To what extent were Soviet policies responsible for the outbreak and development of the Cold War between 1945-1949?

Essay by KeirHigh School, 11th grade April 2006

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The Cold War starting from 1945 to its end had lasted for 44 years. 44 years of different degrees and stages of tension between the two Superpowers. Who was to blame for the outbreak and development of the Cold War? Both sides were to blame, and the Soviet policies between 1945 and 1949 were, thus, responsible for it to a certain extent.

Economically, the Soviets did not allow its Eastern Bloc to receive the US's Marshall Plan aid, and set up Comecon to oppose it, and these actions by the Soviets increased the tensions between the US and the USSR. Marshall Plan was first introduced by Secretary of States George C. Marshall at Harvard University on June 5, 1947 and was passed by the US congress in March 1948. The Marshall Plan was aimed to help the reconstruction of the post-war European countries, and the countries that needed it. It was an economic and technical aid.

10% of the American GDP would go into the aid. As the British Prime Minister Winston Churchill had once said, "It was the most unselfish act in history, and it was a stunning success." However, the Russian historians can argue that it was not the most unselfish act in history. Their reason was that if the countries wanted to receive the aid, it had to open up to America and would give America a chance to look into their infrastructures and how damaged the countries were. This was not what Stalin wanted; he did not want the USA to know about how devastated Soviets was. Therefore, the USSR foreign minister, Vyancheslav Molotov, called the Marshall Plan "the Dollar Imperialism". The USSR then in 1949 set up Comecon as a counter-Marshall Plan organization formed primarily to prevent the Central European countries that had expressed interest...