The purpose of this research is to provide an analysis of the United States' views on the principal aspects of the Cold War as indicated by its governmental leadership.
American occupation policy in Europe resulted from the agreements made between Churchill, Roosevelt, and Stalin at Yalta in February of 1945, and elaborated upon at the Potsdam Conference later that year. Yalta is generally spoken of as the beginning of the Cold War but deeper roots go back to the Casablance Conference, which Churchill proclaimed to be the "end of the beginning." By declaring for "unconditional surrender, the Conference was held to serve the purpose of assuring Stalin the allies would never make a separate peace with Hitler. This was a message never accepted by Stalin, only heightening his belief the allies would fight to the last drop of Russian blood.
The American people had entered the war, and persuaded themselves, as well as were persuaded their leaders, the war was for the salvation of mankind. This national attitude was represented by Roosevelt on his return from Yalta:-
The Crimea conference . . . ought to spell the end
of the system of unilateral action, the exclusive
alliances, the spheres of influence, the balances
of power, and all the other expedients that have
been used for centuries, and have always failed.
Yalta and Potsdam called for the complete disarmament of Germany, removal of the Nazi party, and the former nation was divided into four zones of administration -- French, British,
United States and Soviet. Eight million German soldiers were returned to civilian life:
The decision to eliminate German power from
Europe, rather than make a peace with a re-
constituted German government, is what laid
Yalta and Potsdam might well have worked if respected by Stalin, but the cold war was to begin as soon as the hot war was over. When the war did stop with the surrender of Japan, the ...