To What Extent Was the Cold War Inevitable?
With the end of World War II (WWII) in 1945 began the Cold War, an international conflict that lasted from 1947–1991 and plagued nations across the globe. As the post-war negotiations were deliberated by three of the strongest world powers, the United States (US), Britain, and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR), disagreements arose that created tension between the US and the USSR and ultimately instigated the infamous “Fifty Years War” (Crockatt 64). But was this conflict avoidable, or was the Cold War simply inevitable? In order to effectively answer to this issue, the origins and conflicts leading to the Cold War must be evaluated with reference to the post-war territorial condition in Eastern Europe, Soviet motives, and American motives. Orthodox historians, or first generation historians, blame the USSR for the war as a whole and believe that the American reaction was necessary to combat Soviet aggression. However, the revisionist historians, or second generation historians, understands that the US had expansionist intentions and the USSR acted in a defensive manner (Crockatt 64). Ultimately, Cold War was inevitable to a moderate extent. The war was initiated by serious international conflict. However, much of the conflict was heightened as a result of miscommunication between countries. The Cold War was inevitable due to various factors, including post-war territorial conditions in Eastern Europe and respective Soviet and American aims. After WWII, both the capitalist US and the communist Soviet Union emerged as the two of the world’s main super powers. This sparked the desire of both nations to gain political and economic dominance over the world (Crockatt 66). However, their opposing governmental ideologies (capitalism vs. communism) gave way to major “asymmetry in the types of power they possessed and in their first order goals” (Crockatt 72), creating a clash in relations that began with the...
Cited: Lightbody, Bradley. "Analysis: To What Extent Was The Cold War Inevitable?" The Cold War.
London: Routledge, 1999. 4-8. Print.
Crockatt, Richard. "Perspectives On the Origins of the Cold War." The Fifty Years War: The
United States and the Soviet Union in World Politics, 1941-1991. London: Routledge,
1996. 64-72. Print.
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