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Begining of the Cold War - Marshall Aid and the importance of Berlin.

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Marshall Aid Truman believed that communism succeeded when people faced poverty and hardship. He sent the American General General George Marshall to assess the economic state of Europe.What he found was a ruined economy. Marshall suggested that about $17 billion would be needed to rebuilt Europe's prosperity. American refused it. On one hand, Marshall Aid was an extremely generous act by the American people. On the other hand, it was also motivated by American self-interest. They wanted to create new markets for American goods. The Americans remembered de Depressio and Truman wanted to do all he could to prevent another worldwide slump. Stalin viwed Marshakk Aid with suspicion. ...read more.


Stalin felt that the USA's handling of western Germany was provocative. He felt that he could stamp his authority on Berlin. It was deep in the Soviet zone and was linked to the western zones of Germany by vitals roads,railway and canals. Stalin believed that this would force the Allies out of Berlin and make Berlin entirely dependent on the USSR. Truman wanted to show that he was serious about his policy of containment. He wanted Berlin to be a symbol of freedom behind the Iron Courtain. The only way into Berlin was by air. So the Allies decided to air- lift supplies. As the first planes took off from their bases in west Germany, everyone feared that the Soviets would shoot them down, which would been an act of war. ...read more.


Throught that time Berlin would remain a powerful symbol of Cold War tensions- from the American point of view, an oasis of democratic freedom in the middle of Communist repression, from the Soviet point of view, an invasive cancer growing in the workers' paradise of East Germany. Berlin it was also a potential flashpoint. A pattern fot the Cold War Berlin Blockade set out a pattern for Cold War confrontations. On one hand, the two superpowers and their allies had shown how suspicious they were of each other, how they would obstruct each other in almost any way yhey could. On the other hand, each had shown that it was not willing to go to war with the other. The Berlin Blockade established a sort of tense balance between the superpowers that was to characterise much of the Cold War period. ...read more.

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