What are the origins and implications of the Cold War?The Cold war was the period marked by unrest and tension that existed between the communist nations under the leadership of the Soviet Union and the democratic nations under the leadership of the U.S.
The Cold war was the period marked by unrest and tension that existed between the communist nations under the leadership of the Soviet Union and the democratic nations under the leadership of the U.S. It tookvarious forms including occasionalarmed conflicts, politicalwrangling, economic warfare as well as propaganda.It however, did not engage any military confrontation though the two nations intimidated one another with nuclear annihilation.The cold war is thought to have initiated in the U.S during the presidency of Truman as he announced the anti-communist policy, triggering tension between the Soviet Union and the U.S. It reflected the two nations foreign policies in the mid-20th century as they contested for allies to have their influence globally (Sherman 4 & 6).
Before WWII, the U.S and Soviet Union were on a different rank economically, politically as well as ideologically. Thesebecame enhanced due to mutual qualms following the WWII.Ideologically, the two nations had opposing political systems where in the U.S, free elections voted in, the government. Citizens had a right of having political parties to air their stands, having a right to assemble, free speech as well as free press. On the other hand, the soviet had its government formation through a communist party where citizens had neither a right for political party formation nor a right to assemble or speak freely. This led to the confrontation of the two nations who could not come to a consensus but opposed each other (Sherman 46).
Moreover, the economic motives were conflicted as the U.S aimed at accelerating free trade globally while the soviet discouraged international commerce. This was due to the terror that free trade would result to western influences in the soviet, which would weaken the totalitarian regime. These accelerated the tension between the two nations.Furthermore, following the WWII, Europe collapsed while the power was left to the U.S and the Soviet Union where one was looking for ways to become more empowered that the counterpart, resulting to unrests. These were some of the underlying causes of the cold war.
However the obvious causes of the war involved peace-time conferences as the Truman Doctrine was announced and initiated in 1947s, Marshall Plan(Gottfried&Reim 19). The soviet became engrossed in Europe at the conclusion of WWII as the Red Army regulatedEastern Europe by 1944. At the 1945s Yalta Conference, they received the Curzon line as the boundary limit with Poland as well as eastern Germany (Sherman 4 & 6). At the same time, the nation had its influence consolidated as the red army got involved in postwar elections while influencing voters and altering the voting lists. The noncommunist lost while communists won forming a coalition government, whose majority were communists especially in main ministries such as that of the military &defense. This resulted to great dissatisfactions in the region as Stalin foresaw the active involvement of the communists in postwar voting of western Europe as Italian &French communists dominated the regions in 1946 (McMahon 20).
Another immediate resultant of the cold war was the U.S reaction towards the East and central Europe as they tried to cooperate with the soviet. As they expanded, the US started to resist Russia, as President Roosevelts died and on his succession by harry Truman. Roosevelt was hopeful that Russia would abide to the Yalta agreement through establishing free elected parliament in Eastern Europe and therefore did not forcefully resist their expansion. However, Truman disbelieved in the communists, being pessimistic of them establishing a democratic government in the region thinking that they would further influence WesternEurope, therefore strongly opposing their expansion. Besides, prior to the Potsdam Conference the U.S had had an atomic explosion as Truman hoped to resist the soviet expansion since they were the sole possessors of atomic bombs.
Additionally, Truman disliked the non-supportive nature of the soviet in the Potsdam Conference since they hoped to impose great compensations from Germans as they blamed Britain of backingreactionary monarchy as well as Italian Fascistregime. Importantly, Stalin refusedTrumanidea of major waterways internationalization. Most importantly, the deprived relationship between the two nations were seen due to abruptending of Land-Lease by the U.S and ignoring the soviet plead for U.S economic assistance during postwar reconstruction(Sherman 37).