The Varying Intensity of the Cold War in Europe Essay

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The Varying Intensity of the Cold War in Europe

The German surrender on the 7th May 1945 marked the end of the Second World War in Europe and heralded the beginning of a new conflict. This conflict would develop into the Cold War between the two largest countries in the world at the end of the Second World War, the United States of America (USA) and The Union of Socialist Soviet Republics (USSR).

This essay will examine the Cold War from a European perspective. It is important to examine the Cold War from a European Perspective because within Europe the USA's and the USSR's spheres of influence had a physical border. This physical border was christened the Iron Curtain by the former
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The reasons behind the change in the USA's foreign policy from isolationist, which it was before the Second World War, to interventionist, which it became, were varied. They were led by a number of different fears. These included the size of the Soviet army the Red Army, which was the largest army on the planet, the fact that Europe was weak and therefore vulnerable to a communist take over and the development of technology particularly of Russian nuclear weapons.

The Truman Doctrine led to an increase in intensity between the USA and the USSR as the USSR believed that the USA was attempting to spread capitalism across Europe particularly to the new Eastern Block countries. The USSR believed that governments within Europe should be communist and therefore allied with her against capitalism.

The next occurrence, which led to an increase in tension between the USA and the USSR, was the announcement by the Americans of the Marshall Plan. The US Secretary of State George Marshall, in a speech made at Harvard on the 5th June 1947 announced the proposal, which later became the Marshall Plan. Marshall offered American financial aid to any European country that required it as long as the European countries approached the United States personally.

The reason for the Marshall Plan was that Europe was in desperate need of repair. There was mass homelessness across Europe and

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