Friday, November 13, 2015
What caused the cold war
a) Difference of principle:
- Between Communist states and the capitalist or liberal0democratic states;
- USSR formed in 1917.capitalist states viewed it with mistrust and were afraid of communism san spreading to their countries.
- This would mean the end of the private ownership of wealth and political power by the wealthy classes.
- When civil war broke out in Russia capitalist states sent troops to Russia to hep the anti-communist forces.
- Communists won the war. But stalin became the leader in 1929, was convinced that there would be another attempt by the capitalist powers to destroy communism in Russia.
- The need for self preservation against Germ any and Japan caused the USSR and the USA and Britain to forget differences and work together.
b) Stalin’s foreign policies contributed to the tensions:
- His aim was to take the advantage of military situation in eastern Europe after the collapse of Germany and to acquire as much of land as he can.
- In this case he was highly successful and get away with from countries such Finland, Poland and Romania.
- Western countries believed that Stalin wanted to spreading communism over as much of the globe as possible.
c) US and British politicians were hostile to the soviet government
- during the war US president Roosevelt trusted the USSR and sent war material to it under Lend-Lease
- But after his death during the war, his successor, Harry s.Truman was more suspicious towards communists.
- some believe that Truman’s motive for dropping the atomic bombs on Japan was not simply to defeat Japan, but to threaten the USSR.
- After the war Stalin suspected that the USA and Britain still keen to destroy the communism.
- he felt that their delay in launching the Second Front ( attack on France) was to keep most of the pressure on the Russians.
- Stalin was not told about the existence of the atomic bomb.
-he was rejected when he requested that Russian would share in the occupation of Japan.
So which side was to blame?
- Stalin intended to spread communism through out the Europe and Asia.
- West self defense against communist aggression – Formation of NATO, American entry into the Korean war in 1950.
- The cold war ought not be blamed on Stalin and the Russians.
- Russian incurred huge losses during the war , so that Russia tried make their neighbors as friends.
- They believe that stalin move was only defensive.
- Some americans claim that Truman actions provoked Russian hostility unnecessarily.
- Both sides should take some blame for the cold war
- American economic policies such as Marshall Aid were deliberately designed to increase US political influence over Europe.
- Stalin had no long term plans to spread the communism.
- He was an opportunist who would take advantage of any weakness in the west to expand Soviet influence.
- Entrenched positions and deep suspicions of each other, world atmosphere was heatened.
- American were reluctant to use the atomic bomb at first instance.
- Russians dared not to risk such an attack.
How did the Cold war develop between 1945 and 1953 ?
a) The Yalta Conference : FEB 1945
- Held in Russia.
- Attended by Stalin, Roosevelt and Churchill, to plan what was to happen after the war.
- Agreement reached on several points.
1) United nations to be established.
2) Germany ,Berlin and Austria was to be divided into zones between Russia, America, Britain.
3) Free election would be allowed in the states of eastern Europe;
4) Stalin promised to join the war against Japan on condition that Russia received the whole of Sakhalin Island and some territory in Manchuria.
- But there was ominous signs of trouble over what was to be done with Poland.
- Russia swept throughout the Poland and drive back the Germans, they had set up a communist government in Lublin.
- In yalta it was agreed that some members of London based Polish government should be allowed to join in Lublin government. In return Russia would be allowed to keep a strip of eastern Poland.
- US and UK were not happy with the demand that Poland should be given all German territory east of the river Oder and Neisse; No agreement was reached on this.
b) The Potsdam conference: JULY 1945
- Cooling off in relations.
- War with Germany was over, but no agreement on future of Germany was reached.
- Question- when the four zones would be allowed to join together.
- It was agreed that Germans should pay for war damage and most of goes to USSR which was allowed to take non food goods from 4 zones provide the Russians sent food supplies to the western zones of Germany in return.
- Disagreement on Poland – US and UK were angry over the occupation of eastern Germany upto the Oder-Neisse and establishing a pro communist polish government which expelled 5 million Germans living in the area.
