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

Assess the reasons for the development of the Cold War

Extracts from this document...


´╗┐ASSESS THE REASONS FOR THE DEVELOPMENT OF THE COLD WAR IN EUROPE FROM 1945 TO 1948 It is difficult to solely blame the Cold War on a single person; it developed as a series of chain reactions as a struggle for supremacy, predominantly between 1945 and 1948. Due to the stark contrast between both communist and capitalist ideologies between the Soviet Union and the Western Allies, it can be argued that the Cold War was inevitable and is not the fault of anyone. However, many of the tensions which existed in the Cold War can be attributed to Stalin?s policy of Soviet expansion and as a result of this the vast majority of the blame for the outbreak of the Cold War can be blamed on the Soviet Union and Stalin?s foreign policies, which contributed enormously to the Cold War. It is widely known that by 1945, there was already a mutual dislike between the Soviet Union and the Western Allies ? they only had a common enemy which was Germany. However, only a week before the Second World War has commenced, Stalin had signed the Nazi-Soviet Pact with Germany, and were allied with them. ...read more.


It is widely believed that this was in response to the ?Iron Curtain? speech that Winston Churchill had given in Fulton, Missouri in March 1946, where Churchill had called for a western alliance to combat the threat. Stalin had called the speech a declaration of war, and defended his creation of the ?Iron Curtain?, calling it a defensive measure. This worried USA to a great extent, as it had now become stark that Stalin was achieving what he desired: for communism to take precedence over capitalism. This severely conflicted with the ideologies of the Western Allies, who believed in the right to assemble their own political parties as well as freedom of speech and press. The distinctly contrasting ideologies meant there was no room for compromise ? both sides feared each other to an extent as they believed each other had the power to diminish their political positions. Another hugely contributing development which led to the Cold War was the rivalry for power which was prevalent at the time. It was inevitable that there would be some competition between both the Soviet Union and USA as a result of them both being two of the biggest powers in the world. ...read more.


Broken promises from the Soviet Union in rgard to the Yalta and Potsdam conferences can be seen as one of the main reasons too ? however, it can be argued that this was solely due to the nation not being included in the politics of the Western world. Both Western Allies and the Soviets had a mutual distrust of each other and it was inevitable that they were not going to co-operate with ease. Despite, all of the faults that USA made, it does boil down to the individuals who were central to the conflict: Stalin and Truman. Stalin strongly desired dominance and for Communism to become the leading political stance in Europe. He seemed to often state that his actions were purely defensive measure, as he saw a buffer zone as essential, yet he had clearly outlined his desire to expand the Soviet empire in speeches to his own people. Based on this, it can be argued that Stalin?s expansionist policy was the main catalyst to the Cold War, and whilst Truman was not blameless, it was the Soviet Union intending to expand its empire, not USA. Stalin?s inappropriate actions led to a chain-reaction of events which resulted in growing tensions and finally the Cold War. Therefore, the majority of the blame should be placed upon Stalin and the Soviet Union. ...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. Why did tension increase in Europe between 1900 and 1914?

    Union and helped to bring about its economic downfall in the 1980s. The Berlin Blockade * From June 1948 until May 1949, Joseph Stalin ordered that all traffic between West Germany and West Berlin should be stopped. * He was able to close the road, canal and rail routes, but

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

    because of the way in which the Russian leader was able to slice up pieces of the continent into small, unnoticeable sections. Under Cominform this had become even easier for Stalin to achieve as he had been able to collaborate with other Soviet powers to remove non-communist sympathisers from power.

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

    he was unwilling to tolerate any other kind of government, even communist, unless it was controlled by the USSR. This gave way to rising tensions between the two superpowers and validated the Americans' theory of the Russian expansionist ideology. However, USSR was not only provocative in trying to establish its


    But not for long. It soon became evident that there were fundamental differences of policy and perspective between the Soviet Union and its grand alliance partners. The three most important areas of dispute concerned Eastern Europe, Germany and the political and economic reconstruction of Europe.

  1. Discuss the reasons why the wartime conferences resulted in cold war rivalry by the ...

    However when the conference in Tehran occurred many factors arose in the Western camps. First the Polish- Americans were crucial for votes especially to Senator Vandenburg so Roosevelt could not declare his intentions to move the borders of Poland publicly.

  2. The Cold War was a big rivalry that developed after World War II.

    When China attacked India in 1962, the U.S.S.R. supported India. The Soviet Union again backed India when Pakistan and India fought in 1965. China threatened India and 8 aided Pakistan. Khrushchev fell from power in October 1964. The new Soviet leaders tried to heal the split with China.

  1. To what extent was Stalin to blame for the Berlin crisis 1948-9?

    in his argument, " the spectre of an economically strong and rearmed Germany revived fears of an invasion from the West''. Such fears affected Soviet judgements on the London Program. Ideologies had a key role to play here, the Soviets based their entire European policy on a "weakened, non Western

  2. This graduation paper is about U.S. - Soviet relations in Cold War period. Our ...

    The Soviet Union, by contrast, operated with few such constraints. Although Soviet pronouncements on foreign policy tediously invoked the rhetoric of capitalist imperialism, abstract principles meant far less than national self-interest in arriving at foreign policy positions. Every action that the Soviet Union had taken since the Bolshevik revolution, from

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