The end of World War II shaped the postwar world because it gave the Allies the opportunity to make decisions about Europe as a whole. Particularly important were the Allies’ decisions about Germany and its future.
To see this idea in action, take a look at the conferences at Yalta (February 1945) and at Potsdam (July 1945). At both of these conferences, the Allies came together to decide what Europe—and Germany, in particular—would look like after the war.
At Yalta, for instance, Germany had not yet been defeated. However, the Allies decided to split Germany into four zones of occupation. This really sets the scene for later events of the Cold War, like the Berlin Blockade. Similarly, at Potsdam, Truman did not tell Stalin about his atomic bomb. Historians have argued that this was a turning point between the two men and an event which made the Cold War an inevitability.
So, by looking at the decisions made at both Yalta and Potsdam, we see how the Allies influenced the postwar...
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