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When and Why Did the Cold War Start? Was any Individual or Power the Primary Cause of the Cold War?

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Introduction

When and Why Did the Cold War Start? Was any Individual or Power the Primary Cause of the Cold War? The cold war in its original form was a presumably mortal antagonism, arising in the wake of the Second World War, between two 'rigidly hostile blocs'. One led by the Communist Soviets and the other by Capitalist United States. It has been described as an 'inevitable clash of ideologies'. However the question arises as to how the Cold War began, after all during the Second World War, The USSR and the US were war allies. How could former members of the 'Grand Alliance' establish such a distrust and suspicion of the one another? Many historians and political analysts have tried to prove theories of the start of the Cold War. For example Gaddis argued that the Cold war was: 'Stalin's project, resulting from his paranoid personality, his revolutionary zeal and his ideological fervor' [John L, Gaddis 'We Now Know: Rethinking Cold War History 1997] Differing theories make it hard to come to any sort of conclusions on the question of who or what was the primary cause of the war, there do seem to be however a number of initial causes, the removal of a common enemy being a major factor. ...read more.

Middle

Any chance that the Polish would be allowed to achieve this was based on fulfillment by the allies of this pledge. However Stalin's behaviour in eastern Europe upset the Allies, broken promises on elections and the treatment of the Polish, his territorial activities were 'not good' to say the least. according to Churchill who flew to Moscow for the 'Percentages Agreement' in October of 1944. Installing token non communist supporters into Polish government while quietly destroying any factions who opposed him Stalin's acts of colonial barbarity was a sign that he could not be worked with as he moved further away from Western ideology. If the methods Stalin employed to assert his control in the east of the Continent had made the Cold War inevitable, then his unfulfilled expectations in the Western part made it 'irreversible' according to Vojtech Mastny, author of 'The Cold War and Soviet Insecurity'. Who believed that a reversal of Western Europe's weakness would be threatening to Russia, only made worse in its formality of the Marshall Plan. The Marshall Plan was drawn up to introduce the recovery of economy in the west including Germany. It was seen by the Soviets as start of some form of clash between the West and themselves as Adam Ulam stated: 'With the Marshall Plan the Cold War assumes the character of position warfare'. ...read more.

Conclusion

'Origins of the Cold War 2nd ed' 2005] The view by the USA that the Soviet Union was a threatened and 'jealous' power willing to do anything to prevent other powers from gaining at its expense was another cause of the beginning of the Cold War. Reinforcing again the issue of distrust and threat instead of collaboration and cooperation By using aircraft Truman was able to overcome the blockade and effectively put the first move in Russia's hands, realizing that if the planes were shot down it would mean all out war. Some suggest this was Stalin's biggest mistake as he isolated himself from the West and revealed himself as an enemy state. Matters not helped by Truman who insisted on arming states close to and on borders with the Soviet Union. The Truman Doctrine of March 1947 resulted in the deliver of military assistance to Greece and Turkey. At Moscow's address He proclaimed the: 'American determination to uphold by whatever means necessary the integrity of states endangered by communist subversion' [Mastny, V 'The Cold War and Soviet Insecurity' 1996] After the Summer of 1947 the Cold War was seen as: 'The totality of foreign policies of each side that became the object of attack by the other'. [Parrish, Scott & Narinsky, Mikhail. ...read more.

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