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The Cold War [1945-1991]

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Introduction

The Cold War [1945-1991] Europe has had its fair share with wars and battles. However most of them were of two peculiar and stand out types of war. They were either Wars of Ideology: what other men and women were allowed to believe, or Wars of Succession, and the balance of power. The cold war for the first time combined both of these characteristics of the European modes of wars. The cold war was fought to determine the fate of Europe which was divided between two great superpowers of the European tradition, the market economy driven United States of America, and the Old Russian autocracy reborn as the Soviet Union through the ideology of communism. "The history of the cold war has been the history of the world since 1945"1. It wasn't a confrontation between two empires, it was, "a total war between economic and social systems, an industrial test to destruction"2. Nevertheless it was also a fight between two conflicting values. The West believes in the ideas of a market economy, free enterprise and a multi party democracy. These qualities were cherished as a necessity. The scenario in the East was quiet contrasting. While the west believed in free enterprise, market economy and democracy the East was driven, by a command economy and single part statism, a.k.a, Dictatorship. The obvious conflict in beliefs, ideas and values, and the stubborn nature of those who defended these ideas vehemently were the driving force behind the cold war. This paper will examine the events of the Cold War period [1945-1991], and attempt to prove, how the technology and the identity of the United States and the USSR were altered during a period of fear and distrust. ...read more.

Middle

Divisions grew between the nations from here on. The Soviet counterpart, The Warsaw pact, followed the formation of NATO. However the Warsaw pact was less significant due to the member nations were already part of Russia. The Korean was, was the second conflict. Mao Tse Dung came to power as the communist leader of China in 1949. He wanted to push the ideology of communism southward. Stalin agreed to support Mao. North Korea allied itself with China and in turn was supported by China and Russia, in its war against South Korea. America foreseeing the spread of communism supported the democratic South Korea. The war ended without any real victor. North Korea eventually withdrew from the South and the Americans returned home. The war was a fight for containment. The Americans didn't want to invade a communist country for fear of retaliation by the Soviets or the Chinese. The Americans want to show the defeat of communism wasn't portrayed with the Korean War. The third conflict came in Vietnam. The Vietnam War was an extension of the cold war. North Vietnam invaded the south and it remained a relatively small conflict. The United States involvement was due to its fight for containment of communism. It had grave implications for future American politicians, and had a vast political importance in the US when it broke out. For America this was a war that it could not give up, but the nation did not want to pursue it either. This conflict of interest made this war a failure. Communist North eventually conquered the democratic south putting an end to the war. ...read more.

Conclusion

Numerous conflicts, ideas and emotions were involved. It also became a global insurance against a catastrophe. The defeated Soviet Union crumbled into the component parts that the tsarists had assembled it from. The one question that remains till this day is whether the cold war could have been prevented. May believe that if Roosevelt had used his negotiating position at Yalta wisely, Russia would have been unable to form those puppet states and gain access to Europe. Had Russia not been a part of Europe's political struggle, its power, and interest in the rest of the world would have diminished after WWII. It was the iron curtain that brought Russia into the limelight. The proxy wars (Korea and Vietnam), the Cuban missile crisis and the satellites bought world wide acclaim and fear. The identities switched numerous times, some times for the best and sometimes for the worse. However, staying true to the saying "to the Victor go the spoils" the Americans won the cold war and their identity has been solidified as the Heroes. Russia at once regarded as the villains have the reputation as the losers and their identity is one of a country that was outclassed and became weak. The technological advancement that the countries went through is one that will hardly be rivaled. With the technological advancement came the identity of intelligence bestowed upon both nations, regardless of how they were seen during the proxy wars, the building of the iron wall or the arms race. The familiar dangers of the cold war have ended, however the unknown perils of its aftermath lie in wait. 1 Page # 1; The Cold War: A History 2 Page # 1; The Cold War: A History 3 Page # 16; The Cold War: A History. 4 Page # 162; The Cold War: A History 1 ...read more.

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