There were many reasons why Stalin managed to emerge as the leader of the Soviet Union by 1929. Stalin can be viewed as a manipulative and a corrupt leader whilst Trotsky can be viewed as fairly honest and ethical leader. Some historians believe that Stalin managed to emerge as the leader of the Soviet Union by undercutting Trotsky’s influence . This means that Stalin managed to use Trotsky’s weakness to his advantage . Stalin used factionalism , bonapartism and Trotskyism to his advantage .
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 far do you agree that the origins of the Cold War in 1945 and 1946 owed much to the ideological differences and little to personalities and conflicting national interests? The origins of the Cold War are undeniably due to the great ideological differences between the USSR’s communism and the USA’s capitalism. Their opposing beliefs over nationalisation and the system of government put massive tension on the leaders’ relationship. However, national interests such as the fight over Poland and the leaders’ personalities cannot be overlooked as each are important in the understanding of the growing hostilities between superpowers. The ideological differences are clearly some of the biggest underlying causes of the tensions between the superpowers of the world during the Cold War, especially the years 1945 to 1946; however the personalities of the leaders cannot be overlooked and were a huge contributing reason for the ever growing hostilities between them.
Although Truman’s actions and the new ‘policies’ that he introduced were a major factor to the deterioration of America-Soviet relations, it is important to understand the pre-1945 factors that affected these relations. After World War I, European countries adopted an appeasement ideology: The world was horrified by what the war had done to Europe, and a war like that must never happen again, so peace must be protected at all costs. This led to many attempts to preserve peace in Europe, which ultimately failed as Germany invaded Poland and the world realized that another war was about to begin. However, one of the last agreements that the western countries signed with the Nazis might have been the start of the bad Soviet relations with these countries: the Munich agreement. This agreement said that Hitler was free to invade a portion of Czechoslovakia, as long as he went no further.
How far do you agree with the view that the origins of the Cold War in 1945 and 1946 owed much to ideological differences and little to personalities and conflicting national interests? The origins of the Cold War formed out of ideological differences as well as conflicting national interests such as an expansionist policy by the USSR and a clash of personalities between key leaders, such as Stalin and the new American President Truman. Furthermore, the use of the atomic bomb by the USA had caused mistrust between superpowers and led to heightened tensions causing for a Cold War. To a certain extent the mutual distrust and the ideological differences was a prime reason for the origins of the Cold War between the USSR and the Western allies. The USSR's need to 'defend it's national interests' and safeguard the empire from further attacks, especially after a loss of 20 million Soviet Citizens due to World War 2, caused them to station over 11 million Red Army soldiers to occupy Eastern Europe.
How far do you agree with the view that the development of the Cold War between the USA and the Soviet Union in the years 1945-53 was primarily due to traditional great power rivalry? Use sources 7, 8 and 9 and your own knowledge. The development of the Cold War between the USA and the Soviet Union in the years 1945-53 was primarily due to great power rivalry, though this rivalry was only made clear, due to the ideological differences between the two superpowers. The Cold war has been a clash on conflicting ideologies, which fuelled the great power rivalry between the USA and Soviet Union, and these differences led to increasing tensions almost to the extent of nuclear war. Yalta was the first event in the time period, and was where ‘the big thee’, Stalin, Churchill and Roosevelt met and discussed the reorganization of Germany and Eastern Europe after WWII.
This idea is strengthened by the fact that the USSR brought in visions such as Cominform and Comencon, while the United States introduced ideas like the Marshall Plan and the Truman Doctrine. However, it is not clear whether the division was due to a collective influence of policies, aims and interests; or whether it was in fact mainly the fault of the Soviet Union and its harsh plans and ideas towards post-war Germany. It is evident that the USSR did lead a major role in increasing tensions between the victors of the Second World War between 1945 and 1845, which did lead to the division of Germany. This is clear through Stalin’s use of policies that were implemented after 1945, and the plans that he had in place for Germany; such as Stalin’s determination to create a buffer zone between the West and the USSR; and also the Soviet’s general attitude towards Germany. Stalin wanted to protect the USSR from future conflicts with Germany, as this was a big issue that wasn’t properly addressed in 1919 at the Paris Peace Conference, and definitely was not dealt with in the Treaty of Versailles.
In my opinion, USSR actions were not primarily responsible for the division of Germany, despite that most of Stalins actions were very influent in terms of the division in Germany. On the one hand, the USSR actions were primarily responsible for the division of Germany in 1949, because the Stalins policies had very significant pressure of Western Allies, therefore they encouraged the Cold War as well as division. First of all, Stalin’s determination to create a buffer zone for the future protection of the USSR, and the breakdown of wartime cooperation as a result of Soviet encroachment in Eastern Europe resulted in discredit between Eastern and Western zones. Nevertheless, Stalin’ introduction of communist-style government in the Soviet zone and in other areas occupied by the Soviet army, which alarmed The USA in particular try to prevent communism spread, because its frightened Allies a lot, therefore the introduction of constitution on the points of Basic Law in FRG, proves FRG’s political and ideological aggression on GDR. Moreover, Stalins’ decision to impose the Berlin Blockade which led directly to the heightening of Cold War tensions, as well
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.
This aggression towards the West meant that America had no choice at times but to counteract Stalin such as when Truman stopped the Lend-Lease aid programme to Russia in May 1945. However, this could be seen as a reaction by Truman because many in the American government had criticised his predecessor Roosevelt for being soft on Russia. This could also be seen as a sign of American aggression especially due to the appointment of Truman in the White House. Harry Truman was heavily influenced by the