This tension during the war inevitably lead to the breakdown of this wartime alliance one the common enemy was defeated. From the start, the alliance was based on mutual distrust. The soviets lagged in technological advance and saw the need for an alliance in order to uphold its borders. However throughout the war ideological mistrust as well as memories of Munich tainted their alliance. These seemed to be rightly held by the soviets as the allies push Hitler further east towards Stalin, the Russians lost more men and suffered far more than any other.
With this conflict seemed inevitable. The change in American policy made it hard for soviet policy makers to determine their reaction.
At the end of the war the A-bomb also made Soviet-American relations tricky. Its development bred resentment and distrust; the high levels of espionage throughout the war, on both sides, show this. USSR planned for peace on the assumption of a secure western border with a weakened Germany.
Fears and suspicions still circulated however about Russian behaviour in Eastern Europe. The division of Germany at Potsdam was a way of dealing with the indecision and conflicting aims of the allies. All agreed that Germany was to be de-Nazified, demilitarised, deindustrialised and for democratic power to be re-established, however it was the interpretation and execution of these aims that lead to debate.
Each power looked after their own needs — France for instance was reluctant to accept German control of the Saar which delayed co-operation until the autumn of meaning that the German people suffered the harsh winter of Britain on the other hand wanted to reduce its economic burden placed on them — their economy heavily reliant on several American loans.
Seeing how harsh treaties had led to the start of the second war the west was keen not to repeat the cycle. Stalin meanwhile had set up his own reparations commission headed by Maisky and Litvinov. Most historians persist that the cold war was not inevitable but brought on by the opposing leaders. John Lewis Gaddis demarked six main reasons for the outbreak of the cold war. Gaddis then goes on to blame the change in policy by the Americans — becoming involved in world affairs rather than isolationist as Stalin had expected them to remain.
The misread soviet intention at this time is also made liable, the propaganda spread by anti-Bolsheviks helped to develop this interpretation. Gaddis also remarks that the US was politically, economically and militarily stronger than any other state at that time.
He also stresses that the US only acted as it chose to see the soviets as aggressive expansionists. This post revisionist view also dictates that the incompatible ideology did not lead to conflict between both countries. Following Gaddis opinions as a model the cold war was not as inevitable as some suggest. Without ideology as the catalyst but using the conditions of the post war world the antagonism between the USA and USSR is clearly frictional towards the end of the war and evident in post war discussions.
The high levels of espionage undertaken by both countries in the last year of the war showed an increase in distrust. The dropping of the bomb is just as pointed as its secret conception and shows the political distrust of not only Russia but the rest of the Allies at the end of the war.
The different aim of the allies during post war discussions suggests that the cold war was ultimately inevitable. The difference in political systems and interpretation of terms was bound to cause further mistrust and tension. If you actually read this I am impressed and very pleased! Thank you for taking time. If you are reading this as part of your studies here is a list of source material that i used to write this essay and may aid you.
However the topic for debate mainly seems to be who was to blame. The traditionalists1 and post- neo revisionists2 blamed the USSR and Stalin, the revisionists3 blamed the US and the neo-revisionists4 took a balance of the two positions. My view would be that of the neo-revisionists showing both sides to be at fault in some way and the Cold War arising from an unfortunate but understandable series of mistakes and misunderstandings.
The first seeds of mistrust between the powers were sown as far back as , with the Russian revolution occurring and the new government pulling Russia out of the First World War and concluding a separate peace with Germany Treaty of Brest Litovsk in Rather it sought to isolate this new ideology as it fear the spread of communism which would upset the already unstable situation in Europe and within its own borders, following the depression of It was only when Stalin began to rule that he focused more on internally building up the USSR and gaining security for it in the ever turbulent world around it.
Therefore these pre war tensions were set in place for when the Second World War ended, making the Cold War even more imminent. However a lot of the tensions could have been avoided had the powers sought to peacefully co-exist and not sought to export their ideologies.
Therefore the cold war was not inevitable. This is most obviously seen in the handling of the issue of Czechoslovakia. However the British and the French backed by the Americans refused this offer, persuading the Czechs to surrender. It had caused a lot of trouble in Europe with riots and unrest in many cities. There were also doubts about the competence of the Red Army, although it silenced those critics later on during the war.
