Drafted by the U.S. State Department, the declaration represented Roosevelt's response to the situation in Eastern Europe, where Red Army advances had virtually guaranteed that Stalin would determine the political futures of Poland, Romania, Bulgaria, and Hungary. Although it is difficult to determine whether Roosevelt actually expected Stalin to allow free elections and self-government in Eastern Europe, Roosevelt's successor, Harry S. Truman, took the declaration seriously and held the Soviets accountable for fulfilling its provisions. Stalin's subsequent imposition of pro-Soviet regimes throughout Eastern Europe during 1945–1948 elicited charges from Washington that the Soviets had violated commitments undertaken at Yalta. This situation greatly accelerated the deterioration of U.S.-Soviet relations and the onset of the Cold War.
Bruce J. DeHart
Offner, Arnold A. Another Such Victory: President Truman and the Cold War, 1945–1953. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 2002.