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

The aftermath of world war 2 and the cold war

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Victor Fung Class 11(1) IB Sept. 2, 2008 In the aftermath of World War 2, the European countries such as Great Britain, France and Germany emerged weakened both militarily and economically. Meanwhile, the Soviet Union and the United States emerged as unrivaled superpowers, both keen to make most of their advantage. Although the Soviets and the Americans fought together in the war, the defeat of Germany had made them set their sights on each other. Lack of a common enemy, increasing public pressure, and drastically different ideologies eventually led to arms race that was later known as the Cold War. ...read more.

Middle

Although Germany was partitioned between them, Japan was wholly occupied by the Americans, but that was only the beginning of the problems between the two. Having bested their enemies in the war, both the American and Soviet people found new nationalist pride in being the "victors." Therefore the leaders of both countries had to maintain their dominance to satisfy their people or risk being overthrown. In the United States, the isolationist policy was no longer reasonable for the public, and with a massive army, expanding influence around the globe both militarily and economically was only the natural course of action. ...read more.

Conclusion

With both powers expanding their spheres of influence, it was no surprise that these two superpowers would clash. This problem was made worse with the radically different ideologies the two governments possessed. As a result, there was no middle ground; countries were bound to alienate either country regardless of their choice of government. Both Great Britain and the United States were "alarmed" at the rapid expansion of communism, which obviously threatened their own influence, hence leading to the Iron Curtain speech. The United States and the Soviets both competed with each other in supporting revolution in strategically important areas. As a result, it was inevitable that these two countries should come into conflict with each other, starting the Cold War with decades of proxy wars and arms races. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our International Baccalaureate History 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 International Baccalaureate History essays

  1. The cold war - the conferences and the start of the cCold War

    Thirdly, by the end of the war, the Americans had believed that they deserved a large quid pro quo from the Russians 5) The Russians claimed that the Americans opposed them over dismantling and other issues , but the American view point was that the economies of Europe needed to

  2. Causation of Cold War

    Moreover, the USSR was wary of the development of capitalism since it posed a direct threat to communism and the USSR. Thus, it is fair to say, fear bled throughout the USSR. Walter LaFeber, a renowned Post-Revisionist historian, argues that fear even caused an over estimation of the enemy's threat to the USSR.

  1. Investigation: The Cuban Missile Crisis as a Thaw in the Cold War

    The influence of McNamara as a politician is put on the government and represents a primary source on Cold War policy. Section D The conditions leading up to the Cuban missile crisis occurred because of the death of FDR leading to the start of the Cold War.

  2. Why Did War Time Friends Become Cold War Enemies?

    Hitler had predicted this situation during his last days: "After the collapse of the German Reich, and until there is a rise in nationalism in Asia, Africa or Latin America, there will only be two powers in the world". Besides the different political systems both nations were ruled by, the

  1. The Cold War

    Truman continued on to say that communism was a wicked system, in which there was absolutely no freedom of speech and that living standards were low. The Congress listened in utter silence. One member of Congress had even said that Truman had "scared the hell" out of them.

  2. When and why was Germany the focus of Cold War hostility in the 16 ...

    The Potsdam Conference highlighted the mutual suspicions and disagreements of the west and the USSR. This is because of different economic aims for Germany as the USSR wanted to strip Germany of its assets and the west wanted to trade.

  1. Detailed Revision notes on the Peloponnesian War and Punic Wars.

    * Fearing war Athens made allies with Argos, Thessaly (one of the strongest North states), Megara (Spartan ally losing war to Corinth and which reached out to Athens after Sparta refused aid) * Importance of Megara: geographically it blocked Sparta's access to Athens, gave Athens land access to the Corinthian

  2. Notes on the History and Development of the Arab-Israeli Conflict

    Israel only started the war to gain more land - Shlaim: "The Six Day War was a defensive war. It was launched by Israel to safeguard its territory, not to expand its territory". The Six-Day War: - Israel attacks on June 5 by sending 180 aircraft to Egypt, leaving only 8 to defend Israel.

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