IX. The United States and the Soviet Union
With the U.S.A. and the U.S.S.R. as the only world superpowers after WWII, trouble seemed
imminent, for the U.S. had waited until 1933, to recognize the U.S.S.R.; the U.S. and Britain had delayed to
open up a second front during World War II; the U.S. and Britain had frozen the Soviets out of developing
nuclear arms; and the U.S. had withdrawn its vital lend-lease program from the U.S.S.R. in 1945 and
spurned Moscow’s plea for a $6 billion reconstructive loan while approving a similar $3.75 billion loan to
Stalin wanted a protective sphere around western Russian, for twice earlier in the century Russia
had been attacked from that direction, and that meant taking nations like Poland under its control.
Even though both the U.S.A. and the U.S.S.R. were recent newcomers to the world stage, they
were very advanced and had been isolationist before the 20th century, now they found themselves in a
political stare-down that would turn into the
and last for four and a half decades.
X. Shaping the Postwar World
However, the U.S. did manage to establish structures that were part of FDR’s open world.
At a meeting at
, New Hampshire, in 1944, the Western Allies established the
International Monetary Fund (
) to encourage world trade by regulating the currency exchange rates.
The United Nations opened on April 25, 1945.
The member nations drew up a charter similar to that of the old League of Nations, formed
to be headed by five permanent powers (China, U.S.S.R., Britain, France, and
U.S.A.) that had total veto powers, and was headquartered in New York City.
The Senate overwhelmingly approved the U.N. by a vote of 89 to 2.
The U.N. kept peace in Kashmir and other trouble spots, created the new Jewish state of Israel,
formed such groups as UNESCO (U.N. Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization), FAO (Food and
Agricultural Organization), and WHO (World Health Organization), bringing benefits to people all over the
However, when U.S. delegate
h called in 1946 for a U.N. agency free from the great
power veto that could investigate all nuclear facilities and weapons, the U.S.S.R. rejected the proposal,
since it didn’t want to give up its veto power and was opposed to “capitalist spies” snooping around in the
Soviet Union. The small window of regulating nuclear weapons was lost.
XI. The Problem of Germany
of 1945-46 severely punished 22 top culprits of the
America knew that an economically healthy Germany was indispensable to the recovery of all of
Europe, but Russia, fearing another blitzkrieg, wanted huge reparations from Germany.