In the following essay the different reasons of the containment policy will be discussed and therefore the distinctive approaches of George Frost Kennan, former diplomat and the author of “The Sources of Soviet Conduct” which inspired the containment policy, and Denna Frank Fleming, an American historian who wrote the essay called “Resolving the Russian American deadlock”, will be used. One of the key arguments in order to create the containment policy, mentioned by George Frost Kennan, was the innate antagonism between capitalism and socialism. Kennan made this conclusion after analyzing the outstanding features of communist thought. One of the main elements of Communist ideology was that Capitalism contains the seeds of its own destruction and the working class will one day rise
• 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 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.
The workers of the world had to be “liberated” from bourgeois exploitation. As the principle communist nation of the world, Russia had a duty to spread the revolution begun in 1919 to the rest of Europe. The view of many Marxist scholars was that the proletariat had been brainwashed by the rich, and thus were not capable of instigating a workers’ revolution themselves – therefore Communism had to be introduced by force. Stalin realised that the Soviet occupation of Eastern Europe was a rare opportunity for Russia to act as this vanguard. Perhaps less importantly, though still a significant point in the domination of Eastern Europe, was the desire of Stalin to
The main point of George Kennan’s (1947) essay was that the Soviet Union “could not enjoy a peaceful coexistence with the capitalist world.” He said, the Soviets were seeking to spread Socialism and considered capitalism its greatest enemy which would not be allowed to influence the people of Russia. In March of 1947, Kennan views influenced President Truman, and were the basis for the presidential proclamation known as the Truman Doctrine. His essay “The Sources of Soviet Conduct,” was the first article written referencing the policy of containment. The essay outlined the answers to five basic questions about the United States international environment and it analyzed the “Soviet Union’s postwar outlook; the background of this outlook; a projection on practical Soviet policy, both officially and unofficially; and deductions from the standpoint of United States foreign policy.” Kennan characterized the Soviet state as believing that it has been harness and girdled by the United States and its allies which is naturally combative and prone to become hostile towards the Russia. Kennan says that the Russian people are ruled by a tyrant and these ideas are not their views but the viewpoint the Communist Party.
They thought a departure from this model would signify a Soviet surrender to the Capitalist West in the ideological war. However, not all policies resulted in failure and devastating suffering (Allen 1964). One notable exception was the policy of Peaceful Coexistence instituted by Khrushchev. Until then, the country had been led by Josef Stalin. Under Stalin’s leadership, many oppressive and rigid policies were put in place.
This interpretation is presented by McCauley who argues that “the question of the second front was to bedevil tensions between the Allies during the war”. However this view is challenged substantially by Fenby, who argues for a lesser significance, by stating that “[the Second Front] was too useful a political tool not to be used to ensure that the Western Allies would compensate by pumping supplies to Russia”. Fenby’s interpretation, that Russia presented the Second Front as a greater tension than it was for material gain is the more persuasive argument when taking into account Molotov, the Russian foreign minister of the time’s own accounts of the era. Molotov says that Stalin “did not believe [that a second front would happen]. But one had to demand it”, intimating that whilst Stalin may have kept angrily demanding the opening of a second front in
This, however, was seen by the Soviet Union as a form of economic expansion through which the Americans were bringing Eastern European states into their own sphere of influence, and was a direct challenge to their authority. It is possible to argue that the Americans were indeed trying to help struggling states with their growth and that the aims were purely altruistic in nature. However, it must be noted that the Marshall Plan did have strings attached, forcing the countries that it provided aid for to open their markets for American goods and not advancing it to countries who did not do
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
Self-determination was a criticism of European imperialism but also an attack on the seizure of power by small armed groups like the Bolsheviks. The Bolsheviks called the idea of collective security and a world peace keeping organization “a mechanism of world capitalism”. Wilson’s ideas were based on traditional U.S. values of personal and economic freedom (democracy and capitalism). Communism was hostile to capitalist economic development; Marx called it “exploitation”. This posed a threat to the greater freedom of world capitalism as an open market would require the dismantling of trade barriers and spheres of influence.