In the Post WWII Era Essay

This essay has a total of 2216 words and 9 pages.


In the Post WWII Era





In the post World War II era, a war arose between the Soviet Union and the United States,
but in reality there was never really any documented fighting between the two nations,
thus spawning the catch phrase “Cold War”. Even though both countries were
ready to go to war at the blink of an eye and almost did, the powers-that-be never got the
nerve to authorize a nuclear war that would have made World War II look like child’s
play. This was a war fought in the political ring and a war that did not start at the end
of World War II; this war started during the war against Hitler and lasted for forty more
years before peace became predominant over the crumbling Soviet Union.

Many events occurred in this political heavyweight bout, and both sides can be blamed for
the extremity the tensions escalated to, and this Cold War would have been tough to avoid
taking into account the political beliefs of the countries at hand.

During the war, once the Allied powers from the west joined forces with Stalin’s
Red Army, trouble was inevitable. Luckily for the world, America had a great leader and
foreign diplomat in Franklin D. Roosevelt while England countered with Winston
Churchill. This duo created a steady working relationship with Stalin, thus creating the
Big Three and the Grand Alliance. Even though it was far from a perfect relationship, all
three diplomats realized the task at hand, the mandate of stopping Adolph Hitler and the
Nazi regime of Germany. Sadly, this priority overwhelmed the Big Three, and no
solution was ever conjured up on how to handle the Post-War situation in Europe and
Asia following an Allied victory. Understandably, stopping Hitler was far from
guaranteed, but any plan that was taken by the Allies in Europe never even considered
the implications of how to handle the war-torn countries of Eastern Europe afterwards,
an area that the Soviets had suffered many casualties and other losses to free from fascist
control. The few problems with Churchill and Roosevelt is that they both tended to do
things their own way, sometimes leaving Stalin out to dry, and also relied heavily on their
own diplomatic skills, leaving other politicians out of the foreign policy matters for each
country. While many United States Government officials were not fans of Stalin, they all
realized the urgency in having him on their side of the fight. In reality, no one in the
government knew how to handle Stalin except for Roosevelt, which creates one of the
first major events of the Cold War: the death of Franklin Delano Roosevelt. With
Roosevelt dying, the foreign policy of the United States was about to do a complete 180
in reverse. Suddenly, all the cabinet and legislative members have a significant role in
the diplomatic world, a world they had previously been shut out of for over a decade. In
the middle lies a man who had not a clue about what he was getting himself into. Harry
Truman was about to get in way over his head, and absolutely being Roosevelt’s fault,
Truman was about to get into a situation he was almost completely unfamiliar with. Poor
Truman had been briefed but only once in the matters involving the war, and the
decisions he was about to make would shape the world forever. With Roosevelt being a
pacifist with Stalin, a decent working relationship evolved between the two, and some
glimmer of hope can be seen to this day about what could have happened if Roosevelt
did not die and kept up the good standing with Russia. Imagining Stalin’s reaction after
the Yalta Conference with Roosevelt to that of the Potsdam Conference just months after
Roosevelt’s death with Truman at the helm being very aggressive towards Communism
in Eastern Europe is almost comical, if the severity of the situation is not understood.
This must be noted as one of the building blocks of the Cold War with Russia, because
this marks the official point where America’s stance towards Stalin and Communism
changes drastically and the time where Truman begins his diplomatic journey with the
forces in the Soviet Union, one that will engulf him for the rest of his tenure in office.
This also must be noted as being America’s fault. A country’s attitudes cannot visually
and verbally change so radically so quickly. Roosevelt should have briefed Truman
heavily on dealing with Stalin. America could stay on Stalin’s good side, leaving some
remote chance of having a settlement work itself out after the war. An angry Stalin is
much harder to reason with than a content Stalin, especially taking into consideration that
he was absolutely insane, something you can’t play with carelessly.
The next event that shaped the world’s history and marked the official beginning
of the Cold War was the dropping of the atomic bomb on Hiroshima. After talking with
Russia and getting their consent on joining the war on Japan, the United States again acts
wrong and hastily by dropping a device that blew up the city of Hiroshima. The
agreement was with Russia that on August 8th, the Soviet Union would declare war on
Japan. Taking this into account, the United States went ahead and dropped the bomb on
August 6th, two days before. In another bold and careless move, the second bomb was
dropped on Nagasaki. This bomb was dropped before the Japanese even received an
ultimatum from the United States about an unconditional surrender before they will
destroy another city with one of their new weapons. That aside, the pertinent issue is that
America did not even talk to Russia about their plans to drop the bomb before it was
already done. So, the Red Army had to use the resources, raw materials, and not to
mention the man-power to move their troops over to Japan from Eastern Europe,
something that was taking in the ballpark of three months. Once they officially got there,
the war is over, and the United States gives them a bold statement by ending the war so
violently and quickly while letting the Russians know that the U.S. does not need or want
their help anymore. Also, the Russians probably realized that the Americans do not want
them anywhere in Asia, where Communism could spread, in fact, the United States did
not want to have to share occupation of Japan with the Russians, something that probably
frustrated Stalin. The Americans also wanted to demonstrate the power of the bomb, and
give Stalin a reason to be fearful of the powerful United States, so no troubles will arise
in the post-war era. If only the United States would have conversed with Stalin briefly
about their plans, maybe dropping the bomb would not have been so daunting and
unnecessary. Shunning the Soviet Union to end the war with Japan without any further
interactions in Asia was the first Cold War maneuver of many to come from both sides.
The United States was out to better their own country, and all the while not promoting
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