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

"More a result of mutual misunderstanding than of expansionist policies by either the U.S.A or the U.S.S.R." Discuss this view of the out break of the Cold War in the period 1945-53.

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

"More a result of mutual misunderstanding than of expansionist policies by either the U.S.A or the U.S.S.R." Discuss this view of the out break of the Cold War in the period 1945-53. This view of the outbreak of the Cold War in 1945-53 refutes the extremism of the orthodox and revisionist views, attesting a middle ground of "mutual understanding" that avoids appropriating blame to the policies of either superpower. However, the issue is less dichotomous than the hypothesis allows for. To call the Soviet Union's foreign policy "expansionist" indicates that it has been interpreted as such, and is therefore subject to a possible misunderstanding of their motives for doing so. For example, Melvyn Leffler stresses the "reasonable criterion" when judging American and Soviet security demands, emphasizing that especially in the case of the Soviet Union, security was very much a reasonable imperative given their historical experience with invasions from contiguous states. ...read more.

Middle

By 1948, fully communist government presided over the states of Eastern Europe and the Berlin blockade of Soviet design on West Germany. A similar inclination was demonstrated in Turkey, Northern Iran and Korea. While the Soviet incursions into Iran have been defended as a desire only to control its oil fields (an objective also shared by the West) and pressure on Turkey may have been viewed as a matter of security. Robert Jevis points out that if either of these probes had succeeded, further Soviet gains would have been likely, a consideration that Stalin would hardly have missed. This suggests that Stalin's approach to expansionism was opportunist rather than inexorably purposeful. In other words, he was driven by realpolitik rather than ideology. However, Nigel Gould-Davies insist that Stalin was "immersed in ideology", citing the congruence of Stalin's theoretical work, Economic Problems of Socialism, with the premises that Marx's Critique of the Gotha Program. ...read more.

Conclusion

Stalin understandably perceived the Marshall Plan as a "blatant American device" for gaining control of Western and (if not worse) Eastern Europe. Concerning Korea, Anotaly Dobrynin asserts that by the 1950s, Stalin "saw U.S. plans and actions as preparations for an all out war of unprovoked aggression against the Soviet Union." The rollback policy did little to assuage this fear, and even thought its pursuit by General MacArthur proved to be an unfortunate divergence from the Truman Administration policy, the Soviets had already been convinced of American expansionism. It can be seen again, therefore, that mutual misunderstanding on both sides led to perceptions of the other's policies as being expansionist, which in turn, sowed the distrust and reason from retaliatory action that set the Cold War in motion. In conclusion, barring other factors, the outbreak of the Cold War in 1945-53 was more a result of mutual misunderstanding than of expansionist policies by either superpower. Daniela Germano History 11/12/03 ...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?

    took the conflict to a higher level, showing that neither was willing to back down. Furthermore, as the USSR forbade all of its satellites to claim the Marshall Aid, despite being in desperate need, the Americans may have become more determined to get themselves actively involved in containing the spread

  2. "To What Extent Were Gorbachev's Policies the Catalyst to the Fall of the USSR?"

    However, these years were, for the USSR, the rise of corruption and economical slowdown (and deadlock), while for the US it meant prosperity and international cooperation. Faced with this, and the rise of the most anticommunist American president in history, Moscow enters the final stage into disintegration.

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

    Clearly, Roosevelt faced such a dilemma in proceeding to mobilize American support for intervention in the war against Nazism. And Truman encountered the same difficulty in seeking to define a policy with which to meet Soviet postwar objectives. Both presidents, of course, participated in and reflected the political culture that constrained their options.

  2. Was the cold war conflict precipitated by an expansionist soviet union or were U.S ...

    that Russia wanted fair reparations for the extra losses the country had to bear; the soviet army had already begun to strip German factories of any material that was thought to carry some value. The resulting conflict left Germany divided into four zones, one for each of the victors.

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

    to terms and agree among ourselves on rational principles of peaceful co-existence' .The people of Eastern Europe hoped and truly believed that Khrushchev words were the first stage in a relaxation of the communist regime, and that the era of extreme repression would soon be drawing to a close.

  2. Free essay

    How far do you agree with the view that the development of the cold ...

    Truman was heavily anti-communist and adopted a new "iron fist" attitude to the USSR. Truman was never very friendly with the USSR; he even spoke to them the "language of a Missouri mule driver" which did not make the soviet foreign minister Molotov very happy at all.

  1. Discuss Trotsky's View that War was the Locomotive of History (1855-1914)

    This of course seemed unfeasible as even if the Tsar were able to offer such structures, it would be a very intricate process to convince the peasantry that this was beneficial to them. The Crimean war also lead to a large spectrum of other reforms being applied as well.

  2. The Marshall Plan.

    The key issue was to define what was the nature of the economic problem in Europe, what Europe could do about it, and what was needed from the U.S. Many in Congress were displeased with the various socialist schemes in Europe and dubious about any self-perpetuating U.S. government welfare programs.

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