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Which of the following marked the start of the Cold War: Churchill's Iron Curtain Speech (1946), the Truman Doctrine (1947) or the Berlin Blockade (1948- 49)? Explain your answer. The Cold War was a state of extreme hostility

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Introduction

History Essay Theme: The Cold War Topic: The Origins of the Cold War Qn 2: Which of the following marked the start of the Cold War: Churchill's Iron Curtain Speech (1946), the Truman Doctrine (1947) or the Berlin Blockade (1948- 49)? Explain your answer. The Cold War was a state of extreme hostility and confrontation but without direct militant action between the two world powers, the USSR and the USA. The USSR and the USA were originally wartime Allies during the Second World War; however a string of events and issues caused a built up of suspicion and distrust which finally escalated to what was known as the Cold War. The start of Cold War can be simply defined as the period of time whereby both powers were simultaneously hostile to each other and the idea of peaceful cooperation could not exist anymore. Churchill's Iron Curtain Speech was a warning of Soviet influence beyond Eastern Europe. Churchill believed that the idea of a balance in power did not appeal to the Soviets and he encouraged Western democracies to stand together in prevention of further spreading of Communist influence. ...read more.

Middle

In it, the Soviets were accused of 'political oppression', 'suppression of personal freedoms' and were even perceived as 'evil' by the Americans. Under the Doctrine, the US policy was to support people who resisted attempted subjugation by 'outside pressure' which meant the Soviets. The US felt the need to assist the 'free' people against the spread of Communism and saw the Soviets as a threat and an enemy. This was the first concrete and coherent American foreign policy towards the USSR. There was no immediate official response from the Soviet government. However, a few months later, the Soviet 'Two Camps Speech' emerged stating Soviet stand to American aggression. It stated officially that the USSR was anti- democracy. Also the need to prevent Western powers' desire to dominate the world was emphasized; therefore the policy of cooperation between the Socialist and Liberal parties would cease to exist. Communist parties in Western European countries were told to adopt a militant anti-government stance. The USSR was no longer keen on peaceful cooperation and acknowledged the fact that the Americans and the Soviets could no longer be allies. ...read more.

Conclusion

Thus the blockade did not inspire the start of the Cold War, as it was merely a reaction to a Western move which the Soviets saw as a threat. Airlift was used to send all supplies to the Western Berlin zones. This was highly successful and was considered as a first major victory for the Americans in the Cold War when the Soviets found that the blockade was not effective in starving the West Berliners into submission and ended the blockade. The Iron Curtain Speech made in 1946 only served to build up suspicion and distrust between the two powers; at this point both powers were still Allies. The event that triggered off the Cold War was the Truman Doctrine whereby both parties were mutually hostile and did not believe in a possible peaceful coexistence anymore. The Americans and Soviets' hostility to each other as well as the belief that they could no longer cooperate after the start of the Cold War resulted in the Berlin Blockade. Thus I can conclude that the Truman Doctrine marked the start of the Cold War. ...read more.

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