Joseph Stalin's Tension Between The Soviet Union And The West

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Tension existed between the Soviet Union and the West as far back as 1885 during the Panjdeh incident. At this time the competition between Britain and Russia in Afghanistan was great and war appeared imminent. Furthermore, after the First World War, the Allies immediately supported the anti-Bolshevik White movement during the Russian Civil War, laying the groundwork for high tensions between the Soviet Union and the West for the next one hundred years. When Joseph Stalin came into power, he enormously elevated these tensions through his take over of Eastern Europe, which the West saw as an attempt to spread Communism. Indeed, by 1949 all Eastern European governments, except that of Yugoslavia, were run by hard-line Stalinist regimes, causing a great amount of fear in the Capitalist world as they saw Communism as threatening every aspect of their society. Moreover, in response to Churchill’s Iron Curtain speech, Stalin made the aggressive movement of setting up the Cominform, the purpose of which being to coordinate the actions between Soviet influenced Communist Parties. This act of strategic organisation caused the initiation of the Truman Doctrine, both of which can be said to have ‘hasten[ed] the division of the world into two blocs’ . One of the final acts of Stalin was the Berlin Blockade, which pushed tensions in international relations to a peak. By the end of the crisis in 1949 and indeed throughout the rest of Stalin’s reign, there was absolutely no communication

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