Cold War 1800-1900

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   Struggled to make decision on Poland and eastern Europe, the “Pandora Box of infinite troubles”

  Finally decided eastern European governments would be freely elected but pro-Russian

  The Yalta compromise over eastern Europe broke down almost immediately

         Even before the conference, Bulgaria and Poland were controlled by communists who arrived home with the Red Army

-          Postwar Potsdam Conference of July 1945

o   Long-avoided differences over eastern Europe finally surged to the fore

o   Compromising Roosevelt had died and been succeeded by determined Harry Truman

  Demanded immediate free elections in eastern Europe

  Stalin refused point-blank, because they would all be anti-Soviet

-          Here was the key to the much-debated origins of the cold war

o   American ideas and politics demanded free elections in Soviet-occupied eastern Europe

o   Stalin wanted absolute military security from Germany and its potential Eastern allies

  Believed only communist states could be truly dependable allies

  Knew free elections would result in independent and hostile governments on his western border

o   By mid-1945, there was no way the United States could determine political developments in eastern Europe, and war was out of the question

o   Stalin was bound to have his way

West Versus East

-          America’s response to Stalin’s conception of security was “get tough”

-          May 1945 Truman cut off all aid to the U.S.S.R.

-          October Truman declared the United States would never recognize any government established by force over the free will of its people

-          March 1946 Churchill informed American audience that an ‘iron curtain’ had fallen across the continent, dividing Germany and all of Europe into two antagonistic camps

o   Emotional, moralistic denunciations of Stalin and communist Russia emerged as part of American political life

o   United States was focused on ‘bringing the boys home’

-          Stalin’s agents quickly reheated what they viewed as the ‘ideological struggle against capitalist imperialism’

o   Communists parties in France and Italy started uncovering ‘American plots’ to take over Europe and challenged their own government with criticism and strikes

-          Soviets also put pressure on Iran, Turkey, and Greece

o   Many Americas thought Stalin was trying to export communism by subversion

-          The United States responded with the Truman Doctrine, which was aimed at “containing” communism to areas already occupied by the Red Army

o   Truman asked Congress for military aid to Greece and Turkey

o   In June, Secretary of State George C. Marshall offered Europe economic aid to help it rebuild, this called the Marshall Plan

-          Stalin refused Marshall Plan assistance for all of eastern Europe

o   Had made all the countries have one party communist dictatorships

o   Seizure of Czechoslovakia February 1948 was very antidemocratic, strengthening Western fears of limitless communist expansion

-          When Stalin blocked all traffic through the Soviet zone of Germany to Berlin, which the occupying powers had divided into sectors at the end of the war, Western allies finally acted

o   Hundreds of plans flew over Soviet roadblocks, supplying provisions to the people of West Berlin and thwarting Soviet efforts to swallow up the West Berliners

o   After 324 days the Soviets backed down

-          1949 United States formed anti-Soviet military alliance of Western governments: the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO)

o   Stalin countered by tightening his hold on satellites, later united in the Warsaw Pact

-          Communists triumphed in China late 1949, which scared and angered Americans

-          When the Russian backed communist part of North Korea invaded South Korea in 1950, President Truman acted swiftly

o   United Nations forced...
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