Yalta & Postdam Conferences

In History we studied the Yalta and Postdam Conferences. We made this summary and analysis in our e-beam program about Yalta. Hope you enjoy it!

Then, we analysed this question type b: “Why had the agreements at Yalta been relatively easy to reach while Potsdam had mainly disagreements?
  • Change of president. Truman was very anti-communist and very suspicious about Stalin.
  • At Yalta the sphere of influence was just an idea. In Potsdam it became real. Many eastern European countries were under the soviet control.
  • At Yalta the war had not ended (USA and the USSR had a common enemy=Japan). At Potsdam the war had ended (In the absence of a common enemy, Soviet fear became real).
  • At Potsdam Churchill was replaced by Attlee so the tension between the USA and USSR grew.
  • Threat of nuclear power on the side of the US. Tension for the USSR.

Now we have to make bullet-points to analyse and answer the following essay question: “How far were the disagreements at Potsdam to blame for the start of the Cold War?

  • USA feared making the same mistakes they had done in the Treaty of Versailles (making Germany pay high reparations) so Germany wouldn’t seek revenge, while the USSR wanted her to pay high reparations to them (due to casualties, etc).
  • USA wasn’t in favor of the Soviet sphere of influence. The soviets were supposed to leave after liberating these countries but instead they stayed and put pressure on the people (with the Red Army) to win the elections. Stalin did this with the excuse that “Uniting Slav people, no one will dare to move a finger against them”.
  • Stalin wanted to totally ruin economically Germany so it wouldn’t be a threat anymore, but again, the US didn’t want to repeat the same mistake as in the Treaty of Versailles.

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