This is in similarity with Source U where we are told that he was not pursuing expansionism -?rather to ‘avoid confrontation with the West’ and wanted to cooperate with them.
Source T however completely disagrees with my judgment as it suggests that Stalin aimed to dominate Europe peacefully -he was determined and would even resort to diplomacy to achieve this goal. The overwhelming argument however is that Stalin was seeking security in the region and was seeking to protect his country from future invasion through his reactionary policies -such as creation of a buffer zone and keen intent to paralyze Germany, he was not seeking to expand territory. Source S argues that Stalin was open to discussion and can see in this source that he ‘responded positively’ to discuss a peace pact with Truman.
Furthermore I can see that Stalin himself called for a unified, neutral Germany to which the West refused to cooperate. This demonstrates his desire to put aside any aggressions held between the two nations and strive towards a path of peaceful coexistence. I know that at Yalta in early 1945 Stalin agreed to France as one of the powers to occupy Germany after much persuasion by Churchill suggesting his ability to cooperate with the West whilst also showing us that it was actually the West who aimed at implementing their agenda, which would be a factor that raised tensions.
This idea of Stalin wanting to cooperate and maintain good relations with the West and that it was due the policies of the West that lead to the Cold War is found in Source IS where we are told that Stalin ‘wanted to avoid confrontation’ and to aimed to ‘solve contentious international issues’. I can support this view as I know that at Potsdam the USSR wanted to help run the rich German industrial area of the Rue -however the USA rejected their support; the USSR also wanted a share in the occupation of Japan which was also rejected by the USA.
Therefore all this is pointing out to us that Stalin had been open to cooperation, willing to make improvise (accepting France as a power) and were patient (reparations were not agreed upon at Yalta but later at Potsdam. Moreover can see that it was the West who were causing a rise in tensions with their refusal to accept Soviet support -unlike the Soviets who made compromises and were open to cooperation.
On the other hand, it may be argued as found in Source 7 that Stalin was seeking to ‘dominate the continent’, it further adds that the Soviets were willing to use diplomacy with the West to ‘dominate’ and were determined reach this aim no matter how long it took as they had no timetable ‘unlike Hitler’. To support this would be Stalin’s strong determination to make sure all the Eastern European countries were communist and was controlled from the Kremlin. In many Eastern European Soviet troops remained after the war.
At Yalta, Soviet gained Polish territory, at Potsdam the USA tried t force the USSR to hold free elections in Eastern European suggesting that Stalin only wanted a communist covet. From Moscow to control these states as to promote communist ideology -Stalin made sure the communist party made the ultimate decisions and used threats, rigged elections and suppression of the opposition to make sure the communists on elections -Stalin seems to want to ‘dominate Europe’.
This ‘domination’ is evident as communist governments were installed in Czechoslovakia with the removal of opponents, in Poland where orders were taken from Moscow, in the rigged elections of Bulgaria in 1945 along with majority victories in elections in Hungary and Romania -?domination Of Europe was complete by 1947 and a success of Stalin’s policies of creating satellite states; a huge sphere of influence.
Sources S and U argue that Stalin was taking steps and making compromises to maintain a peaceful coexistence with the West and void confrontation -which means that these sources argue that Stalin’s policies were not confrontational and were not major contributing factors to the Cold War. Rather the sources argue it was due to Western policies which were creating tension such as their refusal to allow the USSR to join them in helping control the Rue and the occupation of Japan.
Whereas Source T suggests the view that Stalin’s policies and actions in Europe were expansionist and he was seeking to dominate the surrounding territories by installing communist governments. Another claim made by Source S is that he Soviets wanted to keep Germany weak as they feared a ‘re-emergence of a powerful and aggressive Germany, this means that, as they have suffered two invasions in the past (WI and WI), they don’t want to risk another invasion which would again devastate the nation like it had in the past.
So this source wants us to realize that Stalin’s policies during this period was executed for the security of his own country and to prevent future attacks by Germany not to expand Soviet territory unlike Truman and Churchill assumption. Can support this claim as Source S tells me that the User’s elicits were ‘reactive’ and ‘restrained’ in regards to the military competition with the USA suggesting that Stalin was not interested in dominating the world as this would require a large military -?Stalin reduced his troops from 1 1 million to 2 million that were stationed in Europe.
His policies were reactive unlike the Aqua’s who seemed to instigate tension through its policies such as the Marshall Plan which arose as part of the Truman Doctrine -it was the West policies which were major contributing factor to the emergence of the Cold War. A major justification of Stalin’s desire to have a buffer zone in the idle of Europe is that 26 million Russians died in the war, whereas the USA and Britain suffered a combined total of less than a million.
