Bitesize has changed! We're updating subjects as fast as we can. Visit our new site to find Bitesize guides and clips - and tell us what you think!


Ideological differences - Stalin vs Truman

America and Russia compared

It will help in your exam if you are able to describe the huge differences between America and Russia:

Comparison of America and Russia

1. The richest country in the world. 1. The biggest country in the world.
2. A democracy with free elections, led by an elected president.2. A one-party state led by a dictator. There were elections, but you could only vote for the Communist Party.
3. Freedom of speech and belief. 3. State control: censorship, secret police, terror and purges.
4. Capitalism - private ownership and the right to make money. 4. Communism - state ownership of the means of production, and the belief that wealth should be shared.
5. Led by Truman, who believed that Communism was evil. 5. Led by Stalin, who believed that capitalism was evil.
6. Had the atomic bomb - but was scared of Russia's conventional army. 6. Had the biggest army in the world - but was angry that Truman had not warned that he was going to drop the atomic bomb.
7. Feared the spread of communism throughout the world. 7. Was angry because America and Britain had invaded Russia in 1918-19 to try to destroy communism.
8. Angry about the Nazi-Soviet Pact that was a major factor in starting the Second World War. 8. Believed that America and Britain had delayed opening the second front (attacking France) to let Germany and Russia destroy each other on the eastern front.
9. Wanted reconstruction - to make Germany a prosperous democracy and a trading partner. 9. Wanted to wreck Germany, take huge reparations for the damage done during the war, and set up a buffer of friendly states around Russia to prevent another invasion in the future.

Back to The Cold War index

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.