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The origins of the Cold War.

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Introduction

The origins of the Cold War Yalta - February 1945 This took place before the end of the war, but the Allies knew they were going to win. Churchill * He recognised the danger and wrote to the US urging that action be taken to stop the USSR's "onward sweep." * He did not trust Stalin, although he tried to have good relations with him. * He did not dare criticise Russia too much as the public in Britain had been impressed by Russia's courage and sacrifice against the Nazis. Roosevelt * He regarded Churchill as someone who just wanted to hang on to the British Empire. The USA had no intention of helping Britain in the task. Instead, the aim was to keep the Allies together. * He was keen that all people should be able to choose their own government through free elections, and he wanted a new peacekeeping organisation to be set up after the war. * He did his best to get on with Stalin and treat the USSR fairly, giving them the benefit of the doubt, to Churchill's annoyance. Stalin Stalin saw things differently to the other two leaders. When he talked about "free elections," he meant something quite different from Roosevelt. ...read more.

Middle

The USSR wished to be involved in the occupation of Japan, but the USA was concerned that, like in Eastern Europe, the Russians would not move out once Japan had been defeated. Stalin also wanted access to the Ruhr area of Germany because of its industrial wealth. 3. The USA and Britain asked for a bigger say in what went on in Eastern Europe. They suggested that the Red Army should be removed. Stalin rejected this suggestion. Decisions made 1. The decision made at Yalta to split Germany and Berlin between the four occupying powers was once again agreed. 2. Austria was to be separate from Germany but under joint occupation. 3. Germany would be run by and Allied Control Commission; the four military commanders of the occupying armies would sit on this. 4. Germany would be denazified and trials of war criminals would go ahead and Nuremberg. 5. Reparations could be taken by each occupying power from its own zone, although the USSR would be allowed to take some industrial goods from the American and British zones. The reparations could not be so severe as to endanger ordinary people's lives. 6. No further talks took place about the future of Germany. ...read more.

Conclusion

A totalitarian regime - no basic freedoms. Religion Freedom of religion. Secular state - religion banned and state replaces church. Views on opposing ideologies The USA and the West saw the communist system as a menace which must not spread to other countries. They were worried by the existence of the Comintern. The USSR feared the capitalist system and saw American power as a threat. So it was important to spread the Russian system as widely as possible to counter American power. They did this through the Comintern. The Iron Curtain Speech The new hostility towards the Soviet Union was encouraged by Winston Churchill on 5 March 1946. The speech was made at Fulton, Missouri and Truman was in the audience and had read the speech before it was given. Churchill called for an American-British alliance to fight against the communist menace. He justified this by saying that "an iron curtain has descended across the continent. Behind that line lie all the capitals of the ancient states of central and Eastern Europe: Warsaw (Poland), Berlin (Germany), Prague (Czechoslovakia), Vienna (Austria), Budapest (Hungary), Bucharest (Romania) and Sofia (Bulgaria). All the famous cities lie in the Soviet Sphere and all are subject to a high and increasing control from Moscow." Stalin was furious with Churchill and Truman as he felt this was a public declaration of hostility. It would be referred to in Soviet propaganda for years to come. ...read more.

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