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Why were there two armed camps in Europe in 1914?

Why did war break out in 1914?

How did the Treaty of Versailles establish peace?

Why did the League of Nations fail in its aim to keep peace?

How did Hitler challenge and exploit the Treaty of Versailles?

Why did Chamberlain's policy of Appeasement fail to prevent war from breaking out?

Why did the USA and USSR become rivals between 1945 and 1949?

How did the Cold War develop between 1949 and 1955?

How peaceful was Peaceful Co-existence?

How close to war was the world in the 1960's?

Why did Detente collapse in the 1970's and 1980's?

Why did Communism collapse in Central and Eastern Europe?

Why did the USA and USSR become rivals between 1945 and 1949?

Timeline of Events for 1944 to 1949

1945 : The “Big Three” of USA (Roosevelt), USSR (Stalin) and Britain ( Churchill ) meet at Yalta to decide the fate of Germany and Poland
June 1945 : Roosevelt was replaced by Truman and Churchill by Attlee as the Big Three meet at Potsdam to decide the fate of Germany and Soviet Sphere of influence
August 1945 : USA dropped atom bombs on Japan
1946 : USSR built the Iron Curtain to protect communist countries in Eastern Europe
1947 : Britain and America unite their zones in West Berlin to create Bizonia; Truman announces the Truman Doctrine to help any countries to re - build. Followed by Marshall Aid, which gives $17 billion. Soviets establish COMECON
1948 : France joined their sector to Bizonia to create Trizonia; creation of the new German currency in Trizonia called the Deutschmark. USSR blocked all land routes across Germany
1949 : continuation of the Berlin blockade; China becomes communist; USSR developed atom bomb; creation of NATO

The USSR (communists) had never trusted the USA (capitalists). Their beliefs meant that they were totally opposite to each other. The communists believed in controlling industry, the capitalists in people owning business. Communists had no choice of leader, capitalists do.

Soviet views:

• The Soviets wanted to make sure that never again would they face an invasion. Germany had invaded in 1914 and 1941. Stalin wanted to protect Russia
• Stalin wanted compensation as the USSR had suffered the loss of 28 million soldiers
• Stalin did not trust the West as they had fought against the communists in the Civil War of 1918 - 1919
• Stalin believe that the British and Americans wanted Russia to destroy itself fighting Germany

US views:

• The USA and Britain had fought six years fighting Germany. They did not want to see another dictator take control over Europe
• There was a fear that Stalin would treat the people of Eastern Europe badly. Britain was very angry about the way that Russia had treated Poland badly by setting up a pro - communist government in Poland.

The Yalta Conference is held in February 1945. The Russians are about to invade Germany in the east as the Red Army has taken over Eastern Europe and the Allies are about to invade Western Europe. They have to decide how Germany is going to be ruled:
Germany would be divided into four zones. France, USA, USSR and USA would occupy each zone. France accepted as one of the powers as the Allies don’t want USSR to have to much land.
Berlin would also be divided between the four Allies.
Poland’s borders would be changed. Poland would be given land in the West, taken from Germany and lose land to the USSR.
Stalin promised to hold free elections in Eastern Europe that were occupied by the Soviet Army.
USSR would join the war against the Japanese.

Yalta Conference

Churchill, Roosevelt and Stalin at the Yalta Conference


• Things started going bad for several reasons:
• Roosevelt died. He got on well with Stalin, whom he trusted. The new American President Truman promised that he was “going to get tough with the Russians”
• Britain had a new Prime Minister, Attlee. He did not have much experience and, unlike Churchill, who had been able to sort out the problems between the USA and the USSR, was unable to do so.
• The USA had developed the atom bomb. They believe that they were stronger than the USSR and could use it as a warning against Russia.

• Germany and Berlin would be divided into four zones. Each zone would be occupied by the USA, USSR, Britain and France.
• Decisions on the running of Germany would be taken jointly and some time in the future the country would be re - united.
• There would be free elections held in Germany, there would be freedom of speech and a free press.
• Germany would be compensation for war damage and most of it would go to the USSR.

• There were disagreements over free elections in Eastern Europe that had been controlled by the USSR since the end of the war.
• There was disagreement over Poland. The British wanted Stalin to hold free elections but he simply refused, stating that the British were not willing to allow a communist government in Greece.
• The Soviet Union was supposed to join the war against Japan. The USA dropped the atom bomb without informing Russia.


Stalin took over countries in Eastern Europe and turned communists in key influential jobs in each country - Czechoslovakia; Rumania; Hungary; Poland. This meant that the communist was elected into power. These methods were peaceful. Stalin also used the KGB - the Russian secret police - to stop any opposition to communist ideas and banned other political ideas and newspapers.

What was the Truman Doctrine ?

President Truman offered help to any government that was being threatened either from within or from without its borders. Although it did not mention communism, he was not going to allow any country to be taken over by the USSR.

Why was the Truman Doctrine issued ?
• Truman wanted to get back at Stalin who had broken the promises made at Yalta to remove troops from eastern Europe
• and hold free elections.
• Stalin wanted to turn Greece communist. Britain had supported the
• monarchists in the Civil War against the communists but could not afford to keep fighting. The USA saw this as an opportunity
to fight against the communists.
• Truman wanted to keep the communists in Russia


Why was the Marshall Plan introduced:
• President Truman wanted to contain (stop) the spread of communism. Czechoslovakia had become a communist state and there was fear that Greece and Finland would go the same way
• Senator McCarthy was stating that communism was spreading and eventually the size of the Russian Red Army would be able to achieve world control
• Truman wanted to rebuild the economy of Europe which would allow the USA to trade with other countries and check the spread of Communism
STEP ONE: The Organisation for European Economic Co-operation was formed. Each country wanting Marshall Aid would join. These countries would then be told how to spend the money
STEP TWO All the money was to be spent rebuilding the economies into capitalist. These countries would be able to trade with the USA and have a considerable sum of the $17 billion

Why did Stalin blockade Berlin ? / Why did a crisis develop in Berlin
• West Berlin was a capitalist island in east Germany. People from east Berlin could travel freely and could see the benefits, which Marshall Aid was providing, to west Berlin. Stalin thought this would turn east Berliners into anti - communists.
• USA and Britain in 1947 joined their zones in west Berlin together to create Bizonia. France joined in 1448 to create Trizonia. They introduced a new currency called the Deutschmark. They wanted to make Germany stronger and less dependant on the west

What were the key features of the Berlin blockade ?
• Stalin was furious with what the Allies were doing. He walked out of the joint meetings held with the other three and ordered that Berlin be cut off
• Stalin decided that he would prevent all land and river routes across east Germany to be closed to west Berlin.
• The British, French and Americans decided that they would supply west Berlin with food, fuel, etc by air.
• The blockade went on for over eleven months. Over 1,400 flights a day were taking place but food remained scarce.

The airlift had many results. These included :
• The breakdown of trust between the East and the West.
• For the West, the whole event had been expensive. There were over 1,200 flights a day. 79 people were killed in accidents. The total cost was over $100 million
• The West could claim some sort of win. After 11 months Stalin was forced to back down and allow West Berlin to remain capitalist.
• Russia could claim some victory. In 1949, it was agreed by the West that East Germany (GDR) and East Berlin should remain under the influence of the Soviet Union.
• But all of this was achieved at a cost. The Allies of Britain, France and America now stopped trying to rule West Germany. West Germany was now independent.
• It increased the hatred and mistrust of the Americans and the Soviets. The Berlin blockade showed to both superpowers that they had to try to stop each other from trying to gain more power.
• NATO was created as a direct result of this





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