Essay on post world war II

Submitted By alice100alice
Words: 1847
Pages: 8

Grand Alliance
- crucial factor in saving the world
- but in less than a year it fell apart
Look at why the Grand Alliance fell apart in a year.
Role of historiography-

3 MAIN schools

1. traditional/orthodox
- supported by historians of 50s 60s
- knew nothing about Soviet Union
- those who took at face value US or western govt. action
- these historians pointed a finger at Soviet Union

2. American historians (early 70s) Revisionist
- western and eastern perspectives- saw history in 2 perspectives
- pointed a finger at US- blamed US of start of Cold War

3. late 80s, early 1990s, Post Revisionist
- pointed finger at both Moscow and Washington for collapse of Grand Alliance and start of Cold War

4. post-post revisionist
- not too much different than #3

5. Soviet school of thought
- pretty useless
- only brings up evidence? against US etc.


Yalta Conference, Feb 1945

* some see it as a great betrayal by US * completely sold out Eastern? Europe

By this time, everyone was pretty sure the war would be over soon. Met to settle outstanding issues such as what will happen to German territories etc. how will stability be brought in?
However, you have to keep in mind the military situation. The military situation- US and B was bogged down by battle of the bulge. Only with Russian help they were able to overcome German offensive. Eastern Europe by this time was occupied.
Objectives of Yalta
- Roosevelt: similar to Wilson's in 1918. Wanted acceptance of Soviet of his idea of creating the UN, he needed Stalin's concession. He wanted Stalin to accept an American dream to bring in China. China had no power at this time, they were barely able to maintain themselves. Clearly Roosevelt bringing in China as a member of the Security Council. Looking at the outcome of the conference, it wasn't just concessions, Stalin gave into the US demands and agreed as well. He also wanted his 4 freedoms (speech, hunger, fear, …). Stalin agreed to these as well. He also wanted Soviet… !??!
- Churchill: wanted another Great power next to Britain. Pushed acceptance of France as a member of Security Council. Major concession by Stalin to agree…
- Stalin: wanted territorial security for Soviet. Made sense for both Churchill and Roosevelt to accept his demands as well.

Yalta conference was a success- concessions on all 3 leaders. Yet, post historians condemns this entire treaty.
(conflicting views)

Postdam Conference, June?

* wanted to see what happened with Germany * deal with German Question

What happened during these 3 months, time span btwn the conferences
- Harry Truman replaces Roosevelt
- US cancels and stops all Soviet support
- Molotov (Soviets) stops in Washington to pay a visit to Truman. Truman treated him like a kid, Molotov was offended.
- Truman demanded a concession that Roosevelt would never…- US should have 85% say in what happens/decision making occurs
- Russians found out US were negotiating with Germans to have separate peace. March 1945, General Wolfe tried to achieve a separate peace. Nothing came out of this, but the fact that Soviets found out by themselves, this cast a shadow between US and Soviets
All these factors already set the tone for the meeting at Potsdam, very low expectations

Churchill was voted out, replaced by Attlee who had no experience, no charisma etc. Stalin was bothered.
Truman had no experience in IR either. Roosevelt always kept him in the dark.
This awkward gathering had to decide the fate of Germany
*the stage was not set well for a successful conference in Potsdam. So many new problems etc. What to do with Germany?*

Germany ought to be occupied= was a common though among the leaders, and divided among F, B, R, …
Agreed that reparations should be decent and not impossible.

Russians also wanted a foothold in the Mediterranean, in territories that were not a part of