Why did the USA and USSR become rivals in the years 1945 to 1949?


GCSE History (Unit 1: The Origins of the Cold War - 1945 to 1955) Mind Map on Why did the USA and USSR become rivals in the years 1945 to 1949?, created by Hollieee01 on 05/05/2014.
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Created by Hollieee01 almost 9 years ago

Resource summary

Why did the USA and USSR become rivals in the years 1945 to 1949?
  1. Ideological differences and their effects
    1. The USA did not return to isolationism in 1945 but played a full part in the reorganisation of Europe
      1. The new superpowers after the war were clearly the USA and USSR
        1. Russia and USA had fought on the the same side during WWII, however their alliance was an uneasy one
          1. Suspicions between the two superpowers began to grow and this was because they had different political systems and different ideologies
            1. Government
              1. USA: Had a democratic government, elected by the people who had a choice of many different parties
                1. USSR: One party dictatorship, people could only vote for communists
                2. Economic system
                  1. USA: Capitalist, private individuals owned industry and kept profits
                    1. USSR: Communist, everything is owned by the state
                    2. Individual rights
                      1. USA: Freedom and rights of each person were considered important and the state would not interfere
                        1. USSR: individual rights closely controlled by the state because the good of society as a whole was most important
                      2. These differences lead to different policies which caused fear in both Americans and Soviets who both felt their way of life was correct
                        1. Each country felt that the other wanted to impose their own system of government on the world
                          1. Stalin tried to get as much territory for the USSR and Communism as he could at the end of the war
                            1. The Americans thought this was because Stalin wanted 'World-Communism'
                              1. Now that Communism had been achieved in the USSR, the West felt Stalin was trying to strengthen the Soviet position in Europe by occupying as much land as possible
                              2. The Soviets claimed that all Stalin wanted to do was to protect Russia from future invasion
                                1. Stalin feared America was trying to attack USSR so built a 'buffer zone' of states friendly to the USSR between the USSR and the democratic countries in the West
                                2. The Yalta Conference
                                  1. It was held in February 1945 just before the end of the war
                                    1. It was held to decide what would happen to Germany after its defeat
                                      1. The leaders agreed on many things and the meeting was regarded as a success
                                        1. Germany was to be divided into 4 zones occupied by Britain, France, the USA and USSR
                                          1. Although Berlin was a Soviet zone, it was also to be divided into four zones of occupation
                                            1. Nazi war criminals were to be hunted down and tried for their crimes
                                              1. Free elections were to be held in Eastern Europe once they had been freed from German control
                                                1. United Nations should be set up to replace the League of Nations and to keep peace
                                                  1. Stalin agreed to enter the war against Japan in return for Soviet gains in the far east
                                                    1. Germany should be made to pay reparations for the war but the amount would be decided later
                                                    2. The USA, the UK and USSR met at Yalta
                                                      1. USA represented by Roosevelt
                                                        1. UK represented by Churchill
                                                          1. USSR represented by Joseph Stalin
                                                          2. Once freed from Nazi operation there was some disagreement over the government and the frontiers of Poland. This was a major cause of later problems
                                                          3. The dropping of the atom bombs and its effects
                                                            1. Hiroshima
                                                              1. This was where the first atomic bomb was dropped
                                                                1. It was dropped on 6th August 1945
                                                                  1. Around 140,000 people were killed
                                                                  2. Nagasaki
                                                                    1. This bomb was dropped 3 days later on the 9th of August
                                                                      1. This bomb killed around 80,000 people
                                                                      2. Japan ended the war on 10th August 1945 as a result of the atom bombs
                                                                        1. Stalin became angry that Truman set off these bombs without him knowing and lost trust in the USA
                                                                          1. This forced Russia to feel as if they had to begin working on their own atomic bomb to 'keep up' with America
                                                                          2. To prevent further casualties of Americans in Japan, America decided to use the atom bomb
                                                                            1. Stalin had promised to declare war against Japan at Yalta but delayed entering
                                                                            2. The Potsdam Conference
                                                                              1. This conference was held in July 1945 after Germany's defeat but while the war against Japan was still going on
                                                                                1. Lots of changes had been made between Yalta and Potsdam which changed the relationships of the three powers
                                                                                  1. Roosevelt had died in 1945 and replaced by Harry Truman
                                                                                    1. Truman was suspicious of Stalin and did not trust him
                                                                                      1. Roosevelt had been prepared to negotiate with Stalin but Truman wanted to be tough with him as he hated Communism
                                                                                      2. Churchill had been defeated in a general election in Britain and replaced by Clement Atlee
                                                                                        1. Soviet troops had taken over most of Eastern Europe (including Poland)
                                                                                          1. Part of East Germany had been taken over by the new communist government in Poland which had the support of Stalin
                                                                                            1. There had been no free elections which was against what had been agreed at Yalta
                                                                                            2. On the 16th July the Americans successfully tested the atomic bomb
                                                                                              1. Stalin was not told immediately
                                                                                                1. It was clear that the USA was not going to share the secret with its allies
                                                                                                  1. This increased Stalin's suspicions of America
                                                                                                2. The division of Germany and the treatment of war criminals agreed at Yalta were confirmed at Potsdam
                                                                                                  1. The alliance between the USSR and the West (USA and UK) appeared over. It was decided that each country could take its own reparations.
