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1945 - 1961 Politics

1945 - 1961 Politics - Ideologically economically the Cold...

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Ideologically & economically, the Cold War is Capitalism vs. Communism Europe = natural resources, educated population, but can no longer handle itself = opportunity By 1945, the Red Army has penetrated to E. Germany & through most of E. Europe American & British forces have France, Denmark, & most of Germany Russia wants to protect against another invasion; looking for war reparations; est. communist regimes U.S. doesn’t want reparations from Germany (possibly lead to repeat of WWII situations) Council of Foreign Ministers (1945) Discussion/negotiation Fundamental disagreement is who would control post-war Europe Iron Curtain is imposed by Stalin from Baltic to Adriatic Seas with “satellite governments” Germany is the key – temporary zones become permanent divisions U.S. & Britain want independence & unification of Germany Russia intensifies E. Germany’s communist government Uses communism as a means to dominate – protect state and advance international power Climax in 1948 w/ overthrow of Czech democratic government WWII inflicted enormous damage on Russia 1. Needs outside aid – Americans know this and want to use it to their advantage Loans VS Lend-Lease (both fail) Deprived of American assistance, Russians forced to rebuild through reparations Leads to bitterness over American refusal to aid Convinces Stalin of Western hostility & deepens antagonism 2. Atomic bomb = difficult problems Wartime policy of keeping it secret ensures the arms race (Soviets begin in 1943) U.S. disarmament plan to give to international agency (Baruch Plan) Multiple stages and emphasis on inspection would preserve U.S.’s monopoly Soviets plan = total ban on production and use; destroying existing bombs Soviets possess conventional strength rather than money to develop atomic strength General George C. Marshall becomes Secretary of State in 1947 Relies on subordinates – Dean Acheson & George Kennan Acheson – “seemed more British” / arrogant, low tolerance for mediocrity Has policy of negotiating only from strength Kennan – Soviet expert with profound distrust of Soviet regime Containment = “both consolidated the evolving postwar anti-communism and establish guidelines that would shape America’s role in the world for over two decades… a long-term, patient but firm, and vigilant containment of Russian expansive tendencies” The Truman Doctrine England is bankrupt – no longer the “police” of the world On Feb. 21, 1947, “they could no longer afford to aid Greece or Turkey, the latter under heavy pressure from the Soviets for access to the Mediterranean” U.S. has to assume the British role
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Acheson’s warning: “a highly possible Soviet breakthrough might open three continents to Soviet penetration… The corruption of Greece would infest Iran and the entire east. It would also carry infection to Africa through Asia Minor and Egypt and to Europe through Italy and France” The Doctrine (March 12, 1947) - $400 million for military and economic assistance to Greece & Turkey
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