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Which former ally, the U.S. or the U.S.S.R., was most at fault for the Cold War - Essay Example

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Summary
The Cold War involved decades of distrust and suspicion culminating into indirect wars by two superpowers: the United States and the U.S.S.R or Soviet Union. It lasted from 1945 to 1991 and left many people especially soldiers from the two world powers dead and their economies destroyed…
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Which former ally, the U.S. or the U.S.S.R., was most at fault for the Cold War
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Which former ally, the U.S. or the U.S.S.R., was most at fault for the Cold War

Download file to see previous pages... The most affected areas were the European countries although later the war extended to Asia, Middle East and Third World countries as the two nations struggled for dominance. The war was characterized by arms race and space race with an imminent danger of a nuclear war erupting. However, the question that needs answering is; who was responsible for the war? Traditionalists blame the U.S.S.R; the revisionists blame the U.S while the post-revisionists believe both were to blame. This paper will argue that the U.S.S.R was solely to blame for the start of the cold war due to its expansionist motives and the need to spread communism to the whole world. Although the US and U.S.S.R were both isolationists (remained neutral) in the two world wars, it was clear that the two were mutual antagonists. The US was a strong advocate of the capitalist system and hoped that all nations would embrace democracy while the U.S.S.R was a strong critic of the capitalist system and an advocate of communism. The Soviet wanted to convert the world into communism and abolish capitalism which was viewed as exploitative. Furthermore, the attempt by the US to aid anti-communist Russian forces in the 1918-1919 revolution was not forgotten. However, when German invaded Soviet Union in 1941 an alliance was formed between both powers whereby the Soviet Union was to help US against the Japanese after conclusion of the Nazi-Soviet war. According to Mooney, “Despite these mutual antagonisms, President Roosevelt extended Lend-Lease aid to the Soviets in November 1941 and initiated the wartime partnership between the U.S.S.R. and the U.S that endured until the war’s successful conclusion” (165). Stalin was not genuine in his dealings according to William Bullitt an advisor to the president. The first signs came when Soviet insisted on instituting a provisional government in Poland referred as the Lublin Committee and refused the Poland government in-exile which was operating in London. The Soviets were also advantaged by the Moscow agreement whereby Churchill and Stalin agreed to formula for division of post-war South Eastern Europe spheres (75% for Britain and 25% for U.S.S.R). This enabled U.S.S.R to dominate most of Eastern Europe and advance its cause. Another meeting for Churchill, Roosevelt and Stalin was held in Yalta in 1945 whereby they agreed to form an international peace organization and re-arrange post-war map of Europe. As such, the United Nations (UN) and the UN Security Council were formed. However, the Soviet Union was against this Security Council as it refused to acknowledge the communist government of China. According to the Yalta agreement, each power was to control its ‘zone of occupation’ after the war in Germany but Berlin City was to be divided among the four nations. The Americans condemned the agreement and blamed Roosevelt and Churchill for giving up Eastern Europe to the Soviets. However, Robert Dalleck of Boston University states that, “this idea that Roosevelt and Churchill gave away Eastern Europe to the soviets is nonsense.”(60 years later debating Yalta). The Big three also made a Declaration on Liberated Europe which mandated the superpowers with the role of supporting the shattered nations to rebuild themselves and also create democratic institutions of their own choice. This meant the nations were free to hold elections and decide on the form of government they wished to institute and which is responsive to people’s will. The superpowers could not interfere with democratic processes of those nations. However, the Soviet Union defied this rule and went ahead to establish a communist government in Romania. The Soviet Union was ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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