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How did Stalin take over Eastern Europe between 1945 and 1949?

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Introduction

Michaël October 2013. Lebrun How did Stalin take over Eastern Europe between 1945 and 1949? The Soviet take-over of eastern europe started before the end of the second world war. As the Red Army drove the Nazis westward, Soviet leaders already tried to have friendly government installed into the territories. When World War II ended, it was Stalin's goal to conquer all of eastern europe. Indeed, despite the common agreement that all eastern european governments would be politically independent, Stalin had announced at Yalta that it was of paramount importance to him to have some control over the eastern european countries, explaining that this would serve as a deterrent to new potential attacks. After Germany's defeat, Stalin's Red Army remained in the occupied zones, which came as a surprise to the other powers. Stalin wanted to have complete control over those countries as he progressively made them more and more subservient to him and consequently influenced their regime into more and more communism. ...read more.

Middle

One of the major example of this is the Berlin Blockade. Just like Germany was divided into west and east, Berlin was divided into west and east. West being the allies side and east being the Soviet side. In June 1948, Stalin decided to stop providing vital supplies to west Berlin as its citizens strongly rejected communist candidates in an election. In response to this came the Berlin Airlift. This consisted in the western power providing by plane all the ressources needed by the western berliners. As Stalin wanted to avoid a potential escalation of violence that could cause a war, he just stopped it nine months later. Another example of Stalinist influence in eastern europe was that of Mátyás Rákosi in Hungary. The non-communists had won the 1945 elections and Tildy became president. However, communist president of the secret police Rákosi decided to execute and arrest all his non-communist opponents. By 1948, Rákosi had complete control of Hungary. ...read more.

Conclusion

This is legitimate given that 80 percent of the German losses happened on the eastern front, and that the Russia's army was the first to reach Berlin. As the Russians felt that they had largely won the war, they probably felt like they had the right to shape the future of europe. On top of that, Russia had been the victim of attacks from the west multiple times. In 1914 and 1941 Germany attacked Russia through Poland. To Stalin, the past was a reliable indicator of what the future could hold. Stalin thought that having control over eastern europe could significantly undermine this threat. Despite this, it was agreed at the Yalta conference, with the consent of Stalin, that all the countries liberated from Nazi Germany would have the right to be democratic and politically independent. Stalin obviously did not keep this promise. However, was he really wrong, because it had also been agreed at Yalta that eastern europe would have governments "friendly" to the Soviet Union? Sources: http://bmigcsehistory.wikispaces.com/How+did+Stalin+gain+control+of+Eastern+Europe+from+1945-48 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joseph_Stalin#Post-war_era.2C_1945.E2.80.931953 http://www.bbc.co.uk/schools/gcsebitesize/history/mwh/ir2/sovietexpansionineasterneuroperev1.shtml http://magpie118.tripod.com/History/Soviet_take41.htm ...read more.

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