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World War II and Onset of the Cold War

World You will be providing a bibliography and citations on this two part approximately 4 page essay.

You are free to find quality sources from any appropriate educational website, library or journal.

I prefer footnotes for your citations and please remember to provide the bibliography page at the end.


Using proper format, in a +/-4 page essay, please completely answer the following questions:

  1. In your opinion, did the Marshall Plan force the Soviet Union to create the buffer zone?
  2. Should the Western Allies have acted to oppose Soviet domination of Eastern Europe?
  3. Explain how the situation in Europe immediately following the fall of Germany led directly to the Cold


150 pts. RUBRIC: 40 Content 30 Supported Opinion 20 Bibliography 20 Format 20 Citations

and Onset of the Cold War


World War II and Onset of the Cold War

  1. In your opinion, did the Marshall Plan force the Soviet Union to create the buffer zone? 

In my opinion the Marshall plan did not force the Soviet Union create buffer zone but it made
them strengthen their buffer zones. The buffer zones were created earlier before the Marshall
plan came into effect. George Marshall, an architect of, World War II was appointed Secretary of
state by the then US President Harry Truman. The state department under Marshall with the
expertise provided by George Kennan, William Clayton among others crafted the Marshall plan.
The plans primary aim was to aid rebuild the European economy. George Marshall earlier speech
to the world on June 5, 1947 at Harvard widely known as European Recovery Program (ERP)
was one of the pillars that led to the Marshall plan for he was convinced that the restoration of
political stability in Europe would be realized on economic recovery. The Americans provided
financial aid to the affected countries allied to their capitalistic ideologies (LaFeber, 2013).

The buffer zones created by the Soviet Union came after they successfully defeated the Germans.
Berlin was split into two with the Americans and the Soviets in opposing ends. The Soviets
overran a number of states setting up communist governments hence creating buffer zones
known as Iron curtains in some quarters. The buffer zone’s purpose was a physical entity which
signified the territorial barriers gains of the Soviet Union. They allowed the Soviets feel
comfortable. The buffer zones helped guard people from escape and the western intrusion.

  1. Should the Western Allies have acted to oppose Soviet domination of Eastern Europe? 

In my opinion the Western allies should not have acted to oppose the USSR’s domination of
Eastern Europe for it would have been economically derailing. The major cities and Europe at
large was in a terrible state.

That act would have caused counter attack at such a time that the western allies were not ready
for another war. The USA had just dropped atomic bombs in Hiroshima and Nagasaki in Japan
while the USSR was in a process of developing them. Such attacks would have taken
unprecedented long time to repair the already torn world.

Major treaties and agreements that were negotiated after the World War II Would not have come
in place without the support on the Soviet Union. If the western allies would have united against
the USSR they would have been cooperative at this point. The United Nations would not have
been formed neither would the Germany’s surrender have been well. The Soviet Union’s support
in the aftermath of the war to repair Europe would not have come if the western allies would
have opposed its domination.

Finally, since the Western Allies were in economic depression it’s evident that that would not be
a goal after the World War II. Money was needed to repair the damages and helping the
displaced people rather than opposing the Soviets. The long cold war that was unavoidable
would have caused havoc to the Western Allies who had bad economy. They really needed
money to repair their economy but not for war. Opposing the Soviet Union would not have really
been an option for they needed them (Hook and Spanier, 2015).

  1. Explain how the situation in Europe immediately following the fall of Germany led
    directly to the Cold War.

The aftermath of the war was terrible with nearly ¼ of the housing in Germany destroyed and
infrastructure was depleted. Inflation was at center stage with millions of homeless people
experiencing food shortage. Germany was divided into four zones of American, French, British
and Soviet. The American, French and British later merged to form federal republic of Germany.
With the USSR occupying East Germany with its Headquarters in Berlin (Todd, 2012).

Russia had lost over 20M of its citizens hence Stalin created a buffer zone for friendly states to
make sure than Russia would never be invaded again. The growing in statue of the USSR beyond
its boundaries made the USA scared. Tension grew for the fear that USSR would expand towards
America. In my view, the USA’s serious thinking on countering the massive expansion of USSR
and its own defenses against communism caused the cold war. There was immense secrecy
between the two super powers, whereby America did not know the place that Russia was
planning to go while Russia didn’t know if USA was going to stop them.

The Marshall plan was another big cause of the cold war. The economic support program by the
US secretary of state George Marshall gave money to democratic-torn friendly countries in order
to build their economy. The American intention was to alienate the USSR who they did not give
financial aid with their partners in the east. All this angered USSR; it made them hate the USA
and its allies. Compared to the expansion of Russia, the Marshall plan widely led to the cold war.
COMECON was the USSR’s response initiative to the Marshall plan where the Communist
states were given financial aid that encountered threats from capitalism. This in turn angered the
Americans resulting to cold war (Maddox, 2015).



Hook, Steven W., and John Spanier. American foreign policy since World War II. Cq Press,

LaFeber, Walter, Richard Polenberg, and Nancy Woloch. THE AMERICAN CENTURY: Volume
2: A History of the United States Since 1941. Vol. 2. ME Sharpe, 2013.

Maddox, Robert James. The new left and the origins of the cold war. Princeton University Press,

Todd, Allan. History for the IB Diploma: The Soviet Union and Eastern Europe 1924-2000.
Cambridge University Press, 2012.

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