Question 2 What were the major aims of foreign policy during the period

Question 2
What were the major aims of foreign policy during the period?
spread of communism, “world revolution” (Cantwell & Brady, 2012)
1919 establishment Communist International (Comintern)
Chinese Civil War involvement (1921-1927)
militarily, financially supported, advised communist, non-communist belligerents
1925 Chiang Kai-shek
hardline anti-communist
1927 Shanghai massacre, ended major Chinese Comintern involvement
relations with Germany
exploited resentment to French, British
viewed principal nation for revolution
bypassed Treaty of Versailles, military training, Soviet weapons manufacture
aided Russo-Polish War effort, ultimately unsuccessful
1928 goal radicalisation
attacked Social Democrats, especially Germany, left-wing division
Joseph Stalin characterised Western nations militant, belligerent
Comintern supported Nazi Party
aimed public revolt, communist revolution
instead contributed Hitler leading Germany
1934 practically abandoned
failed incite communist revolution
non-communist nations allied after 1933, 1934 admission League of Nations
new fascism threat, union left-wing
Germany, Italy, Japan declared Soviet Union adversary (Anti-Comintern Pact, Rome-Berlin-Tokyo Pact, Pact of Steel)
Comintern left-wing alliance promotion, anti-fascism, contradiction previous policy
1936-1939 Spanish Civil War involvement
pro-Republican, supplied 40,000 soldiers, 2,000 airplanes (Cantwell & Brady, 2012)
effort undermined
Stalin Soviet security over Spanish revolution
desired Soviet Union protection from Western European anti-communism
1939 Nationalist victory
1943 Comintern officially terminated
peace with foreign nations
1918 Treaty of Brest-Litovsk
officially exited World War I (WWI)
afterwards focus Civil War
resultant foreign hatred, fear bred White Russian support
trade, especially Germany
Bolshevik/Soviet Government official diplomacy, international acceptance
conflict, also attempted undermining allies
exploited Great Depression, capitalism failure, promoted solitariness
preparation for, outbreak of war
Europe contradictory peace proposals, rearmament programmes
Russo-German diplomacy
military, economic strengthening
both nations training, arms production
1928 Kellogg-Briand Pact
idea prohibiting war, preventing armed conflict
62 countries, including Soviet Union
armament cessation never realised
Great Depression, fascism rise
high unemployment, massive financial losses, many countries devastated
radicalisation, especially Germany, Italy, Japan
collective security, pacts, military alliances, fascism target
1939 Nazi-Soviet Non-Aggression Pact
established Eastern European spheres of influence, halved Polish territory between
no western war front, more preparation

With which countries did Russia/the Soviet Union establish major relations?
Britain
1921 trade agreement
reciprocal benefits
1924 Russian government recognised as result
1924 Anglo-Soviet treaty proposal
finances, mutual support
abandoned after controversial letter, claimed ulterior motive, government overthrow
Comintern activities, support 1926 British General Strike
disloyal connotation, wage issue, hardline anti-communist sentiments
result 1926 official relations cut
German invasion of Russia, official reestablishment amicable relations
Lend-Lease promised 1.5 million tonnes US, British materiel before June 1942 (Cantwell & Brady, 2012)
friendly Moscow-London relationship, direct contact
Germany
1922 Treaty of Rapallo, ideas reaffirmed 1926 Treaty of Berlin
1920s “natural allies” (Corin & Fiehn, 2011), international rejects
German WWI guilt
Russian/Soviet communism
1923 onwards lesser Comintern involvement
early ineffective insurgences, eventually insignificant
noninvolvement allowed stronger relations
May 1933 diplomacy officially broken
no longer allies, Adolf Hitler believed communism, fascism opposites
1933-1937 low-level economic, political talks
1939 Nazi-Soviet Non-Agression Pact
signed 19 August
major Soviet foreign policy basis before 1941
1941 Operation Barbarossa
German invasion of Russia
all ties broken, Soviet Union at war
United States
October Revolution, Civil War
perceived infringement international norms
1920s small private trade, technology aid, other commerce
1933 official relations
direct response German relations breakdown, uncertain German, Japanese foreign policy objectives
1939 invasion of Poland, Russo-Finnish War (Winter War)
relations strained, Soviet motives criticised
adversary, despite not officially Axis
1941 German invasion of Russia
Lend-Lease, 1.5 million tonnes US, British materiel June 1942 promised (Cantwell & Brady, 2012)
friendly Moscow-Washington relationship, direct contact
Soviet Union officially Allied, neutrality no longer claimable

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How did legal factors such as treaties or pacts contribute to the success or failure of Russian/Soviet international relations?
1918 Treaty of Brest-Litovsk
Russia formally withdrawn WWI
animosity, Civil War foreign intervention
Russia secluded, alone before 1922
1922 Treaty of Rapallo, 1926 Treaty of Berlin
conceptually reset financial obligations, diplomatic tensions
practical economic, military alliance
mutual war neutrality, repel third-party attack (Berlin)
ended both countries’ solitariness
did not end political tensions
1925 Lorcano Treaty
Soviet desolation fears, Germany stronger neighbour relations
encouraged Treaty of Berlin, better Russo-German cooperation
1939 Nazi-Soviet Non-Aggression Pact
diplomatic surprise, unpredicted
world criticism, especially Britain
more after invasion of Poland, Winter War
League of Nations debarred Soviet Union

