E2 A world Divided: Superpower Relations 1944-1990. Introduction to Controversy 1: How did the Cold war emerge and how did relations between the Superpowers change 1917-90?



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E2 A World Divided: Superpower Relations 1944-1990.
Introduction to Controversy 1: How did the Cold war emerge and how did relations between the Superpowers change 1917-90?




  • In a Nutshell: How did relations between the Superpowers change 1945-1990?




  • Dramatic episodes in the spotlight: What can depth studies illustrate about the nature of relations between the Superpowers by 1945?

  • Thematic developments: Identifying themes in the development of Superpower relations by 1945.




  • Spinning history to create controversy: What are the differing interpretations of the emergence of the Cold war by 1945?




  • Cracking the Puzzle – Preparing for assessment. On the origins of the controversy surrounding the emergence of the Cold war by 1945.

(I) In a Nutshell: How did relations between the Superpowers change 1945-1990?


  1. Generate an overview of the Cold War, using M. McCauley, Russia, America & the Cold War 1949-91, pp.1-7 to complete the rows on the timeline grid.




  1. Analyse how the relationship between the two Superpowers changed over time. Use your overview grids in groups to discuss the changes in the relationship between the USA and USSR and plot a living graph.


How did the relationship between the two Superpowers change between 1945-1991?
Amount of

Tension


1990


  1. Complete the Trigger Memory Activity for the leaders involved in the Cold War 1945-1962, using the Biographies booklet. An explanation on how to complete this is in your guidance booklet.



(II) Dramatic episodes in the spotlight: What can depth studies illustrate about the nature of relations between the Superpowers by 1945?
Activity 4

1. Watch the CNN video The Cold War Volume 1, Episode 1. Comrades 1917-1945. As you are watching it, record notes on the causes of the breakdown in relations of the wartime allies. Use the following structure for your notes:


The Background Conditions 1917 -1939

  • The Political and Economic situation in pre-war Russia

  • The Political and economic situation in pre-war America


The Triggering Factors 1939-1943


The Immediate Circumstances 1944-45

  • The impact of the disagreements over Poland

  • The outcome of Potsdam

  • The outcome of Yalta

2. Complete the Mystery Game on why an Iron Curtain descended across Europe by 1946, by using the statements provided,

3. Using your video notes, the Mystery Game and, if you wish, further reading to complete the concept map on the causes of the breakdown in the wartime alliance.

Further Reading:

Phillips, The Cold War, pp.4-22

Lightbody, The Cold War, pp.3-17

McCauley, Russia, America & the Cold War 1949-1991, pp.2-3



(III) Thematic developments: Identifying themes in the development of Superpower relations by 1945.
Activity 5 Factor in the teamwork.

It is important to consider the factors, which contribute to this relationship between the Superpowers. Each group should research a different factor, to produce a short handout arguing for the centrality of its roe. Use the following page references and your knowledge and understanding gained through previous activities


The role of individuals

Phillips p

Lightbody p
The role of ideology

Phillips p

Lightbody p
The role of economics

Phillips p

Lightbody p
The role of the Arms race.

Phillips p

Lightbody p
The role of the Geo-political balance of power.

Phillips p

Lightbody p
Consolidate these Concepts

Activity 6 Create a concept map or mind map to consolidate your understanding of the role of each factor. Include five key points on each of the following.

The role of individuals

The role of ideology

The role of economics

The role of the Arms race.

The role of the Geo-political balance of power.

(IV) Spinning history to create controversy: What are the differing interpretations of the emergence of the Cold war by 1945?

Activity 7. To assist you in your study of the Cold War, you must now examine the different historical interpretations of the Cold War that emerged through the 20th Century. You should understand the interpretations of the Cold War have changed over time and are constructed in a historical context of their own ad rely on the evidence available at that time.

1. Using the following page of this booklet, complete your copy of the table below.



Western Interpretations of the Cold War

Interpretation

Orthodox

Revisionist

Post-Revisionist

Who blamed?










Depiction of the Soviet Union










Depiction of the Soviet Union’s aims










Depiction of the Soviet Union’s actions in 1945










Depiction of the United States










Depiction of the United States’ aims










Depiction of the United States’ actions in 1945










2. Your teacher will give divide you into groups. Study the source cards provided, deciding which interpretation each one represents. Consider the origin of the source, any symbolism and language which is used to convey the interpretation. Complete your version of the following table.




