Which Conference, Yalta or Potsdam, Was More Influential in the Cause of the Cold War? Essay

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The Cold War Between 1945 and 1989, the Soviet Union was in conflict with the United States of America, although the conflict never came to open warfare. Even though both sides wanted to undermine and destroy each other, if it came to open warfare both countries would have been destroyed by the use of their nuclear weapons. The USA “battled for non-communist, capitalist regimes” whereas the USSR was very much a communist dictatorship, however they had one thing in common; both sides believed that they held the key to the future happiness of the human race. There were many causes to the Cold War, although the Potsdam Conference in 1945 was the most influential. In February 1945, the Yalta Conference was held. At this point, Germany had not yet been defeated and Stalin, Roosevelt and Churchill, (the Big Three,) agreed to split Germany into four zones and that Germany would have to pay reparations. The USSR insisted that “due to the substantial losses it had sustained, it deserved compensation.” (pg. 455) Also, a government of ‘national unity’ was so be set up in Poland, that compromised both communists and non-communists. Furthermore, Russia agreed to help against Japan when Germany was defeated. At this conference, things had a positive outlook, agreements were made and the Big Three were getting along well. Potsdam was held in July 1945. Germany had been defeated, Roosevelt had died and Churchill had lost the 1945 election. There were many voiced disagreements, such as arguments about the details of the boundaries between the 4 zones, and the amount of reparations Russia wanted from Germany. Also, Truman was upset that Stalin had arrested the non-communist leaders of Poland, which was against the government of national unity that they’d previously agreed on. Another concern was when Truman dropped the atomic bomb in the US. Truman did this so that

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