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

How far do you agree with the view that the origins of the Cold War in 1945-46 owed much to ideological differences and little to the personalities of the leaders and conflicting national interests?

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

´╗┐How far do you agree with the view that the origins of the Cold War in 1945-46 owed much to ideological differences and little to the personalities of the leaders and conflicting national interests? 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. ...read more.

Middle

The west saw itself as upholding ?liberal democracy? and as such had a government based on many freedoms such as the freedom of speech and freedom to vote, so their was a choice of government whereas the government in the USSR was a one party system, aiming to create a classless society in the interests of ruling on behalf of the people. These different systems caused tension as the US and other western capitalist governments began to assume that communism was a direct threat to the freedoms of western society, and therefore, it was something to be feared. Therefore it can be implicit that the sharp contrast of political organisations in each the US and the USSR was a cause of tensions that led up to the cold war, as each side saw the other as a threat to their way of living. Another contributing factor to the Cold War origins was the conflict of Wilsonian Liberalism and Lenin/Marxist principles. Wilson?s ideas were based on American values of personal and economic freedom and the USA had a ?moral duty? to spread these values to the rest of the globe whereas Lenin?s concept was of a world revolution. ...read more.

Conclusion

This was the constant undermining of capitalism at all costs in the hope of aiding the ?inevitable fall of capitalism? (Marxist principles). It is for this reason that the hostility owed much to the origins of the cold war, because Capitalist and Communist countries had the potential to work side by side (as they did with the common enemy of the fascists in World War 2) but the conflict of national interest in terms of how best they thought to lead their country was a key contribution of tension between the two countries. It can be argued however that this was a difference of ideology rather than a conflict of national interests, this is because it was the ideological principles themselves which set foot the idea that capitalism will fall and communism will rise, however the Comintern was an organisation set up by the USSR to put the ideology into place. It can therefore be argued that although this was a conflicting national interest, without the communist ideological hostility towards the west, the Comintern may never have come to fruition, and therefore the ideological foundations of communism was the base of the fire from which the Cold War burned. ...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. How far was the USSR responsible for the outbreak of the Cold War?

    The crisis also helped create the political conditions in which the US committed itself to abandoning its isolationism and to creating a military alliance in the event of war- NATO. This must have had a major impact in defining the Cold War and in causing Soviet resentment, as it proved

  2. When and Why Did the Cold War Start? Was any Individual or Power the ...

    Leading to ever increased tensions between Stalin and the now new Western allied Germany, as the West followed their own course so to speak. Indicating that not all of the 'paranoia' and suspicion was coming from the Kremlin, strategic thinkers and military analysts in the US in autumn of 1945

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

    When the attack began, the city boasted a population of 3 million citizens. At the end, only 600,000 remained. There was no food, no fuel, no hope. More than a million starved, and some survived by resorting to cannibalism. Yet the city endured, the Nazis were repelled, and the victory

  2. Discuss Trotsky's View that War was the Locomotive of History (1855-1914)

    and this was to highlight the Russian Government as incompetent, and stimulate social unrest that victory was supposed to confine.

  1. UNIT 6: PAPER 6b: THE SOVIET UNION AFTER LENIN

    18% of the whole population in 1926 to 33% by 1939, a massive increase. As the Five Year Plans put such emphasis on productive investment rather than housing, facilities, etc, this huge increase was accompanied by overcrowding, shortages and difficulties.

  2. American economic foreign policy and the origins of the cold war

    after 1939."2 Furthermore, lenient treatment of the countries that had started World War I was believed to have only resulted in further aggression. As a result, Americans were determined to "get the job right" this time around. President Roosevelt himself promised in a speech given in September 1942: "We have profited by our past mistakes.

  1. Are the origins of the Cold War to be found entirely after World War ...

    Throughout the history of the Cold War and the pre Cold War rivalry, the general policy of "containment" of communism by the West and specifically America remained largely unchanged. This again supports the idea that the communist revolution can be marked as the very first of Cold War origins.

  2. Causes and origins of the American revolution.

    did not need the guidance of the mother country; especially after the war with the Indians and France. Mercantilism was a mere seed planted in the revolution. It meant that the functions of the colonies were: to produce raw materials for the use of the mother country; to consume English

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