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Yalta (2/1945) Potsdam (7/1945) Soviet creation and expansion of the Iron Curtain Propaganda The growth of the superpowers The Truman Doctrine Marshall Plan The Berlin Blockade The creation and role of NATO Containment / Roll back Arms Race MAD / Nuclear weaponry Cuban revolution and the Bay of Pigs Cuban Missile crisis Clean Up
One of the background issues that was a long term cause was the clash of different ideologies. But ideology was not the sole long-term cause. Combined with the fear factor that the other side would attack and force their ideology upon the other, and the belief that only through violence, aggression and their ideology conquering the world would the world be happy, this at the core of the Cold War Crisis.
The U.S.A. was a capitalist country- this meant that businesses and properties could be privately owned, with the individual having the right to make as much money. The created wealth would not be shared out equally. Similarly, for Americans, the belief of not being controlled by the government was better than equality. Next, the U.S.A. was a democracy. This meant the government was chosen in free democratic elections. Many Americans were bitterly opposed to Communism and feared it would take over. They also believed that the American Way was best.
The U.S.S.R. was a communist state after the Revolution 1917. The communist ideology stated that the rights of individuals was less important that the well-being of the state- so the lives of individuals was more tightly controlled. In contrast to American elections, the U.S.S.R. had a one-part state, with Stalin as their dictator. He believed that capitalists were evil and harboured a grudge against the capitalist U.S.A. and the U.K. after they tried to crush the communists in 191819 when they invaded. Similar to the Americans, the Russians despised capitalism and believed in spreading the message of communism.
The Russians only understand one language - how many armies have you got? I'm tired of babying the Soviets. Harry S Truman, 1945- Truman was U.S. President in 1945 and extremely opposed to communism.
In 1945, when the war was coming to a close, the Big Three - the USA (Roosevelt), USSR (Stalin) and Britain (Churchill)- met in Yalta to discuss; primarily about what will happen to Germany after the war, although because Germany and Japan were not defeated, there were tensions over Poland. What was interesting to note was that each leader had plans and priorities of their own. There were a number of key points that were agreed and the main disagreement was about Poland.
Probably the most important agreement decided at Yalta was the division of Germany and Berlin. Eventually, it was decided that Germany would divide into four allied controlled sectors- British, French, American and Russian (see above). Berlin was situated in the Russian and it too was divide into four areas. Churchill wanted Germany split into a North, South and West German State, whereas Roosevelt (the U.S. President) wanted Germany split into individual states like Hanover or Bavaria. One another points of agreement was the idea that Germany would have to pay reparations- though how much they would have to pay would be decided later on at Potsdam.
"I just have a hunch, that Stalin doesn't want anything but security for his country, and I think that if I give him everything I possibly can and ask nothing from him in return, noblesse oblige, he wouldn't try to annex anything and will work with for a world of democracy and peace." -President Roosevelt to Wlliam C. Bullitt prior to Yalta- Both Roosevelt Yaltaand Churchill had false trust in Stalin honouring his promises in Yalta; these hollow declarations would be exposed and challenged at Potsdam.
The U.S.S.R. had suffered terribly during World War 2- an estimated 20 million were dead and Stalin felt that Russia was insecure about the future security of Russia. As a result, Churchill and Roosevelt agreed for Eastern Europe to come under the Soviet sphere of influence . Similarly, as the allies liberated various countries that country would be allowed to hold free democratic elections. After the war, the three countries would join the U.N.designed to promote world peace. The only stumbling point was Poland- Stalin claimed that Poland had always been aggressive to Russia, sometimes attacking the U.S.S.R. (like in 1920-21) or sometimes providing a route for invaders into Russia. As a result, Stalin felt the only way to secure the safety of Russia was to install a communist government. However, both the U.K. and U.S.A. were democratic and opposed Poland being run by communists. Churchill, in particular, wanted democratic elections in Poland, so was pleased when Stalin allowed a government of national unity which would comprise of communists and democrats. However, it clear that Stalin would not honour this commitment. Lastly, Roosevelt secured a promise from Stalin stating that 90 days after the defeat of Germany, Russia would help the U.S. in the War in the East.
came to reparations, however, there was quite a lot of disagreements. The Soviet Union was allowed to take reparations form their Russian zone in Berlin and Germany, as was the U.S.A. and Britain. However, what the U.S.A and Britain both argued over against the Russians was the fact that the U.S.S.R. was allowed to take 10% of industrial equipment form the western zones. Both Attlee and Truman felt this was too much. The U.K. and the U.S.A. decided not to take reparations, and there were disagreements over the details of the locations of the boundaries and the size of the zones.
defeat the Japanese. This was ideal to the Yet again one of the talking points in the Potsdam Conference, like Yalta, was mindset of the Truman who opposed the issue of Germany and Berlin. Beyond the idea of the division of Germany, communism vigorously. When Stalin found out he had been tricked, he was furious that there was no long-term plan about what would happen after that. When it the U.S.A did not tell the Russians.
