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Assess the importance of ideological differences in the outbreak of the Cold War

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Introduction

Assess the importance of ideological differences in the outbreak of the Cold War. After the Second World War two major power blocs were formed in Europe. The first was dominated by the USA and it's capitalist democracy and the second was dominated by the USSR and communism. These powers never fought directly but rather fought a 'cold' war through their economics and ideological rivalry. This essay will demonstrate how ideological differences was important in the outbreak of cold war as well as the combination and interconnection of other factors. The origins of the Cold War are often traced back by historians to the Russian Revolution during 1917 which established the profoundly different Marxist ideology of the USSR with the capitalist ideology of the West. During the Russian civil war the USA sent aid to the White Army who were also ideologically opposed to the communist Red Army. The Bolsheviks created the Comintern, an organisation dedicated to the spreading of communism. This shows how ideology played an important role in the start of the Cold War. ...read more.

Middle

The ideological differences that resulted in fear between the East and West also resulted in economic division. Capitalism and Communism both have extremely different economic ideas. America reacted to the threat of the spread of communism by instating the policy of 'containment.' This aimed at stopping Soviet expansion by isolating it. The Marshall plan of 1947 was used as a safeguard for the future of the USA's economy, it was meant to revive European economies so that political and social stability could ensue. This is described as being 'Dollar diplomacy' by William Appleman Williams. The Marshall Plan shows how the Cold War was not purely an ideological war but also one in which economics played a huge importance. The USA did not want to be isolated from trading with Eastern Europe so they were both economically and ideologically opposed to the Soviets. Not only did the USA not want to be isolated from trading with Europe but they also had the responsibility of partly dealing with what should be done with Germany. ...read more.

Conclusion

After the Second World War two major power blocs were formed in Europe. The first was dominated by the USA and it's capitalist democracy and the second was dominated by the USSR and communism. These powers never fought directly but rather fought a 'cold' war through their economics and ideological rivalry. This essay will demonstrate how ideological differences was important in the outbreak of cold war as well as the combination and interconnection of other factors. Cold War broke out in Europe during the twentieth century due to a number of factors. There was underlying ideological opposition between the USSR and the USA, which was heated by events that took place as a result of WWII. Without the combination of these two things Cold War would not have happened. As said by post-revisionist historian LeFaber; the Cold War was a result of a lot of misunderstandings. It can be concluded that because of ideological opposition combined with circumstance, economic rivalry and misunderstandings Cold War broke out between the USSR and the USA. ?? ?? ?? ?? 1 ...read more.

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