The Cold War extended from a period which started at end of the Second World War (1945) until the fall of the Soviet Union in 1989. During this time there was a sustained state of political and military tension between the two different world powers, NATO (Mainly led by the United States and its Western allies), and the Eastern European Block (led by Soviet Union, its mainly communist and socialist allies). It is defined as “a state of tension between states, which behave with great distrust and hostility towards each other, but do not resort to violence” (Lippmann 1947) by the famous Cold War historian, Walter Lippmann. A central question in the historiography of the Cold War is simply, who was to blame for the cold war? This is one of the most controversial debates in world history. There are mainly three differing “schools” of thoughts about the origin of this conflict: “orthodox” explanations, “revisionism,” and “post-revisionism.” The orthodox view mainly blames the Soviet Union for starting the Cold War, the revisionist view blames it on the Americans and the post-revisionist view, on the other hand, blames it on both the parties. What follows is a review of these schools of thought and their main perspectives. Orthodox view
The “orthodox” or “traditional” interpretation of the Cold War is mainly based on the idea that the Cold War was instigated by the Soviet Union. Stalin who was the leader of the Soviet Union was blamed for the onset of the conflict because he supported the spread of communism. On the other hand the United States and its Western allies tried to contain the spread of Communism and the Soviet Union from militarily expanding its power across the world. Diplomatic tension was raised when the United States became concerned by the Soviet Aggression. At the end of World War II the Soviets invaded Germany through the east occupying Berlin, while United States and its allies invaded Germany from the west. Thus began a struggle to control...
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