The cold war - Essay Example

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The Cold War itself did not begin at the moment that Communism came to be practiced within the Soviet Union; rather, the Cold War came to be realized as Nazi Germany was collapsing and the Soviet Union and the United States came to a realization that they would remain the two…
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The Cold War itself did not begin at the moment that Communism came to be practiced within the Soviet Union; rather, the Cold War came to be realizedas Nazi Germany was collapsing and the Soviet Union and the United States came to a realization that they would remain the two dominant powers that would define the world after Europe had come to peace. However, the causal factor that actually precipated the Cold War had nothing to do with the presence of Soviet military personnel within Western Europe. Instead, it was the direct result of the fact that Soviet ideology with regards to the way in which a state must be ordered and the manner of economic interaction that must be practiced was diametrically opposed to the approach that the United States and its allies proposed.
As the dust was settling over Europe after the Second World War, the issue of rebuilding the shattered remains of these nations was foremost on the minds of the Allied powers. As such, the United States was specifically interested in setting up governments that were like its own model; a democratic capitalist society. Yet, due to the fact that the Soviet Union believed that democracy was merely a mechanism through which the moneyed aristocracy could lord over the resources and effect an even greater level of capitalist robbery this approach was scorned. Instead, the Soviet Union attempted to set up puppet states that were directed by Moscow and practiced a very similar, if not identical, form of communism. This led the United States to feel that the Soviet Empire was gorwing and threaetneed the very existence of Western Europe; and indeed the rest of the world. As the Soviet Union began to espouse a more and more aggressive line of expansion, the United States felt as if they were entering a zero sum game in which the Soviet Empire would eventually control much of the globe. All of this culminated in a decision by Washington, and its allies, to promote a direct level of opposition to this and seek to engage third parties as a means of promoting them towards Washington and away from Moscow.
Furthermore, ideology also plays a powerful role with respect to the fact that economic competition between the opposing theories of communism and capitalism extended far beyond Europe and soon encompassed the entire globe; where the Soviets sought to garner support for a revolution of the proletariat and the United States sought to spread seeds of capitalism - oftentimes by force. The proxy wars and the political and economic posturing of both reached dangerous levels as the world was several times brought to the brink of atomic war.
However, as a result of the inability of the Soviet system to continue to rely upon state industry and extreme socialism as a means of providing it with continued revenue, the USSR crumbled under its own economic weight. As such, even though scholars and historians had anticipated this action taking place for many years, it came as something of a shock to all onlookers that it could have occurred in the way that it did in such a very brief period of time. Rather than ending in any level of final conflict, the collapse of the Soviet Union and the array of splinter states that it spawned happened almost quietly; serving as testament to the fact that no matter how hot the Cold War had become during the 1950,60’s and 70’s the thaw was enviably nondescript. Read More
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