Dominique Tappy 7F – 04 October 2000
The Cold War was a struggle between conflicting universal values. In the West, the concepts of a market economy and a multi-party democracy were cherished as necessity. In the East, single party statism and a command administrative economy were highly valued. The obvious conflict of ideas and obstinate nature of those who defended them were the driving force behind the Cold War.
The western nations felt it necessary that the liberated states of Eastern Europe should be re-established with a democracy and a capitalist economy. They believed that these systems were more civilized and less violent than the nationalism of the preceding generations. Russia, under autocratic leader Josef Stalin, felt that it had a right to the Eastern European nations it had occupied in World War II. After being invaded by Germany in two consecutive wars, the USSR felt it imperative that buffer states be created to protect the borders of the fatherland. With Communist regimes in place, the nations of Eastern Europe could be controlled by Russia and, by their location, protect it.
Conflict between the two opposing victors of World War II was inevitable. Yalta, the home of former Czar Nicholas II’s Lavidia Palace, is a Russian city located on the Crimean southern shore of the Black Sea. It was in this palace that the conflict began.
By February of 1945, Germany’s defeat was inevitable. The Russian army of 12 million soldiers had fully occupied Poland and was within the borders of pre-war Germany, ready for an assault on Berlin. The Western Allied army of 4 million men was located just west of the Rhine River, still advancing eastward. On February 3rd, the Russian army was ordered to hold its position for one week. During the next seven days, the “Big Three” powers, headed by Franklin Roosevelt, Winston Churchill, and Josef Stalin, met in Lavidia Palace to determine how the war should be finished.
The main purpose…