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

Cold war

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Luke Rogers 5-1-00 "Why have historians found it difficult to reach agreement in assessing responsibility for the Cold War?" The Cold War is a product of the combined folly of both the United States and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. However, historians have seen both sides making mistakes, acting aggressively, and pushing one and other to make further mistakes throughout the years. Furthermore, it is human nature to wish to assign blame to one side or the other. Meanwhile, it has been difficult to tell what one side has been doing as neither the US or the USSR has wished to point out the other side what they had been doing. Of course, no issue in recent history has sparked quite so much discussion in historical circles. Assessing not only the blame but also the damage caused by the Cold War has given rise to many a book and historians have often argued quite aggressively for either side. Nevertheless, historians such as Thomas A. Bailey have argued that the US was reacting to Soviet expansionism and attempting to stem the tide of Soviet aggression. ...read more.

Middle

the Soviets couldn't accept the aid for fear that in checking on where the aid went, the US would discover the amount of devastation, which had befallen the Soviets. The Soviets could hardly be charged with coming up with and maintaining an aggressive policy when it was all they could do keep their country together. Furthermore, the Soviets attempted time and time again to reach for shielding form the economic might of the US only to discover the Americans fighting them back. In the Yalta Peace Conference, Stalin agreed to hold free elections in Poland, a promise, which he didn't keep. Similarly, in Iran, the Soviets were supposed to withdraw their troops on March 2, 1946, but didn't. This time, however, Harry Truman wouldn't give the country up as he had with Poland, and pressured the Soviets to withdraw their troops under the threat of US military and economic might, as well as their ever-present atomic bomb. In May of 1946, the Soviets withdrew, and the US signed a 25- year friendship with Iran as well as began to trade arms with them. ...read more.

Conclusion

The Soviets were entirely too defeated by the Second World War to bring about an aggressive policy of expansion and were blinded by their wounds to the true intentions of the allied powers. The US, on the other hand, had their own reasons for their actions. While Harry Truman was restricted by the American System of Government and public opinion, it was still by far and away the Americans who were in the driver's seat in the Cold War. Nevertheless, they were still blameless for the simple follies they made in watching Soviet policy. The Americans saw a Red boogey man in every corner while they felt that they had tried to be as civil as possible to the Soviets. They had helped to defeat the enemy, which had injured the Soviets (through Truman couldn't have imagined quite how injured), they had offered aid to the Soviets and the Eastern European countries, and they had tried to extend a hand of friendship despite highly to undermine their government and very way of life. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our International Baccalaureate History 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 International Baccalaureate History essays

  1. Why Did War Time Friends Become Cold War Enemies?

    The Soviet Union refused to accept the American financial aid. In the eyes of the Soviet Union, the United States was giving economic aid to all European countries to make them anti-communist. Shortly after the proclamation of the Marshall Plan, Andrei Zhdanov, one of Stalin's lieutenants, said, "The United States proclaimed a new, frankly predatory and expansionist course.

  2. Did Truman really save 500,000 American live through dropping the Hiroshima atomic bomb?

    Furthermore, the numerous perspectives present different approaches on examining the validity of Truman's number, e.g. Moor investigates the number through the manufacturing of Purple Hearts. Nevertheless Truman's memoir was rewarding too, as it provided a first hand but sometimes too brief documentary of his thinking during the time of the decision.

  1. The Cold War

    He was worried that the people of East Berlin would wish for the same standard of living as people in the West. Stalin decided that to solve this problem, he would try to force the Western powers out of Berlin, so that all of it would be under Soviet control.

  2. The cold war - the conferences and the start of the cCold War

    Stalin claimed that the Western powers had been too slow in opening the Second Front and this had put great strain on Russia 3) Firstly the allies did open a Second Front in Italy. Secondly, they opened the Second Front in France when there was a strong possibility of success.

  1. Who was responsible for the Cold War?

    This very speech led to George Kennan's 'Long Telegram' which in turn led to the creation of 'Containment Policy', a policy which Orthodox historians defend as an effort by the West to preserve 'freedom' worldwide, that it was merely a form of protection against Soviet antagonism.

  2. Investigation: The Cuban Missile Crisis as a Thaw in the Cold War

    beyond oneself, maximize efficiency, proportionality should be a guideline in war, get the data, belief and seeing are both often wrong, be prepared to reexamine your reasoning, in order to do good you may have to engage in evil, never say never, and you can't change human nature * Nikita Khrushchev desired peace as much as President Kennedy (Frankel 177)

  1. What were the intentions of President Harry S. Truman and General Douglas MacArthur regarding ...

    Korean War to understand its consequences, namely, the intentions of President Harry S. Truman and General Douglas MacArthur. There is ongoing debate regarding the intentions of Truman and MacArthur during the Korean War. The veterans of the Korean War in South Korea, General MacArthur, General Ridgway and other historians argue

  2. The Impact of the Manhattan Project on the Cold War

    It was the culmination of the three and a half centuries of physical science which began with Galileo. What they did would end the Second World War and bring on the Cold War. It was an incredible achievement, technically extraordinarily sweet indeed, and absolutely horrifying.

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