Paper 2 IB History Review
For what reason and to what extent did the Yalta conference of February 1945 contribute to the origin of the cold war?
The Yalta Conference was a meeting of British prime minister Winston Churchill, Soviet premier Joseph Stalin, and President Franklin D. Roosevelt early in February 1945 as World War II was winding down
The Allies agreed a Protocol of Proceedings to:
- Divide Germany into four ‘zones’, which Britain, France, the USA and the USSR would occupy after the war.
- Bring Nazi war-criminals to trial.
- Set up a Polish Provisional Government of National Unity 'pledged to the holding of free and unfettered elections as soon as possible.
- set up a commission to look into reparations.
- Help the freed peoples of Europe set up democratic and self-governing countries by helping them maintain law and order, carry out emergency relief measure, set up governments, and hold elections this was called the Declaration of Liberated Europe
The negotiations went very much in Stalin's favor, because Roosevelt wanted Russian's help in the Pacific. Therefore, Stalin promised that Russia would join the war in the Pacific, in return for occupation zones in North Korea and Manchuria Russia also agreed to join the United Nations.
The weaknesses were the reasons of the origin of the Cold War:
- The negotiations went very much in Stalin's favor
- After the conference, Churchill wrote to Roosevelt that ‘The Soviet Union has become a danger to the free world
- The Soviet occupation of Poland, and the lack of recognition by US and Britain of the Soviet Union's interest, which resulted in increased tension between the US and the Soviet Union
- Stalin also agreed to free elections in Eastern Europe and Poland but ended up breaking that agreement.
To what extent did the Yalta Conference cause the Cold War?
After the Yalta Conference both Churchill and Roosevelt were criticized for giving to much power to Stalin and Roosevelt was criticized for letting Russia participate in the war with Japan. Those choices made by Roosevelt seemed like the correct decisions at that time because Japan refused to surrender and if the occupied Japan they would loose about one million people so asking Russia for help seemed like the right decision. Even though The USA and USSR wen t to war together it didn't mean the y were friends they only had a common enemy and Russia benefited from the agreement. After the Yalta Conference their dislike for each other was very apparent because of Stalin's broken broken promise of free election. From then on the USA and Britain saw him as a threat to the free world and would stop at nothing to prevent him from sizing peoples freedom.