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the cold war

By vickyreynaga1 May 12, 2014 579 Words
Virginia Torres
Instructor T. Gaunt
History of the U.S
May 10, 2014
Beginning and end the Cold War
The cause of the Cold War is debatable. Because the Cold War doubles as a conflict between two countries, the USA and the USSR, and between two ideologies, Capitalism and Communism. Several different causes can be suggested for the start of the Cold War. During the war, there was a mutual understanding between the two nations, which however began to evaporate soon after the war. Difference in ideologies and mutual distrust between the two nations led to the beginning of cold war. Both tried to spread their influence and divided the world into two hostile groups. Capitalism and Communism are usually seen as antithetical, and it can be argued that the Cold War began when Communism began, in 1917 with the Russian Revolution. Or, if not quite in 1917, then in early 1920s, when Lenin and his Bolsheviks consolidated their power in Russia and tried to spread Communism to the West, to Europe on the blade of their swords—although they were rather quickly unsuccessful, being defeated by the Poles in the Polish-Soviet War. Another commonly argued cause of the Cold War is, fittingly enough, the beginning of World War II in Europe. The Soviet Union, now under Stalin, had signed a secret pact with Germany's Hitler, and both countries attacked Poland. However, the most popular cause of the Cold War was not the beginning, but the end of World War II. Stalin, after being betrayed by Hitler in 1941, finished the war on the Allied side, but the tensions between the victorious Western Powers and the USSR were already in evidence. The USSR was gobbling up the countries East of Germany, and part of Germany itself, which made the Americans and British somewhat hesitant. The British feared too strong a Soviet presence in Europe and the Americans wanted a free and open Germany which would become a large market for its products. The Soviets stood in the way to both. In fact, American General George Patton once famously remarked that when the Americans had gotten to Berlin, they should have kept going on to Moscow. Between 1969 and 1978, the powers realized that such a situation could not establish peace in the world. During this period, there was a marked decline in the cold war although we cannot say it has ended completely. Many factors have contributed in ending the cold war. Both the blocs realized that there would be no winner in a nuclear war. The popular anti-war movements in every part of the world had positive effect on the warring camps. Also, it is believed that the reason for the end of the cold war was Soviet Leader Secretary Mikhail Gorbachev. Gorbachev introduced two policies which changed a lot of things in the Soviet government. First, he relinquished the function of the party by transferring the economic control from the party to the State. Secondly, he ordered for the quick and immediate implantation of the new policy. Foreign policy, which he called “new thinking.” Gorbachev said that security was a game from which all could benefit through cooperation. Rather than try to build as many nuclear weapons as possible, he proclaimed a doctrine of “sufficiency,” holding only a minimal number for protection. He also believed that Soviet control over an empire in Eastern Europe was costing too much and providing too little benefit, and that the invasion of Afghanistan had been a costly disaster.

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