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To What Extent Was 'sovietisation' Imposed On Eastern Europe After 1945? Discuss With Reference To At Least Two Countries In The Region Two Countries Referenced Are Poland + Czechoslovakia

3112 words - 12 pages

To What Extent was 'Sovietisation' imposed on Eastern Europe after 1945? Discuss with reference to at least two countries in the regionThe dominant conflict following the end of the Second World War was the hostility and competition between the Soviet Union and the West, in particular the United States. For decades the origins of this conflict, the cold war, has provided a basis for an enormous and varied histography. Central to any argument put forward by a historian is the question of the communist seizure of power within Europe. By 1948 every country in Eastern Europe was run by communist parties, and with the exception of Yugoslavia, worked closely with the Soviet Union. This is often referred to as the 'Sovietisation' of Eastern Europe as most of these newly formed communist nations based themselves politically and economically on soviet based models. This has led to a popular histography mainly influenced western Historians to assert that 'Sovietisation' was in fact forced onto Eastern European nations by the Soviet Union (orthodox theory). They accused Stalin of attempting to create a system of satellite states in Eastern Europe, thus creating a communist empire . Throughout this essay I shall explore this argument that has been put forward by the western historians, though taking into account some of the revisionist perspectives, proving that Stalinism was imposed on Eastern Europe by referring mainly to Poland and Czechoslovakia.One of the major factors which was responsible for enhancing the influence the communists had throughout Eastern Europe after 1945 was the legacy of the Second World War, this is outlined by both historians of the orthodox and revisionist perspective. Eastern Europe had been acknowledged as the Red Army's responsibility in the Tehran talks of December 1943 and in October 1944 during the 'infamous percentage agreements' orthodox historian R.J. Crampton states that the handing over of Romania and Bulgaria to Soviet domination, keeping Greece for the west and agreeing to share Yugoslavia and Hungary was a sign that Churchill had 'sniffed the reality of the distribution of power'. It is true that both the Tehran talks and the percentage agreements gave the Soviets major influence by the 1945. It placed the red army throughout the region and gave Stalin the opportunity to establish and support friendly governments once he had ousted the Germans, he famously quoted,' this war is not as in the past: whoever occupies a territory imposes his own social system as far as his army can reach' . Though at the time of both agreements, the West and the Soviets were wartime allies; there should have been no reason for the West to distrust Stalin. Furthermore Stalin's role in the final years of the war was just as crucial as that of Churchill or Roosevelt's, why should he not be given his share of the responsibility of Europe.At Tehran the West agreed that the Soviet Union should take Poland east of the Curzon line because Stalin...

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