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    George Kennan sends “long telegram” to State Department

    George Kennan, the American charge d’affaires in Moscow, sends an 8,000-word telegram to the Department of State detailing his views on the Soviet Union, and

    Year 1946 Month Day February 22

    George Kennan sends “long telegram” to State Department

    George Kennan, the American charge d’affaires in Moscow, sends an 8,000-word telegram to the Department of State detailing his views on the Soviet Union, and U.S. policy toward the communist state. Kennan’s analysis provided one of the most influential underpinnings for America’s Cold War policy of containment.

    Kennan was among the U.S. diplomats to help establish the first American embassy in the Soviet Union in 1933. While he often expressed respect for the Russian people, his appraisal of the communist leadership of the Soviet Union became increasingly negative and harsh. Throughout World War II he was convinced that President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s spirit of friendliness and cooperation with Soviet leader Joseph Stalin was completely misplaced. Less than a year after Roosevelt’s death, Kennan, then serving as U.S. charge d’affaires in Moscow, released his opinions in what came to be known as the “long telegram.”

    The lengthy memorandum began with the assertion that the Soviet Union could not foresee “permanent peaceful coexistence” with the West. This “neurotic view of world affairs” was a manifestation of the “instinctive Russian sense of insecurity.” As a result, the Soviets were deeply suspicious of all other nations and believed that their security could only be found in “patient but deadly struggle for total destruction of rival power.” Kennan was convinced that the Soviets would try to expand their sphere of influence, and he pointed to Iran and Turkey as the most likely immediate trouble areas. In addition, Kennan believed the Soviets would do all they could to “weaken power and influence of Western Powers on colonial backward, or dependent peoples.” Fortunately, although the Soviet Union was “impervious to logic of reason,” it was “highly sensitive to logic of force.” Therefore, it would back down “when strong resistance is encountered at any point.” The United States and its allies, he concluded, would have to offer that resistance.

    Kennan’s telegram caused a sensation in Washington. Stalin’s aggressive speeches and threatening gestures toward Iran and Turkey in 1945-1946 led the Truman administration to decide to take a tougher stance and rely on the nation’s military and economic muscle rather than diplomacy in dealing with the Soviets. These factors guaranteed a warm reception for Kennan’s analysis. His opinion that Soviet expansionism needed to be contained through a policy of “strong resistance” provided the basis for America’s Cold War diplomacy through the next two decades. Kennan’s diplomatic career certainly received a boost–he was named U.S. ambassador to the Soviet Union in 1952.

    After leaving government service, Kennan served on the faculty of the Institute for Advanced Study until his death in 2005 at the age of 101.

    READ MORE: Cold War History

    Source : www.history.com

    Origins of the Cold War Assignment and Quiz Flashcards

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    Origins of the Cold War Assignment and Quiz

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    What is the best definition of the Cold War?

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    a period of mutual distrust and competition between the United States and the Soviet Union

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    According to the author of the US telegraph, why is the Soviet Union participating in the

    United Nations?

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    to reduce the power of the United States

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    Terms in this set (16)

    What is the best definition of the Cold War?

    a period of mutual distrust and competition between the United States and the Soviet Union

    According to the author of the US telegraph, why is the Soviet Union participating in the

    United Nations?

    to reduce the power of the United States

    We must be on guard to look for the following official actions by the Soviet government:

    A. Internal policy devoted to increasing in every way strength and prestige of Soviet state: intensive military-industrialization; maximum development of armed forces; great displays to impress outsiders.

    —Telegraphic Message from

    Moscow, George Kennan, 1946

    What is the best summary of this quote from US diplomat George Kennan?

    The United States should pay attention to how the Soviets increase their military power.

    Where individual governments stand in path of Soviet purposes pressure will be brought for their removal from office. This can happen where governments directly oppose Soviet foreign policy aims (Turkey, Iran), [or] where they seal their territories off against Communist penetration (Switzerland, Portugal).

    —Telegraphic Message from Moscow,

    George Kennan, 1946

    How was the Truman Doctrine related to this quote from the telegraph?

    To contain communism, Truman promised to give financial aid to countries like Turkey.

    Careful note should be taken of the fact that the preparation by the United States for a future war is being conducted with the prospect of war against the Soviet Union, which in the eyes of American imperialists is the main obstacle in the path of the United States to world domination.

    —Novikov Telegram, Nicolai V. Novikov, 1946

    What is the main idea the Soviet diplomat is presenting in this passage?

    The United States is planning to start a war with the Soviets.

    Based on the telegrams and what you learned in the lesson, write one to two paragraphs in which you respond to this question:

    Why did the Cold War between the United States and the Soviet Union begin?

    The Cold War began because the Soviet Union was increasing their military power. The United States was trying to contain communism and began paying attention to the Soviets military. Because of this, the United States, also began supplying for a war.

