However McCauley, source 9, stresses that US economic strength and interests created and ‘informal American empire in Europe’, therefore increasing the divide. Deteriorating relations between the two superpowers cannot be attributed primarily to Stalin’s errors. Rather, US economic interests played the most important role in the development of the Cold War in the years 1945-49. Stalin’s own errors and personality undoubtedly played a key role in developing the Cold War, this is emphasised in source 7. Tony Judt argues that Stalin ruled with ‘uncompromising rigidity and confrontational tactics’, this is somewhat supported by source 8 as it highlights that the ‘personality of Stalin’ was a significant internal factor in the USSR.
Such as in source 8 which claims the USA wanted a war with the USSR to help its economy, emphasising the impact of the Military Industrial Complex on aggressive foreign policy which played a huge role in the development of the Cold War. Furthermore it can be argued that it was the misunderstanding and confusion between the two nations which owed more to the development of the Cold War in the years 1945-8.
This was called the domino theory. As a result of the policy of containment, in 1950 Truman needed a crisis to sell the NSC 68 program which said the US needed to increase its conventional armed forces significantly to put them in par with those of the SU. In addition one of the assumptions in the USA of the early Cold War was that the SU controlled all communist movements and parties throughout the world and that any manifestation of communist aggression must have been inspired and assisted by Moscow. So strong was the American belief in the existence of a monolithic communist block, that the NKs were assumed to have been acting on orders from Stalin. In consequence, the USA intervened in the Korean war, not only to defend the independence of SK but also to deny the SU a victory in the Cold War.
In 1947, Stalin established Conform. This was a plan to organize activities of Communist parties in Europe to control capitalist ideas and spread communism hence, strengthen the Soviet’s power. Then two years later, another one of Stalin’s foreign policy, Comecon was set up to coordinate the economy of Eastern Europe. Although these methods were seen by the West, Stalin’s action to secure the Soviet Union’s power, these actions were self-defensive policies against US’s policies, the Truman Doctrine and the
Modern History Assignment International Studies in Peace and Conflict: The Cold War “Evaluate the view that the ideologies of capitalism and communism influenced policies and strategies in the Cold War.” While the Cold War has come to be defined as "a clash of ideologies" by a majority of historians, the principles of capitalism and communism were exaggerated in political rhetoric by both the United States and the Soviet Union. Although the conflicting ideologies had a formative influence on the early strategies of the two superpowers – establishing a framework that would shape future policy - national and economic interests had a more significant impact on overall Cold War foreign response. However, an assessment of influences on policy making must be more complex than simply ‘ideological’ or ‘economic’. As Martin McCauley writes, "the weaknesses of the orthodox and revisionist analyses are evident: the former pays little attention to the legitimate security needs of the USSR, while the latter ignores Soviet behaviour which gave rise to shifts in American policy." In examining the factors that shaped the various strategies of the struggle, a more balanced post-revisionist approach must be taken.
Another perspective, the Revisionist view initiated by the historian William Appleman Willams regards that the American’s attitude to dispense their ideology of capitalism as well as their tactics in using military means to dominate with world trade was the cause. On the other hand, historians such as John Lewis Gaddis follow a Post-Revisionist view that suggests neither countries were to blame and in fact the breakdown of relations was due to the misunderstandings during a period of mass “growing sense of insecurity” and acted upon failure to acknowledged each others fears. However, it is possible to suggest that one country is held responsible for the origins of the Cold War through the occurrences during this time. This discussion will outline these factors by debating the validity of the question in whether or not it was the Soviet’s attitude and involvement that were to blame. In February 1945 at the Yalta Conference which involved the “Big Three” displayed the highpoint of an inter-allied cooperation.
The split opinion in terms of ideology between the two nations can be dated to 1917 during the Bolshevik regime in which the West intervened (Gann, L.H., & Duignan, P. 1996). Within his work, ‘America Faces Russia’, Bailey, (1950) like other traditionalist accounts, would suggest that the blame for the Cold War lies with the Soviet Union and its desire to spread further into Eastern Europe. Furthermore, they argue that the beginning of the Truman term in office witnessed the shift in US diplomatic policies in response to the threat of communism. The combination of these two factors is convincing when claiming the inevitability of the war from the traditionalist perspective. However, the traditionalist school of thought challenges this notion with the view that Stalin’s personality, in addition to his communist ideology would lead to the
Reagan firmly believed that the USSR was using Détente and the SALT talks to take advantage of the United States. I believe that Ronald Reagan’s foreign policy helped bring down Communism in Europe. The "window of vulnerability" was fast
Another distinct event where their difference in ideology was clearly shown was during the Yalta Conference where the party declined strictly to have their say accepted about the liberal of the Eastern Europe. Stalin strictly insisted for Eastern Europe to be under USSR as they had given them aid as defeating Germany inwards her land but USA insist for them to have a free election and thus this results in the two superpowers to have a tension between them. Stalin’s continuation taking up action such as the Salami
Governments followed the economic policies of the Soviet Union. Stalin made sure that the countries of Eastern Europe traded with the USSR. * When Soviet control was threatened, the Soviet Union was prepared to use its tanks to crush opposition. What did ordinary people in Eastern Europe think of Soviet control? For some people of Eastern Europe, the Communist brought hope.