                                                                                                    1. The Western powers did allow the USSR to receive industrial equipment and goods from their zones
                                                                                                  2. The Truman Doctrine
                                                                                                    1. Greece
                                                                                                      1. In Greece there was a civil war going on
                                                                                                        1. British troops had freed Greece from Nazi control and restored the monarchy in 1944
                                                                                                          1. Since 1944 Britain tried to help the King of Greece in the fight against Communism who were trying to take over the country
                                                                                                            1. The communists continued their resistance against the government when the 1946 election confirmed the monarchy had been successful
                                                                                                              1. The communists were supported by Albania, Bulgaria and Yugoslavia who surrounded Greece
                                                                                                                1. In 1947 Britain made it clear to America that they were unable to continue supporting Greece
                                                                                                                  1. This made Truman realise that the only way of keeping the communist behaviour in order was to use American resources
                                                                                                                    1. This was what caused the statement made by Truman on 12th March 1947 to be made known as the Truman Doctrine
                                                                                                                    2. With the help of American arms and money, communist threat in Greece was defeated by 1949
                                                                                                                    3. Turkey
                                                                                                                      1. Turkey was a neighbour of Greece and the USSR
                                                                                                                        1. It controlled Dardanelles (waterway linking Mediterranean to the Black Sea)
                                                                                                                          1. Had come under threat from USSR who had moved troops to its border with Turkey
                                                                                                                            1. It Turkey was taken over then Greece would have been isolated and surrounded by Communism
                                                                                                                              1. With help of American arms and money, Turkey was able to resist pressure from the USSR, particularly over the Dardanelles
                                                                                                                              2. Purpose of Truman Doctrine
                                                                                                                                1. Congress accepted Truman's argument and granted $400 million which was used to support Greece and Turkey against communism
                                                                                                                                  1. Truman Doctrine began a new era in American foreign policy
                                                                                                                                    1. It showed that the USA would not revert to isolation and it was made clear that the USA would aim to stop the spread of Communism in the world
                                                                                                                                      1. Although the USSR wasn't mentioned in Truman's appeal, it was clear that they were the opposition to the spreading influence of the Communism
                                                                                                                                        1. Truman argued that only the USA could afford to give money to other countries to save them from Communism
                                                                                                                                          1. This was regarded as the start of the Cold War
                                                                                                                                            1. This was known as the 'policy of containment. Communism would be contained and not allowed to spread
                                                                                                                                          2. The Marshall Plan
                                                                                                                                            1. This was the other half of the Truman Doctrine
                                                                                                                                              1. The economies of Europe had been ruined by WWII and governments in France and Italy were being threatened by strong communist parties
                                                                                                                                                1. Czechoslovakia
                                                                                                                                                  1. In 1948 the communists carried out a purge of non-communists
                                                                                                                                                    1. Jan Masaryk, a minister who supported the West, was murdered
                                                                                                                                                      1. The communists took full control in Czechoslovakia
                                                                                                                                                        1. This decided Congress, they granted the money needed
                                                                                                                                                        2. Truman send George Marshall to Europe to assess the situation. He reported that Europe would need around $17 billion to aid recovery
                                                                                                                                                          1. Congress was on the point of refusing this when events in Czechoslovakia played a part
                                                                                                                                                            1. Marshall aid was given to 16 countries and used at first to improve agriculture and then to build up industry
                                                                                                                                                              1. Britain and France received the most
                                                                                                                                                              2. Soviets attitued
                                                                                                                                                                1. USSR banned any communist countries from receiving it
                                                                                                                                                                  1. President Tito of Yugoslavia defied Stalin and received Marshall Aid, and as a result was expelled form Cominform in 1948
                                                                                                                                                                    1. The Soviets claimed that the Americans were using money to bribe European countries so they would become dependent on the USA and join them against the USSR
                                                                                                                                                                      1. In this way it increased suspicions between the USSR and the USA and contributed to the Cold War
                                                                                                                                                                    2. It was in the American's own intrerest
                                                                                                                                                                      1. American generosity brought out the recovery of Western Europe
                                                                                                                                                                        1. However, it was in their own interest to help European markets recover to avoid another depression
                                                                                                                                                                          1. They also wanted to avoid Communism as this was believed to be the main cause of poverty
                                                                                                                                                                        2. The Berlin Blockade and Airlift
                                                                                                                                                                          1. The Berlin Blockade
                                                                                                                                                                            1. First main crisis of the Cold War occurred at German
                                                                                                                                                                              1. When war had ended, the USSR confiscated many of the resources of its zone, Stalin wanted to keep Germany weak
                                                                                                                                                                                1. The Soviet advance in Eastern Europe changed the view of the Americans. Truman believed a recovered Germany would be a good barrier to the expansion of the USSR
                                                                                                                                                                                  1. Germany was given Marshall Aid to enable economic recovery to take place, in 1948 three western zones were merged to form one and preparations were made for an independent state of West Germany to be set up
                                                                                                                                                                                    1. This alarmed the Soviets
                                                                                                                                                                                      1. It also made clear the differences between the relative prosperity of the western zones thanks to Marshall Aid and the poverty in the east
                                                                                                                                                                                      2. In 1948, Britain and America decided to set up a new currency for West Germany. Stalin was not involved in this decision and argued it was against what had been agreed at Potsdam
                                                                                                                                                                                        1. This was the excuse Stalin needed to show his power
                                                                                                                                                                                        2. Berlin had been divided into 4 zones but it was inside the Soviet zone The Western powers were given free access to West Berlin through the Soviet zone.
