The Cold War Causes And Effects History Essay
The Cold War was not a military conflict, but was an ongoing political conflict involving both military and economic competition. The evolvement of the Cold War
began during and after World War I, although the official beginning of the Cold War was in 1945, at the Yalta Conference. The causes of the Cold War were many, but can
be summed up as a battle between capitalism and communism, along with President Truman’s disliking Joseph Stalin, the desire of Russia to spread communism throughout
the world, Russia’s fear of America’s A bomb, America refusing to share its nuclear secrets, Russia’s fear of an attack from America, the need for Russia to secure its
western border, and the expansion of Russia into Eastern Europe.
In the 1920’s and on into the 1930’s, America stayed its course with non-recognition of the Soviet Union. In addition, spreading word of the Soviet Union’s
support for anti-American activities in China and in Latin America, was not helping. The situation continued to deteriorate.
The containment strategy came about in 1946, when George Kennan, a diplomat at the US Embassy in Moscow, sent a telegram referred to as the Long Telegram,
on February 22. He also published an anonymous article from a July 1947 issue of Foreign Affairs. His concluded that the policies of the U.S. in relation to the Soviets,
would need to be made with a long term perspective. Kennan felt that President Franklin Roosevelt had based the dealings of the United States with the Soviet Union, on
assumptions that, in his mind, were completely off base. President Roosevelt believed that with Joseph Stalin no longer calling all the shots, the Soviet Union would want
the same things as America and her allies. Kennan did not agree. He concluded that resolution would be a careful and lengthy process. America would need to be both patient and
vigilant where the Soviet Union was concerned.
On March 12, 1947, in an effort to stop the continuing spread of communism, President Harry S. Truman gave a speech, in which he presented his foreign policy,
supporting “Free peoples who are resisting attempted subjugation by armed minorities or by outside pressures.” This speech, made before Congress, was a clear
expression of the policies of his administration and was known as The Truman Doctrine.
In June 1947, in a speech at Harvard, Secretary of State, George Marshall presented the Marshall Plan, offering financial aid from America. The purpose was to
help Europe’s economy recover from damage done by World War II.. This good will offer was immediately rejected by the Soviet Union. Europe was allowed to spend the
financial aid however they wanted as long as they did not use it to buy military supplies. The CIA, also created in 1947, was to secretly funnel money to noncommunist
parties, labor unions, news publications, and charitable organizations. This effort did help to limit the influence of pro-communist organizations thus hindering the spread of
communism to some degree.
To ensure European defense resources were safe, the United States formed the articles of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). This committed the
United States. to military engagement in Europe. The treaty further stated an attack on any member of NATO would be considered an attack against all. The United
Nations was created to serve as the “peace-keepers” and ensure global safety.
Other events affected the progression of the Cold War. Beginning in 1945, when the United States dropped the first atomic bomb in Japan. This caused animosity
and suspicion from the Soviet Union. America was not only engaged in a nuclear arms race with the Soviet Union but were also not competing in the race for space. In
October 1962 the U.S. and the Soviet Union were on the brink of a nuclear war. Cuba housed Soviet missiles which was unacceptable to the United States. President John
F. Kennedy had them removed.
In order to gain control over Berlin, the Soviet Union blocked the railways of the Western allies in hopes of Berlin being dependent on them for food and resources.
Western allies formed and organization to fly food and supplies by aircraft to West Berlin. Soon after the Soviet Union lifted the blockade in May of 1949, resulting in the
split of Germany into two states. The unification of Germany was October 1990 due to the Berlin Wall coming down.
The Cold War ended in 1991 after the Soviet Union crumbled. I believe The Cold War was inevitable and could not have been avoided because it’s simply a
struggle between two fundamentally different political and economical systems, Capitalism versus Communism.
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