Cold War Cohesion Division Essay

5427 Words Aug 29th, 2013 22 Pages
Cold War Essay
“Argue for and against the proposition that; A change in leadership in your area of study always leads to an important change in key ideas and/or ideologies”

Oliver Bolt
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“It would be naive to think that the problems plaguing mankind today can be solved with means and methods, which were applied or seemed to work in the past.”
Mikhail Gorbachev

Throughout the Cold War the Soviet Union went through numerous changes in leadership. Throughout the transformations one key element remained remarkably consistent as each successive leader promised drastic changes and reforms from the predecessor and his regime; however, from 1945 to 1985 the legacy of Stalin’s
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Stalin only exacerbated tensions when he succeeded in securing Czechoslovakia during the ‘coup’ in February 1948. It was clear that he would not tolerate a situation where a country that shared a land border with the Soviet Union would forge a relationship with the Western powers, as Czechoslovakia had intended when they demanded to access Marshall Aid. Thus, Czechoslovakia then became the last state to fall to communism securing Stalin’s buffer zone and therefore his security for his regime. By the end of the period it was clear that Stalin had very expansive tendencies and was very antagonistic towards the west.

Stalin’s regime was only further exploited as problematic and oppressive by the manner in which he reacted to the U.S foreign policy change during the late 1940’s. In a sense it revealed the first cracks in the foundation to which was to become an ever collapsing communism. Truman was worried about Stalin’s expansionist tendencies and reacted to this by releasing the Truman Doctrine in 1947- in this he planned to change the US foreign policy from that of isolationism to containing the development of communism or “containment” the doctrine stated that “it must be the policy of the west to support free peoples who are resisting attempted subjugation by armed minorities” However, the first example of this containment was not by force but rather by economic aid with the introduction of the Marshall Plan in June 1947. This committed the United States to

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