Was the Cold War inevitable

1816 Words8 Pages
The Cold War was the result of underlying friction between the two superpowers of the day and their respective followers. It is seen by many today to have been the inevitable result of the tensions that had developed before, during and after the Second World War, between the East and the West. It was a conflict of Capitalism and Democracy as represented by the West and, on the other side, Communism as personified by the USSR and its satellite states The Cold War might not have been totally inevitable, but due to the background causes that I will examine and the ideological conflicts the occurrence of the Cold War was almost inevitable. The framework for the ideological conflict of the Cold War was in place by early 1918. When the Bolsheviks seized power in Russia in October 1917, communism came to the fore as an issue in international relations. In January 1918 Woodrow Wilson issued his “Fourteen Points”. Although the Fourteen Points were a list of specific aims, they also presented the U.S. ideological framework for international relations. The Fourteen Points promoted the principles of self-determination, open markets and collective security. Self-determination was a criticism of European imperialism but also an attack on the seizure of power by small armed groups like the Bolsheviks. The Bolsheviks called the idea of collective security and a world peace keeping organization “a mechanism of world capitalism”. Wilson’s ideas were based on traditional U.S. values of personal and economic freedom (democracy and capitalism). Communism was hostile to capitalist economic development; Marx called it “exploitation”. This posed a threat to the greater freedom of world capitalism as an open market would require the dismantling of trade barriers and spheres of influence. To the communists capitalism was seen as being responsible for the division of society in
Open Document