AB – Paris negotiation, Stalin’s response and the takeover of eastern Europe

On July 16th, a detailed negotiation on the Marshall plan began in Paris 1947; this include 16 Western European nations, including Turkey and Greece. This however, did not include any Eastern European countries as they were told by Stalin to refuse their invitation; despite the East not coming, the west found it hard to agree with each other terms, as they all had their own agenda. For instance, France wanted to ensure that their own economy was receiving US aid. Also Britain wanted to safeguard their sovereignty, but were opposed to creating powerful supranational organisations, which meant that they could not transcended national limits; however, they were able to agree that France should start to negotiate for a customs union, also Germany’s economic revival was declared essential and finally, there was to be co-operation on the development of hydroelectric sources

The foreign minister of USSR believed that dollar imperialism was capitalist terrorism and was being enforced by the Marshall aid. He believed that it attacked European countries ideologies, which allowed the US to spread their power.

In September 1947 COMINFORM was established to promote ideology unity amongst the communist parties around Europe. Furthermore, all the Soviet bloc communist parties joined forces, as did the French and Italian communist parties. Its main objective were to complete the sovietisation of the soviet satellite states, to co-ordinate the activities of the communist parties in the soviet bloc and around the world.

COMECON was founded in 1949 by the USSR, Bulgaria, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Poland and Romania. Its main objective was to integrate the economies of Eastern Europe with the USSR.

The takeover of Eastern Europe

Poland- Stalin, allowed the leader of the London poles to come back to Poland. However, he stopped his party from running for the election, and this created a clear path for Stalin party to win.

Hungary- Stalin used his dominated position on the  allied controlled commissions, which helped him set up a real governing force.

Czechoslovakia- Stalin held free election on May 1946, in which the communist party won 38% of the vote, moreover they tried to go to the Paris conference and accept aid from the Marshall plan, but Stalin stopped them from going.

Yugoslavia- the communist party had won power independently of the soviet forces (Yugoslavia won 90% of the votes in the election of November 1945) and Tito was then able to smoothly implement a revolution based on Stalinist model in the USSR.

Romania- there was no strong opposition leaders like Mikolajczyk in Poland and as a result the Soviets were able to consolidate their position more quickly than they did in Poland.

Bulgaria-In December 1945 Stalin forced the communist-dominated Bulgarian government to include two members of the opposition, so that there won’t be any unnecessary friction with the Western powers until the peace treaty had been signed. Furthermore, in October elections, the oppositions managed to win over one-third of the votes, but western hopes that this would form a basis of an effective parliamentary opposition were soon crushed. And this was because the Truman doctrine and increasing US involvement in Greece meant that Bulgaria became a frontline state in the defence of communism. That the USSR took Bulgaria

Baltic state- sovietisation was used to enforce communist values and institutions in these states. Stalin deported many who opposed their economic policies; in March 1949,90000 Baltic nationals were branded enemies of the people and deported to Siberia.


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