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Origins of the Cold War
by Jamia Yard - Wednesday, March 16, 2016, 09:25 PM

In his lecture, John Lewis Gaddis explains the origins of the Cold War. The main point is how the US and the Soviet Union were the two major powers at that time (5:56). The US showed how powerful they were with circular loans. This was when they loaned money to Germany so Germany could pay off their repairations costs to toher European countries. The US was the only nation that could afford to do that at that time (after WWI). Germany and the Soviet Union signed the Non-Aggression Pact which was basically a truce for them. This temporarily allowed Germany and the Soviet Union to take over lands. After Germany invaded Poland and betrayed the agreement made at the Munich conference, Stalin could then take over Latvia, Lithuania, Finland, and Estonia (33:59). Germany then declared war on the US and the Soviet Union within 6 months of each other in 1941. After defeated, Stalin tries to make sure no European power ever comes close to matching his. This shows how Stalin was an aggressive power, while the US was a powerful, but isolationist power. The US tried to help Germany after WWI and stayed out of WWII until Hitler declared war, while Stalin was taking lands over and acting just as Germany was.

Re: Origins of the Cold War
by ROBERT SHAPIRO - Wednesday, March 16, 2016, 09:57 PM

I kind of disagree about the point that the US was not agreesive. I think the US throughout history and the world is agressive but not always about taking over land. I think that sometimes the US agressively tried to spread it's influnece like they did with China and the Open Door policy or the big stick policy in North America. I think the US stayed out of war as long as they did not because they were not agressive but because it took America a while to see Hitler as a threat to the US marker in Europe especially after they attack western European nations that had US influnence like France and Britain.

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Re: Origins of the Cold War
by Beminet Desalegn - Wednesday, March 16, 2016, 10:00 PM

I agree the United States and the Soviet Union were the two most powerful countries following WWII. This was because most of the dominating European nations suffered many casualties and the destruction of their economy. However, I disagree that Hitler was the reason as to why the United States entered the war. Hitler played a critical role because if he hadn't declared war on the United States, the US would have started fighting Japan right away then go back to fight Germany. Furthermore, I was also intrigued at how Hitler and Stalin came up with an agreement and signed the pact. Even if it lasted for only two years, I was surprised as to why either nation would agree.

Re: Origins of the Cold War
by MINGJIE LIAN - Wednesday, March 16, 2016, 10:29 PM

It's true that Stalin was doing the same thing as Germany, but I think to a lesser extent. In the lecture it talks about how Hitler declared war on both the US and the SU at the same time. This was considered the "dumbest move" that Hitler made. I think he thought that he had so much power that he could defeat them both, while russia aided in the defeat of germany.  During the soviet-nazi pact Germany was colonizing countries while russia was trying to gain military power. It was to a lesser extent but i think if the US hadn't created the Containment policy or truman doctrine it would be just as bad or even worse than germany.