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

The causes of the Cold War.

Extracts from this document...


During the World Wars, America, Britain and Russia enjoyed a (fairly) happy working relationship. However, eventually their reason for being friends was lost and the differences between them started to affect this relationship, making it become more and more awkward. Eventually this break up ended in Cold War. One of the reasons the wartime alliance broke down was deep-seated resentment between the countries from before the war. This meant that the powers already had 'bad experiences' and impressions of each other before they had to work together. In 1939 Stalin signed the Nazi-Soviet Pact: a (public) non-aggression pact (privately) agreeing to share Poland between them. Stalin had seen how weak Britain could be after watching them appease Hitler and after they (as part of the League of Nations) let Mussolini bomb Abyssinia. He saw that he could take advantage of this. Stalin's fears and suspicions grew worse when he signed an agreement with France saying that they would help if Germany invaded Russia, but he was not sure he could trust them after they failed to keep Germany out of the Rhineland. ...read more.


The only real disagreement was what to do with Poland. Stalin wanted to expand his borders and move Poland into Germany, decreasing Germany's area. Churchill was unhappy about this but there was not a lot he could do because Stalin's armies were already occupying Poland and eastern Germany. However, at Potsdam just a few months later, there were several factors that had changed. The war in Europe was won, Stalin's armies occupied most of Eastern Europe, Roosevelt had died and had been replaced by Truman and Clement Attlee had defeated Churchill in the elections. The Americans had also tested their atom bomb. This was foreshadowing the future likelihood of the two superpowers opposing each other (the massed ranks of Soviet troops in the east with the mighty firepower of America in the west): polarisation. Nevertheless, the allies agreed to divide Germany into zones and to claim reparations for war losses. However, the USA began to realise that it did not want a weakened Germany in Central Europe, a perfect breeding ground for communism. ...read more.


The USA emerged immeasurably more powerful from the war with Germany and Japan. It was clear that the USA could no longer sit on the sidelines in world politics. In addition, the USA was extremely concerned by the spread of communism in Eastern Europe and the Far East. The USA believed that Stalin wanted to convert the rest of the world to communism. The USA had fought the fascist ideologies of Germany, Italy and Japan, now it was prepared to fight the communist ideology of the USSR. Great Britain and France had come out of the Second World War weaker; their economies were in a worse state than the USA's and they were in a poorer position to influence world affairs. All throughout the Big Three's alliance there were underlying tensions, deep-rooted mistrust and suspicion that went back to before the wars. Furthermore, there was a big distinction between their beliefs and ideologies which emphasised this rift. This eventually bubbled to the surface, breaking the thin ice upon which their affiliation was balanced. Ed Byford Explain Why The Wartime Alliance Between 25/04/2007 America, Britain And Russia Developed Into A State Of Cold War ~1~ ...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. Short term and Long term Causes of the Cold War.

    This was called the 'marriage of convenience' because it was not that they were allies that they came together but the fact that both had a common aim and end that was to destroy their enemy. As soon as it looked as though Hitler was going to be defeated the old tension began to re-emerge.

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

    During World War II, Russia and the U.S had always had to be allies and work closely together, in order to be successful in a common goal: the defeat of Nazi occupation throughout the war. At the end of the war, the U.S.A and U.S.S.R were clearly masters of the world.

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

    The country was divided into four zones, where each superpower controlled a zone. In 1946, after reparation agreements broke down between the western and Soviet zones, the west wanted to merge the British, French and American zones. The west wanted to stimulate the German economy and unite all of West Germany as one.

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

    As Truman said in 1949, devotion to freedom of enterprise "is part and parcel of what we call America." Yet was the need for markets sufficient to force a confrontation that ultimately would divert precious resources from other, more productive use?

  1. China's Relationship With The West

    Since the empire first existed it has had such danger. It is worse than an invasion of wild beasts. I insist that the smuggling of opium be punishable by death." The First Opium War started in 1839 when the Chinese government, with Lin Zexu as the imperial commissioner, confiscated the

  2. The Long Term Causes of the Cold War

    The truth is that the USA and Russia were simply allies to take on the bigger threat of Hitler and Nazism. Tension between the two powers had been present before the war, and events in the war only made things worse between them.

  1. The Prelude to the 1975 War and the Cairo Agreement.

    and Borj al-Barajneh (1,300). Therefore, the largest concentration was in the south and the Beirut area. The Lebanese army was 19,000 strong. Only about half that number was a fighting force. The largest number of militiamen was that of the Kataeb Party (8,000), followed by the Lebanese Communist Party and the Progressive Socialist Party (5,000 each)

  2. 'War seldom resolves the causes of conflict' Analyze this claim with reference to a ...

    Hedley Bull (3) states that war is due in part to the lack of robust security measures in the 'Anarchical Society'. This is evident in the fact that World War One was created by a lack of security which in turn triggered an increase in a series of alliances, which

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