World History Topic 12: Introduction to the Cold War:
The Cold War will dominate political, economic and social life in the latter half of the 20th century. Two superpowers, emerging post World War II, the USA and the USSR, will seek to control, dominate and outgun each other, via nuclear weapons and proxy wars, with containment, Mutually Assured Destruction (MAD) and spheres of influence creating a stalemate between two bitterly opposed rivals.

The Origins of the Cold War

The Yalta Conference, in early February of 1945, is often cited as the the beginning of the Cold War. This meeting of the 'Big Three', US President Roosevelt, British Prime Minister Churchill and Russian leader Josef Stalin, at the former palace of Tsar Nicholas II on the Crimean southern shore of the Black Sea, took place from February 4-11, 1945. Stalin's army had reached the Oder River and was poised for the final attack on Berlin, but Stalin ordered General Zhukov to pause while the conference was in session. His occupation of Poland was complete, and he possessed command of the largest army in Europe, with 12 million soldiers in 300 divisions. Eisenhower's 4 million men in 85 divisions were still west of the Rhine. Strategic bombing had devastated German cities, and the last untouched major city in Germany would be destroyed on February 13th when Churchill sent his bombers over Dresden.
Roosevelt appeared weak and tired in photos of the Yalta conference; in two months he would be dead from a massive cerebral hemorrhage. Critics would accuse Roosevelt of a 'sell out' at Yalta, giving away Eastern Europe to Stalin; of 'secret deals' with a ruthless dictator. However, as Robert Dallek has pointed out in Franklin Roosevelt and American Policy, FDR was hoping the future United Nations organisation would be the place to deal with Stalin. He told Adolf Berle, "I didn't say the result was good. I said it was the best I could do." Both Roosevelt and Churchill recognized the reality of Soviet power in 1945.

The Origins of the Cold War- Text Reading
According to Martin McCauley (The Origins of the Cold War), it was George Kennan's 'Long Telegram' that brought about the Truman administration's policy of Containment towards the Russians. There are several major explanations for the origins of the Cold War: the orthodox or traditional, the revisionist and the post-revisionist. Using the text, 'The Origins of the Cold War 1941-1949', paraphrase the explanations for the Cold War. Be sure to include reference to the following documents, where applicable, in your review:
Document 1 "The Cold War: An Orthodox View (p.88)
Document 2 "The Cold War: A Revisionist View (p. 89)
Document 3 " The Cold War: A Post-Revisionist View (p. 93)
Document 18 "The long telegram of 22 February 1946"
Due Tuesday, October 18th, 2016

The purpose of 'Containment' as described in Kennan's 'Long Telegram' Reasons for U.S. Policy of Containment

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Policy of Containment
Winston Churchill was invited by President Harry Truman to Fulton, Missouri, where he delivered his 'Sinews of Peace (Iron Curtain) speech, explaining to, primarily, an American audience the post-war reality. A copy of Churchill's speech:

Under the Truman Doctrine, sets up the United States post-war foreign policy, as the USA was prepared to send money, equipment and advice to any country, in the American view, was threatened by Communist take-over. Truman accepted that Eastern Europe was now under Communist control; his aim was to stop Communism from spreading any further. This policy becomes known as containment.

Truman believed that Communism was successful when people were faced with poverty and hardship. He had American General George Marshall (later Secretary of State) assess the economic state of Europe after WWII. What he found was economic ruin. Marshall suggested that $17 billion would be needed to rebuilt Europe. 'Our policy is directed against hunger, poverty, desperation and chaos.' The Truman Doctrine
President Truman, in address to the U.S. Congress, 12 March 1947

'At the present moment in world history nearly every nation must choose between alternative ways of life. The choice is too often not a free one.
One way of life is based upon the will of the majority, and is distinguished by free institutions, representative government, free elections, guarantees of individual liberty, freedom of speech and religion, and freedom from political oppression.
The second way of life is based upon the will of a minority forcibly imposed upon the majority. It relies upon terror and oppression, a controlled press and radio; fixed elections, and the suppression of personal freedoms.
I believe that it must be the policy of the United States to support free peoples who are resisting attempted subjugation by armed minorities or by outside pressures.
I believe that we must assist free peoples to work out their own destinies in their own way.
I believe that our help should be primarily through economic and financial aid which is essential to economic stability and orderly political processes.'
1. What justification does Truman give for his Doctrine?
2. Identify the key words that Truman uses to describe the West and key words he uses to describe countries under Soviet control. Why do you think he uses this type of language?
3. How important is this document for explaining the development of the Cold War?

cold war balkans 1947
cold war balkans 1947

Not everyone was in agreement with the Truman Doctrine and Marshall Plan. Henry Wallace, former Vice President to President Roosevelt and Secretary of State, would publicly challenge the mounting of such an aggressive campaign against the Soviet Union. Wallace for Peace Later, Wallace would challenge Truman's Presidential nomination, only to lose and become a footnote in history.

