COLD WAR ORIGINS: Mistrust and Rising Tensions

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COLD WAR ORIGINS: Mistrust and Rising Tensions. The World after World War Two. Cold War. Definition: A state of rivalry and tension between The USA and Soviet Union, groups that stops short of open, violent confrontation. MISTRUST Reasons for American hostility. - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

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  • Definition:A state of rivalry and tension between The USA and Soviet Union, groups that stops short of open, violent confrontation.COLD WAR

  • There are essential questions pertaining to the origins of the Cold War. These are:Why and how did it happen?When did it happen?Who is to blame?ORIGINS

  • The wartime alliance between the USSR and US was really an aberration in a long history of mistrust between the nations.MISTRUST

  • American animosity toward communism.The Soviet Unions separate peace with Germany in 1917-Treaty of Brest-Litovsk.Attacks against American capitalism that came from Moscow in the 1930s.Stalins open avowal of world revolution.The Nazi-Soviet Pact.


  • American opposition to the Bolshevik Revolution in 1917, including US intervention in the Soviet Union.Exclusion from the international community.Not inviting the Russians to the Treaty of Versailles in 1919 nor the Munich Conference in 1938.Delay in US recognition of the Soviet government (1933).Deep suspicion and mistrust of industrial capitalism.MISTRUSTREASONS FOR SOVIET HOSTILITY

  • The US envisioned a world in which nations abandoned the traditional belief in military alliance and spheres of influence.Belief in democracy, self-determination, open trade, and capitalism.The Soviets wanted to create a sphere of influence and a buffer zone in Eastern Europe.Belief in tightly controlled states, world revolution, and communism.FUNDAMENTAL DIFFERENCES

  • Nov. 1944: Teheran ConferenceAgreement on borders of Poland, but extreme difference on the new government.

    Fall 1944: Greek Civil WarStalin agrees to stop supporting the communist overthrow of the government. Churchill agrees to divide Eastern Europe between Britain and the USSR by a percentage agreementRISING TENSIONS

  • Agreements: United Nations organizationDisagreements: Poland and free elections; how to deal with Germany (creation of occupational zones)YALTA

  • YALTA CONFERENCE(FEB 1945)Who: Churchill (Britain), Stalin (Russia) and Roosevelt (USA).Why: To divide up Europe after World War Two.What: Germany and Berlin are divided into zones of influence.Free elections in East Europe.United Nations set up.Joint government in Poland.

  • Stalin moved to cement Soviet domination of Eastern Europe.Stalin refused to make changes in the Polish government.12 April 1945 FDR dies.AFTER YALTA

  • RooseveltBelieved that the Soviets could be bargained with and that he had an amicable relationship with Stalin.Used his surface geniality to hide his intentions.TrumanBelieved that the Soviets were fundamentally untrustworthy and viewed Stalin himself with deep suspicion.Sharp, direct and impatient; he said what he thought and seldom wavered from a decision once it was made.A CHANGE IN LEADERSHIPFDR V. TRUMAN

  • The USSR had been attacked twice by Germany in the 20th century and had been attacked from the west by Napoleon. They wanted an area between the Soviet borders and potential threats.THE BUFFER ZONE

  • POTSDAM CONFERENCE(JULY 1945):Who: Atlee/Churchill (Britain), Stalin (Russia) and Truman (USA).Why: Chance for new leaders to meet and resolve final differences.What: Strict control of GermanyWar criminal trialsReparations for Russia. Soviet influence in Poland

  • Mid-July 1945Truman adopts a get tough policy.This is when Truman tells Molotov to carry out your agreements.Truman has little leverage and has to give in on Poland.POTSDAM





  • The Iron CurtainFrom Stettin in the Balkans, to Trieste in the Adriatic, an iron curtain has descended across the Continent. Behind that line lies the ancient capitals of Central and Eastern Europe. -- Sir Winston Churchill, 1946

  • This was the slow process of taking power in Eastern Europe by removing any opposition.Countries were: Albania, Bulgaria, Poland, Hungary, Romania, Czechoslovakia and East Germany.


