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Origins of the Cold War.

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Presentation on theme: "Origins of the Cold War."— Presentation transcript:

1 Origins of the Cold War


3 Origins of the Cold War – Ideological Differences
Different philosophies/ideologies: Democratic capitalism Marxist-Leninist communism

4 United States – Soviet Union
No elections or fixed elections Dictatorship Communist Everyone helps everyone else Poor economic base Society controlled by the NKVD Total censorship Free elections Democratic Capitalist “Survival of the Fittest” Richest world power Personal freedom Freedom of the media

5 Origins of the Cold War – Russian Revolution
The Russian Revolution caused uneasiness in the West The U.S. accused the Soviets of seeking to expand their version of communism throughout the world The Soviets charged the U.S. with practicing imperialism and attempting to interfere in revolutionary activities of other nations

6 Origins of the Cold War – Prior to WWII
No Soviet representative participated in the Treaty of Versailles The U.S. had intervened in the Russian Civil War against the Bolsheviks The U.S. did not establish diplomatic relations until 1933 The Soviets were not invited to join the League of Nations until 1934

7 Origins of the Cold War – Prior to WWII
The Western Allies had appeased the growing power of Hitler partly in the hope that he would destroy the Soviet state for them The U.S. and Britain believed that Stalin was a bigger threat than Hitler The USSR signed the Nazi-Soviet Pact (Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact) to delay a German invasion

8 Origins of the Cold War – During WWII
The USSR had been supplying the Luftwaffe with aircraft fuel with which to fight the Battle of Britain and to bomb British cities in the Blitz Once Operation Barbarrosa took place in 1942, war aims differed: Soviets wanted territory U.S. wanted freedom

9 Origins of the Cold War – During WWII
Delays in opening a second front angered the Soviets Western leaders promised it in 1942 & 43, but only delivered in mid-1944 From the fall of France until mid-1944, most of the fighting was left up to the Soviets

10 Origins of the Cold War – During WWII
Upon discussion of opening a second front, Churchill argued for the option least helpful to Stalin, the invasion of Italy, partly in the hope that Germany and the USSR would fight to exhaustion before the West stepped in Stalin – “They want to bleed us white in order to dictate their terms to us later”

11 Origins of the Cold War – During WWII
Britain and the U.S. didn’t help the Soviets in developing atomic weapons The U.S. had used nuclear weapons on Japan and Stalin was fearful of nuclear blackmail or an attack This led to the arms race

12 Origins of the Cold War – During WWII
1949 – The Soviets exploded an atomic bomb In response, Truman ordered the development of the “H-bomb” (hydrogen bomb), which is 750 times more powerful than an atomic bomb 1952 – The U.S. tested its first H-bomb at Bikini Atoll in the Marshall Islands 1953 – The Soviets tested their first H- bomb Each side tried to outdo the other in the scramble to build more destructive weapons

13 Teheran Conference (Nov. 28-Dec. 1, 1943)‏
First meeting of the “Big-Three” Stalin Churchill F. Roosevelt Its purpose was to set the direction of WWII in Europe: The 2nd front was discussed Possible entry of the Soviets into the war against Japan Possible creation of an international organization to maintain peace after the war

14 Yalta Conference (Feb. 3, 1945)‏
Most of the discussions involved the arrangement of Europe following the end of the war Peace meant different things to each leader: Stalin – an increase in Soviet power and safeguards against further attacks Churchill – a free and democratic Europe with Britain at its head Roosevelt – world democracy headed by the U.S.

