When the Soviet dictator opportunistically used the German cover to launch aggression against Poland, the Baltic states, and Finland, in —40, anti-Soviet sentiment burgeoned throughout American society.
The Cold War Truman, nonetheless, expressed satisfaction with the portentous decisions reached at Potsdam. American experts considered Japan the most important nation in Asia because of its potential Cold war a very short introduction the engine of East Asian economic recovery and because of its intrinsic strategic value.
The Cold War and brutal repression of non-communist Poles, coupled with its heavy-handed actions in Bulgaria, Romania, and Hungary, all areas recently liberated by the Red Army, struck both Churchill and Roosevelt as violations of the Yalta accords.
The Soviet dictator tightened his grip on the reins of power during the s — at a frightful price to his own people. They craved respect, somewhat paradoxically, from the same 12 capitalist states their ideological convictions taught them to loathe. None proved more nettlesome than those surrounding the peace terms to be imposed on Germany and the postwar status of Eastern Europe, respectively.
In response to the Anglo-American-French rehabilitation and consolidation of West Germany, the Soviets suddenly halted all allied ground access to West Berlin.
Certainly Truman proved more willing than his predecessor to accept the recommendation of hard-line advisers that getting tough with the Russians would help Americans achieve what they wanted. When, on 12 April, Roosevelt succumbed to a massive cerebral hemorrhage, that daunting responsibility fell to the untested and inexperienced Harry S.
Two continent-sized military behemoths — already being dubbed superpowers — had risen in its stead, each intent upon forging a new order consonant with its particular needs and values.
At the Bretton Woods Conference late inthe United States gained general acceptance of those principles, along with support for the establishment of two key supranational bodies, the International Monetary Fund and the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development World Bankcharged with helping to stabilize the global economy.
When the Axis powers seized control over much of Eurasia in the early s, they gained the wherewithal to wage protracted war, subvert the world economy, commit heinous crimes against humanity, and threaten and Cold war a very short introduction attack the Western hemisphere.
The enemies that the United States sought to combat with what was soon labelled the Marshall Plan were the hunger, poverty, and 29 The origins of the Cold War in Europe, —50 quickly dubbed the Truman Doctrine.
The Cold War governments be installed in Poland and other key Eastern European states; that Soviet borders be expanded to their fullest pre-revolutionary extent — meaning the permanent annexation of the Baltic states and the eastern part of pre-war Poland; and that Germany be hobbled through a harsh occupation regime, systematic de-industrialization, and extensive reparations obligations.
The Americans, convinced now that the economic recovery and future prosperity of Western Europe — and of the United States itself — required an economically vibrant Germany, opposed any scheme that would work against that end.
British, French, and other Western European governments sensed a golden opportunity to help alleviate serious economic problems, counter local communist parties, and thwart Soviet expansion. American ideals here were inextricably interwoven with American interests.
Another hostile power, armed once again with an alien, threatening ideology, might gain control over Eurasia, thereby tipping the scales of world power against the United States, denying it access to important markets and resources, and placing political and economic freedom at home in jeopardy.
Washington, accordingly, laboured to quarantine the communist virus and to isolate its Moscow quartermasters throughout the s and early s. Convinced that Chiang could not defeat the Chinese Communists militarily, and that only a negotiated peace between the communists and nationalists would avert a civil war sure to destabilize China and wreak havoc with American policy goals, they insisted that Chiang needed to compromise with, not seek to crush, his political rivals.
The Soviet commitment to enter the war against Japan within three months after the end of the European War, also negotiated at Yalta, marked a major diplomatic achievement for the United States, as did the formal Soviet agreement to join the United Nations.
Western foreign and defence ministries feared that local communist parties and indigenous revolutionary movements would ally with and defer to the Soviet Union, a state whose legitimacy and prestige had been burnished substantially by its central role in the anti-fascist crusade.
The Stalinist regime did press its advantages at nearly every turn, to be sure. Reparations, again, emerged as the principal stumbling block. Following the Japanese surrender, the political situation in China progressively deteriorated.
Important distinctions obtain, in this regard, between a Soviet empire that was essentially imposed on much of Eastern Europe and an American empire that resulted from a partnership born of common security fears and overlapping economic needs.
In Julytwo months after the German surrender, US, British, and Soviet leaders made one more effort to hammer out their differences — with mixed results — during the last of the great wartime conferences.
As East—West tensions in Europe mounted, the US occupation regime in Japan shifted from a concentration on reforming and demilitarizing a former enemy state to a preoccupation with facilitating its rapid economic recovery.
To achieve those ends, the United States pushed hard in wartime diplomatic councils for a multilateral economic regime of liberalized trade, equal investment opportunities for all nations, stable exchange rates, and full currency convertibility.
By the end ofMarshall determined, correctly, that this struggle could only be resolved through the force of arms, and that it was a contest Chiang could not possibly win. Stalin pressed his Anglo-American partners to open a major second front against the Germans as quickly as possible so as to relieve the intense military pressure on his own homeland.
Roosevelt never signed on to that modus vivendi, however, since it represented too blatant a violation of the principles of free and democratic self-determination that formed a cornerstone of American plans for postwar political order.
That breathtakingly open-ended commitment was strengthen his public appeal, Truman was vying to build a public and Congressional consensus not just behind this particular commitment but behind a more activist American foreign policy — a policy that would be at once anti-Soviet and anti-communist.
Asia, where Washington and Moscow also had important, if decidedly less vital, interests, proved not so fortunate. One month later, the Soviets established the German Democratic Republic in their occupation zone.
A more open world, according to the American formula, would be a more prosperous world; and a more prosperous world would, in turn, be a more stable and peaceful world. The Kremlin, consequently, could augment its power and extend its reach without even needing to risk direct military action.
Europe, of course, generated more controversy and received far more attention from the United States and the Soviet Union, emerging as the principal focus of tensions between the former allies in the immediate aftermath of World War II.
In each case, geopolitical and economic goals were woven into a seamless web.The Cold War: A Very Short Introduction Robert J. McMahon Publisher: Oxford University Press The origins of the Cold War in Europe, –50; 3. Towards ‘Hot War’ in Asia, –50 Access to the complete content on Very Short Introductions online requires a subscription or purchase.
Public users are able to search the site and. The Cold War: A Very Short Introduction ‘McMahon has produced a commanding short narrative of a vital period in recent world history.
Clear, concise, and compelling, The Cold War is a superb primer on the subject.’.
This Very Short Introduction provides a clear and stimulating interpretive overview of the Cold War, one that will both invite debate and encourage deeper investigation. About the Series: Combining authority with wit, accessibility, and style, Very Short Introductions offer an introduction to some of life's most interesting topics/5(36).
The Cold War: A Very Short Introduction (Very Short Introductions #87), Robert J. McMahon The massive disorder and economic ruin following the Second World War inevitably predetermined the scope and intensity of the Cold War/5.
The Cold War: A Very Short Introduction Robert J. McMahon Very Short Introductions. An authorative and concise international history of the Cold War.
What follows, then, is a ‘very short introduction’ to the Cold War, as the title promises, written from an international perspective and from a post-Cold War angle of vision.Download