US-Soviet Relations

US-Soviet Relations - Description

Where’s the love?. Where did it all start?. October 1917. : Lenin and the Bolsheviks seized control of the Russian government and then fought for control of the state in a civil war that lasted until 1921 (the Russian Revolution) . ID: 275280 Download Presentation

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US-Soviet Relations

Where’s the love?. Where did it all start?. October 1917. : Lenin and the Bolsheviks seized control of the Russian government and then fought for control of the state in a civil war that lasted until 1921 (the Russian Revolution) .

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US-Soviet Relations

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US-Soviet Relations

Where’s the love?


Where did it all start?

October 1917: Lenin and the Bolsheviks seized control of the Russian government and then fought for control of the state in a civil war that lasted until 1921 (the Russian Revolution)


Where did it all start?

March 1918: the new Communist leaders signed the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk, taking Russia out of WWI


Where did it all start?

Anxious to keep Russia in the war to help the Allies, the US sent forces into Russia to aid the “whites”, who wished to continue fighting, in their civil war against the Bolshevik “reds”

So began the antagonism between Communism and the West


Where did it all start?


: After the Bolsheviks created the Soviet Union in with Lenin as its leader, the major Western states had limited contact with the Soviets. Both nations became more focused on their own affairs.

Communist parties appeared in all the European countries and in the US.


Where did it all start?

Communist parties attracted those who wanted to remove the social and economic inequities from their societies.

Most members were the most downtrodden of the working class, joined by a small group of middle-class intellectuals who became more prominent in the 1930s, when capitalism seemed to be collapsing in the Great Depression.

Many turned to Communism as the only economic solution.


Where did it all start?

Jan-Aug 1931

: 100K Americans applied for immigration to the SU.

Many were attracted to the


calls for solidarity against fascism – the Soviets seemed to be the only serious opponents of Hitler and Mussolini

In 1933, FDR formally recognized the SU in the hope of building better relations.


Where did it all start?

Though the US and SU tolerated each other, some Americans became skeptical of having close ties, especially after the Soviet purges in 1938-39.

Roosevelt’s growing concern about Nazi Germany should have brought US-Soviet cooperation, but Stalin allied with Hitler when he signed the




Where did it all start?

June 1941

: Germany invaded the SU; the US and British backed the SU.

The US sent almost $10 billion in lend-lease aid, and fundamental differences (liberal democracy and free enterprise vs. planned economy and restricted freedom) were temporarily forgotten.

American media portrayed the Soviets as heroic and virtuous


Where did it all start?

The alliance between the SU and US continued until the defeat of Germany in May 1945.

The US and SU no longer had a common enemy. Tensions were likely to resurface.

Both the US and SU had substantial power and were forced to have contact with each other, particularly in their dealings with Germany.


Disagreements Ensue

During the war, the Big Three (US, SU, GB) met three times to discuss military strategy and terms of peace.

Teheran 1943 – FDR, Stalin, Churchill

Yalta 1945 – FDR, Stalin, Churchill

Potsdam 1945 – Truman, Stalin, Churchill


Disagreements Ensue

The Big Three leaders agreed that:

Germany would be disarmed

Germany and Berlin would be split into four occupation zones

SU would get part of eastern Poland

Poland would get




Eastern European nations would elect new governments now that they were freed from German control

since the SU had occupied these areas in the process of defeating Germany, they were in a position to dominate and control the elections


Disagreements Ensue

Churchill was wary of the spread of Soviet power, yet FDR seemed to be indifferent. He often referred to Stalin as “Uncle Joe.”

As agreed, Stalin allowed elections in Eastern Europe but made sure they were won by Communists. These countries became Soviet “satellites,” taking orders from Moscow.


Disagreements Ensue

Why did the Soviets distrust the US?

From 1945-49 the US was the only country with nuclear weapons

The US was capitalist and most of its businesses were privately owned

The SU saw US anti-Communist policies as hostile (containment, Marshall Plan)

The SU did not want western Germany to be unified


Disagreements Ensue

Why did the US distrust the SU?

SU troops did not withdraw from Eastern Europe after WWII

Communist parties were gaining strength in Western Europe

The SU tried to spread communism by helping nationalist uprisings ex. China and North Korea

Differences in political systems: US was democratic and SU was totalitarian


What does it all mean?

As a result of this, there was competition over:

An arms race

A space race

Espionage (CIA




Alliances (US with NATO, SU with Warsaw Pact, China and Cuba)

Proxy wars (giving money and support to other countries to support war ex. Korea, Vietnam)


What does it all mean?

The next decades saw a roller coaster of rising and falling tensions between the US and Soviet Union. Each president had his own challenges when dealing with the Soviets, and it was not until 1991 when the Cold War was officially declared over.

In the meantime, the US had been involved in two wars, multiple crises abroad, Communist witch hunts at home, and the threat of nuclear fallout – all in the name of Containment