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The events of 1945 marked both the high point and the breakdown of East-West relations. To what extent do you agree with this statement?

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Introduction

Topic 5 The Cold War "The events of 1945 marked both the high point and the breakdown of East-West relations." To what extent do you agree with this statement? During the period at the beginning of the Cold War, most of the nations were worried as they believed that another war would start soon again. Many factors led to the Cold War; however, the events of 1945 marked the high point as well as the breakdown of relationship between the leaders. This essay is a critical analysis of the events of 1945 which froze and also thawed the East-West relationship. There were two crises in 1945, which played a huge role in marking both the high point and the breakdown of East-West relations. These were the Yalta conference and the Potsdam conference where the leaders of the victorious countries, USA, Britain and USSR negotiated. The Yalta conference was held from February 4th to Feb 11th, 1945. President Franklin D. Roosevelt of the United States, Prime Minister Winston Churchill of the United Kingdom and the leader of the Soviet Union, Josef Stalin, met to negotiate with each other the result of the Second World War. ...read more.

Middle

They agreed to the demilitarization and denazification of Germany and reparations to be in the form of forced labor to repair the damage Germany had inflicted on its victims. They agreed to divide Germany into four zones and each part would be taken care of by the leaders of the allied countries, that is, France, Germany, Britain and USSR. Further, Roosevelt agreed that citizens of the Soviet Union and Yugoslavia who had been arrested during the war, to be handed over to their respective countries, regardless of the consent of the Soviet Union and Yugoslavia.. This conference was successful and went without any major hitches. Rumors followed the conferences and people all over the world, especially in Europe, were led to believe that there would be no further war. This conference was more like informal discussion as the atmosphere was relaxed and peaceful. Roosevelt wanted peace and thus, he was open-minded towards Stalin which made Stalin feel that although their ideologies differed, they could still negotiate with trust. Unfortunately, all the efforts and hard work came to nothing at the Potsdam conference. ...read more.

Conclusion

Unlike in the Yalta conference, leaders viewed each other with great suspicion at the Potsdam conference. Both Truman and Stalin were offended and this once again froze the relationship between the East and the West. Further, other than the conferences that were held in Yalta and Potsdam, there were other crises that led to further deterioration in the East-West relationship. The Truman Doctrine and the Marshall Plan made the USSR believe that the USA was mocking her and was planning to spread the ideology of democracy. Further, this belief strengthened when West Germany's economy, with the help of the Allies (Britain, USA, and France), started to rise and recover from inflation. It was a great threat to Stalin as when Eastern Germans realized what was happening in West Germany, they would move to the Western Germany illegally. Churchill described the relationship between the USSR and the USA as an iron curtain; which later became a reality with the Berlin Blockade, which heightened the tension between the countries. In conclusion, the events of 1945 first led to an improvement in the US USSR relationship. However, with the change in the leadership, things changed dramatically and the relationship deteriorated drastically ?? ?? ?? ?? History Essay N09/3/HISTX/BP2/ENG/TZ0/XX/M+ ...read more.

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