How far were ideological differences responsible for the growing hostility of US policy towards the Soviet Union 1944-6? `
I think ideological differences played a large part in the growing hostility of US policy towards the Soviet Union, however I also think that other issues and ideas contributed largely. Fundamentally, the two sides were complete opposites of each other, with entirely different ideological ideas. One of the main ideological differences was the USA’s idea of the USSR being expansionists. George Kennan’s Long Telegram in February 1946 analysed the motives of Russian foreign policy. It stated that Russia were expansionists and they needed an enemy to unite the public and that enemy was the west. The telegram was well received in Washington and Truman in particular, embraced Kennan’s conclusions. It gave Truman a bigger reason to define the Soviets as the enemy. The west feared Soviet Influence in their occupation zones, whilst Russia feared Western Ideology. In March 1946, Churchill made a speech in America stating that an ‘Iron Curtain’ had descended over Europe. He explained that gradually a gap between the wartime was forming. This speech hardened the public’s opinion and new polls showed that less and less people felt the Russians were to be ‘trusted’. The increasing fear of Soviet Influence and communism growing in Germany, the USA, in 1946 decided on the creation of Bizonia. This united the American and English occupation zones, later with the addition of France. These created a clear divide between the East and West. Russia saw this as a violation of the post war agreements to keeping Germany as a whole economic entity. Neither the USSR or USA trusted each other, there was a mutual suspicion and distrust which is shown in the Clifford-Elsey report. The distrust of the USSR meant that the US make the McMahon act which prevented the exchange of atomic information of any kind, even between allies. This was a clear indicator to the Soviets...
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