Take Home Test
1. Describe the dispute between the United States and Russia at the end of World War II. How and why did it escalade into a cold war?
Roosevelt had always tried for the most peaceful agreements with Stalin and the Soviet Union. When he died and Truman succeeded him, Truman immediately demanded free elections throughout Eastern Europe. Stalin refused. “A freely elected government in any of these Eastern European countries would be anti-Soviet,” he said, “and that we cannot allow.” American ideals demanded free elections in Soviet-occupied Eastern Europe and Stalin wanted absolute military security from Germany and its potential Eastern allies. Stalin believed that only communist states could be trusted and that free elections would lead to independent and hostile governments on western borders. Stalin became determined to spread communism throughout Europe and the world. Truman then went on to try to contain communism to areas occupied by the Red Army. Stalin then created soviet style dictatorships throughout Eastern Europe and blocked Berlin from Germany. The United States supported Berlin by dropping food from flyovers and the Soviets finally backed down after about a year. The United States then formed NATO as an anti-Soviet military alliance. Then communism took over China leading to back and forth bloody contests in Korea between the north and south. 2. Why were the Teheran and Yalta conferences important in shaping the map of postwar Europe?
The conference at Teheran was where the Big Three reaffirmed their determination to crush Germany and looked for the right military strategies. It led to the agreement that the Soviet and the American-British army’s would come together in defeated Germany along a north-south line and that only Soviet troops would liberate Eastern Europe. At Yalta, the agreement was made that Germany would be divided into zones of occupation and would pay heavy reparations to the Soviet Union. For America, Stalin agreed to declare war on Japan after Germany was defeated. Also, eastern European governments were to be freely elected but pro-Russian. 3. What are the sources of the Soviet Union’s paranoia about Germany and vice versa?
The Soviet Union had been through two enormously destructive German invasions and was worried about more invasions. Germany had much paranoia because they were worried about invasion from the Soviet and union and also after they had been defeated, 13 million Germans were driven from their homes and forced to resettle in a greatly reduced Germany. The Russians were also seizing up factories and equipment as reparations, even tearing up railroad tracks and sending everything back to the Soviet Union. 4. How did Europe accomplish economic recovery after the war? What factors contributed to its growth?
French statesmen, Jean Monnet and foreign minister Robert Schuman, called for a special international organization to control and integrate all European steel and coal production. West Germany, Italy, Belgium, the Netherland and Luxemburg accepted the French idea but Britain would not. In 1957 the six nations of the Coal and Steel Community signed the Treaty of Rome, which created the European Economic Community, generally known as the Common Market. The treaty wanted a reduction of tariffs among the six to create a single market almost as large as the United States. They also wanted free movement of capital and labor and common economic policies and institutions. It was a great success. 5. Which approach toward European unity was most successful, the political or economic? Why? The economic approach to European unity was most successful. There was first the creation of the Organization or European Economic Cooperation and the Council of Europe. European federalists hoped this would turn into a true European parliament with sovereign rights but this did not happen. Frustrated with the direct political approach they went for a...
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