From Potsdam to the Cold War: Big Three Diplomacy 1945 1947 by James Gormly

By James Gormly

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But, as the war progressed, as American troops and supplies poured into Europe and North Africa, Churchill found himself forced more and more to defer to American attitudes and policies. To safeguard Britain's postwar position, Churchill and the Foreign Office intended to make it the leader of Western Europe, supported by the empire and a strong France. Therefore, the prime minister became the champion of France's rearmament and ranking as a major power. He worked to see the French assume substantial postwar responsibilities, a seat on the European Advisory Commission, a role in organizing the United Nations, occupation of Germany, and participation in Big Three discussions.

Lip service would be given to smaller nations and agencies, but the success of the system would rest on the cooperation of the major powers. It would be much like the wartime arrangement already in place. The image of the three powers supervising the world flowed easily into that of the second possible international system: spheres of influence. The Spheres-of-Influence System Spheres of influence differed from a multinational, Big Three approach in that there would be less emphasis on big- Page xv power harmony and the roles of smaller nations and international organizations.

Davies, and presidential adviser Harry Hopkins argued that, if Washington showed that it trusted Moscow and considered its needs, the Soviets would work to ease tensions among the Big Three and conduct their foreign policy along internationally acceptable lines. In May and June 1945, Wallace asked Truman to promote postwar trade with the Russians and to reconsider the anti-Soviet recommendations he was receiving from the State Department. 21 Page 15 Truman, the Soviets, and Eastern Europe Both Poland and Romania lay within the Soviet Union's inner circle of interest.

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