How Did the Cold War Begin? Term Paper

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¶ … Cold War Begin?

After the end of the World War II political and military domination of two the most powerful states (the U.S.A. And USSR) turned into an open resistance. It quickly obtained a form of a cold war, a form of global confrontation, which was subjected to crisis and conflicts. It was total as it spread on all spheres of life: social, economical, military, ideological and political. It was global as it covered all regions of the globe, putting a special stamp on all events of international life, which took place in the period from 1947 till 1989.

A number of scientists have an opinion that transition to the cold war took place already at the end of WWII in the affairs of allies, which were full of contradictions about geopolitical future of Europe and Asia. Officially cold war started in 1947 after publications of American journalist W. Lippman. Cold war was not only a confrontation of two the most powerful states after war world II was over, but it was a confrontation of two oppositely different political systems: totalitarian society with command centralized economy against liberal democracy and market economy.Download full Download Microsoft Word File
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TOPIC: Term Paper on How Did the Cold War Begin? Assignment

Right after the end of WWII it was clear that the world will never be the same and that it will be divided on the areas of domination of European powers and Soviet Union. Soviet Union had a very big interest in the countries of Southern and Eastern Europe in order to create a buffer zone in case of future war with the U.S.A. And Great Britain. From the other side Soviets also wanted to insure their positions in Asia: they aided communist regime of Mongolia, helped communists of Northern Korea to gain power and aided Mao Zedung struggle for power in China. The first major confrontation of the U.S.S.R. with USA in Asia occurred after USA forced Japan to capitulate using nuclear bombing leaving no chances for the Soviets to establish a communist state in Japan. The demonstration of nuclear weapon power forced Soviets to refuse from their territorial ambitions on Japanese islands, but it did not freeze the process of confrontation. In Europe there remained disputed territories: Turkey and Greece, where after the end of the WWII local civil wars took place, which could led to the establishment of pro-Soviet regimes. These countries, due to their very important strategic location in the Mediterranean and proximity to oil of Near East were of the high interest of both the U.S.S.R. And allies. Yalta conference of 1945 left a number of geopolitical issues unsolved, which a series of tensions turned into an open resistance for the next 50 years. Even though that today it's generally accepted to think that USA and NATO won the cold war, there are lots of opinions among political scientists that it was nevertheless a "Pierre victory."

The beginning of the cold war was defined by official speech of Winston Churchill at Westminster college, Fulton, MI:]

From Stettin in the Baltic to Trieste in the Adriatic an iron curtain has descended across the Continent. Behind that line lie all the capitals of the ancient states of Central and Eastern Europe. Warsaw, Berlin, Prague, Vienna, Budapest, Belgrade, Bucharest and Sofia; all these famous cities and the populations around them lie in what I must call the Soviet sphere, and all are subject, in one form or another, not only to Soviet influence but to a very high and in some cases increasing measure of control from Moscow."

Soon after the end of the WWII new military alliances were created which defined the future of international politics for the next 45 years: NATO and Warsaw Pact members. Warsaw Pact was signed in as a an agreement about collective security in case of aggression from the side of NATO, in addition it included billeting of Soviet troops in Eastern Europe, which also insured loyalty of local regimes to Kremlin.

NATO was formed in 1950 as a feedback to the events in Korea which turned into war in June 1950. Korean war or the aggression of North Korea was considered to be a part communist intervention in the east. The war ended in 1953 on the border of North Korea with South Korea on the 37th parallel the place where it had started 3 years before. Since war in Korea and ending with Soviet intervention in Afghanistan NATO and the U.S.S.R. were in constant confrontation, trying to spread their zones of influence in the developing countries, especially in the Middle east, Latin America and post-colonial Africa.

Probably the coldest relations between the U.S.A. And USSR started during Kennedy's office as disagreements with Soviets led to the missile crisis in Cuba. That was a turning point in the relations between two countries that resulted into two decades of real "Cold War." Scared by the billeting of military bases with missiles in Turkey and Greece Soviet ministry of defense on the head with country's leader Nikita Khrushchev decided to locate Soviet missiles on the island of Cuba, where new revolutionary government was loyal to communist ideology and was financed by the Soviets. Fortunately missile crisis was solved, but it put the seeds of distrust and mutual fear for the next 3 decades. Madeleine Albright described that time as follows:

It was a time of relentless and institutionalized tragedy; of proxy wars that destroyed lives in every continent, of barbed wire stretched across Europe's heart; of gulags and forced confessions; and of countless thousands killed while trying to escape. Above all, it was a time of fear of showdowns in Korea, Berlin, and Cuba.... Each night we knew that within minutes, perhaps through a misunderstanding, our world could end and morning never come."(Albright, 2000)

The U.S. played a key role in making NATO a strong and mighty military organization of democratic world during the years of the "Cold War." It provided military support to the west European states, located military bases on their territories according to the agreement of mutual help and assistance and what is more important played a key role in the rebuild and reconstruction of Western Europe after the WW2. All these measures promoted belief in strong Europe and partnership with the U.S.A. And eliminated any chance for the spread of communist ideology, which could not develop in the state with stability and prosperity.The loans given to European countries according to Marshall's plan were that cure to European economies which resulted later in strong economical growth and stability. The plan's idea was to give the countries of Western Europe long-time loans to recover economy and create a counter power to the pressure from the U.S.S.R. According to Militant:

The 50-year-old European Recovery plan, better known as the Marshall Plan, as a model for peace and economic development. Under this scheme, the U.S. rulers provided $13 billion in loans between 1948 and 1951 to restart industry and rebuild the infrastructure of the war- torn capitalist countries in Europe. Far from advancing peace, the Marshall Plan was designed to codify Washington's hegemony over its imperialist rivals, stave off further revolutionary developments in Europe, and maximize economic pressure against the workers state in the Soviet Union."(Militant Vol. 61, no. 24. 23 June 1997)

As many scientists and economists argue Marshall's plan made Europe dependent upon Washington. Most of those charges are objective, but here comes a question: " Were European states able to protect their democratic political systems in the after war period from the expansion of communism." The answer is obvious-no. Besides, to outline the results of Marshall's plan its enough to say that the only country from a pro-Soviet camp, Yugoslavia, who accepted Marshall's plan showed outstanding economical growth and development compared to other countries with pro-Soviet orientation, that it could easily transform to the mark economical relations.

The relations of the U.S.A. And Soviet Union were the main reasons why the costs of military support to the countries of Western Europe were three times higher than economical. Arm races gave birth to a lot of local conflicts which usually took place on neutral territories and could led to the start of real conflicts (especially in neutral waters of North Atlantics, when Soviet submarines or ships passed near by the NATO navy). But still the real war of the U.S. And Soviets was done on the territories of other countries and fought by "other hands": in the jungles of Vietnam, woods of Korea, rocky dessert of Afghanistan and in Latin America. Both countries spent billions of dollars on weapons and on support of local conflicts in different parts of the world, just to destroy the interests and positions of their enemy in those locations.

The weakening of the Soviet power was becoming more and more obvious starting from the intervention of Afghanistan in 1979. Huge military budget on the hand with ineffective command economy of the U.S.S.R. led to inflation and deficit of different kinds of goods of mass consumption which seemed to be impossible for any… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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