Was Russian/Soviet foreign policy more based on ideology or pragmatism?
1918 Treaty of Brest-Litovsk
fulfilled Bolshevik peace pledge
Comintern
aim propagate communism worldwide
long-term failure, Vladimir Lenin reconsidered foreign policy approach
Stalin focused “Socialism In One Country” (Corin ; Fiehn, 2011), worldwide secondary
left-wing cooperation critic, German Social Democrats “social fascists” (Corin ; Fiehn, 2011)
disunity, rise right-wing, far-right (especially Nazism, Hitler)
1920 Russo-Polish War
repelled Polish invasion, unsuccessful Warsaw capture
“peaceful coexistence” Lenin’s only option
relations with Germany
Civil War Whites, European powers against Reds
internationally alone, feared Western invasion, revolutionary communism fall
Lenin believed international relations normalisation only way for socialist survival
repelled initial invasion threats until Hitler
1933 US relations
Russo-German relation souring reaction
uncertainty over German, Japanese aims, regional aggression
1939 Nazi-Soviet Non-Aggression Pact
temporary, defensive nature
fewer war fronts, armed forces more preparation time
counteracted distrust allies’ ability repel German forces, especially British, French
Stalin practically adaptable
good of Soviet Union only care
recognised discussion both sides meant more beneficial conditions
distrust British, French responses Germany, equivocation, appeasement
ultimately strongly more pragmatic, especially Stalin era

To what extent did change in Russia/the Soviet Union occur due to international relations?
restored reputation
reclaimed acknowledgement pre-Revolution power, major European country
international accepting post-Civil War government
1933 US acknowledged, former stronghold against communism
anti-communist front limited, Soviet Union not under direct threat (before 1933)
Comintern activities threatened chances, traditional diplomatic interactions more fruitful
trade opportunities
better foreign reputation, perceived trade ability, opportunities
trade agreements
eventual worldwide recognition
German cooperation, military, industry benefitted
delaying war, creating regional security
German cooperation
materiel production, especially aircraft, gas, tanks
joint German training, developed war tactics
communist revolution opportunity
reduction war fronts, more preparation time until invasion
various regional pacts, military alliances
concept collective security
protection rising fascism, international recognition efforts against
ultimately paper tiger, failed prevent German invasions

What were the most significant parts of Russian/Soviet foreign policy or international relations?
1918 Treaty of Brest-Litovsk
no longer WWI belligerent
criticised, gained international hostility
Civil War international involvement
became pariah, alone international stage
1920s-1930s relations, treaties with Germany
both no longer international pariahs
materiel, war training, economic collaboration
prevented unified capitalist, anti-communist front, lower risk to Soviet Union
Soviet security, major contributor
relations with US
broke down anti-communist bastion, no capitalist threat
later provided Lend-Lease
1.5 million tonnes materiel to Soviet Union by June 1942 (Cantwell ; Brady, 2012)
Nazi-Soviet Non-Aggression Pact
unexpected alliance, distrusted West, especially France, Britain
avoided German belligerency, fewer separate war fronts
influence area establishment
Finland, Baltic States, east Poland Soviet
contributor Winter War
ultimately delayed war
poor Winter War performance, initial ideological, cultural conflicts persuaded Operation Barbarossa

Question 3
The first major change in the international relations of Russia was the signing of the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk in 1918. This brought Russia out of World War I, however in the aftermath of the Russian Revolutions, especially the October Revolution, the Russian Civil War began and its former allies, dreading Bolshevism and having felt betrayed by the Russian retreat from WWI and subsequent dishonouring of tsarist debts, sided with the White Russians in the new war. Despite the Red Russians gaining victory in the end, thereby preserving the revolutionary government but also leaving the new Soviet Union without international partners or official recognition.

The first major breakthrough for the Soviet Union came in the form of new relations with the postwar Germany with the Treaty of Rapallo, signed on 29 July 1922. Its goals, which were reconfirmed with the Treaty of Berlin in April 1926, stipulated the revocation of diplomatic animosity and financial obligations, but in reality signalled the beginning of a much more productive relationship. It led to the establishment of powerful military and economic partnerships, as well as the Soviet Union and Germany becoming more acknowledged on the international level. It also resulted in the countries gaining military hardware and experience, in violation of the Treaty of Versailles in the case of Germany.

With a new government in the Nazi Party, led by Adolf Hitler, Russo-German relations were officially brought to an end in May 1933. With its foreign policy, and that of its neighbours, in disarray, the Soviet Union initiated relations with the United States in November of that year. While small-scale commerce had been occurring even when their relations were not as amicable, the recognition by the United States of the Soviet Union also brought an end to the ideological battle between the two, the US having been a long-standing stronghold against communism. This contributed strongly to the Soviet Union’s admission into the League of Nations in 1934.

However, only six later the Soviet Union astonished the world community with the Nazi-Soviet Non-Aggression Pact, authorised on 19 August 1939 as a result of the threat of fascism, especially from Germany, the volatility of the European continent and Joseph Stalin’s distrust of Britain and France, especially after their leaders appeased Hitler and ceded Czechoslovakia’s Sudetenland in 1938, The agreement, which not only specified mutual neutrality but also defined their spheres of influence, gave the Soviet Union both enough time for its armed forces to prepare for inevitable war with Germany but also allowed the invasion of its neighbours, including Finland. However, in what would become the Winter War, Soviet forces, superior in both numbers and technology, gained only a pyrrhic victory, influencing Hitler to arrange and commence Operation Barbarossa, the invasion of Russia, in June 1941.

Operation Barbarossa had several drastic effects for the Soviet Union. It not only marked its official entry into World War II, but also prompted offers of aid from the United States and Britain, who extended diplomacy and the Lend-Lease programme to the Soviet Union. With its acceptance of assistance, the Soviet Union was formally an Allied Power, a position maintained until the end of WWII and the beginning of the Cold War.

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