• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

In the period 1945-50, the USA and the USSR were equally aggressive towards each other and thus equally responsible for the outbreak of the Cold War. How far do you agree?

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

"In the period 1945-50, the USA and the USSR were equally aggressive towards each other and thus equally responsible for the outbreak of the Cold War." How far do you agree? Historiography regarding the Cold War has long revolved around its origins, with the roles of economic, political and ideological factors behind actions examined ad nauseam. The assumption asserts that mutual acts of intended hostility between the US and the USSR of equal degree was the reason for the start of the Cold War, hence the two superpowers should both be equally held accountable. This implies that the superpowers intended to start the Cold War, and their actions were calculated to inflict maximum damage on the other party, so as to qualify the acts as aggressive. But with the collapse of the Soviet Union, new evidence has arose to further substantiate the traditionalist thought that Stalin was inherently aggressive in thought and action, much more than the US. Though US actions from 1946-49 could be deemed as more aggressive than Soviet actions, they were provoked by Stalin's inherently expansionistic ambitions and overt aggression in 1945-46, rather than possessing any aggressive notions themselves. ...read more.

Middle

US actions in 1945-46, on the other hand, were definitely less aggressive than the USSR because they lacked the intent for aggression. The abrupt end of the Land Lease Aid with the end of the war was looked upon less than favourably by the USSR, and was seen as an act of aggression. But the US did not intend it to be so; to them, the Land Lease Aid was a form of wartime assistance, to be terminated upon the end of the war. The delay in the opening of the second front during WWII was seen by the USSR as a deliberate act of aggression, with the consequence being Soviet forces being forced to bear the full weight of the German onslaught for a longer period of time. But it can be argued the Americans were merely being concerned for the welfare and lives of their own soldiers, for which they were definitely accountable to the American people, something that Stalin was foreign to. The US had every intention of brokering a peaceful post-war relationship with the USSR, as Truman was influenced by the American people's desire for peace, until aggressive actions by the USSR like the aforementioned as well ...read more.

Conclusion

The USSR also accelerated the Sovietisation of Eastern Europe after the implementation of the Marshall Plan by the US. The increasing affluence of Bizonia and the creation of the Deutschmark in 1948 also led Stalin to impose the Berlin Blockade, which spectacularly failed. The Berlin Blockade then led to the formation of NATO, consolidating Europe's split into 2 camps. In conclusion, it can be seen how initial and intended Soviet aggression in 1945 led the US to change its pacifist stance in 1946 to an equally aggressive one in 1947 through the Truman Doctrine. Stalin's imperialistic ambitions were fuelled partly by ideology and partly by insecurity, and it can be seen how his perception of the world influenced Truman's worldview to change and follow suit. With Stalin being the provocateur as well as the man with the expansionistic ambitions, it can thus be seen how the USSR was more aggressive in 1945-46, leading to equal American aggression in 1947-48, and thus the USSR should be more responsible for the outbreak of the Cold War, reflecting the Post-post revisionist school of thought. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level International History, 1945-1991 section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level International History, 1945-1991 essays

  1. Peer reviewed

    How far do you agree that the Cold War broke out in Europe because ...

    4 star(s)

    the Wilsonian idealism of free trade and an open door economic system which they were strongly influenced by. Opening the Western European economies globally would provide markets for US products through trade, thus strengthening the US economy and also protecting themselves as well as Europe from the Soviet ideology.

  2. To what extent were germany to blame for the outbreak of ww1

    For Example France had plan 17. The Key reasoning in my opinion is that France's plan was defensive - if they had to go to War they would have a battle plan, the truth is every country had plans in the likely hood of war, but Germanys plan was entirely

  1. How far was the USSR responsible for the outbreak of the Cold War?

    The fact that Stalin allowed the London Poles to be crushed by the Nazis shows the long-term planning Stalin had done regarding Eastern Europe and that it was clear that he did not only aim to liberate Poland from the Nazis but to also install his communist "lackeys".

  2. Which nation, the USA or the USSR, was primarily responsible for the start and ...

    After World War II, Europe was in shambles and it was up to the Allies to help rebuild the war-torn nations. According to the USSR, encouraging communism in the countries of Europe would help rebuild the nations when in reality, spreading the

  1. To What extent was German Foreign Policy responsible for the outbreak of general European ...

    There were other concerns among the Russian cabinet, there were fears that Turkey might collapse at any moment and that Germany might fill the vacuum. Russian fears seemed to be supported by the construction of the Berlin-Baghdad railway line. Russia also received a 'cheque blanche' from the French, which merely

  2. Who was responsible for the start of the Cold war?

    Britain had been under the guidance of Prime Minister Winston Churchill who was similarly wary of Stalin but had also become a powerful ally of the man during the World War. Now however both men had disappeared from the political forefront.

  1. How True is it to say that the period 1953-1962 saw a relaxation of ...

    When he was overthrown on new years eve 1958, the Americans welcomed the new leaders as champions of freedom and liberty, yet relations rapidly deteriorated. During 1959 and 1960, Castro nationalised and took over American holdings on Cuba, seizing them in the name of the people and giving the land back to the people.

  2. How far do you agree with the view that the origins of the Cold ...

    an issue of conflicting National interests, which contributed to the origins of the Cold War in 1945-46, though the hostility far preceded these dates, but was an on-going factor. At it?s very base, communist ideologies state that ?conflict between communism and capitalism was inevitable?, although this can be seen as

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work