After the end of the Second World War, the victorious Allies split the post-war world between them. With each superpower focusing on their personal ideological interests, historians have found critical information that would foreshadow future tensions between the Big Three. The harmony which once existed between the USSR and the USA began to wear thin as old suspicions came to the fore once again. Within the US, the American government was beginning to be influenced by hard-line anti-communists such as William Averell Harriman, the former US ambassador of the USSR and his advisor George F. Kennan. In a lengthy 8,000 word telegram, Kennan exposed his fear of Soviet aggression and their tentative bid for a Communist takeover in Europe. From that point on, the relations between the capitalist West and the communist East eroded to expose the threat of the development of a future World War. How did a chain of events lead to a period of global rivalry between the two new superpowers? In other words, how and why did tension develop in the 1940s that sparked the development of the Cold War?
[...] Moreover, evidence of future tension came to light, over what was to be done with Poland after the war was ended. When the Russian army entered Poland, they set up a communist government in Lublin, even though the initial government was in exile in London during the war. Therefore, as no agreement was reached on this point, would Roosevelt and Churchill trust Stalin to keep his word to set up a coalition government between London and Lublin while organising free elections in Eastern Europe? [...]
[...] In a speech before the establishment of the Truman Doctrine and the Marshall Plan, Truman announced the present moment in the world nearly every nation must choose between alternative ways [ ] one way of life is based upon the will of the majority [ ] the second way of life is based upon the will of a minority forcibly imposed upon the majority”. Here Truman, in a general agreement with the American government, concluded that communism thrived on chaos and poverty; the way to respond to it was to promote stability and prosperity through economic aid. [...]
[...] In this way both NATO and the Cominform were organisations that tried to promote their countries ideologies whilst being aggressive to one another. These ‘defence' policies only accentuated the tension between the USA and the USSR, which emphasized suspicion that one side or the other was preparing for a World War. Since the beginning of the Cold War Truman felt superior to the soviets as he had one weapon they had not, the Atomic Bomb. In dropping it on Japan, Truman showed to Stalin what might happen to Russia if he dared go too far. [...]
[...] In this atmosphere began to emerge the feeling that the Democratic- led Truman government had somewhat let the USA down by allowing these to happen. Therefore in 1949, the Cold War as at its peak and it seemed as if nothing could be done about it. In conclusion, between 1945 and 1949 a chain of events interlinked that profoundly disturbed Europe and the two superpowers. It is in an atmosphere of tension that every Soviet act would be interpreted as an aggressive move to expand communism by the Americans whist every move made [...]
[...] This is proof that the soviets were prepared to be as aggressive as needed to obtain their goals, of security behind the ‘iron curtain' and influence over their satellite states. Furthermore, in the same year, the Cold War experienced its first great crisis which arose out of disagreement over the treatment of Germany. After the Yalta conference, it was decided that Germany and its capital Berlin, would be split into four zones. While the western powers did their best to reorganise the economic and political stability in their zones, Stalin treated his zone as a satellite, draining it of all its valuable resources away to Russia. [...]
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