- Truman did not inform stalin about the exact nature of the atomic bomb though Churchill was told.
- Few days after the conference atom bombs were dropped. The war on japan was ended without Russian help.
- Russia was given Sakhalin Island.
c) Communism established in Eastern Europe
- Russia systematically interfered in the eastern Europe to establish pro-communist governments- Poland , Hungary, Bulgaria, Albania and Romania.
- Stalin Frightened the west by saying that Communism and capitalism could never live peacefully together, and that future wars were inevitable until the final victory of communism was achieved.
- Churchill replied that “ From Stettin in the Baltic sea to Trieste in the Adriatic, an iron curtain has descended across the continent”.
- He called for a western alliance which would stand firm against the communist threat.
d) The Russians continued to tighten their grip on eastern Europe.
- by1947, except Czechoslovakia, entire eastern Europe had fully communist governments.
- Elections were rigged, finally political parties were dissolved.
- Stalin treated the eastern Germany as their territory and drained out its resources.
- Only Yugoslavia did not fit the pattern- Marshall Tito, communist leader had been legally elected because he liberated country from germans. Tito resented Stalin’s attempts to interfere.
- West was much irritated by stalin moves.
- But stalin argued that friendly neighbors were necessary for self-defence and communism would bring much needed progress to backward countries.
e) The Truman Doctrine and the Marshall Plan:
1) The Truman Doctrine:-
- This sprang from events in Greece where communists were trying to overthrow the monarchy.
- British troops liberated the Greece from the Germans in 1944 and restored the monarchy. But they were now feeling strain of supporting it against communist receiving help from neighboring communists.
- US appealed the USA and Truman announced that the USA would support free peoples who are resisting subjugation by armed minorities.
- Greece immediately received arms and other supplies. communists were defeated.
- Similarly, in turkey also.
- USA had no intention of returning to isolation ; she was committed to a policy of containing communism.
2) The Marshall plan:
- US plan – offered economic and financial help wherever it was needed.
- Aims was to promote the economic recovery of Europe, thus ensuring markets for American export;
- But main aim was probably political
- 16 nations had drawn up a joint plan for using American aid.
- During next four years 13000 million dollars of Marshall Aid flowed to Western Europe, fostering the recovery of agriculture and industry.
- Although in theory aid was available for eastern Europe, Russia denied the whole idea as ‘dollar imperialism’.
- Including satellite states and Czechoslovakia , which was showing interest, were also not allowed.
f) The Cominform
- Communist response- an organization to draw together the various communist parties.
- Satellite states and Italian and French communist parties were the members.
- Members should follow Russian type of Communism.
- Eastern Europe was to be industrialized, collectivized and centralized.
- States were expected to trade primarily with cominform members.
- All contacts with non-communist countries were discouraged.
- Yugoslavia objected , she was expelled.
- Molotov plan was introduced, offering Russian aid to the Satellites.
- COMECON( Council of Mutual Economic Assistance) was set up to co-ordinate their economic policies.
g) The communist takeover of Czechoslovakia:
- Great blow to wetern bloc, because it was the only remaining democratic state in east.
- 1946, coalition of left wing and democratic parties formed. The prime minister Klement Gottwald was a communist .
- During before elections in 1948, communists realized their defeat in up coming elections, seized power in an armed coup.
- The elections were held but unanimously.
- Western powers and the UN protested but felt unable to take any action because they could not prove Russian involvement. So It was purely an internal matter.
- The bridge between East and West was gone; “the iron –curtain” was complete.
h) The berlin blockade and airlift (1948-1949):
- In berlin, three western powers did their best to organize the economic and political recovery of their zones.
- Stalin-concentrated on draining of east germany’ s resources.
- Early1948, three western zones were merged to form a single economic unit, and waiting for fourth zone.
- Stalin had decided that it would be safer for Russia if he kept the Russian zone separate, with its own communist, pro-russian government.
- In 1948, west introduced a new currency and ended price control in their zone and in west Berlin.
- Russians were already by this island of capitalism, felt that it is impossible to have two currencies in the same city and were embarrassed by the prosperity of the west city.
