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The Outbreak of the Cold War.
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The Outbreak of the Cold War.


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  • 1. The Cold War: Origins.
  • 2. The Cold War begins: 1945 -1948 Key issues:  Why did the wartime alliance fall apart?  What were the major differences between the superpowers?  The importance of Yalta and Potsdam conferences.  The roles of Stalin and Truman.
  • 3. Events from the war. Major point: The USSR lost around 20 million people in WW2. By contrast GB lost around 370,000 and the USA lost 297,000 people. Stalin was determined to make the USSR secure in the future.
  • 4. The rise of the superpowers Before WW2 there were a number of countries which could have claimed to be superpowers – USA, USSR,GB, France, Japan, Germany. The damage caused by the war to these countries left only two countries with the military strength, size and resources to be called superpowers….USA and USSR.
  • 5. What they believed in: Don‟t forget USA was capitalist and USSR was communist. They had allied against Fascism ….. Now the common enemy had been defeated the reason for co-operation was gone. Differences were bound to emerge.
  • 6. The Past. The Soviet Union could not forget that in 1917 Britain and the USA had tried to destroy the Russian Revolution. The memory of the Red Scare in the 1920s was not gone either. Stalin also thought that they had not given him enough help in the Second World War. Britain and the USA could not forget that Stalin had signed the Nazi-Soviet Pact with Germany in 1939.
  • 7. Aims. Stalin wanted huge reparations from Germany, and a „buffer‟ of friendly states to protect the USSR from being invaded again. He was “suspicious”, think about the causes of Appeasement! Britain and the USA wanted to protect democracy, and help Germany to recover. They were worried that large areas of eastern Europe could fall under Soviet control.
  • 8. TASK Two conferences were held in 1945 at Yalta and Potsdam The aim was to discuss the future. What to do with Germany‟s leaders after the war. What would happen to the occupied countries after liberation, especially those of Eastern Europe. How to end the war with Japan How to build a lasting peace.
  • 9. So, who was to blame? Russian historians blamed Churchill (the British Prime Minister) and Truman (the American president, 1945–1953). They said Truman and Churchill wanted to destroy the USSR, which was just defending itself. At first, western writers blamed the Soviet Union. They said Stalin was trying to build up a Soviet empire. Later, however, some western historians blamed the USA. They said Truman had not understood how much Russia had suffered in the Second World War. Nowadays, historians think BOTH sides were to blame – that there were hatreds on both sides and probably an inevitable conflict once again.