How did the Yalta Conference lead to the Cold War?

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mkoren eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The Yalta Conference helped to contribute to the Cold War. There were several agreements made at this conference. When World War II ended, the Soviet Union didn’t follow some of them, leading to the start of the Cold War.

One agreement that was made that wasn’t followed dealt with the post-war government in Poland. We wanted to be sure that some members of the pre-war Polish government were in the post-war Polish government. The Soviet Union agreed to have this happen and to allow for free elections. After the war ended, the post-war Polish government had very few members of the pre-war Polish government in it, and there were no signs of free elections.

Another agreement was known as The Declaration of Liberated Europe. The agreement said that the people would be able to determine the kind of government they would have in their country. However, the King of Romania said he was pressured by the Soviet Union to have a communist government. This was another example showing we couldn’t trust the Soviet Union.

Partially as a result of these events, the United States and the Soviet Union entered into a period of competition and confrontation known as the Cold War.

seaofknowledge eNotes educator| Certified Educator

It was really the lack of decisions reached with regard to the fate of Poland that made the Yalta Conference foresee the Cold War. The Conference itself did not exactly lead to the Cold War. It was the Soviet occupation of Poland, and the lack of recognition by US and Britain of the Soviet Union's interest, which resulted in increased tension between the US and the Soviet Union.

We should not, however, ignore some of the other decisions that were reached by the US, Britain and the Soviet Union at the conference. These involved how things would progress for the remainder of World War II and the decision to attack Japan.

Those who do not look back on the Yalta conference positively believe that Roosevelt did not do enough at the conference and basically gave away Eastern Europe to the Soviets. Others believe that Roosevelt did the best he could at the time. Roosevelt died soon after and during the presidency of Harry Truman, relations between the US and Soviet Union worsened.

pohnpei397 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The Yalta Conference helped lead to the Cold War by giving the Soviet Union control over Eastern Europe.

At the conference, the Soviet Union was given the right to control Eastern Europe.  They were supposed to allow free elections in the countries of the area, but they were given control.  This led to the Cold War because it made the West feel that the USSR was bent on expanding communism.  It made them feel that the Soviets were going to try to impose communist systems on all the countries that they possibly could.  This made the West defensive and made them fear the Soviets.  This helped lead to the Cold War.