From Post-War to Cold War

184 TUTOR: David Evans (MA Cambridge Former Head of History and History of Art at Eton College)

When the Second World War ended in 1945, the arenas of conflict, both in Europe and in East Asia, were a wasteland where civil government had collapsed, the economy was ruined and, often, the material basis of domestic and social life destroyed through bombing and other military activity. You will study the process by which the chaos of the immediate post-war years was ended, but also the price paid for stability, the division of both regions into opposing blocs and the start of the Cold War.

2 PM
PM course

Course Notes

1. The three great powers in the post-war era.

The USA: overwhelming economic dominance;

- post-war aims and ambitions.

The UK: economic exhaustion and dependence on the USA;

- policies regarding the Empire;

- the priorities of the Labour government;

- attitudes to Europe.

The USSR: losses and damage inflicted by the War;

- Stalin's regime after 1945;

- Stalin's aims in Europe.

2. Eastern Europe.

The disruption of the region during the War.

Post-War expulsions of ethnic minorities.

The problem of Poland and the imposition of Communism there.

The two-stage establishment of Communist regimes behind the 'Iron Curtain'; the instruments of Communist control over society.

The exceptional case of Yugoslavia.

High Stalinism in the region, 1949-53.

3. Western Europe.

Re-establishing government and exacting retribution in formerly occupied Western Europe.

The Nuremberg Trials and denazification in Germany.

The changed politics and priorities of governments after 1945.

The crisis of 1947 and its impact on the great powers' treatment of Germany. The importance of Marshall Aid.

The definitive division of Germany and Europe, 1948-9 and the coming of the Cold War.

4. The Emergence of Communist China.

The Second World War in China, 1937-45.

The position of Mao's CCP and Chiang Kai-shek's KMT when Japan surrendered.

Why did Mao win the Civil War of 1945-9?

Mao's goals and policies after 1949.

5. Anti-Communist Forces in Eastern Asia after 1945.

The policies of the USA in 1945: Truman's changing attitude to the Soviets.

US occupation of Japan and its impact on the country.

The new political system of Japan.

The Japanese economic miracle.

The Korean problem and the involvement of East Asia in the Cold War.

The Korean War, 1950-4, and its importance for the Cold War.


Robert Service: Stalin.

R.M.Douglas: Orderly and Humane. The Expulsion of the Germans.

M.McCauley: Origins of the Cold War.

Jonathan Fenby: China. The Fall and Rise of a Great Power.

Jung Chang and J.Holliday: Mao. The Unknown Story.

Course Tutor

David Evans

MA Cambridge Former Head of History and History of Art at Eton College

About David

David Evans was brought up in Birmingham and attended King Edward's School in the city. He studied History at Cambridge and proceeded to teach the subject at Eton College for 41 years. Finding the history of art of absorbing interest, he introduced its study at 'A' Level to Eton. Since 2007 he has taught historical and art historical topics at Marlborough College Summer School.

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All courses run for 5 days

WK 1 11 Jul - 15 Jul

WK 2 18 Jul - 22 Jul

WK 3 25 Jul - 29 Jul

WK 4 1 Aug - 5 Aug

Morning Courses

9.15AM to 12.15PM

Afternoon Courses

1.45PM to 4.30PM

All Day Courses

9.15AM to 4.30PM