A Bi-Polar World: USA vs. USSR
We go from calling them “empires” to “superpowers”
• United Nations- (US didn’t join League of Nations didn't want to be a part of an
international organization), some people said that if there was a stronger League of
Nations, WWII wouldn’t have happened, so coming out of WWII they wanted to have a
stronger organization. The UN Charter was voted in in October. It is a general assembly
of all nations. A nation is a repository of all rights. This is going to provide an opportunity
for everybody to be in a democratic assembly of all nations, however there are some
breaks to it like the security council, which has 5 permanent members (US, USSR,
France, Britain, China), the 5 permanent countries have veto power over, which
inherently and immediately cuts the legs off of the UN to be a purely democratic
United Nations Conference on International Organization in San Francisco, April-June
Europe: From World War to Cold War
Europe was a mess, there were tens of millions of displaced people; destroyed cities and
economies; WWII had a very different end than WWI, WWI saw a breakdown of large empires
whereas WWII saw an unprecedented amount of ethnic cleansing. Europe, especially Germany
and eastern Europe was literally destroyed- whole cities and towns were leveled.
Yalta to Potsdam- Winston Churchill, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Joseph Stalin, they met before the
war was over at Yalta and decided on “spheres of influence” in Europe. When we finish off
Hitler, Eastern Europe will be under the sphere of influence of the Soviet Union, and Western
Europe will be under the US and the other Western allies. US wanted open markets and Stalin
was against that.
Potsdam- Two different people. The Labor party (a socialist party) defeated the Conservative
party in elections which made Atley the PM in place of Churchill, FDR died and Truman replaced
him. Trying to keep a stable world at Yalta shifted by Potsdam, where Truman had a lot of
hostility and paranoia towards Stalin.
The Grand Alliance- Winston Churchill, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Joseph Stalin. Stalin’s fear
encirclement and US/allies fear revolution.
The balance of power and the United States’ edge
Stalin is also afraid because the US is the only country that has the bomb, and they’ve also
demonstrated that they would use it (in Japan).
Communist heroes/Communist threat
The soviets conceded to the West occupying and controlling Japan. In Poland, there were 2 governments- the free government which was in exiled in London, and
the communist Loveland government which was supported by Stalin, which was a warning sign
of Stalin. Another warning sign was that the Soviets refused to pull out of Iran and Korea
Speech in Fb 1946, Stalin speech about capitalist warmongering and Soviet might to defend
against it and all enemies. George Kennan was listening and sent a telegram reporting that
Stalin said we have to be combative against the US at all times or else we won’t be secure at all.
Therefore, we begin to see American policy in W