Roosevelt's Responsibility for the Cold War

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Roosevelt's Responsibility for the Cold War Certainly Roosevelt’s naive attempt to foster diplomacy with his World War II ally allowed Stalin to quickly secure the Eastern front of Russia placing the nation in a position of power in Europe. However in the context of the post-war period this policy of appeasement and gratuitous diplomacy during the Yalta conference was not significant in starting the Cold War because it produced no immediate results that would have triggered such a dispute. Truman on the other hand, created an ideological discord between communism and capitalism that was unprecedented at the time and pursued this policy with great ardor during the Potsdam conference and during the closing stages of World War II. It is a fallacious to assume that Roosevelt’s naïve foreign policy with the U.S.S.R was significantly responsible for the Cold War when it was clearly Truman’s belligerent approach to foreign affairs that ignited the conflict. Roosevelt diligently tried to ignore the popular claim that soviet expansion into Eastern European nations bordering Russia was an attempt to spread communism and attain hegemony. In his view, Russia was just insecure having been the victim of the spurious Nazi-Soviet pact and Operation Barbarossa instigated primarily through Poland. He believed that Stalin just wanted to secure the Eastern front of Russia to avoid future invasions. Harriman, advised Roosevelt on taking a coercive stance with Russia, and on fulfilling the goals of the Atlantic Charter. Roosevelt always took a moderate path and therefore loosely abided to encourage democracy in Europe, but not to the extent that it... ... middle of paper ... ...g of the bombs indicated to Stalin that Truman was willing to threaten the security parameters of the Soviet Union. Stalin therefore realized that he could only gain back negotiating powers by building a bomb himself. It now appears inane to claim that Roosevelt’s attempt at avoiding a conflict such as the Cold War actually led to it, when contrasting his policies with those of Truman’s. Certainly the U.S.S.R. made tremendous progress in terms of securing its influence of power, and for that the blame is ascribed to Roosevelt. Yet he was never significantly responsible for starting the Cold War. The conflict could have easily been avoided. Without a doubt, Truman’s coercive diplomacy incorporated with his atomic threat really created the conflict. His policies also greatly shaped the conflict in its entirety.
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