Orthodox

Revisionist

Post-Revisionist

Sources and their origin










Symbolism and language used to convey interpretation









Further Reading:

Phillips, The Cold War , pp.13-22, pp123-135

Lightbody, The Cold War, pp1-17

McCauley, Russia, America & the Cold War 1949-1991, pp.9-11

Interpretations of the Cold War

The Cold War finally ended when Soviet Communism collapsed in 1991. But many historians wrote books about the end of the Cold War before 1991. Since the Cold War was actually developing at the time when they were writing, what they wrote was influenced by what was happening around them. Soviet historians mainly followed their government’s line and blamed the West for the Clod War, though some Soviets saw faults on both sides. Looking back at the work of Western historians it is possible to identify three distinct groups; Orthodox historians, revisionists and post-revisionists.


The orthodox view

This view emerged in the late 1940s ad early 1950s. The view developed that the Soviet Union bore primary responsibility for the outbreak and the continuation of the Cold War. The Soviet State was seen as cold malevolent and expansionist. The regime was presented as a threatening, antagonistic force. This evil communist regime – led by a harsh leader, Stalin, and not content with establishment of totalitarian rule amongst its own people – was regarded as intent on spreading the gospel of Communism as far as possible. According to the Orthodox interpretation, the Soviet Union abandoned the wartime alliance and adopted a policy of expansion based on the Bolshevik idea of ‘world revolution’. The evidence for this was seen as the expansion of Soviet power in Eastern Europe after 1945. They argued that Communist parties all over the world were working under Stalin’s orders, trying to bring Communists to power.

They argued that the USA had tried to keep on friendly terms with the Soviet Union, but found Stalin impossible to deal with. The USA was forced to take a tough line towards the Russians. The result was the policy of containing Communism announced in the Truman Doctrine. It was the Soviet’s refusal to accept the Marshall Plan which led to the division of Europe into two blocs. The personality of Stalin and the secretive nature of Soviet government made it impossible to negotiate with them.
The revisionist view

The revisionist view represented a major shift in the historiography of the Cold War. They said that the Soviets were not motivated by expansionist aims but by priorities of defence and security. They pointed out that, at the end of the war, the Red Army occupied countries which, before the war, had mainly been hostile to the Soviet Union. It was to protect the Soviet Union from invasion that Communist governments were set up in these countries. They also point out that the USA had become richer and more powerful during the war, whereas the Soviet Union had suffered immense damage and therefore represented no real danger to the USA. In addition the USA had the monopoly of the atom bomb, a factor which added to Soviet insecurity. This school of historians took the view that the United States had initiated and sustained the Cold War. They claimed that America had understood, and over-reacted to, Soviet actions. They claimed that the USA was aware of its economic and atomic superiority and their aim was to make sure that as much of the world as possible remained within the capitalist system and open to American trade. This view was sustained by the contemporary situation of the 1970s which saw America stepping up its ill-fated intervention in Vietnam.


The post-revisionist view

Since the 1980s post-revisionists have argued that the blame for the Cold War must be shared to some extent by both sides. In particular, it has been claimed that there was a great deal of misunderstanding on each side about what the other was trying to achieve. Both sides felt threatened and yet both probably wanted peace. The Cold War was seen as a product of mutual suspicion and over-reaction, and the accepted orthodoxy that Stalin had ruled Russia single-handedly was called into question. A key factor was seen as the lack of information. The Americans thought that the Red Army was larger and better equipped than it was. The Russian were afraid of the atom bomb and could not feel safe whilst only the USA had this weapon. There were also very real problems that were bound to cause tension in post-war Europe, such as what to do about Germany. Historians who formulated these views based their research on the archives which were newly available under the Freedom of Information Act.

(V) Cracking the Puzzle: Preparing for assessment.


  1. Revisit the living graph. Consider whether the starting point for the nature of relations between the Superpowers accurately reflects you emerging interpretation, adjust if necessary.




  1. Complete the Trigger Memory Activity 1917-1945, using your background notes. An explanation on how to complete this is in your guidance booklet.

There are many excellent Cold War websites which can be used to revisit the material covered so far. These include –


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cold_War
http://www.historylearningsite.co.uk/suez.htm
http://www.coldwar.org/
http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/ColdWar.htm
http://www.academicinfo.net/histcold.html
http://www.wilsoncenter.org/index.cfm?fuseaction=topics.home&topic_id=1409

http://www.wilsoncenter.org/coldwarfiles/index.cfm?fuseaction=resources.detail&thisunit=0&resourceid=9

Use these websites to gather images that encapsulate the five key factors which influenced the nature of relations 1917-1945:



    1. ideological conflict,

    2. the role of individuals

    3. arms development

    4. economic pressures

    5. geopolitical issues.




