A Policy of Drift: U.S. Relations with Eastern Europe 1945-1947

Calderhead, William John, Corcoran Department of History, University of Virginia
Graebner, Norman A., Corcoran Department of History

The establishment of informal diplomatic relations between the United States and the national front governments of Eastern Europe in 1945 represented for the Americans a temporary and minimal acceptance of Russian domination of Poland, Bulgaria, Rumania, and Hungary. The presence of the Red Army was the central reality which faced the U.S. diplomats who entered these countries. Aside from the threat which the Soviet troops posed to the peaceful future of Western Europe, the continuing presence of alien armies in the heartland of the continent contradicted the guarantees of the Atlantic Charter, the Declaration of the United Nations, and the Yalta Declaration on Liberated
Europe. The last of these had called for ''the earliest possible establishment through free elections of governments responsive to the will of the people." The Declaration on Liberated Europe had also restated the Atlantic Charter goal of self-determination for the small nations of Europe, but it had not included provisions for effective implementation. The promise of "restoration of sovereign rights and self-government to those peoples who have been forcibly deprived of them by the aggressor nations" would henceforward be the subject of consultation among the Allies.

MA (Master of Arts)
Romania, United States, Eastern Europe, Hungary, Poland, diplomatic relations, diplomacy, Rumania, Bulgaria
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