Essay about The Causes and Consequences of the Berlin Crisis 1948

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The Causes and Consequences of the Berlin Crisis 1948

After the collapse of Germany in 1945, the Allied Powers of Russia, France, Britain and the United States divided the city of Berlin among themselves. However, relations began to go sour and the British, French and American zones merged in 1947. A series of events after that led to the Blockade of Berlin and the Berlin Airlift.

The Berlin Blockade represented the first heightening of Cold War tensions. There was a series of key events that led to the Soviet blockade of Berlin, the first of which concerned reparations. Russia wanted Germany to pay for the killing of 20 million Russians and widespread destruction it had caused to the USSR
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At the end of World War II, starvation and economic crisis threatened to overtake many European nations. In a rare move, the Allied victors took it upon themselves to prevent an economic crisis by helping to rebuild the most devastated areas as quickly as possible. However, the American government also thought that a strong German economy was vital for the growth of a non-communist Western Europe. The Western Allies believed that the Soviet Union was scheming to set up a central German government that would be Communist-controlled.

Thirdly, in order to address the issue of post-war European recovery and reconstruction, the U.S., Great Britain and France held a series of discussions in London from February through June of 1948 known collectively as the London Conferences. The result of these discussions was the London Program, the main goal of which was to establish a West German government through a combination of the three western occupation zones and currency reform. Therefore British and American zones were joined, followed by the French zone in June 1948 to form one Western zone and a single economic unit. Stalin watched these events with mistrust. In mid-June, the West issued a new currency in their merged zones (although they did not extend it to their zones in Berlin), and the Soviet Union issued a
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