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Word Count: 2,144
Before we can examine and understand the decisions made at these three conferences and their affects thereafter we must first understand the situation in Europe as the 2nd World War was drawing to a close and the intentions and foreign policies of both the Allies and particularly the USSR When fighting in Europe ended in May 1945 the USSR occupied most of Eastern Europe including the Baltic States Poland Czechoslovakia Hungary and the eastern portion of Germany The Big Three which included Roosevelt Churchill and Stalin were aware of a basic conflict within their ranks This ideological conflict was between the USSR who believed in a socialist one-party state and the USA supported by Britain whom was a liberal democracy where capitalism flourished Stalin was also aware of a long history of Western opposition towards the USSR Throughout military history Russia had been repeatedly invaded in the 19th century by Napoleon and most recently by Hitler Importantly these and other invaders had nearly always come through Poland Therefore the main reason Stalin was so anxious to secure Poland as we shall learn later was in order to prevent future invasion This is the main reason that motivated the Russians to take control of Eastern Europe What Russia did not want was for its neighbours to be controlled by anti-communist governments Thus in Eastern Europe Russia thought in terms of spheres of influence The Western Allies didnt understand this philosophy as they thought in terms of the Atlantic Charter which aimed to set up independent democracies which were assumed to be capitalist in Eastern Europe What the Western Allies didnt realise was that the Atlantic Charter was much the same thing as the Soviet policy as it catered for their own interests What the Western Allies automatically assumed was that if a state were not anti-communist it would have to be communist this being a reason for their reluctance in Soviet and as they
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