American Communist Containment Policy 1945 1953 Essay

2345 words - 9 pages

Containment Policy 1945-1953

America used a variety of methods to contain Soviet influence between
1945-1953. Methods such as Propaganda and flexing of muscle became
essential as America justified its policies and actions as part of the
struggle to save Capitalist Ideology from the Communist oppressors.

Ideology was the main source of conflict between the USA and USSR.
This difference in ideology led inevitably to distrust between the two
superpowers. The USSR believed in a state controlled economy which
discouraged free enterprise, antithesis of America's economic system;
the encouragement of free enterprise and the privatization of
industry. Thus, the divergent economic structures of the superpowers
painted different perspectives, which inevitably sowed the seeds for
further conflict between the USA and USSR.

The conferences between the USA and USSR up until 1945 showed the
various disagreements between the USA and USSR. These conferences were
held in Tehran in December 1945, Yalta in February 1945 and Potsdam in
July 1945. The main source of conflict between USA and USSR was the
future status of Europe. The USA wanted a democratic capitalist
continent that it could influence. The USSR wanted to spread Communism
and prevent the disasters of World War II recurring again.

While Stalin was a brutal and ruthless dictator responsible for
millions of deaths, feared and resented by many eastern Europeans, he
actually did not intend to conquer the world. This was the basic
misunderstanding which fueled the Cold War: the U.S. government, as
well as many private citizens, believed that the Russians were engaged
in a world-wide conspiracy to spread communism in preparation for
taking over the world. Stalin only wanted to prevent the recurrence of
WWII surfacing again. Thus, Stalin embarked on a program to build a
'buffer zone' to safeguard the USSR. This meant that the Eastern
Nations were to be 'satellites' for the USSR. America
mis-interpertated this as first signs of Stalin's desire to conquer
the world. Therefore, America began to be afraid and began seeking
drastic measures such as rebuilding Germany as a buffer zone against
Soviet influence.

America's mis-interpretation of Stalin's actions led America and its
Allies to be afraid. The fear was seen with Churchill's famous 'Iron
Curtain Speech' where he stresses for a joint Anglo-American alliance
against the USSR. America rejected the idea but the end result further
strained relations between America and the USSR, which the USSR
responded to Churchill's Speech 'Capitalist impearilism is a call for
a war on the USSR'. Thus, America begins using methods to 'contain'
Soviet influence.

By 1946 the Americans started to adopt the policy of 'containment'. On
March 12, 1947, President Truman gave an address to Congress that
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