| June 11 | Q.2 (a) Describe what happened at the Potsdam Conference.  (b) Explain why the USA-USSR alliance had broken down by 1947.  (c) Which country had the more successful policies in Europe between 1945 and 1949: the USA or the USSR? Explain your answer.  | Jan 11 | 1(b) Explain why the USSR blockaded West Berlin in 1948.
Why it was difficult for Churchill, Roosevelt and Stalin to reach satisfactory agreements at the Yalta Conference (6) There were several areas of dispute at the Yalta conference. The main one was Poland. Stalin wanted to keep the parts of Poland that he had won in the Nazi-Soviet Pact in 1939. He also wanted Poland expanded westwards by giving it pars of Germany. That would make Germany weaker and put a buffer zone between Germany and the Soviet Union, Germany had invaded the Soviet Union twice in 30 years and Stalin wanted to ensure that it would not happen again.
Stalin wanted a much higher figure than Roosevelt and Churchill and this caused rivalry and dispute as they could not agree and this decision had to be delayed until the next conference. Because of this disagreement, the three superpowers took different sides. Stalin, due to him coming from a communist county, he demanded Germany paid a bigger sum of money back. The last conference was held in July 1945 and was in Potsdam, Germany. At this period, Germany had been
Soviet and US relations changed dramatically between 1945 and 1947, there were many reasons to explain why and how this happened. Firstly, one reason was the end of WW2. During the Second World War, America and the USSR were members of the Grand Alliance in order to oppose Hitler, but when this war finished there was nothing to bring the Communists and Capitalists together. Therefore, the two countries went from allies to progressing enemies after Germany was defeated. This developed until a confrontation, from Western and Eastern Europe, in a nuclear arms race.
The Marshall Aid plan also created worry in the USSR since it was revitalizing the German economy and it was the Germans who had twice invaded the USSR and caused great damage to it, especially Hitler’s regime, which had invaded less that five years ago and Russia was still recovering from the damage caused. There are also reasons which support the idea that Truman was not a large cause for the beginning of the Cold War. Stalin also committed actions which drove to the beginning of the Cold War. The first of these is the suggestion of a “sphere of influence” around the USSR, this suggested the expansion of Communism and gave way to west leaders fearing what was called the “Domino Theory” (if one country falls to communism, others will quickly fall in succession). The second was the Berlin Blockade, which strained relationships with the western world and isolated the USSR and other communist countries from the rest of the world in what was called the Iron Curtain.
Stalin and the US created a brief alliance because they were both concerned with stopping Hitler. When the war ended, the U.S., Britain, France, and Russia each controlled a portion of Germany. Soviet Russia did not want to allow their portion to be unified into a post-War Germany for fear that the Germans would again be an aggressive and powerful invader. In 1948 the Soviets blockaded East Berlin and the Germans in the West side of the city were starved of food. The Allies (us) started a massive airlift to feed the trapped Germans so they would not starve.
It was a symbolic division of the free world and the communist territory. I think it was a big symbol of the Cold War, which was an important event of United States history, which is why Billy Joel would have put it in his song. Relating to Its Time During the 1960's the Cold War was affecting the United States and causing tension among us and Russia. The Berlin Wall caused the West fear of the communist control in the East. When the wall finally fell it symbolized the end of the Cold War, which meant the tension among Russia and United States finally subsided.
Some historians say it was the consent and willingness of the German people that took him to Fuhrer but there are other strong arguments such as the Enabling Law, the demolishment of other political parties and trade unions, his agreements with the church, media and industrialists and the Night of the Long Knives. One of the main reasons Hitler was able to come into power was the consent from the German people. Without their willingness to believe and back Hitler, he wouldn’t have been able to gain any real momentum. On the 5th of March in 1933 the Nazis increased their vote from 33.1% to 43.9%, securing them 288 seats. One of the ways Hitler got the backing of the German people was by telling them what they wanted to hear.
Under Stalin’s leadership, many oppressive and rigid policies were put in place. After his death, there was a significant incentive to revise them as they had weakened Soviet standing, both abroad and at home. The United States had outpaced the Soviet Union in the nuclear arms race (Mc Dougall 2000). The Soviet Union was surrounded by United States bases located all over Europe. As a result, the Soviet Union had to buy time so as to catch up with its rival.
And it was one of the smartest things they could have done. The building of the Berlin Wall is not usually viewed as a smart move, simply because it was viewed first as an oppressive action against everyone in Berlin (which it was). But the Russians were taking severe economic losses. No one wanted to live in a communist state when there was a democratic state just across the street. Over 36,000 people with professional and academic credentials moved to West Berlin before the wall was built.