'Joseph Stalin's Foreign Policy During and After the Second World War Was an Unmitigated Failure.' Do You Agree with This Statement? Essay
Question 1: ‘Joseph Stalin’s foreign policy during and after the Second World War was an unmitigated failure. ‘ Do you agree with this statement? Joseph Stalin, the General Secretary of the USSR, who had signed two agreements during and after the Second World War. The two agreements were signed under Yalta Conference and Potsdam Conference in February 1945 and 17 July – 2 August 1945 respectively. These two agreements were both influenced USSR future. In the following essay, it proves whether Joseph Stalin’s foreign policy during and after the Second World War was an unmitigated failure.
First of all, the definition of ‘foreign policy’ is the interaction between countries that they are going to achieve something and both have benefit with it. On the other hand, according to the Oxford Advanced Learner’s English-Chinese Dictionary, the terms, ‘unmitigated’ and ‘failure’ mean ‘”complete”, usually when describing something bad’ and ‘not successful, lack of success in doing or achieving something’ respectively. In my opinion, I would define ‘unmitigated failure’ as no achievement and totally fail to obtain the goal, as well as making a bad situation to itself.
At the end of the Second World War (February 1945), there was a Yalta Conference held in the Crimea. The purpose of this Conference was discussing Germany’s post-war reorganization. The Big Three were attended, including Winston Churchill, Franklin Roosevelt and Joseph Stalin. The agreement was signed to divide Germany into zone, under control by United State, USSR and British, and later France, as well as her capital, Berlin. Notwithstanding, Berlin was inside the control region of USSR; this situation implicated the potential crisis later.
As Berlin located inside Eastern Germany, where under USSR’s control, it allowed the US, Britain and Frances to enter the USSR’s control area. It implies that, although the USSR had spread its power to the Eastern Germany, it did not mean that USSR would have a total authority of it. Therefore, it could regard as one of the failure of Joseph Stalin’s foreign policy. In addition, the free election holds in the Baltic States, Poland, and elsewhere in Eastern Europe Since the agreement divided the Eastern part of Germany to USSR, the power of USSR spread to the Eastern Europe.
However, Stalin was not satisfied with it, “Stalin’s postwar goals were security for himself, his regime, his country, and his ideology, in precisely that order. ” (John 1972 p. 11) We can notice that Stalin’s was a very aggressive person, never stopped achieving the greater goal. Although he had already occupied the Eastern Germany, that is not enough for him. He would rather do more to protect and expand USSR, instead of being satisfied. “No internal challenges could ever again endanger his personal rule… o external threats would ever again place his country at risk… the international communist movement, enormously feared — but also widely worshipped” (John 1972 p. 11) Moreover, Stalin was very careful about the internal challenges and external threats. Apart from deciding to eliminate the dangers and territories towards his country, Stalin’s communism was also feared by other, and being widely worshipped. Nonetheless, USSR was not totally benefited on it; the agreement caused USSR fell into dilemma later.
As the United State and British were pursued capitalism, it could be a worse situation to USSR. This extreme contrast between countries gave rise to their bad attitude toward one another. According to Lenin, “The most important one was the belief, which went back to Lenin, that capitalists would never be able to cooperate with one another for very long” (John 1972 p. 12) Lenin belief is true, since after the Second World War, USSR and US no longer had common enemy, the tension and mistrust between these two countries was deteriorated.
After the Second World War, the Potsdam Conference held in Potsdam, Germany. This conference also attended by the big three, the New US president, Harry Truman did not inform Stalin that US had made and successfully tested the atomic bombs which regarded as powerful new weapon at that time. It lends to the tension and conflicts arose. The resentful relationship between USSR and USA break out in this conference. Although the foreign policy of Joseph Stalin caused USSR to fall into difficulty, there were some achievements.
Obviously, no policy could be defined as unmitigated failure, every policy at least have its own achievement. Therefore, I disagree with this statement. Reference: · John Lewis Gaddis, The Cold War, p. 11,12 · Stalin’s Mistake, http://www. fsmitha. com/mistakes/victory-stalin. htm surf on 30/10/2012 · Yalta Conference foreshadows the Cold War, http://www. history. com/this-day-in-history/yalta-conference-foreshadows-the-cold-war surf on 30/10/2012