The Yalta & Potsdam Conferences

After answering the questions of the previous post on the Yalta and Potsdam Conference, we analysed them both in class and made the following slideshare:


Why had the agreements at Yalta been relatively easy to reach while Potsdam had mainly disagreements?

  • There was a change of president in USA. During Yalta, Roosevelt was part of the Big Three, while at Potsdam, Truman replaced the former president.
  • At Yalta, the Sphere of Influence was just an ‘idea/concept/theory’. In Potsdam it became true. This meant that many eastern european countries were under soviet control.
  • At Yalta, the war had not ended, therefore USA and the USSR still had a common enemy, Japan. Whereas at Potsdam it had ended, and in the absence of a common enemy, soviet fear becam real.
  • At Potsdam, Churchill was replaced by Atlee so the tension between USA and the USSR grew.
  • Threat of nuclear power on the side of the US meant tension for the USSR.

How far were the disagreements at Potsdam to blame for the start of the Cold War?