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

"To what extent was the cold war caused by two irreconcilable ideologies?"

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

"To What Extent Was the Cold War Caused By Two Irreconcilable Ideologies?" The Russian-American history is not very old, yet it was started off on a bad note in the Russian Revolution. Communism, which draws its power from the lower classes, stands in direct opposition to Capitalism which necessitates the satisfaction of the upper classes in order to be successful. However, history forced the two ideologically conflicting countries to work together to secure peace, and lay their differences aside -for the time being. As World War Two was coming to an end, Russia and the U.S both wanted to shape the European situation after their respective ideologies. This essay will examine to which extent the irreconcilability of these two ideologies was the cause of the Cold War. The first time, the U.S intervened in Russian affairs actively, was in the Russian Revolution, they fought against communism, on the side of the "White Army". The victorious army however, turned out to be the Communist Red Army. So clearly, Russia and America were off to a bad start. As much as their ideologies may be contradictory, in World War One Americans and Russians fought side by side, forgetting disagreements became easy, when their was a common enemy. After World War One, when Russia expanded its territories, taking the land it thought would do better under the hands of communism, America became very aware of this eastern giant again. ...read more.

Middle

Thus the U.S. assumption, that this was an indication of communisms ambitious expansinism, was merely a misinterpretation of facts. On the contrary, it can also be said that Russia, and with it communism, really did have the intention to spread, seeing the ideal conditions for communism in the weak eastern European countries. Either way, the problem lies within the ideologies, which here have either lead to an act of aggressive expansion, or caused irrational mistrust in the other. From this point on, mistrust had arisen, and the struggle for influence had begun. Both Russia and the U.S now thought they knew, of what to expect from each other, and would oppose everything with great skepticism. After it became clear, that Stalin had not stuck to the agreement at Yalta, not to interfere in the Polish elections, this was another clear message that to the allies, Russia and communism could not be trusted. At this point, it might seem fairly obvious that the Russians, and communist ideologies were to blame for the Cold War, yet one must consider the following: Russia had been involved in constant conflicts for almost have a century (if this be Revolution or War), of course this leaves marks, and makes a country distrustful. So the Russians were already mistrustful of the Americans ever since their involvement in the Russian revolution. This aversion against the west, and especially the U.S did not exactly decrease with the exclusion of Russia from many World War Two conferences and the late entry of the U.S. ...read more.

Conclusion

By 1947 this "phenomenon", (known now as the domino effect) that the U.S. feared more and more countries would one by one fall to communism, had reached its peak. Truman wanted to put an end to this, and prevent communism from spreading, so he devise the Truman doctrine. In this doctrine he openly proclaimed the U.S.S.R the enemy, and developed the "Containment" plan. This is considered the official start of the Cold War. Conclusively, I believe the ideologies of the U.S. and the U.S.S.R where responsible for the outbreak to a big extent. Yet the way that I see it, it was more a matter of the U.S. wanting to "contain" communism, than Russia wanting to spread communism throughout the world. From my perspective, Communism and Capitalism (or Democracy) are not able to co-exist, especially when projected on to such big countries like the U.S. and Russia, conflict is virtually predetermined. This is because their views on economics and politics are too fundamentally different, as to ever being able to accept the other. Thus it would be absurd to assume they did not play any part in the foundation for the "Cold War". It was the difference in ideologies, that was the driving factor in Russian-American history; the Russian Revolution, the establishment of friendly satellite countries (where friendly meaning communist, and Russia orientated here), the "containment" of communism. Thus, I conclude that the irreconcilable ideologies of Russia and America were responsible to a high degree and without them, the Cold War would most likely not have occurred ...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. Marked by a teacher

    To what extent do you accept the view that the USA and the USSR ...

    4 star(s)

    aims which went far beyond what was required for the sake of security'. This foreign policy would conflict with American ideology which was derived from Wilsonian liberalism and envisaged a world with free trade where tariffs would be abolished and there were open markets.

  2. Who was responsible for the start of the Cold war?

    Writing and living in Moscow Truman thought he should be a well informed and a creditable enough source of information to rely upon and therefore in many ways his telegram became a catalyst in developing the way that American foreign policy became over-aggressive towards the Soviet Union as it perhaps

  1. How far was the USSR responsible for the outbreak of the Cold War?

    Therefore, Stalin's involvement in other areas of Europe pushed the US towards a hard-line attitude, thus reinforcing antagonism between the two powers. Moreover, a similar attitude was adopted in Iran, proving to be the first crisis for the UN, ending in Stalin abandoning the local communists.

  2. The Cold War was a big rivalry that developed after World War II.

    Khrushchev built the Berlin Wall physically dividing the country into Eastern communism and Western democracy. The Arms Race 1945-1960 The Arms Race epitomized the Cold War. Both the United States and the Soviet Union spent huge amounts of money in militarization.

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

    The central issue dividing the allies involved how much support the United States and Britain would offer to mitigate, then relieve, the devastation being sustained by the Soviet people. Stated bluntly, the Soviet Union bore the massive share of Nazi aggression.

  2. American History.

    But, after James II became king, officials decided to clean up the mess and consolidate the colonies under British rule. Massachusetts (1691), New Jersey (1702) and the Carolinas (1729) were made royal colonies. - Some charters were temporarily suspended and then restored in that area as well.

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

    These Christian areas are to the north of Beirut not towards Israel in the south, the Palestinians had declared war on the very nation that had given them refuge, Lebanon and the Lebanese Christians in particular. The offensive, coinciding with the assault on the hotel distirct, began on 17 March

  2. What were the main issues relating to Germany that caused Cold War tension?

    The US and UK had decided not to follow the Morgenthau plan for the pastoralisation of Germany they were previously leaning towards at Yalta as they realised that by forcing Germany to deindustrialise, it was effectively making Germany a permanent dependant and leech on the Allies whilst slowing Europe's economic recovery (Judge and Langdon, 1996).

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