Assess the View That the Disagreements About the Second Front Were the Most Significant Cause of Tension Between Russia and the West Between 1941-5?

2530 Words Nov 4th, 2011 11 Pages
Assess the view that the disagreements about the Second Front were the most significant cause of tension between Russia and the West between 1941-5?

Historians Gaddis and Maisky believe the disagreements about the Second Front were not the most significant cause of tension between Russia and the West between 1941-5.

The Western Allies landing position in Europe, as proposed by Russia, has been branded as a major reason for tension between the USA, Britain and Russia by historians Phillips and Roberts. However, other historians including Vasori, Levering, Lafeber and Tucker have challenged this particular perspective, suggesting that other factors also played a part in causing tension. The conflicting ideology and individual roles and
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Neither McCauley nor Kolko mention idealism is essentially what the countries of the west used to govern the ideology of capitalism. Unlike McCauley, Kolko, Lee and Higham point out that capitalism was a driving force behind British and American policy. Britain wanted to guarantee the ability to rebuild it’s economy after defeating Germany whilst the USA loaned money to countries such as Britain through it’s policy of war economy[6].

Tucker strengthens the argument that the USSR was not the only major power driven by ideology. He states “Constantly seeking to extend the orbit of American hegemony, the US had been the most expansionist of all great powers impelled by the inner drives of American capitalism” [7] . Tuckers view is correct and is supported by the Novikov telegram, the Soviet version of Kennan’s long telegram – both depicted the other side as driven by an instiable urge for world domination… Novikov worried about America’s global reach, and described the USA as trying to reduce Soviet influence in neighbouring countries in order to hamper the progress of communism there and to create conditions for the penetration of American capital into their economies. ADD EXTRA

Westad brings balance to both sides of the argument. He notes “Varsori sees little chance of there not being a conflict between the US and West Europeans elites on the one hand and Stalin’s regime on the
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