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Did The Ussr Directly Start The Cold War?

1661 words - 7 pages

The Origins of the Cold War is a high debated topic. There are countless reasons why the Cold War developed between 1945-1949. For starters, the West and the Soviet Union had a clash of ideologies. The West firmly stood by capitalism while the Soviets had a fanatic belief in Communism. Because of this clash of ideologies, the Soviet's choice in sending troops into Eastern Europe right after the Nazi's had vacated, made tensions even worse. Traditionalists believe that the Cold War was caused by Soviet aggression. Therefore, everything the United States did was to try and contain the Soviet Union. Anything done by the Soviets that were considered "aggressive" was countered by US action. Post-1991 historians say that the Cold War was a result of the West's fear of the Soviet Union gaining power. Therefore, to a certain extent, Soviet policies were responsible for the origins of the Cold War.The Yalta Conference could be considered the beginning of the Cold War. On February 4th, 1945 the Big Three met in the palace that once belonged to Czar Nicholas in Russia to discuss the future of Europe. The Second World War was still raging on and all three countries wanted to remain Allies. The Soviets demanded $20 billion dollars in reparations, three seats in the United Nations, and other various pieces of territory including Outer Mongolia, and the Kuriles. Stalin agreed to set up a provisional Polish government of unity and help the freed people of Eastern Europe set up their own democratic, self-governing countries. But President Roosevelt was far too idealistic. They all talked big but little was actually done. It was literally race for Berlin. Stalin possessed the largest army in all of Europe; he had twelve million soldiers in over three hundred divisions. While Eisenhower had in his command four million men in roughly eighty-five divisions. Stalin's men ad successfully occupied Poland while Eisenhower was still west of the Rhine. The West was scared that the Soviets were going to take over all the land.The Big Three, now Stalin, Churchill and Harry S Truman, met again months later in Potsdam. Here they, again, discussed the fate of Germany. They agreed to split Germany into four zones, de-Nazify the country, put Nazi war criminals on trial. The Polish provisional government was recognized and they agreed to allow the Soviet Union to take reparations from their zones and get 10% of the industrial capacity in the other three zones. But they could not agree on what size the zones were suppose to be, the amount of reparations that should be paid and how much influence the Soviet Union could have in Eastern Europe. In addition, Stalin made more demands. He wanted a warm water port, free access to the Mediterranean, Kars, Ardahan, Italian colonies etc. He proposed to settle the situation in Syria and Jordan. And also demanded that the allies could not be allowed access into any territory occupied by the Red Army. The main reason the West and the Soviet...

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