Why did the foundations for mistrust and suspicion between the members of the Grand Alliance already exist by 1945

Topics: World War II, Communism, Soviet Union Pages: 5 (1792 words) Published: January 18, 2014
Why did the foundations for mistrust and suspicion between the members of the Grand Alliance already exist by 1945? In 1945 the war had been fought on one side by the nations of Great Britain, USA and USSR, the members of the Grand Alliance achieved victory in WW2. It was more important than ever the victorious powers remained united as they faced the enormous task of reconstructing war torn Europe. However, as they sought to do this, their unity was already weakened by the existence of mistrust and suspicions between them. Despite the outward appearance of unity, these nations were fundamentally divided by their ideological rivalry which had already existed between them since 1917: the disagreements and strains they experienced; and their competing aims and ambitions for the future of post-war Europe on which their societies were based. The fundamental struggle between the communist system of USSR and capitalist ideas of USA and Great Britain ideological rivalry is evident to be the most significant explanation for the existence of mistrust and suspicion between them. Due to the fact, it lies at the basis of the other casual factors. The long term issues of their ideological rivalry which was present between the USSR and the West since the Bolshevik Revolution in 1917 was a significant contributory factor in the development of a hostile relationship between them. The great power rivalry was evident during the years of 1917 to 1941; the Bolshevik Revolution in 1917 saw the rise of Lenin which meant a rise in Communism. It can be said the Soviet foreign policy was driven by communist ideology rather than national security. This was a threat of a totalitarian state. Ideology of Marxism was alien to the USA as left wing politics were unheard of; this was especially threatening as Marxist ideology saw the destruction of capitalist societies such as the USA. Its egalitarian values and its attacks on the freedoms held to be so important in a Liberal Democracy. Truman adopted a strident policy to combat spread of communism towards the Soviet Union; in 1945 he upbraided USSR’s foreign minister Molotov, over Soviet occupation of Poland. A greater source of fear in the West was the communist belief in the inevitable conflict between capitalism and communism views. The idea of communism succeeding to worldwide revolution and this meant the downfall of capitalism.In addition, Europe faced the growing threat from Nazi Germany. In the years of 1939 saw the introduction of a non-aggression pact between Russia and Germany. Seen by many as what gave Hitler the confidence to invade Poland which sparked WW2. Stalin feared Germany would go against them in war and were not ready arms wise in the battle to fight against them. It can be said Hitler didn’t want to fight war on both East and West fronts, that’s why he wanted to attack Poland, already achieving taking over Czechoslovakia. These approaches were rejected by the British government whose ideological opposition to Fascist Germany. Their differences in ideology created British suspicions to rise, as Stalin appeared to be confirmed in August, in the view of the British making the outbreak of war in Europe inevitable. 1941, when the Grand Alliance was formed, it was out of a mutual need to defeat a common enemy (Hitler.) Not a natural alliance of allies but an alliance of ideological enemies. The suspicion and mistrust relationship between them continued to exist below the surface. This helps to explain why despite the superficial show of unity, there were extensive dissimilarities and strains in their wartime relationship which further served to fuel the latent hostility between them. The strands in the Grand Alliance were due to the ideological suspicions that arose between them. The disagreements that they experienced in the years building up to 1945, was due to the fact their key personalities and how they dealt with situations. The constraints and pressure they were put...
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