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Why and how did the Cold War develop until 1949?

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Introduction

Why and how did the Cold War develop until 1949? The Cold War is the name of the international rivalry between the USA and its allies, and the USSR and their allies, from the close of World War 2 until the collapse of the USSR in 1991. The two most powerful countries, the USA and the USSR never actually fought each other. This is why it's called a 'cold war'. However on at least one occasion it became very close to being a 'hot war', an all out war with nuclear weapons. Even though the Soviet Union had been allies with the USA and Britain during the Second World War, there had always been deep mistrust between them. The countries were run very differently. The Soviet Union was a communist country run by a dictator, Joseph Stalin. Britain and America were capitalist countries run by elected governments. There was no free speech and the Soviet Union was a one party state; no other political parties were allowed. ...read more.

Middle

Stalin stayed the same. Nothing much was agreed at the conference, although the Russians insisted on getting the Germany's reparations. As agreed in the Yalta conference Germany was split into 4 zones. It would be one economic and political unit with joint elections with all four zones. It was used so that in time Germany would be a free democratic country. The British and Americans joined their zones in January 1947 and the French zone was added in 1947 to make one Western zone. Stalin was very suspicious of their behaviour. In 1947 communists in Greece were fighting for control of the country. The USA went to help them even though they had no interests in Greece. President Truman thought the Communism should be 'contained' so that it does not spread any further. This is called The Truman Doctrine. He saw the choice as a simple one, a communist world or a non-communist world. The Americans then gave supplies and support to any country which felt threatened by Communism. In 1947 Europe was in a very difficult economic difficulty. ...read more.

Conclusion

On May 12th 1949, the blockade was lifted. As early as May 1945 Churchill shown his concern about the Soviets occupying Eastern Europe. He called it 'The Iron Curtain'. At first the iron curtain was only a 'barrier of ideas'. It stopped co-operation and the exchange of information but it did not stop the movement of people. In May 1952 Communist East Germany decided to block of its western border. They used barbed wire, mines, ditches, floodlights, watchtowers and soldiers. They said they were doing this to protect against spies, terrorists and smugglers but their real reason were that they were worried about the skilled workers leaving to settle in the west. Secondly, capitalist ideas might spread amongst their people. This physical barrier continued over the rest of Europe Overall, there was a lot of mistrust between the Allies and the Russians even after the war. This caused the Cold War to develop. The Americans were afraid of the soviets expansion in Eastern Europe and the Soviets were afraid of Americans nuclear bomb. They didn't actually fight against each other but they used tactics to get their point across. ...read more.

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