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WHY DID THE USA AND USSR BECOME RIVALS IN THE PERIOD 1945 TO 1949? The beginnings of the Cold War … V Three possible interpretations of why the Cold War started .. USSR to blame. Stalin wanted communist take over of the world and take over of Eastern Europe was the first step.

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why did the usa and ussr become rivals in the period 1945 to 1949

WHY DID THE USA AND USSR BECOME RIVALS IN THE PERIOD 1945 TO 1949?

The beginnings of the Cold War …

V

three possible interpretations of why the cold war started
Three possible interpretations of why the Cold War started ..
  • USSR to blame. Stalin wanted communist take over of the world and take over of Eastern Europe was the first step.
  • USA to blame. Soviet actions were defensive. USA wanted to have "spheres of influence" around the world but didn't want USSR to have the same.
  • Neither side to blame. Cold War was a result of misunderstandings - forces beyond the control of both sides.
different ideologies who believed what
Capitalism

Free elections

Freedom of speech

Big business

Some unfairness in distribution of wealth

Communism

One party rule

Censorship

State control of industry

Fewer extremes of wealth and poverty

Different ideologiesWho believed what?
post war problems
Post War Problems

First Conference was in February 1945 at ….

YALTA

Attended by ….

CHURCHILL, ROOSEVELT & STALIN

Decided Germany and Berlin to be divided between USA, GB, France and USSR

Poland – some land given to USSR and free elections promised by Stalin

Second Conference was in July 1945 at ….

POTSDAM

Attended by ….

CHURCHILL / ATTLEE, TRUMAN & STALIN

Decided Confirmation of detail of division of Germany and Berlin

Final agreement on Polish borders

Reparations from Germany

Stamp out the Nazi Party in Europe

slide5

What Germany looked like

Soviet control

British control

American control

French control

slide7

What happened in Eastern Europe?

  • POLAND Communist government established in 1945 then strengthened by rigged elections 1947
  • ROMANIA Communist government set up 1945 and monarchy abolished 1947
  • BULGARIA Communist government set up 1945 and monarchy abolished 1946
  • HUNGARY Free elections in 1945 followed by rigged elections in 1947 – communist government in place
  • CZECHOSLOVAKIA Coalition of communists and non-communists ran government. USSR feared outcome of 1948 elections so seized power by force. Many non-communists arrested. Jan Masaryk murdered.
slide8

Iron Curtain –

A term used by

Winston Churchill

to describe the

separating of

those communist

lands of East

Europe from the

West.

the truman doctrine what did it mean
The Truman DoctrineWhat did it mean?
  • Western governments were alarmed by Stalin's take over of Eastern Europe. Stalin saw his policy as one of making the USSR secure but Truman and USA saw it as the spread of communism.
  • USA gave financial help to assist British troops helping the Greeks fight against communism in 1948
  • This was the first example of the Truman Doctrine - the USA would give support to people everywhere who were trying to resist communist aggression. It was based on the idea of containment - the USA would use its power and wealth to contain the spread of communism.
the marshall plan also known as marshall aid
The Marshall Planalso known as Marshall Aid
  • Truman believed communism spread where poverty made people want change
  • General Marshall sent to Europe to report on the situation
  • He found serious shortages and debt
  • Truman proposed $17 billion of aid
  • US Congress refused at first but agreed after the death of Masaryk showed that the communists were prepared to use force
crisis point berlin 1948
REMEMBER

Germany and Berlin divided into four sectors

Britain, France and USA had tried to restore Germany

USSR had made no effort to do so

JUNE 1948

New German currency introduced in Western zones – the Deutschmark

Stalin thought this was the start of a new Germany threatening USSR

Stalin blockaded Berlin in retaliation

CRISIS POINT: BERLIN 1948
what could the west do
What could the West do?
  • Fight through the blockade? This would start a war
  • Abandon Berlin? This would be seen as weakness
  • Decided on an airlift of supplies to keep West Berlin out of communist hands

In this British cartoon from 1948, Stalin watches as the storks fly coal and food into Berlin, but he dares not shoot them down.

details of the blockade
Details of the Blockade
  • Lasted 318 days
  • British and US air forces flew in 1.5 million tonnes of supplies
  • US B29 bombers stationed in Britain
  • Stalin did not know if they carried atomic bombs
  • 12 May 1949 Stalin admitted defeat and the blockade was lifted.
what were the effects of the blockade
What were the effects of the Blockade?
  • In May 1949 the three western powers merged their zones into the German Federal Republic (West Germany). In October 1949 the USSR set up its zone as the German Democratic Republic (East Germany).
  • The first elections in West Germany were held in August 1949. The Christian Democrats under Konrad Adenauer, who hated the communists, were elected. Stalin now felt very insecure
key questions
Key Questions
  • Who caused the cold war?
  • Was it Soviet aggression in Eastern Europe?
  • Was it American capitalism trying to control Europe?
  • Was it both sides trying to protect their spheres of influence and misunderstanding the motives of the other?