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Q2. Discuss the main causes of the Cold War in 1945

Difference of ideology: Spread of Communism was feared by the capitalist states as it would entail loss of political power and the class division of wealth. This fear translated into conflict of ideologies; both political and economic. Both the camps feared attack from each other.

Discriminatory treatment of Russia: In Russian Civil War (1918), capitalist states sent troops to Russia to help the anti-communist forces which promoted negative sentiments in the communists. This feeling was reinforced by German invasion of Russia in 1941.

During the war also incidents like the delay in launching second front (Invasion of France in 1944) had put enormous pressure on the Russians and consequently they suffered colossal losses.

Americans also did not disclose about the existence of the atomic bomb until shortly before its use on Japan, and they rejected Stalin’s request that Russia should share in the occupation of Japan

Russia’s foreign policies: After the allied victory Russia aggressively tried to acquire maximum German territories and also from countries such as Finland, Poland and Romania. Stalin also promoted communist states in Eastern Europe to make a buffer zone/ zone of influence. The west termed it as Soviet aggression and feared spread of communism to their areas of influence.

This feeling of suspicion lead to mutual distrust and this did a great deal to deepen the Cold War


Cold War timeline of some of the major events
1945  Feb Yalta Conference between USSR, USA and Britain
May Germany surrenders 1961 Berlin Wall Crisis
Jul/Aug Potsdam Conferences between USSR, USA and Britain
Aug Nuclear Attacks on Hiroshima and Nagasaki
1946 Churchill’s Iron Curtain Speech 1972 Détente between USSR and USA
1947 Truman Doctrine SALT I Treaty
Marshall Plan 1975 Helsinki Agreement
USA takes over from Britain in Greece and Turkey
1948 Czechoslovak coup 1979 SALT II Treaty
Berlin Airlift Crisis
1949 End of Berlin Airlift; formation of West Germany and East Germany 1980 Solidarity movement begins in Poland
Creation of NATO 1981 Martial Law in Poland
USSR explodes ‘A’ bomb 1985 Mikhail Gorbachev becomes Soviet leader
Korean War begins
1953 Stalin dies 1989 Velvet Revolution in Czechoslovakia
Ceasefire in Korea Political change in Poland
1955 Austrian State Treaty, West Germany joins NATO, Warsaw Pact formed Berlin Wall comes down
1956 20th Party Congress of CPSU denounces Stalin, Hungarian uprising 1990 Ceauşescu overthrown in Romania
East and West Germany unite into one country
1991 Anti-Gorbachev communist takeover prevented
Gorbachev replaced by Boris Yeltsin


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