Stalin As A Catalyst To The Cold War

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Register to read the introduction… In March of 1946, Churchill (insert pic 4) presented his ‘Iron Curtain' speech at Fulton, Missouri, in response to the spread of communism in Eastern Europe. He called for a western alliance to combat the threat. Stalin's response was hostile: rather than trying to negotiate a peaceful settlement, Stalin continued to tighten his grip on Eastern Europe. Communist governments were installed in every area of Eastern Europe by the end of 1947. These governments were implemented by guerrilla tactics: elections were rigged, non-communist members of the governments were expelled, with many being arrested or executed, and eventually, Stalin dissolved all non-communist political parties. Stalin began to implement a reign of terror using the Russian Army and his secret police force. Moreover, Stalin had increased his influence in the Russian zone of Germany as if it belonged to Russia. He allowed only the communist party and drained the area of its vital …show more content…
Several key issues arose in this conflict. First, the U.S. felt alienated when Czechoslovakia rejected Marshall Aid, which the U.S. blamed on the influence of the communist party. Second, the Prime Minister of Czechoslovakia was a communist, the President and Foreign Minister were not. Finally, the fact that the communists took power in Czechoslovakia by means of an armed rebellion sent waves of fear through the western world, causing the ‘iron curtain' to fall even further. The U.N. had its hands tied, because there were ‘free' elections (the candidates were all communist) and there was no proof of Russian involvement. While it cannot be proved that Stalin ordered the rebellion, the signals were clear. Stalin had likely encouraged the rebellion, and it was not coincidental that Russian troops in Austria were moved up to the Czech border. Czechoslovakia was the final east-west bridge, and with the fall of it, the ‘iron curtain' was complete.

     The final hostile movement of Stalin of importance was the Berlin blockade (insert pic 5) and airlift. When Russia grew dissatisfied with the economic disparity that had developed in Berlin, it responded by closing all road, rail and canal links between West Berlin and West German. The goal was to force western powers from West Berlin by reducing it to the starvation

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