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

Soviet Union and Eastern Europe

Extracts from this document...


?The Soviet Union developed its influence in eastern Europe in the years 1945 to 1949 because it simply wanted to guarantee its security in the future.? How valid is this assessment? The statement is valid due to the fact that the Soviet Union had previously been invaded twice by Germany in 1914 and 1941 and had legitimate security fears when the Western allies began supporting Germany. Consequently, Stalin may have thought that the Soviet union, needed extra security to prevent an invasion re occurring. Also, the USSR often made decisions in response to others around them, especially the USA, as Stalin always aimed to ?match? his rivals. Firstly, one reason the statement is valid due to the USSR?S genuine fear of another invasion as it had happened twice before and this fear was not quelled with the USA and the Western Allies helping Germany recuperate after the war, increasing the possibility of a resurgent Germany which terrified the Russians. ...read more.


Not only does this follow on from my previous point that the USA vilified the Soviets but also the Russians expanded gradually, this disproves a large chunk of the telegram as it cannot be aggressive expansionism if the Russians were expanding gradually and through elections often. However there is evidence that shows although the Soviet expansion was gradual, it was not always done sincerely like agreed at the Yalta and Potsdam conferences it was often the case in the satellite states, that the elections that had been agreed to take place to determine the countries futures, were often rigged and would therefore put the communists in power, so the agreements at the conferences were not obeyed. However, in relation to the telegram and the content of what Kennan said, there is evidence behind it that also helps disprove the statement. Communism is a major factor in itself due to a key element of it being that it should be international, and spread throughout the world. ...read more.


Britain and the USA, ultimately though that Stalin was exploiting the weaknesses of vulnerable Eastern European countries, aswell as exaggerating the use of the Soviet Union?s buffer zone. To the western world, this looked as if it were the beginning of serious Soviet aggressions, therefore naturally the Western powers were feeling defensive, and wary of Stalin?s plots. In conclusion, I believe the statement that the Soviet Union only expanded into Eastern Europe for security reasons is valid. Although the western powers believed that Stalin was over utilising a ?buffer zone? as an excuse, to continue to dominate Eastern Europe, in my opinion, Stalin was seriously concerned about another Western invasion, and he felt more secure with other Soviet occupied Eastern European countries surrounding the USSR. Although Stalin may have expanded too much, and consequently made the western countries feel defensive, I believe that Stalin was mainly concerned about security and paranoia may have led to the worries of Britain and the USA in particular. ...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. Marked by a teacher

    The Soviet Union developed its influence in Eastern Europe in the years 1945 ...

    4 star(s)

    action in Angola was not troops it was aid and again it was in reaction to the USA helping the MPLA party first but the severity of this situation was increased as China was dovetailed with the USA in contributing in Angola.

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

    * In addition, Clemenceau wanted guarantees that this could never happen again. He demanded that the Rhineland should be handed over to France to prevent an attack from there in the future.

  1. How secure was the USSR’s control over Eastern Europe 1948-89?

    They also start a free trade union called Solidarity. August (30th) 1980 The government agrees to all 21 of Solidarity's demands. September 1980 Solidarity's membership is 7 million. Solidarity is officially recognised by the government. January 1981 Membership of Solidarity reaches its peak at 9.4 million - more than a third of all workers in Poland.


    * Target figures of arrests and executions were set for each district. Kulaks and returning political prisoners were to be the main category, but priests, former members of political parties, nationalists, ex- Whites were all added to the list. * In all, nearly 2 million people were arrested at this time, with about 700,000 being executed.

  1. How important were developments in Eastern Europe to the collapse of the Soviet Union?

    It was instead the buildup of a series of events which punched blows into the Soviet Union's survival, such as the failed coup of 1991, Alma-Ata Protocol, Yeltsin banning the CPSU in Russia, the Ukraine referendum, declaration of the Commonwealth of Independent States, resignation of Gorbachev, followed by the Supreme Soviet.

  2. The Collapse of Communism in the USSR and Eastern Europe

    In addition, government subsidies ate up such a large portion of the state budget that foreign trade had to be restricted, and importing rationed. These conditions had long been the fuel for various dissident undercurrents, which were intensified by strict censorship; as Timothy Sowula puts it, "nothing nurtures dissent like

  1. Events in the Soviet Union brought down Communist regimes in Eastern Europe - Discuss

    'Perestroika' (restructuring) is perhaps one of the most important aspects in the disintegration of Soviet regimes in Eastern Europe. Mikhail Gorbachev in his attempted restructuring of economic, social and political life dismantled the Marxist-Leninist-Stalinist totalitarian state. By these revolutionary measures implicated at the top he sought to curtail and stem the threat of revolutionary actions from below.

  2. Why did the Soviet Union maintain a presence in Eastern Europe? And why did ...

    entire area from the Arctic to the borders of Greece from the military and effective political influence of the west" (Campbell, J, cited in Terry, S (ed), 1984, pg.5). The onset of the Cold War would make the security of the Soviet Union in Eastern Europe a more pressing concern.

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