Churchill’s words won the war,
Marshall’s words won the peace.
Thanks to the Marshall Plan, the economy of the democratic part of Europe was saved….The aims defined by General Marshall in his Harvard speech were attained. The success was a striking demonstration of the advantages of cooperation between the United States and Europe, as well as among the countries of Europe themselves.
Paris Negotiations of 1947
- Before the official negotiations began Stalin sent his foreign minister Molotov to discuss the terms of this aid with the US and Britain.
- Molotov left the conference early as he believed in line with Stalin’s belief that the USA had ulterior motives for offering its help to the European States
- Representatives from the USA led by Jefferson Caffery and the UK led by Ernest Bevin discussed on the prospects of the Marshall Plan with 16 other Western European including Turkey and Greece (who were threatened by a Communist takeover)
- Bevin was happy that the negotiations went on despite the USSR refusing the to attend the conference as he has put in so much hard work to ensure this conference became a reality.
- Many Eastern European nations were prevented by Stalin from attending this conference due to him believing that the Marshall Plan’s final aim is to undermine Communism in their states.
- Many Western European nations merely gave a ‘shopping list’ to the American for which the money was to be spent on. The total amount of the list amounted to a staggering amount of $28 billion much more than the $13 billion the Congress was willing to spend.
- Finally a deal was achieved where the nations had to think supranationally instead of thinking about themselves.
- These nations agreed to liberalise trade in their respective country whilst France will discern a Customs Union.
- ‘Dollar Imperialism’ was coined by the USSR’s foreign minister, Molotov, when he denounced the whole idea as being a sham.
- COMINFORM or the Communist Information Bureau – established 1947 – promote ideological unity – to complete the Sovietisation of the Soviet satellite states – to attack Titoism.
- COMECON or the Council for Mutual Economic Assistance – founded 1949 – USSR, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Poland, and Romania later joined by GDR were members of this new organisation – to integrate the economies into the USSR economy thus achieving unification.
- Stalin took measures to attack the Marshall Plan: –
- The incorporation of Eastern Europe into the spheres of Soviet control. This was helped by the fact that most Eastern European nations were occupied by the Red Army.
- No longer willing for Communist parties in each Eastern European country to work with other parties (coalition governments). Coalitions were thought to be more acceptable to the West than just one Communist government. Stalin was no longer willing to be so accommodating.
- The creation of COMINFORM.
- The creation of COMECON
- On-going presence of the Red Army in these countries (against the principles of the Yalta and Potsdam Conference)
The takeover of Eastern Europe
- Provisional Government set up in June 1945, obviously Communists dominated this government
- Mikilajczyk (Leader of the London Poles) was not allowed to join the government
- Stalin instilled terror in the hearts of the electorate through use of the Red Army
- Election results tainted
- Mikilajczyk resigns in protest
- UK and USA does nothing to help due to the Doctrine of Containment
- Elections held in November 1945
- Communist did not get the majority in the elections – obtaining only 17%
- Still very anti-Communist – Open borders with the West; privately owned medium and small businesses
- Would Stalin allow it to continue?
- He arrest the main opposition party against the Communists which was the Smallholder’s party
- August 1947
- Stalin still fails to win the elections in Hungary only obtaining 45% of the votes
- December 1947 Treaty of Friendship with Yugoslavia and a mutual aid treaty with the Russians was signed
- Czechs were interested with Communism however it chose to uphold its democratic tradition
- July 1945 Soviet troops withdraw
- Mixed Government set up
- Americans were worried that the Czechs were vying to join the USSR bloc
- Withdrew all loans promised to Czechoslovakia
- ++++++++ (significant boost) for Communism
- In late 1948, the Communist Party launched a Coup d’état to establish 100% control of Czechoslovakia the current leader in power caved in due to worries of a civil war
- UK and USA protested but took no decisive action
- Despite Communism ruled supreme in this nation, Stalin had failed to assert his authority here why?
- Yugoslavia was not liberated by the USSR instead was liberated by its peasant army led by Communist
- Read on here: http://www.johndclare.net/cold_war6_Yugoslavia.htm
- After Poland, Stalin’s immediate priorities were the control of Romania and Bulgaria. As the Red Army swept into Bulgaria and Romania in late 1944 coalition governments dominated by communists were set up. In February 1945, within days of the Yalta agreement, a top Soviet politician, Andrei Vyshinsky, ordered the King of Romania to appoint a new prime minister chosen by Stalin. When the King said that this was not in line with the Yalta agreement, Vyshinsky slammed his fist on the table and shouted at the King. Stalin got his prime minister. This clearly shows that Romania never did get its independence after its liberation due to the Red Army presence in its ‘sovereign’ territory. The monarchy in Romania was abolished in 1947.
- Elections took place in Bulgaria in November. This came as a shock to me as Stalin must have had some form of insurance against all risks associated with having a democratic election. However, once again Stalin proves to the West that free and fair elections carry a double meaning. These elections were rigged and the communist Fatherland Front won. In September 1946 the communist government in Bulgaria abolished the monarchy.
7. Baltic States
- Basically the USA handed these states to Stalin in return of Stalin’s cooperation in the war.
- This brilliant website from the Latvians outlines everything from source details to comments about it: http://www.latvians.com/index.php?en/CFBH/StalinSveics/HSGTBS-060-FDRawards.wiki
- Bear in mind this might be a bias review of the whole event.
Sovietisation of all these nations began almost immediately after becoming a satellite state.