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Does the origins of the Cold War lie in the politics of the Second World War?

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Nora B.
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  1. The most important conflict of the two superpowers during WWII.
  2. The two superpowers had financial disagreements.
  3. The cancellation of the Lend-Lease Agreement.
  4. The other conflict between USA and USSR.
  5. Circumstances other than direct conflicts and the opposing policies.

Although the first half of the twentieth century had been more hectic because of the frequent battles of the opposing powers in the two world wars, the second half of the century, the decades of the Cold War can be characterised as more tense because of the lack of direct clashes between the two superpowers, thus being ever since a more controversial issue. Not only the reason for the Cold War is the subject of continuous debate but also the time when the relationship between the two superpowers, the United States and the Soviet Union started to deteriorate. The generally accepted starting point of the Cold War is dated around 1946-47, with Churchill's Iron Curtain Speech, the Truman Doctrine and the Marshall plan. However, historians tend to look for the origins of the hostility already in the Second World War, and some of them are looking back as far as the 1917 Bolshevik Revolution.In this essay I am going to analyse the conflicts between the USSR and the USA during the war, then briefly introduce the view about the origin of the Cold War being the Bolshevik Revolution, then give an overview of the consequences of the Second World War that could have led to the Cold War.

[...] Kitchen, The Origins of the Cold War in Comparative Perspective, ( London, Macmillan Press, 1988), p.20- It is questionable that if the Second Front would have been opened in 1942 Soviet-American relations would have been different, Loth suggests, it would not have necessarily reduced Soviet mistrust and 'established enduring cooperation' W. Loth, The Division of the World 1941-1955, (London, Routledge, 1988), p It certainly increased Soviet suspicions towards its allies. The two superpowers had financial disagreements as well. The Soviets demanded at Yalta that the Germans should pay reparations because of the tremendous damage they caused on the Soviet lands,however Roosevelt refused this 'remembering that Germany's unfavorable economic position after World War I. [...]


[...] In conclusion it can be said that the origins of the Cold War lie in the politics of the Second World War to a significant extent, and mostly in the disagreements over post-war organization of world order. However, just as much as it is the evolvement of the conflict of the two superpowers, is it the inevitable result of the world war. I have arrived at this conclusion by looking at the main disagreements and conflicts of the powers, those being the question of the Second Front, the financial issues, Eastern Europe and the atomic bomb. [...]

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