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Position Paper: The Inevitable Cold War

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Ashley Wigfield

Mr. Fox

HS 132 J

10/04/05

Position Paper: The Inevitable Cold War

Following World War II, the actions and prevailing beliefs of both American and Russian leaders fueled distrust and resentment between the two powerful nations which eventually led to an unavoidable confrontation. Although the American mindset would have all blame placed on Russia, it is important to examine both sides of the issue in order to prove that both nations were merely acting for their own self-interests. As Truman’s Secretary of Commerce, Henry A. Wallace said, “Whether we like it or not, the Russians will try to socialize their sphere of influence just as we try to democratize our sphere of influence.” (Graebner, Cold War Diplomacy, 33) Both nations believed that they had a right to expand their own unique brand of government to other places on the globe.

When Russia, America and Great Britain came together during World War II against the Axis powers, it was obvious that each nation had underlying motives during talks of post-war aims. Stalin insisted on “a more westerly frontier (incorporation of the Baltic nations and the Curzon Line in Poland) and a friendly postwar government” (Graebner, The Cold War, 3). This would create a secure western border as well as a buffer against Germany in the case of future aggression. At the Teheran Conference, Russia was vague about its requirement in order for it to lend aid to the US against Japan. Stalin did acknowledge his support for “Roosevelt’s suggestion of a Pacific warm-water port under national control” (Gaddis, 78).

Later at the Yalta Conference, Roosevelt agreed

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