- All road, rail and canal links berwen west Berlin and West Germany wer closed;
- Aim was to force the west to withdraw from west berlin by reducing to starvation point.
- West convinced that a retreat would be the prelude to a Russian attack on west Germany and they air lifted the supplies to the west berlin for next ten months.
- Russians admitted failure by lifting the blockade.
- Result :
· Psychological boost to the western powers.
· Relations between east and west got worsen;
· Western powers coordinated their defences by the formation of NATO;
· It was clear that the unification of Germany would be impossible.
i) NATO formed,1949
- Berlin blockade showed the military unpreparedness of the west and made them to have definite preparations.
- all members were agreed to regard an attack on any one of them as an attack on them all, and placing their defence forces under a join NATO command organization which would coordinate the defence of the west.
- the Americans had abandoned their traditional policy of ’no entangling alliances.
j) The two Germanies
- Since unification was impossible, western powers set up the German Federal Republic.
- In a reply, Russia set up their zone as German Democratic Republic.
k) More nuclear weapons
- 1949, Russia successfully exploded its nuclear bomb.
- Truman responded by giving the go ahead for the USA to produce hydrogen bomb.
- His defence advisers suggested that expenditure on armaments should be more than tripled in an attempt to defeat communism.
- Proclaiming of communist government in china; its alliance with USSR; alarmed the Americans.
- The cold war was shifted to Korea when communists in north Korea invaded non- communist south Korea.
To what extent was there a thaw after 1953
1) Reasons for Thaw
a) The death of stalin:
- Khrushchev, successor of stalin wanted to improve relations with USA.
- Because both were now finely balanced in hydrogen bombs ; and felt that international relations has to be relaxed.
- Nikita Khrushchev explained the new policy- ‘peaceful coexistence’ with the west was essential.
- He felt that communist dominated world would be achieved when the western powers recognized the superiority of the Soviet economic system.
- He hoped to win neutral states over o communism by lavish economic aid.
b) McCarthy discredited:
- Anti-communist feelings in the USA had been stirred up by senator Joseph McCarthy.
- Senate condemned him by a large majority and he foolishly attacked the new president Eisenhower for supporting the senate.
- Soon after president announced that the American people wanted to be friendly with the soviet people.
2) How did the thaw show itself?
a) The first signs:
- Peace agreement at Panmunjom ended the Korean war
- End of the war in Indo-china in 1954.
b) The Russians made important concessions in 1955
- Agreed to give up their military bases in finland.
- Lifted their veto on the admission of sixteen new member states to the UN.
- Quarrel with Yugoslavia was healed.
- Cominform was abandoned, suggesting more freedom for the satellite states.
c) The signing of the Austrian state treaty
- In 1945, like Germany , Austria also divided into 4 zones.
- She was allowed her own government because it was viewed not as a defeated enemy, but a state liberate from the Nazis. But limited powers.
- 1955, Russians were persuaded by the Austrian government to be more cooperative.
- As a result of an agreement Austria became independent with her 1937 frontiers and she was to be remained neutral.
3) The thaw was only partial:
- While making conciliatory moves, he was quick to respond to anything which seemed to be a threat to the east.
- He had no intentions of relaxing Russia’s grip on the satellites.
- The Warsaw pact 1955 – mutual defence agreement signed between Russia and her satellites shortly after west Germany joined in NATO.
- Russians continued to build up their nuclear armaments.
- Situation in Berlin caused more tension.
- Most provocative was when Khrushchev installed Soviet missiles in Cuba.
THE SITUATION IN BERLIN:-
- 1958, encouraged by their nuclear lead , Khrushchev announced that the USSR no longer recognized the rights of the western powers in west berlin. But taken back after stiff resistance from USA.
- 1960, U-2 spy plane was shot down in Russia. US decline to apologize. This affair ruined the summit conference which was about to begin in paris.
- 1961, the communists were embarrassed at the large number of refugees escaping from East Germany into west berlin.
- 28 mile berlin wall was erected.
