Date of Award

Winter 2015

Project Type


Program or Major


Degree Name

Master of Arts

First Advisor

Cathy A Frierson

Second Advisor

Kurk Dorsey

Third Advisor

Marion Girard Dorsey


This thesis analyzes the development and decline of the relationship among the members of the Grand Alliance during World War II. The primary questions I answer are: what led to the creation of the Grand Alliance, and what caused the alliance to begin to decline at the peak of its effectiveness? To answer these questions, I begin with the events that took place prior to the war and describe how world leaders addressed Hitler’s aggression as individuals in lieu of an alliance; thereby showing the importance of an alliance after the war began. The study then proceeds chronologically, analyzing the correspondence among Roosevelt, Churchill, and Stalin to identify how these men worked together, despite their ideological differences to achieve victory over Hitler. Primary sources are used as both evidence and as a means of understanding public opinion to show how the decisions made by the two leaders of democratic nations may have been swayed by public opinion. Understanding the dynamics of the relationship leads to a better understanding of the irreconcilable differences among the objectives of the Big Three that ultimately led to the Cold War, despite their effectiveness as partners in terms of war planning. Ultimately, bargaining power varied among the members throughout the war, and created an atmosphere in which postwar plans were made by individuals with the best military position at the time of the decision making.