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HIS344Y1 (120)
Ebba Kurt (12)

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Ebba Kurt

• three main states (US, USSR, GB) were on a collision course – all were looking out for their own national interests but were incompatible with others' national interests ◦ Churchill saw Soviet actions as an attempt to take over the European continent, if not the world; Kennan's Long Telegram indicated that Soviets wanted to expand and take over ◦ British by this point were exhausted and almost broke, could not offer resistance to the USSR – Churchill wanted to awaken the world to the threat of the USSR ◦ Russians also misread US actions as an attempt to take over the world through economic means through the capitalist economy • within the next two years, the beginning of the Cold War in 1947 • Germany in economic collapse, reaching starvation – harsh winter in 1947, divided into two hostile camps (Eastern and Western Germany) ◦ no trade existed – USSR would be compensated for economic devastation by Eastern Germany but in return would trade and feed the Western Germans ▪ however, turned the territory over to the Poles to compensate them for the territory gained by the USSR on their Western borders ▪ could no longer feed the West Germans since there was not enough territory to produce enough food ◦ SOL (early 1947) of West Germany was so low that daily intake of population fell below 1000 calories – had to make a choice ▪ in East Germany intake was 1500, West Germany would surely vote to join East Germany so that they would not starve ▪ united US, GB, France said that they had to do something to revive West Germany • by early 1947 the British voluntarily decided to pull out from Greece, unable to hold on to that territory, ran out of money – would leave Greece for the communists to take over ◦ informed Truman that they would pull out and that US would have to become the defender of Western European democracies and liberal democracies in general ◦ Americans had to do something, had to step up and hold up the Western system in Greece – both helping Greece and preventing collapse of West Germany, only then would it be ensured that West Europe remained democratic and liberal ▪ this involved a lot of money! ▪ but just about this time Republicans took over the Congress, who wanted to scale back government intervention, smaller budget • the only way Truman could get the support from Congress is to present the problem in a very extreme way – there would be a good chance that USSR would take over if West Germany fell ◦ Truman doctrine – first shot in the Cold War, for the first time US were openly opposing the USSR ▪ cannot have small minority imposing its will on the majority – did not clarify that minority is the small communist minority ◦ Congress immediately opened up reserved, bailed out entire Western part of the continent – $13 billion to salvage Western Europe ▪ by doing so he also raised a number of expectations – theAmericans would come to the aid of any state anywhere in the world threatened by a minority ▪ made sure thatAmericans would have to get involved in any civil war for every president since that time • Marshall Plan added further flamed to the ongoing conflict, increased Cold War confrontation between the two camps ◦ conditions – any European state that wanted to apply must agree to open its borders, must allow free trade and movement of goods and US supervision of economic plan ▪ built on the Bretton Woods system, economic system meant to prevent another economic meltdown like the Great Depression ▪ World Bank was used to lend money to rebuild destroyed infrastructure and the IMF would give any state loans if they were in economic difficulties – dominated by the Americans, in both cases Americans had 30% of voting rights ▪ given the fact that Soviet Union was still an ally when Bretton Woods was instituted, USSR could also have applied for the money • but the Russians also had to meet certain conditions – open economy toAmerican financial experts to make sure there were no hidden assets, would have to buy American goods, open economy toAmerican goods • there was no way that the Russians would ever agree for a foreigner to come and check their financial situation • even though Eastern European states showed some interest in the money as well, no way that Poles or Czechs would have permission to get the money ◦ also fear that this was a US way to take the Poles and Czechs into the Western sphere of influence • 16 European states participated and did extremely well, turned economic course of Western Europe around, laid foundations for EU, unprecedented levels of economic growth • European states would have also done this without Marshall Plan, there was an ulterior motive forAmerican goods and industry to do well by forcing the economies to open borders for American goods ◦ however, no matter what, this did save West Germany from communism • only after this that Stalin forced a wholesale Communization of the Eastern states ◦ must tie Eastern European states closer to Moscow, all parties must follow Moscow's orders so thatAmericans cannot take over the world through economic means ◦ cannot have a non-Communist in government, could not compromise its own control of these states ◦ only after 1947 did USSR go around to all of these states and remove every non-Communist from government, completely modelled after USSR ◦ even inAsia the same pattern was happening, brought more conflict and exasperated the system • the first issue was Japan – what happened in Japan was already happening in Germany ◦ by 1946-7 clearly going through financial/economic crisis, faced starvation ◦ cost US 1 billion to feed the Japanese people – financial burden on the US and more importantly the Japanese may find salvation in communism ◦ Douglas MacArthur – wanted to dismantle Japan and make sure Japan would never threaten Asia andAmerican interests ever again ▪ wanted to make Japan true democratic state after theAmerican image – removed all nationalist elements but this ruined Japan economically, possible communist takeover ▪ this was totally unacceptable for theAmericans – Kennan realized that the same situation was playing out in Japan, MacArthur would actually set up Japan for communist takeover • travelled to Japan and undid all of MacArthur's efforts ◦ Americans gave up plan of removing Japanese nationalists, gave another billion to Japan to make them self-sufficient and pro-American ▪ only this way wasAmerica able to hold onto Japan as a democracy • fate of Germany still not decided, both sides had taken positions contrary to each other ◦ May 1946 – US decided to cease compensation and stop any material goods from being shipped to USSR ◦ USSR retaliated by stating that they would turn East Germany into a Soviet satellite ◦ France would not agree to US plan, since they wanted compensation; British also could not agree because they were so weak economically ◦ January 1947 British agreed to merge their zone with US, France also agreed a little later – saw that Marshall Plan could give them much more aid than they could extract from their region of Germany (Trizonia) • greatest revelation occurred in Czechoslovakia – was not occupied by the Soviet Union, only state in Soviet sphere of influence that had no RedArmy troops, was a generally democratic state and generally voted for the Communists ◦ coup d'etat, democratically elected communist government thrown out, became a totally Soviet-controlled state – saw a state going communist, domestic coup d'etat ◦ danger was France (2 million communists) and Italy (even more than that) – did not need Soviet troops on your soil to go communist ◦ communists in Western Europe were chased down and hunted down by their own governments • Yugoslavia (pro-Soviets) – deep-seated mistrust between Tito and Stalin, all other communist leaders came from Moscow ◦ spring of 1948, Tito decided to strike out on his own, no longer to be dictated by Moscow ◦ Stalin would never allow this especially since Cold War was just beginning – Stalin needed obedient followers ◦ end of 1948 – Yugoslavia was chased out of Comintern, isolated and threatened with invasion ◦ British andAmericans capitalized on situation, offered support, safeguarded Yugoslavia independence – Tito still rem
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