The Potsdam Conference (Chronology of European History)
Article abstract: The Potsdam Conference serves as a follow-up to agreements made at Yalta and as a vehicle to deal with important postwar issues.
Summary of Event
At the close of the Yalta Conference in February of 1945, the leaders of the United States, Great Britain, and the Soviet Union had agreed that they would meet again to settle European problems resulting from the defeat of Germany. These problems concerned peace treaties with the former Axis nations and satellites. For the Western Allies, the problems dealt with the Soviet Union’s violation of the agreement to allow the establishment of free governments in Eastern Europe.
When Germany surrendered in May, 1945, the Allied leaders began preparations for another conference. Prime Minister Winston Churchill was particularly anxious that the meeting be held as soon as possible, not only to forestall further Soviet gains in Europe but also because of the possibility that upcoming British elections to be held in July might vote him out of office before he could participate in these important foreign policy decisions. Harry Truman, who had taken office as president of the United States in April after the death of Franklin D. Roosevelt, wanted to delay the meeting long enough to familiarize himself with the problems. Soviet premier Joseph Stalin had no apparent preference regarding the scheduling of the meeting. It was finally agreed that the conference...
(The entire section is 1624 words.)
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Potsdam Conference (Great Events from History: North American Series)
Article abstract: The third and final “Big Three” meeting plans a peace settlement at the conclusion of World War II.
Summary of Event
There were only three occasions when all three of the heads of state of the Allies met face to face: Teheran, November-December, 1943; Yalta, February, 1945; and the Potsdam Conference, July 17-August 2, 1945. At the Potsdam Conference—the third and last Big Three summit conference during World War II—the Allied leaders attempted, but failed, to resolve outstanding disagreements and to conclude a final peace settlement of the war. In addition to peace, the disposition of Germany, Eastern Europe, and the Japanese surrender were on the agenda.
The personalities involved at the first two conferences were President Franklin Roosevelt, Prime Minister Winston Churchill, and Premier Joseph Stalin. Roosevelt died in April, 1945, and was succeeded by Vice President Harry Truman. The results of the general election of Great Britain were announced on July 26, after the Potsdam Conference began. Churchill, head of the Conservative Party, and Clement Attlee, head of the Labour Party, both attended the conference until the announcement was made that the Labour Party had won. Only Attlee returned. Stalin was the only Big Three leader in power before, during, and after the war. Thus, at Potsdam, Stalin enjoyed some advantage because of his experience and the enormous power he wielded...
(The entire section is 1275 words.)