DOI 10.17721/2521-1706.2023.15.7

Eduard Khodun,

Ph. D. student (History), Sumy State Pedagogical University A. S. Makarenko, Sumy, Ukraine

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Abstract. The article deals with the attitude of predominantly religious American society to the atheistic USSR and the perspectives of military-political alliance with it at the initial stage of the German-Soviet war.

The chronological boundaries of the study are the period from the German attack on the USSR on June 22, 1941, to the beginning of December 1941, when a number of important events occurred: the Soviet counteroffensive near Moscow, Japan attacked the U.S. Pacific Fleet base in Pearl Harbor, Germany, and Italy declared war on the United States. 

The aim of the article is a comprehensive analysis and systematization of the religious aspect of the USSR’s reputation in U.S. public opinion at the beginning of the German-Soviet war.

Methodology: the article uses the method of analysis to study various points of view of American society on the possibility of an alliance with the USSR in the second half of 1941. The author also applies methods of systematization and generalization to illustrate the conclusions.

Scientific novelty: for the first time in domestic historiography, the religious factor in U.S. public opinion about the possibility of an alliance with the USSR is analyzed.

The author comes to the conclusion that the religious consciousness of American citizens had a significant impact on the adoption of important political decisions, and on the issue of alliance with the USSR at the beginning of the German-Soviet war, the religious part of American society proposed two possible models of solution: the absolute exclusion of any support for the USSR from the United States and, on the contrary, the establishment of temporary cooperation for early victory over the common enemy. Despite the existence of mutually exclusive strategies, supporters of both of them regarded the USSR as an ideological opponent with whom it is fundamentally impossible to build long-term promising relations.

Key words: public opinion of the United States, USSR, freedom of religion, American-Soviet relations, F. D. Roosevelt.

Submitted: 21.12.2022



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