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Marshall Plan Dbq

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Following the end of World War II, relations between the Soviet Union and the United States quickly deteriorated, with tensions rising and both nations pushed to the brink of war. This strain arose largely due to animosity and secrecy from both parties, as each side wondered what the other was planning and tried to create policies to protect themselves from these possibilities. In the case of the United States, President Truman often incorrectly interpreted Soviet intentions, which ultimately led to the Cold War. He believed that Stalin wanted war when the Soviets were just trying to protect themselves after the war, were retaliating against aggressive Western policies, and were using the same rhetoric that the West was using. As Henry Wallace …show more content…

The Marshall Plan and its immediate effects are a prime example of this. This plan provided European nations with millions of dollars in aid. The Americans felt that the Marshall Plan was a good way to both rebuild Europe and ensure that communism would not spread to these vulnerable countries. The Soviets, on the other hand, were “convinced that the United States designed the aid program to lure Eastern European nations out of the Soviet orbit and to rebuild Germany” (Gillon 21). Fearful and feeling threatened, they responded by cracking down on dissent in their satellite nations, encouraging a communist coup in Czechoslovakia, and blockading Berlin. The United States and the West used these actions as justification for further aggression, even though they were simply a response to their provocations. The moves by the Soviets intensified fears in Congress and led to the United States expanding federal power through agencies like the National Security Council and the Central Intelligence Agency. It also led to them solidifying their influence over the Western Hemisphere by joining the North Atlantic Treaty Organization and the Organization of American States. The Soviets once again became threatened and formed the Warsaw Pact, a military alliance in Eastern Europe, in response. President Truman continued to view …show more content…

For instance, Winston Churchill gave his famous “Iron Curtain Speech” in which he argued that the Communist parties were a danger to Christian civilization and that an iron curtain had descended and divided East and West Europe. Stalin was not happy with this speech, saying “Like Hitler, Mr. Churchill begins to set war loose with a racial theory. Churchill’s theory is that only nations speaking the English language are fully valuable nations and that they should decide the destinies of the entire world” (Stalin). He felt that not only were they insulting him and his country, they were also being eurocentric in believing that their culture was superior and the only “right” one. Churchill’s speech was not uncommon; in fact, “the rhetoric and actions of American policymakers appeared to support one of the principal teachings of Marxist-Leninist doctrine: the incompatibility of capitalism and communism” (Gillon 10). This rhetoric had existed from the advent of the Soviet Union before World War I and continued, sowing the distrust between the two countries and providing the Soviets with a reason for their own propaganda. The Soviets used propaganda to ensure that only their ideology was being spread, with all forms of science or knowledge that they

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