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History Flex Work by Stefan Qin

Answer to Questions
1) A) “control of information” refers to the ideology of the communist regime, in stark contrast to the freedom of
dissemination of information and free speech by the democratic United States.
B) The “essentials of a free society” refer to the key characterisitcs and values of democracy, including the
upholding of free speech and free unfettered democratic elections.
C) The tone and language of the first extract suggest quite a favourable view of the Soviet Union in
comparison to the US. Attributes such as “genuine” to the Stalin suggest trustworthiness. Furthermore, the
tone implies the Soviets to be on the side of good, fighting against the “evil” axis powers with the US.
D) If viewed objectively without consideration of any possibility external information being available, these
two extracts are fairly useful as evidence of attitudes within the United States towards the Soviet Union. They
demonstrate the fundamental causes for the attitudes themselves and list the significant differences and
similarities between the two nations with assumed objectivity and credibility. They provide explanations for
“why the US acted the way they did towards the USSR”.
E) In the first extract, the Soviet Union is presented as reasonable and genuinely interested in maintaining
national security whilst appeasing the US, with little consideration for expansionism and world domination. In
the second extract, they are pictured as openly hostile from the US perspective, as they possess an
expansionist policy…from the “US perspective”. These two views, in essence, are conflicting and are hence
one of the major origins of the Cold War.
2) A) i) The intervention of America in Russian affairs is seen as the continuation of a long line of incursions into
Russian national sovereignty.
ii) The “get tough with Russia” policy was a „tough guy‟ persona employed by America; in effect this meant that
they would concede to little, if any, of the USSR‟s demands on the negotiating table.
B) Truman reacted by sacking the author of the speech, Wallace. It was contrary to, and therefore damaging to
his own personal fear of the Russian quest for world dominance, which shaped US policy in regards to US-USSR
relations.
C) They were justified. The US had shown little intent to expand its ideology beyond its „buffer states‟, contrary
to the American fear. Furthermore, it was examined from an objective viewpoint by an American statesman who
truly wanted national security for his country and its trade ports (being the secretary for commerce).
The Long-Term Causes of the Cold War
The Cold War was fundamentally predicated upon a misunderstanding of actions on the basis of conflicting
ideologies in the eyes of the two great powers involved, the US and the USSR. The USSR, in wanting a secure
buffer front reneged on many of its promises and statements of intent prior to the end of the war leading to a
question of their credibility in the perspective of the US nation. Furthermore, the misreading of the USSR
situation intensified a – some would say irrational – fear the US held concerning the expansionist ideology of
communism within the USSR, which led to actions opposed to such expansionism, such as the Marshall Doctrine
and Truman Plan. Foremost among these reneged promises was the question of Poland and the Soviet actions
concerning said area. The atom bomb was a major bargaining tool in US-USSR negotiations, allowing the now
militarily more powerful US to shift its weight in an area far away from its home continent, and intimidating the –
some would say comparably more rational – fear of the US the USSR held and its own expansionism of trade
markets and democracy. Ultimately, both parties felt their ideological system was the greatest and best in the
long-term interests of the human race and accordingly looked to impose it onto the rest of the world, in the
interests of their own national security and security interests. Unfortunately, they were conflicting ideologies and
as such, in order for one to succeed, the other must fail.
Note: see the long telegram, iron curtain speech, and Baruch plan as symbolic of the relations and growing
animosities between the two nations.