The Soviets will respond to American policies with their own economic plan, COMENCON, and later disagreements with regard to currency adaptation will lead to the Berlin Blockade Berlin Blockade

Notes on NATO and the Warsaw Pact:
On the 4th of April, 1949, the Washington Treaty was signed by twelve nations, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, France, Iceland, Italy, Luxembourg, The Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, the United Kingdom, and the United States. Other countries joined later- Greece and Turkey in 1952; The Federal Republic of Germany, 1955; Spain 1982. After the collapse of Communism, countries which had been under the Warsaw Pact petitioned to join NATO. The Czech Republic, Hungary and Poland joined in 1999, followed by Lithuania, Estonia, Latvia, Bulgaria Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia in 2002. Albania and Croatia joined in 2009. From the outset, this was a military alliance of nations. The signatories to the treaty stated that they wished to live in peace with all peoples and all governments, however ARTICLE FIVE is key. This stated that an armed attack on one was an attack on all. NATO is a collective defence organisation, whereas the United Nations is a collective security body.
The European countries of France, Belguim, The Netherlands, Britain and Luxembourg held talks starting in 1947. In 1948, these countries had formed an alliance and by 1949, had persuaded the United States to sign. This photo shows President Harry Truman signing the NATO accord.
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Marshall Plan 1947-52- The Marshall Plan was portrayed as the American government's generous response to the devastation World War II brought upon the people of Europe. Was it a completely selfless act?

Time Line of NATO and Warsaw Pact
1949: April -- NATO signed

1950:-- US general Dwight Eisenhower named supreme NATO commander

1952:-- Greece and Turkey join NATO

1955:-- Western Germany joins NATO

1955: May -- Warsaw Pact formed

1957:-- NATO warns Soviet Union it will meet any attack with available weapons, including nuclear

1960: May -- Soviet Union reveals that U.S. spy plane was shot down over Soviet territory

1968: August -- Soviet troops crush Czechoslovakian revolt

1982: Spain joins NATO

1985: -- Mikhail Gorbachev ascends to power in Soviet Union

1986: -- Gorbachev ends economic aid to Soviet satellites

1989: January -- Soviet troops withdraw from Afghanistan

1989: December -- Communist governments fall in Czechoslovakia, Bulgaria, and Romania; Soviet empire ends

1991: April -- Warsaw Pact ends

1991: August -- End of Soviet Union Cold War Ends

1995: NATO embarks on first military operation against Bosnia Serbs to negotiate peace

1999:Czech Republic, Hungary, and Poland join NATO

2002: Seven countries join NATO: Lithuania, Estonia Latvia, Bulgaria, Romania, Slovakia, and Slovenia

2009: April -- Albania and Croatia join NATO

The Warsaw Pact

In 1955, the USSR (Union of Soviet Socialist Republics) formed the Warsaw Pact. This was a direct response to NATO and after West Germany was allowed to join NATO. The USSR perceived NATO as an offensive organisation. By the mid 1950's, the superpowers had nuclear weapons and the concept of MAD- mutually assured distruction had emerged. Nikita Kruschev, by 1955, had succeeded Stalin as leader of the USSR. He introduced his de-Stalinization program and it was hoped that this would begin a period of better understanding with the west.
The Warsaw Pact was dominated by the USSR. It included all the satellite countreis of the Soviet empire. The Warsaw Pact was involved, at times, to keep the Soviet empire together as it was to oppose NATO. An example of this is the crushing of the "Prague Spring" in 1968, when Warsaw Pact allies were massed against the Czechoslovaks. The Warsaw Pact was dissolved with the collapse of communism in 1991.
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NATO vs The Warsaw Pact 1949-1982


Question for Thought: Did the NATO alliance and Warsaw Pact serve as deteriants of nuclear war, during the Cold War?
Essay Questions on the Origins of the Cold War (Paper 2, Topic 12) Wednesday, November 30, 2016
1. "An unnatural alliance that was bound to fall apart after the defeat of the common enemy." To what extent does this statement explain the origin of the Cold War?
2. Compare and contrast the roles of the USA and the USSR in the origins of the Cold War.
3. Examine the importance of economic considerations in the origins of the Cold War up to 1951.
4. Examine the reasons for, and the impact in Europe of, the formation of NATO.

Here is a good example of a five paragraph response to a question relating to the Cold War:

Cold War Summary Diagram 1945-1953

The War in Korea, 1950-1953

Is this how you would write an essay? Read 'Why did the Cold War begin and last so long?"