Who was to blame for the Cold War? Essay

By and large it is non a great thought to fault merely one party for something. I feel the same manner about the cold war. I believe all parties involved were every bit to fault in the cold war. This will be illustrated in my essay. However. there are three divisions of western historiographers when it comes to their sentiment on the Cold War. the Traditionalists. the Revisionists and the Post-Revisionists. Each party has their ain sentiment on who was really to fault for the Cold War. Traditionalists are historiographers who believe that the Soviet Union was to fault. Revisionists. who believe that the United States were to fault and Post-Revisionists believe that both the USA and the Soviets were to fault. Drumhead

The Cold War was the period of struggle. tenseness and competition between the United States and the Soviet Union and their several Alliess from the mid-1940s until the early 1990s. Throughout this period. the competition between the two world powers was played out in multiple spheres: military alliances ; political orientation. psychological science. and espionage ; military. industrial. and technological developments. including the infinite race ; dearly-won defence disbursement ; a monolithic conventional and atomic weaponries race ; and many placeholder wars. There was ne’er a direct military battle between the U. S. and the Soviet Union. but there was half a century of military buildup every bit good as political conflicts for support around the universe. including important engagement of allied and satellite states in proxy wars. Although the U. S. and the Soviet Union had been allied against Nazi Germany. the two sides differed on how to retrace the postwar universe even before the terminal of World War II.

Over the undermentioned decennaries. the Cold War spread outside Europe to every part of the universe. as the U. S. sought the “containment” of communism and forged legion confederations to this terminal. peculiarly in Western Europe. the Middle East. and Southeasterly Asia. There were repeated crises that threatened to intensify into universe wars but ne’er did. notably the Berlin Blockade ( 1948-1949 ) . the Korean War ( 1950-1953 ) . the Vietnam War ( 1959-1975 ) . the Cuban Missile Crisis ( 1962 ) . and the Soviet-Afghan War ( 1979-1989 ) . There were besides periods when tenseness was reduced as both sides sought detente. Direct military onslaughts on antagonists were deterred by the potency for common assured devastation utilizing deliverable atomic arms. Misgiving

The basic misgiving that the Soviet Union and the USA had for each other made the dislocation of the wartime confederation inevitable. The USSR had a Communist system set up. the West had a Capitalist system. Communists believed that rights were less of import than the good of society as a whole. As a consequence of this. industry grew quickly but the general criterion of life was a batch lower than that of the USA. The USSR was a one party absolutism. All campaigners belonged to the Communist party ; many Communists were bitterly opposed to the Western Capitalist policies. The Capitalists believed that being free of control is much more of import than everyone being equal and likewise. The USA was the world’s wealthiest state ; concern and belongings were in private owned. Some people were rich. some hapless. Government was chosen in democratic elections. Many Capitalists were bitterly opposed to the Communist positions. This factor is besides really Post Revisionist. as both states believed that they were right. and the other was incorrect. The USSR believed that the West were hostile towards them because of the followers: 1919 – USA. Britain and France sent military personnels across to assist the USSR’s oppositions. 1938 – Stalin believed that there was an indicant of Western support to Hitler after the two European states. Britain and France turned down an Anti-Hitler confederation.

USSR believed that the British policy of calming was a program to assist Hitler. 1941 – Hitler invaded the Soviet Union. afterwards. the USA. Britain. France and the Soviet Union fought in an confederation. Stalin urged his Alliess to establish a 2nd forepart. The other three states were non ready to establish such an onslaught until June 1944v ( D-Day. ) Stalin thought that the other states were intentionally waiting for Germany to weaken the Soviet Union before the forepart was launched. The Soviets were non invited to the Munich conference. even though it was held right on the Soviet boundary line. The other states knew that Stalin would ne’er hold to Hitler’s footings.

During The Yalta Conference. a meeting about how Europe was to be organised after World War 2. Held in February 1945. Roosevelt. Stalin and Churchill met at Yalta and it was decided that these actions should be taken: Free elections to put up democratic authoritiess to east European states. freed from the Nazis. A United Nations Organisation would be set up to maintain peace. Germany should be divided up into zones of business. one controlled by Britain. one controlled by the USA. one by the Soviet Union and one controlled by France. The capital. Berlin was besides divided into similar subdivisions. Once Germany was defeated. the Soviets would fall in war against Japan. Stalin wanted to maintain the parts of Poland that he had won in the Nazi-Soviet treaty of 1939. He wanted Poland to spread out westward into Eastern Germany. Which would make a buffer zone between Germany and the Soviet Union. Stalin did non desire to be attacked by the Germans once more. after Germany had attacked them twice in the 30 old ages before so. He besides wanted Poland to hold a pro-Soviet authorities.

