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

How did the Cold War shape post-war politics during the period 1945-1961?

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

European History 1914-1961 a) How did the Cold War shape post-war politics during the period 1945-1961? Europe attempted to develop from political and economical struggles after the Second World War and to reform under the threat of a cold war. Winston Churchill once said, "What is Europe? A rubble of heap, a charnel house, a breeding ground of pestilence and hate"1 This pessimism of Churchill's was in keeping with the rest of Europe after the Second World War as most of Europe was struggling. The death camps brought enormous loss of lives as many Jews were tortured and killed. Those Jews that remained fortunate enough to survive the war returned to their homes in France, Belgium, Netherlands and Germany. The Second World War ended in Europe in May 1945 with victory for Allies, led by USSR, Britain and USA. After the war, Europe faced enormous problems: - Refugee crisis - millions made homeless by war and millions left homes to escape rule by enemies - Destruction of cities - homes, businesses, factories - and of communications - e.g. railways, bridges and ports - Economic disruption - shortage of food, other basic supplies, e.g. energy; unemployment; poverty - Collapse of governments in countries that lost war, e.g. ...read more.

Middle

In the wake of unilateral measures in Eastern Europe, the alliances fell apart due to political disputes. The conference was affected by the developing mistrust between Western allies and the Soviet Union. Stalin demanded territories of Germany, Russia, Romania and Czechoslovakia; strategically he also wanted parts of Turkey. The ideological abyss, which until then been concealed and disregarded or minimized by the Western nations, was too deep and had to explode. When the Soviet Union became suspicious of Eastern Europe intentions Truman eliminated them from the list of eligible nations for U.S loans. The United States was content during the closing months of the war and the first months of the post-war period they managed to preserve some advantages when they emerged from the war. Before his death, Roosevelt had overturned himself on Germany, instead of going forward with either the ''Morgenthau Plan'' or other plans for the dismemberment of Germany, he and Churchill refused to commit themselves ''to Russian proposals for Germany" that would unavoidably magnify Soviet power in Europe. In May, acknowledging Germany's surrender to the USSR, Stalin himself proclaimed that the Soviet Union did not intend ''either to dismember or to destroy Germany." ...read more.

Conclusion

Other political accomplishments during 1945-1961, the women's right to vote in France as the vast majority of French women and men voted against the return of the Third Republic as their political institution on October 1945. Italy became a republic state in June 1946, half of the votes despite the pope's influence elected for a governmental system rather than domination by the monarchy. With a considerable amount of U.S finical assistance the Italian government managed to economical grow rapidly through policies of non-intervention. In the 1960s, the Italian government implemented social reforms with the help of the church that revived its long-dormant social doctrine. After the death of Stalin, the democratic system in the USSR continued under the governing of communist parties. Ethnic Russians dominated the communist parties and authority over the republics remained in their hand. They was censorship over published criticisms on Soviet governmental management and this restriction ended when the new party came into control. Filmmakers, artists and writers became daringly imaginative within the boundaries of official toleration. Political struggle played a major role during the post-war era as each state faced difficult conflicts with revolts and potential governmental threats. In Europe, the cold war brought about a new threat of mass distraction weapons as the race was on for the first invented weapon. Politically individual states gradually emerged with a more democratic political system towards the 1960s. ...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)

    This led to the USSR perceiving the Marshall Plan as a capitalist plot, hence withdrew from it and "insisted that its East European allies do likewise, and subsequently embarked on a new foreign policy strategy: a strategy of isolation, and of the consolidation of Soviet and communist power in Eastern

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

    Artillery The First World War was an artillery war. Bombardment was the principal method used to try to destroy the enemy's positions before an attack. Guns and bombardments grew in size from 1915 to 1917. At the battle of the Somme, 4,000 guns fired non-stop for seven days in an attempt to destroy the German lines. Did bombardment work?

  1. How and why did the Cold War in Europe and Asia become more serious ...

    His tone obviously conveys anger and an increase in East-West tension. Section B - The Cold War in South-East Asia As the Americans viewed the situation of the domino effect spreading communism as knocking over a row of dominos, Vietnam was considered as one of the dominos they intended to stop 'toppling down to communism'.

  2. Timothy W., Luke 'Museum politics: Power plays at the exhibition'

    matinees with Gene Autry, John Wayne, Roy Rogers, or Jimmy Stewart in the reel Old West..'. (p.10) 'The West of America' exhibition instead, is described by Luke as being 'unique as it explicitly posed a reinterpretation of "frontier images" as they had been invented, produced and consumed for nearly four generations of Americans from the 1820s through the 1920s...

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

    For the expensive British forces in the area he substituted a reliance on the air force and the establishment of rulers friendly to British interests; for this settlement of Arab affairs he relied heavily on the advice of T.E. Lawrence.

  2. The role of partisan politics in the spread of McCarthyism

    Eisenhower as president in 1952, the Democrats and Truman were harshly criticized for their 'softness' on Communism and for being "dangerous liberals". 12 McCarthyism in its severest form, however, resulted in the passing of the McCarran Act in 1950, an internal security act allowing for the detention of dangerous, disloyal, or subversive persons in times of 'national security emergency'.

  1. Superpower Relations and the Thaw in the Cold War

    * Beria ? ?all we want is a peaceful Germany and it makes no difference to us whether or not it is socialist? * Beria?s motives may have been to distance himself from Stalin?s policies, or an attempt to impress his colleagues in the Politburo.

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

    that nations are only concerned with their own interests bringing about minimal cooperation amongst states. When the Second World War ended, a political scientist, Hans Morgenthau (1904? 80), argued in his book ?Politics among Nations? that international politics is all about the struggle for power (Morgenthau, 1985).

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