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4. The Early Cold War.docx

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Vasilis Dimitriadis

4. The Early Cold War General Problems of Post War Reconstruction  Entire Infrastructure of Europe was destroyed; the devastation is unprecedented;  Germany, bombed in 1943 through 1945 endlessly and continuously by the British and the Americans, completely and utterly devastated, not one urban center remained intact in Germany.  You cannot start reconstruction when railway system, roads all the infrastructures are gone.  The “Iron curtain” pretty much terminated East West relations, exchange on industrial goods and consumer goods. Western, especially Germany, always produced industrial goods which they in turn sold to Eastern Europe. In return, they receive food. That is no longer possible.  Food Crisis in Germany:  German agricultural land that produces 50%, 60% of what Germans consume, was given to the Poles;  The reparation agreement outlined that USSR has to supply food to feed the rest of the German population, but the land is gone…so in other words, the British, the French and the Americans would have to feed the vast German populations.  West Germany was seen as the pivot of Western European recovery, but if they can’t feed the Germans, the German cannot product and cannot pay reparations. Whatever money the West is putting onto reconstruction goes to feeding the population..  General Lucius Clay: The food crisis might cause western and south Germany to join East Germany where there is more food; even if means to embrace communism.  British Economic Crisis:  February 1947 Britain pulled out of Greece & Turkey  British were broke, unable to continue the support of the Greek royal government, especially in its fight against the communist guerrillas;  Turkey was under immense pressure from Russia  U.S took over because it feared the entire collapse of capitalism – if Turkey and Greece are not held onto, Russian will be out of the Black Sea to take a foothold in the Mediterranean.  Americans decide to bail out Europe. Truman Declaration (March 1947)  An American commitment, to uphold the struggle of the free world against the tyranny of the minority. Wherever there is such a struggle, it’s a universal commitment, Americans will be there. Americans will bail out that besieged state that besieged country that is under the threat of the communist minority.  Did not specify whether it’s financial support, military support, economic support  $400 million dollars for the Greeks and the Turks, to fight communist pressure Further Manifestation of the Bipolar World  The Marshall Plan  Political connection is important, but one could always walk away from it; economic connection, and especially economic integration, for one to walk away it is far more difficult  Symbolism for the Marshall Plan.
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