To what extent was the deterioration in Sino-soviet relations in the years 1958-69 due to personal rivalries? Tensions between China and Russia had long existed but the foreign policy of the People’s Republic of China had produced a profound shift in the dynamics of the cold war. From a position of greatly strengthening the power and position of the communist bloc in the period from 1949 to 1956, China had by 1972, split irrevocably with the USSR and brought about a rapprochement with its former enemy the USA. Although this change seemed on the face of it to be a dramatic turn, it was largely the result of continuity in Chinese foreign policy; the desire to protect Chinese national security against foreign powers. The change in Chinese policy was to shatter the perception of a bipolar world that existed since the beginning of the cold war.
To what extent was the deterioration in Sino-Soviet relations in the years 1958-1969 due to personal rivalries? After the Communist revolution in China 1949, Sino-Soviet relations were thought, and feared, to be the start of a revolution that could threaten communism in China that could threaten communism in countries world wide. However, from the time of the Great Leap forward of 1958 to the Ussuri River dispute of 1969 these two once great allies had brought one another to the brink of nuclear war. The question is whether this was down to nothing more than the individual personalities of the heads of states, or was it more do do with the national rivalries that had been abundant even before the rise of communism in either country? In 1958 the Great Leap Forward was a Chinese policy designed to start an industrial revolution across China.
So which of these reasons was the most important? The most important reason for the overthrow in Eastern Europe was the economic decline in the USSR. Simon J Ball (1998) also argued that “there is little doubt that the Cold War came to an end as a result of Soviet economic failure. This failure led in turn a failure of nerve amongst the Soviet governing elite.” Ball suggests that if the Soviet Union did not experience an economic failure then they may have been able to keep power and it was that economic failure that triggered the other factors. By 1986 the Soviet economy suffered from both hidden inflation and pervasive supply shortages which were aggravated by an increasingly open black market that undermined the official economy.
The West felt threatened by Communism too because it caused Russia to pull out of the war, thus losing them a good ally. It made them angry as it disadvantaged them significantly, and was a sudden event that
Their relations were worsen during Potsdam conference. Truman were the new USA president, he is very different from Roosevelt, he was much more anti-communist and suspicious of Stalin, he saw USSR's action in Eastern Europe a preparation of taking over the rest of the world. In Potsdam conference, USSR and USA had disagreement on the future of Germany, USSR want to impose heavy reparation on Germany as fear a strong Germany would post a threat to USSR in future, however USA want Germany to rebuild as Truman did not want to repeat the mistake in Treaty of Versailles again. Stalin was determined to protect USSR interest, so he was dissatisfied as the part of Germany he was controlling was pooper and less industry. Stalin was also obsessed with the security of USSR so the successful test of atomic bomb in USA
It is also debated that national interests of the individual countries during and post World War 2 created tensions between the nations of US and the USSR, because they each saw the others aims as a threat to their own national safety. Ideological differences were seen to cause tension as Communism and Capitalism and one of these differences was the economic policies of each ideology. A capitalist society such as that in the USA, was seen as ‘divided’ by communists, as their economy was based on private ownership and their was an emphasis on the individual whereas the communists in the USSR had a society based on nationalisation which enables the fair distribution of goods as well as state ownership of companies. This was a cause of tension leading up to the Cold War as the wealthy businessmen of the West, most of which were in high powered governmental or political positions, saw nationalism as a direct threat towards their wealth, power and status, so was an attack on the power structure of US society. As these figures were powerful, they had the potential to influence major decisions within the US government, so it can be said that the origins of the Cold War owed much to economic
The spread of communism throughout china, Russia, Korea and Eastern Europe put a lot of fear and pressure on the US as they didn’t want another war and they didn’t want communism to spread. The withdrawal of the French led to the division of Vietnam with the prospect of future elections that would unite Vietnam under Communist rule; this increased the fear of the spread of Communism and led to US political involvement. Moreover, the domino theory was the main factor in the formation of SEATO as it believed if one country fell to communism in south-east Asia then the next country would and the next and so
Unfortunately, both of these events had a significantly negative effect upon their relations. The "Big Three" (Roosevelt, Churchill, and Stalin) met at Yalta within the Soviet Union to discuss major issues relating to current war aims and postwar aims. Because Stalin sensed the United States' need for his involvement in the Pacific war,
Some historians even put the fall of the Romanovs down to the Russian people as they claim that Nicholas made reforms and attempted to listen to the people however, the Russian people were just unhappy. However, the main reason for the Romanov’s fall from power in 1917 was Nicholas II. The Russo-Japanese war and WW1 played a big part in the fall of the Romanovs. The failures in both wars lead to a great deal of negative feelings toward the government and the Romanovs. WW1 played a bigger part in the fall of the Romanovs in 1917 than the Russo-Japanese war as
Although however, this strained their relationship between the USSR from having conflicting national interests, this economic concept could be said to have been a huge tension between the USSR and America, as it excluded Russia, alienating them by spreading their capitalist ideologies and all the while ignoring their need for help in rebuilding themselves. Truman based his entire strategy of containment on George Kennan’s analysis of communism. Kennan implied the entire problem is the ideology, and the leaders who believe in it. The American hostility to communism therefore played a huge role in the shaping of the Cold War and showing the divide between the superpowers and highlighting the personalities and conflicting interests between