College Honors Program

Date of Creation


Document Type




First Advisor

Noel D. Cary


This thesis analyzes the US Embassy in Moscow at the end of World War II by examining the experiences and perspectives of the Embassy’s three major figures: Ambassador W. Averell Harriman, Charge d’Affaires George F. Kennan, and Major General John R. Deane. These men did not begin as staunch Slavophobes or anti-Communists. But from the failed Warsaw Uprising in August 1944 to the war’s end in May 1945, these three men began to believe that the USSR was trying to project its influence over the rest of Eastern Europe. The US Embassy encountered great difficulty in its dealings with the Soviet Government as disagreements arose over the governance of Poland and the issue of prisoner repatriation. After the Yalta Conference, Deane, Harriman, and Kennan believed that the USSR was violating the Declaration on Liberated Europe as it attempted to dominate the political and economic affairs of Eastern European countries under its occupation. In response, these officials called for a tougher foreign policy against the USSR in order to stop it from establishing a permanent sphere of influence. By analyzing this historical narrative, this thesis helps explain why US-USSR relations began to deteriorate by the war’s end, which in turn led to the Cold War.


This thesis was submitted and accepted for both the College Honors and History Honors programs of the College of the Holy Cross.