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The role of germany as root of the cold war

They also agreed on the division of Germany and Berlin into four separate occupation zones. However, the rest of the Peace Talks did not unfold in such a smooth manner; it was these talks over how to deal with Germany which highlighted the profound disparity between the USSR and America.

The war aims of the two superpowers in relation to Germany diverged fundamentally from one another; America sought reconstruction of its former trading partner into a prosperous democracy ready for business again, conversely the USSR sought rich compensation to match the disproportionate loses it had faced during the war; in this way Germany would be weakened and could therefore act as a buffer zone rather than as a potential threat of invasion.

Disagreement gave way to mutual antagonism as the former allies took practical steps to realize their vision for Germany. By 1946 tensions between the various occupying countries were mounting; it was clear to the USSR that reparations were not to be delivered from the western zones.

During the spring of 1946 British and American concern over Soviet practices in East Germany were aroused when the East German Communist and Social Democratic parties were merged and their authority was seized by the newly formed Socialist Unity Party.


Suspicions were not to end there; in the autumn of 1946 Stalin was alarmed by the discovery of Anglo-American discussions over the practicalities of fusing their zones into a Bygone. The coalition of Anglo-American zones acted as a catalyst towards the formal division of Germany two years later.

Relations continued to dampen during 1947 when West Germany was offered Marshall Plan aid, and in 1 948 when all three western zones instituted a currency reform. In response the Stalin cut off rail and road links to West Berlin.

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The western powers realized the importance of keeping control of Berlin. In 1949, in attempt to resist the USSR the Allies set up an intergovernmental military alliance, NATO, which would act as a system of collective defense against any external party. Six years later Khrushchev would set up a similar organization for eight Communist states in Central and Eastern Europe, the Warsaw pact.

All of a sudden the war had become much colder as the former allies faced one another with large scale, military alliances for which Germany was expected to provide a likely battleground. In an extreme attempt to rectify East Berlins diminishing population, Khrushchev prevented people from leaving by fortifying Western borders with the Berlin Wall in August 1961.

The Berlin Wall was the symbol which characterized the East-West division; an ominous manifestation of an ideological divide in the form of bricks, mortar and barbed wire.

The wall not only divided Berlin. Over the following years, it became a symbol of division — the division Of Germany, the division of Europe, the division of communist East and democratic West. The Communists presented the wall as being a protective shell.

  • In conclusion, I believe that while Germany played an important part during this period, it was not the main cause of East-West disagreements and that others, such as the events around the world during the same time and the central ideological opposition between the two superpowers, were far more important in both disagreements during that period as well as the greater course of the Cold War, as evidenced by the easing of tensions within Germany caused by the division of Berlin through the Berlin wall in 1961;
  • As focused switched from Germany to elsewhere in the world, a Berliner in 1961 may have viewed vents from then onwards in Germany with mild surprise;
  • In 1949, in attempt to resist the USSR the Allies set up an intergovernmental military alliance, NATO, which would act as a system of collective defense against any external party;
  • Firstly, the significant strategic geographic location of Germany within Europe as well as its potential economic strength was important in a way that both the Eastern and Western bloc took interest in it.

The West presented it as a prison wall. As focused switched from Germany to elsewhere in the world, a Berliner in 1961 may have viewed vents from then onwards in Germany with mild surprise. In just four years after the surrender of Germany to the Grand Alliance the allies had turned against one another, polarities Europe into an East-West divide which would remain at the centre of the Cold War until the Berlin Wall was torn down in 1989.

From a European perspective Germany would have appeared very much at the centre of the Cold War tensions; symbolically it was where the Cold War both started and ended with the tense Potsdam Conference in 1 945 and then the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989.

To those expecting superpower infiltration, Germany seemed like the ideal battleground. However, looking at the Cold War on an international scale it is evident that there Were roots elsewhere.

Analysis the role of Germany in the Origins of the Cold War.

Despite the continued East-West tension in Berlin, the second half of the Cold War was relatively peaceful in Germany compared to the rest of the world where the Cold War ravaged the homes and lives of non- Europeans. But what was it that spurred the Cold War on for so many years and when did it actually start? Both states also advanced across vast frontiers and were the first and third largest countries in the world. Finally, both superpowers embraced ideologies with global aspirations and had leaders who believed their ideology was superior and should be exported and who perceived the other as an expansionist security threat.

However, this is as far as their commonalities stretched. Lenin had overthrown the Provisional Government in the October Revolution.

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The disparity between the two nations ultimately meant that under natural circumstances they were better suited as rivals rather than allies. What the superpowers were aiming to attain was superficially very similar; their post-war objectives were both based around obtaining security. Stalin believed security for himself, his regime, his country and his ideology were he four most essential objectives.

He was well aware that in order to obtain security in this form he would need continued Anglo-American goodwill. Stalin believed another capitalist crisis was about to arise, in which case the capitalists would then rely on the communists. In order to serve as a model for the rest of the world to prevent future wars and keep peace, the US could no longer remain apart from it; it would therefore have to abandon its policy Of isolationism.

This was a fundamental turning point in IIS foreign policy, and it would soon have its effect on the Cold War, as it meant that presidents no longer were restricted on how far and when they could commit the IIS overseas. Relations within the Grand Alliance were already tense in to October 1944 when Churchill agreed that the USSR would have predominant influence in the European countries it had occupied during the war. Roosevelt, angry that he had not been consulted on the Stalin-Churchill deal, protested against it.

Britain and America were becoming increasingly wary of Stalin. The flaws within the Grand Alliance had proved too much once the war was over. It had been an alliance based on negative cohesion in order to defeat moon enemies.

At the root of the Cold War was the German Question Paper

Had their ideologies been less adversarial then perhaps the alliance may not have fragmented and turned against one another in the way that it did. However, communism and capitalism were such polar opposites on the political spectrum that the probability of the allies continuing to cooperate in post-war conditions was very unlikely. How to cite this page Choose cite format: