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

Discuss the reasons why the wartime conferences resulted in cold war rivalry by the end of 1945.

Extracts from this document...


Discuss the reasons why the wartime conferences resulted in cold war rivalry by the end of 1945 During the Second World War the USA, Britain and Russia were allied in their fight against NAZI Germany and her allies and Japan. As the war progressed the leaders of the alliance, Roosevelt (replaced by Truman at Potsdam), Churchill (replaced by Atlee at Potsdam) and Stalin met for a number of conferences. At these conferences the matters discusses ranged from launching a second front in the west to ease pressure on Russia due to the German attack to what to do with Germany after the war had ended. The conferences took place at Tehran in November 1943, Yalta in February 1945 and in Potsdam in July and August 1945. The conferences managed to create a "honeymoon" atmosphere in the alliance but many of the controversial issues were left unresolved which caused much ambiguity in the final meanings of the terms decided at the conferences. This meant actions by members of the alliance were often taken in the wrong way by another member for example the USA's dropping of the atomic bomb on 5th August 1945 which was two days before Russia was due to join the attack on Japan caused unrest in Moscow. Many factors were left unresolved during the conferences of the Second World War but why did the unresolved factors lead to Cold War rivalry by the end of 1945? The conference of Tehran was held between November the 28th and December the 1St of 1943. Roosevelt, Churchill and Stalin, the Big Three, were present for the conference, which was held in the Russian embassy that had been bugged by the Russians. ...read more.


The idea was accepted but on conditions that some British colonies and Russian republics gained membership as well. The UN was not accepted straight away by the Churchill and Stalin and after much explanation from Edward R. Stettinius, the US Secretary of State, they agreed. Roosevelt had come to the conference with two main aims and had achieved them both even in his poor health. These were the successes of the Yalta conference, however there were many other issues that had to be discussed. The issue of what must happen to Germany was strong fro Stalin especially. He wanted a total of $20 billion in reparations from Germany, which half should go to Russia. However the British and the USA were not forthcoming because they believed that Germany was a useful trading partner and did not want to damage her economy even more. The revisionists say this was just the Westerners trying to limit the amount Russia received because they wanted to see her struggle and the USA especially didn't want a rival to her booming economy which might have arisen if Russia had received the full amount of reparations she had asked for. However the final reparations figure was not decided but instead was to be put in front of the reparations commission in Moscow. After the discussions the USA were inclined to give the Russians what they wanted in terms of reparations because it would be a useful bargaining tool for Washington in future discussions. The discussions of Germany were not just about reparations however but also about the break up of the land. Stalin recalled at the first Political Plenary Session on the 5th February what had been agreed but not finalised at Tehran and stated that he believed this was the right step for the post war Germany. ...read more.


If issues such as Poland were sorted out when they were first discussed at Tehran then the later conferences would have been a lot smoother due to the lighter workload. Although they all had their slight successes they predominantly failed because of the lack of action taken towards any issue that was remotely controversial. The period was very deceitful and each side were trying to catch each other out even though they were meant to be allies and were fighting the same cause. The problem was their opposite ideologies. They made it impossible for the two sides to see directly eye to eye hence the lack of conviction when it came to making decisions. If decisions had been made then relations could have run more smoothly after the war because no issues would have been so ambiguous. If the conferences went well then things like the dropping of the Atomic Bomb on Japan in spite of Russia's imminent arrival in the war probably would not have happened and needless confrontations that lead to the cold war could have been avoided. Traditionalists would say that the Russians were being expansionary and all they wanted was to spread the tide of Communism. Revisionists would say the USA and Britain were to eager to offer the Russians one things then go back on their word, also that the Western allies did not understand Russian siege mentality and their need for security by using Poland as a buffer state. Post revisionists would say that the conferences resulted in cold war tension because of the different ideologies, which refused to allow the two sides to meet eye to eye so confusion, stubbornness and deceit occurred rather than harmony. Cold war tension arose by the end of 1945 because of the failure to finalise important issues quickly enough, which lead to mistrust, which ended up as the Cold War. Charlie Bellm 1 ...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


    Some historians argue that these factors made some kind of cold war inevitable. At the time, however, none of these problems was seen as insurmountable, given mutual respect and good will. When the war ended there was good will aplenty - at least on most people's part.

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

    Communists gained full power over Czechoslovakia in 1948. These countries became Soviet satellites, nations controlled by the U.S.S.R.. Albania already had turned to Communism. Enver Hoxha, who led the Communist National Liberation Army in an Albanian civil war during World War II, established a Communist government in 1944.

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

    Ever since John Winthrop had spoken of Boston in 1630 as "a city upon a hill" that would serve as a beacon for the world, Americans had tended to see themselves as a chosen people with a distinctive mission to impart their faith and values to the rest of humankind.

  2. The Prelude to the 1975 War and the Cairo Agreement.

    The absence of the Lebanese Army during the Israeli attack angered Lebanese Muslims. Prime Minister Saib Salam claimed that Army commander General Alexander Ghanim--a Maronite--had disobeyed orders by not resisting the Israeli raid, and he threatened to resign unless Ghanim were stripped of his rank.

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

    not need to use force in order for Communism to spread throughout the world. Meanwhile, the Western powers were becoming increasingly conscious of apparent Soviet successes, particularly in terms of their technological advances and military strength. Kennedy was particularly aware that under Khrushchev communism appeared to be delivering, and was

  2. Assess the reasons for the development of the Cold War

    In many cases, he either led non-Communist leaders in to exile, or had them arrested and sometimes even killed, a course of action he took in Czechoslovakia.

  1. The aim of this essay is to evaluate if the end of the Cold ...

    Nevertheless, by the end of the 1970s,there were only two superpowers as the US and the Soviet Union were only ones with the ability to defeat any foe with conventional and nuclear weapons. The nuclear weapons developed by France, China and Britain paled in comparison to the arsenals of the two powers.


    this space and a collision was said to be inevitable, they were both striving for the source aim. The difference to the last factor is that regardless of their contrasting ideologies, the same situation would have appeared as both countries were trying to achieve the same thing.

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