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Who was more to blame for the cold war, the USA or the USSR? This Cold War has affected the world from 1945 until now. The blame lies on one of these two countries. I believe it is these party’s leaders who should be blamed for the cold war, not the countries.
At the time, these two countries were on very precarious political and military terms, which were ready to fluctuate at any moment. These two countries had lead Europe to a standstill. The two, were in a dangerous state of political tension. So much so that they had stopped short of armed warfare. The two countries had led themselves into a Cold War.
This is due to the fact that both of these superpowers were in the possession of nuclear weapons.
The USA and the USSR are the two main culprits. Britain is not classified as a culprit, as in 1949 the British could no longer sustain the costs that this war against communism required. The USA and the Soviet Union were the main superpowers as they could sustain themselves and both countries were in possession of very dangerous and destructive nuclear weapons. I believe we should question which of the country’s leader’s caused Europe to find its self in this state.
I believe Stalin and his Red Army are to blame. This is so as Europe had recently recuperated from the Second World War. Through Stalin’s rash and reckless actions he reacted exactly as Hitler had done. Stalin had used the timorous excuse of a buffer zone to expand his empire. Originally, Stalin was to obtain his clutches on the east of Germany –as agreed at the Yalta and Potsdam conferences- later on however, Stalin occupied the Baltic States, Bulgaria, Romania and Hungary without concession. This showed the capitalists just how untrustworthy this leader was.
Not only did Stalin occupy these countries, he dictated their government and politics, whilst indoctrinating communism into their societies. By expanding his empire in such an illicit manner, Stalin arose a great deal of suspicion. Truman was especially cynical about Stalin’s intentions, as he believed Stalin’s ambition was to expand his empire and therefore acquire enough power to conquer the USA. There was reasoning behind Truman’s suspicions. The Soviets had proved how ruthless they were after having made an allegiance with the capitalists.
The allies were untrusting towards the Soviets, as they had formerly signed a non-aggression contract with Hitler. This simply proved that Stalin would unite with the most powerful body in order to profit from it. This caused further conjecture with the USA and therefore worsened their relations helping to cause the Cold War. Communism in itself caused the allies to become uneasy. This is due to the combination of the vivid memory of the Second World War and the acquired financial and nuclear power of the Soviets. This and the opposing ideologies caused the Americans to relive World War Two.
These ideologies had been present for a substantial amount of time but the factors above caused the already weak ‘relationship’ to crumble further. Stalin’s fierce expansionism caused the USA to react. Truman decided that he had to address this uprising problem. This caused the Truman Doctrine to be introduced to the American Congress. This form of aid –which was detested by Stalin- was forced upon by himself. This caused the liaison to suffer a great strain on their relationship. The Soviets suffered great losses as a result of this as the Red army were losing allies. The USA did this by giving economic aid to the countries that needed it.
This gained their support thus angering Stalin, as a result of this he formed the ‘comecon’. This type of financial aid did not work as the Soviets were lacking funds and hence were not able to assist each other financially. The Soviets decided to verify USA’s economic state by forming what is known as the Berlin Blockade. This cut off the American’s trade links and transport system slowing the economy enormously. This move was seen as a form of militarism by the USA. This war had become active. Stalin was actively thwarting the American economy and yet Truman did not begin a war.
He avoided this by flying ‘Candy planes’ over West Berlin. These planes dropped supplies every three minutes. This continued for eleven months. Stalin was trying to snap the American forbearance of the several military moves. Truman did not react in an aggressive manner causing Stalin to lift the Blockade. After doing this Stalin felt the need to strengthen his alliances with his communist countries thus causing him to form the Warsaw pact. The Americans were not free of the blame for the start of this war. They too had contributed to the severe breakdown of the relationship. President Roosevelt died on the twelfth of April in 1945.
This changed things drastically as his successor was not only a fierce capitalist, but also a storming anti-communist. Harry S. Truman was untrusting of Stalin from the beginning. Some could argue that Truman was narrow-minded and he should have accepted Stalin without judgement at first. However, I believe that it was Stalin that caused these suspicions to arise in the first place. Truman not trust Stalin, he actively provoked a reaction out of Stalin when testing the atomic bomb, however it could also be said that the test was simply a defence mechanism used to scare Stalin and remind him of the former agreement.
The Americans reaction to the ‘comecon’ pact was to form a greater alliance. Bizonia, this consisted of Britain and America joining their sector of Germany to form a stronger bond. This was soon made Trizonia when France joined. Not only had a huge alliance been made, this alliance had introduced a new currency. Stating they were a country. It could be said that this provoked Stalin into the Berlin Blockade, but we must question the extremity of the reaction. Blocking a sector of employment and economy. Is this not too extreme? All things considered, it was Stalin who caused this Cold war.
We must look at Stalin when pointing the finger of blame, not America, not Truman, not even the Soviet Union but Stalin. Stalin’s extreme expansionism caused the ongoing distrust between these two allies if Stalin had not been so imperialistic Truman would not have reacted like he did. It goes to show how much damage was done caused by Stalin when we are still witnessing ongoing pacts and allegiances which are attempting to improve the relationship between the USA and Russia. Although this relationship has improved greatly all it needs is for a harsh factor to make it unstable and at risk once more. All it needs is another Joseph Stalin.