Teacher notes
• Teach as double to use resources to
complete double-bubble map of Yalta and
• Teach single on ‘did attitude change
between Yalta and Potsdam?’ – hot seat
Truman and Stalin (Berlin split and Atomic
The American Way and the Russian Way
The American way
The Russian Way
The USA is a …………… country.
Industry, agriculture, banks and
businesses are all ………… owned.
Americans are free to ……….
The Soviet Union was a …………
country. Here the state owned and
controlled all ............ There was no
such thing as private enterprise.
Individuals were also not free to ……
In terms of politics, there are a
number of parties to vote for in fair
elections, so the people choose or
elect their …………
People have rights, there is not
control of the media like papers or
radio, the people are …………… For
example they have ………………..
The leader was a ……… and his word
was law. There were no free or fair
elections to choose who ruled
Russia. There was only …… political
Russians had no ………… They could
not say, read or write what they
wanted. The Government controlled
all …………
Yalta to Potsdam!
To explain how the Potsdam Conference helped cause the Cold War!
To evaluate how things changed from Yalta to Potsdam.
Who: The Big Three at Yalta
of Britain
Josef Stalin, Leader of
Russia (the Soviet Union)
Franklin Roosevelt, the
President of the USA
The Big Three at Potsdam
After the death of Roosevelt and Churchill’s
defeat in an election, the Big Three changed.
The Prime
Minister of
Leader of
the Soviet
Harry Truman, The President of the
United States
( Russia )
Use the resources around the room and your work from last lesson to
help you complete the mindmap about the Yalta conference.
Yalta: February 1945
What was the Yalta Conference?
This was a conference between the Big three
When was the conference held?
It was held during the war in February 1945 (near
the end of WW2).
Why was it held?
It was held to make plans for the future of Europe
once they had defeated Hitler and the Germans.
On the surface, the Yalta conference seemed
Who: The Big Three at Yalta
of Britain
Franklin Roosevelt, the
President of the USA
Josef Stalin, Leader of
Russia (the Soviet Union)
•Leader of the Soviet Union.
•Did not fully trust the British or Americans after previous events
before and during the war made him think they disliked communism.
•Stalin had seen Russia invaded twice by Germany in 30 years and he
was determined that this should not happen again. He wanted a
buffer zone of friendly countries between Germany and Russia.
Franklin Roosevelt.
Winston Churchill.
•Led Britain
through the tough
war time years.
•opposed to Nazi
and Communist
•Did not trust
The Big
Three at
•President of the USA since
•Wanted a peaceful world
and an end to fascism
•Did not want Russia to have
a free hand over the future
of Poland.
•Roosevelt was unhappy over
Stalin’s attitude . He
thought the Russians did not
carrying out agreements
made at Yalta.
Yalta: Agreements
The Allies
on plans that would lead to:
•Setting up a United Nations peace keeping organisation that would
include Russia.
•Dividing Germany into four ‘zones’, which Britain, France, the USA and
the USSR would occupy after the war.
•Putting Nazi war-criminals to trial.
•Setting up a Polish Provisional or temporary Government of National
Unity 'pledged to the holding of free and fair elections as soon as
•Helping the freed peoples of Europe set up democratic (fair)
•Russia joining in the war against Japan as soon as Germany was
Yalta disagreements…
But, behind the scenes, tension was growing. The Big
Three disagreed over the future of Poland.
Stalin wanted Poland to be ruled by the communists,
Roosevelt and Churchill wanted a non-communist
government. Stalin did agree to have an all-party
temporary government in Poland. Stalin also wanted
Poland to takeover a part of eastern Germany by moving
Poland’s border with Germany further west.
After the conference, Churchill wrote to Roosevelt that
‘The Soviet union has become a danger to the free
Now complete a brainstorm for the Potsdam Conference using the
resources around the room and your book.
Compare Yalta and Potsdam
Colour similarities in one colour and differences in another.
of Europe
of Europe
Look at the agreements and differences;
what is similar and different about them?
Why was Potsdam less successful than Yalta?
Source B
The Russians only understand one language - ‘how many armies have
you got?’
I’m tired of babying the Soviets.
President Truman, writing in January 1946
Source C
What is surprising about the fact that the Soviet Union, worried
about its future safety, wants governments friendly to it in Finland,
Poland and Romania?
Stalin, writing in March 1946
Source D
In this ‘marriage of convenience’, the thought that a divorce was
inevitable had been in the mind of each partner from the beginning.
Written by the historian, Isaac Deutscher,
Resources on each conference
What was the Potsdam Conference?
This was a conference at Potsdam near Berlin. It
was between the Big three leaders.
When was the conference held?
It was held after the Germans had surrendered
and Hitler had been defeated in May 1945.
Why was it held?
It was held to decide the plans for the how to keep
peace after WW2 and what the future of Europe
should look like.
The Big Three at Potsdam
After the death of Roosevelt and Churchill’s
defeat in an election, the Big Three changed.
The Prime
Minister of
Leader of
the Soviet
Harry Truman, The President of the
United States
( Russia )
Potsdam: What was it?
• America had a new president, Truman, who was determined to ‘get
tough’ with the Russians. When President Truman went to the
Potsdam Conference, he knew that America had tested the
World’s first atomic bomb. It gave the Americans a huge
military advantage over everyone else. Despite being allies
Truman did not tell Stalin about America’s Atom Bomb something which angered Stalin when the Americans used the
atomic bomb at Hiroshima.