    Which Cold War event happened last?

    The Berlin Wall is built.

    Which president established a policy that was named after him and that declared the United States would help any nation resist Communism?

    Harry Truman

    Which of the following best describes NATO?

    a military alliance of the United States and other non-Communist nations

    Which statement best describes the United States and the Soviet Union during World War II?

    They were both members of the Allies.

    The United Nations was created in 1945 with the purpose of

    maintaining world peace.

    The Cold War was a period of history during which

    the United States and the Soviet Union mistrusted each other.

    How did the Soviets respond when East Berliners defected to the West in large numbers?

    They built a wall separating East and West Berlin.

    The goal of the United States in drawing up the Marshall Plan was to

    strengthen the economies of Europe.

    People who lived in eastern bloc countries after World War II could not

    participate in government.

    Who were the two world superpowers after World War II?

    the Soviet Union and the United States

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    The Soviet Union and the United States

    Relations between the Soviet Union and the United States were driven by a complex interplay of ideological, political, and economic factors, which led to cooperation and superpower rivalry.

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    Revelations from the Russian Archives

    The Soviet Union and the United States

    Home | Acknowledgments | Essay

    Sections: Internal Workings of the Soviet System | The Soviet Union and the United States

    Relations between the Soviet Union and the United States were driven by a complex interplay of ideological, political, and economic factors, which led to shifts between cautious cooperation and often bitter superpower rivalry over the years. The distinct differences in the political systems of the two countries often prevented them from reaching a mutual understanding on key policy issues and even, as in the case of the Cuban missile crisis, brought them to the brink of war.

    The United States government was initially hostile to the Soviet leaders for taking Russia out of World War I and was opposed to a state ideologically based on communism. Although the United States embarked on a famine relief program in the Soviet Union in the early 1920s and American businessmen established commercial ties there during the period of the New Economic Policy (1921–29), the two countries did not establish diplomatic relations until 1933. By that time, the totalitarian nature of Joseph Stalin's regime presented an insurmountable obstacle to friendly relations with the West. Although World War II brought the two countries into alliance, based on the common aim of defeating Nazi Germany, the Soviet Union's aggressive, antidemocratic policy toward Eastern Europe had created tensions even before the war ended.

    The Soviet Union and the United States stayed far apart during the next three decades of superpower conflict and the nuclear and missile arms race. Beginning in the early 1970s, the Soviet regime proclaimed a policy of détente and sought increased economic cooperation and disarmament negotiations with the West. However, the Soviet stance on human rights and its invasion of Afghanistan in 1979 created new tensions between the two countries. These tensions continued to exist until the dramatic democratic changes of 1989–91 led to the collapse during this past year of the Communist system and opened the way for an unprecedented new friendship between the United States and Russia, as well as the other new nations of the former Soviet Union.

    Early Cooperation: American Famine Relief

    Early Cooperation: Economic Cooperation

    Soviet and American Communist Parties

    World War II: Alliance

    World War II: American POWs and MIAs

    Cold War: Postwar Estrangement

    Cold War: Soviet Perspectives

    Cold War: Cuban Missile Crisis

    Early Cooperation: American Famine Relief

    After the Bolshevik Revolution of 1917, the ensuing Civil War produced acute food shortages in southwestern Russia. Wartime devastation was compounded by two successive seasons of drought, and by 1920 it was clear that a full-scale famine was under way in the Volga River Valley, Crimea, Ukraine, and Armenia. Conditions were so desperate that in early 1920 the Soviet government sent out a worldwide appeal for food aid to avert the starvation of millions of people.

    Several volunteer groups in the United States and Europe had by then organized relief programs, but it became clear that help was needed on a larger scale because an estimated 10 to 20 million lives were at stake. Although it had not officially recognized the Soviet regime, the United States government was pressed from many sides to intervene, and in August 1920 an informal agreement was negotiated to begin a famine relief program. In 1921 President Warren Harding appointed Herbert Hoover, then secretary of commerce, to organize the relief effort.

    Congress authorized $20 million, and Hoover proceeded to organize the American Relief Administration (ARA) to do the job. Under Hoover's terms, the ARA was to be a completely American-run relief program for the transport, storage, and delivery of relief supplies (mainly food and seed grain) to those in the famine region. After Soviet officials agreed, hundreds of American volunteers were dispatched to oversee the program. The ARA gradually earned the trust of the local Communist authorities and was given a virtually free hand to distribute thousands of tons of grain, as well as clothing and medical supplies. This remarkable humanitarian effort was credited with saving many millions of lives.

    ARA aid continued into 1923, by which time local farms were again producing and the famine's grip was broken. Hoover and his ARA were later honored by the Soviet government for the care and generosity that the United States had shown in this desperate crisis.

    Document on Food Shipments to Russia

    Document on Food Shipments to Russia

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