The Yalta Conference appeared to be a success. with understandings on what would be done after the war settled. but some of these understandings were non kept. and The London Poles had barely any say in their authorities. Stalin elected a pro-communist authorities into Poland. but this was non what Churchill and Roosevelt had meant. Yalta showed how hard it was for the Allies to make an understanding. In July 1945. a 2nd conference was held. at Potsdam in Germany. Here. the broken relationship between the E and the West was more evident. By July 1945. Soviet military personnels had liberated the whole of Eastern Europe from Nazi control. nevertheless. alternatively of free democratic elections. decided on at Yalta. Soviet military personnels remained in these liberated states. In the past five months since Yalta. a figure of alterations had taken topographic point. which would greatly impact the relationships between the state leaders. America had successfully tested the Atomic Bomb.

Churchill had lost the general election. Atlee is the new British leader. President Roosevelt had died. go forthing Truman to be appointed President. Stalin’s Armies were busying most of Eastern Europe.

It was agreed that:
Germany would be divided. Allies would have reparations. The Nazis would be banned. and their leaders tried as War Criminals. Germans busying Poland. Hungary. Czechoslovakia are sent back to Germany. Poland’s Eastern boundary line would be moved west to the rivers Oder and Neisse. Disagreements included:

What to make with Germany.
Reparations.
Soviet policy in Eastern Europe.
Soviet business of Japan.
Stalin believed that Germany should be made to endure. Britain and the USA did non hold. This caused edginess between the East and the West. This made it somewhat inevitable for the two confederations to fall out. Winston Churchill made his celebrated Fulton Speech in March 1946. it explained how an Fe drape. a division between East and West Europe had been set. This separation was by Soviet policy. The West of Europe was free. but in the E. the Soviets had taken over. This was a clear statement of West versus East. Stalin accused Churchill of seeking to stir up a war against the Soviets. The Soviets made certain that between 1945 and 1948. every state in Eastern Europe had a authorities that was both communist and were sympathetic towards the Soviets. Stalin said that all he was making was making a buffer zone between the Soviets and the Western World. The USA thought that this enlargement into Eastern Europe was non for defense mechanism. but the first measure of a secret plan for the Soviets to take over the universe. The spread of communism had to be stopped. and it was. Truman wanted to set a halt to the growing of Soviet influence in Eastern Europe. but there were still Soviet military personnels in these states. and there was small Truman could make. When he was informed that Britain could non afford to keep British military personnels in Greece and Turkey. Truman gave money to the UK so that they could maintain military personnels stationed at that place.



He besides gave money to the two authoritiess. This policy was so called containment – the bar of communist enlargement. Truman officially announced this policy in a address on 12 March 1947 ; this address has subsequently been called the “Truman Doctrine. ” With the Truman Doctrine came the Marshall program. an onslaught on Communist roots. This was an thought from General George Marshall. The thought was to give money to any state under menace from being taken over by the Soviet Union. so that they could forestall communism to distribute into their state. with the money came a bond between that state and the USA. this bond enslaved the state under the USA and would intend that Western thoughts would hold to be considered at that place. Stalin nevertheless was non fooled. he forbade any communist states from having Marshall Aid. Therefore they were non committed to the USA’s thoughts. The states of Europe nevertheless. were acute to be enslaved and between 1948 and 1952 the USA provided $ 13 billion to sixteen different states.

Stalin’s refusal to let communist states from having Marshall Aid had a large consequence on events in Germany after World War 2. Germany’s economic system was ruined. the western powers did non desire to reconstruct Germany’s military power. but they had to reconstruct its industries and reconstruct the economic system. The western portion of Germany was non included in the Marshall Plan. Stalin refused the Soviet zone to have assistance. “The generousness of it was beyond belief” ( Ernest Bevin-British Foreign Secretary. ) One the one manus. Marshall assistance was an highly generous act by the USA. On the other manus. it was besides motivated by American opportunism. The Americans remembered the black effects of the Depression of the 1930s and Truman wanted to make all he could to forestall another world-wide slack. Possibly the Truman Doctrine and the Marshall Plan were merely excessively good. to generous. taxpayers in the United States. their money was traveling towards assisting other states. although it was a really generous and sort thing to make. did they have to give so much money? In response to the Marshall Plan. the Soviets set up two other administrations: The Communist Information Bureau. an administration to beef up relationships between communist states. and the council for Mutual Economic Aid. which was a rival to the Marshall Plan.

