• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month
  1. 1
  2. 2
  3. 3
  4. 4
  5. 5
  6. 6
  7. 7
  8. 8
  9. 9
  10. 10
  11. 11
  12. 12
  13. 13

The month of August in the year of 1991 marked the beginning of a new era in world politics.

Extracts from this document...


The month of August in the year of 1991 marked the beginning of a new era in world politics. The failed coup against Mikhail Gorbachev served as the catalyst for the disintegration of the Soviet Union and the collapse of Soviet superpower status in the world. Within the timespan of about a week, the Cold War had ended and the conflict created by the existence of two superpowers had been replaced by a hegemonic order led by the United States. In the six years since, the future of the world has remained unclear, marred by numerous ethnic, economic, and political conflicts. During the cold war, communist and anti-Communist conflict dominated the world order as the United States and the Soviet Union sought to counteract each other's influence throughout the world. Civil wars in Vietnam and Cambodia were turned into battles between the forces of communism and capitalism (Goodman 15). Foreign policy revolved around limiting the spread of the opposing ideology with every world event scrutinized in terms of its Marxist/capitalist implications. The Cold War was an era that consisted of two superpowers, each of which had their own sphere of influence. They both desired to expand and limit the other's expansion, spreading their respective ideologies and increasing their influence. Each always had to have the advantage over the other, to the point where they would meddle in the affairs of other nations in order to ensure that the given government would be favorable to their ideology. Everything changed following the collapse of the Soviet Union. Soviet influence disappeared and American influence was no longer focused on the rise and spread of communism. ...read more.


In 1993, terrorists destroyed the plane carrying the presidents of Rwanda and Burundi, sparking a civil war in both nations that pitted the nations' minority Tutsis against the majority Hutus. In the process, the Hutus massacred nearly a million Tutsis. However, when the Tutsis gained the advantage in the war, nearly two million Hutus fled these countries into neighboring Zaire fearing reprisals. This influx of refugees into Zaire sparked ethnic squabbling there as Zaire's Tutsi population, known as the Banyamulenge, resented the Hutu refugees. The Zairian government, having a history of animosity with regard to the Tutsis, is threatened to revoke the citizenship of all the Banya mulenge in Zaire. A rebel leader in southern Zaire named Laurent Kabila used this disenfranchisement of the Tutsis to his advantage, organizing a rebel army and seizing portions of Zaire. This ethnic uprising soon gained momentum as they marched across the expanse of eastern Zaire, capturing town after town as the unorganized government troops fled. What began as a limited rebellion developed into a nation-wide civil war as other groups joined the movement and Kabila's troops made tremendous military gains. In approximately seven months, the rebels had ousted Zaire's dictator, Mobutu Sese Seko, and had ended his thirty-year rule. Zaire is a nation composed of hundreds of different ethnic groups that has been ruthlessly ruled for thirty years by a self-installed dictator. Through the use of brute force and autocratic government, he has held Zaire together throughout the cold war. However, he has also abused his position by stealing from his country and making himself one of the richest men in the world while his country floundered in economic despair. ...read more.


Many nations fear the intentions of the United States and would resent its intervention in their affairs; however, a world body in which they could make their voices heard would have more legitimacy in world politics. The United States is not solely responsible for the fate of the world. Even though it is, as of right now, the sole superpower, it cannot and must not be the only nation leading the charge into the next century. Nations such as China, Russia, India, Japan, Germany, Britain, France, and other potential powers need to also assume responsibility for the fate of the world. Instead of string their own nation aspirations, placing their own well being among those of their neighbors, they must realize their place in the world and realize that without their cooperation, world development and security will be unstable and arduous. Overall, the next millennium is bringing an era of uncertainty on the world stage. There is no clear and definite order in the realm of international politics, the next several years could bring with them war and instability just as easily as they could bring peace and tranquility. In order to ensure at least a chance of a secure future, several things must happen. The gap between the rich and poor regions of the world needs to be alleviated, as many problems are resulting and could result from the economic situation of many countries. Ethnic tolerance and cooperation is also important in ending and preventing violent nationalistic conflict that could potentially be one of the greatest problems in the coming decades. Above all, a greater effort needs to be made by the United States and other influential nations to take a leading role in forging a future for the world. Without leadership on the world stage, there is anarchy, and in anarchy, violence and civil decay thrives. ...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. Superpower Relations 1945-90

    * Reagan also needed to cut military expenditure. In 1983 the USA spent $300,000,000,000 on defence; more than the entire British budget. Gorbachev showed the West that the Soviet Union was really committed to change and reform. Gorbachev did this by * Restricting the powers of the KGB.

  2. Is Australia a safer country since the end of the Cold War? Discuss with ...

    nuclear weaponry, yet it was a silent war, one purely of competition, and I believe that this system of bipolarity was the safest not only for Australia, but for the rest of the world. The United States knew that if they were to attack to Soviet bases then they would

  1. The Thirty Years War was a war over religion rather than politics. Do you ...

    Such hints of autocratic intentions even aroused suspicion among the Catholic princes who shared the Emperor's religious objectives. Thus there was an element of truth in the Franco-Swedish propaganda of the 1630's that the Thirty Years' War was not just a religious war but a war for 'the liberties of Germany'7.

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

    As he was fond of saying about negotiations with Russia, "it is permitted to walk with the devil until the bridge is crossed." The problem was that, as Roosevelt defined the task of finding a path of accommodation, it rested solely on his shoulders.

  1. Does Realism as a statist Ideology exist today?

    goes back to the idea that each state is in competition which each other. For any state, national interest comprises of the general need of survival, economic growth and security of the nation. Due to these goals in mind each states ultimately ends up competing against each other, and therefore resulting in hostility and mistrust being created amongst them.

  2. The role of partisan politics in the spread of McCarthyism

    American Communist Party for violating the Smith Act and conspiring to teach and advocate the violent overthrow of the United States, and later won convictions against some 40 additional Communist leaders. 7 The repressive nature of the Truman Administration, however, could not rival that of the paranoid US government after

  1. The Economic "Miracle".

    Later on pacific islands where US was fighting Japs. Cases of malaria decline sharpley, it wasn't for a while that they realized it was toxic to humans and animals. C. Post war electronic Research Researchers in the 40's developed first commercially sound televison.

  2. United Nations: The Wounded Dove

    The United states in theory only steam rolls its policies over other smaller nations with the UN's and without it. As states by Randy, "with only one super power in charge, the world will suffer and it is up to the UN to balance that un-checked power" (Overhaul).

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