Cold War Intensification Between 1947 An Essay

, Research Paper

Cold War Intensification between 1947 and 1953

During the period of 1947 to 1953 relations between East and west continued to deteriorate.

The first problems aroused after disagreements on what should happen to the now divided Germany. All parties involved wanted to reunify Germany, however a decision could not be reached over how this would be done. It was agreed that the Soviet Union would get German machinery to replace Industry destroyed in the war. It was also agreed that the predominately agricultural based East Germany would ship food to the predominately urban West Germany. This did not happen, which caused the USA to stop shipping machinery to the Soviet Union. This sparked a reaction from the Soviet Union. The USSR resisted attempts to reunify Germany, and instead set up a Communist based government in East Germany. By 1948 the US , UK and French sectors merged, and Germany was divided into two distinct parts, the Capitalist West, and the Communist East. However, there were still hopes of reunification. In 1947 disputes about currency reform caused the Soviets to leave the Allied Control Council in 1948. Now the Soviet Union blockaded the Western zones under West German control. This almost starved the western part of the city. In response, Britain and the US flew in supplies to Western Berlin to keep the city operating. Eventually, the soviets backed down, and in 1949 the blockade was lifted. East and West Germany were separated permanently by now.

Meanwhile, in the rest of Europe such divisions were also taking place. The Soviet Union was seeking to make a buffer zone, as marauding European armies generally went westward. Creating the ?buffer zone? required setting up communist governments in many east European nations and linking them heavily to Moscow. The Western powers saw this as aggressive expansionism, and were determined to stop it. The US, through the Marshall Plan provided aid to countries resisting communism. This put a lot of tension on US-USSR relations.

In 1949 the Western powers, lead by UK and USA formed the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation, whose aim was to protect its members from potential threat, either economically, politically or militarily. This was a direct opposition to Soviet Union, which formed the Warsaw pact in response. This led to a development of two camps in Europe.

During the early 50s the Soviet Union harshly exploited its sattelite states. These countries were quickly communized, farms collectivised, industry industrialised and opposition crushed.

In 1953 , Stalin died, which led to a new era in east-west relations.


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