Essay about General Education 101 Final

Submitted By nconrad44
Words: 1488
Pages: 6

World War II began in 1939 and ended in 1945. The World War involved a large portion of the world’s great powers. It is considered the most widespread war in history because if involved a vast majority of the world’s nations. After the Second War, with the decline of Europe, power was evenly shared between the Soviet Union and the United States. These two superpowers both wanted to dominate the other, leading to conflict (Chung). In terms of history, there was resentment on both sides about actions each took during the approximate 30 years prior to WWII. The Soviets were still angry that the U.S. had sent troops to fight against the Communists during the Russian Revolution. American was still upset that the Soviets had signed a non-aggression pact with Hitler in 1939. The Yalta Conference and the Meeting at Potsdam were two main events that triggered that polarization been the East and West. Underlying factors such as the ideological views about the systems of governments also influenced the Cold War. Although there was a breath of relief when the Cold War ended, some historians believe that a large superpower, with no rival, strives to pay undue justice. The Yalta Conference took place in February of 1945. At Yalta, the leaders of the three major Allied Powers- President Franklin Roosevelt of the United States, Prime Minister Winston Churchill of Great Britain and Premier Joseph Stalin of the Soviet Union met to discuss the postwar world (Ghere 1). Although the three leaders were allies at the time, all three sought to establish a post-war world in their own best interest. Many Cold War disputes have their origins in the agreements and disagreements at Yalta (Ghere 3). At Yalta, the Soviets began to exert their control over Eastern Europe, while Western Europe remained democratic and free. The differing geopolitical philosophies were at play here. In Potsdam, Germany, a new Big Three met in July, 1945, to discuss the future of Germany. Here, Harry Truman (the new President of the U.S. following Roosevelt’s death in April, ’45,) Clemente Attlee of Great Britain (Atlee defeated Churchill in the 1945 elections in Britain, replacing him while at Potsdam,) and Stalin decided to divide Germany into four spheres of influence. U.S., British, French, and Soviet zones were established (Mee 5). The Soviets did not allow free elections in East Germany, as they had promised earlier. This led to added tensions between the West and East. Stalin was suspicious of the new Western leaders (Mee 7). The Truman Doctrine was a response to a crisis. Behind it was the Communist/Soviet takeover of many of the countries of Eastern Europe – which Truman suspected, was in breach of Stalin’s promises made to President Franklin Roosevelt and Churchill at the Yalta Conference. Truman outlined that they had thought “Stalin would go so far and no farther,” but, like Hitler less than a decade earlier, his appetite seemed to grow with each new gain of influence and territory (Edwards 131). One of the most influential portions of Truman’s speech was his claim about the power of Communism growing. He stated, “The Peoples of a number of countries of the world have recently had totalitarian regimes forced upon them against their will. The Government of the United States has made frequent protests against coercion and intimidation, in violation of the Yalta agreement, in Poland, Rumania, and Bulgaria. I must also state that in a number of other countries there have been similar developments,” (Edwards 137). Truman’s Speech signified immense concern of a developing Cold War, and it set out many of the principles by which the U.S. would fight the Cold War for the next 30 years. Truman essentially convinced Congress that it was essential to confront the Soviet Union. He argued that if America let one country fall to Communism, all of the countries surrounding would follow. This sparked the “Domino Theory,” (Edwards 135). The Truman Doctrine influenced