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Flashcards in Cold War Mock Deck (17)
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When was the Potsdam conference?



Who attended the Potsdam conference?

Churchill, Stalin and Truman


What was the mood like at the Potsdam conference?

Tension was high because Truman had no relationship with Stalin and half way though the conference Churchill was replaced by Attlee due to the British general election. Therefore personal trust and understanding built up from the other conferences was lost.


Give two reasons why tensions were high at the Potsdam conference

Truman delayed the conference until after the first atomic bomb was tested. Stalin was not told about the bomb until then and this increased his suspicion of the allies.
Germany had been defeated, so now the big three had no common enemy.


What was agreed at the Potsdam conference?

They agreed to:
- set up a council of foreign ministers to organise the re-building of Europe.
- ban the nazi party and prosecute surviving nazis as war criminals in a special court run by allies in Nuremberg.
- reduce the size of Germany.
- divide Germany into four zones, to be administered by the USSR, USA, GB and FR, with the aim of re-uniting under one government as soon as possible.
- divide Berlin into four as well, despite being deep in the USSR's zone.
- give the USSR a quarter of the industrial equipment from the other three zones because it's zone was the least developed industrially but it had to provide the other regions with raw materials such as coal.


What did the big three disagree on in the Potsdam conference?

The USSR wanted to impose heavy reparations on Germany, whereas the USA wanted it to be rebuilt. So they agreed that they would take reparations only from their own zones. Stalin was not happy about this because the USSR's zone was the smallest.
The atomic bomb:
Truman believed that America held the ultimate weapon and therefore tried to dominate the meeting. However, Stalin refused to be pushed around and he also tried to seem uninterested in the atomic bomb but really he knew the significance of it and ordered soviet scientists to create their own bomb.
Stalin agreed to set up a government in Poland that included both communists and capitalists. However by the time of the Potsdam conference it was obvious that he had broken his word.
The German retreat in 1944 left two groups fighting for the country, monarchists and communists. In 1945 British troops were sent in to support monarchists in the claim of restoring order and supervising free elections. The USSR complained to the UN and a civil war broke out. When the UK decided to pull out, in 1947, America stepped in to help the king's government.


When was the Truman doctrine introduced?



What caused the Truman doctrine to be created?

Truman believed that the USSR had a second strategy that would allow it to conquer more and more territory without having to declare a war. Stalin would encourage communist revolutions across Europe. After WW2 many countries in Europe such as Greece, France, U.K and Turkey were suffering from great hardships. In these conditions, communism looked very appealing because the wealth of the rich would be shared to the poor. To address this threat, Truman created a new policy in 1947 that would later be known as the Truman doctrine.


What did the Truman doctrine state?

It stated that:
- The world had a choice between communist tyranny and democratic freedom
- America had the responsibility to fight for liberty were ever it was threatened
- America would send troops and economic recourses to help governments that were threatened by communists
- Communism should not be allowed to grown and gain territory


What was the significance of the Truman doctrine?

- It suggested that America, rather than the UN, had a responsibility to protect the world. This marked a reversal in America's traditional policy of "isolationism" by which America had stayed out of international affairs.
- It separated the world according to ideology, it stated clearly that communism and capitalism were in opposition. This suggested that there would be no further cooperation between East and West due to their ideological differences and therefore marked an unofficial end to the Grand Alliance and the start of the Cold War.
- It set a realistic goal for the American foreign policy. Truman was committed to "containment". This implied that although America would not invade in USSR it would make every effort to stop the spread of communism.


When was the Marshall plan introduced?



What was the Marshall plan?

It committed $13 billion of America's money to rebuild shattered economies of Europe.


Why was the Marshall plan created?

- It would weaken the attraction of communism. To those who were suffering economic hardships following WW2, the promise of sharing resources equally under communism seemed appealing. It people were wealthy, however, the idea of sharing resources would have less appeal.
- To help America's economy. In order to qualify for the money, European countries had to agree to trade freely with America.


What caused NATO to be formed?

The Berlin blockade was the first military confirmation of the Cold War. It raised the possibility of a war in Europe. As a result, Western European nations tired to establish an alliance in order to "keep the USA in, and the USSR out".


When was NATO formed and what was it?

In April 1949, NATO was established as an alliance between the USA and many other countries in Western Europe. NATO members agreed that if any NATO country came under attack, all members of NATO would come to their defence.


Why was NATO significant?

It marked a significant development in the Cold War. The Marshall plan had created a trading alliance but NATO created a military alliance with the specific aim of defending the West from communism.


When was the Warsaw Pact formed and what was it?

It was formed in 1955 as a response to NATO and it was a military alliance of Eastern European countries that mirrored NATO and was made up of eight countries. The USSR already had Cominform but when the west joined NATO, it was too provocative to ignore.