Key Question 4: Who was to blame for the Cold War?

Focus Point 2 – How had the USSR gained control of Eastern Europe by 1948?

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Focus Point 2 – How had the USSR gained control of Eastern Europe by 1948?
At the end of WWII Eastern Europe fell under the domination of the USSR – Poland, East Germany, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria – how?

    1. The Red Army drives German forces west and occupies Eastern Europe. By May 1945 Soviet troops controlled all states but Yugoslavia, Albania, and Greece.
      Communist Parties in these countries welcome the Red Army and receive its support. Pro-German groups were executed or debarred from power. Despite being a minority, Communists exercise strong influence.

  1. Coalition governments are set up. They include Communists and non-Communists. Since Eastern Europe was mainly agricultural with land worked by peasants, most non-Communists came from the popular political parties representing peasants and small farmers.

    1. Backed by Moscow and the Red Army, the Communists gradually force non-Communists out of power. Methods include intimidation, vote rigging, show trials, imprisonment, and executions. By 1949 all countries behind the Iron Curtain are one-party Communist states taking orders from the USSR.

Why did this happen?


  1. wanted to ensure its security

  2. intended to keep control of Eastern Europe

  3. needed to rebuild houses, factories, roads, and railways destroyed in the war.

Eastern Europe

  1. was exhausted by the war

  2. occupied by the Red Army

  3. was being taken over by communists

Western Europe

  1. was exhausted by the war

  2. had very little money

  3. had to repair damage done to houses, factories, and communications


  1. had withdrawn most of its troops by 1947

  2. many in America did not want any further European involvement

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