Three Main Events that Caused the Escalation of the Cold war up to the Berlin Blockade

Essay by KeirHigh School, 12th grade February 2004

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I believe that there were three main events that caused the escalation of the Cold War. This essay is going to assess how these three events contributed to the escalation of the Cold War and how important they were to its continuation.

In my opinion the first strains in the relation between the two sides started at Potsdam more then at Yalta. When we look at Yalta we only see agreements such as "Hold free elections in Soviet occupied territory"; "Set up UN" etc. but it's in Potsdam that the first disagreements start to emerge. For example they did decide on a few new things but the main focus lies on the disagreements. The decision to set up a coalition government in Poland was not honored by the Soviets who removed all the ex-members of the Polish government in London who had been allowed into the new coalition government by Stalin at Yalta.

They also disagreed on the size of the German reparations and the Soviet's demand for a bas in the Mediterranean. So it is clear that the first disagreements and therefore the roots of the mistrust between the East and the West began at Potsdam. Although not the only event that caused relations between the two sides to deteriorate it was certainly one of the main ones.

The second event is Churchill's Iron Curtain speech on March 1946 where he described the Soviet block as an "Iron Curtain" and suggested a tougher approach towards it. In other words, with this speech, Britain's ex-Prime Minister had made the call for firmer action by the West against the threat of communism. In order to meet this Soviet expansion, he called for an alliance between Britain and the USA. Britain's Prime Minister at the time, Attlee, had not been informed of...