The Cold War Begins, 1945-1960

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The Cold War Begins, 1945-1960
Section 1: Origins of the Cold
War
A Clash of Interests
 1946-1990 became known as the
 Historical Background:
 Alliance between U.S. and Soviet Union began to break
apart even before the end of WWII.
 The United States and the Soviet Union became
increasing hostile toward each other after the war.
 This led to an era of confrontation and competition.
Soviet Security Concerns- The Factors
that MOST influenced the Soviets
1. Security!
1.
2.
2.
Keep Germany weak .(they had invaded the Soviet
Union twice in 30 years).
Make sure the countries between Germany and the
Soviet Union were under Soviet control.
They believed communism would replace
capitalism and the Soviet Union should encourage
communism in other countries.
American Economic Concerns
 Some Americans believed the Depression had caused
the war (Hitler would never have come to power;
Japan would not have wanted to expand its empire)
 Trade Cut-backs
 Have to go to war to get what you need.
 FDR and advisors believed economic growth and free
enterprise was the key to world peace.
 Promote democracy and free enterprise.
 Countries would be more stable and peaceful.
Yalta Conference
 February 1945
 Churchill, FDR, Stalin met at the Soviet resort of
Yalta to Plan the postwar world.
 Specific Issues Poland,
 Declaration of Liberated Europe,
 Dividing up Germany
Poland
 After the Germans invaded Poland, their government leaders left and
fled to Britain.
 When the Soviet troops drove back
the Germans and entered Poland, the Soviets
encouraged Polish Communists
to set up a new government.
 Two Governments!
 One communist
 One non-communist.
 Both Roosevelt and Churchill
argued the Poles should be free
to choose their own government!
 Stalin wanted a government friendly to
the Soviet Union!
Compromise
 Roosevelt and Churchill agreed to recognize the Polish
government set up by the Soviets.
 Stalin agreed that the government would include
members of the Polish government and that free
elections would be held as soon as possible.
Declaration of Liberated Europe
“The right of all people to choose the form of
government under which they will live.”
1. Democratic institutions of their own choice.
2. Free elections.
Dividing Germany (Four Zones)
Britain
Soviet Union
France
United States
Berlin, four zones
War Reparations
 Stalin demanded Germany pay heavy reparations.
 FDR agreed but he insisted payments be based on
Germany’s ability to pay.
 Both agreed that trade goods and products could be
used instead of cash.
Tension
 King of Romania pressured by Soviets into appointing
a Communist government.
 U.S. accused them of violating the terms of the
Declaration of Liberated Europe.
 Soon Soviets only allowed no more than
3 non-communist Poles to serve in the Polish
government. Didn’t look like they were going to allow
free elections either!
Truman Takes Control
 “We must stand up to the Russians”
 Strongly anti-communist
 Demanded Stalin hold free elections in Poland as he
promised at Yalta.
Stalin
can’t be
trusted!
 This sets the stage for further confrontations!
Potsdam Conference, July 1945
 Truman meets with Stalin
 Near Berlin.
 To work out a deal on Germany
 Truman believed the German economy would have
to revive or the rest of Europe would never recover.
 German people might turn to communism.
 Stalin and his advisors needed reparations from
Germany.
 Meanwhile….
Russians were stripping their zone in Germany of its
machinery and industrial equipment for use back home.
Potsdam
 Truman took a firm stand against heavy reparations.
 Germany should be allowed to recover.
 Truman suggested that the Soviets take reparations
from their zone.
 Stalin didn’t like Truman’s proposal
 Soviet zone was mostly agricultural.
Deal or No Deal?
 Truman offered Stalin a small amount of German
industrial equipment from the other zones but
required the Soviets pay for part of it with food
shipments from their zone.
 Stalin didn’t like Truman’s proposal.
 Truman told Stalin about test of the atomic bomb.
 Stalin thought Americans were trying to keep the Soviets weak.
No way!
“From Stettin in the Baltic to Trieste in the
Adriatic, an iron curtain has descended across
the continent.” Winston Churchill
 Occupation of the Soviet army in Eastern Europe
ensured pro-Soviet Communist governments would be
established in:
 Poland
 Romania
 Bulgaria
 Hungary
 Czechoslovakia
 These were called
Satellite Nations.
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