Cold War Research Paper

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Pages: 22

Cold War Essay
“Argue for and against the proposition that; A change in leadership in your area of study always leads to an important change in key ideas and/or ideologies”

Oliver Bolt

“It would be naive to think that the problems plaguing mankind today can be solved with means and methods, which were applied or seemed to work in the past.”
Mikhail Gorbachev

Throughout the Cold War the Soviet Union went through numerous changes in leadership. Throughout the transformations one key element remained remarkably consistent as each successive leader promised drastic changes and reforms from the predecessor and his regime; however, from 1945 to 1985 the legacy of Stalin’s
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Gaddis claimed that with this act of Marshall Plan, the United States could “seize both the geopolitical and moral initiative in the emerging Cold War”. Nonetheless, Stalin had fallen into a trap with the announcement of the European Recovery Program by US Secretary of State, George Marshall. Caught off guard by the altruistic proposal, Stalin was forced into responding in the manner that Kennan had anticipated; tightening his grip on the on the satellite states even further. In September 1947 he announced the formation of Cominform, which was the “latter day version of the old pre-war Comintern”. In February 1948 Stalin approved a plan to seize power in Czechoslovakia, the only Eastern European state that had retained a democratic government. Shortly after the coup, the body of Foreign Minister, Jan Masaryk, was found in a Prague courtyard. It is still heavily debated whether he jumped or he was pushed but the only thing that is certain is that any chance of independence within Stalin’s sphere of influence also died with Masaryk. During the same year Stalin undertook an even less promising scheme by provocatively enforcing a blockade of West Berlin. His motives for