Soviet Union and the United States

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A. Plan of the Investigation

“What were the significant differences in the internal dynamics of the Soviet Union and the United States during Cold War?”

As one of the most enduring and intense disputed conflicts to mark history, the cold war presents the evidence underlined for the international relations of today. The complex internal factors coming from the ideological, economic and political differences between the United States and the Soviet Union are the main focus of my investigation. These differences were intensified as WWII ended as well as with the economic competition for world leadership.

As this question is related more to analysis than to reports, the use of primary as well as secondary sources through speeches and interpretations via informative books will be employed. For the fulfilling nature of this question, I will analyze the differing dynamics between the two most powerful countries of the late 20th century. This investigation makes the developing relationship between these countries the focal point, thus supplying me with suitable research gear for the emergent essay.

B.Summary of Evidence

In the years that marked the Cold War, a new standard towards world leadership was formed. The intricate and vital aspect of the dispute between the US and the USSR in the concept of ideology begins with their cultural differences. The main difference in ideals lies with the manner in which the nation is administered. The conflict was vastly involved with the spectrum of mindset between the two regimes. Both peoples found no content in discussing matters where their ways were seemed as irrational. The United States held a government of democracy, where the people had the solemn right to vote for their leader.[1] They are able to vote for leaders they want who can rise from any political party. The opposite stood for the Soviet Union, their administration was led by one ruler, all powerful and undisputed. He was given the role of dictator, and the government was fully communist, hostility began to grow between them.[2] Men are chosen as leaders of the U.S. by democratic elections. Joseph Stalin ruled until 1953 when he passed away, at which time Nikita Khrushchev and Nikolai Bulganin won a struggle against Stalin's successor, Georgi Malenkov, and chief of secret police Lavrenti Beria.[3] Bulganin became the one with power, but Khrushchev, in power of the Communist Party, soon became the dominant figure, he received power as the new dictator of the USSR.[4] By 1964, the Soviet Union was beginning to be led by a society of strict conservatives.[5] Finally, as the last man to rule the Soviet Union, Mikhail Gorbachev is partially credited for ending the cold war.[6]

The diverse governmental basis for these nations gave but disagreement to work with. These ideologies made the growing tension justified for both.[7] With the newfound race to economic leadership, the US and the USSR attempted to push the other from the major roles of the world. The economic dissimilarities arose from their fiscal processes.[8] The US has a system named capitalism. People in the United States can own properties and businesses; their circumstances were subject to their own legitimacy.[9] Under Communism, all industries and businesses were owned and administered by the nation.[10] The profit was to fit the necessities of the society and no the individual as it was in the US.[11] This difference tied into politics, whoever owned the public market and dominated the commercial and industrial origin of the world had a bigger chance at influencing with their ideals.[12] The United States needed to prevent socialism from spreading at any cost; having an economic advantage was the best strategy. The internal dynamics of the two nations differs in theory and in the belief that each rightfully had world supremacy.

Their emergent relationship was based more on their respective political institutions and their needs than any other factor. Capitalism versus communism grew as a theme of conflict. Especially after WWII Stalin was determined to make USSR secure in the future from foreign attacks.[13] President Truman believed that Communists, apart from taking control over Eastern Europe, would try to extend their rule over Western Europe. The Truman Doctrine of 1947, commonly known as the cause of the Marshall Plan, claimed that the United States would grant aid only to non-Communist realms.[14] At this point, the nations had declared a stale cold war against each other's interests. Believing in impartiality through the use of strength, Communism has created a mark of complete governmental control, which has risen in popularity worldwide for some time. [15]

C.Evaluation of Sources

The Cold War: The United States and the Soviet Union 1917-1991, composed by Ronald E. Powaski in 1998 consists of insightful chapters detailing discussions on the different possibilities that arose about the origins of the Cold War and clarifying the different paths taken during the cold war. The Cold War was written with the aim or purpose to answer the very scorching questions that to this day challenge many successful historians and researches: the true factors of conflict between the two countries in the cold war and the basis of its abrupt end. The advantages and values subsist in the capability of the author to combine the related educated opinions of many regarded expert historians into a mission statement for the conclusion on my topic's calling. The source is valuable to my investigation because it delivers detailed background on what separated the interests of the two nations mentioned. Also, it contains formal information on alliances, plans of actions, globalization, and key points in Russia's history that makes important ends meet for my research. This source's limitation lies in that its high concentration on American views gives nothing but clear point facts on Russia instead of its own analysis of the topic.

In order to have a sense of completion, a factual version that supports itself on the view of Russia and its leader was needed. The Personality Cult and its Consequences: Special Report to the 20th congress of the communist party of the Soviet Union is a speech given on February 25, 1956 by Nikita Sergeyevich Khrushchev regarded as the "secret speech" due to the discretion at a closed session within the party congress. Its purpose perseveres to criticize Joseph Stalin's regime in order to present a better and reformed version of the communist party. The speech's values to my investigation are objective of Khrushchev's words by intensifying the conflict between the real definitions of the meaning of communism, the renewal of the party's resolution and role worldwide. I will further know about the specific factors of communism that frustrated the United States to the point it did. The speech is limited in that although it represents the resurgence of communism, it acts mainly for the betterment of Khrushchev's political profile and for impair of former Soviet leaders which give the speech a biased tone and limitation. Furthermore, it also attempted to lead the party to a Leninist ideological overview which became an important shifting point from the old ways of the party. This attempts to change the focus of my research a bit and reallocates me into a completely new subject matter: the era of battle for power in Russia; in relation to the internal dynamics of the nation.

