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Cold War in the years 1945-1953 Essay

How far do you agree with the view that superpower misjudgements account for the development of the Cold War in the years 1945-1948? It is reasonable to suggest that it was indeed superpower misjudgements that led to developments in the Cold War in the the years 1945-1948, as it is suggested in both source 7 and source 8, however other factors may be more prominent than the misjudgements of the superpowers, such as the legacy left by World War 2, as it is suggested in source 9. The suggestion of superpower misjudgements being responsible for the developments of the Cold War between the years 1945-1948 is highlighted in source 7 – an extract from The Origins of the Cold War, published in 2008 – has a revisionist overview, where it is suggested that American misjudgements were to blame for the Cold War developments “American decision-makers misread Soviet security interests… this, in turn, led the Soviets to see US policy as aggressive” from my own knowledge i know that at this time Soviet policy was focused at ensuring national security, by establishing a ‘buffer’ zone, as the Soviet Union had in fact been invaded twice before through countries close to it, America may have misjudged this as expansionism and a breach of conditions that had been set at the Yalta conference, the source further suggests that the Soviet Union had misjudged US policies as “aggressive capitalist expansionism” possibly in reference to the Marshall Plan, and the Soviets may have seen this as America’s way of holding influence throughout Europe.

Source 8 – an extract from Inside the Kremlin’s Cold War: From Stalin to Krushchev, published in 1996 – agrees with Source 7 on the fact that misjudgements were responsible for the Cold War developments, however the source describes the Soviet Union, not the USA for being solely responsible, the source states that Stalin’s road to the Cold War was “strewn with miscalculations” and that in response to the Marshall Plan, Stalin “began to consolidate a Soviet security zone in Eastern Europe by ruthless police methods and intensive Communist propaganda” which infers that Stalin misinterpreted the Marshall Plan, and responded in such a way that would provoke the USA, this later led to the Berlin Blockade, the source also states that “Stalin subjected… the rest of the world to a bloody and protracted war that contained the real danger of a global conflict” this further consolidates the idea that misjudgements led to Cold War developments.

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