So these tensions proved to be obstacles in the way of co-operation, again sowing bad feelings on both sides and with each step the Cold War was becoming more and more likely to come about, post This removed one possible war front and allowed the USSR to deal with the threat on its eastern border, namely Japan.
However the Nazi Soviet pact again contributed to great anger among the Allies, showing in their eyes the USSR to be very hypocritical in its thinking, first attacking Nazism and then siding with it. However what was misunderstood by the US was that Stalin saw this alliance to be temporary so that his country could properly prepare and deal with the other threat facing them.
So it was not a betrayal of principals but rather a calculated risk in order to protect the nation. Similarly the USSR failed to grasp that some in the west viewed appeasing Hitler as simply buying time to prepare for war.
Had both sides understood this then perhaps they could have joined forces more quickly than they did and prevented the war continuing as long as it did. The Nazi-Soviet pact was grossly misunderstood by the West, thereby dividing the two sides when they should have united against a common enemy. It was added to the list of things that would be brought up after the war to prove that the two sides were irreconcilably different and therefore was another factor as to why the Cold War was imminent but not inevitable.
During the war, after Russia came on the side of the western allies in , there seemed hope that the previous differences of ideology could be put aside as they all faced a common enemy and therefore afterwards no confrontational action needed to arise. And on first appearance this seemed to be the case; the alliance worked well as the great powers fought side by side, culminating in victory in However beneath this victory still lay the tensions, which became most apparent in the conferences of the allies towards the end of the war.
The first conference happened in Moscow in and it was here that the powers were found to have different aims and expectations. Whilst the US and Britain had come to the conference prepared to discuss the basis for future peace the USSR wanted to discuss how to end the war as quickly as possible, by creating a second front in Europe to relive the pressure on the eastern front.
However these issues were all put off in order to maintain the unity of the group. So this first conference showed up a whole variety of issues each of which had the potential to develop into conflicts between the two powers. However for the time being they were swept under the carpet as they were not yet a high priority and it was more important to keep the fragile alliance working.
So after the war, when they had to deal with them, it was quite likely that conflicts would arise as the actual tensions were already there. However one could argue that had the issues been dealt with sooner and with more care, better solutions could have been found and the Cold War avoided or toned down.
So it was certainly not inevitable. The next major conference happened at Tehran in where the issue of the second front was dealt with in more detail and also the plans for the UN were set in place. However the USSR started to observe that the US was exerting more influence over strategic planning with Britain becoming the junior partner. The issue of the future of Germany was also a sour point raised as there were conflicting ideas on this.
The USSR wanted to deal with it severely after the war otherwise fearing it would revive. However the US and Britain advocated a more moderate approach of letting it develop otherwise it would fall once again into the hands of radicals, like what had happened after
In the end, the Cold War was inevitable as a result of the conflict of interest between nations, whether it be the ideological gulf between communism and capitalism or the determining the political future of Eastern Europe, which was ultimately fuelled by the unstable post World War II environment.
Thesis: Although the Cold War was avoidable in that better negotiation efforts could have been made, it was mainly inevitable in that the U.S. and the Soviet Union had undeniable differences and the Soviet Union was impossible to reason with.
Kimball, Warren F. "The Incredible Shrinking War: The Second World War, Not (Just) the Origins of the Cold War." Diplomatic History 25, no. 3 (): Leffler, Melvyn P. "Adherence to Agreements: Yalta and the Experiences of the Early Cold War." International Security 11, no. 1 (): Lewkowicz, Nicolas. Was the Cold War Inevitable?ARTS ESSAY th September, The orthodox view of the Cold War elucidates its inevitability due to the great ideological differences that existed between the Soviet Union and United States.
Was the Cold War Inevitable? ARTS ESSAY 16th September, The orthodox view of the Cold War elucidates its inevitability due to the great ideological differences that existed between the Soviet Union and United States. Jan 31, · To what extent was the cold war inevitable? The cold war is often argued as an ideological confrontation between the political systems of the capitalists versus the communists. This battle transforms itself into several forms through the second half of the 20 th century and its impact has shaped the modern world.