The growing tension between the Soviets and the West, United States in particular, reverberated around the world after the Second World War. Although allied in their fight against Nazi Germany, communist Russia and capitalist America soon came to distrust each other’s goals in a post-war world. The Soviets considered the West as being enslaved by capitalism whereas the Americans believed the Soviets were enslaved by communism. This general mistrust and unwillingness to work together is cleverly depicted in the cartoon in Source A and written in the extract of Kennan’s ‘Long Telegram’, Source B. Capitalism and communism were and always will be mutual enemies and both sides believed that the goal of their rival was world domination. This mistrust and belief led to the development of the Cold War by 1945.
The Soviets had multiple reasons to mistrust the West. This distrust started as early as 1917 with the outbreak of a Revolution in Russia. The Russian Revolution meant the withdrawal of Russia from World War 1. The West had supported the Whites during the Civil War to ensure the end of the experiment with communism. However the invasion failed as by 1921 it became clear that Russian communism would become embedded in Russia and its colonies. The Russians were blinded by the suspicion of the West that they failed to acknowledge American’s benevolence which helped saved an estimated 7 million Russian lives during the Civil War. The Soviets’ suspicion of the West increased as a consequence of the United States not recognising the USSR as a political identity until 1933.
In 1943 the leaders of the USSR, United States and United Kingdom met at Tehran, capital of Iran to begin to map out the post-war world. This meeting became known as the Tehran Conference. The three main agreements that were reached were firstly that the USSR would declare war on Japan after Germany was defeated, secondly that the West would create a second front in Europe by 1944 and finally...
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