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

How true is it that the Grand Alliance was no more than a 'marriage of convenience' by the time of the Japanese surrender in 1945?

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Ilana Lee U6T How true is it that the Grand Alliance was no more than a 'marriage of convenience' by the time of the Japanese surrender in 1945? With the peril of Nazi Germany threatening both the capitalist West and the communist East, a war time alliance formed between the Soviet Union and the western powers with the intention to combat Hitler's Third Reich and restore freedom and peace in Europe. When this was accomplished in 1945 with the surrender of the German war effort, the allies had lost the one element in their relationship which had held them together and ensured their willingness to put up with ideological differences in favour of military advantage. Already during the war, relations had not been marked by mutual understanding and consideration. With the emergence of the Soviet Union and the U.S.A. after the war as two independent super powers, ideology and mistrust were put back in the foreground and played a major role in raising the "Iron Curtain", which Winston Churchill depicted in a speech in Fulton, Missouri in 1946. ...read more.

Middle

To each of the "big three"; Stalin, Roosevelt and Churchill, it was clear already during the war that Soviet and western objectives for postwar Europe were quite different. An early indication of this is the Atlantic Charter of August 14th, 1941, which was signed by President Roosevelt and Winston Churchill during a highly secret meeting. The charter defined the objectives of the two strongest western powers for postwar Europe, which, with the demand for the right of self-determination for European countries, was bound to conflict with Stalin's policy at a later stage. A first meeting between the "big three" was held at the conference of Tehran in November-December 1943. With the war still going on, none of the politicians was willing to risk a break over postwar problems before the conflict was actually won. Churchill, in this spirit, gave in to Stalin's demand for acceptance of Russian territory gained before the invasion of Russia by Hitler. At the conference of Yalta in February 1945, clashes between Stalin and his Western Allies were to become more apparent. ...read more.

Conclusion

On the surface, issues were settled and more detailed agreements to be made by future conferences of the foreign ministers. In reality, however, the Allies were drifting apart. New US President Harry Truman, with the newly developed atomic bomb at his disposal, dictated the Potsdam meeting and stood for a dramatic change in US policy towards the Soviet Union. His direct demands and unwillingness to share the secret of the atomic bomb with the Russians did not help to foster relations with Stalin, whose view was that the American attitude towards the Soviet Union has perceptibly cooled once it became obvious that Germany was defeated and that it was as though the Americans were saying that the Russians were no longer needed. This shows that the Grand Alliance was simply a 'marriage of convenience', as the two sides had not wanted to fight the war alone, but were at odds with each other over empire and had different postwar agendas. The two countries who had been allies during the war years were now heading for an entirely different war between themselves - the Cold War. ...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. Superpower Relations 1945-90

    It also showed that he could be as brutal as Stalin if he needed to be. What was life like in the East? Why did people want reforms? * People living in Eastern Europe wanted reforms for two main reasons: * Firstly, they had had communism forced upon them.

  2. Jane Austen's novel Pride and Prejudice is a tale of love and marriage in ...

    Part I: The Invasion and its Origins. The Bay of Pigs invasion of April 1961, started a few days before on April 15th with the bombing of Cuba by what appeared to be defecting Cuban air force pilots. At 6 a.m. in the morning of that Saturday, three Cuban military bases were bombed by B-26 bombers.

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

    When the Liberal program necessitated high taxation, which in turn provoked the House of Lords to the revolutionary step of rejecting the budget of 1909, Churchill was Lloyd George's closest friend in developing the provocative strategy designed to clip the wings of the Upper Chambers.

  2. China's Relationship With The West

    for the relationship between China and the USA. She began by raising the main issues and getting straight to the point by saying that human rights in China was "a question of grave concern" to the US. She also lectured the head of Chinese state television on the importance on

  1. The German surrender at Stalingrad, February 1943 Sources Question

    As it is a Soviet photograph it would have been used as propaganda to flaunt off the power and economic might of the Soviet Union to other countries; especially Germany. However the photograph has its limitations, it is most likely to be staged as it shows Russia in control of the situation and standing buildings.

  2. 'The Wartime "Grand Alliance" between Britain, the USA and the USSR was undermined by ...

    Another wartime disagreement that was caused America and the Soviet Union to be suspicious of one another is ideological beliefs. Despite agreeing to the principles of the Atlantic Charter, Stalin had concerns over Roosevelt's foreign policy. Roosevelts' 'open door' policy was based on free world trade and equal access to raw materials.

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