D. Evaluation of Section B

Both states sought to reiterate as leading roles in the common matters of the world. In essence, the two nations felt themselves in the pivotal responsibility of speaking out for their respective forms of government. As both powers emerged through the ranks of leadership, what came after WWII was the struggle for Europe. A new rivalry was developing not necessarily between their nations but with the nation's regimes: Capitalism vs. Communism.[16] The United States felt the air of democracy threatened by the influence of the Soviet Union on various nations. In 1946 and 1947 the USSR conveyed Communist regimes to nations like Bulgaria, Hungary, Romania and Poland.[17] The United States responded by issuing the Truman Doctrine which encouraged anti-communist nations with economic aid. After the severe defeat Germany faced, the allies could not come to an agreement on the political and economic structure it should take. This division showed the ideological drift between the Soviet and Western regimes. In order to prevent an economic ruin, the US came up with the Marshall Plan: an economic aid program meant to give the opportunity of reconstruction to Western European economies. Both the US and the USSR stood by to aid nations in need of economic revival with one condition: the rendition of their political structures. The battle for Europe continued as it also intensified in other parts of the world.[18]

Within the internal dynamics of the ideological reach between both nations, there lay a continual need for political absolution. As in section B, their respective leaders focused superiority and intelligence in a war constituted by strategic diplomatic moves. As each nation attempted to become the stronger state, not only did they clash politically but there was also an economic race beginning between them. A mutual need for economic expansion gave way to a space race and nuclear arms race.[19] This rivalry again sustained itself on the grounds of dispersing the idea of international command. Key words spoken by Nikita Sergeyevich Khrushchev in his empowering speeches held still in the soviet declaration of international control and realized long awaited feelings of Russian merit. Strong words such as in his speech at the 20th congress of the communist party, which intensified Russian-American relations. After failed negotiations, during Kennedy's presidency in the US, there were several arms control agreements. The competition reflected in the distinct battle for international recognition with the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and Communist coalition of Warsaw Treaty Organization to counter against NATO.

It was clear that US and USSR were more advance than any of the other nations in relation to their military power and resources, according to the stern damage others suffered. The dissimilarities between the leaders of these nations only worked to deepen the conflict, each straining to restrain the spread of the enemy structure. A competition for power stood before all else.

The evidence which presented the differences in section B suggests that this was a war between world influences and character. The dispute which confounded most of the second half of the twentieth century in relation to economic and political differences suggested that these nations fought for more than recognition, they sought to be the infiltrator of other economies from which they hoped to benefit.[20]

These differences make it clear that the main point of both nations was to have control over the international community: politically, and economically. The social sciences would back the belief that it was more of a struggle for the better advance militarization in hopes to force international command.


The cold war emerged as a product of the competitive, intricate technological and political reforms. The significant differences all lied in the political spectrum that surrounded each nation, along with their international aspirations which in turn is what afflicted one another. Beginning with their respective forms of government in an arising in political rivalry, the United States and the U.S.S.R attempted to dismantle each other's economic influence on the international community. The significant differences ranged in all aspects of society, politics, and economics in the era. The main factor was in essence their respective political systems, which based itself as a ground for competition for international manipulation. Their drive for international command was also based on the level of military power displayed, in relation to the technological arms race that was developing. In all, the internal dynamics concerning the imminent disastrous differences between the world's superpowers conceal in awe a mere exhibition of supremacy in the changing world.

[1] William Dudley, The Cold War: Opposing Viewpoints(San Diego, CA: Greenhaven Press, 1992), p. 24

[2] Dudley, p. 41

[3] Abbot Gleason, Totalitarianism: the inner history of the Cold War(New York: Oxford University Press, 1995), p. 215

[4] Gleason, p. 215

[5] James Warren, Cold War: the American crusade against world Communism, 1945-1991(New York: Lothrop, Lee & Shepard Books, 1996), p.56

[6] Warren, p.68

[7] Ronald Powaski, The Cold War: the United States and the Soviet Union, 1917-1991(New York: Oxford Universiry Press, 1998), p. 315

[8] Gleason, p.133

[9] Dudley, p.87

[10] Thomas T. Hammond, Witnesses to the Origins of the Cold War(Seattle: University of Washington Press, 1982.), p. 255

[11] Warren, p.116

[12] Warren, p.223

[13] George Edward Stanley, America and the Cold War 1949-1966(Milwaukee, WI: World Almanac, 2005), p. 147

[14] Gleason, p.189

[15] Stanley, p.242

[16] Warren, p.119

[17] Dudley, p. 76

[18] Dudley, p. 54

[19] Powaski, , p. 209

[20] Dudley, p. 268