Cold war

Posted on 4:48 PM by Admin

Meaning of Cold War
             At the end of the Second World War, relations between the USA and the USSR deteriorated, especially at Potsdam (July 1945) and Paris (1946). These two powers were rivals and the tension is called the Cold War. In Europe there was a little bloodshed but outside Europe there was more traditional warfare. (Korea, Cuba, Vietnam)
Origins of the Cold War
1. The Cold War began as a result of suspicious that the democratic west had about the USSR and vice versa.
After 1945 the USSR feared a Western invasion of her new satellites and the west feared the spread of Marxism.
2. Relations between the major powers got worse at the end of the Second World War
This occurred especially at Yalta (February 1945), Potsdam (July 1945) and Paris (1946). At Paris, Molotov refused to accept the west’s ideas about not taking reparations and about wanting free elections in Eastern Europe.
3. Germany was divided into four occupation zones:
  1. Britain got the ruins
  2. France got the wine
  3. USA got scenery (Bavaria)
  4. USSR gained the lion’s share and surrounded Berlin
Austria was also divided.
4. In 1946, Churchill at Foulton, Missouri said:
‘An iron curtain is descending on Europe extending from Stettin in the north to Trieste in the south.’
He nearly got it right. The metaphorical line that separates the communist east from the democratic west should not end at Trieste because although Yugoslavia was communist it was independent of the USSR (under Tito). The satellites = Bulgaria, Hungary, Rumania, Poland, Albania, Czechoslovakia and Eastern Germany.
5. Economic Origins
  1. Official America anti-Soviet policy began with the Truman Doctrine (March 1947) where American aid was offered to European countries which bordered onto Communist countries. This was extended by the Marshall Plan (June 1947) which offered aid outside Europe. This was designed to stop the spread of Communism – called CONTAINMENT.
  2. The USSR set up Comminform (Cominform) in September 1947, which Stalin said was a news agency, but really it was a means of Russifying the economic policies of the eastern blob countries.
  3. In June 1948, the three western powers united their zones with a new deutschmark. This financial union was the forerunner of a political union (3 zones = West Germany).
6. The Arms Race
The USSR was annoyed not to know about America’s atom bomb (1945). The USSR gained the atom bomb in 1949 and both sides began to stockpile arms.

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