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

Soviet Union and Eastern Europe

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

?The Soviet Union developed its influence in eastern Europe in the years 1945 to 1949 because it simply wanted to guarantee its security in the future.? How valid is this assessment? The statement is valid due to the fact that the Soviet Union had previously been invaded twice by Germany in 1914 and 1941 and had legitimate security fears when the Western allies began supporting Germany. Consequently, Stalin may have thought that the Soviet union, needed extra security to prevent an invasion re occurring. Also, the USSR often made decisions in response to others around them, especially the USA, as Stalin always aimed to ?match? his rivals. Firstly, one reason the statement is valid due to the USSR?S genuine fear of another invasion as it had happened twice before and this fear was not quelled with the USA and the Western Allies helping Germany recuperate after the war, increasing the possibility of a resurgent Germany which terrified the Russians. ...read more.

Middle

Not only does this follow on from my previous point that the USA vilified the Soviets but also the Russians expanded gradually, this disproves a large chunk of the telegram as it cannot be aggressive expansionism if the Russians were expanding gradually and through elections often. However there is evidence that shows although the Soviet expansion was gradual, it was not always done sincerely like agreed at the Yalta and Potsdam conferences it was often the case in the satellite states, that the elections that had been agreed to take place to determine the countries futures, were often rigged and would therefore put the communists in power, so the agreements at the conferences were not obeyed. However, in relation to the telegram and the content of what Kennan said, there is evidence behind it that also helps disprove the statement. Communism is a major factor in itself due to a key element of it being that it should be international, and spread throughout the world. ...read more.

Conclusion

Britain and the USA, ultimately though that Stalin was exploiting the weaknesses of vulnerable Eastern European countries, aswell as exaggerating the use of the Soviet Union?s buffer zone. To the western world, this looked as if it were the beginning of serious Soviet aggressions, therefore naturally the Western powers were feeling defensive, and wary of Stalin?s plots. In conclusion, I believe the statement that the Soviet Union only expanded into Eastern Europe for security reasons is valid. Although the western powers believed that Stalin was over utilising a ?buffer zone? as an excuse, to continue to dominate Eastern Europe, in my opinion, Stalin was seriously concerned about another Western invasion, and he felt more secure with other Soviet occupied Eastern European countries surrounding the USSR. Although Stalin may have expanded too much, and consequently made the western countries feel defensive, I believe that Stalin was mainly concerned about security and paranoia may have led to the worries of Britain and the USA in particular. ...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. Marked by a teacher

    The Soviet Union developed its influence in Eastern Europe in the years 1945 ...

    4 star(s)

    action in Angola was not troops it was aid and again it was in reaction to the USA helping the MPLA party first but the severity of this situation was increased as China was dovetailed with the USA in contributing in Angola.

  2. Why did tension increase in Europe between 1900 and 1914?

    * The commander of the US forces, General Pershing, generously allowed his troops to be used wherever they were needed. This gave Marshal Foch, the Allied commander, reinforcements which he could use as he wished. * The repeated attacks in April, May and June 1918 were an effort to finish

  1. The Fall of Communism in Eastern Europe

    The Hungarian resistance was crushed in two weeks. The west protested this, but did not send help. K�d�r was now in charge of Hungary as appointed by Khrushchev. K�d�r did slowly introduce some of the requested reforms, however he would not leave the Warsaw Pact.

  2. UNIT 6: PAPER 6b: THE SOVIET UNION AFTER LENIN

    * Yet, as we have seen, the debate about the Terror suggests that deciding what to do at the centre was one thing, actually ensuring it was implemented at the local level was quite another. * Stalin controlled the bureaucracy - perhaps that is what the Terror was about -

  1. How important were developments in Eastern Europe to the collapse of the Soviet Union?

    Every part of the Soviet Union bordering on Eastern Europe was in the midst of nationalist upheaval (Pearson, 1997) - Nationalistic movements arose across the inner empire of the Soviet Union, notably in Lithuania, Moldavia, and the Ukraine. The Sajudis organisation, influenced by the June elections in neighbouring Poland, was

  2. The Collapse of Communism in the USSR and Eastern Europe

    These groups would later develop into powerful policy-setting factions. That they should be given more freedom to express their views first dawned upon the Soviet leadership during Brezhnev's tenure, as the intervention in Czechoslovakia in 1968 and the crushing of Solidarity in 1981 proved destructively expensive both financially and in terms of propaganda.

  1. Events in the Soviet Union brought down Communist regimes in Eastern Europe - Discuss

    'Perestroika' (restructuring) is perhaps one of the most important aspects in the disintegration of Soviet regimes in Eastern Europe. Mikhail Gorbachev in his attempted restructuring of economic, social and political life dismantled the Marxist-Leninist-Stalinist totalitarian state. By these revolutionary measures implicated at the top he sought to curtail and stem the threat of revolutionary actions from below.

  2. Why did the Soviet Union maintain a presence in Eastern Europe? And why did ...

    There could be no withdrawal from the Soviet Union. Khrushchev maintained and strengthened (with the cessation of political terror) the communist parties and in particular maintained the primacy of the CPSU in the hierarchy. But according to Gati, "what was changed was the Soviet Union's new willingness to make such concessions as were necessary to assure the bloc's endurance

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