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Who Was To Blame For The Cold War?
The Cold war can be considered as one of the longest wars in history, it involved the two super powers of the time the USA and the USSR. (West and East). Both of these countries were governed under two very different ideologies, the USA had a democratic capitalist system while the USSR was a one-party communist state. The communist ideology is based on the idea that the rights of individual people are less important then the rights of society as a whole. On the other hand the USA capitalist ideology states that being free of government control is much more important that everyone being equal and alike. Even though the industry of the USSR grew rapidly as they were under the control of the government, their average wage was much lower than that of the USA.
These ideologies have had tensions between them for a very long time, even before the start of the cold war. The tension between capitalism and communism goes as far back as the Bolshevik revolution in Russia in 1917. It continued after the First World War when the USSR was not allowed to join the League of Nations or attend the Paris Peace Conference. During the Paris Peace Conferences countries such as Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia were created from former soviet land and this again caused the anger of the USSR. Then as the Second World War approached, the Soviets were not invited to be at the Munich Conference and in return they signed the Nazi-Soviet Pact with Hitler. During WW2 the USSR did not receive any help from the allies until late 1942 when they had already joined the Western Alliance for two years.
The red army and the American army were two of the major armies, which helped to defeat Hitler and free many countries from nazi-rule and reveal the horrors of the holocaust. Even if by this time it looked as the two representatives of the USA and the USSR, President Roosevelt and Joseph Stalin were allies at the end of the war their first disagreement and first major problem between the two countries came during the Yalta Conference. It was about Poland. Stalin wanted to keep the parts of Poland that he had won in the Nazi-Soviet pact of 1939. He wanted Poland to expand westward into Eastern Germany. Which would create a buffer zone between Germany and the Soviet Union, thus securing Stalinís obsessive fear of another German invasion and also preventing the Expansion of capitalism into Russia.
He also wanted Poland to have a pro-Soviet government. Poland also had another government in exile, ready to take over Poland, the Lublin Poles, but Britain and the USA supported a different group called the London Poles who were strongly against communism. At the Yalta conference, Churchill and Roosevelt forced him to agree that some of the London Poles would be included in the government and that there would be free elections for a new government as soon as possible. Even so, The London Poles had hardly any say in their government. Stalin elected a pro-communist government for Poland, thus not doing what he had initially agreed at Yalta with the allies. . In July 1945, a second conference was held, at Potsdam in Germany. Here the frail relationship between the east and the west was more apparent. By July 1945, Soviet troops had liberated most of Eastern Europe from Nazi control, however instead of holding free democratic elections as was decided at Yalta, Soviet troops remained and occupied these ďliberatedĒ countries.
During the five months that followed since Yalta, a number of changes had taken place, which would greatly change the relationship between the USA and the USSR. President Roosevelt had died, leaving Vice-President Truman to become President. Also Churchill had lost the British elections and Clement-Atlee was now the Premier. In addition during this time America had successfully tested the Atomic Bomb and Stalinís Armies were occupying most of Eastern Europe.
A Conference took place at Potsdam a Berlin Suburb where the Big three met once again. There it was agreed that Germany and Berlin should be both divided into four zones, (Soviet, French, American and British), and the Allies would receive reparations from their own zones. Also Polandís Eastern border would be moved west into Poland, as Stalin wanted. The disagreements were about what to do with Germany, Reparations and Soviet Policy in Eastern Europe.
Stalin believed that Germany should be crippled and not be allowed to recover, Britain and the USA did not agree as this had turned out to b
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