Essential Cold War History Notes Essay

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IB History Notes – Origins of the Cold war Communism vs. Capitalism * The Bolshevik revoulution in Russia in 1917 saw Lenin and the Bolshevik Party establish the world’s first Communist state based on the ideas of Karl Marx. * For the leaders of the U.S. and other western countries, these ideas seemed to threaten the very basis of their societies. Communism always believes that there should always be revolution. They wanted worldwide communism. Two Rival Ideologies The West – (economic differences): * Individuals should be able to compete with each other with a minimum of state interference and make as much money as they wish. (capitalism) * Individuals are thus encouraged to work hard by the promise of individual reward. (Political differences): * Individuals choose the gov’t through voting. * There is a range of political parties to choose from. * Individuals have certain rights, such as freedom of the press. (liberal democracy. The USSR (economic differences): * Capitalism creates divisions between rich and poor * Thus all businesses and farms should be owned by the state on behalf of the people. (communism). * Goods will be distributed to individuals by the state. * Everyone will thus get what is needed and everyone will be working for the collective good. (Political differences): * There is no need for a range of political parties, as the Communist Party truly represents the views of all the workers and rulers on behalf of the people * Individual freedoms valued by the west are not necessary. (one-party state). Increasing Hostility * Intervention of the West in the Russian Civil War (1918-1922) supporting the conservative forces—the whites—in their attempt to overthrow he new Bolshevik government. * The fact that the USSR did not receive diplomatic recognition nor join the League of Nations
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