Anelay, Thomas Raymond (1978) Debate on Yalta: Poland, the Far East, and American domestic politics, 1944-1955. Doctoral thesis, Keele University.

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Abstract

This is a study of the development of the United States debate on two of the Yalta agreements concluded in February 1945 by the Allied leaders, Roosevalt, Churchill and Stalin. The development of these issues of prior to the Yalta Conference is examined in order to demonstrate their contrasting origins and objectives. Thereafter the debate is seen as a commentary on the agreements in assessing their success or failure. In the view or his critics the wartime President, Franklin Delano Roosevalt, had suffered a diplomatic defeat in making unwarrantable concessions to Soviet Russia at the expense of two other "allies", China and Poland.
The thesis demonstrates how the Polish agreement was an early object or criticism by Polish-Americans, by their organisations, and by sympathetic Representatives and Senators whose initial opposition at the granting of
Polish territory was heightened by the failure of the Trumen administration to obtain implementation of provisions regarding democratic Polish elections. The administration is seen as having played little part in this initial debate, defence of Yalta being left to others. With the· apparent failure of American foreign policy in China following the Marshall Mission, a second Yalta issue, the secret Far Eastern Agreement, came into focus. The initial Polish-American and conservative Republican opposition was now to be augmented by a pro-Chiang Kai-Shek group which asserted that Communist gains in Manchuria bad been facilitated by a Soviet Union granted concessions in the province at Yalta.
The thesis argues that Yalta did not appear as an important issue in the 1948 Presidential elections, due to a combination of factors including the official Republican support for a bipartisan policy, the Democratic stress on domestic issues and the heightening of Cold War tension on the Czech and Berlin crises. Thereafter Thomas Dewey's defeat, coupled with the loss of China and evidence of Communist espionage activity in the United States itself, stimulate a resurgence of the Yalta issue. Eventually the administration is forced to defend the agreements in a series of congressional hearings, against an opposition furious at the Communist "aggression" in Korea and encouraged by the authoritative ex-diplomats, Arthur Bliss Lane and Patrick J. Hurley.
Success for the Yalta opposition is apparently signalled by the inclusion of a Yalta repudiation plank in the 1952 Republican platform, to be followed by official support for repudiation during the presidential election campaign. However the thesis shows how the new administration reversed its policy and gave tacit support to the Yalta agreements. Defeated on the Bricker Amendment and unable to make any effective political capital out of the Yalta papers' publication, the opposition to Yalta disintegrated. By 1955 the issue had ceased to have any significance as a factor in United States' domestic politics.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Additional Information: For access to the hard copy thesis, check the University Library catalogue.
Subjects: E History America > E11 America (General)
Divisions: Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences > School of Humanities
Depositing User: Lisa Bailey
Date Deposited: 27 May 2019 11:30
Last Modified: 28 May 2019 08:49
URI: http://eprints.keele.ac.uk/id/eprint/6386

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