Write a narrative account analysing the main developments in US-Soviet relations in the years 1945-47.
You may use:
- Yalta Conference 1945
- Truman Doctrine 1947
I just want to say in advance that I'm struggling slightly with this topic, so this may not be the best, I think I may have written too much, but feedback would be appreciated! Exam board is Edexcel
In the 1945 Yalta Conference, several agreements were made, including agreements about Poland which the USSR had liberated when tackling the Nazis and pushing them out of Soviet territory. A result of the conference was that Stalin was supposed to give Poland "free elections", although there were initially suspicions from the US, considering the two sides had differing views of what "free elections" meant. Following this was the Potsdam conference, where it was discovered that the elections that took place in Poland weren't really "free", and communism was pushed on the country by the USSR. This led to tensions between the USSR and the US, since the US believed the USSR was widening it's communist sphere of influence, which was disapproved of.
Following this, tensions began to worsen further between the two sides following the Long and Novikov telegrams in 1946. While in the Long Telegram, Kennan described how Stalin wanted to spread communism despite other countries not wanting this, in the Novikov Telegram, Novikov said the USSR should be looking to secure it's sphere of influence and communist satellite states. This would have led to only more tensions, since the USSR and US were essentially wanting opposites.
What led from this was the Truman Doctrine in 1947. Britain being unable to support Greek monarchists against communists during their Civil war led to the US being turned to for financial support. A result of this is that Truman announced a foreign policy that aimed to contain the spread of communism through financial aid to countries at risk of turning to communism - the Truman Doctrine. This led to financial support of $400m being sent to Greece and Turkey to combat communism, which would have only made relations decline even further with the USSR, seeing as Truman was disrupting Stalin's plans and also publicly announcing that the will of the minority was being forced on the majority.