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.
However McCauley, source 9, stresses that US economic strength and interests created and ‘informal American empire in Europe’, therefore increasing the divide. Deteriorating relations between the two superpowers cannot be attributed primarily to Stalin’s errors. Rather, US economic interests played the most important role in the development of the Cold War in the years 1945-49. Stalin’s own errors and personality undoubtedly played a key role in developing the Cold War, this is emphasised in source 7. Tony Judt argues that Stalin ruled with ‘uncompromising rigidity and confrontational tactics’, this is somewhat supported by source 8 as it highlights that the ‘personality of Stalin’ was a significant internal factor in the USSR.
However, temporary capitalist intervention from western countries in the Civil War also demonstrated to the Bolsheviks that an isolate USSR was vulnerable and for a communist regime to survive it would have to ensure its security in the future. Survival was the main priority from 1917-1924 and with the Treaty of Rapallo in 1922 with Weimar Germany, the USSR showed that it could be pragmatic and work with capitalist states if necessary for survival. Stalin continued the inward looking policies of Lenin and concentrated upon the economic reconstruction of the USSR. The policy of ‘socialism in one country’ focused partly on industrialisation to develop its ability to increase its levels of rearmament to protect from potential capitalist states. By 1933 with the rise to power of Hitler the USSR recognised the potential threat of Nazism.
Many Communists saw the NEP as a retreat from Communist Ideology. It was seen as a promotion of private ownership, trade and profit, as well as being responsible for the rise in new “petty bourgeoisie” classes such as NEP men and Kulaks. It was seen as a policy that promoted the interests of the peasantry, a group that were seen as generally capitalist and potentially threatening to the pace of revolution. Thus a policy of increased state control of industry and commerce would rid the state of these contradictory classes. It would push Russia further onwards in terms of a state free from private trade and ownership.
How far do you agree with the view that the Korean War had a significant impact on the early stages of the Cold War? The Korean War (1950-1953) was a conflict between the Communist North and the Capitalist South of Korea who had been separated along the 38th Parallel, temporarily, by the US dominated UNTOK after World War Two. This war was supposedly based on the pledge of the US to reunify a capitalist Korea after Kim Il Sung’s communist invasion of the South. In reality, this war was an allegorical pawn for the development of the Cold War. It significantly highlighted the true conflict involving the US and the USSR, and more importantly the ongoing battle between two opposing ideologies- capitalism and communism.
There is a large debate into which factors where the most important in the origins and sowing the seeds that led to the Cold War in 1945-6. Many argue that the differences in ideology were the main cause, as the US and the Soviet Union had almost polar opposite views on how their country should be run, and therefore capitalist and communist countries could not co exist without tension. However, it is also argued that the personalities of the leaders of the three countries are a significant contribution to the Cold warfare – Roosevelt/Truman of the United States, Stalin of the USSR and Churchill of the United Kingdom. This is because the mentalities of the leaders often clashed. It is also debated that national interests of the individual countries during and post World War 2 created tensions between the nations of US and the USSR, because they each saw the others aims as a threat to their own national safety.
There can be no ignoring the effect that World War I had on Russia, with the crippling affects of a major war and the resulting breakdown of infrastructure within the Russian Empire. From 1903 when the Bolsheviks were formed a rising threat had emerged to Tsardom, The Marxist intellectual Vladimir Lenin was emerging as an influential light in the revolutionary movement. His earlier pamphlet entitled ‘What is to be done?’ outlined his need for more organisation, discipline, and leadership within the socialist parties. His idea of having a tight-knit exclusive organisation of professional revolutionaries showed he had the coherent theories to be a real threat to Tsarism. According to Alan Wood, Lenin described the 1905 revolution as a ‘dress rehearsal’.
Communism in the Cold War "The seeds of totalitarian regimes are nurtured by misery and want, they spread and grow in the evil soil of the poverty and strife. They reach their full growth when the hope of a people for a better life has died. We must keep that hope alive." as said by Harry S. Truman on march 12, 1947 in The Truman Doctrine. While Truman, Eisenhower, and Kennedy all had the same same Cold War intention of ending communism, their ways of achieving their goal were different.The Cold War was an angry dispute between the United States and the Soviet Union about whether we should spread or contain communism (Ayres 817).
“Nothing to Lose but Their Chains” Karl Marx & Friedrich Engels Marx and Engels outline what the revolution will be like in “Nothing to Lose but Their Chains.” They start with Communists being criticized for desiring to abolish the ability to obtain private property. However, laborers do not acquire property; they create capital, which is controlled by bourgeois and used to exploit them. The capital represents a social power, and by changing it to a common property simply changes the social character, by losing its class character. This idea challenges bourgeois freedom, and is why they disapprove of it. Despite the bourgeois claim, Communism does not keep people from appropriating the products of labor; instead it keeps them from oppressing others in the process.
How significant was the Marshall Plan in contributing to the outbreak of the Cold War in Europe? The 1947 Marshall Plan was an economic outline put forth by George Marshall and the United States, a large-scale programme to provide aid to Europe and reconstruct flagging economies. It was a bold move that the Soviets rightly saw as infringing on their sphere of influence, and only served to heighten the tensions that had seemingly simmered down. A major turning point in the course of history, the Marshall Plan inflamed relations and crystallized the divide between Democracy and Communism, setting the stage for the ensuing Cold War. The main reason for the Marshall Plan as a turning factor was in its forthrightness.