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

"More a result of mutual misunderstanding than of expansionist policies by either the U.S.A or the U.S.S.R." Discuss this view of the out break of the Cold War in the period 1945-53.

Extracts from this document...


"More a result of mutual misunderstanding than of expansionist policies by either the U.S.A or the U.S.S.R." Discuss this view of the out break of the Cold War in the period 1945-53. This view of the outbreak of the Cold War in 1945-53 refutes the extremism of the orthodox and revisionist views, attesting a middle ground of "mutual understanding" that avoids appropriating blame to the policies of either superpower. However, the issue is less dichotomous than the hypothesis allows for. To call the Soviet Union's foreign policy "expansionist" indicates that it has been interpreted as such, and is therefore subject to a possible misunderstanding of their motives for doing so. For example, Melvyn Leffler stresses the "reasonable criterion" when judging American and Soviet security demands, emphasizing that especially in the case of the Soviet Union, security was very much a reasonable imperative given their historical experience with invasions from contiguous states. ...read more.


By 1948, fully communist government presided over the states of Eastern Europe and the Berlin blockade of Soviet design on West Germany. A similar inclination was demonstrated in Turkey, Northern Iran and Korea. While the Soviet incursions into Iran have been defended as a desire only to control its oil fields (an objective also shared by the West) and pressure on Turkey may have been viewed as a matter of security. Robert Jevis points out that if either of these probes had succeeded, further Soviet gains would have been likely, a consideration that Stalin would hardly have missed. This suggests that Stalin's approach to expansionism was opportunist rather than inexorably purposeful. In other words, he was driven by realpolitik rather than ideology. However, Nigel Gould-Davies insist that Stalin was "immersed in ideology", citing the congruence of Stalin's theoretical work, Economic Problems of Socialism, with the premises that Marx's Critique of the Gotha Program. ...read more.


Stalin understandably perceived the Marshall Plan as a "blatant American device" for gaining control of Western and (if not worse) Eastern Europe. Concerning Korea, Anotaly Dobrynin asserts that by the 1950s, Stalin "saw U.S. plans and actions as preparations for an all out war of unprovoked aggression against the Soviet Union." The rollback policy did little to assuage this fear, and even thought its pursuit by General MacArthur proved to be an unfortunate divergence from the Truman Administration policy, the Soviets had already been convinced of American expansionism. It can be seen again, therefore, that mutual misunderstanding on both sides led to perceptions of the other's policies as being expansionist, which in turn, sowed the distrust and reason from retaliatory action that set the Cold War in motion. In conclusion, barring other factors, the outbreak of the Cold War in 1945-53 was more a result of mutual misunderstanding than of expansionist policies by either superpower. Daniela Germano History 11/12/03 ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level International History, 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 AS and A Level International History, 1945-1991 essays

  1. How far was the USSR responsible for the outbreak of the Cold War?

    a decision, but if it became necessary, no one need have misgiving but he would do so." In a dramatic gesture that summer, a fleet of sixty B-29s, the latest American heavy bombers designed to carry atomic weapons bombers, was flown into the United Kingdom.

  2. "To What Extent Were Gorbachev's Policies the Catalyst to the Fall of the USSR?"

    stated by Schweizer Himself, the 'Reagan Doctrine', the administration's policy towards the USSR was based on: "Covert financial, intelligence, and logistical support to the Solidarity movement in Poland that ensured the survival of an opposition movement in the heart of the Soviet empire.

  1. Free essay

    How far do you agree with the view that the development of the cold ...

    Given the political and military vacuum that existed after the n**i defeat, the Red Army was placed to exert influence in Eastern Europe. Its precens was a source of much anxiety for the west, which realised that it provided Stalin with a powerful weapon by which he could stamp his policies on the region.

  2. Discuss Trotsky's View that War was the Locomotive of History (1855-1914)

    This of course seemed unfeasible as even if the Tsar were able to offer such structures, it would be a very intricate process to convince the peasantry that this was beneficial to them. The Crimean war also lead to a large spectrum of other reforms being applied as well.

  1. The great war plan, preparations, collapse, and recovery - a revised view

    Defeat the exhausted Germany and its allies across the entire front from the Finland in the North to the Black Sea in the South - a mirror image of the German attack that eventually started in June 22, 1941.

  2. This graduation paper is about U.S. - Soviet relations in Cold War period. Our ...

    Roosevelt wished to avoid the errors of Wilsonian overstatement, but he understood the necessity of generating moral fervor as a means of moving the nation toward the intervention he knew to be necessary if both America's self-interest-and her moral principles-were to be preserved.

  1. American History.

    - In his second term (1812 - 1816) Madison proposed economic and military expansion through the creation of a second nat'l bank and improvements in transportation. To raise $ for this and to help manufacturing, Madison suggested implementing a protective tariff [but unlike the Federalists he claimed that only a constitutional amendment could give the fed.

  2. To what extent was the Cold War a result of the mutual misinterpretation of ...

    However, the soviets saw this as a snub by their former wartime ally, as they hoped that the aid from the Lend-Lease would lay the foundations for economic recovery in USSR. Thus, Soviet misinterpretation of Americans? action here began the cold war as defined by an economic schism in Europe.

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