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

    that the USA was planning to adopt a long-term hard-line stance when it came to the USSR. Nonetheless, one of the most crucial consequences of the Berlin blockade was that it triggered the official beginning of the arms race. I think that this can be almost entirely blamed on the

  2. Why did tension increase in Europe between 1900 and 1914?

    He now had the atomic bomb, which meant that he no longer needed to rely upon the Red army in the war against Japan. The Potsdam Conference The Potsdam conference was the last of the conferences between the leaders of the allies during the Second World War.

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

    benefited greatly from financial help were intimidated into not doing so because they feared that Stalin would see them as pro-Western and take retributary action. In response to 'Marshall aid' in October Stalin decided that he would establish Cominform, a league of pro-communist nations that would fall under the influence of Stalin.

  2. Sir Winston Leonard Spencer Churchill Focusing on his Political Career

    Because most Britons, as well as the government, were focused on domestic affairs, Churchill's warnings about Hitler went unheeded. When Baldwin became prime minister again in 1935, Churchill was not given a cabinet post. During the late 1930s Churchill's national popularity declined.

  1. How far was Truman personally responsible for the development of the Cold War?

    Stalin believed that the anti-Communist aims behind the Marshall Aid would weaken his hold on eastern Europe. He also felt that the US was trying to dominate as many states as possible by making them dependent on dollars. One by one the USSR supervised European communist movements, from Prague in


    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. How far did peaceful coexistence ease Cold War tensions between the Soviet Union and ...

    However, revisionist historians who see that the West was more to blame for worsening of tensions between the superpowers would point out that Eisenhower?s foreign policy was more anti-communist than Truman?s ?Iron Fist? approach, because the policy of massive retaliation as well as brinkmanship meant that there was a greater risk of conflict between the superpowers.

  2. Superpower Relations and the Thaw in the Cold War

    to have ?backed down?, at home and abroad, however the USSR did gain concessions on the removal of US bases in Turkey * Dangers of nuclear annihilation exposed by the crisis led to a recognition on both sides that relations had to be improved * If ideological tensions were too

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