• Stalin invited the non-Communist Polish leaders to meet him in
March 1945 and arrested them. Stalin therefore broke the
Yalta agreement.
• By July 1945 much of Eastern Europe had been freed or
liberated from Nazi control by the Russian Red Army. Russia was
therefore in control of Eastern Europe.
• At Potsdam, the arguments between the Big Three came out
into the open.
The Big Three at
Harry Truman
•Took over as President of the USA after Roosevelt died in April
1945. He was less trusting of the Russians than Roosevelt .
•“ We’ve got to stop babying the Soviets ”
•“ We have got to get tough with the Russians they don’t know how
to behave ”
Clement Atlee
•Took over as prime Minister
from Churchill.
•Atlee was a bit of an unknown
and not an experienced world
Josef Stalin
•Powerful dictator and leader of Russia.
•By July 1945 he was perhaps the strongest of the Big Three.
•He was determined to make sure Russia was in a much stronger position
after the war and that Russia would be surrounded by friendly countries.
•His Red Army was in control of Eastern Europe.
Potsdam: Agreements
The Conference agreed to :
• Split Germany into 4 zones of occupation.
• Ban and destroy the Nazi Party, government and laws. Control
German education system to eliminate Nazi ideas .
• Accept the Polish Provisional Government of National Unity and
hold free and fair elections as soon as possible.
• Move the Polish border with Germany further west to the rivers
Oder & Neisse.
• Allow Russia to take reparations ( compensation ) from the
Soviet Zone of Germanry, and also 10% of the industrial
equipment of the western zones as reparations. Allow America
and Britain to take reparations from their zones if they wished.
• Allow Germans living in Poland, Hungary and Czechoslovakia to
return to Germany.
Potsdam: Disagreements
President Truman said the Potsdam agreement was a
The Allies had disagreed openly about:
1. The details of how to divide Germany.
2. The size of reparations Germany ought to pay. Russia
wanted to punish Germany but Truman would not let
Russia take huge reparations.
3. Russian influence over the countries of eastern
Europe. Britain & America wanted more say over the
future. They did not agree that Russia had a right to
have a greater influence over the East – they feared he
would introduce communism into the countries Russia
The Big Three Allies agreed to divide Germany into 4 zones after the war
The Allies also agreed that the German city of Berlin that was in the Russian
zone of Germany would also be divided into 4 zones each controlled by Britain ,
France , America and Russia.
Why did the USA-USSR
relationship breakdown 1945?
Actions by the USA
Actions by the USSR
Truman held an ace card that gave him confidence to make
demands of the other leaders. America had developed the
atomic bomb; the most powerful and destructive bomb ever
made. At this point in time the atomic bomb was solely in the
hands of the United States government.
At Potsdam America becomes more powerful.
• During the Potsdam conference, Truman mentioned
to Stalin about an unspecified "powerful new weapon";
Stalin knew what Truman was talking about through
Russian spies inside the USA.
• Stalin encouraged the use of any weapon that would
quickly end of the war.
• Towards the end of the Potsdam conference, Japan
was given an ultimatum: prompt and utter destruction
or surrender .
• After Japan rejected America’s ultimatum two atomic
bombs were dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki on
August 6 and August 9 respectively. Truman made the
decision to use atomic weapons to end the war while
at the conference.
How did the major countries feel at the Potsdam Conference (after the end of WW2)?
Attitudes changes between the Yalta and Potsdam
conferences because:
The War had ended (and there was more to decide in
the future of Europe).
2. Truman was now a more forceful US president (than
Roosevelt had been).
3. Stalin had not kept to the agreements made at Yalta,
e.g. he said he would allow an election in Poland but it
was actually rigged; he started setting up communist
governments in the Eastern Countries, but this
hadn’t been agree to at Yalta.
4. It was more difficult to come to agreements: they
couldn’t agree on how much Germany should pay in
reparations; they couldn’t decide how to divide
Germany; they couldn’t agree on the types of
Governments (communist or capitalist) that should be
introduced into previously occupied countries (those
that had been captured by the Germans), .
5. Truman held the ‘ace card’ – America had the threat
of the Atomic bomb as a bargaining tool.
How did the major countries feels at the Potsdam Conference (after the end of WW2)?
Use these words to fill in the gaps - powerful, lenient, communist,
American way, fear, free, trust, Eastern Europe.
•America has to stop babying the Soviets. Roosevelt has been too
________ on Russia, I do not _________ Stalin and the Russians.
•Me and the other US politicians _______ that France and other
countries in Europe will become _________; but this is against the
__________ ____, it does not let people be ______.
•The Russians are already too _______, they have control of
_________ _______, we don’t want them to spread communism.
Use these words to fill in the gaps – money, control, west, friendly,
communist, blood, protect, invaded.
•Russia needs to be surrounded by _________ countries; too much
Russian ______ had been lost in wars that started with us being
__________ from the _____. We just want to create other
_________ countries around us which we know we can trust and who
will __________ us, like a _________ _____.
•America just wants to ________ European business by selling goods
here; they are greedy and hungry for _______.
What is the meaning of this source?
How would you answer these
• Why did the Potsdam Conference signal
the end of good relations between East
and West? (6)