The Berlin Crisis and the Cold War
This investigation will explore the question: To what extent was the United States responsible for the Berlin Crisis? The scope of this investigation will focus on the causes of the Berlin crisis and the effect of the US’ presence before and during the conflict.
The first source which will be evaluated is a US government document titled Soviet and Allied Statements on the Berlin Blockade . The purpose of this document is to share both the US and Soviet Government’s views on the origin of the Berlin crisis. This source contains notes addressed to the Soviets from the Allied powers, and vice versa. This is valuable because it’s a primary source and the notes included give reports on the opinions each country had about the blockade’s origins. It discusses the process at which the powers began to come to new agreements regarding the conflict, and the steps they took to further solve it. When determining the responsibility of a country in the origin of the crisis, this document does include biased information from both of the countries involved in the conflict.
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The document’s content is valuable because it provides first hand accounts of events leading up to the blockade. Containing letters from each government to the other, it explains each side of the conflict from each country’s perspective. Although this document is a primary source, it could be argued that it is biased considering each letter, from each country, is not coming from a third party, but from the country itself. It also includes direct explanations of each country’s actions from their own perspectives. It provides background on the US – Soviet conflict and allows for the opinions of each country, on the actions of the other. Because both sides are explained in the document, it will aid in the formulation of an argument.
The second source that will be evaluated in depth is an ad for a US business. The American owned business that is advertising these new aircrafts is encouraging the use of the aircrafts to supply world-wide bases in any kind of emergency . This indicates that this photo is biased, as it is propaganda, in favor of the actions that the US took during the conflict. This document is in full support of the aid the US is giving and does not take into account who started the conflict, but rather who is helping it.
The ad also shows a child drinking a glass of milk with the caption MILK…new weapon of democracy . While this document shows the US’ desire to aid in the conflict, it can also bring attention to the US’ attempt to impose a democracy. The US’ desire of imposing democratic government policies was a big reason for the start of the conflict. Also because this document does not touch on conflict origin, it could be interpreted in trying to disguise the blame with the desire to help. Overall, this document is in support of US policies and aid after the crisis has already begun, but does not discuss the origin.