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Ebba Kurt (12)

Lec 2

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Ebba Kurt

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Lecture 2 – The Emergence of the Bipolar World and the Cold War • after WWII, totally new power structures emerged ◦ United States – clearly not European ◦ Soviet Union – never considered a truly European state • 1945 – emergence of bipolar world dominated by two “peripheral” states ◦ Grand Alliance was still in existence at the end of WWII but just barely – whenever there was a significant challenge to the system, every single time there has been the formation of grand alliances against states aiming for hegemony ▪ e.g. against Louis XIV, Napoleon, etc. ◦ what is unique in this situation is the speedy demise of the grand alliance – collapsed in less than a year, started in the last year of the war • crucial to find out who was responsible for the start of the Cold War – no consensus ◦ American POV has been dominant in IR, historians blame USSR for the Cold War ◦ by the late-70's and early-80's, for the first time a more balanced approach emerged, their argument is that it was theAmericans who instigated the Cold War and the US who initiated the demise of the Grand Alliance ▪ by having the entire industry at their disposal undamaged by the war, having a nuclear monopoly – thought US should have the dominance and run the entire world • envisaged free economic order of the world so that they can export their own vision • Stalin didn't agree with the vision and thus emerged conflict ◦ controversial issue, but once USSR collapsed, archives were opened to the public, another version emerged – both are at fault ▪ both sthtes/superpowers simply pursued their own national interests ◦ also a 4 Soviet interpretation, just as biased as the traditionalAmerican view • Yalta purpose of the meeting was not the immediate issues (how to deal with Germans, Japanese) but the post-WWII development ◦ before each participating member (US, UK, USSR; or Roosevelt, Churchill, Stalin) had specific goal – great deal of impact and consequence ▪ Roosevelt's primary objective was to bring in USSR against the war in Japan (USSR was actually neutral in Japan) • second objective was to have the USSR accept his vision of the international organization, the United Nations • wanted to have his Security Council (Big Three) have veto power, bring in China and make China a member of the Security Council ▪ Churchill was in the weakest position, UK recognized as the weakest of the Big Three, but had huge goals • limit USSR gains and sphere of influence as much as possible; wanted a partner to defend against USSR so wanted France to be brought into the Security Council ▪ Stalin wanted to ensure Soviet national security, especially in the Western borders – once again USSR had been attacked from the West through Poland • have friendly nations in the Soviet sphere of influence so that such a thing could never happen again ◦ battle of the bulge – only USSR offensive saved theAmerican and British ◦ if Western allies didn't do anything USSR could have won the war on its own ▪ meanwhile Japanese were stubborn and defensive • Roosevelt was pointed out as having betrayed Eastern Europe, his own goals, legitimate international organization – not standing up to Stalin, had been hoodwinked ◦ but in the treaty all of the big three had to make compromises ◦ Stalin made huge concessions to both Churchill and Roosevelt to have his own objectives achieved – accepted China within the Security Council (pro-Western state,American puppet under Chiang Kaishek), accepted France (pro-fascist France who had done nothing to fight against Nazi Germany), agreed to liberal democratic Western Europe • it was a fair deal dependent on the military situation at the time, but the seeds of discord had already been sewn • April 1945 – Roosevelt died, to be replaced by Truman ◦ Truman didn't care about Soviet objectives or sacrifices, didn't have a guilty conscience of opening a second front ◦ thought that Roosevelt was too sensitive about the USSR, no reason why we should be so sensitive to the Russians ◦ USSR needed American supplies as much as possible –Americans suspended the aid without warning in March 1945 ◦ April 1945 – stopped Molotov from attending the first UN meeting, humiliated him, treated him like a schoolkid ◦ Truman said that theAmericans should have 85% of the say in establishing the new international system – they had the most military strength and economic might • Americans tried to negotiate a separate peace treaty with Germany even though US and USSR had agreed not to negotiate separate peace ◦ General Rolf was actually surrendering, but in meeting in Switzerland was interpreted as the negotiation of a separate peace which would mean the USSR would have to fight alone without allies • July 1945: in the Potsdam conference, Stalin had a new setting to deal with – neither Truman nor Attlee were international statesmen, no personal stakes ◦ a number of problems that immediately emerged, serious challenge to agreements in Yalta ▪ Eastern Europe was the main point of contention ▪ despite promises of Stalin, there were no Western representation, no politicians from a bourgeois party – Stalin breached his own commitment ▪ both Britain and US recognized a new Italian government without asking the USSR's recognition or approval ▪ issue of Poland, at least 6 million Poles inAmerica so their interests had to be considered, emerging Polish government was very pro-Soviets – could not turn a blind eye to this, kept Soviets under interrogation ◦ new problems emerged – Stalin “if you care so much about the Pole, Romanians, Bulgarians etc, then allow the Soviet Union to have a say in Western Europe and Italy” ▪ who would get Italian colonies, control over Mediterranean – British vital interest, argued that they could not compromise on this issue • Stalin argued that Eastern Europe likewise was of vital Soviet interest • German issue – at this point four states occupied Germany (France, Britain, US, USSR) ◦ would be dealt with as one political entity even though occupied by 4 states ◦ Soviets wanted reparations, Western states didn't want to deal with that before political situation had been settled ▪ however, Germany must be de-Nazified, de-cartelized, democratized and de-militarized – every remnant of Naziism must be eliminated • Morgenthau plan, wanted to turn Germany into an agrarian agricultural land that would have no industry whatsoever, never be able to start another war • Germans fought against this – this entire plan backfired ▪ so how to deal with German political issue and reparations ▪ having reached a stalemate (Western wanted political aspect settled first, Soviets wanted reparations first) • US already had nuclear monopoly – July 15 1945, had already tested it out, thought it was a brilliant weapon, wanted to use it for 2 reasons: ◦ scare the Russians – force them to acceptAmerican vision of the post-war world ◦ military objective – stop Japanese from fighting so hard and increasingAmerican casualties ◦ Soviets already knew about the bomb, spies had already sent over details about what was needed to be used to make the bomb etc. ◦ Russians never caved in because of theAmericans' nuclear policy, decided to use it for other means – occupy Japanese to limit Russian influence in the far East • September 1945 – London Council of meeting of foreign ministers – tackle most important issue of Nazi Germany ◦ Churchill knew that he was in the weakest position, but now would not compromise with Stalin – the situation in Britain was so weak and unstable that any compromise and jeopardize all future British interests, cannot compromise on anything, but oppose Soviet national security to show that they are still a great power ◦ London meeting was utter failure, would not come to terms on Eastern Europe, Italy • US called it off, called another meeting in Moscow so that USSR would not feel that UK and US were ganging up on them ◦ still trying to compromise so that the GrandAlliance would still exist ◦ American compromise was to share nuclear technology and know-how but with co
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