GCSE-Bitesize the cold war
The US President Roosevelt died in 1945. He was replaced by Truman who was strongly anti-Communist and, as the war came to an end, the relationship between America and Russia fell apart.
Historians believed that the wartime alliance between the Soviet Union and America was also wrecked by the huge differences between the two countries in:
· Politics - America was capitalist, Russia was communist.
· Lifestyle - America had freedom and a two-party democracy; Russia had secret police and a one-party state.
· Aims - America wanted Germany to recover as a trading partner; Russia wanted to weaken Germany and create a buffer zone of friendly states around Russia.
The collapse of the wartime alliance led to a Cold War between the two superpowers.
The Yalta and Potsdam conferences
The Yalta and Potsdam conferences were called to help the Allies decide what would happen to Europe, and in particular Germany, at the end of the Second World War.
Yalta - February 1945: Germany was not yet defeated, so, although there were tensions about Poland, the big three - Stalin, Roosevelt and Churchill - managed to agree to split Germany into four zones of occupation, and to allow free elections in Eastern European countries. Russia was invited to join the United Nations, and Russia promised to join the war against Japan when Germany was defeated.
Potsdam - July 1945: Germany had been defeated, Roosevelt had died and Churchill had lost the 1945 election - so there were open disagreements. Truman came away angry about the size of reparations and the fact that a communist government was being set up in Poland. Truman did not tell Stalin that he had the atomic bomb
Churchill, Roosevelt and Stalin
Attlee, Truman and Stalin
Germany to be split into four zones.
Arguments about the details of the boundaries between the zones.
Germany will pay reparations.
Disagreements about the amount of reparations Russia wanted to take. It was agreed that Russia could take whatever it wanted from the Soviet zone, and 10 per cent of the industrial equipment of the western zones, but Britain and the US thought this was too much.
A government of 'national unity' to be set up in Poland, comprising both communists and non-communists.
Truman was angry because Stalin had arrested the non-communist leaders of Poland.
Free elections in the countries of eastern Europe. This part of the agreement was called the Declaration of Liberated Europe.
America and Britain were alarmed because communists were coming to power in the countries of Eastern Europe.
Russia would help against Japan when Germany was defeated.
Truman dropped the atomic bomb so that Japan would surrender before Russian troops could go into Japan. America had the bomb in July 1945, but Truman did not tell Stalin about it. When he saw how he had been tricked, Stalin was furious.
The Truman Doctrine and Marshall plan:
In 1947, two important events occurr...