The German surrender on the 7th May 1945 marked the end of the Second
World War in Europe and heralded the beginning of a new conflict. This
conflict would develop into the Cold War between the two largest
countries in the world at the end of the Second World War, the United
States of America (USA) and The Union of Socialist Soviet Republics
This essay will examine the Cold War from a European perspective. It
is important to examine the Cold War from a European Perspective
because within Europe the USA's and the USSR's spheres of influence
had a physical border. This physical border was christened the Iron
Curtain by the former Prime Minister of Great Britain Winston
Churchill in a speech he made at Fulton Missouri on 5th March 1946.
The first two years after the war passed uneventfully with both
superpowers establishing themselves into their new sectors within
Germany, which had been agreed at the Potsdam Conference in July 1945.
This changed with the implementation by Truman of the Truman Doctrine
in March 1947. The doctrine stated that the USA pledged support for
"free peoples who are resisting attempted subjugation by armed
minorities or outside pressures." This basically meant that the USA
would help any country, which felt threatened by communism.
The Truman Doctrine was prompted by the need of Greece, which was
involved in a civil war between the right wing royalists and a
communist group. The communists were being supported by Yugoslavia and
the USSR, leading to the USA and Great Britain supporting the
royalists with the USA giving them $400,000,000 in aid...
... middle of paper ...
... European countries of the Helsinki Accord, which
recognised all the borders, which had been created in Europe since
1945. This was the final act of the Second World War.
It can be concluded that there were four main periods of time between
1948 and 1980, which saw different levels of intensity of the Cold War
in Europe. The first period from 1948 to 1956 was a time of extreme
intensity as both superpowers attempted to establish their spheres of
influence. The second period from 1956 to 1960 was characterised by
Khrushchev's policy of peaceful co-existence. Both sides learned to
live with the other. The third period between 1960 and 1970 saw an
increase in tension and therefore intensity. The final period was the
period of "high dÉtente" with both sides again learning to accept each
others space and political regime.
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