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Guided Notes- Allies Become Enemies and Eastern Europe's Iron Curtain (pg,965-967)
Tensions grew between the United States and the Soviet Union after World War II. Some
events that caused the alliance to unravel were, Joseph Stalin signed a nonaggression pact with
Germany, and later got mad at the U.S. for not invading parts of Europe occupied by Germany.
Many other disagreements caused these former allies to pursue different goals. The leaders of the
United States, Britain, and The Soviet Union gathered at the Soviet Black Sea Resort of Yalta. In
February, 1945, the Yalta conference began, the leaders made many decisions about postwar
Germany. Some of these decisions about Germany include, making them pay the Soviet Union to
reimburse the Soviet Union’s loss of property and life. It was also agreed that Germany would be
split up into zones that would be controlled by Allied military forces. Stalin also agreed to join
the war against Japan. In June, 1945, the Soviet Union, the United States and 48 other countries
joined together to form the United Nations(UN). The organization was formed to protect
members against hostility. In the UN, each nation got to cast a vote on many different issues,
although, there was an 11-member party called the Security Council which had the real power to
settle disputes. Members of the Security Council were able to veto any Security Council action.
As World War II was ending, the Soviet Union started to push the Nazi’s back across
Eastern Europe, at the end of the war, the troops were occupying the countries along the Soviet
Union’s western border. Stalin believed that these countries would provide a wall of protection
against invasions, so he installed communist governments in Albania, Bulgaria, Yugoslavia,
Poland, Hungary, Romania and Czechoslovakia. Stalin broke the Yalta agreement by installing
communist governments in these countries. Soon after, Europe was separated between East and
West, and Eastern Germany was named the German Democratic Republic, whereas, Western
Germany became the Federal Republic of Germany in 1949. The term “Iron Curtain” was first
used to represent Europe’s division into east and west in one of Winston Churchill’s speeches
What caused the sense of animosity between Russia and the US?
Who attended the Yalta Conference?
What is the UN and how does it work?
What was the Iron Curtain, and how was the name coined?
Key Points
● United Nations- an international organization intended to protect members against
● Iron Curtain- during the Cold War, the boundary separating the Communist nations of
Eastern Europe from the mostly democratic nations of Western Europe.
● The U.S. alliance with the Soviet Union had began to unravel
● The U.S was upset that the Soviet leader, Joseph Stalin, had signed a nonaggression pact
with germany in 1939
● The allies began to pursue opposing goals
● The leaders of U.S., Britain, and the Soviet Union agreed to divide Germany into zones
of occupation controlled by the Allied military forces
● Germany had to pay the Soviet Union to compensate its loss of life and liberty
● Stalin joined the war against Japan and promised that Eastern Europeans would have free
● In June 1945, the United States and the Soviet union set aside their differences to create
the United Nations in New York
● From there they started a large body called the General Assembly, where each UN
member could cast a vote of a wide range of current issues
● The 11-member body called the Security Council had the power to investigate and settle
● It five permanent members where Britain, China, France, the United States, and the
Soviet Union
● Despite the recent agreement the United States and the Soviet Union split apart after the
● The United States came out of the war as the world’s richest and most powerful country
○ It suffered 400,000 deaths but most of it’s cities and factories remained intact
● After the war, the Soviet Union suffered over 20,000,000 million deaths and most of it’s
cities were demolished
Eastern Europe's Iron Curtain
● The Soviet Union’s main goal was to shield itself from another invasion from the west
● Because the Soviet Union lacked natural western borders, Russia fell victim to each of its
● In the 17th and 18th century, the Poles captured the Kremlin and Napoleon overran
Moscow, then the Germans invaded Russia during World War I and II
● Towards the end of the war the Nazi troops occupied a trip of countries along the Soviet
Union’s western border
● Stalin ignored the Yalta agreement and installed and secured Communist governments in
Albania, Bulgaria, Hungary, Czechoslovakia, Romania, Poland, and Yugoslavia
● Franklin D. Roosevelt, the Soviet leader’s American partner at Yalta, died on April 12
1945, and Harry S. Truman took his place
● Stalin was reluctant to allow free elections in Eastern nation, and this was considered a
clear violation of the countries rights
● Truman, Stalin and Churchill met at Potsdam, Germany were Truman pressed Stalin to
permit free elections, but he refused
● Europe was now divided between the east and west, while germany had been split into
● The Soviets controlled the eastern part while the western zones became the Federal
Republic of Germany
● Winston Churchill described the division of Europe as an “iron curtain” to represent the
division of a mostly democratic Western Europe and Communist Eastern Europe
1. The Beginning: The competing political ideals between The United States and the USSR
created a cold rivalry that would lead to an undeniable tension which would leave to
future conflicts.
2. The Beginning: The United States blamed Stalin for signing the non-aggression pact and
the Stalin blamed Roosevelt for not attacking German-occupied-Europe until 1944.
3. February 1945, Roosevelt, Churchill, and Joseph Stalin met at the Soviet Black Sea
Resort of Yalta. Here they agreed to split Germany into zones controlled by Allied
military forces. On this day Stalin also agreed to join the war against Japan, agreed to
Germany paying for the loss of life and land, and he promised that Eastern Europeans
would have free elections.
4. June 1945, the United States and Soviet Russia joined 48 other countries in forming the
United Nations. The headquarters were to be based in New York.