                                                                                                                                                                                          1. IMPORTANCE OF THE BERLIN BLOCKADE AND AIRLIFT
                                                                                                                                                                                            1. The USA and the West had proved that they were prepared to stand up to the USSR and resist any further expansion - the Truman Doctrine
                                                                                                                                                                                              1. It ended any possibility of unification, not only of Berlin but also Germany. It was divided into the pro-West republic and the pro-Soviet communist East Germany
                                                                                                                                                                                                1. It was seen as a victory in the West and led to the formation of NATO
                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. It was seen as the first main crisis of the Cold War and set a pattern for the future - it consisted of threats, not war, but deepened the hostility between West and East
                                                                                                                                                                                                2. West Berlin was recovering, East Berlin was still weak. Stalin decided that the whole of Berlin should belong to the Soviets
                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. By 23rd June 1948 all routes into West Berlin had been closed. This meant no food supplies could reach West Berlin. His plan was to force the West to withdraw from Berlin by starving the people of West Berlin
                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. The Berlin Airlift
                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. Berlin Blockade proved a problem for the Americans
                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. Truman was not prepared to let his policy of containment fail
                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. Americans feared that if they gave way on West Berlin, the Soviets would threaten West Germany next
                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. West Berlin didn't have long left before they ran out of food and fuel
                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. Americans decided to send in planes and take goods by air. It was estimated that at least 4,000 tonnes would be needed each day
                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. At first British and American planes were only flying in 600 tonnes a day, however when pilots got used to the narrow air corridors, the number of deliverise increased and 8000 tonnes a day were being flown in day and night by 1949
                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. Pilots had to put up with ice and fog as well as being tracked by Soviet fighter planes. 79 American and British pilots and German ground crew lost their lives during the airlift
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. Stalin tried all he could to persuade West Berliners to give up, He did not want to attack because this would be a declaration of war so in the end he accepted his plan had failed and lifted the Blockade.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                2. The Iron Curtain
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. The USSR and Communism expanded after WWII and Stalin was determined to build his 'buffer' states in the West which would prevent future invasion of Russia
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. After a country had been freed from Nazi control by the Soviet armies, the army remained in control and communist governments were set up that supported USSR
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. This was not what had been decided at the Yalta conference, Stalin was going against everything that he had promised
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. The powers had agreed that all countries freed from German control should be allowed to decide their own government in free elections
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. What happened in Eastern European countries
                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. Poland: Coalition set up but dominated by communists who ruled alone from 1947. USSR refused to have free elections
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. Czechoslovakia: Coalition government freely elected in 1946, Communists seized power in 1948. The USSR purged the civil service, Masaryak was murdered and security police moved in
                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. East Germany: Ruled directly by USSR until 1949 when it became communist German Democratic Republic. Industrial machinary, resources, scientists and technicians were moved to the USSR
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. Yugoslavia: Tito elected president in 1945 (communist not controlled by USSR). Expelled from Cominform by USSR in 1948
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                2. Churchill feared Soviet advance as early as 1945
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. He wanted Allies to take Berlin before Russia did.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. Churchill warned Truman in May 1945 of the danger of USSR claiming 'an iron curtain is being drawn up on their front'
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. Churchill made the famous Iron Curtain Speech in 1946 where he called for an alliance of the West to resist the expansion of USSR in the East
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. Cominform and Comecon
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. Cominform was Stalins reaction to the Truman Doctrine and the Marshall Plan
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. Cominform was set up in 1947
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. All the communist parties in Europe were involved in Cominform and it was intended to defend Communism against the USA
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. There were to be 'satellite states' of the USSR


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Satellite states are countries which are independent but under the heavy influence or control of another ocuntry
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. Plans for recovery were that members were expected to trade with each other and not the West
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. When Yugoslavia showed too much independence, Stalin expelled it and it followed its own brand of Communism under President Tito
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. Comecon was where aid was offered to the satellite states
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. This was supposed to unite the economies of communist states but it only increased the control Stalin had over them
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