Who Was to Blame for the Cold War? Essay

1625 Words Oct 1st, 1999 7 Pages
Who Was To Blame For The Cold War?

The blame for the Cold War cannot be placed on one person -- it developed as a series of chain reactions as a struggle for supremacy. It can be argued that the Cold War was inevitable, and therefore no one's fault, due to the differences in the capitalist and communist ideologies. It was only the need for self-preservation that had caused the two countries to sink their differences temporarily during the Second World War. Yet many of the tensions that existed in the Cold War can be attributed to Stalin's policy of Soviet expansion. It is necessary, therefore, to examine the role of Stalin as a catalyst to the Cold War.

Stalin's foreign policies contributed an enormous amount to the tensions
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The Soviet Union responded with a statement saying "Poland broders with the Soviet Union, what [sic] cannot be said of Great Britain or the United States."5

From this point, the Cold War truly becomes a chain reaction. In March of 1946, Churchill presented his ‘Iron Curtain' speech at Fulton, Missouri, in response to the spread of communism in eastern Europe. He called for a western alliance to combat the threat. Stalin's response was hostile: rather than trying to negotiate a peaceful settlement, Stalin continued to tighten his grip on eastern Europe. Communist governments were installed in every area of eastern Europe (barring Czechoslovakia) by the end of 1947. These governments were implemented by guerrilla tactics: elections were rigged, non-communist members of the governments were expelled, with many being arrested or executed, and eventually, Stalin dissolved all non-communist political parties. Stalin began to implement a reign of terror using the Russian Army and his secret police force. Moreover, Stalin had increased his influence in the Russian zone of Germany as if it belonged to Russia. He allowed only the communist party and drained the area of its vital resources.

The West reacted. It appeared to them that Russia's attitude went against all of the promises that Stalin had made at Yalta -- namely, that Stalin would permit free elections in the eastern European states.