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

Show how and why the different historiographies relating to the start of the Cold War have changed between 1945 and 1991

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

´╗┐Show how and why the different historiographies relating to the start of the Cold War have changed between 1945 and 1991 Throughout 1945 to 1991 different approaches and schools of thought had been adopted in pinpointing who was responsible for starting the Cold War. Ranging from the Orthodox school of thought, which identifies Stalin and the USSR as the main perpetrator in starting the Cold War, to the Revisionist viewpoint which blames Truman and the USA for doing so. The Post Revisionist school believes both the USSR and the USA are to blame. This comes full circle resulting with the Post Post Revisionist school which links back to the belief that the USSR are to blame. These historiographies feature primarily in certain time periods and express the views of certain peoples. The changes sparked in these viewpoints are often due to the declassification of certain information as well as social changes. The Traditionalist School, prevalent form +/- 1945 to 1960 consisting mainly of Western historians believed that the Stalin and the USSR were fully to blame for the outbreak of the Cold War. This school ultimately held the belief that Stalin had a master plan and that his foreign policy was expansionist with the aims of spreading a world revolution. ...read more.

Middle

The Revisionist School, prevalent from+/- 1960-1970 comprised of mainly the Eastern bloc but too consisted of many Western historians. However, this school believed that the USA accompanied by Truman held responsibility for the start of the Cold War. They held the belief that the main contributor to the conflict was the American president Harry S. Truman. Truman?s inexperience with the sort of conflict that arose in Germany and his hard line approach often resulted in America making decisions of an extremely aggressive nature, fuelling the Cold War and rivalry between the USA and the USSR. The decisions made by the USA were bound to be reacted to badly by the USSR as they were extremely provocative and of a threatening nature. For example, Truman?s decision to stop lend lease in 1945 was perceived by Stalin and the USSR as an extremely unfriendly act and marked a definite change in the relationship between the USA and the USSR. The hard-line actions adopted by the USA and encouraged by the Keenan Long Telegram contributed to the Cold War as they acted as a declaration stating that the USSR and the USA could not work together or even coincide peacefully, this approach too offered more reason for an opposing Soviet reaction. ...read more.

Conclusion

The blame has to be placed on both the USA and the USSR as there was mutual mistrust between them; this mistrust did not arise specifically due to one event with one party being in the wrong but was cultivated for many years between each party and exacerbated by their opposing ideologies and added fuel to by both their opposing participation in the Cuban Missile Crisis and in Afghanistan. Therefore the vacuum left by Germany was bound to inspire conflict, as with any two major superpowers the problem of power and power struggles were bound to be introduced. The misunderstanding of motives, stemming from the mistrust of each party too played a main role in the development of the Cold War as actions often of defensive purposes were seen as in favour of their own regime and threatening to the other. The joint responsibility is supported by the fact that both the German Federal Republic and the German Democratic Republic mutually refused to acknowledge the other as a proper government. This change in interpretation comes about as a result of Stalin’s death, the period of détente and the reinterpretation of old information as more archives are opened and information is declassified. ...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. Who was responsible for the start of the Cold war?

    At the beginning of 1945, during February's Yalta Peace conference relations between America, Britain and Russia were good. The war had not at this stage been won in Europe but victory looked inevitable. However by the time the three nations next meet at Potsdam in August this situation had changed.

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

    Nonetheless, the more dramatic impact of the incident was that Stalin embarked upon a mission of purging all the "Titoists" in Russian satellite states such as Gomulka in Poland and Husak in Czechoslovakia. Therefore, the purges were viewed in the West as evidence of Stalin's plans for Soviet expansion as

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

    America's next political actions further caused the Cold War to escalate. In 1947, George C. Marshall the Secretary of the state at the time gave a speech at Harvard university which reveled his plans for the an after war economy.

  2. Why did the Cold War start

    The USA feared the increased influence that the Soviet Union had over Eastern Europe and they believed that the ideas of Communism were a threat to America's national security. Although during World War II, the two countries laid aside their political differences, nit was evident from Yalta and Potsdam, that

  1. What were the Main Causes of the Cold War? and Which of these Causes ...

    America dropped the first atom bomb on Hiroshima, thus showing its strength and becoming a major threat to Russian security. This definitely can be seen as a cause, as now the threatening could begin. However, in my opinion, it is difficult to say that this can be a cause of

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

    as well as Western control over how the aid would be expended, the Soviets angrily walked out of the deliberations. In fact, the United States never believed that the Russians would participate in the project, knowing that it was a violation of every Soviet precept to open their economic records to examination and control by capitalist outsiders.

  1. What were the main issues relating to Germany that caused Cold War tension?

    This was a major sticking point for the Russians, as after the West agreed at Yalta for the deindustrialisation of Germany, it suddenly changed its stance at Potsdam. The West now encouraged a fast recovery, promoting industrialisation for West Germany.

  2. When and Why Did the Cold War Start? Was any Individual or Power the ...

    Two contrasting ideologies could never really work together effectively, or perhaps they could. Stalin's reasons for abolishing the Comintern, evidence that this was a mere gesture as opposed to a 'grand gesture' are doubted due to the fact that the same rationalization was propounded internally as well as publicly: 'Stalin

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