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Cold War: Divisions of Europe by 1949

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Introduction

Social Studies Essay Question "From Stettin in the Baltic to Trieste in the Adriatic, an iron curtain has descended across the continent." By 1949, Europe had been divided into communist and non-communist 'blocs'. It may be argued that the predominant cause of this division was the Berlin Airlift crisis. However, there are multiple causes to take into account, in particular Soviet expansion into Eastern Europe and the Truman Doctrine and Marshall plan of 1947. These factors built up tension, resulting in the definite divisions of Europe by 1949. In many regards the roots of Europe's divisions lay in the Soviet expansion into Eastern Europe. "We want friendly sates around us." This was Stalin's motive for Soviet expansion into Europe. ...read more.

Middle

Churchill's speech was directed at the USA, to 'wake' them from their policy of "Isolationism". He stated his opposition to the formation of communist governments in all of Eastern Europe, stating that, "The Communist Parties...are seeking everywhere to obtain totalitarian control." Churchill's "Iron Curtain" speech was the first vocalised statement discussing the imminent divisions of Europe. It can also be argued that a key factor leading to the divisions of Europe was US foreign policy. The Truman Doctrine and Marshal plan shifted US foreign policy from "isolationism" to "containment" of communism. Truman stressed the threat of communism in his speech to congress in order to obtain money to aid Greece and Turkey, in the fight against communism. The Marshall Plan supplied $13.2 billion to Western, non-communist Europe. ...read more.

Conclusion

However the allies used air corridors to transport 2.3 million tonnes of supplies to their sectors. The USSR, realizing their failure to drive the Western allies out of Berlin, called off the blockade. The Berlin Airlift crisis triggered the development of the NATO in 1949 and Warsaw Pact in 1955. It left Germany divided up until 1989. The crisis cemented the divisions of Europe, placing a boarder from North to South separating communist form non-communist countries. In conclusion, the division of Europe in 1949 was the result of a period of great tension and internal conflicts. Key factors leading to the division included the Soviet takeover of Eastern Europe and the change in US foreign policy. However, the Berlin Airlift crisis was the predominant factor leading to the split between communist Eastern Europe and non-communist Western Europe. By George Lowndes ...read more.

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