Now I know what happened to Truman yesterday. I couldn't understand it. When he got to the meeting after having read this report he was a changed man. He told the Russians just where they got on and off and generally bossed the whole meeting. Churchill, talking - on 22 July - about Truman's behaviour on that day (i.e. the day after Truman had found out about the atomic bomb).
When the Big Three met again in a small suburb in Berlin called Potsdam, the war was over. Germany was defeated and the allies were victorious. However, Roosevelt had died and was replaced by the extremely anti-communist Truman, and Churchill had to depart half-way through as Clement Attlee replaced him thanks to the Labour party winning the 1945 general election. It is also important to note that at Potsdam, goodwill was lost now that the three countries no longer needed to stick together since Germany was defeated. Much of the relations between the two countries had become sour since Yalta- to such an extent that the British planned Operation Unthinkable ; a plan to invade Russia if necessary. These two factors, along with the Atomic Bomb (see below) meant that Potsdam was not as successful as Yalta. This was evident when the Big Three disagreed on some of the finer points that were to be made from the agreements at Yalta.
There was one issue that highlighted the treachery of Stalin and the false chimera he promised. From Yalta, the three leaders agreed that a government of national unity was to be set up in Poland and this would comprise of both communists and non-communists. However, Atlee and Truman in particular was concerned not only about the growing number of communists in power in Eastern Europe, but also the fact that Stalin arrested those non-communist leaders, politicians and intellectuals in Poland and other Eastern European countries.
One big disagreement in Potsdam was over the Atomic Bomb . Midway through the conference, Truman learnt that the U.S.A. had tested the ABomb. This gave the U.S. a huge military advantage. Then, in August, the Americans dropped the bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. This meant that the U.S.A. would not have to rely on the Soviets to help
The takeover from democracy to communist governments was a common sight throughout Eastern Europe. In 1945, Albania immediately entered into communist rule, with a communist run coalition leading to the execution of non-communist politicians in Bulgaria. In East Germany-the Russian Zone- communists took charge and in 1949, the name was changed to the German Democratic Republic . Similarly, in 1947 and 1948 Romania, Hungary and Czechoslovakia fell into communist rule. In Romania, the takeover of power was similar to Bulgaria but it resulted in the abolition the monarchy. In Hungary, the takeover was the more The term Iron Curtain was first coined by extreme- the non-communists were elected, but the communist Winston Churchill in Missouri 1946. It was leader Rakosi, took control of the secret police (the AVO), and executed used to describe all those Eastern European and arrested his opponents. Then, the democratic leader, Tildy was forced to resign and by 1948, Rakosi had full control of Hungary. Lastly, in countries that had come under communist Czechoslovakia, Benes was the leader of the non-communist coalition. rule, west of Austria. This metaphorical But, Gottwald the Red leader, took control of the Radio, the Army and the boundary symbolises the two different Police. When Gottwald became Prime Minister he created the Secret sides, ideologically and militaristically that Police and arrested non-communists. In 1948, communists went on strike, were created after WW2; the Warsaw Pact the Czech leader killed himself and Gottwald ruled. and Comintern countries to the East, and In 1947, Stalin set up an alliance of Eastern European Communist states. the NATO countries to the West and the This was to be known as COMINTERN. This alliance was designed so that South. Churchill believed that that Soviet all the Eastern European countries agreed to obey to Soviet rule. It was signed by eight nations and this showed the extent of the power and power was growing and had to be stopped At the end of the War in 1945, The Russians had lost influence that the Soviets had in that region. By 49 all but Yugoslavia 20 million people. Thus, Stalin felt that in order for were run by hard line Stalinist regimes. Yugoslavia was communist, but Russia to become secure, he needed a buffer zone declared neutral after Marshal Tito and Stalin split. The Warsaw Pact was of friendly states. During WW2, exiled members of the communist equivalent to NATO and was created in 1955 after West Nazi occupied Eastern European countries fled to Germany joined NATO. Like NATO, it was a mutual defence program, with Russia and set up Communist governments-in-exile. the aim of preventing an invasion of Russian Soil- like Napoleon and Hitler After the war, they returned to their homelands. At in 1812 and 1941-44 respectively- at all costs; which meant that Stalin Yalta, these countries were to come under The could position troops within the Eastern Bloc satellite states at anytime. Soviet Sphere of Influence . We first saw the From Stettin in the Baltic to Trieste in the Adriatic an "iron curtain" has descended communist takeover of an Eastern European country across the continent. Behind that line lie all the capitals of the ancient states of in Poland. Here, the government of national unity Central and Eastern Europe. Warsaw, Berlin, Prague, Vienna, Budapest, Belgrade, was destroyed after the non-communist leaders were Bucharest and Sofia; all these famous cities and the populations around them lie in what I must call the Soviet sphere, and all are subject, in one form or another, not only arrested in Moscow and others too. In 1947, the to Soviet influence but to a very high and in some cases increasing measure of control communists won the election and came to power. from Moscow. - Churchill at Fulton, Missouri 1946
Not only was printed media used, but radio was also an important propaganda tool. Not only was radio broadcast in the US.S.R., but in Europe and parts of Asia, the communist broadcasts were located in India, Italy and Finland to name a few countries. Because of this, the broadcasts were said in their respective native languages. This was in order to spread communism in the world whiclst at the same time, attacking the captalist governments, leaders and ideologies. In Europe a 1952 article "Communist broadcasts to Italy" reported that as of June 1952 the total communist radio broadcast to Italy amounted 78 hours per week, as compared to 23 hours of the Voice of America and BBC, noting that Italy occupied a pivotal position in the East-West conflict of the time. The State propaganda of communism becomes in the long run a means for the eradication of the last traces of bourgeois propaganda dating from the old régime; and it is a powerful instrument for the creation of a new ideology, of new modes of thought, thought, of a new outlook on the world. - Nikolai Bukharin, a Bolshevik theoretician.
