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Level 11

Origins of the Cold War

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February 1945
What was the Yalta Conference?
Who was present at the Yalta Conference?
The leaders present at Yalta were Stalin (USSR), Roosevelt (USA) and Churchill (Britain).
July 1945
When was the Potsdam Conference?
Who was present at the Potsdam Conference?
The leaders present were Stalin (USSR), Truman (USA), and Attlee (Britain)
What was agreed at Yalta?
Stalin agreed to join the war against Japan once Germany was defeated. All 3 agreed to join the United Nations. Germany divided into four zones of occupation (Br, Fr, USA, USSR). Berlin to be div…
What was in dispute at Yalta?
Stalin insisted on a 'friendly government' in Poland. The West demanded free elections in Poland.
What was agreed on at Potsdam?
USSR to gain eastern Poland and Poland to be compensated with some German territory - the German border was settled at the Oder-Neisse Line. Nazi Party to be banned and Nazi war criminals to be put on trial.
What was in dispute at Potsdam?
Stalin demanded harsh reparations from Germany for the USSR - demanded $20 billion compensation. This figure was rejected by Truman and Attlee - they did not want to make the same mistakes as at Versail…
What did the US do during the Potsdam Conference that changed international relations?
On 16th August, during the Potsdam Conference, the USA successfully tested their first A Bomb. Truman informed Stalin about it, but was not willing to share the technology. This made Stalin even more suspiciou…
What type of government did the USSR have?
Communist - one party state, no free elections, state owned industry and agriculture. The government planned the economy and what should be produced. There is a lack of freedom and strict censorship.
What type of government did the USA have?
Capitalist - democratic and capitalist, free elections, industry and agriculture were privately owned and run for profit. Free press and freedom of movement.
Why was Stalin suspicious of the West?
Allied forces had invaded Russia during the Civil War. Hitler had invaded in 1941. Stalin believed it was essential to have friendly countries on his border to prevent this happening again. The West had appe…
What was USA post-war international policy?
The USA was determined not to repeat its isolationist policies of the interwar years. The USA believed appeasement did not work, and that dictators had to be confronted and democracy supported. As the richest…
How did the USSR respond to its nuclear inferiority?
The USSR responded to its nuclear inferiority by strengthening its control over Eastern Europe. Rigged elections, violence, intimidation and other methods were used to gain control over Eastern European states including Bulgaria, Hungary, Poland and Romania.
The Iron Curtain
What does Winston Churchill call Soviet 'buffer zone'
The Truman Doctrine
Between 1945 and 1949 the USA sought to contain the spread of communism, first in Europe but later around the globe. The USA believed that the USSR was determined to expand and that the…
What was Domino Theory?
The USA should prevent one country from falling to communism to stop others from following suit.
What was containment?
It was believed that it was America's duty to protect democracies from the threat of communism. It would do this by providing money, aid, advisors or even weapons to any country threatened by communism.
What was the Marshall Plan?
US Secretary of State George Marshall believed that countries suffering from poverty and unemployment were more likely to turn to communism. The aim of the Marshall Plan was therefore to rebuild the shattered European eco…
The Marshall Plan aimed to:
What were aims of the Marshall Plan?
What happened to Czechoslovakia between 1948 - 1949?
By 1948 Czechoslovakia was not under the control of the communists. The government considered accepting Marshall Aid. Elections were due to take place in Spring 1948 and the communists were expected to do badl…
What was Stalin's Reaction to the Marshall Plan?
Stalin called the Marshall Plan 'dollar imperialism' and claimed the USA was trying to control industry and trade in Europe. He believed that it sought to undermine communism and to promote the spread of capita…
How did Stalin react to the actions of the West 1945-1949?
To try to prevent any eastern European countries applying for aid and to strengthen his grip on the countries on his borders Stalin offered help and support to eastern Europe by setting up two organisati…
What was Cominform?
Cominform (Communist Information Bureau) was an alliance of European communist parties to help them plan and to work together and spread Stalin's ideas. It increased the control Stalin had over these countries, and limited t…
What was Comecon?
Comecon (Council for Mutual Economic Aid) was set up to coordinate the production and trade of the eastern European communist countries. They were expected to trade with each other and not the West. However…
What was NATO?
The North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) was formed in April 1949 by the Western powers. This was during the period of the Berlin Blockade, and was partly in response to Stalin's aggression. NATO w…
Who were the original twelve members of NATO?
The original twelve members of NATO in 1949 were the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, France, Denmark, Iceland, Italy, Norway, Portugal, Belgium, Netherlands, and Luxembourg
How did Stalin view NATO?
Stalin, unsurprisingly, saw NATO as a threat to the USSR and Eastern Europe.
What was the Warsaw Pact?
The Warsaw Pact was set up in 1955. The Warsaw Pact was a defensive military alliance of the USSR and its satellite states in Eastern Europe. It was intended as a counter-force to NATO, w…
What were the causes of the Berlin Crisis 1948 - 1949?
Britain, France and the USA had merged their zones of West Germany into one in March 1948. Britain, France and the USA had then introduced a new currency to western Germany, which was intende…
What happened in the Berlin Blockade?
In June 1948 Stalin cut off all road, rail and canal links to West Berlin - the Berlin Blockade. The city only had 6 weeks supplies of food and fuel. Stalin aimed to starve…
What was the outcome of the Berlin Blockade?
A propaganda victory for the West - Truman had shown he would not allow the policy of containment to fail. Stalin was humiliated - the USSR had failed to extend its influence
Level 12