The nuclear arms race and the Cuban missile crisis (1962)
a) The arms race began to accelerate:-
- 1949, Russians had produced their own atomic bomb.
- 1952, americans made the much more powerful hydrogen bomb. Russians did the same.
- 1957, Russians developed an inter continental Ballistic Missile(ICBM). Americans did the same.
- 1958 , Russians successfully tested world’s first earth satellite, followed by America’s.
b) The Cuban missile crisis, 1962:-
- 1959, cuba became involved in the cold war when Fidel castro, who seized power from corrupt, American backed dictator Batista and nationalize American owned estates and factories.
- Cuba relations with USA got worsened and with Russia got improved which increased their economic aid to cuba.
- Kennedy approved a plan of Batista supporters to invade Cuba from American bases in Guatemala.
- Castro forces and his two jet planes had no difficulty crushing it and castro announced that he was now a Marxist and that Cuba was a Socialist country.
- Khrushchev, decided to set up nucler missile launchers in Cuba aimed at the USA.
- Major cities USA were under threat.
- Why did Khrushchev take such decision?
Ø Russians lost the lead in ICBMs, so this was a way of trying to seize the initiative back again from the USA.
Ø It would place the Americans under the same sort of threat as the Russians themselves had to put up with from American missiles based in Turkey.
Ø Gesture of solidarity with his ally Castro, who was under constant threat.
Ø It would test the resolve of the new young American President Kennedy.
Ø Perhaps Khrushchev intended to use the missiles for bargaining with the west over removal American missiles from Europe or a withdrawal from Berlin by the west.
- Kennedy’s acted more cautiously;
Ø Alerted American troops;
Ø Began a blockade of cuba to keep out the 25 russian ships which were bringing missiles to cuba;
Ø Demanded the dismantling of the missile sites and the removal of those missiles already in cuba;
- World seemed to be on the verge of nuclear war.
- Khrushchev promise to remove the missiles and dismantle the sites; in return kennedy promised that USA would not invade Cuba again and undertook to disarm the Jupiter missiles in Turkey.
Ø Both sides realized how easily a nuclear war could have started and how terrible the results would have been.
Ø Telephone link ( hotline) was introduced between Moscow and Washington to allow swift consultations.
Ø 1963, USSR, USA, and Britain signed a Nuclear Test Ban Treaty agreeing to carry out nuclear tests only underground to avoid polluting the atmosphere any further.
- Kennedy was criticized that since long range missiles could already reach the USA from Russia itself, the missiles in cuba did not exactly pose a new threat.
c) The race continued into the 1970s
- Though Russia publicly claimed missile crisis as a victory, it privately admitted that their main aim to establish missile base near the Russia had failed
- Americans still had submarine launching Ballistic Missiles( SLBM) in the eastern Mediterranean. Russians soon developed their version.
- Russians hoped that there would be a good chance of persuading USA to limit and reduce the arms build up when both would be at equal number of missiles.
- By early 1970s, when USA was busy in Vietnam war , Russian overtaken the numbers of ICBMs and SLBMs of USA and its allies.
- They brought a new weapon Anti Ballistic missile( ABM ) which could destroy incoming enemy missiles before they reached their targets.
- Sooner, America develop Multiple Independently Targetable Re-entry Vehicle which could carry as many as fourteen separate warheads. USSR developed its version with only 3 war heads.
- End of 1970s Americans responded by developing Cruise missiles which were based in Europe which can flew in at low altitudes and so were able penetrate under Russian radar.
d) Protests against nuclear weapons:
- Many countries feared about the progress of the nuclear race and movements were setup to try to persuade governments to abolish nuclear weapons.
- In Britain , campaigned was organized to pressurize the government to take lead in disarmament called Unilateral disarmament. They hoped that USA and USSR could be inspired.
- But the British governments dared not to risk because Britain vulnerable to a nuclear attack from the USSR, if USA initiates the attack.
- During the 1980s there were protests in many European countries for disarmament.
- In the long run , perhaps the enormity of I all and the protest movements did play a part in bringing both sides to the negotiating table.