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Why did the Grand Alliance fail after WWII?

This type of question invites you to look at the causes of failure. This type of essay can be structured in two ways: either you posit two different reasons, examin them thorougherly (3 paras each) and decide which arguent is the stronger. This approach usually fits into questions where there is a clear historigogrpahical division. The other approach is that you assess the merits of a multitiude of reasons, and decide on the most persuaswive. 

This esssay could be strucutured either way. One side could aruge it was the USSRs fault, the other side could argue that it was the Wests fault. This would mean looking at all the reasons that the alliance fell, and placing them into one camp or another. This has the benefit of making historigography clear, and quoting opinunated historians such as Barrass and Overy. However, it might ommitt the fact that the collapse may have been nobodys 'fault' - and indeed the word 'fault' may be too simplistic a term that distracts from the question.

Therefore, a better apprach might be to deal with the various reasons in their turn, and quote historians along the way. Paragraphs might include: cnotrasting ideologies which led to inevitable hositlity, the mistrust of the 1930s, the situation during WWII (poland etc), importance of Stalin

It is important to use examples that stick within the date range the questions sets (eg. why did grand alliance fail by 1949) : depending on the phrasing of the question, the evidence you can use might be restircted, and your answer most be accordingly changed.

Depending on the phrasing of the question, it might also be possible to include coutner-arguments (eg.how far to you agree that the reason for the failure of the alliance was 'x'). If that was the phrasing of the question, then after anaylising 'x' and the other factors which led to the failure of the grand alliance, it would show good understanding of the topic to include examples which suggest that the failure wasnt inevitable and could have survived (eg.Tehran confrence) (unifying economic policy of west)

If your conclusion is therefore a nuanced one (which tends to go down well) it is a good idea to indlude a historian that backs up your point - (ie) Tony Judt: the Grand Alliance was “just an interlude in an international struggle between the Western democracies and Soviet totalitarianism”.

Jack M. GCSE English tutor, 13 plus  English tutor, GCSE Government a...

11 months ago

Answered by Jack, an A Level History tutor with MyTutor


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