15 Yalta Conference (Feb. 3, 1945)‏
The decisions at Yalta were: Churchill and Roosevelt agreed to temporarily divide Germany into zones of occupation Stalin agreed to free and secret elections in Poland

16 Yalta Conference (Feb. 3, 1945)‏
The USSR agreed to enter the war against Japan with 3 months of the end of the war in Europe Trials would be set for leading war criminals A meeting would be held to establish the United Nations

17 Potsdam (Jul. 16-Aug. 2, 1945)‏ Its purpose was to agree upon the structure of post- war Europe. Their positions at the conference were: USSR – Stalin was confident because of their military presence in Eastern Europe and his aims were: Security from future attack – buffer zone To rebuild battle-torn Russia – reparations from Germany U.S. money – since the U.S. was untouched, they should help Russia rebuild by donating money

18 Potsdam (Jul. 16-Aug. 2, 1945)‏ U.S. – Truman believed that Stalin could not be trusted and was confident in America’s economic and atomic powers Britain – Atlee was bankrupt and one colony after another claimed independence from the British empire. However, he agreed that Soviet presence in Eastern Europe posed a threat

19 Potsdam (Jul. 16-Aug. 2, 1945)‏ The decisions made at Potsdam were:
The USSR would collect reparations from its zone of occupation and would eventually receive a percentage of reparations from western zones The allies agreed to divide Berlin as they had divided Germany Germany was to be run by the Allied Control Council (ACC), whose decisions would be subject to the rule of unanimity

20 Origins of the Cold War – Immediate Aftermath of WWII
With the serious weakening of Britain and France as world powers, only the U.S. and USSR were left as superpowers

21 Origins of the Cold War – Immediate Aftermath of WWII
The U.S. abruptly terminated vital lend-lease aid to a battered USSR in September 1945 The main reason for providing the aid appeared to be for Britain’s sake because their aid continued Nonetheless, the U.S. demanded Soviet aid in the war against Japan

22 Origins of the Cold War – Immediate Aftermath of WWII
Stalin followed a policy of accommodation towards the U.S. because he believed that the capitalist powers would inevitably fall out among themselves, and that he need only wait to pick up the pieces afterwards

23 Origins of the Cold War – Immediate Aftermath of WWII
In March 1946, Churchill addressed the American people with his famous Iron Curtain speech, “From Stettin in the Baltic to Trieste in the Adriatic, an iron curtain has descended across the Continent of Europe” These words marked the beginning of the Cold War


25 Origins of the Cold War – Historiography
Orthodox View/Traditionalist – The Soviet Union is responsible: Soviet Insecurity drove them to confront the United States. There was nothing the US could have done. The Ideological perspective here is that Communism is a danger/aggressive. : Soviet Expansion and Paranoia drove them. – Their Fault (The Soviet Union is to Blame) G. Kennan

26 Origins of the Cold War – Historiography
Revisionist – The United States is responsible: United States needs to have markets and resources to feed its economy. The Soviet Union impeded these goals and therefore had to be confronted. Economic Issues drive US policy. The Ideological perspective here is that Capitalism is the danger/aggressor. The New Left: Our Fault (The United Sates is to Blame)

27 Origins of the Cold War – Historiography
Revisionist That post war American foreign policy approximated the classical Leninist model of Imperialism-… That this internally motivated drive for empire left little room for accommodating the legitimate security interests of the Soviet Union, thereby ensuring the breakdown of wartime cooperation That the United States imposed its empire on a mostly unwilling world, recruiting it into military alliances, forcing it into positions of economic dependency, maintaining its imperial authority against growing opposition by means that included bribery, intimidation, and covert intervention. That all of this took place against the will of the people of the United States, who were tricked by cynical but skillful leaders into supporting this policy of imperialism through the propagation of the myth that monolithic communism threatened the survival of the nation.

28 Origins of the Cold War – Historiography
Post-Revisionist – There is truth in both arguments. The Soviet Union under Stalin was paranoid and difficult to deal with. The United States was driven in large part by the fear of another depression. Other issues played a serious role in the origins of the Cold War: Domestic Policy, Security, Allies, and perceptions. The Ideological perspective here is that all post-revisionist do not agree. Ideology still drives their views regarding the degree of responsibility each side has. What the post-revisionists have done is to confirm, on the basis of documents, several of the key arguments of the old orthodox position, and that in itself is a significant development. John Lewis Gaddis

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