How far do you agree with the view that the developments of the cold war in the year 1945-8 owed more to soviet expansionism than to USAs economic interests? The developments of the conflict within the cold war (1945-48) are something of intense debate for many years. Historians such as Wolfson and Laver (S7) accredit the influence that Russian expansionism contributed to the conflict between the USA and the Soviet Union. In contrast this prospective is contrasted by Terry Morris and Derek Murphy’s prospective (S8) which places emphasis on how US economic interests were seen as a threat to the USSR and thus contributed to East-West tensions. Source 9 written by Michael Lynch adopts both prospective of USSR expansionism and also US economic interests, however Lynch also emphasises misjudgement and misperceptions which contribute to the conflict conceived at Cold War.
How significant was the Marshall Plan in contributing to the outbreak of the Cold War in Europe? The 1947 Marshall Plan was an economic outline put forth by George Marshall and the United States, a large-scale programme to provide aid to Europe and reconstruct flagging economies. It was a bold move that the Soviets rightly saw as infringing on their sphere of influence, and only served to heighten the tensions that had seemingly simmered down. A major turning point in the course of history, the Marshall Plan inflamed relations and crystallized the divide between Democracy and Communism, setting the stage for the ensuing Cold War. The main reason for the Marshall Plan as a turning factor was in its forthrightness.
Historian Ken Booth argues that Gorbachev was the first Soviet leader to publicly recognise the fact that there were ‘discrepancies between Marxist-Leninist doctrine and reality’. Part of the problem facing Gorbachev is highlighted in Source 2. Here, Mansbach and Rafferty argue that the most important problem facing the Soviet Union was its technological backwardness, ‘low productivity and scarcity of consumer goods’.Gorbachev’s reform agenda, known as perestroika, aimed to move the Soviet economy away from the central planning that was strangling enterprise, towards a more mark-based system. This required a major investment from the West, which in turn necessitated reaching an agreement with America. In this sense, Gorbachev’s ‘extraordinary role’ was to recognise that change
The goals of the United States were to rebuild a war-devastated region, remove trade barriers, modernize industry, and make Europe prosperous again. The act was named after Secretary George Marshall. The Marshall Aid was so important because it was used to restrict the Soviet “sphere of influence” from expanding as European countries preferred the idea of being rich instead of having to share their wealth with others. Many countries that were unofficially owned by Stalin were more interested in joining the USA with the Marshall Aid, but Stalin managed to “persuade” them to protest against Truman’s methods. Despite this, the Marshall Aid was a success and it bolstered the armies of Europe significantly, which put Stalin in a more vulnerable position.
Assess the impact of the US policy of containment and the Russian policy of peaceful co-existence on the cold war in the period to 1968. To what extent did events in Berlin impact on superpower relations to 1968? Asses the role of the arms race in in maintaining cold war tensions after 1949 Evaluate the view that the Korean War was the most significant crisis affecting superpower relations in the period 1948-62 To what extent did events in Cuba in 1962 impact superpower relations? To what extent did the Czech crisis of 1968 impact on superpower relations? Evaluate the impact of crisis in Asia on superpower policies in the period to the 1970’s.
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.
How far do you agree with the view that the Korean War had a significant impact on the early stages of the Cold War? The Korean War (1950-1953) was a conflict between the Communist North and the Capitalist South of Korea who had been separated along the 38th Parallel, temporarily, by the US dominated UNTOK after World War Two. This war was supposedly based on the pledge of the US to reunify a capitalist Korea after Kim Il Sung’s communist invasion of the South. In reality, this war was an allegorical pawn for the development of the Cold War. It significantly highlighted the true conflict involving the US and the USSR, and more importantly the ongoing battle between two opposing ideologies- capitalism and communism.
After the Second World War, the nations that were still standing strong were the United States of America and The Soviet Union. The domination of these two countries in the second half of the 20th century is known as the time of the Cold War, the diplomatic, geopolitical, and ideological clash of interests, also known as the rivalry between the capitalist democracy ( The United States of America) and the Marxist-Leninist communism ( The Soviet Union), which resulted in several proxy wars, but not with an actual war between these two superpowers ( Palmer 2014: 887).The distrust towards the U.S.S.R government was enormous and as a result to this, the State Department of the United States formulated the containment policy which would prevent the
• Who was more to blame for the start of the Cold War, the USA or the USSR? The origins of the Cold War; the 1945 summit conferences including the parts played by Churchill, Roosevelt, Stalin and Truman, and the breakdown of the USA-USSR alliance in 1945–6; Soviet expansion in Eastern Europe; the Iron Curtain; the Truman Doctrine and the Marshall Plan; the Berlin Blockade and its immediate consequences. June 2012 | Q.2 (a) What was the Iron Curtain?  (b) Explain why Berlin was a cause of tension between East and West between 1945 and 1949.  (c) How successful was the West in containing Communism in Europe up to 1949?
How far do you agree with the view that the cold war spread to Asia in the years 1949-1953 because of Stalin’s desire to spread the influence of the USSR? Just as source P and source R argue, Stalin did play a role in furthering the spread of communism in Asia which in turn caused tensions to rise and the cold war spreading. However to simply assign blame to Stalin’s desire to spread the influence of the USSR is a very limited view which does not take into account Stalin’s reluctance to be involved in many Asian affairs. Indeed as source Q states, the USA’s foreign policies had contributed a great deal to the array of misconception that caused cold war situations to escalate. Sources O and R on the other hand show that superpower involvement was inevitable and which power struck first was a mystery but what is certain is as sources P, R and Q state, which is that Kim Il Sung’s drive for an invasion of south Korea and the pressure that came from the newly formed communist china caused an unavoidable mounting of tensions which caused the cold war to spread to Asia.