In the years after the Second World War, the world was about to witness a major nuclear conflict between the United States and the Soviet Union, people feared that the confrontation between these two superpowers could lead to the destruction of the planet; people from all over the world were fearfully watching the actions of these countries.The U.S.A abandoned its isolationist stance to get involved in the world’s issues, this was considered by many as a wrong move towards the Cold War, but to what extent was the U.S responsible for causing it?
First of all, the Americans undertook a policy which was unknown for the whole world at that time. It abandoned its isolationism to become involved in the world and mostly in the Europeanissues as it had never done before. In normal circumstances, a European power would have been stronger and more dominant; France, Germany and England had had their chance. It was up to Russia to feel the power gap after the Second World War, but now, America was no longer isolationist so there was a struggle to fill this gap. Americans switched foreign policy too violently, and chances are thatEurope, especially Russia wasn’t ready for it.
Secondly, President Truman’s inexperience played a major role in worsening relations. President Roosevelt was good with diplomacy, he didn’t permit abuse, but he was able to solve issues peacefully. President Truman on the other hand, took a tougher stance towards the Soviet Union, one of distrust and aggression. The difference between the two presidentsis shown in the wartime conferences: Yalta and Potsdam. At Yalta, a weak president Roosevelt managed to reach agreements, while at Potsdam Truman dedicated most of its time boasting about the discovery of the atomic bomb.
These actions were completely wrong, they knew that Stalin was obsessive with Russian security, and that this was because Russia was attacked twice in 30 years, the first timethe established government was demolished and the second time, the communist regime was almost overthrown. So Russia had motives to fear for its security, and Truman’s attitude only generated more motives for distrust.
Moreover, Truman constantly threatened the U.S.S.R, because he felt powerful with the atomic bomb and he felt that the Soviets wouldn’t dare to attack the U.S if they had knowledgeof the existence of that bomb. Communism was for Americans an extreme ideology that should be stopped by any means (Containment). They had had experience with extremists before (Hitler), and they knew that appeasement did not work, and that a stronger line should be taken towards them, an example of this is the Truman Doctrine which offered American help to any country that wanted to break freefrom “the ties” of communism.
The Marshall Plan, which was American financial aid to Europe, from which they were expecting some influence in return, was also badly regarded by the Soviets. America was already seen as a “capitalist monster”, but if on top of that, they took advantage of Europe’s terrible situation to “buy” the support of western countries through “pumping-dollars”, they felt thatthey were using their economic resources to invade Europe. America preached to be in favour of freedom in every country, but they were trying to gain influence, the only difference is that the Soviets used force and they used money.
Also, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, or NATO (alliance of Western countries, which guaranteed protection for Europe in case of aggression), was taken as athreat by the U.S.S.R. The U.S.A was lifting the barricades; it showed that America was more involved in Europe than ever, only feeding Stalin’s fear of attack.
If we are to blame the United States, everything is to be seen from a Soviet perspective, the communists had struggled to achieve power in Russia, they had been witnesses of what the U.S could do in times of war, and they were slowly...