• 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...

Introduction

´╗┐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.

Middle

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.

Conclusion

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?

    Italy, which had been an ally of Germany during the war, received $600,000,000. Marshall Aid was one of the reasons why Stalin tried to force the west out of West Berlin in 1948. COMECON * Stalin set up a Soviet Version of Marshall Aid, COMECON, the Council for Mutual Economic Assistance on January 25 1949.

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

    He had exploited a loophole in the terms of Berlin's division which never stated that the West had rights of access to the city. He was however, also bringing the two superpowers dangerously close to war. For days people lived in fear of a possible super-war breaking out on a

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

    the characteristics of it with the two superpowers at opposite ends of the spectrum unsurprisingly arose over the issue of Berlin, half of which was an island of capitalism in a sea of communism. Stalin wanted a united Germany only if Soviet influence, reparations and a role for the SED

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

    As Truman said in 1949, devotion to freedom of enterprise "is part and parcel of what we call America." Yet was the need for markets sufficient to force a confrontation that ultimately would divert precious resources from other, more productive use?

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

    The Berlin agreement also allowed free movement of traffic between West Germany and 9 West Berlin. The pact took effect in 1972, after details were worked out. In 1973, East and West Germany joined the UN.

  2. Analyse and Discuss the Reasons Behind the Breakdown in the Relationship Between the United States a

    politic; however as was previously stated in terms of ascribing spheres of influence in reality this conference really only confirmed what was happening on the ground i.e. the Red Army had already liberated much of Eastern Europe and was poised for the invasion of the Third Reich proper in 1944/45.

  1. To what extent was Soviet expansion responsible for the outbreak of the Cold War ...

    It was offered to Western as well as Eastern Europe. However, Stalin thought that the Marshall Plan was a plot of the capitalist to dominate Europe economically and politically and wasted in no time in using its veto at the United Nations to stop any attempt to weaken the Soviet position.

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

    as mentioned this was pivotal in 1958 when Eisenhower was able to make Khrushchev drop his ultimatum concerning Berlin. More so, Eisenhower realising that despite the aggressive behaviour of the Soviets in Hungary in 1956, Hungary was a satellite state within the Soviet sphere of influence which meant that it

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