Week 9: The Yalta Conference and the PostWar World
THE YALTA CONFERENCE
This was the second of three wartime conferences (Cairo was before
the war) between the United States (under Roosevelt), Great Britain (under
Churchill), and the Soviet Union (under Stalin, obv). The allied powers met to
discuss post-war Europe–assuming that Germany would fall eventually.
Churchill wanted to prevent Stalin from industrializing post-war Europe.
Roosevelt–who at the time was superior to Churchill due to the US war
efforts– insisted that all of Europe host free post-war elections. Stalin
accepted this however would not allow any anti-Soviet government. Stalin’s
ideals broke US foreign policy. These differing opinions eventually lead to a
East-West confrontation that Churchill originally intended to avoid . The final
decision of the Yalta conference was to allow each country the land that is
occupied by its soldiers when Hitler inevitably fell and the allies won the war.
WW2: The High Point for the US
Pearl Harbor sparked the US involvement in WW2, as after this
disastrous attack by the Japanese, US enthusiasm was directed toward the
war. This was a period of mass industrialization and the US was very different
in 1945 than it was in 1941. This was the turning point to the, still influential,
US global involvement.
Useful Names and Terms
Churchill’s ‘iron curtain’ symbolized the physical divide between East
and West Europe from the end of WW2 until the Cold War in 1945. The Berlin
Wall served as a long time physical symbol for the curtain as a whole.
The Baruch Plan in June 1946 was a US proposal, involving Britain and
Canada to regulate atomic energy.
The Marshal Plan of 1942 was a European recovery program in which
The US gave monetary support to help rebuildEuropean economies after
WW2 in order to resist the spread of Soviet Communi