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How Far Do You Agree With The View That The Development Of The Cold War In The Years 1945 – 48 Owed More To Soviet Expansionism Than To The Usa’s Economic Interests?

1126 words - 5 pages

There are many different reasons for the development of the Cold War’s in 1945 – 48. This period could be argued as being the transitional period from the USSR and USA being allied powers creating a peaceful post-war Europe to two powers fighting for control over post-war Europe. The development throughout these years, on the one hand, could be seen as being a result of Soviet expansionism, as suggested clearly in sources 7 and 9. On the other hand, in line with evidence from sources 8 and 9, USA’s economic interests could have been seen as having the most impact on the development of the Cold War. A further argument could be to suggest that it was in fact due to ideological differences, ...view middle of the document...

The source clearly states that the USSR was “seeking to extend its influence into Western Europe itself.” Whilst source 8 offers little to no evidence to further this point, only mentioning that the US had the aim of “limiting communist influence”, source 9 refers to the Soviet Union’s “new defensive Eastern barrier” which is obviously pointing towards Soviet expansion in Eastern Europe. The evidence from source 7 is not in itself entirely true as, in this time frame, the furthest West that the USSR imposed its influence was in Germany, which was agreed on by the Big Three (USSR, USA and UK). Although it could be argued that the Soviets were aiming to get Communism pushed into Western Europe, within the time frame of 1945 – 48, Poland was the furthest west that USSR had pushed its physical influence, with only political backing in Czechoslovakia which allowed the communist party there to take over the government in 1948. Furthermore, the Soviet takeover of states in the Baltic and Poland had come from the gains they made in the Nazi-Soviet pact of 1939 just before the war, with the USA and UK agreeing to allow soviet “spheres of influence” in these areas. However, there is evidence to support the importance in Soviet expansionism. The hostile communist takeovers of governments in Eastern Europe such as Romania (December 1947) and Hungary (June 1948), where they used military presence and violent political tactics respectively to allow for the communist governments to come to power, show that perhaps there was more to Soviet expansionism that the USA needed to be weary of. The Long Telegram (1946) confirmed this fear in the US, as George Kennan analysed the Soviet foreign policy as suspicious and aggressive, which was one of the reasons why the Truman not willing to compromise with the Stalin at all, which led to the change from allies to enemies over this period. Soviet expansionism is the less important of the two factors listed in the question as US economic interests sparked more tension between the two powers than Soviet expansionism.
Evidence of US economic interests developing the Cold War can be found in both sources 8 and 9. Source 8 notes on the USA’s emphasis on not falling into economic depression and...

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