Write a 6 pages paper on the legacy of the cold war. By the end of the war, the Soviets had first liberated then occupied much of Eastern Europe. As a result of the Yalta conference following the War, the Soviet Union controlled the Eastern part of Germany along with much of Poland, Czechoslovakia, Austria, Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria and half of the German capital Berlin (“The Cold War”, 2006). The Soviet Union’s military atrocities in Poland served as the catalyst for the U.S. dissolving its alliance with its former friend. All economic aid to the Soviets was cut off in May of 1945 by President Truman who, in August of that year declared that Stalin, the Soviet Premier, did not desire peace but to rule the world. Winston Churchill, the Prime Minister of Great Britain stood with Truman on February 9, 1946, to give a speech in Missouri, Truman’s home state. He used the term ‘iron curtain’ referring to Stalin’s grip on Eastern Europe and said English speaking peoples were allied against the Soviets to prevent a return to the Dark Ages. This sent shockwaves throughout the Soviet Union. Its official newspaper Pravda compared Churchill and Truman to Hitler. The U.S. policy of aiding Germany in its recovery and suggestions that Russia gives back lands seized in the war also irritated the Soviets which still harbored hatred against Germany and thought it should receive reparation funding instead (Smitha, 2001).
Truman employed two major policies in the cold war fight. The first was the Truman Doctrine, a policy of containment of the Soviet Union. He said in a speech in March of 1947 that it was “America’s duty to interfere.” He did not want to destroy the country but wanted to stop the Soviet territorial expansion. The Truman Doctrine gave military and financial support to countries vulnerable to communist expansion such as Turkey and Greece.