  1. Read through the examination criteria and advice on tackling the examination questions given in the guidance booklet.




  1. Apply these techniques to the practice examination. You may be asked to work individually, in pairs or in groups.


Mystery Game. During the Second World War the USSR and USA were allies, jointly fighting against the Central Powers. Yet within a year of the end of the war the two superpowers were locked in a new struggle; the Cold War Why had an Iron Curtain descended across Europe?


11 Several significant agreements were reached at Yalta in feb 1945; the division of Germany, Berlin and Austria, the USSR going to war against Japan, the principle of free elections in Eastern Europe and the USSR getting an area of Poland.

1 Roosevelt died on 12 April 1945 and Truman took over the presidency. He knew little about foreign affairs, but had a strong hatred of communism.




2 On 16 July 1945 the USA successfully tested an atomic bomb. Stalin’s spies had told him this was going to happen but he resented the USA nit sharing their knowledge. On 6 August the USA dropped the first A bomb on Hiroshima.

12 Stalin recognised only the communist Lublin Polish Government. There was a government already in exile in London which was ready to return to Poland when it was safe.


13 At the London Conference of Foreign Ministers in Sept 1945 the US refused to recognise the communist puppet governments of Romania and Bulgaria.

3 By 1928 the Soviet Union had transformed into an industrial and military power.



14 The USSR was a Communist country. Marxism-Leninism predicted the collapse of capitalism and world revolution. The Comintern was set up in 1919 to promote this, although Stalin promoted ‘Socialism in one country’.

4 The USA entered the war in December 1941. However the second front in Western Europe was only created in June 1944.


15 In March 1945 Stalin ordered the arrest and transportation to labour camps of thousands of Polish intellectuals and democrats.

5 In 1941 Roosevelt abandoned the US policy of isolationism and revived Wilson’s universalism.. He defended US policy in terms of the principles of democracy and economic freedom.



6 The USA was active in the creation of the Atlantic Charter 1941, a statement of liberal principles of economic collaboration and democracy, the formation of the IMF and World Bank and the UN in 1945.

16 By mid 1945 the Red Army occupied Poland, the rest of Eastern Europe and half of Germany. Parts of Finland, Poland, Czechoslovakia, and all of Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia were under Soviet rule.



7 At Yalta Stalin argued for pro-soviet governments in Eastern Europe, claiming the future of Poland was a question of ‘security… Poland has always been a corridor for attack on Russia’. However, he let some London Poles join the Lublin Government.

17 Russia had been invaded 3 times in the 20th century, by Germany, in 1914 and 1941, and, in 1918, in the Civil War by anti-Bolshevik British, American, Polish and French Troops who entered on the Whites’ side.



8 In May 1945 Truman abruptly ended the Lend-Lease aid to the Soviet Union.

18 The dropping of a second bomb on Nagasaki on 9 Aug 1945 meant that the USA brought about the surrender of Japan without the need for Soviet assistance.



9 In WWII up to 20 million Soviet citizens had bee killed. Farmland, industries and cities has been destroyed. The estimated cost to rebuild the USSR was $20 billion.

19 The consumer-based US economy needed markets for its goods. There was concern not to return to the situation of the Depression in the 1930s.


10 Roosevelt saw negotiation ad compromise as the most effective methods of safeguarding western interests. He had developed a personal relationship with the other allied leaders Churchill and Stalin.

20 At Potsdam, in July 1945, they reiterated the need for the joint occupation and demilitarisation of Germany, but the hotly debated reparation agreements began to unravel within the year.





Orthodox

Revisionist

Post-Revisionist

Sources and their origin









Symbolism and language used to convey interpretation












Western Interpretations of the Cold War

Interpretation

Orthodox

Revisionist

Post-Revisionist

Who blamed?








Depiction of the Soviet Union










Depiction of the Soviet Union’s aims










Depiction of the Soviet Union’s actions in 1945









Depiction of the United States










Depiction of the United States’ aims










Depiction of the United States’ actions in 1945








Background Conditions

Triggering Factors

Immediate Circumstances




The Origins of the Cold War

Economic Pressures

Ideological Differences

Chronology

Geopolitical Influences

The Role of Individuals

Arms Development


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