• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Who was to Blame for the Cold War

Extracts from this document...


Angus Walker Who Was to Blame for the Cold War? The Cold War was, in the main, a period of deep mistrust and rivalry between the once allied superpowers America and Russia after World War Two. The Cold War was, in part, and ideological conflict between capitalism (USA) and communism (USSR) and lasted for most of the 20th Century. There were many factors concerning the causes of the Cold War, but they broadly fall under three headings: traditional, revisionist and post-revisionist. The causes of the Cold War are debated heavily. The traditional view, up until the 1960s was that Russia was totally to blame for the Cold War. By the Potsdam conference in July 1945 Stalin's Red Army was in control of most of Eastern Europe. At Yalta five months ago the 'Big Three' of Churchill Roosevelt and Stalin had met and agreed on many points, such as allowing free elections for liberated countries. At Potsdam Stalin flatly refused to do that. He set up communist governments in all countries from Albania to East Germany. ...read more.


Some historians and certainly Stalin at the time believed that the Marshall Plan was simply an enticement away from communism, because although it was meant to be free, the country receiving it would certainly owe something to America, be it gratitude, and so America would gain a foothold in these countries' thoughts. This aid, some think, was simply a loan, not of money, but of alliance. Another reason that supports the Revisionist view was America's use of the Atomic Bomb. Many believed that he used it simply to intimidate Russia. This theory explains why the USA needed to use two; as if they dropped two in quick succession then the Russians would believe that the Americans had many more bombs that they actually did. I thing that this is the only logical explanation as the official reason for the dropping of the nuclear bomb was to frighten the Japanese into submission by the sheer force of the bomb and so to use two was simply a waste of innocent civilian life unless it had a political motive. ...read more.


The war became so heated because the peoples of both nations believed so strongly that not only was their way of life better and right, but it was paramount to the future existence of humanity. This cause supports the view that neither country was directly to blame for the Cold War, as it was not their actions, provocative or not, that caused it, but their ideals and beliefs. In conclusion I shall say that both sides were equally to blame for the start of the Cold War. Their ideological conflict made coexistence and cooperation impossible, and so the two superpowers were drawn into a war to support and fight for their beliefs. The other factors of the start of the Cold War are also important; had the Russians not pursued such a radical expansion then the West would not have felt so threatened as to oppose Stalin; and had the West not angered Stalin with the Marshall Plan, pressured him with the atomic bomb and treated his with such contempt, such as agreeing a surrender with Mussolini without even consulting him, then Russia would not have been forced into defending its beliefs, sometimes aggressively, against the West. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE International relations 1945-1991 section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE International relations 1945-1991 essays

  1. Marked by a teacher

    Who was to blame for the Cold War?

    4 star(s)

    The fact that America tested the atomic bomb in 1945 caused tension between the two countries and caused the USSR to fear even more the USA. After Roosevelt died, Truman became the president of the USA. Truman was even more anti-Communist and suspicious of Stalin than Roosevelt, which made the relationship between the two countries even worse.

  2. The Cold War - major events. Revision notes.

    * Castro assured Americans in Cuba they are safe - he wanted to run the country without interference and he received arms from USSR January 1961 * USA broke off diplomatic relationships with Cuba. * Castro thought USA prepares to invade.

  1. What Caused the Cold War And Who Was To Blame?

    Truman feared Stalin would spread Communist all over the world. To prevent this, The U.S government favoured a policy strongly against Communism known as the containment. The Truman Doctrine and the Marshall Plan were all set against Communism. The Truman Doctrine of 1947 stated that America would help any non-communist country to resist communist pressure.

  2. Who was to blame for the Cold War?

    In restoring European countries had eradicated the need for communism, preventing the spread of it along with Stalin's plans. The Marshall Plan was funded by the American tax payers; people in America wanted their tax spent on their country not others.

  1. The Cold War-Who was to blame?

    The USA did act in an inappropriate way, or in a way which could have been considered a threat, to Stalin, and the USSR. Stalin decided that capitalism was, "showing off", too much in western Berlin. This could make the people in Eastern Berlin/Germany, see capitalism as the better political

  2. Cold War Short Essays - Questions and Answers.

    Nagy also promised Hungary to leave the Warsaw Pact. He did not want Hungary to be affected by other political situations; he wanted Hungary to remain neutral. Leaving the Warsaw Pact would symbolise leaving soviet rule upon Hungary. Briefly explain the key features of the beginnings of the Arms Race in the years 1945-49 (6 marks)

  1. Cold War Summary, quotes and revision notes.

    Soviet Union Protected on two sides by ocean Surrounded by potentially hostile countries Land borders with Canada and Mexico Land borders with Norway, Finland, Poland, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria, Turkey, Iran, Afghanisatan and China No war damage done to US mainland Bombed and occupied by German forces, vast losses included

  2. Edexcel Cold War 1943-1991 Revision (Detailed)

    Free elections ? Truman wanted free elections in the countries of eastern Europe. Stalin refused to submit to US pressure believing it was unwelcome interference. Truman was furious and began a ?get tough? policy against the Soviet Union. Brain had gone to war in September 1939 to maintain polish independence,

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work