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Question: Using sources A,B,C,D,E and F your own knowledge, who do you think was to blame for the outbreak of the cold war between the years of 1945-49?
There is numerous numbers of arguments that blame the Russians for the Cold war this was by people with clear orthodox views. This is shown in sources A, B, C and D. But however many revisionists have also argued that USA was at fault, this can be seen in source E. However post revisionist argues that cold war was both Russia’s and the USA’s fault this can be seen in source F.
Source A is from a historian who talks about the need for American self interest. The importance of the American economy. I think that this source shows that Americas was not at fault for the Cold war and that they were only trying to stabilise their economy and avoid another depression. The source is clearly written by a person with orthodox views as it also say that post-war period was a perfect way of America spreading its idea of peace and prosperity. This source I feel clearly shows that Russia was to blame as it shows that America was only interested in self interest.
Furthermore Source B highlights the point the point that Russia was to blame for the cold war this is because source B is a picture of a traditional Russian Bear smothering the world and crawling all over it. This shows that the Russians intended to spread their word of communism all over the world. The source is clearly drawn by a person with orthodox views and who believes that Russia was trying to bring the whole world under its sphere of influence. This again shows that Russia was to blame for the cold war.
In addition Source D which was written by Arthur Schlesinger who was a key orthodox writer? Source D shows that after the war Stalin had a lingering hunger for world domination which was driven by his paranoia and also says that the cold war was a response by America which was trying to liberate the communist aggression. This clearly shows that the Russia was to blame for the Cold war this is because of when Schlesinger stated that Stalin wanted world domination this shows that America only countered to stop the world from falling into the hands of Stalin.
Furthermore in Source C it firstly says that America provoked Russia but however it quickly moves to establish the point that the USA was responding to a range of dangers from the Soviets for e.g. the Iron Curtain which Churchill spoke about. Source C is also a clear orthodox view as it shows that USA only reacted to Russia initial actions. It also say that the USA’s reaction was also a response to the results of the Second World War. Furthermore other facts that can be said that shows that Russia started the Cold war was the fact of its Salami Tactics and how it brought down many eastern European countries also the Czechoslovakian coup and the infamous death of Czech Patriot Jan Masuryk and also The Berlin Blockade.
However Source E contradicts the fact that Russia was at fault for the Cold war this source shows that the Soviets only desired security in the form of friendly states and not in the form of invasion. But however instead of Russia paranoia the Americans paranoia that the soviets were planning to take over the world provoked them in taking an aggressive get tough with Russia policy. This is a revisionist view as it points the blame to the USA for the cold war. Furthermore during 1945-49 there was many things in which the Americans done to provoke the Russians such as in the infamous Iron curtain speech by Churchill also the Kennan Long telegram these are signs that America had started the Cold war because they started to provoke Russia first.
However Source F contradicts both the Orthodox and the Revisionist view as it’s is a picture which shows that the Americans and the Russians trying to split the world in half. This post revisionist picture indicates that may be both the superpowers were at fault because they both seemed to want to bring counties into its sphere of influence the post revisionist view is what most neutral see as the correct view this is because if you weigh up all the actions between 1945-49 such as The Marshall plan, Truman doctrine and Berlin airlift vs. the Salami Tactics, Soviet pressure on Iran and the Berlin blockade then you can see that they just provoked each other.
In conclusion I feel that the orthodox and revisionist view both highlight key points and show faults of the other sides but I feel that the post revisionist is the most accurate as it shows that both camps were at fault for the Cold war. This is because both the USA and the Russians had done things to accredit them with the blame of the cold war. Finally I believe that the cold war was a bilateral thing and only lasted so long because of both of the camps lack of negotiation.