How far do you agree that the Cold War was caused by an unnecessary fear and suspicion that each side had for the other?

Essay by daniiHigh School, 12th gradeA+, May 2004

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Many historians are locked in debate on, who was responsible in starting the Cold War and which side has the true expansionist policies? One thing, although, that is readily agreed upon is that the Cold War officially began with the defeat of Germany and the consequence of a power vacuum in Central Europe.

In February, 1945, the Yalta Conference took place and the participants were Churchill, Roosevelt and Stalin. By this early stage of the Cold War, there had already been signs of ideological clashes and suspicion between both the U.S.S.R and the West. This conference was held in order to assure a peaceful co-existence between the Soviet Union and the West and to reinforce their alliance. Also, significantly, it can be said that American suspicion began during Yalta, for Stalin made it clear that Soviet expansionism would be the Moscow's imperative. The conference was very unsuccessful in the long run as, after World War II ended, the ideological split would prove to be too great for the "East" and "West" to remain allied forces.

The Potsdam Conference was held in the summer of 1945, shortly after the end of the Second World War and Germany's defeat, by the superpowers in order to come to a certain agreement of reparation payments of the defeated Germany. This was a turning point, and arguably, the official beginning of the Cold War. The West argued that Germany should only pay reparations after she established a somewhat stable economy; whereas the U.S.S.R demanded the reparations immediately. Therefore, this very dispute was the main cause of the split of Germany into East and West (Eastern Germany under Soviet influence and Western Germany under the West's influence).

This division of Germany was caused by the suspicion by both sides. Stalin, and his incredibly suspicious and paranoid...