the Cold War was a contest between the USA and the Soviet Union. It led to the existence of thousands of nuclear weapons, two universal ideologies in conflict, and two different self-images, the United States championing a world made safe for democracy. Its opponent, the Soviet Union advocated world Communism. The United States prides itself on its heritage of freedom, a refuge for persecuted religious groups, a land of liberty that successfully rebelled against the imperial power of Britain in 1776. Its guiding principles were the protection of the individual’s life, liberty and pursuit of happiness and the establishment of a constitution that embodied the best political idea of modern times, a system of checks and balances so that the president,
The allies met at Potsdam in July 1945, where the German division was agreed, though there were still disagreements over Poland. At this conference, there is some evidence supporting that early development of the cold war was primarily due to great power rivalry, when Truman was informed of successful explosion of an atomic bomb. He kept this secret from Stalin, not knowing that through his spy network, he was already aware. This only emphasizes the distrust between the two superpowers, and shows strive for power on both sides. In 1946, George Kennan, American ambassador to Moscow formulated the USA’s ‘containment’ policy through the Kennan telegram.
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. In addition, although the USSR agreed to maintain ‘democracy’ in war conferences, a clear definition of democracy was never specified and from this confusion, hostility regarding broken promises arose. Nevertheless, regardless of intentions, the consequence of Russia’s treatment of Eastern European states as WW2 ended is a key reason for the
Karan Agarwal 12 E To what extent was the cold war a result of World War II? ESSAY PLAN Introduction v What was the Cold War? v Differences between USA and USSR Yes, it was a result of the Second World War: v v v v The question of a ‘second front’ during the war had worsened relations between USSR and USA USA had used the Atomic bomb without informing USSR (distrust) The USSR had suffered enormously from the war while the US emerged stronger (threat to USSR). The was a power vacuum in the heart of Europe was filled by The Red Army, that controlled Eastern Europe, which increased the USSR’s sphere of influence (threat to USA). v v Yalta conference agreements resulted in Germany being divided into zones of occupation and Berlin was to have a western zone.
One, if not the most prominent way that the nuclear arms race stabilised the cold war was the threat of one being launched, both the USA and the USSR were both already threatened by the ideological capabilities of each other, which is why they feared the nuclear arms race would extend to not just trying to achieve the upper hand over their opponent. The fact that both sides were developing their nuclear weaponry and rapidly gaining a vast amount of nuclear bombs meant that it acted as a defence strategy in warning the up and coming countries who thought they would have an opportunity in joining the world superpowers, such as China. The damage that the weapons could cause were enough to not just warn each superpower of the sheer control that the other had but it warned the world too. An example of how the
Moreover, other countries claimed the right of nuclear weapons to defend their citizens. Consequently, the tragic bombings became the example of an arm’s race instead of peace. Furthermore, since Japan was already on the brink of collapse the bombing was unnecessary, and peace talks would have taken place within a decent time frame (even after the cancelled Hawaii summit). The millions of deaths calculated by Operation Downfall [the codename for the Allied plan for the invasion of Japan near the end of the Second World War, which was abandoned when Japan surrendered following the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki] actually show that only desperation and honour stood between Japan and unconditional
Although they became allies during WWII to eliminate their common enemy – Nazi-Germany – the superpowers had set themselves up for a great conflict. Aggressive actions and opposing ideologies had developed that would confirm the Cold War. The Truman Doctrine, the Long Telegram, and NATO are all examples of these actions due to opposing ideologies. These actions are seen as official causes of the Cold War; nevertheless, other factors played a large role in starting the conflict. The two opposing ideologies caused the war to a certain extent, but the fear and revenge that grew out of the ideological split were
This isn’t case with as this arms race progressed it became clear about the catastrophic dangers nuclear warfare would bring if the weapons were ever deployed. Seeing the fact that during this period the world was brought to the very brink of annihilation in 1962 but in spite of that the world survived that fearful time and has made significant progress in peace from this period of time to the modern day. So it can be said that bizarrely the nuclear arms race didn’t make the world a more dangerous place as one would assume but rather pushed the world to more peaceful times. On the other hand people’s reaction towards the view at the time i may hold some truth as destructive potential of nuclear war never ceased during this period. The horrific power shown by these weapons when used on Nagasaki and Hiroshima didn’t cause others to be fearful of the USA’s weaponry and to stop production of new weaponry but rather ironically increased it.
Ideological concern shaped the development of Cold War because the two Superpowers’ ideology was the total opposite sides of the coins. Each of their policies such as economic and domestic policies contradicts each other, added with the bipolar assumption and zero-sum perception of the world; it seemed to them that it would be impossible for the two superpowers to coexist together. USA had a misperception about USSR that they practice the monolithic expansionistic ideology, thus stating that every country that were to turn or had a communist revolution must have started off by the incentive of the USSR. One very famous and obvious example is the Greece Crisis, where USSR was not involved at all but was accused to giving aid to the communists in Greece. Another distinct event where their difference in ideology was clearly shown was during the Yalta Conference where the party declined strictly to have their say accepted about the liberal of the Eastern Europe.
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