For this reason it is entirely understandable as to why the Soviets stationed pro-Soviet governments in Eastern Europe -for security purposes. It was due to American and British policies and anti-Soviet attitude (they felt Stalin wanted to spread communism -they misinterpreted his control of Europe as expansionist not aware that it was due to security reasons; though this could have been as a result of Stalin not being clear as to why he wanted unionism regimes in Eastern Europe).
Examples of the West’s policies which contributed to the emergence of the Cold War were that the USA did not inform the USSR of the A-bomb, Churchill Iron Curtain speech, change in U. S. President -Truman promised to be tougher on Stalin. George Seaman’s Long Telegram helped articulate the growing hard line against the Soviets as it argued that the USSR was expansionist in nature and was a threat to US security. This supports the view that the West was responsible for contributing towards the emergence to the Cold War as opposed to the Soviets.
Consequently in March 1 946 Churchill gave a speech in Missouri, USA in which he argued that there was a metaphorical curtain dividing East and West Europe -?capitalism to the West and communism to the East, where Stalin was spreading communism, he called on western governments to resist this. This speech could have initiated the Cold War as Churchill publicly announced the USSR as expansionist which could have suggested to Stalin that after all the cooperation with the West, he had been betrayed and was no longer an ally. Hence Stalin built the Iron Curtain -?a fence running cutting if communist east from the non-communist west.
The Iron Curtain was as an example of Stalin’s ‘non-aggression’ and ‘restrained’ as mentioned in source S to avoid direct conflict. This proves that Stalin was not looking to expand Soviet territory, rather as a defense and reaction to the West’s policies and aggressive attitude. Thus contradicting Source T which states that Stalin wanted to dominate Europe, another example would be that Stalin did not intervene in the communist defeat in Greece which shows his disregard to expansion and his focus on the protection of the Soviet Union whilst the
Americans did support the military in Greece helping them to attain power. In 1947 Truman introduced the Truman Doctrine which was aimed at supporting free people’s resisting outside pressures and the Marshall plan designed to provide aid European countries to rebuild after the devastation -however the conditions were that they allow markets open for American business and permit free trade. This is expansionist as free trade was part of capitalism and the US was merely using money to bribe these nations into coming under capitalist influence.
Another example to spread capitalism was he fact that the Americans would decide how Marshall Aid would be spent rather than the recipient nations themselves -this meant the Americans could control these countries fulfilling their agenda and undermining communism. These policies support the argument in Source U which states that the Americans and British policies deepened the hostility and mistrust. The Source also adds the view that Stalin was not seeking to expand rather to cooperate and avoid confrontation -similar to source S.
The US spent billions in economic aid to spread its influence and open markets for America which old be seen as expansionism through the use of financial aid. The doctrine was intended to prevent further expansion of communism as know that Truman said that he would get ‘tough with Russia’ indicating his determination to crush the spread of communism -proving that American policy was responsible for escalation of the Cold War -unlike Stalin who in source S said he wanted peaceful coexistence with capitalism and in source IS he was willing to cooperate.
The West completely misread Stalin’s intentions. Truman further raised tensions by stating that the world was divided into two camps, the capitalist camp or the communist camp. The idea that the Soviets were reactionary is proven when the Soviets created COMMON in 1949-a Soviet version Of Marshall aid to help nations recover from post war devastation. Some may argue that this was to prove to these nations that communism was just as good as capitalism as it offered aid and support whereas some may argue it was to keep out capitalist expansion and maintain communist influence.
Frustrated by the implementation of the Truman Doctrine, Stalin decided to end Western influence in Berlin by completely blocking off the entry of the British and Americans from their sections of Berlin. This was because he knew the West was determined to strengthen and rebuild their parts of Germany -?something which Stalin opposed as he wanted a weak Germany for the security of his country and prevent future invasion.
In addition, the Western powers merged their parts of Germany to create Begonia which Stalin argued as breaking the Potsdam agreements. The West here has clearly raised tensions and added to being a contributing factor to the emergence of the Cold War. Another factor was the West’s introduction of the Deutsche -?again keeping out the Soviets from operating which means that the West were not looking for peaceful coexistence, rather to strengthen West Germany and increase capitalist influence.
Consequently, Stalin’s reaction was again reactionary when he introduced a currency for East Germany to counter the West German currency introduction. The Berlin blockade was a failure for Stalin as the Western powers airlifted food and aid to West Berlin -they avoided direct conflict whilst not giving into Stalin’s takeover indicating a non-confrontational approach. Likewise Stalin did not shoot down the loaded planes.