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How Far Do You Agree with the View That the Development of the Cold War in the Years 1945-49 Was Mainly Due to ‘Stalin’s Own Errors’?

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How far do you agree with the view that the development of the Cold War in the years 1945-49 was mainly due to ‘Stalin’s own errors’?

I disagree with the statement - sources 7, 8 and 9 all suggest that the Cold War had many contributing factors, although it was ultimately the USA’s own economic and national interests to blame, rather than Stalin’s errors, as a result of acts and policies such as the Marshall Plan and Truman Doctrine in 1947. Both providing evidence to support this view are sources 8 and 9, with source 7 giving the impression that it was the errors of Stalin that contributed most. In addition to these two factors, conflicting ideologies also played a small role in provoking the Cold War, as shown in source 8. Despite this, it was fundamentally the economic and national interests of the USA that was mainly to blame for the start of the Cold War in 1945 and its development through to 1949.

Europe was destroyed physically and economically after the Second World War. America saw this as a chance to become a world hegemony, as well as economically advancing the nation - source 9 proves this, saying, “The liberal capitalist US economy needed ever-increasing trade and investment opportunities”, as well as “The Marshall Plan was designed to implant an informal American Empire in Europe”. This shows that the USA not only used Europe’s fragile situation after WW2 to prosper itself, but more importantly increase its world influence, aiming to produce some sort of Empire of its own. For this to happen, the USA became hostile towards its rival superpower, the USSR. This point is supported by Source 8 by quoting “the illusion of being all powerful, fostered by American economic strength”, suggesting that the US government blindly influenced Europe, ignoring the Soviet sphere of influence. Supporting the evidence in sources 8 and 9 are the key events of the...

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