Berlin Blockade and Airlift Causes and Consequences

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The Berlin Blockade and Airlift began on the 23rd of June 1948 and ended on the 12th of May 1949. It was the first major conflict to occur during the Cold War between USA and the USSR. During this conflict Western Berlin who was under the control of the Western Allies was blocked off from the West Germany by the USSR. USA decided to airlift goods between West Berlin and West Germany. The causes of the Berlin Blockade and Airlift we the Yalta Conference, the American policy of containment and the growing mistrust and tension between the USA and the USSR. The consequences of the Berlin Blockade and Airlift were the major disruption to the everyday life of the people living in West Berlin, NATO and Warsaw Pact created and the further decline in the relationship between USA and the USSR.

One cause of the Berlin Blockade and Airlift was the Yalta Conference. The Yalta Conference was a conference held by the ‘Big Three’- USA, Britain and the USSR. It was held in Yalta (USSR) in February 1945. This conference was to decide the future of Europe. They came to the decision that Germany would be divided into four separate zones. One for each of USA, Britain, USSR and France. Berlin was to be separated in a similar way. The Iron Curtain was also established. This was a barrier between Eastern and Western Europe. Communist East and Non-Communist West. It was decided that there would be free elections for Eastern Europe but that agreement was not kept as one by one communist parties were voted into power. Also the allies agreed that the Soviet Union would receive a quarter of the industrial goods made in the Western zones in return for food and coal from the Soviet Union, but the Soviet Union did not send food and coal in return. Therefore the Yalta Conference can be seen as a cause of the Berlin Blockade and Airlift.

Another cause of the Berlin Blockade and Airlift was the American policy of containment. Containment is the idea of stopping the spread of communism around the world. The Marshall Aid Plan was introduced in 1947 and involved th USA giving European countries money in order to build them up from war, making them prosperous again and to stop the spread of communism. The Truman Doctrine, another containment policy, involved USA promising to send money, weapons and advisors to any country that felt threatened my communism. For example the US congress gave 400 million dollars of military aid th Greece. Stalin was worried about the USA policy of Containment, as he thought they might try to interfere in the Soviet Union and stop his desire to spread communism. The Western idea of containment can be considered a cause of the Berlin Blockade and Airlift because Stalin wanted to eject the USA of West Berlin to protect his communist influence in Eastern Europe. By blocking all access to West Berlin, Stalin was also testing the American policy. America, true to its word, decided to put the policy of containment in action and decided to airlift supplies into West Berlin rather than letting Stalin initiate a communist takeover. Therefore, the USA policy of containment was a direct cause pf the Berlin Blockade and Airlift.

The final cause of the Berlin Blockade and Airlift was the growing tension and mistrust between the two super powers, leading to Stalin closing the border in Berlin and America deciding to airlift in supplies. With USA’s policy of containment Stalin felt threatened by a capitalist takeover and looked for ways to protect his interests. Separating the West from Berlin would be a way for him to protect his Western border. The final straw was when the Western Allies introduced a new currency to West Germany. Stalin felt more threatened now and closed all access to West Berlin by road and railway which was difficult for the Western Allies and people living there. In June 1948 Stalin completely blocked off all access accept by airlift. The Blockade and Airlift had began. As a result of all of this USA and Britain were...
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