Compare and Contrast the Roles of Stalin and Truman in the Breakdown of East-West Relations

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Is it reasonable to blame the breakdown of East-West relations that ultimately led to the cold war, on one or two men, is this rational, but even so, what roles did Stalin and Truman play and where can the blame of this breakdown of alliance and international relations be placed on. Many can argue that in one sense the origins of this breakdown of trust can be traced back to the 1917 Bolshevik revolution which set up the Soviet system - an alternative model of political, economic and social organization which proclaimed itself an enemy of and more significantly, the successor of the capitalist system. Communism was initially viewed by capitalist governments with great suspicion and during the civil war in Russia 1918 several capitalist states aided anti-communist forces and even though they were unsuccessful Stalin was still weary of these capitalist states and believed they still hoped to destroy the USSR. (Lowe, 2008) In many ways Stalin’s paranoia had stemmed from the actions of these capitalist states and it was this paranoia that clouded his senses and led him to make decisions that made Western governments wary of Stalin and the USSR. Roosevelt was keen to encourage closer ties with the USSR and although many Americans were skeptical, Roosevelt worked hard to keep the peace between America and the USSR. (Lowe, 2002) Roosevelt had growing concerns about Nazi Germany in 1939 this should have brought about US-Soviet co-operation but the cynical nature of Stalins dictatorship whose vicious qualities were made evident to the US during the show trials, imprisonments and widespread executions, led Stalin to sign a secret Nazi-Soviet pact that allowed Moscow to occupy eastern Poland and the Baltic shores. (Hopkins, 2011) Even though Germany and the USSR were enemies Stalin signed the pact to prevent going to war with Germany. The actions of Stalin worried
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