Paper 2 IB History Review

By:Kindia Vertilus

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

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.

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Assess the role of each of the following in causing the First World War (1914-1918): the desire for revenge; economic motives; Balkan nationalism.

The desire for revenge

France as a country, has been the aggressor most of the time in the European continent.However, after Napoleon's defeat in 1814 and France's defeat by Germany in the Franco-Prussian War in 1871, which led to the loss of Alsace-Lorraine and caused the creation of a united German Empire. France wanted to avenge for the loss of territory and loss of prestige. However it was the Germans that attacked first they rolled in through neutral Belgium into northwestern France, while the French Both sides failed, and the war settled into a bloody stalemate.

Economic Motives

Imperialism is a form of competition between nations as they compete to control natural resources and peoples in other parts of the world. Great Britain had the greatest number of colonies, protectorates, and spheres of influence around the globe, because her navy continued to grow and control the sea routes. Germany, as a new unified nation, felt it had to catch up with Britain and France, especially in Africa and to a lesser extent in China.Countries justified imperialism for the economic gain via exploitation of natural resources and peoples.The political strength in order to bolster their position in the European balance of power. As well as, military/strategic positioning for controlling/defending colonies overseas. Germany was developing modern industries such as the chemical and electrical industries, and in textiles by 1914 they exported more and imported less than Britain. Germany's economic strength threaten Britain and being involved with Germany in war would cause them great economic lost.

Balkan Nationalism

Balkan nationalism can be classified as one of the main causes of WWI because it created tensions between states in the region that culminated in the assassination, which sparked the war. To break it down, Balkan nationalism was encouraged by the successful formation of Italy and Germany and then by the independence of each Balkan state from the Ottoman Empire. People considered the independence and formation of these states to be evidence of the success of nationalism, and thus their sense of nationalism grew. It grew into a desire for the unification of ethnic groups that were dispersed in different countries (Serbia wanted to unify all Slavs, some of which were under Austria's control) in addition to expansion of states. This desire created tensions between Austria-Hungary and Serbia and eventually caused a Serbian nationalist to assassinate the Austrian prince. Soon afterwards, Austria declared war on Serbia, the rest of Europe took sides, and the war began.
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GCSE History The Cold War - Yalta and Potsdam