Later that year in Potsdam, many open disagreements took place because Germany had lost the war so Russia had promised to fulfil, Churchill had lost the 1945 election and Roosevelt died so Truman, who replaced him was angered by the large scale reparations imposed on Germany and the setting up of a communist government in Poland. He did not trust Russia, so kept him in the dark about him having the atomic bomb in 1945 before he dropped it on Japan to get them to surrender. By America using the atomic bomb, Stalin knew that it was possible for it to be used against them. Russia was therefore tricked by America preventing the Red Army from going to Japan. This threatened Russia and warned them that America was wary of them and could act on it.
However, you shouldn't make the assumption that devotion to ideology was all that was behind Cold War animosity; countries tend to be more complaint trading partners with countries that share their political systems and both Stalin and the Cold War Era presidents in the US knew this. The tension eventually built, but no one wanted to go to actual war again after the colossal massacre of WWII, hence the term Cold War. 2. Describe and explain the ideological differences between the United Stated and the Soviet Union. In 1917, Russia became a communist country with an agenda of converting the world to communism.
That would make Germany weaker and put a buffer zone between Germany and the Soviet Union, Germany had invaded the Soviet Union twice in 30 years and Stalin wanted to ensure that it would not happen again. He also wanted to guarantee that Poland had a pro-Soviet government. Stalin already had a government who were in exile: the Lublin Poles. But Roosevelt and Churchill supported another group, the strongly anti-Communist ‘London Poles’. These Poles had helped organize the Warsaw Uprising in August 1944, aiming to gain part of Poland before Stalin’s Red Army took full control of the country.
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.
The main effect was to crystallise Truman's desire to take a very hard line, anti-communism approach to the Soviet Union and for Stalin it symbolised an increase in opposition to the USSR. The speech effectively signalled the end of the alliance between America and the Soviet Union and described the establishment of a Soviet sphere of influence. The impact of this was initially negative because during WW2 American propaganda showed the Soviet Union as a faithful ally working alongside America to defeat the Nazi regime so the speech was met with hostility from American citizens. Writing in the book The Cold War, John Gaddis comments that “most Americans had had enough of war and were not in the mood to maintain their armed forces”. This shows a reluctance to fight another war – a reluctance that would have undoubtedly been heightened by Churchill’s speech which looked to provoke hostilities.
However by July 1945 at the Potsdam Conference the leaders changed to become, Attlee, Truman and Stalin. This was because halfway through the Potsdam Conference Churchill was defeated in the British general election and was replaced by Clement Attlee. In addition to this in April 1945 Roosevelt died and therefore Vice-President, Harry Truman, replaced him and Stalin remained leader. This is significant because unlike Roosevelt, Truman distrusted Stalin because he was convinced that the Soviet Union intended to take over the whole of Europe and was determined to stand up to the Soviet leader. Moreover this distrust would lead to long-term attitude problems between Truman and Stalin, and would follow up to plans such as the atomic bomb that would disrupt this relationship further.
To understand and identify the aspects of the totalitarian system in both countries it's important to consider both countries history. On November the 11th 1918 Germany agreed to signed the Armistice. After Germany was forced to accept Versailles agreement by accepting guilt for WW 1. As a consequence the German people were demotivated and had no confidence in the new liberal democratic Weimar government and international forces. This resulted in risings such as the Spartacist rising where communists fuelled by the success of the Russian revolution almost occupied nearly every major city in Germany.
The blame for the Cold War cannot be placed on one person -- it developed as a series of chain reactions as a struggle for power. It can be argued that the Cold War was inevitable, and therefore no one's fault, due to the differences in the capitalist and communist ideologies. It was only the need for protection that had caused the two countries to sink their differences temporarily during the Second World War. Yet many of the tensions that existed in the Cold War can be attributed to Stalin's policy of Soviet expansion. Stalin's foreign policies contributed an enormous amount to the tensions of the Cold War.
The months before and during the Bolshevik revolution, as well as the signing of the peace treaty at Brest-Litovsk cause turmoil among the socialists and brought Russia into civil war. The Provisional Government of Russia treated the middle and lower class citizens of Russia very poorly, ignoring their needs, as well as dragging them into World War I and two civil wars in a little over two decades. The workers of Russia wanted a democratic republic, or any government that would have allowed them to make a difference, and one that would help them as much as their current government was against them (Wade 27). In 1917, Russia was at war in World War I and was suffering economically because of it, as well as loosing the lives of many of their young men in battle. The people of Russia desired to leave World War I as smoothly and as quickly as possible (Wade 29).
At the Yalta conference, Roosevelt’s death in 1945 brought an end to any superficial unity that still existed at the end of 1943 and Stalin had promised free elections in the countries of Eastern Europe. At Potsdam, this was the driving factor which led to Truman adopting the ‘Iron Fist’ approach; Stalin’s failure to hold free elections in the countries of Eastern Europe. In addition to this, the distrust between the allies was clearly seen when Truman had successfully developed the atomic bomb and dropped it in Japan in 1945, without telling Stalin about it. This worsened the fragile relationship as it uprooted feelings of mistrust, and increased the tensions. Another key reason was a result of Churchill’s Iron Curtain Speech, the Truman Doctrine and the Marshall Plan, due to which Stalin had forced communism on Eastern Europe.