Cold War Breakdown in Alliances

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Submitted By mariacopas
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To what extent were rival ideologies responsible for the breakdown of the relationship between the two superpowers between 1945 and 1949?

It was the Truman Doctrine and the Marshall Plan that really split Europe and made the concept of an Iron Curtain permanent during 1947/8. It was the final breakdown of the Allied cooperation over Germany that led to tensions and permanent divisions in the centre of Europe in 1948/9 as witnessed by the Berlin blockade and Allied airlift. It was the explosion of the Soviet atom bomb and American membership of NATO that created a bi-polar nuclear world during and after 1949.

rival ideologies

Under President Woodrow Wilson the US had committed itself to liberal internationalism, which promoted democracy and the free enterprise system, while the communist emphasis was upon a world wide class revolution to bring about the socialist future. These conflicting views were less important in the 1920s and 1930s because the Soviet Union was a weak military power and the main threat seemed to come from the right wing ideology of Fascism. However the defeat of these powers by 1945 reopened the ideological sense of difference between the Americans and Russians. hard line anti-Russian views became more influential in Washington by 1945 and George Kennan’s famous “Long Telegram” in 1946 also reinforced the idea that the communists were ideologically hostile to US interests and needed to be contained. Although Stalin had a reputation for concentrating upon socialism in his own one country he also had to consider the advancement of world communist ideology of which he was the titular head. How far it affected his individual foreign policy decisions is a matter of uncertainty and debate amongst historians. He certainly believed that the capitalist system was flawed that it would soon…...

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