How did the USA and USSR become Rivals in the period 1945 to 1949?
Stalin I have taken control of Eastern Europe because I have to keep my country safe and secure. You wanted to destroy us before the war and you’ll want to destroy us after the war. I don’t like you lot!!! Truman Attlee We don’t like the look of this. This is proof to us that Stalin wants to spread Communism. We want free elections and freedom of speech. What can we do to make sure that the rest of Europe doesn’t become Communist? SUSPICION INCREASES
I’ve got an idea! The Truman doctrine Truman felt that it was the duty of USA to protect the West from the USSR. He announced that the USA would give aid in the form of money and weapons to the poor countries of Europe. This idea was to try and ‘contain’ the USSR and prevent the spread of Communism. It became known as the Truman Doctrine . I’ll stop the Commies!!
General Marshall The ‘Marshall Plan’ was designed to help the war torn countries of Europe to recover from the years of WW2. The USA believed that the poorer a country was, the more likely that it would turn to Communism. The USA set up a massive fund for the countries in Europe in which all of them could apply. However, Stalin became suspicious of this plan and made sure that those countries within his control did not apply.
In February 1945 it was clear that Germany was losing the war, so the Allied Leaders met at Yalta in Ukraine to plan what would happen to Europe after Germany’s defeat. The conference went well as despite their differences, the big three (Stalin, Churchill and Roosevelt) agreed on some important matters. YALTA FEBRUARY 1945 The ‘Big Three’ AGREE at Yalta’ Lets divide Germany into 4 zones. Each of us, including France, can have their own share. OK, lets also agree on giving the liberated countries from Germany free elections. Lets all agree to join the new United Nations Organisation. This could help to keep the peace. I’ve lost 20 million men in this war. I want massive reparations and security but they’ll never agree to that!
POTSDAM JULY 1945 In July 1945 the Allied leaders met at Potsdam in Berlin. This conference was very different to Yalta and disagreements began to signal the end of the co-operation between East and West. However, Stalin was in a much stronger position than before and his army had taken control of Eastern Europe. Consequently, he felt that he could get more from this conference. (2 months after Germany had surrendered) At Potsdam the old ‘Big Three’ were no more I’ve just lost a General election to this man: Attlee I’ve died and this man has taken over: Truman I don’t like you two new guys and I’m not going to get on with you either. So there!
Stalin wants more I want to cripple Germany and take all of its resources and money so that it no longer poses a threat to the USSR. I also want much more compensation for the 20 million Russians that died. Truman disagrees Attlee disagrees Eastern Europe should have free elections! We should not do what Versailles did! DISAGREEMENT
SUSPICIONS INCREASE I knew it! Its proof to me that you want to take over the world by staying in Eastern Europe! I knew it! Its proof to me that your secret Atom Bomb will be used against us to destroy us! Truman Stalin Their dislike and suspicion of one another that had existed before the war had now returned
THE COLD WAR The use of the Truman Doctrine and the Marshall Plan is usually seen as the start of the Cold War. Mutual suspicion and distrust resulted with the USSR and the USA becoming rivals. However. The Berlin Blockade would strengthen this rivalry.