Berlin at this clip was divided into zones. similar to those zones that split Germany. On the 24th June 1948. Stalin decided to obstruct West Berlin by cutting off route and rail links. To interrupt this encirclement. the Allies would hold to direct armored combat vehicles to nail through the blocks. This would be seen as an act of war. and Stalin didn’t believe that the Allies would travel that far. he thought that the Allies were much more likely to abandon their zones and leave the whole of Berlin in Soviet custodies. To maintain West Berlin traveling. the West sent supplies in planes across to at that place. These supplies were sent by air to the three air bases in West Berlin. this operation was named “The Berlin Airlift. ” This meant that now Stalin had options. To halt the supplies. he would hold to hit the planes down. even though they carried no menace to the Soviet Union. this would clearly demo him as the attacker. Just in instance Stalin took this option. B-29 Bombers were stationed in Britain. seting the Soviets in scope of Atomic Bombs if necessary.

The three western Alliess. overall made 275. 000 trips to West Berlin and delivered over 2. 000. 000 dozenss of supplies. Stalin’s gamble had failed. On 12 May 1949 he called off the encirclement. Stalin’s encirclement had made the Allies stand their land. taking steps to beef up their control of Germany and their resistance to the Soviet Union. The formation of NATO ( North Atlantic Treaty Organisation ) was a military confederation of the European powers and the USA and Canada. It was a defensive confederation. if any of these states were attacked. these Alliess were sworn to assist. NATO was a direct challenge to the Soviets. although the USSR had developed the Atomic Bomb. When NATO was expanded to include West Germany in 1955. the Soviet Union responded by puting up its ain military confederation. the Warsaw Pact. The two Alliances:

North atlantic treaty organization: The states in NATO were: USA. Britain. Belgium. Canada. Denmark. France. Iceland. Italy. Luxembourg. Netherlands. Norway and Portugal. Greece and Turkey joined in 1952 and West Germany in 1955. The Warsaw Pact: The states in the Warsaw Pact were: Soviet Union. Albania. Bulgaria. Czechoslovakia. East Germany. Hungary. Poland and Romania. The puting up of NATO and the Warsaw Pact consolidated the places of the two world powers. Decision:

There are many points that suggest that the Americans and Allies were to fault. The self-interest behind the Marshall Plan and the Truman Doctrine enslaved the states that received Marshall Aid to Western thoughts. This meant that the USA would hold a say in the manner those states were run. Americas Atomic diplomatic negotiations showed off their strength and power and irritated Stalin. He thought that it was a menace to the USSR and got his scientists to plan a Soviet atomic bomb in defense mechanism. Winston Churchill’s Fulton Speech made the East believe that the West really wanted a war. The USA betrayed Britain and told the Soviets that this “iron curtain” had nil to make with them. T. G. Paterson. J. G. Clifford and K. J. Hagan wrote in 1977 “The post-war period seemed an ideal chance to set into pattern America’s thought of ‘Peace and Prosperity. ’ There was another factor of great importance – the critical demands of the American Economy…” This suggests that these historiographers. in 1977 believed that the USA were really being really selfish and non believing of anyone else but themselves and how they could derive power.

However there were mistakes on the Russian side excessively. The Russians expanded into Eastern Europe. this was one of the most of import grounds in my position that the Cold War got worse. If the Soviets hadn’t done this. the Truman Doctrine and the Marshall Plan may non hold even happened. Stalin did non maintain the understandings that were made at Yalta. This annoyed the other leaders. as Stalin was being selfish. Stalin besides set up the Berlin Blockade with the thought that he could force western power out of Eastern Berlin. “The cold War was the brave and indispensable response of free work forces to Communist aggression. ” ( A. M. Schlesinger 1967 ) Schlesinger believes that the Sovietss were incorrect. The USA was seeking to halt the USSR from traveling any farther. The Cold War drew to a stopping point in the late eightiess following Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev’s acme conferences with United States President Ronald Reagan. every bit good as Gorbachev’s launching of reform plans: perestroika and glasnost. The Soviet Union accordingly ceded power over Eastern Europe and was dissolved in 1991.