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An author of the essay "The Cold War: the Soviet Union and the United States of America" reports that This is the atomic bomb that was used in bombing Japan (Nagasaki and Hiroshima). The Soviet Union, on the other hand, boasted having the world’s largest army. …
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The Cold War: the Soviet Union and the United States of America
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The Cold War: the Soviet Union and the United States of America
Introduction
This is a term that was used to describe the relationship between the Soviet Union and the United States of America. After the second war, which saw the fall of Adolf Hitler and the defeat of the axis nations, the United States of America boasted of having the most lethal weapon on earth. This is the atomic bomb that was used in bombing Japan (Nagasaki and Hiroshima). The Soviet Union on the other hand, boasted having the world’s largest army. The two nations had patterned in World War II to fight their common enemy (Bodden 6). Cold war further described the differences between the communist nations and the capitalist nations. It was a battle where no guns and army were involved. The war took part in all over the world as nations backed democracy as articulated by the United States or communism as articulated by the Soviet Union (Borjas and Kirk 67).
Fall of the Soviet Union
In December 1991, the Soviet Union disintegrated to the amazement of the world. The collapse of the Soviet Union led to the formation of 15 new countries. The west saw the collapse of the Soviet Union as the triumph of democracy over communism and defeat of socialism in favour of capitalism. The United States watched as its fiercest rival went on its knees. This event marked the end of the cold war.
Internal factors
The following are some of the internal factors that led to the collapse of the Soviet Union.
Excessive military spending
The Soviet Union spent 15-25% of its total GNP on its military in order to keep up with US military build-up (McCauley 443).
Economic stagnation
The Soviet economy had grown too big and it became hard for planners to plan for proper government spending. This brought about unemployment and bad infrastructure. The agrarian economy also contributed to the collapse of the Soviet Union (McCauley 444).
Perestroika
In the year 1987, the then Soviet Union leader Gorbachev introduced some free market elements in order to save the economy. These included price ceiling and profit limits which killed business and was bad for the economy (McCauley 448).
Decentralization
The Soviet Union did give the countries under it autonomy. This led to the suspension of tax revenues.
Culture
The 15 republics spoke different languages. This means that they also had different cultural practices.
Corruption
Party leaders were living big by stealing the public’s money. They were also slow to reform when they had a chance to salvage the economy (McCauley 4480.
Local nationalism
People lost hope with the Soviet Union’s government due to the mistakes they were doing. This lead to nationalism in the individual republics and most of them wanted to gain independence.
Failed coup
This led to massive protests and further disintegrated the Soviet Union (McCauley 438).
External forces
Afghanistan quagmire
When the Afghanistan government warmed up to the Soviet Union, the number of anti-Communist grew within the country. In order to neutralize them, the Soviet Union sent their soldiers and war equipment to Afghanistan. Guerrilla warfare ensued between the insurgents and the Soviet Union’s troops. The war did not materialize into anything and this negatively affected the Soviet Union.
Reaction
After the collapse of the Soviet Union, the United States became the most powerful nation. The cold war came to an end. This led to the transformation of the world political formation (unipolar). The collapse of the Soviet Union also led to improved economic, political and military alliances all over the world (Borjas and Kirk 94).
Works Cited
Bodden, Valerie. The Cold War. Mankato, Minn.: Creative Education, 2008. Print. Borjas, George J., and Kirk B. Doran. The collapse of the Soviet Union and the productivity of American mathematicians. No. w17800. National Bureau of Economic Research, 2012.
McCauley, Martin. The rise and fall of the Soviet Union. Routledge, 2014. Read More
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