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How Far Do You Agree With The View That Stalin’s Foreign Policy Was A Major Contributing Factor To The Emergence Of The Cold War In The Period 1945 50?

852 words - 4 pages

How far do you agree with the view that Stalin’s foreign policy was a major contributing factor to the emergence of the Cold War in the period 1945-50?
Throughout the period 1945-50 there were a number of factors that caused the emergence of the cold war. One of these was Stalin and his aggressive foreign policy; another key factor to be considered is the American paranoia and resultant aggression at the time. Which of these factors was more significant is debatable but it is undeniable that soviet foreign policy was a major contributor to the outbreak of the Cold War.

One of the key elements that led to the cold war was Stalin's expansionist foreign policy, with ideas “to dominate the ...view middle of the document...

However there are also other factors to be considered when looking at the origins of the cold war, both sources S and U employ revisionist views and agree that western powers should also share some of the blame. Source U, published after the collapse of the Soviet Union, argues that there were a number of other factors, deeper differences, perhaps ideological and that the “crass nature of power politics” was also to blame. For example Churchill’s iron curtain speech in
1946 sent out a clear message to the Soviet Union as to what Churchill thought of Stalin's expansion into the eastern bloc, something that would only lead to greater reaction. This in addition to American policies and the ideas of flourishing free trade in Europe and subsequent marshall aid would only lead to equally aggressive and defensive policies from Stalin. Source S only further cements this view and argues that, contrary to Gaddis’ view the actions of the Soviet Union were only reactive and somewhat defensive to the USA in its attempt to gain greater control in Europe. Source U is likely to be a reliable source, as you would expect a Russian source post soviet collapse to be particularly critical of the Soviet Union. However it is quite the opposite, this in conjunction with the agreement from source S seems to suggest that the some weight can be put on it. All three sources to an extent show that perhaps Stalin was willing to seek cooperation with the west to achieve his goals however source S goes a step further and suggests that...

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