• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Did the Cold War prevent or promote conflict?

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

´╗┐The tumultuous period between 1945 and 1991 is widely classified as the Cold War; this engulfed both the USSR and the USA into a political and military vacuum. This notion is rendered by the intense mistrust and ideological split between the deep rooted foundations of Communism and Capitalism within each country. An underlying belief of the unknown threat between both the USSR and the USA ensured that both countries drifted into proxy warfare. This seed of doubt is solidified by discrepancies of both powers, which will further be discussed, yet it is worthy to acknowledge that this notion of conflict in many ways both prevented and promoted conflict. After the unstable situation of 1945, the ever growing disparity between former allies USSR and the USA is clearly distinguishable by the actions of the states themselves. The Soviet leader within the 1950s, Josef Stalin, was informed of Truman?s declaration of the dropping of the atomic bomb on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945; this explicitly highlights the suspicion encountered by Stalin as clearly the welfare of his country could possibly be threatened by a dominating power with nuclear weapons. Unquestionably, this could be perceived as a promotive element as America?s releasing of a destructive weapon is potentially a causation of the Cold War as the USA clearly had the ability to wipe out an entire geographical location, causing mistrust from the Iron Curtain (otherwise known as Eastern Europe.) ...read more.

Middle

Therefore, we can see that the Cold War experienced relaxation periods and progression; yet this simply detracts away from this notion of global conflict, which simply has a knock on effect so to speak. 2 Colin Bown and Peter J. Mooney, Cold War to Détente 1945-85 second edition, Heinemann Educational 1981, p.5 3 Allen Hunter, Re-Thinking the Cold War, Temple University Press 1998, p.157 4 Robert Wilde, Introduction to the Cold War in Europe, http://europeanhistory.about.com/od/coldwar/p/prcoldwar101.htm, date accessed 17/3/11 The Warsaw Pact (1955) and NATO were two external bodies which were set up to enforce cooperation and mutual defence of its members. On one hand this can be regarded as constitutions who sought to protect themselves and its allies through political and military command. “military doctrines, which determine how each alliance builds and organizes its military forces are quite different…the Pact prefers large numbers of major weapons and formations over training , logistics and the command and control functions.”5 Clearly, this excerpt taken Dunbabin’s The Cold War brings to light the underlying processes taken when creating a body whose sole purpose is to use conflict towards outsiders. The fact that ‘Treaty of Friendship, Cooperation and Mutual Assistance’ revolves around a largely military based emphasis may highlight both the USA and the USSR as promoters of conflict, within 1983, the Warsaw Pact claimed to have more defence arms than NATO, giving them a significant advantage. ...read more.

Conclusion

Heath and Company 1963, p.81 9 Ian Pindar, The Guardian, http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2008/aug/23/politics.roundupreviews, date accessed 17/3/11 That, coupled with his reputation for ruthlessness, he believed, would suggest that he was dangerously unpredictable.?10 This leads one to believe that the Cold War represented a war which was based on threats and the possibilities of what might happen. This offers a dichotomy; on one hand we have Nixon displaying forceful tactics and an overt willingness to engage in open warfare, yet covertly this indirectly highlights the need to prevent conflict through the use of tactics and theoretical ideas. Overall, the years 1945-1991 signified a somewhat futile period within history; it would be a travesty to forget that the Cold War plunged other countries into war as a result of largely political and ideological concepts. Both the USSR and USA created the initiative to promote peace and to prevent conflict through the creation of state organizations as previously discussed. Undeniably, propaganda becomes the epitome of promoting conflict; this is the only image the masses see of their ?enemy?, hence this retains importance in shaping the views and preconceptions of those individuals. In relation to the question, it is extremely difficult to outright state whether the Cold War prevented or promoted conflict as both notions intertwine so naturally; both link together as it is almost impossible for one to exist as a single function. We have seen this from a propaganda point of view, the fact that an image has the power to both bring about peace yet at the same time promote it. 10 Nixon ?Madam Theory,? http://www.nuclearfiles.org/menu/key-issues/nuclear-weapons/history/cold-war/strategy/strategy-nixon-madman-theory.htm, date accessed 17/3/11 ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level International History, 1945-1991 section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level International History, 1945-1991 essays

  1. Analysis of Political Cartoons

    The loss of legitimacy and subsequent change in world opinion of America was due to a change from a multilateral to unilateral agenda when America declared its war on terror. America abandoned "successful forms of hegemonic governance, based on the institutionalization of collective economic and security regimes, in favor of

  2. This graduation paper is about U.S. - Soviet relations in Cold War period. Our ...

    that seemed better to accord with the pretentious significance we had attached to our war effort. As a consequence, the diplomat went on, it became difficult to pursue a policy not defined by the language of "angels or devils," "heroes" or "blackguards."

  1. American History.

    In the end the passage of the Assumption Bill was exchanged in a series of compromises for the location of the capital [on the Potomac]. The Bank of the United States - soon Hamilton submitted another report on? recommending the chartering of a nat'l bank that would be capitalized at $10 million and would mainly be funded by private investors.

  2. The Prelude to the 1975 War and the Cairo Agreement.

    In Sidon, Palestinian and particularly Fateh, reorganization attracted stern warnings from Amal, the local Popular Nasirite Organization, and influential Sidon Deputy Dr. Nazih Bizri. Clashes between Amal and Palestinians in the camps erupted again in Beirut briefly in September, and once more for a week from 29 March 1986.

  1. How True is it to say that the period 1953-1962 saw a relaxation of ...

    In addition to this, the USSR appeared to be enjoying a period of economic and military strength. Heavy industrial production was massive, and the USSR was the world leader in new technology, as was displayed by the deployment of Sputnik in 1957 and the first human flight in space, by Yuri Gagarin in 1961.

  2. The Deer Hunter and Apocalypse Now

    All three men escape their prison but at a high price; Steven is crippled; Nick wanders the streets of red-light Saigon obsessed with the game of Russian roulette, and Michael is haunted by his promise to bring Nick home at any cost, and is unable to cope with or articulate the pain he feels (Sutton DVD Times).

  1. In what ways was the Pacific war a racist conflict?

    and the final scenes depicted a massive American fleet bearing down on a tiny Japan. Along the way, the film used many pieces of captured Japanese documentaries and propaganda films, and also Samurai films and Drama's from the 1930's. It was Capra's way of using the enemy's own propaganda against them that made his work so effective.

  2. Arab-Israeli Conflict 1948-1996.

    As the aim was to please both sides, the first agreement concerned the future of Sinai that was to be concluded and signed within three months. This accord was effective as it made each side compromise, encouraging the two nations to keep a lasting relationship in the future.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work