How far do you agree with the view that the development of the Cold War in the years 1945-8 owed more to Soviet expansionism than to USA’s economic interests? The Cold War, dated from 1947 to 1991, was a sustained state of political and military tension between powers in the Western Bloc, dominated by the United States with NATO among its allies, and powers in the Eastern Bloc, dominated by the Soviet Union along with the Warsaw Pact. This began after the success of their temporary wartime alliance against Nazi Germany, leaving the USSR and the US as two superpowers with profound economic and political differences. Some of the major reasons for the development include Superpower Misjudgement, the difference in ideologies, the development of nuclear weapons and the traditional great power rivalry. In this essay I will be looking at 3 sources, Many historians agree with the view that the development of the Cold War owed more to soviet expansionism than USA’s economic interests in the years 1945-48.
Trotsky described war as the ‘locomotive of history’. How far can it be argued that change in Russia in the period 1855-1964 was caused only by involvement in wars? During this period the biggest change that happened was the move from Tsarist autocracy to communist dictatorship as well as the short lived provisional government, which was a form of democracy. Furthermore there were changes to economic policy, which had a great impact on society. The wars that occurred did bring change but were not the only causes of change.
Another perspective, the Revisionist view initiated by the historian William Appleman Willams regards that the American’s attitude to dispense their ideology of capitalism as well as their tactics in using military means to dominate with world trade was the cause. On the other hand, historians such as John Lewis Gaddis follow a Post-Revisionist view that suggests neither countries were to blame and in fact the breakdown of relations was due to the misunderstandings during a period of mass “growing sense of insecurity” and acted upon failure to acknowledged each others fears. However, it is possible to suggest that one country is held responsible for the origins of the Cold War through the occurrences during this time. This discussion will outline these factors by debating the validity of the question in whether or not it was the Soviet’s attitude and involvement that were to blame. In February 1945 at the Yalta Conference which involved the “Big Three” displayed the highpoint of an inter-allied cooperation.
How far do you agree with the view that the development of the Cold War between the USA and the Soviet Union in the years 1945-53 was primarily due to traditional great power rivalry? Use sources 7, 8 and 9 and your own knowledge. The development of the Cold War between the USA and the Soviet Union in the years 1945-53 was primarily due to great power rivalry, though this rivalry was only made clear, due to the ideological differences between the two superpowers. The Cold war has been a clash on conflicting ideologies, which fuelled the great power rivalry between the USA and Soviet Union, and these differences led to increasing tensions almost to the extent of nuclear war. Yalta was the first event in the time period, and was where ‘the big thee’, Stalin, Churchill and Roosevelt met and discussed the reorganization of Germany and Eastern Europe after WWII.
Conflicting national interest caused relations between the two powers to deteriorate further, as shown in Russia’s decision to double its army along the Russian and Chinese border following the border disputes. Ideological differences however, were still a source of the conflict, as Mao was very critical of Khrushchev and his return to some capitalist ideas. This suggests that it is more likely that the Sino-Soviet split originate from a personal and mutual dislike between the two Communist leaders because of their difference in ideology. Therefore, although the Sino-Soviet split was not solely the result of ideological differences as national interests and the personalities of Mao and Khrushchev were also to blame, ideology was still a
Modern History Assignment International Studies in Peace and Conflict: The Cold War “Evaluate the view that the ideologies of capitalism and communism influenced policies and strategies in the Cold War.” While the Cold War has come to be defined as "a clash of ideologies" by a majority of historians, the principles of capitalism and communism were exaggerated in political rhetoric by both the United States and the Soviet Union. Although the conflicting ideologies had a formative influence on the early strategies of the two superpowers – establishing a framework that would shape future policy - national and economic interests had a more significant impact on overall Cold War foreign response. However, an assessment of influences on policy making must be more complex than simply ‘ideological’ or ‘economic’. As Martin McCauley writes, "the weaknesses of the orthodox and revisionist analyses are evident: the former pays little attention to the legitimate security needs of the USSR, while the latter ignores Soviet behaviour which gave rise to shifts in American policy." In examining the factors that shaped the various strategies of the struggle, a more balanced post-revisionist approach must be taken.
Because of the disagreement with the foundation of a countries’ structure, the USA and the USSR were strange bedfellows during the Second World War. Their alliance was purely strategic. The underlying differences between the supreme capitalist nation (the USA) and the original communist state (the USSR) were bound to re-emerge once Germany and Japan had been defeated. Both of the Superpowers saw each other as a threat to its continued survival and adopted strategies to preserve their positions, which brought a high level of tension after World War 2. At the final stage of World War Two, it was quite clear that the Allies would get the final victory, so in February 1945, Stalin (USSR), Churchill (UK) and Roosevelt (USA) met at Yalta to discuss
However, the breakdown in relations between the emerging superpowers during the war and the consequences of the disbandment of the Grand Alliance can be interpreted as the start of the Cold War. Tensions during wartime conferences paved the way for post-war conflict and it can be argued that as soon as the common enemy of Hitler was destroyed, the disparity in post-war aims of the superpowers led to the Cold War. The conferences of ‘the Big Thee’ at Yalta and Potsdam produced areas of tension surrounding plans for Germany and Poland, highlighting the USA fear of USSR’s expansion. Therefore Stalin’s policies for these countries can be construed as an attempt to form an ‘Eastern Bloc’, knowing this to be in complete contradiction with Western ideals for a world without spheres of influence. However, there is not much evidence to suggest the USSR’s was pursuing expansionist aims at this point, and in fact was simply securing its borders.
Nissa 0943B 13 May 2009 H2 History “Ideological concern was the most important factor that shaped the development of the Cold War.” Asses the validity of this view with regard to the period between 1945 to 1956. The different ideology between the superpower is the main reason for the start of Cold War. However, ideology was not the only contributing factor as the Cold War started from the molding tension that built up in a series of events. This tension, apart from ideological threat, was caused by the Superpowers’ concern of their security, economic policies, as well as the idea of power prestige. Ideological concern shaped the development of Cold War because the two Superpowers’ ideology was the total opposite sides of the coins.
The loss of these lands was particularly daunting for Russia since they were of great economic importance. Thus, in comparison with the harsh terms of the Brest-Litovsk Treaty, the Germans were in no position or right to complain about the consequences they had to face. The Treaty of Versailles was actually issued quite lenient punishments for the Germans when considering the damage wrought by the war. However, to charge Germany as being fully responsible for the Great War was also unfair and faulty. The assassination of the Archduke of Austria had prompted Austria-Hungary to retaliate by declaring war on Serbia, with the support of Germany.