“an Unnatural Alliance That Was Bound to Fall Apart After the Defeat of the Common Enemy.” to What Extent Does This Statement Explain the Origin of the Cold War?

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Abel Girma
IB History
Mr Greenough
March 2013

“An unnatural alliance that was bound to fall apart after the defeat of the common enemy.” To what extent does this statement explain the origin of the Cold War?

World War II ended in May 1945 when the Allied troops met in Berlin, marking the defeat of the Nazi government. The US and USSR cooperated during the war to defeat the Axis although each had prewar tensions and differing ideologies which were reflected by disagreements over plans for post-War Europe at the crucial conferences of Yalta and Potsdam, resulting in their unsurprising split. The statement therefore accurately describes the origin of the Cold War while an emphasis on the importance of disagreements over post-War plans for Europe is lacking. Historical animosity existed between the USA and the USSR as early as the foundation of Soviet Russia which contributed to the unnatural nature of their alliance. Indeed, from 1918-1920 the Western intervention in the Russian civil war proved to the communists that a friendly relationship with the West was not to be expected. While their relationship seemed to be improving in 1933 with the development of diplomatic ties, the Soviets' decision to sign the Molotov-Rubbentrop pact with the Nazis in 1939 endangered their relationship. It was only when Nazi Germany invaded Western Russia in 1941 that a necessary yet superficial alliance was formed between the USSR and the West in order to defeat the common enemy. Moreover, US grievances against the USSR during World War II further intensified the weak alliance between the two nations. The US and the UK were always considerably wary of Stalin as he cooperated with Hitler from August 1939 to June 1941. Furthermore, the fact that Stalin refused to invade Japan until the end of World War II angered the US who were determined to destroy any threats from Japan. In addition, The US and UK governments disapproved of Communism and the theory of spreading revolution,...
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