The change from Roosevelt to Truman.



Roosevelt

Roosevelt wanted to avoid war at all costs and wanted to achieve World Peace because his nation lost 410,000 men during the war, which was an enormous loss for him. Roosevelt believed that he could work together with Stalin to achieve what he wanted, he trusted Stalin and symphasized Stalin for his losses during World War Two. Also Roosevelt needed Russia's help in the war against Japan and was prepared to do give Stalin anything to ensure their support which would lessen USA's casualties. Roosevelt was idealistic, he trusted Stalin and was ready to give him what he wanted because he needed Stalin's help and wanted to avoid war.
Stalin playing cards
Stalin playing cards

Truman

Truman was strongly Anti-Communist and he did not trust Stalin. Truman and his advisers saw Soviet actions in Eastern Europe as aggressive and Truman was determined never to repeat the mistakes of Appeasement and be strong and stang up to any agressor. Also the development and successful detonation of the Atomic Bomb gave Truman confidence to bully Stalin and showed that the USA no longer needs the Soviet Unions's support in the war against Japan therefore there is no need for them to support the Stalin and his views.
atombomb.jpg

The change from Roosevelt to Truman cause a masive change in the relationship betweeen the USA and the Soviet Union. Roosevelt trusted and wanted to work with Stalin against their common enemy - Germany. Truman saw Stalin as dangerous, agressive and untrusworthy. All mentioned factors increased tension between the Soviet Union and the USA and in effect led to the Cold War.



Historical Experience
At the Potsdam Conference Truman was aware of the Versailles treaty, Appeasement policy and the Depression in the 1930's. The treaty of Versailles made Germany pay high reparations (₤6600 million) therefore crippling Germany and its economy. The USA wanted Germany to remain a strong nation, as Truman thought that this would prevent Stalin from taking control over Europe. Truman believed that if Germany remained economically powerful, another depression would be avoided. He also believed that Hitler rose because Britain did not have enough power and courage to stand up against him and because of the mistakes made in the creation of the Treaty of Versailles.

Ideology

Truman didn’t trust Stalin and was confident in USA’s growing power. Truman was anti-communist and looked forward to help to develop and recover Europe after the Second War. Truman didn’t want another depression hitting USA and the world as after First World War. Truman strongly believed in human rights which were the key factors of the democracy. He believed that creeping Germany as Stalin wanted won’t help Europe, especially in establishing democracy there. Truman became much more suspicious of communist moves than Roosevelt had been, and he became progressively more suspicious of Soviet intentions under Stalin. Truman knew that the only way to talk with Soviets is to show strength and power. That’s why he tested the Atomic bomb and then went to the conference confident in himself.

The Russians only understand one language - ‘how many armies have you got?’ I’m tired of babying the Soviets.
President Truman, writing in January 1946, after the Potsdam conference.














IDEOLOGY AND HISTORICAL EXPERIENCE: STALIN


In the first point, Stalin, just after the end of the Second World War, knew that he would have to fight with the west. This thinking made the peace impossible because Stalin did not trust anybody and thought that he would have to fight for it. Stalin thought greatly that the best way to rule a country is by communism, a form of socialism that abolishes private ownership. This was against Truman, because he thought that democracy was the best. During the Potsdam conference, Stalin wanted to punish harshly Germany for all the trouble he caused. From the beginning, Russia was left alone with no real allies. The appeasement policy disturbed Stalin because he wanted a weak Germany, Stalin was furious because when France and Britain could have defeated Germany, they didn’t act. The West of Europe also participated in the Russian civil war of 1918-1920. Also, Russia was the country that suffered the most in the war. He had lost over 27 million men in the war, and thought it was very obnoxious that USA said it was suffering of war, with only 400 000 men lost. After the war, he can easily be compared to Clemenceau in Versailles. Stalin wanted high reparation and wanted that Germany to crumple and be the weakest possible.

Before the war against Hitler, Stalin was the target of many countries that hated communism, such as America and Britain.
Britain made an alliance with Germany against communism; Stalin knew that sooner or later, Britain would attack him.
When Stalin was willing to fight against Hitler in Czechoslovakia, Britain didn’t do anything letting Hitler get near him.
Stalin knew that Hitler would attack him, but he needed time to prepare for war; the Nazi-soviet pact gave him that
The West of Europe also participated in the Russian civil war of 1918-1920. Also, Russia was the country that suffered the most in the war. He had lost over 27 million men in the war, and thought it was very obnoxious that USA said it was suffering of war, with only 400 000 men lost. After de war, he can easily be compared to Clemenceau in Versailles. Stalin wanted high reparation and wanted that Germany to crumple and be the weakest possible.

Stalin blamed appeasement therefore Britain for letting Hitler get so strong, he didn’t trust Britain, because when they could have defeated Hitler in Czechoslovakia and USSR was willing to fight alongside with Britain, they just appeased Hitler again, giving Stalin another reason not to trust Britain.
He believed that Britain was pushing Hitler to the East letting Stalin fight alone against him
Stalin lost 27 million in the World War 2; he believed that the delay of the open in the second front was for Stalin and Hitler to self destroy.


In the end Stalin wanted a weak Germany, in order to prevent other 27 million dead men.
He also wanted Germany to pay high reparations, because the war took major place in Russian soil

Common Enemy - Suspicion over delay of Second Front


During the Second World War, Stalin was invaded by Hitler and the USSR suffered losses of over 20 million Soviets. The invasion lasted an entire 3 years, in which Stalin was continuously asking Britain and the USA to send their troops and open a Second Front, so that Hitler would no longer be able to focus his entire army on Russia.

However, that did not happen fast enough - there was a suspicious delay, which allowed Hitler to literally place troops at the gates of the Russian cities. Stalin knew that Britain was allowing Hitler to get a chance to destroy Communism, since that was his long-term aim. A reason why Stalin was suspicious was because Britain followed a Policy of Appeasement for a number of years, which allowed Hitler to break the Treaty of Versailles, re-arm and to make Germany strong again.

UNEASY ALLIES

USA and the Soviet Union were uneasy allies. Both had very different ideologies as USA was democratic and Soviet Union was Communist. While USA’s main aim was to remain peaceful and be sure that Europe will recover quickly, Stalin believed in an inevitable war with the West so he wanted Germany to stay weak. As Hitler was defeated between Yalta and Potsdam conferences, USA and Soviet Union didn’t have any common enemy to keep them working together. Atomic Bomb
At Yalta, Stalin agreed that he is going to help USA to fight against Japan, as they needed their help. But what happened after, is that Stalin was ready to fight against Japan, but in return he needed American loans in return for help. As Roosevelt died and Truman came to power, Truman was a complete anti-communist and later on, in 1945, America had an atomic bomb and they didn’t need Stalin anymore. So basically what Truman said is that he didn’t need Stalin anymore and he is not going to give USSR American loans.