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The Cold War Origins.

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Presentation on theme: "The Cold War Origins."— Presentation transcript:

1 The Cold War Origins

2 What is Cold War? cold war: a state of political hostility between countries characterized by threats, propaganda, and other measures short of open warfare The Cold War: conflict between the Unites States and the Soviet Union in which neither nation directly confronted the other on the battlefield

3 Origins of the Cold War American and Soviet soldiers meet at the Elbe River in Germany Symbol of peace? After World War II, the United States and the Soviet Union emerged as rival superpowers

4 The Soviet Union Led by Joseph Stalin (“man of steel”)
Totalitarian government with no opposition parties Communist economic system: state controls all property and economic activity

5 The United States Harry S. Truman was president (1945-1953)
Democratic government with free elections and competing parties Capitalist economic system: private property & mostly private economic activity

6 Former Allies Clash Both the U.S. and the Soviet Union had been part of the Allies against the Axis Powers during WWII But there were tensions between the two nations even then They only grew more tense after the War

7 Soviet Distrust of the West
The Soviet Union felt it had good cause to distrust the west. 

8 1. Western Opposition to Bolsheviks
In 1919, Russia’s former World War I allies (Britain, France and the United States) joined the "White Russians" to fight off the Bolsheviks following the revolution. 

9 2. The Result: USSR Suspicious of West
This intervention failed and the Red Army of the Bolsheviks secured the power of the new Soviet state. The young USSR government never quite trusted the western democracies after that.

10 3. Disregard for Soviet Diplomatic Goals
The western democracies did not invite the Soviet Union to participate in the World War I peace talks or the League of Nations.

11 5. USSR Not Invited to Munich Conference
The west did not invite the Soviets to the Munich Conference which decided the fate of Czechoslovakia in the years leading up to World War II, even though the Soviet Union had a security pact with Czechoslovakia.

12 Western Delay in Opening 2nd Front
Stalin believed that the western allies were dragging their feet in opening up the "second front" in Europe, so necessary to take the pressure off the struggling Soviet forces in the east.

13 Western Distrust of the Soviets
The west, for its part, never trusted the Soviet Union.

14 1. Fear of Communism The avowed purpose of the International Communist Party was to secure world wide communist revolution. There was a great fear of communism in Europe and America.

15 2. Soviet alliance with Nazi Germany
The Soviets negotiated an agreement with Hitler and annexed eastern Poland. Nazi-Soviet Non-aggression Pact of 1939 Distrust of Stalin’s motives and intentions

16 3. Soviet Designs on Eastern Europe
Stalin was open about wanting "friendly governments" in Eastern Europe to protect his country's western frontier

17 Soviet Desire for Friendly Gov’ts
All of this was in the air when Stalin, Churchill and Roosevelt met at the end of World War II.

18 The Yalta Conference The physical structure of the Cold War world was put into place at the end of World War II. Winston Churchill, Franklin Delano Roosevelt and Joseph Stalin agreed in February of 1945 at Yalta to divide Germany into four occupation zones.

19 The Yalta Conference (cont’d)
It was agreed that the Soviet Union would have the greatest influence in eastern Europe, where Soviet troops were concentrated. They already occupied Poland, Bulgaria, Romania, Hungary and parts of Czechoslovakia and Yugoslavia, and it would have been difficult to come to an agreement which involved removing these troops. Roosevelt agreed because he had little choice.

20 The Yalta Conference (cont’d)
Finally, it was agreed that independent governments would be established in these lands, and that elections would be free, but the governments would be "friendly to the Soviet Union."

21 Churchill, Roosevelt, and Stalin at Yalta

22 The Potsdam Conference
When the allies met again at Potsdam in July of 1945, relations were more strained. Roosevelt had been replaced by Truman, who knowing the U.S. had the atomic bomb now, was not inclined to humor Stalin America no longer desperately needed Soviet help in the war against Japan. The Soviet Union had no intention of allowing free elections in Eastern Europe The Soviet Union wanted a cushion of friendly nations around it to prevent future attacks U.S. wanted free markets worldwide

23 Truman and Stalin at Potsdam

24 Soviets Tighten Grip on Eastern Europe
The Soviets wanted a “buffer” of friendly, communist states to prevent future invasions from the west Communist governments installed in: Albania, Bulgaria, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Romania, and Poland Satellite nations


26 A Divided Europe Europe was now divided into two political regions
Mostly democratic, capitalist Europe in the West Authoritarian, communist Europe in the East

27 The Iron Curtain “An Iron Curtain has descended upon Europe”
-Winston Churchill

28 Containment Policy The Unites States government adopted a policy of containment: taking measures to prevent any extension of communist rule to other countries


30 Communism spreading? The Red Army of the Soviets HAD helped liberate Europe from fascism The capitalist economies of the European countries were disintegrating after WWII Colonies around the world were in rebellion Ever-present tension between rich and poor

31 How does one contain communism?
As a student of history and political advisor, what would you suggest?

32 The Truman Doctrine Truman Doctrine: “support free peoples who are resisting attempted subjugation by armed minorities or by outside pressures”

33 Truman Doctrine (cont’d)
“I believe that our help should be primarily through economic and financial aid, which is essential to economic stability and orderly political processes." –Truman $400 million in aid given to Turkey and Greece between 1947 and 1950

34 The Marshall Plan Western Europe was in shambles after WWII
In 1947, Secretary of State George Marshall proposed that the U.S. give aid to all European nations that needed it “not against any country or doctrine but against hunger, poverty, desperation, and chaos.” – Marshall

35 Marshall Plan (cont’d)
Over a course of 4 years, 16 countries received some 13 billion dollars in aid By 1952, Western Europe was flourishing The Communist party had lost much of its appeal to voters

36 Struggle over Germany Germany had been divided into four occupations zones at the end of WWII

37 Berlin Berlin had also been divided among the four Allies
Berlin was located completely within the Russian-occupied Eastern side of Germany

38 Unification of Western Zones
Britain, France, and the United States unified the western zones of Berlin into one nation in 1948 October 1949: German Democratic Republic (East Germany) May 1949: Federal Republic of Germany (West Germany)

39 Berlin Blockade Stalin responded by attempting to hold all of Berlin
He cut off rail and road access to west Berlin Residents of the city had only enough food for about 5 weeks

40 Berlin Airlift Starting June 1948 the Americans and the British flew food and supplies into West Berlin to break the blockade West Berlin survived the blockade Boost to American prestige Soviets lifted blockade in May 1949

41 North Atlantic Treaty Organization
NATO members: U.S.A., Canada, Great Britain, France, Belgium, Denmark, Iceland, Italy, Luxemburg, Netherlands, Turkey, Greece, Portugal, West Germany NATO: defensive military alliance Fear of Soviet aggression Pledged support to each other in case of attack No more isolationism for the U.S.

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