Cold War Responsibility

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Activity #4 – Essay

"Truman was more responsible for the Cold War than Stalin was."

President Truman was convinced from the beginning that Stalin intended to take over countries based solely by the fact that there were communist parties present in them. France, Italy and even China, are perfect examples of this. And in the Greek civil war it wasn't the USSR that was giving aid to the communists, it was Yugoslavia. It was obvious that Stalin had no major plans for any kind of global communist domination. But nevertheless, Truman placed the blame for the growing popularity of communism's ‘political poison' on Stalin, and convinced the American people to share his outlook. Without even looking at the fact that no USSR troops were in Greece, Truman and his advisers jumped on the chance to put forward their ‘domino theory'. This was a theory that said that if the communists won the Greek civil war, the end result would be Russian control of the whole middle east. He used this theory to justify military intervention in Greece, and ultimately, his ‘Truman Doctrine' telling the entire world that the US was ready for a war. He told the ‘free peoples' of the world that the time had come to choose between alternative ways of life – the communist way, or the democratic way. Stalin did not do this. President Truman worked with the British Prime Minister to introduce the Deutschmark into West Berlin. While it did eventually achieve his goal of creating an economically viable Germany, it clearly violated agreements made at the Potsdam Conference to treat occupied Germany as a single economic entity. President Truman in early July made a public show of sending three squadrons of B-29 bombers--the planes designated to carry atomic bombs--to England and Germany. The aircraft did not carry any atomic bombs, no one had any way of knowing that. In rushing the reconstruction of West Germany because of an irrational fear of communist takeover, Truman only increased hostility...
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