  • America had hoped for a strong, independent China.Obstacle: The Chinese government and Chiang Kai-shek.Generally friendly, the government was corrupt and incompetent.TROUBLES IN ASIA

  • Since 1927, the Nationalist Government had been engaged in a prolonged and bitter rivalry with the communist forces of Mao Zedong. By 1945, he controlled one-quarter of the population.CHINESE CIVIL WAR, 1945-1949

  • By 1947, support for nationalists appears to be a lost cause, and the US decides not to intervene.The US decides to make Japan a strong ally and rebuild its economy.Eventually supports the new government of Taiwan (Formosa)PEOPLES REPUBLIC OF CHINA


  • March 1946: Iran Stalin refused to pull his troops out of the country.Truman issued Stalin an ultimatum-Stalin withdrew.The concept of CONTAINMENT was forming.A NEW AMERICAN FOREIGN POLICY

  • Stalin wanted to take over the straits to the Mediterranean Sea.Communist forces threatened the pro-Western Greek government.Britain announced it no longer could support Greece.Truman is compelled to announce a new policy.TURKEY AND GREECE

  • Kennan warned that the US faced a political force committed fanatically to the belief that with the US there can be no permanent modus vivendi (way of living).He also said the only answer was a long-term, patient but firm and vigilant containment of Russian expansive tendencies.GEORGE KENNANAmerican advisor, diplomat, political scientist, and historian, best known as the father of containment and as a key figure in the emergence of the Cold War.

  • Truman had long believed that the USSR was bent on world conquest.He had accepted the arguments of George F. Kennans Long TelegramContainment was the policy of stopping any further expansion of communism around the world.TRUMAN AND CONTAINMENT

  • I believe that it must be the policy of the United States to support free peoples who are resisting attempted subjugation by armed minorities or by outside pressure. 12 March 1947The policy objective was to block the expansion of communism anywhere in the world and remained the policy for about 50 yearsTo begin with, he requested $400 million to bolster anti communist forces in Greece and Turkey.THE TRUMAN DOCTRINE- 1947

  • Communism grows where people are sufferingThe initiative was named after Secretary of State George Marshall.The primary plan was to rebuild and create a strong foundation in Europe and thus repel communism.This worked successfully in France and Italy in blocking communist movements.THE MARSHALL PLAN

  • MARSHALL PLANOver the next four years the US will provide close to $13 billion in aid.

  • Created the Department of DefenseNational Security Council would operate from the White House and would govern military and foreign policyNATIONAL SECURITY ACT OF 1947

  • Central Intelligence Agency: Security organisation created to collect information and intelligence by both open and covert methods.NATIONAL SECURITY ACT OF 1947

  • Truman decided to press for a united Germany.The US agreed with France and GB to unite their zones and create a new West German Republic CRISIS: BERLIN

  • Stalin wanted a weak Germany.At the same time, Marshall Joip Broz Tito Yugoslavia broke openly with the Soviets.The US offered Tito assistance.24 June 1948: Stalin imposed a tight blockade of the Western sections of Berlin.CRISIS: BERLIN

  • Stalin hoped the West would abandon Berlin.He thought he was giving Truman the choice of a strong West Germany or West Berlin.Truman chose neither.CRISIS: BERLIN

  • Truman decides not to launch a military attack but to launch a massive airlift.Over 10 months, the US will transport over 2.5 million tons of material to Berlin.It becomes a symbol of the Wests resolve to stop communism.In late 1949, Stalin calls off the blockade. Germany is now divided.THE BERLIN AIRLIFTLucius D. Clay

  • NATO NORTH ATLANTIC TREATY ORGANISATION4 April 1949: 12 nations signed an agreement to create the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO)An armed attack against one member would be an attack against all.NATO would maintain a standing military in Europe.It was created in response to the Berlin Blockade.The Warsaw pact was created in response.


  • Containment appeared to be in disarray, so Truman called for a thorough review of American foreign policy.The NSC report, NSC-68 (April 1950), outlined a shift in policy:The US could no longer rely on other nations to take initiative in resisting communism.The US would be the firm leader of the non-communist world.A major expansion of US military power, with defense budgets almost four times the previous expenditures would be required.NSC 68: COLD WAR STARTS

  • Sept 1949: The USSR successfully exploded its first atomic bomb.Chiang and his allies flee China for Formosa (Taiwan-Republic of China)China is now under the control of Mao Zedong; the government believes it is an extension of the USSR.The US decides it cannot intervene militarily, but decides not to recognize the new China (and wont until the 1970s)The US begins to strengthen Japan as a buffer against communism in the Far East.1949