anagricultural country but not alternative was found.
Eliminate or control "all German industry that could be used for military purposes".
Trials of the leading war criminals were agreed.
Commission to be established to determine reparations.
The defeated and liberated states:
Complain by USA and GB that Stalin had not given the co-operation of Soviet authorities in areas occupied by the RedArmy.
Declaration on Liberated Europe (what was to be done with Liberated countries)
Agreed that action regarding these areas should be joint action.
GB and USA had recognized Polish Gov. in exile while Stalin recognized the Lublin Committee (Polish communists).
Suggested that the 2 groups co-operate and that ‘free and unfettered elections…on the basis of universal suffrage andsecret ballot´ would be held.
No decisive conclusion on frontiers but agreed that Soviet frontier would advance westwards and Poland would be compensated from German territory.
USSR agreed to enter war against Japan within ‘2 or 3 monts of the ending of hostilities in Europe´
USSR to regain all territory lost to Japan in 1904/05 war and to have the major interest in the railways in...
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