How Far Did ‘Peaceful Coexistence’ Ease Cold War Tensions Between the Soviet Union and the Usa in the Years 1953-1961? Essay

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‘Peaceful coexistence' is an ideology enunciated by Khrushchev after the Twentieth Congress which governed Soviet foreign policy during the so-called Khrushchev Thaw. This emphasised the possibility of ideological coexistence of both the Communist bloc and the capitalist bloc which marked a paradigmatic shift from the Stalinist doctrine of antagonistic contradiction and inevitable conflict between Communism and capitalism. Furthermore, it highlighted that countries should be allowed to take ‘different roads to socialism’ thus decreasing the role of the USSR for stringent bolshevisation of states as seen in the dissolution of Cominform. Due to the emergence of brinkmanship politics and development of nuclear weapons such as the H-Bomb, the ideology aims to minimise possibilities of Mutually Assured Destruction (MAD), alongside ‘military conflict with the West’. ‘Peaceful coexistence’ was argued by revisionist historians such as Alperovitz that it eased political tensions between the two superpowers through modus vivendi such as in the Austrian State Treaty. Yet post-revisionists such as Zubok and Pleshakov believe the ideology inherently failed due to the lack of mutual understanding as seen in the construction of the Berlin Wall, thus intensifying superpower relations. This essay will explore why the extent of success ‘peaceful coexistence’ in easing political tensions between the USSR and USA is limited. ‘Peaceful coexistence’ created political easing due to the increase in dialogue and modus vivendi which ultimately led to increased cooperation between the two Cold War superpowers. To start off, the 1953 Korean War Armistice was a ceasefire which also divided DPRK and ROK through a demarcation DMZ, the 38th Parallel. This arguably indicates the cessation of Korea as a political hotspot in the Cold War thus reducing Cold War tensions. The discussions during the

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