In History, we’re going into what is known as the ‘Cold War’.
Here’s a Slideshare showing a bit of the general information about the war.
This is a newsreel from around the time of the Yalta Conference.
And this page talks about the Yalta and Potsdam Conferences.
In the third slide of the presentation above there are a few questions and points we were supposed to answer:
1) Why did the wartime alliance fall apart?
To answer this shortly, there was no point anymore to continue being allies. The two superpowers had joined forces to defeat Hitler and once they did that, USA was still capitalist and the USSR was still communist.
Also, the USSR couldn’t forget that in 1917 Britain and USA tried to stop the Russian Revolution, or the Red Scare, or the fact that USA “wasn’t all that big of help”. But, nor Britain or USA could forget that Russia signed the Nazi-Soviet Pact in 1939.
2) What were the major differences between the superpowers?
The major difference between the superpowers was that USA was capitalist and the USSR was communist.
3) What was the importance of Yalta and Potsdam conferences?
In Yalta, the decision the Big Three (USA, Britain and the USSR) made was to divide Germany into four zones of occupation. They also allowed free elections in Eastern Europe, this agreement was called the Declaration of Liberated Europe. Russia was invited to join the League of Nations and she promised to join the war against Japan when Germany was defeated.
In Potsdam July 1945, Germany was defeated, Roosevelt died and Churchill lost the elections. Truman was angry with the size of reparations and about the fact that there was a Communist government being set up in Poland. Truman dropped the atomic bomb in Japan.
4) What were the roles of Stalin and Truman?
Stalin wanted 10 percent of the industrial equipment of the western zones, Britain and the US thought this was too much.
Truman was angry because Stalin had arrested non-communist leaders of Poland.
Truman hid things from Stalin, like the atomic bomb in 1945 all so Japan could surrender before Russia invaded. Stalin was furious.