Communist propaganda was used extensively in the U.S.S.R and Eastern Bloc countries . It aimed primarily at the workers; this meant linking the working class with other worker, expressing the feelings and opinions of the working class and to spread opposition and attack the bourgeois and the capitalists - during the Cold War it was aimed at the U.S.A. This form of propaganda that attacks other ideologies is called negative propaganda . The Soviets also used positive propaganda - that is to say, propaganda that promoted and supported aspects of the Soviet rule; one such example was Stalin- through posters the greatness of Stalin and how he will lead the U.S.S.R. and Communism into a new brighter era. This mirrors the Cult of the Fuhrer in Nazi Germany.
There were a number of means used by the communists and these included printed media such as newspapers, film and radio. All the Soviet newspapers were state controlled and censorship was very strictly controlled, particularly when it came to anti-communist satirical cartoons. Most of the time, the cartoonist would be arrested as would the editor and just as happened to The Moscow News the newspaper would be shut down.
In these newspaper, satirical cartoons would be aimed at captalist countries, leaders and ideologies. The cartoons would mock them, expose their faults and show how dangerous they are to communism. One such example was this, which claimed that under communism schools and beneficial institutions are being created regularly, so that the people are educated and happy, but in the U.S.A, under capitalism, the life is harder, with people unhappy as schools are rundown, poor, decrepit and being shut down regularly.
One other theme that was repeated regularly was the greatness of Stalin- he was portrayed as the benefactor of the U.S.S.R. who would strengthen the U.S.S.R., crush capatalism and spread communism. Throughout Russia, posters were placed everywhere, radiating his eminence. One such example was placed on street corners in St Petersburg and shows how he is leading the U.S.S.R. and communism into better days.
Printed Media, in the form of cartoons and novels, were used extensively. When it came to cartoons, the western cartoonists would portray the Communists, particularly Stalin and later Khrushchev as aggressive towards America and planning the Like Communist propaganda, Western downfall of the U.S.A. In these cartoons, the U.S.S.R. would be Propaganda had multiple objectives. symbolised by the Bear . This represented the hostility and threat Firstly, propaganda was aimed at the U.S.S.R. posed to the democratic nations- in particular the attacking communist life. Western U.S.A. At the height of Red Hysteria when paranoia was at it s propaganda aimed to portray life as a highest during this period, cartoons were published attacking the Russians and Communists every chance they got. One such example citizen of the communist countries as of a cartoon published by the U.S.A was found in the cover of a being controlled by the state, with comic book that depicted communism as an iceberg that could sink brainwashing rampant and being held the ship which is representative of the U.S.A. captive by the state a norm. The west also portrayed an aggressive U.S.S.R. aiming to This was found on the cover of a comic book that only cost ten cents. This meant that it was very destroy the U.S. and in America in cheap and could be bought by anyone. This meant particular, Cuba was the target for more people could be indoctrinated, particularly negative propaganda, particularly when it children since they tend to buy comic books. came to Radio. Just like the communists, Because it was found in a comic book, it showed the U.K. and the U.S.A. used radio and just how much propaganda was present, wherever printed media- the latter of which it could be. In the U.K. one of the earlier forms of propaganda was consisted of cartoons and novels. When it came to Radio, the U.S. was particularly George Orwell s novels Animal Farm and 1984. These two novels highlighted how a totalitarian rgeime, much interested in indoctrinating Europe. As a result, throughout Europe, the U.S.A. launched Radio Free like Stalin s Russia, ended up with failure, after the leaders would corrupt language for proganda means. Europe . This radio station provided Eastern Bloc countries with American entertainment and telling Ironically, the books were used for extensive propaganda- including an animated film that the CIA the Europeans of how life in the U.S.A. was better. Funded by the American Congress and run by the changed for their own purposes. CIA, this radio station was broadcast in a number of The Marine Corps is the Navy's police force and as long as I different European languages, including Russian. am President that is what it will remain. They have a Similarly, the BBC was used as a tool to indoctrinate propaganda machine that is almost equal to Stalin's. the people into supporting the capitalist ideology. Harry S. Truman
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