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    Standing in history like a milestone marking the boundary between one era and the next, the Potsdam Conference brought together the leaders of the three major Allied powers - the United States, the Soviet Union, and the United Kingdom - for the last time at the end of World War II and at the threshold of the Cold War. A follow up to the Yalta Conference just five months earlier, Potsdam attempted to work out the contours of the postwar world. Though it came so shortly after Yalta, the Potsdam Conference also highlighted a turnover of leadership on the world stage. British Prime Minister Winston Churchill, who gave his nation hope in the darkest days of World War II, had suffered a stunning defeat at the hands of the Labor candidate Clement Attlee, who replaced him towards the end of the Conference. President Franklin Delano Roosevelt died prior to the meeting, leading to his replacement by the new president Harry S. Truman, a keen-minded pragmatist whose intense focus on America's advantage contrasted with Roosevelt's internationalism. Only General Secretary Josef Stalin, dictator of the Soviet Union, remained unchanged from the earlier summit.

    ©2016 Charles River Editors (P)2017 Charles River Editors

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