The Cold War Questions and Answers

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"The Marshall Plan caused the division of Europe and thus the Cold War."  To what extent is this assertion true?

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The Marshall Plan, also known as the European Recovery Program and enacted in 1948, contributed to the division of Europe, but most historians believe the Cold War began before the introduction of the Marshall Plan.

Historians tend to trace the Cold War to escalating rhetoric between the Soviet Union and the United States, with a little help from the British, in early 1946. In February 1946, Soviet premier Joseph Stalin delivered an election speech in which he mentioned capitalist hostility. Seeing the speech as potentially indicative of Stalin's intentions vis-a-vis the West, the Truman administration requested that George Frost Kennan, who was charge d'affaires at the U.S. embassy in Moscow, to provided an analysis of Soviet intentions. Kennan produced what came to be as the Kennan Long Telegram. The telegram, which was sent to President Harry Truman and the State Department, suggested that the Soviets were expansionist by nature and that the U.S. needed to focus on the vigor of its own...

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