Evaluating the Conferences
- Understand the national objectives held by each Allied nation as they entered the major conferences.
- Compare the final results of the major conferences with the initial goals held by the participants.
- Evaluate the effectiveness of the negotiators at each conference.
Throughout the course of World War II, the Allied leaders kept in close contact to align their war and postwar strategies. A series of high-level meetings were held that included two or all three of the major Allied powers. With the participants holding very different backgrounds and post-World War II views of the world, each conference involved political maneuvering and compromising on goals.
- Complete a comparison chart that compares the goals and results of each nation involved for each of the following conferences:
- Atlantic Conference, August 1941 (Churchill and Roosevelt)
- Moscow Meeting #1, August 1942 (Churchill and Stalin)
- Tehran Conference, November–December 1943 (Churchill, Roosevelt, and Stalin)
- Moscow Meeting #2, October 1944 (Churchill and Stalin)
- Yalta Conference, February 1945 (Churchill, Roosevelt, and Stalin)
- Potsdam Conference, July–August 1945 (Churchill/Attlee, Stalin, Truman)
- Evaluate and discuss the overall effectiveness of the conferences for each nation. Determine which nation won the most concessions and went into the postwar world with the largest advantage.
- Download and print the Conferences Comparison Chart OR recreate the chart on a computer and complete it digitally.
- In small groups, review the resources below and complete the chart.
- As a class, discuss the evaluation portion for each conference and select the nation that appeared to leave the conference with the diplomatic advantage. How was that leader able to gain this advantage? What did the other leaders compromise and why?
- Have students determine who appeared to be the most successful diplomat at the time (1945). Then ask students if history supports the perception of the success of the meetings at the end of the war. For this, focus on the division of Germany, the establishment of the United Nations voting system, the issue of Poland, and the tensions during the sessions that ultimately led to the Cold War.